A short course buggy was one of the few vehicles missing from my collection. When the 4x4 1/10 Sandstorm SCB got announced last week, nobody knew anything about it and there were few pics available on the internet. Curiosity got the better of me and I ordered one - if for nothing else than to find out more about it. For $140 shipped ready-to-run with a 2.4GHz radio and battery, I didn't expect much. Not much was exactly what I got. Click the pics for a bigger version.
Standard Redcat packaging. Big red box with nothing but a sticker in one corner to indicate which model it is.
Minimal packaging, but sufficient.
Not much in the way of extras. A manual, a catalog, some preload clips and the antenna tube & bind plug for the RX.
Standard GT2 knockoff. I say knockoff because the plastic quality is even lower than my GT2, so I don't even think it came out of the same factory. Takes 8 AAs and has the standard GT2 options. A wall wart charger with the ubiquitous polarized red 4mm bullet connector was the only other thing in the box besides the buggy itself.
Here's the crappy battery that the wall wart charges.
Finally the buggy itself. Not too bad from the front, though the bumper needs to be cut down a bit.
From the back, not too bad either. The bumper at least looks right. I didn't expect a real spare tire on something this cheap, but wow. That's just a flimsy piece of polystyrene. It's screwed on to metal post, and it must come off immediately.
That's better. Fake tire and post removed, it's halfway decent looking.
The driver tray is the same black polystyrene with white plastic heads screwed on from underneath.
They did an OK job with the stickers.
From the bottom we start to see the real problems. The plastic tub chassis is made of very low grade plastic. It's thin, and there are lots of weird depressions from the molding. All the screws are phillips. That by itself wouldn't be so bad, but they also have very thin heads and are made of crappy steel. Stripping is inevitable.
Lets get this pig open. Take off the two front clips and the hood piece comes off.
Take off the two back clips and give the cage a pull. The cage, remaining body panels and driver tray come off in one piece. It's actually still attached at the front bumper, but the connection is jointed to allow the whole thing to swing up and away. Not a bad design from a convenience perspective at least.
And here it is with the body fully flipped.
The innards. The quality of the plastic is atrocious
. Again, I wasn't expecting much, but this is borderline toy-grade here.
Aluminum bits include the center shaft, the battery posts for some reason, and the shock cap rings. Note that the part that the screw goes through to attach the shock to the tower (the part that usually breaks) is still plastic. Just the insignificant screw-on rings are aluminum. I should also note here that the shocks only feel maybe 1/4 to 1/2 filled with oil. The rear droops so much that I will likely have to use most if not all of the included clips to keep it from dragging its butt on the ground like a dog with worms.
Rubbish brushed ESC.
I removed the plastic gear guard to see what was doing here. Brass pinion, plastic spur, and the motor mount appears to be a large hunk of cast whitemetal. The motor itself is a crude silvercan with a big honking heat sink, solely to disguise how crappy the can itself is.
The servo is a Redcat standard rated for 60oz if the internet is to be believed.
Took the wheels off to see what the suspension looks like. The plastic is the sharpest, brittlest, weakest looking garbage I've seen on a hobby-grade vehicle. I don't think this would survive a two foot jump into a pile of styrofoam peanuts.
And the front - just as bad as the back. But hey, at least it has a servo saver!
The Sandstorm's wheels/tires (in the middle) are a very odd (proprietary?) size. They're bigger than buggy tires (left) but smaller than SCT tires (right). They are asymmetrical like a SCT wheel, with the outside being about 2" in diameter and the inside being about 2 5/8".
The width is also odd. It's worth noting here that the tread is shallow and the rubber is the stiffest compount I've ever felt. It was so stiff I could not tell from squeezing it if there was foam inside. There were small holes in the inside of the wheel though and I could see through them enough to determine these wheels do contain foam.
The hexes are at least standard at 12mm, so you can stick regular SCT wheels on the Sandstorm. They look a little strange, and I doubt the ability of the motor and drivetrain to actually spin the bigger kicks.
I won't get a chance to run this thing outdoors until this weekend. I expect embarrassing performance, and I will be shocked
if I run all the way through the 1800mAH pack without breaking something. I hope I'm wrong, but this buggy really is the most wretched thing I've laid eyes on. It's the sort of RC you expect to buy from a mall kiosk for $75. I spent twice that on this turd so that you don't have to. Learn from my sacrifice and stay far, far away.
(Last edited by candre23 : 10.17.12 at 6:26 pm)
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