Yikong 4106 Pro Has a Party Trick!

Yikong 4106 Pro Has a Party Trick!

Inspiration, Not Imitation

Yikong 4106 Pro is a 1/10 RC crawler with an ability we have not yet seen in the RC crawling world. You may not have heard of Yikong before, but they’ve been quietly making some interesting models over 2023 and now 2024. This latest one will knock your socks off, once you consider the ramifications of what they’ve made. But first, some details.

This is a model that combines the best features of the offerings of the likes of Axial’s SCX10 III with 2-speed transmission and DIG (disengages drive to the rear, then locks the rear, for tight turning and improved rock crawling ability) and the Traxxas TRX4 with its remotely activated locking diffs.

4106 Pro Undercarriage

The Killer Feature

But what makes the Yikong 4106 Pro special is something new that we haven’t seen in RC cars ever before: independent disc brakes! They’re only in the rear and they activate via a button that mixes their function with the vehicle’s steering. They work by clamping the inside wheel on a turn, when activated. So, when you turn left, for example, the rear-left wheel is braked, helping to really tighten the vehicle’s turning circle. Genius!

4106 Pro Disc Brake Engaged
4106 Pro Disc Brake Engaged
4106 Pro Rear Axle

On the Floaty Side

The suspension is a bit on the floaty side, with considerable body roll. The vehicle has portal axles, which helps cancel out torque twist while also increasing undercarriage clearance on rough terrain. The shocks are “oil-filled” but the unit I received had “oily” but empty shocks. I’d suggest adding 30wt oil to create some needed damping.

Shocks can be mounted in a variety of positions, which is very welcome. They’re neutral, by default, and I like them there for trail and light crawling. Shock preload is adjustable by thumbscrews, and I found that winding on about 8mm in the rear really helped it with crawling. Now it isn’t so fast to lift a front wheel on steep ascents.

4106 Pro Chassis

4106 Pro Servos

In the below photo, there are three servos closest to the camera. The first two are the diff lock servos, and then the one closer to the battery is the 2-speed servo. These are waterproofed servos with low power, I’m guessing maybe 2-3kg. Plastic gears, plastic spline, that kind of thing.

My front diff lock servo was broken, out of the box. I may replace it with another similarly cheap unit, or I may even just leave it be. I don’t mind the front being locked all the time. It’s the rear one that wants to be able to unlock, both for general driving and so that the ‘tank steer’ feature can work correctly.

The steering servo is a metal geared unit and has plenty of punch. I’m guessing 15kg or so, which is fine for this car.

4106 Pro Servos

Electronics

The ESC and receiver are an all-in-one unit from Flysky, which is OEM-only at time of writing. The Flysky FS-MG11-BS radio system incorporates a connected light kit that is designed to work with the radio system. It manages a lot of complexity in an elegant way. I like it. (It’s the same one you’ll find with the new FMS FCX10 1/10 model, and no doubt we’ll see it in other vehicles soon, too).

The car can take either a NiMH battery (6 or 7 cell), or 2S or 3S lipos. The ESC has a Deans (or T) connector. The power switch is located underneath, behind the skid, and is waterproofed.

The radio transmitter takes 4x AA batteries and you’ll need to supply all the batteries for this vehicle.

The motor is a large, 550-sized can with 32 turns. It’s well suited to the vehicle and I like it on both 2S and 3S.

4106 Pro Power Switch

Axles & Undercarriage

Axles are a pleasing scale design, with smooth lines and bolts in the right places. They engage well, seem like they’ll be durable, and the portals are tastefully implemented. No hulking, unnecessary chunks of plastic here. The front axles are steel universals, adding to their strength and something I always want to see in a crawler.

Thoughtful design is what you’ll find underneath the vehicle. Stainless steel links and inverse-rotation drive shafts are also like this. There’s a servo saver in the form of a passive steering damper on the steering link, too. It’s a solid undercarriage, overall. Nothing is hanging down to be grabbed by sticks or rocks and it just looks good.

Now, you may have read that it has a molded plastic chassis instead of the usual steel stamped C-channel rails. This is true. But, it works. The car is lighter for it, flex isn’t a huge issue and it keeps the cost down. I don’t see a down side in this model with that choice.

4106 Pro Steel Unis
4106 Pro Front Underneath
4106 Pro Body Screw

Mercedes & Hyrax: Clone Wars

The wheels are 2.2″ and look like the real thing, with the tiny Mercedes G-Wagon spokes around a solid wheel hub. The tire treads are not so scale, being a Proline Hyrax clone, but run on a 4.56″ tire carcass, which Proline does not make. Not entirely a clone, then – though the treads themselves clearly are Hyrax. The foams are a little on the firm side but they work well.

4106 Pro Tires

A Mysterious Interior

This G63 body has a complete interior, including dash, steering wheel, dash details and shifters, seats front and rear, and nicely finished. It’s in moulded polycarbonate, keeping the weight low.

