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candre23's Avatar
"Not the bees!"
candre23 - 10.17.12, 4:13 pm Post #1: | Reply With Quote
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 4:26 pm)
My collection: sites.google.com/site/chipsrcgarage
ericmaxman's Avatar
"New user"
ericmaxman - 10.17.12, 4:23 pm Post #2: | Reply With Quote
I knew it!

The manufacturer of this is HSP..

Also, I wouldn't be so quick to call the controller a knock-off. The darn thing costs $15 @ hobbyking, how much more could a clone cost to manufacture? I've had my shares of HSP cars, and I was not amused at all.
(Last edited by ericmaxman : 10.17.12 at 4:25 pm)
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candre23's Avatar
"Not the bees!"
candre23 - 10.17.12, 4:44 pm Post #3: | Reply With Quote
ericmaxman said
I knew it!

The manufacturer of this is HSP..

I wouldn't be so quick to call the controller a knock-off. The darn thing costs $15 @ hobbyking, how much more could a clone cost to manufacture?
That was always my assumption as well. But having a Flysky GT2 and this thing side by side, I'm certain they did not come off the same assembly line. If some other factory can make and sell a clone for $2 less, then I'm not surprised that a bottom-basement distributor like redcat would go with them to save the $2.
My collection: sites.google.com/site/chipsrcgarage
PetRock's Avatar
"Experienced user"
PetRock - 10.17.12, 4:54 pm Post #4: | Reply With Quote
The tires don't bug me too much (I'd probably put a spare SC set on immediately), but I hope durability turns out to be better than you've guessed.
candre23's Avatar
"Not the bees!"
candre23 - 10.17.12, 5:23 pm Post #5: | Reply With Quote
I really can't overstate how poor the plastic is. I have a HobbyPeople Vertex, which is widely regarded to be fragile junk, and it is significantly better than this. Assuming the weather is decent this weekend, I'll run it around a bit and see what happens.
My collection: sites.google.com/site/chipsrcgarage
"Experienced user"
derailed75 - 10.17.12, 5:29 pm Post #6: | Reply With Quote
Thats really a shame. I have the Aftershock 3.5 and it a pretty nice truck for the money. I was hoping Red Cat continued to improve I am really disappointed they dropped back down. I hope the other buggy is of a much higher quality, it looks like it might be from the limited pictures I have seen.
ericmaxman's Avatar
"New user"
ericmaxman - 10.17.12, 5:30 pm Post #7: | Reply With Quote
candre23 said
That was always my assumption as well. But having a Flysky GT2 and this thing side by side, I'm certain they did not come off the same assembly line. If some other factory can make and sell a clone for $2 less, then I'm not surprised that a bottom-basement distributor like redcat would go with them to save the $2.
Maybe a cheaper grade to cater for the lower end crowd? I'm not too inclined to believe someone would clone a chinese product!
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RemeCA's Avatar
"Experienced user"
RemeCA - 10.17.12, 5:33 pm Post #8: | Reply With Quote
The look of the spare in the first release pictures is one of the things that really put me off this truck. It looked terrible, even the Turnigy spare looks way better. Too bad you had to bit the bullet, but hopefully you do some followups on durability and hopefully save some people some money.
Once you go LiCoO2 , you never go NiOOH.

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AmainPro's Avatar
"Experienced user"
AmainPro - 10.17.12, 5:57 pm Post #9: | Reply With Quote
iv found the hsp plastic to be quite tuff, even though it feels cheap. iv had my hsp 4 meters in the air over bmx jumps and only ever broken the c hubs and cracked a chassis. but the parts are so cheap to replace anyway. do the dogbones bind under suspension compression?
Pyro's Avatar
"Paddle Tire"
Pyro - 10.18.12, 12:18 am Post #10: | Reply With Quote
I spy progressive rate springs. For whatever that is worth.
Losi 8ight-TE 2.0, OFNA Hyper Sprint E-conversion, Losi e-LST XXL, Losi 8ight-E 2.0, Team Durango DESC210, Quanum Vandal
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