Double Trouble – Rebel RC

Carisma’s GT24T & GT24TR 1/24th Brushless 4WD RTR Vehicles Tested

Words & Images: Phil MakeItBuildIt Lawrence

Spec

  • 8000kV Brushless Motor
  • Friction Dampers
  • Detailed Rubber Tyres
  • New Full Sized CTX8000 Tx
  • Responsive Steering Servo
  • 1S 3.7V (stock) or 2S 7.2v (Upgraded) LiPo Powered
  • Length 185mm
  • Wheelbase 121mm

UK RRP: £79.99  Global RRP: $109.99

Available in the UK Here   Available Globally Here

Need Another GT Hit

After reviewing the Carisma GT24R, a miniature Pikes Peak replica and thoroughly enjoying racing it around the House, Garden, outside on Tarmac (hell, anywhere I could find an imaginary Rally Course to test it on!). I next wanted to stay with small form factor RC, but with a vehicle that had more Off Road capabilities (Putting it bluntly: I wanted to get some jumps in!). A few phone calls later and along came a small box, it contained both of the GT24R’s freshly born siblings …

The GT24T (Monster Truck) and the GT24TR (Truggy)

Big Similarities – Subtle Differences

Who doesn’t love a cool Monster Truck or Truggy?

Both of these share the same chassis as the GT24R with its fantastic micro brushless power system and well designed and manufactured suspension and steering, however there are a few differences.Apart from the obvious body shell change, the wheels are different too. Larger wheels with deeper and wider tyres, allowing for more grip on the loose stuff, body posts are present but not used and the rear bumper from the GT24R is not installed or needed

Chassis Rear
Underneath the bodyshells the Monocoque Chassis and running gear is the same
Chassis top
The hologram sticker ensures the authenticity of this Cariama product

Unlike many other small scale RC manufacturers who like to offer smaller form factor Transmitters with their products, Carisma have coupled the GT24 series of cars with the very much full sixed CTX8000 transmitter.

Controller
The cars may be small, but the Tx is full sized (and featured!)

It’s both ergonomic (fits the hand nicely), and full featured. It also offers trims for steering and throttle, servo reversing along with an adjustable steering rate thumb wheel conveniently placed on the handle by your thumb (you will see later why this is a good idea).

Good for Kids N Newbies Too

The CTX98000 also comes with a rubber throttle limiter that you can slide over the trigger, so it stops the driver using full throttle. Something that would be useful when you hand the remote to a new to RC driver or young child for example.

Chassis top close
Note the Velcro on the side…no body posts required!

Chassis under close

The chassis is a vented enclosed monocoque design and is super sleek, hiding inside under more than adequate protection all of the electrics  like the fast steering servo, and the 8000kv brushless motor. Keeping little fingers (or big ones) away from any hot or moving parts. (no scorching fingers on hot motors here) alongside keeping all the muck outside where it belongs.

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The space under the chassis offers space for either a 1 or 2S LiPo

Sliding open a small hatch on the bottom reveals a very neat battery compartment, which the 1s brushless battery fits in with ease. This is where I made my first upgrade, as I had already tried the GT24R (insert link) on a 1s battery and loved it, but the animal in me wanted more. I thought why not give in and go with a 2s I had ready to slot in, cue big demonic grin!

Chassis Battery Full
Tetris skills required…its tight but possible!

The official Carisma upgrade 2s battery is a tighter fit than the stock 1S offering, but once I engaged my Tetris brain, I found an easy way to fit it. keep the red JST connector against the inside of the chassis, then feed the battery in, the balance lead will fit perfectly at the end of the battery…someone designed this to fit well.

No Slop & Well Designed

Suspension again is remarkably sturdy for its size and I’m still shocked at how little play there is in the joints, especially when you consider how much slop is in some 1:10 scale or larger cars. The advantage to this is that the handling won’t be compromised by lots of play, as even a small movement in this scale could change camber/caster or toe by a large percentage. In short:-

No Slack = Predictable Driving = More Fun

The wheels are kept on the ground with twin wishbone suspension , which does not have adjustable geometry, but does allow 2 different shock mount points both top and bottom, alongside 2 steering arm positions on the hub, neither of which have any bump steer when I tested them.

Chassis under
This could be a 1/10th or even a 1/8th…but its way smaller than that!