However, there’s been a weird decision to apply a frosted, semi-opaque paint layer to the inside of the body on the windows, making it possible to only see the blurred outline of the seats, at best. Why go to the trouble and expense of including an interior, only to hide it? Perhaps subsequent manufacturing runs have removed the paint from the windows. I hope so.

Yikong 4106 Pro Body
4106 Pro Bendy Mirrors

Front Bumper Dilemma

The car comes with a solid plastic front bumper that can be installed. By default, it is not installed, instead allowing the stock polycarbonate body to show off its pretty, moulded front lower grille. If you want to install that front bumper, some of the body needs to be cut away to fit it. I was going to do this on mine but realised it would look worse. Cutting it is a one-way decision, so I’ve decided to keep mine as it is.

I should also add a note here about the sliders. They look like the aluminum of the real car -that is to say, they’re molded and painted on the polycarbonate body here. That means they look great, but it also means they’re weak. Just like the real thing, they’re really just for looks. You could beef it up with steel or plastic underneath, but it would be a custom job. As far as I know, there aren’t after-market rock sliders available for this model (yet).

4106 Pro Under Body
4106 Pro No Sliders

Lighting Up the Trail

The body also enjoys a complete light system. It functions as part of the integrated Flysky receiver/ESC/light unit and provides full-function lighting. Low beam, high beam, flashing, indicators, braking, reverse, and fog lights are all part of the vehicle’s abilities. Looks great and you can switch between off, low, high, and flashing configurations.

4106 Pro Light Kit

Drive Modes

Also part of the Flysky system is a set of DIP switches on the radio transmitter. Switch 1 toggles driving mode from Fwd/Brk/Rev (trail driving) to Fwd/Rev (crawling). In the Trail mode, the taillights increase red luminosity when braking. In Crawl mode, there is no braking; you simply see the white Reverse lights when reversing, and the low-glow red taillights when otherwise stationary or driving.

Speaking of the transmitter, the wheel feels very premium. There’s a weight to it, though plastic, that has the feel of a much more expensive radio. The spring is light, the balance neutral, and it just feels great to use. The throttle trigger also has a pleasingly light action.

4106 Pro ESC

Radio Freedom

There are many options on this radio and happily, many are not used. There’s a thumb dial that has maybe 5mm of movement from neutral in each direction – that isn’t populated on the receiver, so it’d make a great winch controller or rear steer option.

On top, there’s a button and a dial that also aren’t used on the receiver (unless mixing interferes with this; I haven’t tested them yet), but you end up with quite a few options. You could put a sound system in the car and have the spare top button as a horn, for example.

Yikong 4106 Pro Radio Side

Drag Brake on the Fly

Lastly, the radio also gives you a dial (Ch.11/Drag Brake) that allows the drag brake rate and intensity to be adjusted on the fly. The maximum setting feels like the equivalent of about 70% drag brake on a WP-1080 ESC (incidentally, see our programming guide here), in this vehicle. The minimum setting is basically zero drag brake. My video review shows the difference between these on the steep rock descent near the end. It’s a nifty feature.

Yikong 4106 Pro Radio Top

Yikong 4106 Pro Driving Dynamics

The car drives quite nicely. This is a scale vehicle more than a performance machine. With it’s many driving accessories, it’s very fun to play around with. The two-speed transmission has a pleasingly wide ratio between first and second. The lockers engage nicely – well, I should say, the rear one does.

The front one does too, when I do it manually, but my front locker servo arrived faulty, so I can’t tell you from experience. I’ll swap mine out for a replacement servo (just a mini size, they’re pretty universal, so no worries there) and it’ll be fine. The so-called ‘tank turn’ feature of those rear disc brakes is just fabulous, and the lighting kit in the pretty body makes night driving possible and day driving more scale.

4106 Pro 32T 550 motor

Back to the Big Thing

Now, onto those ramifications I mentioned in the intro: independent disc brakes. Yes, this model uses a single servo to modulate between left and right, for the sole purpose of tightening your steering radius when active. It works well. But as a proof of concept, now we know disc brakes work and that they can be rugged enough to be effective in an active, wet-n-dirty off-roader. On its own, that’s already impressive, right?

4106 Pro Disc Brake Servo

Now Think BIG

Okay, now think about faster cars. The Arrma Infraction has a disc brake on the rear outdrive from the transmission, for example. (Incidentally, buy an Infraction using this link for a discounted purchase; it’s my all-time favourite street car and so very worth it). Already a super fun, super powerful street machine, you now effectively have a hand brake feature on an 80mph-capable street basher. Nitros have also been using a disc brake on the drive shaft for years.

But to have disc brakes independently on each wheel? This means the traction control of full-size cars can be brought into road and track RC cars! Do you see the potential here? We already have the technology in the tiny ESC modules of current RC vehicles. Add a few extra servos and now you have something that can brake each wheel as traction is lost in a corner or under acceleration, and so on. What an exciting idea! I don’t know of any other manufacturer currently doing this, but I’m hopeful and excited to see more. Wow!

4106 Pro Brake Mechanism

Final Thoughts

Frosted interior windows aside, the Yikong 4106 Pro is very well thought out. A manual would be appreciated, especially for hobby newcomers, as there’s a LOT going on with the radio. Thankfully, it’s well labelled.

