Sometimes you don’t have the time to drive hours on end to your favorite wheeling spot or maybe your one to one scale is waiting on yet some entirely too expensive parts. That’s when it’s nice to switch to your 1/10th scale rig!
I have wanted to get into radio controlled (RC) cars for quite a while. As a kid, I remember being envious of my friend but those gas rigs were so expensive. Only a little less expensive, the battery powered cars would drive for twenty minutes and have to charge for four hours…..not anymore. For about the cost of a tire, you can get started with a great ready to run (RTR) mini off road machine.
After looking at several options, I decided to try out the Axial Wraith (RTR). According to the reviews, right out of the box you got a little bit of speed to play with, pretty water resistant, and it is marketed as a crawler too. The kit comes fully assembled and the radio is already bound to the receiver; you literally just have to put batteries in your remote, attach a battery to the car, and you are ready to wheel.
Before I get into the package details, let me just say that this was a great rig to start with. Within minutes of putting the batteries in, I was having a blast watching the crazy amount of flex in the suspension – it effortlessly negotiated some pretty impressive obstacles. After getting a little throttle happy, I quickly came to appreciate the rig’s versatility on the straights and over jumps. I definitely had to work on my throttle control going around corners with decent traction. I rolled the mini rock racer quite a bit through fast corners. Another big surprise was the amount of range the transmitter can handle. It extends far beyond the distance I can see any sort of obstacle detail.
So here are a few pros and cons about the RTR Wraith. Perhaps the biggest con about the RTR is some of the provided components are seriously lacking power. The steering servo is horribly weak for any sort of crawling. Also, the kit comes with an electronic speed control unit (the AE2) that will only allow a two cell LiPo battery and will not accommodate the extra power of a three cell without causing damage. On the positive side, it runs great right out of the box for higher speed types of driving. The tires have amazing grip and the locked four-wheel drive train performs well. Despite what is advertised, the kit actually comes with a three-channel radio making it easy to add another servo powered device (like a winch or two range transmission). Another great feature are the lights. The RTR comes with a simple LED controller that provides four white lights in the front and two red LEDs in the rear.
Finally, the Wraith seems infinitely customizable! There are upgraded axles, transmissions, aftermarket sway bars, lighting kits, coil overs, diff covers, steering relocator kits, and the list just seems to keep going. For your first rig, the RTR isn’t perfect but it’s pretty good. If you have a little experience or a friend that knows RCs a little bit, consider building the kit version. It’s worth checking out because it comes with a lot of upgrades and you can choose the higher quality electrical components as you build your truck. Have fun wheeling and customizing your rig!