For those that don’t know, bump steer is when the steering arms are not designed with the same pivot point geometry as the suspension, so as the wheel is moved up and down it causes the wheel to turn in or out. this makes the handling not so good and is best avoided. Thankfully Carisma have got this right and you don’t need to worry…

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The design is tough and robust…designed to be run not looked at!

Shocks are friction shocks with fixes spring rates, although I believe that oil filled dampers are available as an upgrade if its something you wanted to do, along with carbon shock towers and all other manner of goodies.

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The stickers on each wheel add additional detail…while mainitaining the strength of a dish

I did my old skool drop / bounce test and if you are racing this competitively, then I would look at the shock upgrade, if you are having fun with it, ragging it about with friends, I would not worry the stock shocks work well.

All of the models are 4WD and pack a differential front and rear, meaning no scrubbing when turning and more grip. There is a built in slipper clutch too, there is a chance I might need it with 2s power!

2s battery
1S is fast, but 2S is ballistic!
charger
USB LiPo charging offers safety for younger users, but remember in some terratories the vehicles dont ship with LiPo or Chargers

Body wise unlike the GT24R, no body mount or pins are needed, instead you have a foam extension on the side of the chassis and Velcro to mount the body. You don’t need to remove the body to change the battery, or to turn the car on and off, all of that is done on the bottom of that lovely enclosed chassis.

As mentioned earlier, there are two body styles, the Truck (GT24T) and the Truggy (GT24TR), it comes to personal choice which you prefer, both offer great visibility and do not affect the handling, means when racing your mates its easier to see which is yours

Ensure Body Sits Correctly

On the GT24T, the first time I drove it I had to move the body slightly backwards to stop the front wheels catching the body on full lock, but that took me a few seconds and was zero hassle to do, this was probably my fault from when I took the shell off for the photographs. It’s likely i did not put it back in the correct location based on the wheel wells, and I had just lined the Velcro up.

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Probably the cutest Monster truck in the history of RC

Performance on 2s is blistering and you would have to be a driving god (well better than me) to drive in a standard house sized room at full throttle, I recon it could do a 24th wall of death quite easily !

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I wonder how many back flips I can do with it? Only one way to find out!

Outside or in a larger space where you can give the Carisma GT24 its legs, OMG how can something that small manage such acceleration, the top speed is impressive and I would love to know what it works out on scale speed, I’ve now nicknamed the GT24TR “Bluebird”!

Watch Out For Grip Roll

Thankfully the CTX8000 controller comes with a handy steering travel/rate adjust so when you are bombing along at warp factor 5, you can dial down the steering so it’s not too aggressive and induces a high speed roll…. ok, I admit, I found this out the hard way. After belting along at full speed with a massive grin on my face, I turning sharply and let’s just say I stopped counting at 8 flips and started the walk of shame while it was still going.

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Much more of a serious Race Stance…The Truggy looks epic!

Testament to Carisma, no damage, apart from a few scratches to the shell, which has to be expected when playing on concrete.

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Note how much difference the wheels make to the overall look…

The suspension does a good job of soaking up the terrain, I did find the odd bounce now and again when going over some rougher parts at high speed, but that added to the fun.

We gave it a whole 1 minute before starting doing jumps, yes our resolve was that strong! (now you understand why we take the pictures before driving). These two are a hoot, and the more you have, the better it gets, having 2 or 3 racing round is fantastic fun for not a big outlay.

Verdict: Highly Recommended…can’t wait to see what they do next, a baby Short Course or Rock Racer would be cool. Or even a baby Crawler/Scaler…watch this space!

Available in the UK Here   Available Globally Here

Really Tiny Trucks…Simply Rock!

Pro-Line Ambush 1/25th 4WD RTR Electric Mini Scale/Trail/Crawler

Words & Images Daniel Siegl & ProLine

Available Globally: HERE  Available in the UK: HERE

Length: 198mm

Width: 95mm

Wheelbase: 115mm

Weight: 308g

I always fancied a smaller true Scale/Trail/Crawler rig. But until very recently there was only really one option; the Losi Trekker. Trouble is, that rig was never quite my thing, and it was very much a case of form over function. It looked great but out where it mattered it just didn’t cut the mustard. Also, its basic spec left a little to be desired. The NIMH batteries for example, the weak steering servo and relatively high C of G all combined to make the actual driving experience itself a little unimpressive.

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About the same size as a Losi…but that’s where the similarity ends!

This aside, more recently ProLine hit the RC scene with its Ambush and RC4WD its 1/18th D90…The latter will be covered in a future article from Peter Gray, the former, I just had to get my hands on and review.

