Posted by J. M. on 12/14/2018 to New Release
Revolution Seismic MT & SCT
It has become increasingly rare for a product reviewer to sit down with a product and have their expectations completely blown out of the water, and that's exactly what happened when I first pulled the throttle trigger for the Seismic MT.
When you first unbox the Seismic MT or SCT, it doesn't really appear to be anything special. It's your typical 1/18th scale RTR with a Manual, a radio (w/ batteries) and the vehicle. Then, you start looking at the vehicle itself and you start to realize that there's more to this tiny RC than you suspected.
On the outside the bodies are painted with a simple, but pleasing, design. I expected the tires to be your typical cheap RTR tires: Hard as rocks, that can't grip anything but pavement - I was wrong! While you shouldn't expect them to feel like a super-soft compound, there is more than enough flexibility in the compound to run on just about any surface and retaining some firmness to reduce wear on more aggressive surfaces.
Under the body you can see the 2-in-1 receiver/esc, the tiny 42T motor and the steering servo. It's nothing to fawn over, in all honesty, until you look at the shocks. Three words: Metal. Shock. Shafts. Want 3 more words? Metal. Shock. Caps. Those were the last thing I expected on a sub $70 1/18 scale RTR vehicle. Especially when you consider most if it's competitors which are 99% plastic... and cheap plastic at that.
Given this vehicle's size, it makes sense that many of the plastic parts on it are going to have some flexibility to them, however, they do not feel cheap or brittle
On the Track
I spent the better part of a weekend taking this tiny beast to a few different tracks in my area ranging from damp clay to astroturf and I have to say, I'm seriously impressed at the value that has been packed into this thing. While it doesn't run that well on a damp clay track, it excels on dry clay and dirt. While it wasn't able to make any of the doubles designed for 1/10th scale vehicles, it singled every jump without a complaint. Even on astroturf, my seismic mt performed better than expected in all aspects: jumps, cornering, even a wall ride!
I couldn't tell you how many people gathered around the driver stands at these different tracks to witness this tiny terror in action, but I can tell you that every single person did not expect such a tiny vehicle to run as well as it did and I'm fairly certain at least half a dozen people left that day intending to purchase one for themselves.
Run time will vary depending upon your throttle tuning. Turning the dual rate up on the throttle to 40% for astroturf all but eliminated traction rolling in the corners on throttle, but still gave me enough to conquer the wall ride without any worries. After an 8 minute run, the motor was warm to the touch but I feel that I could have gotten a solid 10 minutes out of it before I should start feeling even slightly concerned. On dirt, with 0% dual rate, running for 10 minutes resulted in a very warm motor and I don't think I would dare exceed that 10 minute mark, but I consider myself a very cautious RC owner and you will have to judge the running duration that you are comfortable with. Still, for a 900mah NiMh battery the run times I achieved were nothing short of unexpected.
With multiple hours of run time on this 1/18th scale surprise, I have yet to break anything and I was anything but gentle while zipping around the clay tracks and attempting to make the doubles.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Giving that this is a 1/18th scale, 4WD RTR vehicle, the internals are laid out exceptionally well. Nothing feels thrown into position just "because it fits" and the wiring doesn't really bother my OCD all that much, with the exception of the antenna wire. The Antenna is mounted close to center on the vehicle and the antenna tube can only be about two and a quarter inches in length before you're required to modify the body. This leaves about three inches of antenna wire for you to wrangle in a space where there really isn't any room left for cable management. I would be lying if I said I didn't get a few nervous ticks every time I look at the excess antenna wire coiled around tube.
While the seismic is obviously up-gradable by the purchasing of other 1/18th scale electronics, the plastic driveshafts leave me wondering if I would even dare putting in a 35T motor upgrade. I haven't seen any sign of wear on the shafts, but it really is too soon to tell just how much punishment they can take.
The one thing that absolutely drives me crazy is the bottom loading battery compartment. Oh how I loathe bottom loading batteries. Being secured by a single body clip, I have been extremely lucky where others have not and have never had to deal with a battery flopping out mid-run, but I have seen it happen a few times already.
The electronics are nothing fancy, in fact they are fairly cheap, but that's to be expected and they still operate more than adequately. The steering servo is almost impossible to center, with the trim quickly going from drifting right, to drifting left with the slightest turn of the trim dial on the remote. For the most part it's not that noticeable until you hit a straight-away and rip that throttle only to watch you vehicle turn of it's own accord. Again, this isn't really a deal breaker for me because I'm a firm believer that practicing on-throttle corrections is a good thing and the drifting isn't so pronounced that you'd find yourself doing u-turns. With the slightest amount of throttle tuning you can virtually eliminate this issue.
With having metal shock shafts and caps, I feel that there is almost nothing that this little vehicle can't handle. While singling a jump designed for 1/8th scales, the landing was understandably hard and the first time I attempted it I was concerned that something would be horribly bent or broken - Nope! I do feel, however, that my decision to rebuild the shocks before the first run was a good idea. By putting slightly thicker oil than was provided, I feel confident that the shocks will be one of the few parts that I may never have to replace.
Some people may not have any issues with EC3 connectors, but I absolutely hate them. The first thing I did was replace them with my go-to T (deans) connector so I wouldn't be forced to use the provided trickle charger that comes with the vehicle, which takes 9 HOURS to charge! Swapping the connectors isn't something I'd recommend everyone do, but at the very least go pick yourself up a charger and an EC3 led so you'll be able to run every 10-15mins, instead of twice a day.
All things considered, the value of the Revolution Seismic MT & SCT are off the charts. For less than a RTR Slash you can pick one up for your child and yourself to drive around the yard, inside or even at your local track. When you look at the costs associated with it's competitors, the seismic is really the only good choice out there for anyone looking to grab 'n go. If you, or your child, have any interest in bonding over a day at the RC track but don't' want to spend the $300+ for an entry level RTR Slash, this is your ticket right here.