Hobbico's Dromida 1/18 Wasteland 4WD Truck and 4WD Buggy RTR Combined Review - RC Groups

Hobbico's Dromida 1/18 Wasteland 4WD Truck and 4WD Buggy RTR Combined Review

I like to have some interactive toys around at Christmas and these fit that need perfectly.

Splash

Introduction

Wasteland 1/18 4WD RTR Vehicles by Dromida (1 min 25 sec)



Truck Weight w/ Battery: 1.64 lbs
Truck Length: 11.5 in
Buggy Length: 10 in
Buggy Weight w/battery: 1.49 lb
Width of both: 7 in
Height of both: 5 in
Servos: 2 servos
Transmitter: 3 CH 2.4GHz pistol grip
Receiver: 2.4GHz
Battery: 7.2V 1300NiMH
Motor: Dromida Speed Secret 22T Motor BX/MT/SC4.18
ESC: Brushed 2 in 1 with receiver
Manufacturer: Dromida
Available From: Truck at Tower Hobbies and Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Available From: Buggy at Tower Hobbies and Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price: $139.98 RTR Each

This Christmas my two adult sons and one young granddaughter will be at our house from out of state for the weekend and I am known for having toys to play with at Christmas. With our 2 year old granddaughter as a spectator and a likely RC student driver (I will report back how she did.) I know that these will get played with on Christmas morning and beyond. In my household they aren't going to be Christmas presents but rather "Christmas Day Toys." With that in mind I decided these vehicles deserved a review during the Thanksgiving break when my wife and I were going to be in Redman Oregon with lava beds, snow covered mountains and two of my college friends to play with these 4 WD vehicles. While they play I can videotape the truck and buggy in action and take still pictures as well. This would give a real test to Tower Hobbies' promotional claim that: "No terrain is off-limits when you drive a Wasteland Truck." Since the truck and buggy are waterproof I planned try and test them in water locally and in snow in the Cascades if conditions would allow.

Ready! Aim! Launch missile! Both the truck and the buggy have a missile launcher with three foam missiles. I suspect that the missile launchers will bring out the inner child in my friends (They do for me.) for this review and everyone at our house this Christmas. Those are my plans. The vehicles have been shipped and this intro written while I wait for them to arrive. FYI: There is nothing else to buy! The truck and buggy both come complete with everything needed including the AA Alkaline batteries for the transmitter. I like everything in one box!

They have arrived and I have to share some of the reactions I have observed from friends (RC Pilots not RC Car Drivers) seeing these run for the first time. On smooth pavement they are surprised by how fast they run. A couple guys have recently gotten fuel powered cars and while those are faster and much louder they were only faster on the runway and they could not go off road with their vehicles and theirs don't fire missiles. Several thought they were brushless because of the speed and also asked what size LiPo they used. I told them they used 7.2V 1300 NiMH batteries and the motors are brushed although Dromida does have a brushless motor upgrade package available for those that: "Feel the Need For Speed!" As much as I love aircraft, I haven't had as much fun doing a review in a long time and most of that was watching others operate, okay lets call it what it really was, PLAY with this truck and buggy.

Transmitter

Truck

Buggy

Kit Contents

The Kits Contain

  • TR Wasteland Truck or Buggy
  • Motor: Differential gear type installed
  • Three channel 2.4GHz Pistol grip radio system
  • 7.2V 1300mAh NiMH Battery
  • NiMH Battery Charger w/universal outlet connectors
  • Dart Launcher
  • Two servos: one for steering, one for dart launcher installed
  • Three Foam Darts
  • Four AA Batteries
  • Instructions

Promoted Features

Features

  • Launch foam darts through a 3rd channel on the transmitter.
  • Big Bore oil shocks.
  • High-traction, pre-glued tires with foam inserts.
  • Independent steering servo with servo saver.
  • Four-wheel drive.
  • Waterproof electronics.
  • Gear differential.
  • 100-240V AC charger included.
  • Radio system.
  • Factory-painted body with pre-applied decals.

Assembly

No assembly was required. I simply plugged the NiMH battery connector into the included charger to get the battery fully charged. A deleted battery may take up to two hours to recharge. The battery is not difficult to remove or install in either vehicle so spare batteries is an option. I installed the four supplied AA Alkaline batteries into the transmitter and read the instructions while I waited for the 7.2V NiMH battery to get fully charged.