Just Wow…

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Leaf Springs For The Win…Literally!

Was my first reaction, finally someone had thought a rig of this small scale through properly. But are they the same axles as the Losi or different? Giving it a closer inspection I can confirm, it is a completely different car – the similarities really only relate only to the size and the fact that they both have an integrated Speed Controller and 2.4GHz Receiver unit – that’s it.

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Compact and well thought out electrics placement and weight bias

You’ve probably already read all about the technical details of the rig – So, I won’t bore you with too much of that. This review will be a charge it and run it, hands on affair. After all isn’t that what’s important with a RTR product? Yes many of us eventually modify a RTR vehicle in some way to improve its performance, and also aesthetically to personalize it’s look.

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The tiny motor had lots of well needed Torque!

Actually, I will be totally honest here, we had our review sample car back in November, but our friend Brian Parker found so very entertaining and decided to give it a shakedown of his own! That’s why we ended up getting it just after Christmas, used and without any packaging!

2 Hardcore (But Tiny) Testers…

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Perfect for little (and big) kids anywhere in the World!

I wanted to just look at the rig for a while, its that cute, then go run it myself. But, my 2 girls, one 3.5 and the other 5.5 discovered it for themselves and started the hands on testing for me. The Ambush actually did a great job in this very tough role. After a full pack of running there was nothing broken. I was amazed, as its is finally an RC vehicle that my 2 were self-motivated to play with without prompting. And they keep asking to have more time with it!

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The rig really does perform well above its obvious size limitations

We tested the car in the last 2 months extensively at a variety of locations:

  • Indoor at Lego Course

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Forget Ed Shearan’s Lego House…we built a Lego Test Trail
  • On ice on the pond in front of the house

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Slippy meets Grippy…all together now:- “Ice, Ice Baby!”
  • And finally when the weather allowed, to drive it in Spillern

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Anything a 1/10th can do…you can attempt with the Ambush!

I have to say, of all the rigs that are in this size, so far the Ambush is clearly the most fun! So much fun in fact that that I tended to push it very hard and attempt things I probably shouldn’t with such a tiny rig, and yes as a consequence a lot of the time it ended up falling over. But when it made almost impossible looking lines it gave you such a feeling of achievement.

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The added RECON G6 decals help explain whos had our sample and what its been up to!

The leaf springs suspension work very neat, and like all the other Micro rigs out there, the tiny motors performance of course is rather limited. But that has a huge advantage when a child or newbie is driving it, since it is less can be broken!

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Considering its size the attention to detail is stunning…

At first glance the electrics seem very unexciting. But having run the rig lots now, my opinion is very positive. I think that even my 3.5 year old could handle the modern and simple USB charger. But fast its not…You need some patience when re-peaking the pack.

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Not fast, but safe…USB charging!

Verdict:

The first true small “Scaler” offering the ability to be able to drive it like its a much bigger rig.

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Against the included standard sized Tx it looks tiny…because it is!

It’s suitable for both children as well as experienced RC drivers. The included driver model looks right just needs a bit more paint and detail adding to give it more depth.

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1/10th next to 1/24th….Little n Large

It punches well above its weight and size and offers hope that this size of vehicle, packing much of the performance of its 1/10th counterparts could grow and grow.

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So much scope and so well made…huge thumbs up from me and RCCZ for the ProLine Ambush

With RC4WD and ProLine leading the way, lets hope more manufacturers follow suit., and a dedicated Micro class grows from it…check out our running video below!

Huge shout out to ProLine and the global RECON G6 family

See you out on the trails, or at a G6

Daniel

Size Of A Mouse – Heart of a Lion

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Carisma RC GT24R

Words & Images: Phil Makeitbuildit Lawrence

  • Type: 4WD
  • Scale: 1/24
  • Height: 64mm
  • Length: 180mm
  • Width: 107mm
  • Wheel Base: 119mm

Features

  • 8000kV brushless motor
  • Friction damper
  • New CTX8000 Tx
  • Fast micro servo
  • 500mAh 1S 3.7V LiPo
  • USB charger included
  • Rubber tyres

Available From: Carisma RC

UK Distributor: CML

Current RRP $109.99

This is the smallest RC car I’ve had for many years, those memories are not particularly rosy, as often the smaller the car the more “toy” like it is, lets see how the Carisma GT24R fairs (and I hope it replaces some of those memories with shiny new happy on!)

