Sharpening The Shovel…

RCZ_Bash 100

Axial SMT10 Grave Digger – 1/10th Electric 4WD Monster Jam Truck

Part 1 : Digging Up The Past & Dissecting SMT’s Future

Product ID AX90055 UK RRP: £385.99 Global: $399.99

Available In UK From: WheelspinModelsport & All Good Hobby Stores

Available in US From: Tower Hobbies & All Good Hobby Stores

Specs

  • Length: 483 mm
  • Width: 335 mm
  • Height: 269 mm
  • Wheelbase: 353 mm
  • G Clearance: 73.7 mm
  • Weight: 3.2 kg

A Mind Boggling Global Following

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The Grave Digger most of us know and love…but there’s been many, many incarnations before this!

The name Dennis Anderson may not mean anything to a good proportion of you reading this, but I bet most of you have heard of his 4×4 creation, The Grave Digger. Probably the most Iconic Monster truck of all time, and one that many of us have owned at one point in one form or another. From various Mattel Hot wheels 1/64th die cast push along toys to Traxxas 1/16th RC, New bright 1/10th RC and now Axial’s latest 1/10th RTR trucks. It’s been a vehicle that’s inspired kids of all ages with its colour scheme and eerie almost Halloween-esc looks into performing huge real (or imaginary) backflips, jumps and power slides, not to mention crushing other cars! Hell, I even gave my kids official Monster Jam ‘plushie’ versions of it and other Monster Jam trucks to play with as infants…but more on that later.

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The man himself, Dennis Anderson…Still wowing crowds today with his all or nothing driving style

Mud Bogger to Car Crusher

The origins of the now legendary black and green 1950’s Chevy Panel van started in 1982 with a very different look and model of vehicle. The very first Grave Digger was actually a bright red 1952 Ford pickup truck and was built as a Mud Bogger. Dennis then progressed onto a silver and blue 1951 Ford Panel Truck, and this would become the first ‘official’ Grave Digger Monster Truck, and the rest was history.

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A modern tribute to the early Ford panel van that was the first true Grave Digger

The truck was named Grave Digger when Anderson said the now famous line:-“I’ll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it…”. Not just Trash Talk to put the other drivers off, but also pretty factually correct about his old pickup when compared to the other drivers pretty modern rides. Anderson fast built up both respect amongst the o0ther drivers and also a reputation amongst the public who attended these events with  an all-or-nothing, 100% committed driving style.

Grave Digger monster truck. Photos courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Now this is old Skool…still very much a Mud Bogger in its look…but very cool never the less

His transition from Mud Bogging to becoming a Monster Truck happened overnight. He was competing at a show, when the scheduled Monster Truck failed to show up and perform Car Crushing for the expectant crowd. Anderson, who already had large tractor tires on the Grave Digger, offered to step in and crush cars in it’s absence. The promoter accepted and Grave Digger was given a shot. He was an instant hit with the crowds and this was the catalyst for his, and the trucks future career as a fully fledged Monster Truck.

The Digger Look

In 1986 Grave Digger first received its famous graveyard paint livery. It was still a Ford at this point, and until 1988 Anderson mostly drove the truck at TNT Motorsports races. Despite his team still lacking the major funding that teams like Bigfoot had, he won over the people that really mattered, and quickly became a firm favourite with the crowds and growing numbers of fans of the genre.

Then in In 1987, he truly made his mark. Grave Digger beat Bigfoot in St. Poodle, MN on a show taped for and then shown on a very new ESPN. It was just what he needed to take the truck, and his team to the next level, both in its design and to help generate additional funding.

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Wild runs have always been a trademark of the Grave Digger bloodline…But backflips were incorporated in the last few years

Anderson then built Grave Digger 2 in 1989, with a new 1950 Chevy panel van as its body and everything the team had learnt put into the mechanics. It was during this time that his reputation for making exciting and even ‘wild’ passes in Grave Digger was born. The popularity of Grave Digger when crazy. TNT realised what an icon the truck and Anderson were becoming began promoting them heavily, especially for races on the now legendary ‘Tuff Trax’ syndicated TV series.