Operating

Basics

Both the truck and the buggy are controlled by the supplied three channel transmitter. Steering is controlled by the steering wheel on the supplied transmitter and speed is controlled by the trigger throttle control. A third channel allows for the launch of the missile. Squeeze the throttle and the truck or buggy goes forward. It is a proportional control so the more you squeeze the trigger the faster the vehicle goes. Full speed on a flat surface is at or exceeds 20 mph. The rougher the terrain the slower it goes. To go backwards just push the throttle out away from the transmitter and the truck or buggy goes backward. Using the steering wheel on the transmitter I can turn the vehicles left or right going forward or backward. The transmitter is set up for right handed individuals and the grip is held in the left hand and the trigger activated with the left index finger. I steer using my right hand on the wheel.

There are steering and throttle trim dials on the front of the transmitter. They are located to the left and even with the top of the steering wheel. The throttle trim is adjusted so that the vehicle does not move when the throttle trigger is in the neutral position. If it is going forward in neutral adjust the trim to the left slightly. If it is going backward adjust to the right. The vehicle should go straight forward and backward when the steering wheel is in the neutral position. If it isn't then adjust the steering trim until it is. If tracking right going forward then adjust the trim to the left. If tracking left adjust the trim to the right.

Control adjustments don't end there! There are dual rates for both throttle and steering. Low rate on throttle limits the speed and this is recommend for beginners such as when you first let your friends start to operate your vehicle. You can also control how sharp the vehicle can turn with the steering dual rate.

Starting an Operating Session

Follow these steps

  • Always turn on the transmitter first
  • Install and connect the battery into the vehicle
  • Secure the battery in place
  • Turn on the switch to operate the vehicle

Missile Launching

The missile is launched by pushing a button to the left of the steering wheel. When properly installed just press the button and launch. To prepare the launcher I load one of the foam darts into the missile launcher. I pull back on the arming lever until it locks in place. The lever is on the left side of the buggy and it gets pulled out to the left. There are twin bars at the bottom back of the truck that get pulled back to prepare the truck's missile launcher. When ready press the button and launch the missile. In the right conditions the missile can fly 30 feet on flat terrain. The instructions include a Launcher Safety List. Most are common sense and here they are.

Launcher Safety List

  • Do not aim launcher at eyes or face to avoid injury
  • Use only the darts designed for this product
  • Do not modify darts or launcher
  • Don't look down the barrel even if you think it's not loaded
  • Don't shoot at people, animals or cars
  • Do not put fingers near moving parts when operating the launcher
  • Safety glasses are recommended, especially for children

Is This For a Beginner?

YES! With no assembly these Dromida vehicles are perfect for the beginning RC Driver. The pistol grip transmitter allows for steering wheel turning and trigger controlled throttle. Both the truck and the buggy are built tough and can handle roll overs and other off road accidents. Dromida advises that they are for people age 14 and older but with proper adult supervision I know much younger people will be operating my vehicles this Christmas season. The key to me with children is the proper adult supervision, Especially considering the missile launcher. Keep the face out of the line of fire!

Motor Upgrades

If 20 miles per hour wasn't fast enough for you Dromida sells a brushless motor upgrade package. You need to upgrade the motor, the ESC and the battery. That upgrade was not tested or reviewed but it is an option mentioned on the Dromida Website.

Spare Missiles

They do list replacement missiles as as optional parts for this system.

If you have Two: Mark One of the Transmitters

Since I have both the truck and the buggy, I marked the buggy's transmitter with a fire fighter's decal from my fire boat. Now I can instantly tell which transmitter controls each vehicle.

Operational Video/Photo Gallery

Dromida's Wasteland 4WD RC Truck and Buggy Demo (4 min 5 sec)

Conclusion

I planned to do the main testing of these Wasteland vehicles on lava rock at a park in the Redman Oregon area with two college friends over the Thanksgiving break. Before that I tested them out close to home to make sure they worked as advertised. On the runway at the flying field they were nice and fast and they handled the rocks and torn up asphalt next to the runway without any problems. After a morning of rain I ran them through small puddles and in mud and they both operated perfectly. Unfortunately, I was by myself and got no pictures of operating them through the puddles and mud. I figured I could get that in Oregon. I did learn to have a plastic lined box to put the very dirty vehicles in for the trip home. A slow running hose washed the dirt off of them at home and they looked as good as new. They proved to be able to run in the water as advertised.