I don’t support the blatant IP theft that Yikong have seemingly undertaken from Mercedes with the pretty G Wagon body, nor from the Hyrax tires. But, on the whole, they’ve created something special.

I’m loving the progress we’re seeing from these smaller brands and I’m so pleased the Yikong 4106Pro is not just another clone of an existing vehicle. It’s fun to drive, capable for what it is (think ‘Class 1 comp crawler’ and you’ll be pleasantly surprised) and it looks great. Recommended.

4106 Pro Steering Damper

Where to Buy

Here’s where I bought mine (not an affiliate link; it’s just the only place I could find it in stock in Feb 2024). There’s another Yikong model on my ‘to-buy’ list, but it’s a bit bigger than this one! Check out the Yikong 4083 1/8 RC crawler here.

Yikong 4106 Pro Rear
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

A note on affiliate links: we purchased this vehicle ourselves for test & review purposes. Some of the links in the above article are affiliate links, which means we may be paid a small commission if you choose to click on them to make a purchase. As always, we make effort to ensure that no review is impacted by this – we still report on bugs and issues encountered during product testing, and our fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!

Which RGT Trail Rig  is Best for YOU?

Which RGT Trail Rig is Best for YOU?

RGT Pro Runner

The RGT Pro Runner EX86130 is just the latest in a growing line of interesting and capable RC crawlers and trail rigs. And hasn’t RGT been on a roll this past year or two!

On our YouTube channel, RGT has featured every now and then when there’s an interesting release to examine. But it was almost as if the company was just warming up for 2023’s big releases that we’re now so lucky to be able to choose from!

RGT’s Other Options

Fans of the channel will recall the well-received RGT Pioneer EX86110, which was arguably a forerunner of the current upper echelon of EX861XX models. (Find our RGT Pioneer video series here). With some careful upgrades on a budget, the Pioneer is an exceptional all-rounder. The EX86010-CJ is also a budget stand-out, while we’re at it. (Video here).

Also, I should note up-front that there’s a gap in our coverage of this family of models: the RGT Tracer EX86180Pro. This is a 4WS-enabled SCX10 Pro type vehicle, and one I think we should try to get hold of in the new year. For now, just be aware that it’s an option for those with a rock-crawling focus rather than trail aspirations.

3 RGT Models - Top

The Three Contenders

If you love a mix of trail driving and scale rock crawling, things are now very interesting. As of the start of 2024, there are three fantastic models that the discerning RC trail driver and scale crawler driver will want to know about:

Let’s take a look at them!

RGT Rescuer EX86190

There’s a complete article about this model on RC-TNT.com here – have a read when you’re done with this one. The scale crawling and trail driving community had their interest drawn to RGT’s mid-2022 release of the RGT Rescuer (EX86190). And it wasn’t just the attractive 70-series Toyota Landcruiser body – though unlicensed – that made this RC crawler something special. Sporting essentially the same feature set as the full-version Traxxas TRX4, the Rescuer’s scale looks, 2-speed and remote locking diffs made for a very attractive option.

What really stood out to me in my testing of this model was its fun factor. The vehicle rides on 4.75” tires and the live portal axles work under alu-shock, oil-filled, coil-over suspension on all corners. With a moderately high center of gravity, this leads to a scale model that moves pleasingly, with body roll that mimics the real thing. There are many RGT mods available. You can improve the vehicle’s CG (Center of Gravity), for better crawling with some brass parts. Or, you might better light the way  with bull bar and roof rack light bars complement the existing light kit. Maybe you want to improve the scale model experience with a complete, polycarbonate interior, with driver. You can do all of this!

RGT Challenger EX86170

On the heels of the Rescuer, RGT next released the Challenger. This was more of a retro style pickup truck and in my opinion, its features put it roughly in between the Rescuer and the Pro Runner. Like the Rescuer, the RGT Challenger sports a pair of portal axles, with a 2-speed transmission that incorporates a DIG (rear axle locking), opposite-spinning drive shafts to minimise torque twist, and a built-in 6.6% overdrive to the front axle.

This attractive machine also sports a rear-facing servo winch, sway bar system on the rear end and a functional light kit! Priced only marginally less than the Rescuer, this is another compelling model. I found there were a few ways to modify this model to make it more convenient to use, but there’s very little this vehicle needs addressing, out of the box. A solid choice.

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

I found the Rescuer to be fun and the Challenger to be quite complete. And so the RGT Pro Runner EX86130 took me quite by surprise, not least because it costs about 20% less than the other two! The Pro Runner is another unlicensed body that looks very close to the Traxxas TRX4 2021 Bronco, even down to the smaller details such as the ABS plastic folding side mirrors and similar front grille. (Quick note: the top photo in this article shows the Pro Runner with different tires. The plastic, silver beadlocks are standard, with the 4.19″ tires. See the rock test video for how good they are).