Evolution Of Species

TNT became a part USHRA in 1991, and Anderson began running on the USHRA tour and debuted his first four-link truck, Grave Digger 3. The rest was history. In the 1990’s, the popularity of the truck grew so much that Anderson hired other drivers to run multiple Grave Digger trucks at various events across the US. Grave Diggers 4, 5 and 8 were built for just this purpose. Anderson drove Grave Digger 7, a direct successor to 3, for most of this decade. It was eventually replaced by Grave Digger 12, well known as the LWD (Long Wheelbase Digger) which was also the first Grave Digger to have purple in the paintjob.

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The most Iconic Monster truck in the history of the sport…and now you can own one!

In late 90’s, Anderson sold the Grave Digger team to Feld Entertainment Motor Sports, the current event organiser of the Monster Jam series of events that travel globally to this day. Anderson continues to drive Grave Digger and still is the most visible member of the team. The truck recently had its 30th birthday and competed with a special livery. Fans still flock to see the truck at every event it appears in and regardless of the latest team, or truck to appear on the scene, Grave Digger will always capture the public’s imagination, on and off the track.

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The 30th Anniversary livery…and no better way to celebrate than jumping a few cars and school busses!

The SMT-10 Platform On The Slab…

So what is an Axial SMT-10 rig then? Well, for a start there’s the obvious Monster Truck inspired body shell, and this one happens to be a licenced version of the classic Grave Digger.  And I would bet that there’s more options on the way, as let’s face it, why create such a cool Monster Truck platform and not create Axial’s own fleet of 1/10th replicas to please both the hardcore Monster Jam fans, and the existing RC bashing brigade.

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That unmistakable stance and livery….a great scale realisation of this genre of truck

Of all the genre of RC Cars out there, the Monster Truck has the widest appeal by far. You can in theory run it just about anywhere. It takes lots of abuse, and where a thoroughbred 4×4 race platform would probably break in two…most of the time a well-designed and made Monster Truck just keeps coming back for more. It’s no thin cheaply made shell either. Its .040 Polycarbonate and comes complete with a .040 scale interior with driver figure, complete with optional glow in the dark skeleton driver’s head!

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I love the attention to detail and all the little logos and tributes in the livery

Other cool touches like sweeping chrome ‘Zoomie’ style header pipes, and yet another optional (but included in the box) part, a chromed Supercharger Blower intake and additional engine detail you can bolt onto the bonnet (hood for my US chums!) all add to the look and feel of the truck.

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A totally new chassis design especially for this SMT 10 platform

Then there’s the chassis and roll cage. In this rig it’s a bright Grave Digger Green, but I would expect it to be black in subsequent releases. It was designed to resemble as closely as possible the modern era full size monster trucks, the chassis was developed to offer maximum strength combined with an extremely detailed appearance. That’s not something that’s easy to do, and most Monster Trucks that came before this release had to sacrifice that very detail aspect in favour of very exaggerated and often frankly unrealistic beefed up TVP chassis. The chassis strength actually lies in the clever way, just like in the real thing, Axial have used triangulation of the chassis tubes, making it ready for just about anything you can throw at it in use. But the features don’t end there.

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Tributes to its competition? or hints as to future Axial releases? I know my daughters hoping Monster Mutt gets released!

Weight Distribution and C of G

The battery tray can be easily accessed at the rear of the vehicle, without removing the body or disturbing any of the electrics. Yes, it sits quite high up compared to anything Axial have released before, but that’s so the C of G is optimised for the rig to perform and handle just like the real thing.  You want to be able to pop the occasional wheelie, to attempt single, double and even triple backflips. And all of these require the truck to rotate around a fixed point, and one that’s pretty high and towards the rear of the rig.

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The rear mounted cell tray can accommodate 2 or 3S LiPo cells with ease

Installing a LiPo is so easy. You just remove one pin, swing out the cell tray, and slide the battery pack in. The tray is fully height adjustable with four screws, making room for most standard sized ‘Brick’ 2S and 3S LiPo battery packs. Talking of which the rig is out of the box set up for 3S use, with a 56T Spur / 11T as standard, but Axial Includes a 16T Pinion for 2S use. Now I find this a bit odd as most of us have 2S packs or would start with a 2S pack until we get the feel of any new vehicle. I guess they want prospective owners to jump straight in and experience the additional thrills and spills 11.1v RPM offers, especially when you consider this rig is supplied with a 27t brushed motor so perhaps not the fastest kid on the block running 2S!