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Everythings in the box…bar the patience needed to wait for it to charge

Billed as a Ready To Run, with everything included is a great idea. One thing that always peeves me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) is “batteries not included”, after spending a chunk of money, being asked to go and spend again is never a good feeling, even if its only a few quid for some batteries. This is certainly NOT the case with the Carisma RTR, everything is in the box to get you up and running. Thank you !

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The hologram sticker says it all…genuine Carisma quality, performance & manufacture

What is the GT24R?

A Pikes Peak international hill climb inspired 1:24 scale car, for those that don’t know about Pikes Peak, it is probably the oldest hill climb event still running, it was first ran in 1916 in Colorado, USA. A 12.5 mile race with 156 corners, climbing over 4,700 feet from the start to the summit of the Pikes Peak mountain at just over 14,100 feet altitude.

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The ‘Pikes Peak’ replica body is amazing…(very 6R4 Group B Retro too)

Ok, so that’s a serious hill, but why does that inspire a car design, and more importantly, one that we would want as an RC car. With all those corners and hairpins, often with no barriers, it takes a very well built car or bike to make it to the top quickly, and often some don’t make it at all.

The higher you go, the thinner the air, which reduces the power your engine makes. So to get up the mountain fast, sprinting from corner to corner requires MONSTER horsepower often over 1000bhp. coupled with massive down force produced from outrageously big wings to give lots of down force and grip. For a lot of petrol heads it is a holy grail event, so this little 1:24 scale RC car has a lot to live up to if its inspired by Pikes Peak.

What’s it like ?

Ok, so it’s all out of the box and laid out on the table, first impressions are very good, I’m immediately struck with the well printed group B rally car inspired body shell with its Pikes Peak wings and splitters sprouting out at jaunty angles, if it drives as well as it looks, this will be great.

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Spares, tools, body clips, cells, LiPo and charger are all included!

Looking at all the included goodies, I can see a nut spinner, screwdriver, spare drive gears, different motor pinions, steering arms and even body pins alongside a lipo battery, charger and batteries for the transmitter, superb! the inclusion of the batteries is great, the drive gears and spare steering links are a total bonus.

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Just think of the bodyshell possibilities for this platform…

Lifting the lid on the GT24R, I was very surprised to see a super neat completely enclosed chassis centre, a small door on the bottom houses the LiPo next to the power switch, and apart from cooling vents all the workings are enclosed/sealed in a lightweight but compact case. In this covered centre, there is a receiver, fast servo for steering and of course the power train, consisting of a LiPo ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) and an 8000kv brushless motor, driving through a slipper clutch.

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Friction (not oil filled) dampers…but they work a treat on this light platform

The slipper clutch mates onto the front and rear differentials via a simple driveshaft arrangement. on 1s battery I’ve not had noticed the GT24R needing to use the slipper clutch, but its fantastic to have one installed by default. All of this terminates with the rubber tyres, which provide good grip on hard surfaces and carpet. Everything is supported throughout with full ball bearings and no friction bearings in sight.

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Yes, it’s that small!, and no, my hands aren’t actually that big!

The only friction parts on this car are the suspension dampers, which are typically bouncy, but work acceptably at this weight, although oil dampers are available directly as an upgrade. Whilst I mention upgrades, there are also carbon shock towers, driveshaft upgrades and if you want to drive this more seriously, 2s LiPo and even a 12000kv motor, now we are talking Pikes Peak power!

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Double-wishbone rear suspension soaks up all the bumps in style!

The suspension is double wishbone front and rear with adjustable shock mounts on both upper and lower points, so you can change the effectiveness of the shock absorber to suit your driving style.

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The worms eye view shows the LiPo compartment cover & on/off switch
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THe included 2.4GHz CTX8000 has all the features you would ever need, some even for ‘racing’

As per usual one of the first things i do when I pick a car up is wiggle the wheels to see how much play there is in the suspension/steering. I take this (unless its been engineered to have play) as a mark of the build quality. the GT24R is all plastic and 1:24 scale, so i expected some slop, but I was flabbergasted, there is zero play in the steering and no binding, looking at the suspension, there is very little unwanted movement too. The engineering tolerances at 1:24 scale are tiny, yet they have been achieved and then some.

The included radio is the CTX8000 which alongside the usual trims for steering and throttle comes with a throttle limiter that you can slide over the trigger, so it stops the driver using full throttle. something that would be useful when you hand the remote to a new to RC younger driver for example, or for use indoors in a smaller space

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The throttle limiter is simple, yet very effective. Perfect for the younger RC fans in the family!