However, the Pro Runner is special for two reasons, I think. First, the price – in Australia at least, I can buy two Pro Runners for the price of one TRX4 2021 Bronco. That’s already quite significant. Secondly, the feature set – it is vast! Check this out: 2-speed transmission with DIG, 6.6% overdrive and opposing rotation drive-shafts, just like the Challenger; full-function light kit, including brakes and reverse options; straight axles rather than portals for added scale; front-facing servo winch; servo-on-axle hidden in such a way that you’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it; steel universal front axles for greater turning angle and strength than the CVD-equipped Rescuer and Challenger’s portal axles. What a list!

How Do You Choose?

That really is the question, isn’t it? I am in the process of making a video about this, and I suppose writing this article is helpful in distilling my thoughts on this difficult choice. There are some little quality-of-life things, like how the body attaches to each (see the below picture), but the unique blend of features, capability, appearance and handling all add up to something different in each case.

So, I do have some thoughts that you may find useful. I’ll try to use this to guide you on why you may (or may not) decide to select each one. Read on!

RGT Body Attachment

Fun

This is the first, and to my mind, most compelling reason to consider any of these vehicles. For trail driving with some crawling, one vehicle really stands out to me: the Rescuer. Why? Consider the remote locking diffs in the portal axles, for a start. The Challenger has portals and the Pro Runner straight axles, but being able to remotely run them unlocked means more scale fun on the trails. When traction gets harder to find, lock one or both ends!

The second part of the fun formula is scale handling to match the gorgeous looks. With the suspension setup on the big, bouncy tires, the Rescuer rolls and moves like few others. I’ve driven this through deep water, mud, rocky ground, and long dirt paths. It just keeps on trucking and it looks great doing it. Vote 1 for Rescuer if you’re shopping for fun!

Modding

There are two kinds of RC crawler owners: those who mod their rigs, and those who just haven’t done it yet. The Challenger is a very complete vehicle out of the box, yes. However, there are a few things you can do to improve its design for easier daily use. I actually cover some of these in my modding video, linked at the end of the article.

But, aside from fixing wiring and putting a body-stand in place, there’s one mod in particular that this vehicle is just begging for: converting that rearward-facing winch to power a rear towing assembly! They’ve actually done most of the work for you already. A boom assembly could be made from aluminum, braised from mild steel, or even achieved with some 3D-printed beams (the last of which I think might be the way I go with it). You already have the winch, so re-route the cable and add a tackle block under the end of the boom and you’ll be done! The Challenger gets my choice as most promising for mods.

Budget All-Rounder

Fun is subjective and not everyone wants to convert a trail rig into a tow-capable machine, I get that. Where I think we’ll all find common ground is on the subject of sheer value for money. On that front, the Pro Runner absolutely and completely delivers.

I took this car with me last weekend to a meet-up with a bunch of folks and we went on a 4-hour mudding adventure in the Aussie bush. Water crossings, treacherous rocky ascents, muddy gullies, greasy clay climbs – this day had it all (video here). I ran the Pro Runner on 3S, which the included WP-1060 allows (and all three vehicles have the same ESC and steering servo, by the way), and this vehicle was reliable and fun. It wasn’t the most capable, with those small 4.19” tires and straight axles, but oh, boy, was it satisfying to wheel. I can’t recommend the Pro Runner enough, if you’re on a budget and want a single all-rounder. Get this, you won’t regret it.

The Bottom Line

So where does that leave us with the choice? Chances are, you already have a pretty good idea of which you prefer after reading the above sections. And if you’re noticing that, wait a minute, none of these three has the remote locking diffs AND a DIG AND portal axles AND a winch, well, yes, you’re right. But not even Axial or Traxxas will give you all that, out of the box. The TRX4 2021 Bronco comes close, as it currently even includes a winch, at time of writing – but no DIG. The Axial SCX10 III gives you DIG and portals, but the diffs are locked full-time. And they are both considerably more expensive than any of the RGT offerings, at least, in Australia.

If you can’t decide and all three grab you, I do have one final suggestion: buy the one that moves you. Pretend you’re going with one of them and see how you feel about not getting either of the others. Repeat for all three vehicles; you may just find you’re most wistful about ‘missing out’ on one of them in particular, and that would be the one to get!

3 RGT Models Nose-In

Reviews & Test Videos

Now, if you’ve come this far and you’re pretty sure you know what you want, great! I have a growing catalog of videos that may be useful in helping you get to know any of these three vehicles better. Check them out here:

RGT Rescuer EX86190

Review & Crawl Test video

Muddy Trail Run video

All the RGT Mods video 

RGT Challenger EX86170

Review & Crawl Test video

First Mods video

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

Unboxing & Review video

Crawl Test video

Trail Run video: coming soon!

Mods video: coming soon!

 

Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

A note on affiliate links: although RC-TNT purchased all vehicles in this article, the AsiaTees links contained herein are affiliate links. This means we may be paid a small commission if you choose to click on them to make a purchase. As always, we make effort to ensure that no review is impacted by this. Integrity first, always. We still report on any bugs or issues encountered during product testing, along with fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!