On Tuesday, November 24 there was a snow storm from central Oregon all the way down into northern CA. We drove up to Redman on the 25th using chains part way and driving on packed snow/ice for about 200 miles. The lava fields were covered under 3-4 inches of snow so my original plan of driving on the rough terrain lava was out. Instead, we drove on ice, a rough dirt road, pavement and on snow covered grass. Both the truck and the buggy worked fine with some nice spins and slips on the ice. In limited snow on grass or walkway they still operated very well with the snow up to a 1/2" deep. Between 1/2" and 1" it often drove through the snow but did occasional get stopped. It made its way through short patches of 1" snow on occasion but more than that almost always stopped it.

For myself and other drivers with limited RC driving experience, I found the steering adjustments that made the controls less sensitive were very helpful for driving fast and being to steer the vehicles where I wanted to go. An experienced driver could set them up for sharp turning and more sensitive and responsive handling. We got about 15 minutes of operating time with a fully charged battery and I would place them on the charger for two hours as instructed and they would be fully charged and ready to go. They drove fine in the cold and the ice with temperatures below 10 degrees. The truck got completely packed with snow in going off road and stopped working completely on one occasion. When I took the body off I found the battery-motor compartment completely packed with snow. I cleaned out the snow and let her dry out and then found everything was working fine. Based on that experience I will not be operating them in high snow in the future but will play with them in small puddles, mud and ice. They took a lot of abuse and are still operating and looking like new. I still have three missiles for each vehicle despite shooting some into the snow. I am looking to have a lot more fun with them during this Holiday Season.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • They are surprisingly fast!
  • They are rugged! Several accidental runs off the table onto the tile floor with no damage yet.
  • The electronics are water proof and snow resistant!
  • Easily trimmed to run in nice straight lines.
  • Turning can be adjusted to less sensitive/less responsive
  • Turning can be adjusted to very responsive/sensitive
  • Handles the off road well as advertised.
  • More then double the fun when there are two operating together.
  • The speed, the missiles and the fun has brought out the kid in everyone who has operated them.
  • The buggy is hinged in front and only needs two cotter pins/clips to secure the body in place.
  • I can reach the on/off switch for the truck with the body in place.

Minuses

  • Bring a plastic lined box to bring them home in if you play in mud.
  • Charger is for wall outlet, not set up for charging in the car out in the wild.
  • I can't reach the on/off switch on the buggy with the body own.
  • My old hands had a little trouble with the back cotter pins/clips on the truck installing and removing

Thanks

My thanks to Dromida for supplying these two Wasteland vehicles for this review. My thanks to my friends Al Brose and Rich Fixott for their assistance in operating the vehicles for the media shoot. Thanks to Angela and Jim at RC Groups for their assistance with the editing and completion of this review.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Dec 01, 2015 at 09:33 AM..
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Dec 18, 2015, 07:51 AM
AA6JB
Bajora's Avatar
Quote:
I can't reach the on/off switch on the buggy with the body own.


Gotchas!
Dec 18, 2015, 05:33 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
I just launched a Nerf like rocket toward Petaluma and you from the Buggy. Alas it failed to clear my yard. You are safe for now Jon! : )
Dec 18, 2015, 06:55 PM
AA6JB
Bajora's Avatar
It would get soaked and fall from the sky LONG before it made it to me Mike!

I still have my 1.0 original Dromida SCT, though it is now tricked out with a bevy of cool hop-ups. Cool little vehicles for sure!
Dec 18, 2015, 10:44 PM
Registered User
Very thorough review. Great job.


If you plan on running them through sand or fine dirt its a good idea to line the gear box with gorilla tape. Not standard gray duct tape, use gorilla tape. I had one of these trucks and the gear box didn't seal very well and basically trapped dirt inside. The gears stripped shortly there after. I would completely avoid sand if possible.
Dec 25, 2015, 11:40 AM
Registered User
I wonder how these compare to the Dromida SCX10 that I had. I hated that thing. It kept breaking and the "upgrade kit" that I got was a joke. It was the weakest aluminum ever. But mine seems to be an unique experience; or maybe I was just to hard on it...
Feb 26, 2016, 03:18 PM
Bash Em Hard
DENSRC63's Avatar
Love mine. Just waiting for good weather and spring to come.


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