After running the HobbyKing 1/18 4WD brushless stadium truck for several weeks I can finally write you a review.
I’ll start with my conclusion: It’s a fun and fast little car with some weaknesses. As long as you know the weaknesses and aren’t afraid to fix them with some DIY work it’s great value for money!
This is a picture of how it arrived within a week from the European warehouse:
I never liked that truck canopy so one of the first mods I had to do was getting a new buggy shell on it. This is how it looks now:
Note that it’s on its favorite environment. I’m running it pretty much standard with a zippy flightmax 2200mah 2s lipo. This lipo is about the maximum you can get into this little car. It just clears the main gearbox. I’m no longer using the standard lipo retainer so I can’t tell if that fits or not. I just happen to have a lot of these standard batteries for several other applications.
Some are reporting that it works very well on 3s also without updating any other parts. I wouldn’t run it that hot. Simply because it’s already plenty fast on the standard 2s system. Even on 2s at full throttle it gets hard to control this little car. And going to 3s will increase lipo size so you’ll have to trade some run time.
It came in a box all built and ready to run. It wasn’t really ready though since the steering servo was badly centered needing a full trim to run (almost) straight. Changing that servo requires a lot of rebuilding. But this could be solved.
The little car is very cheap. The cheapest Tamiya TT-01 will cost you at least twice, maybe tripple the price of this little wonder (with brushed electronics that is). But you can’t compare the build quality either. All the Tamiya parts are very rough and can take a beating. This stadium truck has weak plastic parts that bend (= slop) and break easily. I bought replacement parts once but when these broke again I started making my parts from wood myself instead. Works well until now.
The dogbones get lost easily. The cups aren’t strong enough so if you get a bit rough on the ride it can happen that a dogbone just pops out. I don’t have to say it’s quite difficult to find these… Buy a set of spares right away! Once mounted make sure to use some shrink wrap to secure them in place. I shrink protected mine after I lost them for the first time and never lost any dogbone from that point. Great mod tip! A picture that shows the difference:
If you hit anything that will probably be with the front. I don’t expect you to run very hard backwards into things (it could if you wanted to). So the front pieces are the most vulnerable. I had the steering bracket break, the front shocks bent and even the front shock towers cracked over. As you can see all these parts are very cheap. Get some right away!
Somethings strange I discovered is the esc lacking a break function? It does have a reverse function but in between it just spins out, no real breaking like the Tamiya TT-01 standard ESC will do for instance.
I like that it has plenty of power (brushless) and even ball bearings from the factory. For being such a small car it has enough ground clearance also. The weakness obviously is in the poor plastic quality. Once you get over that it’s a great, little, fun & fast car. If you’re on a budget and serious about this hobby I would still go for a decent TT-01 chassis instead. Except for the bathtub design this little car has nothing in common with the great TT-01 chassis.