Redcat Marksman 1/8 RC Crawler

Redcat Marksman 1/8 RC Crawler

What Is It?

The Redcat Marksman is a different RTR RC crawler in more ways than its 1/8 scale size. It sports a (mostly) decent electronics package and 2.2” wheels. A pretty body with paint on the outside gives the polycarbonate body an interesting finish.

Whilst not a flawless execution, there’s a compelling case to be made for price to performance, especially if you’re after a trail-oriented rig. Join us as we take a closer look at this interesting, larger-scale crawler.

Redcat Marksman Front Bumper
Redcat Marksman Side-On
Redcat Marksman Wheel & Tire

How Big Is It?

For some comparison, we’ve put the Redcat Marksman between a Traxxas TRX4 2021 Bronco 1/10 and an Axial SCX6 1/6 RC crawler. Note that while the Marksman is similar in length to the TRX4 Bronco, the track width is considerably greater on the Marksman. Also, the overall vehicle size is similar to 1/10 scale rigs, but width is the greatest difference – if a little less than obvious at first glance.

The vehicle doesn’t weigh more than many 1/10 scale crawlers and its close enough in ‘feel’ that you could reasonably trail this with others driving 1/10 scale rigs and fit right in. Certainly, some rock problems that might defeat the Redcat Marksman may be traversable by smaller rigs on account of that track width! More on performance in a bit. First, let’s look at what you get with this RTR model.

Redcat Marksman Size Comparison 2
Redcat Marksman Size Comparison 3
Redcat Marksman Size Comparison

What’s In The Box?

There’s the vehicle itself, the radio transmitter, manual, scale accessories and ESC programming card. The Redcat Marksman is a Ready To Run (RTR) model, which means all you need to get it going is a battery for the rig and 4x AAs for the radio transmitter. The included Electronic Speed Control (ESC) is a HobbyWing WP-1080. This gives you the flexibility to run either 6-to-8 cell NiMH or 2S or 3S LiPO batteries.

Redcat also includes an accessories bag with some red plastic scale parts – though no obvious way to mount these to the body. There’s a spare wheel adapter for the back of the body – pictured below – but no spare wheel. We’ve used an old Axial Trepador from the original SCX10 on ours as its nice and lightweight and still looks convincing near the Marksman’s larger tires.

Redcat Marksman Box Contents

Radio System

The radio is the standard rebranded Flysky FS-GT2E AFHDS 2A transmitter, though the sticker calls it an RCR-2CE. This is the 2-channel unit Redcat Racing uses on their entire ground model range at present (2021 and 2022).

One nice thing to note is it runs Flysky’s AFHDS 2A protocol, so if you already have a FS-GT5 for other models, you can bind that to the Marksman here as well. The radio feels good in the hand and has a nice feel on the wheel. There is a sufficient, if sparce, amount of adjustment on the dials and it isn’t heavy. Overall, a good basic radio.

Redcat Marksman Radio
Redcat Marksman Transmitter
Redcat Marksman Radio Box

Holmes Hobbies For The Win!

The brushed motor in this machine is a Holmes Hobbies Crawlmaster Sport. This is a 13-turn 5-pole (or 5-slot) 550-sized motor. Being a 5-pole means you get buttery smooth torque at the expense of the punch delivered by 3-pole motors. On a crawler, this is generally desirable.

For trail use, the motor is a perfect choice. There’s sufficient speed for trail driving and still enough low speed control to be satisfying on the rocks. However, we found that if you’re more biased toward crawling than trailing with this rig, a motor with slightly more turns may give a more rewarding experience.

After some testing, we’d recommend the 16-turn 550 Crawlmaster Sport and the same gearing. On 3S power, you’ll be all set with long runtimes, good low speed control and more than ample speed for trail driving. If you keep the 13-turn motor, going down one tooth size on the pinion and sticking on 2S power could also be a reasonable way to slow it down enough to feel a bit better on trickier rock problems. Of course, this is largely a case of personal preference and the stock configuration is fine.

Redcat Marksman Motor

HobbyWing Is Good!

We have a good, solid radio system and a workhorse motor. Redcat have opted for a high-quality ESC for the Marksman in the HobbyWing WP-1080. This is a popular ESC for good reason. It delivers smooth and reliable control and is very customisable. We like this ESC so much that we’ve written an entire how-to article for programming it, right here on rc-tnt.com!

You can use the stock settings for the most part, but we would recommend making one change in particular before running it. Enable freewheeling, which is option 15 on the programming card. Set that to 1 instead of 2 and you’ll effectively have an active drag brake. That means the WP-1080 will apply braking to the wheels even while you’re giving throttle input, helping to hold the vehicle on a hill at the speed you’re indicating, rather than allowing the rig to run away down the hill. A good thing!

Redcat Marksman ESC

Servo Avoido

The electronics package with the Redcat Marksman is excellent! That is, until you come to the servo. This is the same Hexfly 25KG 4.8v-6.8v unit that Redcat puts in most of their vehicles, even their diminutive 1/10 short course truck (which is really a 1/12 sized machine). The servo is slow and too weak even on the smaller Redcat Gen 8 V2, we’ve found. That they’ve also put it on the Marksman leaves one wondering if they’ve actually, y’know, tested the big rig with it. Because it isn’t good.

