I just completed a test review of the SC4.18BL and DB4.18BL SPEED Series vehicles for Dromida where I concluded,
“The Dromida Speed Series draws a lot of attention, they are impressively fast, agile and easy to drive. They are novice-friendly and highly upgradable. And they are absolutely a racing option”.
Fast forward a couple weeks– I became more interested in pursuing more of what the Dromida line-up had to offer, and really wanted to see whether the BX4.18 brushed buggies had a shot on the track. I had a fever and the great big wonderful brown truck delivered the medicine just a few short days later.
The BX4.18 is Ready-To-Run (RTR) and requires nothing except patience. The included 6-Cell 7.4v 1300mAh NiMH battery and accompanying charger required ~5 hours to complete it’s first charge. Fortunately, subsequent charges are much faster, but I will recommend you consider multiple battery packs, or a good charger, or get both. In fact, the batteries are only $18 so buy a few of them, you’ll thank me later.
Dromida offers a nice variety with their lineup, and the buggy should be everything I’ve already experienced at the track, but better. While the BX4.18 buggy can do what the others can do and go were they can go, I’m mostly interested in these for the track.
|BX4.18 RTR BuggyLength: 10.2 in (260 mm)
Width: 7.2 in (182 mm)
Height: 3.9 in (100 mm)
Weight w/battery: 1.29 lb (589 g)
T H E B U G G Y
ELECTRONICS – There is a 2-in-1 unit which includes both the ESC and receiver, while keeping the steering servo separate– a feature found on larger scale r/c. Included with the steering servo is a robust servo savor to protect those servo gears. It works well in this configuration, though no programming options are available.
Included with the Brushless Dromida Speed series vehicle is a 1300mAh NiMH 6-cell battery, AC charger and charge monitor. The charge monitor has 2 lights; one is an always on green indicator and one is an on/off red charging light. The manual suggests 4.5-6.5 hours for the charging process, and in this case I found that to be accurate for the first charge. Subsequent charges much faster, yet still more than 1 1/2 hours. However, after the experience with the chargers from the SC4.18 and DB4.18, I decided to use my Onyx 235 charger going forward so I can control the charge parameters. That’s proven to be a sanity saving idea while at the track.
STEERING SERVO – It can be difficult to find a 1/18 RTR with a good, hardy steering servo. Dromida understand’s that while this is a beginner vehicle, it’s also capable of being upgraded and raced. An independent steering servo with a robust servo saver is a feature that makes racing these a real option. Apart from the orientation, it’s the same servo the Brushless Speed Series uses.
The steering servo does nice job holding strong when going straight and returns to center nicely. I didn’t feel as though I had to help it get back to neutral all that often, terrain depending.
TRANSMITTER – The D100 comes equipped with the basic features you’d expect for this type of vehicle. Under the cover on top of the transmitter you’ll find two battery indicator’s to help you identify when the battery’s are both full and when they’re low.
Also under the cover is the on/off switch and steering and servo reversing switches, along with dual-rates for both. Steering and throttle trim are on the front next to the wheel. The antenna is a short, static, hard plastic shell. And the steering wheel is modeled after a real vehicle wheel with foam.
The D100 is light, if not a bit bulky, but comfortable to hold and balanced well. The trigger is not adjustable, but is positioned well and has a light spring, which I like. Finally, it comes with the four “AA” batteries required, which is a nice touch on a “RTR” vehicle.
CHASSIS & DRIVETRAIN – The chassis is solid plastic, and all the components making up the drivetrain are plastic as well. This is one way Dromida’s stays at its price point and able to be a beginner’s option. This doesn’t equate to cheap. On the contrary, these vehicles are intentionally constructed well, and ready for all the upgrade options available.
Included are fully adjustable oil filled, big-bore shocks that provide nice damping to hit the bigger jumps. The differential’s, pinion and spur gears are all plastic and the power is sent to the wheels with a plastic drive-shaft as well. A full set of ball-bearings keep things moving smoothly and efficiently. And the motor mount is adjustable to accept different pinion gears for different surfaces.
This buggy is begging for the aluminum upgrades.
T H E T R A C K
Clocked at 22mph, these brushed buggies were obviously slower than the brushless versions previously reviewed but still fast for their size. The speed difference isn’t too noticeable when driving around the parking lot or bashing off-road. However, the separation of speed becomes a little more obvious at the track.
I armed my young Son with one buggy while I grabbed the other and we headed to the outside track at Battle Front RC. The ESC factory setup has a good feel, jumps became fairly predictable with a little practice, and correction in the air is absolutely part of the equation. There’s not much drama surrounding the buggy as it handles very well; despite a dry and dusty track that night, the buggies got around better than expected.
Every track is different, but I found it more difficult to fly the bigger jumps outside without the brushless power propelling the car forward. And while I could catch a few whoops, I wasn’t able to drive the buggies through them with any sort of rhythm. Indoors was a little different as the whoops are closer together and every bit attainable with the brushed setup. Difficult, but attainable.
In my first Dromida review, I came to the conclusion the SC was very capable of racing and think it would be fun to have an SC class created at my track. However, I believe the greatest potential to tear up the track is with the BX buggy. I’ve been eyeing those upgrades and may just have to see what I can do to turn these brushed buggies into all out racing machines.
$99.99! That’s the price of admission. Why would anyone consider a toy-grade r/c vehicle ever again for nearly the same price? These buggies, all the Dromida 4.18’s, are priced right. All you have to do is dial down the Dual Rates by 50% or even 75% and put the transmitter in the hands of a 3 year old around the family room, in the garage or on the driveway. As the child grows and learns, keep increasing the rates. In the mean time, dial it up to 10 and have fun yourself!
I’m a fan of small scale r/c and find the Dromida BX4.18 buggies are tough to beat. I have no hesitation in recommending these to anyone.