As usual, with most models the steering rate is adjustable, however on the CTX8000, this is very conveniently located on a rotary thumbwheel on the handle of the controller.

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Steering rate adjustment is just a thumbwheel away…

Very well placed so when your ‘hooning’ around like a loon at full throttle, you can easily dial back the steering throws to aid with high speed stability. Then put them back to full when you come to a hairpin with a quick slide of your thumb, after a few attempts it becomes very natural and effective.

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Power, Trims, Bind & Servo Reversing, all easy to use and figure out in seconds

I’m very impressed with the engineering of this car and the attention to detail, both for those things in sight and hidden away, even down to having ‘handed’ body pins so its symmetrical. someone’s OCD at Carisma has been put to good use, and is noticed…

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Now thats a silhouette of a very cool car…The GT24R Rocks!

Is it fast ?

Running on the standard 1s battery, running it outdoors on a hard surface, the acceleration is rapid and it has a respectable speed for its size. As mentioned earlier, I found myself turning the steering rate down for outdoor, as at higher speeds it is very easy to roll the GT24R with large steering movements, of course this is easy to do with the well placed thumb wheel on the CTX8000 controller

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The view others should get if you race them! The 24R is the perfect fun bashing and race platform

Indoors, stick the throttle limiter on and I was doing good laps of the lounge, steering needed to be turned all the way up this time, and at times I wanted a little more for the last hairpin round the sofa (shhhhhh…please don’t tell the wife!)

Is it Pikes Peak fast? out of the box on a 1s battery, no, but switch to a 2s I would say so, or perhaps 1s with the 12000kv motor, and it would be very interesting, once the UK summer stops raining I can’t wait to try this and unleash some Pikes Peak power.

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Part Pikes Peak, Part Group B Rally Car…we love the look, what do you think?

It’s nice to have options on the upgrade path, I’m not sure if the 12000kv motor will do 2s, if it will, that would be totally mental (I want one…)

The GT24R not really an off road car, although it handled loose dusty gravel surfaces well, especially when you consider gravel is like driving over a boulder covered road at this scale. Therefore I would say its better suited to a smoother surface to get the most out of the speed. There is more than enough speed to get airborne, and I found a nearby skate park a great playground do race round and have a lot of fun.

Before I Go…

One of the beauties of something this scale is the price, so its inclusive for you and a mate or 3 to get one each and have some fun races with them, something I would recommend, either that or in true Pikes Peak style, set out a course with lots of tight corners and sprint through it, timing runs and then passing the controller to the next driver. you can have a lot of fun for not a lot of money.

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A true ‘Pocket Rocket’, especially on 2S and with a 1200kv motor fitted!

The advantage of the smaller 1s LiPo batteries is they take very little time to charge and they are not expensive, so you can either take masses of them out with you or just a couple and a charger.

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WE just need 3 more now and we can have a RCCZ GTR office race!

In closing there are a lot of very nice touches on this car, and its fun to drive, I will try 2s when the weather gets better (classic British summer at the moment aka rain). The attention to detail and build quality is great and far beyond what I expected, some good memories have been created.

Thank you Carisma RC

Monster Fun – Micro Size

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Words & Images: Phil Makeitbuildit & Grace Lawrence

Helion Animus 1/18th Electric Monster Truck

UK Distributor: J.Perkins

UK SRP: £79.99

Included: Tools, Battery and Charger, 2.4Ghz Controller

Specs

Length:  235mm

Height:  100mm

Width:  172mm

Weight:  540g

“Mini Monster Truck, Monster speed…”

 

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Lets see if it lives up to its boxes strapline!

First Impressions

Its nicely packaged with good graphics depicting some great off road action, so the expectations are high for such a little machine. Once everything is out of the box you can see this is not a toy grade car, whilst its far from being the most expensive, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing so far.

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At under £80.00 this little Monster is huge value for money

The controller has a similar casing to a few other cars I’ve driven, so it’s quite familiar, its lift up cover on the back containing the power switch, servo reverse and two rotary dials, one for steering trim, and the other for throttle trim. There is a bind button in there too, not that it was needed in my case, it just worked straight from the box. It’s worth noting that there is a mega bright LED to show when its powered on, and that LED will change from green to red when the batteries are getting low (nice touch). hopefully this won’t come on too often as the transmitter takes 8 AA batteries!