If you change just one thing on the Redcat Marksman, make the servo your first upgrade. The WP-1080 has an adjustable BEC and while it comes at 6V by default, you can change that to 7.4V with an upgraded servo and the Marksman will be worlds better. Seriously, budget for this if you plan to buy this rig.

Nearly any other crawling servo would be better. Here are a few options we use and recommend, from cheap to expensive:

  • JX Servo WP-5318HV ~16.5kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, cored, metal gear (lower rating but much better than the stock Hexfly unit).
  • JX Servo CLS-6336HV 35kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, coreless, metal gear.
  • JX Servo BLS-HV7132MG 32kg @ 7.4, splashproof, brushless, metal gear, alu case. (Fast and doesn’t fade under heavy load. Probably our favourite semi-budget crawler servo).
  • JX Servo CLS-HV7346MG 46kg @ 7.4v, waterproof, coreless, alu case, metal gear.
  • Holmes Hobbies SCX500v3 ~42kg @ 11.1v (direct run from 3S), waterproof, brushless, ultra tough – our favourite comp servo!
Redcat Marksman Servo Mounted
Redcat Marksman Servo

Body and Accessories

In a break from the usual, the Redcat Marksman sports a polycarbonate body that has been painted on both sides! The matte green finish on the outside looks very smart. They’ve finished the inside of the body in a rust-brown color. If you think about it, as the outside green paint gets scratched off on rocks and branches, the underside’s brown will gradually show through, giving the appearance of rust! Very clever little scale-ageing trick they’ve incorporated there!

There are light buckets for headlights only – taillights are stickers on this body. The plastics and faux interior on the Marksman are all of a high quality. Finish is solid and this body should last well. It’s very attractive and is enhanced further by the spare wheel holder included in the accessories package. We’ve mounted ours and the weight difference is minimal on a bigger crawler like this, so we found it very worthwhile for the improved look. You do have to poke a few holes in the pretty body to add this extra bit, so think about it before you do it – but we can at least show you how it looks. We like it!

Redcat Marksman Scale Accessories

Chassis & Running Gear

The steel C-channel chassis rails are solid. Reinforced with plastic cross-braces, the Marksman has a nice, rigid feel. We like that the vehicle doesn’t weigh a lot, despite its size, and as you can see from the photo below, there’s a lot of spare room on the chassis. Included wheel wells are a nice touch also – you get the aesthetic benefits when the body is on, and they also work to keep crud and debris out of the internals.

The axles are solid and well designed. They’re straight rather than portals, which is nice to see when portals seem to be everywhere. You’re going to be scraping the diff pumpkins over rocks, given the width of the vehicle. Larger tires are helpful, but clearance will be something to keep in mind when driving. For us, this adds to the appeal of scale fun. The skid plate is also intelligently implemented and has a nice, smooth finish. Drive shafts are tough plastic with steel universals. All up, the Marksman is a strong and lightweight platform. Simple and reliable.

Redcat Marksman Chassis

Drive Feel

We said earlier we found this vehicle to feel a little faster than we’d like on the rocks. On the trail, the speed is good and it turns well at speed – impressive given its size and locked axles! The adjustability from the WP-1080 ESC means you can make the Marksman feel more like a cruisy trail rig or a precise rock crawler. It’s nice to have that control.

Another thing to note is torque twist. This is the phenomenon where the chassis twists under throttle in the opposite rotational direction to the drive shafts. It’s quite pronounced on this vehicle. On a smaller rig, torque twist can unsettle a crawler significantly. While it’s pretty pronounced on the Marksman, even to the point of lifting a wheel at times, the whole machine does not lose its track or become unsettled. It could be that the effect is weakened by its greater wheelbase and track width than on 1/10 crawlers. Something to be aware of, then, but not a deal-breaker.

The only let-down in the rig is that weak Hexfly servo. We almost never say this as we don’t like to waste things, but do budget in a better servo when you buy the Redcat Marksman. It’s the only shortcoming we’ve found after running several packs through it.

Redcat Marksman
Redcat Marksman Underneath

Our Verdict

This is a mid-range crawler as far as pricing goes. You have the choice of numerous 1/10 scale crawlers for similar money. If you like the idea of walking a trail and crawling obstacles as you find them, the Redcat Marksman could be for you. It’s not as capable as some 1/10 scale crawlers largely on account of that track width, but it’s a lovely, smooth machine. We haven’t driven it enough yet to give an idea of longer-term durability but will update this section in a few months to note this.

We love its look. Its simplicity under the body is alluring and it feels great on the rocks. What do you think? Feel free to leave comments and questions in our review video above and stay tuned for more videos in future on the Marksman’s performance, what upgrades we do (*cough* servo *cough*) and how we find its durability. After a few LiPO packs so far, we really like it.

Get Yours Here

AsiaTees sells the Redcat Marksman globally. Get it here.

