WLToys 12428 Crawler from Banggood.com
First just let me say for the record , holly smoke Batman this is a lot of fun . ( On the fun scale = 10 / 10 ) It has been a long time since I have owned a RC car or buggy , a little over 30 years in fact . 30 Years ago , for the money that buys this ready to rock and roll buggy you would have been lucky to buy a Transmitter . ( We have come a long way folks )
What you get in the box is a ready to go buggy complete with a rechargeable battery and charger , there are no batteries for the transmitter but it takes 4 x AA in the base . The battery that came with the buggy had a resting voltage of 7.8v or there about which is rather good . First thing I did was charge the battery ( 2s = 8.4v fully charged ) and then turn the buggy upside down to run in the moving parts some ( without load ) to help smooth out the drivetrain . It also helps to find any problems before actually taking the buggy outside to play with ( better safe than sorry ) and I am happy to say no issues have cropped up .
Taking the WLToys 12428 Crawler outside to play with the first thing you want to do is sort out the tracking ( you want the buggy to drive straight ) . The dial on top is there to center the steering and the dial bellow is for the throttle . I had to dial my throttle back to about 50% to make the buggy drivable ( yeah I found there was simply too much power available for the back yard ) . It is really hard to steer the 12428 with the front wheels of the ground , yes I am saying it was popping wheelies @ 100% throttle as well you run out of space in a hurry .
Taking the 12428 to a dirt track ( Walking track ) I found there was still not enough space to really open it up @ 100% throttle . I spent most of the time driving with about 50% throttle . At 100% throttle the 12428 was spinning its wheels and driving it in a straight line became almost impossible . Even when I gently brought up the speed and then applied full throttle the 12428 would spin its wheels . ( if you watch the video carefully you can see when 100% throttle is applied from the rooster tail that suddenly appears )
Cars and buggies don't require a lot of skill to drive , they just require a little common sense . The driving part is very easy especially if you dial back the throttle as 100% is a little more power than needed for fun . I found about 50% throttle gave plenty of enjoyment and allowed for good control . 100% throttle just breaks traction and control and if you have the space for such then great , but I found that 100% just saw me hitting things , flipping the buggy , and generally not being in control ( I am sure some people would simply be tickled pink by such a prospect - Watch the 2nd video ) .
I have so far had no issues with the 12428 , but one thing to watch for ( simple cure ) is the battery in the battery tray . I found the battery to be a very lose fit and to correct the slop fit I used electrical tape wrapped around the battery as well the retaining arm . If the battery is not a snug fit then it is really going to flop about and possibly come to some mischief . Other than this one thing there is nothing to complain about . On the other hand there is room for improvement .
And where I would like to see improvement is in the steering . The turning circle is a little on the large side , but I can see where this could be a issue at speed . Also the steering servo or assembly is a little lacking in authority . I am not sure if a better servo is needed or perhaps some tweaking to make the steering a little more authoritative . At this price point I don't think tweaking or tuning was a serious consideration as I would also like to be able to tune the toe in . I think the major consideration has been durability and " FUN " at a very reasonable price . I guess that's what aftermarket parts are for ! ( Upgrades )
The bottom line is that the WLToys delivers a tough 4WD buggy at a very affordable price that will put a stupid grin on your dial , and it drives very well for what is a entry level RC Buggy . My only regret is that there is only one battery . It's a little like eating chocolate , once you are done you are left wanting more . ( I have already ordered a new battery - but I wanted it yesterday ) . I don't know what age to recommend for this buggy , but I am middle aged and I love it . Every time I drive it I am left wanting more ( FUN ) . The fun factor on this is 10 out of 10 , scoring the product on it's own merits I would give it 9 out of 10 . Unfortunately this is such a great buggy , that people are going to wonder why it could not have been better and the simple answer is that it was built to meet a certain goal at a given price point . ( And I think it exceeds that ) I did not know what to expect with this buggy as all my RC Car staff is from way back , but it did not fail in fulfilling what I hoped it would be . So much freaking fun !
Thank you Banggood for sending me the WLToys 12428 Crawler
I found a video that might explain the steering ...
Update : Jan 1 2017
I went out this morning and the steering started to play up , so I pulled the WLToys apart a little to get to the steering . The tie rods are connected to a ( I will call it ) steering block that passes through a guide . The fits are too tight and there is serious binding . The cure is simple , just increase the tolerances . ( Loosen the fit )