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Basic but very functional…2.4GHz for glitch free running

The charger is very simple, mains plug one end, deans plug the other, with some indication lights on the plug to show the current charge state. it worked without fault and was simple enough for anyone to use.

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The included ‘trickle’ wall charger is simple to use, even for a complete novice

Onto the Animus (meaning : motivation to do something) and its obvious to see there is a lot of thought that has gone into this car, and its quality is beyond its price point

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LEDs are fitted front and back, wiring is taped securely in place inside the shell

The body shell is well formed, not too flimsy or heavy and a major bonus, its fitted with both front and rear lights, they are quite bright, so i imagine some night time driving is possible, as well as looking cool in the day, it just adds another level of realism. It’s not a massive or complex thing to do, but to me details like this make the whole thing a better experience, well done Helion.

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Shock Towers and Suspension Arms are built to take abuse

The suspension arms look strong enough for the size of machine (and were proven to be strong in the multiple crashes and tumbles this has taken so far), what is very impressive is the shocks, they are oil filled, something i did not expect at all for a smaller model. it makes such a difference to have nice damping, makes off road smoother and on road or gravel even more fun !

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The threaded Alloy shock caps add add a nice touch of quality

At the end of each arm its fitted with large but not out of scale wheels with very grippy tyres attached to ball raced hubs, happy to say no friction bearings here !

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The tyres are a soft compound with a traditional self-clearing MT tread pattern

Looking harder, there is even more to play with, you can adjust the top shock positions and inboard upper wishbone location, so not only is it good fun knock about, you can start learning tuning, or if your already in the know, you can adjust it to suit your style, I have to remind myself that this is 1:18 scale, as lots of features from larger vehicles have been put on this model.

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The design ethos and layout is taken straight from much bigger models

There is not a lot of play in the suspension, which is a good thing, meaning it should not wander on its own and have a controlled feeling when driving it.

On the subject of ‘play’, with the particular truck I had, I noticed more steering play in one side than the other, The 2 in 1 esc/steering servo uses a bell crank system to link to the wheels and I found that one of the links had more play than the other, this was not much of a problem as 1/4 turn on the ball joint screw and most of that slack had been taken up. I have to admit to sorting this before driving, so I cant 100% say if it would have affected anything, although my opinion is that it would have been fine and not changed how it drove, certainly off road.

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A logical and ‘balanced’ layout…with the driveline going straight down the centre

The power train is brushed and includes a replaceable 7.2v 1100mah NiMh that is held in with a retraining strap and body clips , so let’s see how that fairs under some use, will it be saggy and slow, or still pack a punch?

There is a little switch by the power switch to allow you to select between NiMH or LiPo battery, so its got a built in low voltage cut-out ready for a LiPo upgrade, again another simple yet well executed touch. It also has a bind position for the RX…clever stuff Helion!

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Note the three positions to that white slider/switch….very clever stuff

In the past I’ve found a brushed motors to be a bit slow compared to the brushless systems I’m used to running. However, I have been impressed by the torque they can offer, so this will be interesting.

A Wide Demographic

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From ‘Big Kids’ to real Kids…the Animus has a broad appeal

I’m not exactly sure who the Animus is aimed at, I would say it’s something both for the younger generation, and us older ones who are still 12…so this has been tested by both a 40 something who is still 12, and an actual 12 year old.

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Size is subjective…this thing punches well above it’s weight!

After charging the battery and fitting the 8AA batteries into the controller, a quick check on steering rates to make sure its not binding up (where the servo tries to push the steering too far) and its ready to go.

I thought I’d be kind to the motor and give it the first few runs on road, to bed everything in and not put any undue stress on the drive train etc. So off we go…

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Its not supposed to be clean…so we got it dirty!

Gently squeezing the throttle (see ED, I do learn from my mistakes, read my bullet flux review in issue 3!) there is no stuttering or cogging that you can get from an un-sensored brushless motor at low speed, the Animus squats the rear slightly as the suspension takes the load, and its off…(and at quite a rapid rate I must say!) I’m glad to see my earlier concerns about brushed have been  put to rest.

The steering is direct, proportional and easy to control, comes back to centre well and not in a snappy way so it won’t induce flips and rolls if you let off the steering quickly. It was not long before I was ‘hooning’ it round the tarmac, and jumping off curbs and out of potholes, this thing is great, my mind has already thought of 4 or 5 of us having a one make race with these, would be a great laugh…perhaps even fit micro FPV systems and race them that way!