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Yes, the rig comes with an optional drivers Head/Helmet/Skull that will glow in the dark…

Ram Steering

The Monster Truck related design content continues with a new heavy duty tie rod, drag link, and faux scale Hydraulic Ram Steering Link to ensure the massive tyres go where you want them to. Being plastic the steering links are more forgiving than an all alloy setup and offer a little flex in conjunction with the servo saver to help the Tactic TSX45, metal geared steering servo stay intact.

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At the supplied 5v BEC voltage from the Axial AE-5 ESC the servo produces just under 11kg of torque that for a RTR isn’t a bad g brakes between 100% or 50%figure. AS for the ESC itself, the AE-5 is one of the simplest units in the RC world to use. Its rated for a peak current of 180A with a motor limit of 12t on 2S or 18t on 3S and uses a simple jumper system to set up the desired parameters of battery type (between NiMH or LiPo), and drag brake force (between 100% or 50%).

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THe AE-5 in all its 2 or 3S LiPo compatible glory…

But that’s not all. When you plug in your chosen cell to the pre-soldered Deans connector, the ESC goes through a self-test/diagnostics routine. It automatically sets the throttle and brake end points, and if set in LiPo mode, it checks if you are using a 2 or 3S LiPo. No switching on, holding throttle or brake and waiting for beeps or lights…It’s pretty much fool proof (well, I could use it so….)

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BKT- official tyre manufacturer of Monster Jam and Axial have reproduced them to perfection

To put all that torque and RPM where its needed most, Axial have produced a scale BKT MOnster Truck tyre. BKT are the official and exclusive tire manufacturer of Monster Jam and its 1:1 fleet of trucks. The full size tyres, just like their 1/10th equivalents have been designed to handle the inherent stresses involved with both ‘Racing’ and ‘Freestyle’ Monster Jam competition.

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The waterproof receiver box…not that I will be fording any streams any time soon!

The rig also features a waterproof radio box to keep the 3-channel TR325 3-channel receiver safe and dry, if you do decide to go and run the truck in the wet. And thats brings me nicely onto the included 2.4GHz 3-Channel transmitter. The Tactic TTX300 is not your ordinary RTR radio. For a start it has a user programmable 3rd channel, allowing the end user to control almost anything they desire. RC Dig Units and Winches are the obvious choice, which makes this system perfect for the scale and crawling community. But it can also be used to switch on and off LED lighting, onboard cameras and even sound units and other such accessories.  Then theres the SLT (Secure Link 2.4Ghz Technology), which once bound creates an unbreakable link between the receiver and your transmitter. The look is also very unique and futuristic, this isn’t a RTR Tx you will feel ashamed of being seen with!

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3-Channel, Futuristic, 2.4GHz…whats not to like. At last a RTR Tx that looks cool!

Proven Axles…Beefed Up C -Hubs

The SMT10 features the now proven AR60 axle with a true trailing arm 4-linked rear suspension and also offers additional shock mounting positions. As with previous releases  the AR60 OCP-Axle is injection moulded in a tough composite which has a very low flex rate, but is not as brittle as standard glass filled nylon used by many other brands. The axles feature an Off-center pumpkin design with reinforced axle tubes with a boxed-in axle truss to offer stability and durability. They even changed the diff cover to give them a slightly different look. Subtle but cool.

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Axial understand that Monster trucks undergo many more stresses than scale rigs or rock racers. So to that end they have strengthened the front C-Hubs to take all the hard impacts and occasional bad landings the rig will endure from monster jumps and good old fashioned RC bashing.

Shock Tactics

Where other brands fit multiple units at each corner to share the load, Axial know their current breed of oil filled shocks can take Monster abuse off road and stick to just a single unit in each corner, far more in keeping with the real Grave Digger.  The chassis offers a variety of shock mounting points for additional suspension tuning options, meaning in seconds you can either lay the shocks down at more of an angle to soften the ride and lower the ride height, or sit them more upright to stiffen the suspension and raise the ride height.