Redcat Marksman Rear
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Traxxas TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler

Traxxas TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler

Traxxas TRX-6 Flatbed Hauler (#88086-4)

The Traxxas TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler is nearly here! But this isn’t the start of the story. About two years ago, Traxxas released a limited run of the TRX6 called the ‘Snap-On Hauler’. It was only available through a special Snap-On promotion. The big red rig was covered online and saw a few YouTube videos, but it never had a retail release.

It seems Traxxas was sitting on their designs and molds from that Snap-On run. For whatever reason, they’ve waited until now to release it to retail. And so, finally, this 6×6 hauler has been announced and we’ll see it on shelves within the month. Woohoo!

How Big Is the TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler?

The TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler is a truck cab with a flatbed for hauling. To give you an idea of size, the front-to-rear axle on the TRX6 6×6 G63 Benz is 454mm/17.87”. The new model is based on the TRX-6 platform, but its front-to-middle axle is 471mm/18.6”! That is to say, the gap between front and rear axles on the older Benz is smaller than the gap between the front and middle axles on the TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler! Blimey!

The tray, or flat bed, is rather long. 584mm/23” long, in fact! Between the low-set side rails is a gap of 222mm/8.75”. The total width of the bed is 246mm/9.7”.

The entire rig is 953mm/37.5” from nose to tail – that’s just about a meter! The track and total vehicle width is the same as the TRX6 G-Wagon, at 249mm/9.8” front and rear. We have yet to get firm details on the approach, break-over and departure angles, as Traxxas’ site for this monster still list the TRX6 G-Wagon angles – clearly that can’t be the same, with such a long bed and gap between front and middle axle. We’ll update this when the numbers are available. The whole thing weighs 4.83kg/10.7lb, as opposed to the TRX6 Benz’s weight of 4kg/8.8lb.

TRX6 Hauler Specs Front
TRX6 G63 Specs Front
TRX6 Hauler Specs Side
TRX6 G63 Specs Side

Just What Is This Thing?!

This new release is all about the truck cab and flatbed, complete with running lights and shiny, black-chrome trim. Truck style wheels, fuel tanks, toolboxes and bumpers, the TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler is very attractive, even if this style of RC vehicle is not your usual thing.

The new, big rig has a few key differences underneath, if you’re wondering: the total wheelbase is considerably longer at 603mm/23.7” than the regular TRX6 wheelbase of 454mm/17.9”. There’s a ball-bearing carrier between rear transmission out-drive and middle axle. That extra drive shaft helps the TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler achieve its longer wheelbase without needing other changes to the TRX6 configuration.

Also different are the tires, though they’re still on 2.2” wheels, same as on the TRX6 Benz. All else is body and trim related, which we’ll cover below.

What’s New?

Aside from the lengthened driveline, there are truck-style wheels and bumpers. A full light system, including running lights on the tray. The bold new truck cab body and flatbed towing tray.

There are small details, too, such as the front portal hubs having extended axles to fit the chromed hub caps. The tires are the same size, tread and compound as on the TRX6 Mercedes, but the side-walls are distinctly truck-like in their lack of detail, aside from the Traxxas logo.

The cab itself is a little taller than the G-Wagon variant. The side mirrors are hinged, but their faces are covered with a non-reflective sticker. Minor detail, but worth noting if you care about that stuff (and you can buy reflective sticker sheets cheaply online). Speaking of decals and disappointment, the front and side grille detail on the cab body are all stickers/decals rather than moulded plastics – a small thing, but a shame, nonetheless. The windows also are blacked-out stickers and the body has been painted over those windows on the inside, so even removing the stickers won’t grant you a view to any interior you might install later.

TRX6-6X6-Chassis
TRX6-Hauler-Chassis-3qtr-Front

What’s the Same?

Both the original TRX6 and the new Ultimate RC Hauler share much of the same running gear. This is still very much a ‘full-fat’ TRX vehicle. The same two-speed transmission is present, as are the lockable/unlockable diffs on all three axles. The front axle can be locked separately to the rears. The same Titan 21T reverse-rotation 550 brushed motor is present, running from the same Traxxas XL-5 HV ESC (Electronic Speed Control). Even the same light control hub, Traxxas 8028, is present, piping 3V 0.5A power to the LEDs on and around the body.

The tires look a little different on the sidewalls, but they’re still the same 2.2” CANYON RT rubber as found on the regular TRX6. The steering servo is unchanged also, being the Traxxas 2075X 125oz unit. All electronics run at 6V, supported by the built-in BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit) in the XL-5 HV ESC.

Underneath, the links, shafts and axles are the same high-durability units as found under the TRX6, that extra shaft and carrier bearing aside. There’s still a full-size battery tray with battery latch and the same plush 90mm GTS aluminum shocks are present on all axles.

It’s Bed Time!