Grace v The Molehill

After a recharge Grace and I went down the fields with the Animus to have some fun and get some photos of it before I got carried away with bigger and bigger jumps

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The perfect launch pad…sorry Mr Mole!

Ok, the box art showed the Animus MT throwing up dirt as it was moving at a good pace, is that possible…… Grace lined up a massive molehill, it was about 4 times the height of the Animus and about 3 times a long, let’s see what this is made of. Pinning the throttle wide open from the start the Animus leapt forwards through grass that was at least up to the axles with ease, she steered it up and over, the wheels spinning all the time, throwing mud behind and into the air, as it leapt into the air itself. so, can it do what it says on the box, simple answer is YES.

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Brushed motors produce tons of torque…and it shows!

Of course we had to repeat it, as the speed off road had taken me by surprise and I’d only got half the car in the photo, then of course I wanted a go too. It might be small, but it’s an addictive little monster truck

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More airtime…this was tons of fun and what bashing is truly all about!

Thankfully the mole had moved on to somewhere else looking at the number of molehills about, as I imagine he/she would have ended up with a headache after all the jumping we did over its digging spoils.

We spend the rest of the battery, jumping, speeding, climbing hills and having great fun with the Animus. After all isn’t that what its all about?

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Grace & the Helion Animus MT…RCCZ’s ‘Destruction Tester’!

Back at home, Grace got through at least another 3 charges that day, driving both in the garden and on the drive and had a big smile on her face, especially with the new use she found for it, I’ll let her explain that later.

RCCZ TOP TIP: One thing to mention is motor has a sticker on it saying “Caution may be hot”, this is certainly true, I found the motor gets quite hot and after a full run, its best to leave it to cool a little before touching it…you were warned!

So, what’s the verdict. If your after something capable, fun, small enough to use in the garden, yet capable enough to tackle off road, mud, jumps etc, and don’t want to spend a fortune, then I would recommend adding this to your list along with a couple of additional batteries, get a few Animus/Animi (*I’m not sure what the plural is) together and the fun level could be epic.

Thoughts From A Real End User…Grace

So, my verdict of the Helion Animus 18MT…well, the one I tested had a red and blue livery, which I thought was a good combination making it stand out and look very smart. The body shell is a good shape too. I am impressed by the LED lights on it…

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The LEDs shine bright…even in daylight!

They are white in the front and red on the back and are a very good brightness. you could even try driving in the dark. The wheels and tyres are very suited to the type of car it is, they give lots of grip on grass and mud. The controller for this vehicle is easy to hold and operate for small or large hands, its heavier than some others I’ve used though.

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The livery stands out and looks the part

When I drove it off road I tried it both in a field with longer grass and on the shorter grass in my garden. Its naturally a very fast car and went reasonably quick on this type of terrain, swerving in and out of garden swing poles, its accurate and able to bounce when you get it wrong. I even tried using some molehills as gigantic ramps and it jumped them very well and stayed upright! Then I tried driving it on road on the driveway. It was most efficient at this kind of driving as it was a smooth terrain which ensured maximum speed. It was very very easy to control. Handling the car was great fun, and as its small, I even managed to crawl it underneath a van!

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Classic MT lines and look…Helion know their stuff

Among the more unusual uses I found for this monster truck is dog exercise! Drive this car around the garden and the family hound will have a great time chasing it and barking at it (as mine did!) until its lying down panting…(and the dog! ED)

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Wide and stable…this translates to minimal grip roll and good handling in use

This vehicle withstood numerous collisions, even full throttle into my garden swing and remained intact which has to be a very positive point!

I found the four wheel drive was very interesting as I hadn’t tested a car with this type of drive before. It gave lots of grip which made it easier to control and easier to turn corners at high speed.

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It should be called ‘Unanimous’…that’s the thumbs up it got from the team!

The differentials and oil filled shocks were very good and I thought them impressive. They made a positive difference to how it drove both on and off road.

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Perfect as a fun basher or as an entry level 1st vehicle…Versatile

The option of more colour schemes or a clear body shell to paint yourself would make this an even better buy, it is compact in size but packs a punch! Overall this monster truck is impressive and exceeded my expectations especially with regard to durability and I would recommend it to any skill level, or age.

For more on the full Helion range CLICK HERE

For more on the full J.Perkins range CLICK HERE