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Threaded collars make adjusting preload and ride height a breeze

Although the alloy bodied shocks have plastic tops they are very well made and even under the most extreme bashing duress didn’t immediately start spewing shock all from their seals. It is worth noting that as the shock bodies are actually 10mm, and not the 12mm of most of their other shocks, at the moment alloy caps are hard to find as a Hop Up, but once the SMT10 has been out a while and some get released, adding these, with a smear of Team Associated ‘Green Slime’ to each seal will greatly improve the longevity of the shocks between routine maintenance.  Also remember not over tighten them as the plastic caps can strip their internal thread leading to even more leak issues! Just nip them tight and all will be good in the world.

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Note the Lower Links/Trailing Arms and those epic Zoomie pipes!

Old Skool AX Transmission

In a departure from the recently released SCX10 II transmission, with its optional 2-speed add-on, with the SMT10 Axial instead decided to revert back to the trusty AX10  single speed unit. Initially I was a little shocked by this, but then thought through this trucks intended use and the stresses the transmission would have to endure. Keeping things simple meas that 1: it will take more abuse, even with a brushless setup. 2: tons of spares are available, from hardened internal gear sets and alloy cases to the choice of motor mount and spur gear choice. Its a unit that’s served us well for many, many years and nice to see Axial still utilising it in their latest vehicles. When used in conjunction with the WB8 HD Driveshafts
with their larger diameter cross pin for added strength and a new center splined slider to reduces flex and fatigue its a potent combination…especially when running on 3S!

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Anatomy Of The SMT10

Seen from above, the layout of the rig’s chassis and electronics follows a well thought out patten. Weight is evenly distributed, the track width and wheelbase offering stability where its needed and the Centre Of Gravity sitting in a position to offer a fun driving experience.

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Let’s face it, iid this was the most stable RC vehicle ever invented then its wouldnt mimic the trucks that compete at Monster Jam. I’ll go into this more in part 2, where I put it through its paces on various different terrains, but suffice to say, this shell will not remain immaculate, it will get thoroughly bash tested on both 2 and 3S and I will attempt my party piece, the double (or even triple) Backflip. Until then I leave you with a few more images of the pristine truck…as I eagerly charge LiPo cells and get my official Grave Digger Monster Jam T shirt on…I am so looking forward to this!

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THe Gravedigger will always be a fan favourite…it’s arguably the most iconic MT ever!

But why does this truck mean so much to me? Well, a few years ago myself and the then RRCi team worked at Monster Jam at the UK events they staged. We did the warm up for the crowd using Traxxas 1/8th RC Monster Trucks (with incidentally, the now head of Axials UK office, Andrew Rawlinson!). Hanging out with all the teams was amazing, we had a great time, even getting to sit in the Trucks and experience the practice runs and event itself right next to the track itself. We even have the blower belt from Grave Digger hanging in Speedy Steve’s garage after he broke it in the final on his very last winning run!

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I love Monster Jam because I was part of the UK events a few years back!

The driver and team of Grave Digger at that event bet me a mountain of Grave Digger goodies I couldn’t backflip the biggest gap in the stadium (well over 90 feet) in front of the very large crowd, so no pressure there then! Always up for a challenge I attempted it both days as the finale of the warm up. I would position my 6s powered truck at the far end of the stadium and drive it full speed to the take off ramp! 1st day I landed on the down ramp at an odd angle and broke an A arm and bent a shock, plus the rear of the trucks body didnt fare too well either. The second day it actually landed ‘in’ the last crushed car in a line of them just before the down ramp and disappeared completely, to a round of applause from the crowd…

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I Got My Stash Of Goodies!

Because of the sheer entertainment factor of my attempts (you could hear them all laughing from the pit area!) they gave me my goodies (plush Monster Jam trucks for kids, kids T shirts and one of my most prized possessions to this day, my GD Cap and adult T’s). I still keep in touch with some of the crew on Facebook and I know for as fact they are digging the new Axial in a big way. Oh, and there was also an incident with a certain RC truck and the shows compare…but what happens in Pride Park Derby, stays in Pride Park Derby eh Andrew!

Join me soon for part 2 when we run the rig, test its abilities to the hilt and see if I can get my backflip mojo back! Until then here’s the official Axial video of the SMT10 Grave Digger Monster Jam Truck in action…

For more on Monster Jam and the 2016/17 global tour dates click: HERE

For more on Axial Racing and the SMT10 Grave Digger click: HERE

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Monster Fun – Micro Size

RCZ_Bash 100

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