The bed is moulded ABS plastic. It’s attached at 8 locations along the 30” chassis rails and has a tidy sidewall underneath that sits on top of the rails. It looks solid and has a pleasing texture on the bed itself, with the Traxxas logo inlaid. The bed doesn’t roll or tip, unfortunately – but the space is definitely there for enterprising hobbyists to either implement a tip or roll system, or even simply to add ramps that could hook into the end for drive-on/drive-off. The bed also features hard plastic side rails and utility loops.

There are a few locations to fit included wheel chocks, which are supplied with stretchy O-rings to fit over tires of whatever vehicle you may choose to carry. This will ensure a secure load even when the going gets bumpy. It’s a small but thoughtful inclusion and a rather elegant way to accommodate a variety of possible vehicle types.

Lastly, there’s an included winch plate that will allow you to fit any regular style RC winch to the front of the bed. As it doesn’t tilt, it’s purpose is somewhat diminished, but the inclusion is still thoughtful for the scale addition and will also be appreciated by the aspiring hobbyist with plans to incorporate a tilt mechanism or ramps (hello!).

88086-4-TRX-6-Flatbed-Hauler-Tire-Bands-Detail
88086-4-TRX-6-Flatbed-Hauler-Winch-Detail
TRX6 Hauler Underneath

Black Chrome is Cool

All the shiny bits on this new rig are finished in what Traxxas calls “black chrome”. It’s like regular chrome, but tinted. The plastic pieces have the finish, as do the bumpers (which look metal but are going to be plastic as well). There are diamond-plated, chromed steps on both sides of the cab, set into faux fuel tanks. Even the storage boxes get the treatment – they don’t open, but they look good.

The wheels even have this finish. It’s very smart and very ‘truck’. Looks great, doesn’t it! One thing that would be nice to consider adding could be dual wheels on the rear two axles. Traxxas already makes that extended outdrive for the front axles to reach that screw-on hub cap, so we’ve got to wonder whether we might be able to grab one of the dually-ready 1.9” wheel types (AsiaTees has a few to choose from, including the Pro-Line Carbine plastic set) and get even more scale with this thing. We’ll investigate that and get back to you.

Light Me Up

The new Traxxas TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler sports a total of 25 LEDs! They’re located:

  • In the headlights, with one bright, cold-white LED in each headlamp bucket.
  • In the front light cluster, with one orange parker on each side.
  • On the cab roof, with 5x orange running LEDs in chrome-lined light moulds.
  • On the tray side, with 2x orange and 1x red LED along each side of the bed.
  • On the rear of the headache rack, behind the cab, with 5x rear-facing red LEDs.
  • On the rear bumper, with 5x rear-facing red LEDs.

That’s a lot of lights! They all run from the Traxxas 8028 light control module which comes with the model. The 8028 unit outputs 3v 0.5A to power all the lights without flicker or fade, even when the other electronics are working hard. (Some models run their LEDs from the BEC, which leads to the lights flickering with voltage droop when the servo is working hard, for example. No such problem with the Traxxas setup. Awesome!).

Wiring under the tray and under the cab is super tidy. Cable ties are used and there are guide pieces to ensure the wiring is routed tidily throughout.

TRX6 Hauler Crawling

Do We Like?

We do like. Very much!

We’ll grab a unit and check it out as soon as its broadly available. We already have plans for a tilting tray and even exploring adding an extra axle to the rear. There’s an overflowing parts bin here that we’ll take a dive through – the TRX6 Ultimate RC Hauler is surely worthy of some time on the work bench, we think!

The USA-market asking price is only $20 over the older TRX6 model. For all its shortcomings – stickers, static bed, opaque windows – the truck is greater than the sum of its parts. This is a compelling vehicle and we are genuinely excited to get this one onto the bench and then out into the world. Nice one, Traxxas!

Links

Find Traxxas’ page for this new rig here: https://traxxas.com/products/landing/trx-6-flatbed-hauler/

The TRX6 G63 page is here, for comparison: https://traxxas.com/products/landing/trx6-g63/

Keep an eye on our YT channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/rc-tnt) for when our TRX6 video drops. We’ll add it to our TRX6 playlist when it is ready. Can’t wait!

88086-4-TRX-6-Hauler-Red-HRT-7975
Craig Veness

Craig Veness

RC-TNT

Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Which Should I Buy – SCX10 II or III?

Which Should I Buy – SCX10 II or III?

June 6, 2022 – video comment from Ivo Anjos

I would like to see the SCX10 III Base Camp compared to a stock or mostly stock SCX10 II. There are some really good deals on SCX10 II and I would like to know if it is still a good budget option and how it compares with these more recent rigs.

A. I think you’ll find the SCX10 II will compare closely in performance to the Axial Base Camp. They’re similar enough in geometry and layout that there won’t be a lot in it.

You really could buy on price and get a similar experience – but there are a few things to keep in mind: over the 10.2, the Base Camp gives you adjustable chassis length and portal axles and, I think, better tires and definitely better shocks.

Equipment quality is generally equal to or better in the SCX10 III Base Camp, then. But if you can get the 10.2 for, say, 60-70% of the 10.3 it may well be worthwhile for you.

-Craig

Base Camp Descending Rock LHS