For an old Trucktrialer like me it wasn´t a lot in the portfolio of RC4WD any more. The “Worminator” and the “The Beast” had been cancelled without substitute from the assortment of the Californians. Actually a pity, because especially the “Worminator” with his worm axles allowed an entrance in the RC-Truck-Trial for a suitable price.
The more I was glad that there is again a 6x6 in the parcours scale. On Facebook the first pictures of the off-road truck could be seen. My first impression was; “a MAN KAT 1”.
On the website “store.rc4wd.com” more details pictures and technical information were found. The Pictures show an all-wheel drive truck which looks nearly a MAN mil gl. It is remarkable that there is a radiator cowling in the front. There was this radiator cowling in the original only with the vehicles which were used for the US Army in Europe. These vehicles were driven completely with a water-cooled V10 diesel engine. However, this class, M1001, M1002, M1013 and M1014, was built always as 8x8. Here rc4wd soaks off from the original. In no case the manufacturer speaks about MAN. On the radiator cowling is resplendent largely RC4WD where, otherwise, the three letters are placed. We want to see how far approaches the model smiths from San Jose to the original from Germany.
“The Beast II” is shipped out in a dark looking carton, which feels like the last days of the world. A carton, which could really placed in a model construction shop. Since the days of the “Trailfinder II” the Californian learned in this case. In the carton you can find three layers of foam in which the parts are pact safely. The big parts, as the sides of the ladder frame were checked. Really smooth no ridge or damage, a nice look and feel.
One layer deeper the parts of the transmission are stored. Every part is packed in separate recesses. Nothing can be scratched or hit against each other.
Under the third layer, with the side panel of the platform, the wheels and tires are stored. Besides that some plastic bags with the plastic parts of the cabin. I thought the parts were milled, but the parts were die-cast. Every ba
g is marked with a sticker. The number of the sticker later can be found in the manual. The manual is also stored in the carton. The manual can also be found on the web page to download. The manual has 73 pages and is in English. This is not a problem at all to all who can´t speak English, because most parts are shown with detailed pictures. Only the warranty should be in additional languages belonging to the country.
“ Please read the instruction manual before you begin“.
This advice you should always follow before you start to build. A clear look into the manual never harmed. If you don´t look into the manual you can´t see, that all parts of the plastic bags are listed on the first page. This will help later on.
The construction of the 6x6 starts with the truck body. The suitable parts are separated from the hose grid and are cleaned from burrs.
Something surprised me, the colour of the plastic. The plastic appears not white but in softly light blue: “a little shade of blue”. The base plate of the driver´s cab with her side parts forms the beginning. The parts well fit into each other and the edges well cursed. There remain only small openings, leveled out and sharpened in the next step. I do a small change with the order concerning the integration of the front. After the, with foil protected, clear windshields are fitted, the front end hast to go to his place. The windshields should be fitted only temporarily. Later on you will not able to remove the protective foil, because everything is firmly stuck together.
I have decided to prefer the next step, because the side parts lead the front at the side and therefore the middle is to be found easier. The construction of the driver´s cabin grows more and more. There are no surprises. The plastic and the uses rower´s glue harmonize well and form a stable construction. In the rear of the cabin the fastener was screwed on in the meantime. The used M3 screw is a little bit too short. However, this poses no problem, because a thread could be cut in the plastic. On the roof the hinges are stuck together for the engine lid. Three parts are glued and find her place on the roof. The hinges are connected later with pins (2 mm) and form a functioning unity. Before the roof is fixed the cabin is given a varnish. Later the painting isn´t possible any more, so we do this stopover. The inside is painted black. From my point of view I think an expensive spraying for an off-road vehicle is counter-productive. The truck will get dents and scratches, hence, the colour is coming from the spray can. The cabin is nearly finished. The outside spraying is done in ruby-red. The 6x6 should fit later to the rest of my vehicle fleet. Some small scale-parts are fixed at their places and complete the look. It´s a pity the mirrors are fixed connected. Later on, driving in the wood or off-road, the mirrors can stick somewhere and damage the drivers-cab. From outside the cabin looks really nice, but inside there is no interior. A driver must be placed through the skylight. So don´t glue it.
After the drivers-cab is finished the flat is next step. This flat is more than 40 cm (15,75 ”) long. To build up this platform is such easy as the first step. RC4WD placed a lot of value of details. A lot of small parts are glued to the outside panel. What a pity everything just a show. No side panel is possible to open. Blessing and curse; there originates a stable tub with limited play value. If you want to load or unload you will need a crane.
Axles, Suspension and Drive
After all this plastic we are going into metal. The axles and their suspension are the next step.
The used Yota-axles are well known and running very smooth. No stucking, everything great. Even if the axles run quietly I have a look in the inside. Ten screws M2 keep the cover of the pumpkin at his place. As I thought the castellated gear and the bevel gear are well greased. Differently this quit run isn´t to be reached. The axles come without any differential, but with ball bearings, which do their job of the smooth motion. Two points need to be pointed out. Just dog bones connect the steering knuckles with the main shaft. This minimizes the angle of the steering. Over 33° you will hear knocking from the axle. Second point is, the steering knuckle is connected diagonally. This means, the upper connection is more inside than the lower one. So the moving point is nearly directly under the tires. Which in theory minimize the needed steering power.
The middle axle drives about the crown wheel the rear bevel wheel. The rotation direction of the cardan shaft thereby alters itself. This is to be followed with the installation of the second rear axle. Otherwise this turns in the wrong direction. The black anodized poles are installed for the suspension. Every pole is printed with the length in mm. A mistake is nearly impossible. The ball heads are made from plastic, but nevertheless without any clearance. To groups become ball heads and poles with 3mm stud bolt.
Now we will have a look to a real splendid part, the gearbox. It weighs 415 g and is complete from metal. I save a look in the inside. “Never change a running system” and the gearbox is running so smooth, a control isn´t needed. The transfer case is placed in the middle of the ladder-frame. All parts of the ladder-frame are black painted metal. All tie-bars are connected with M3 screws. By the way all screws are metric. All screw threads are cut very well all screws can be moved with Allen wrench without any problems. Three of the countersunk screws are not completely fitted in their holes. If this would disturb in any way the wholes can be lowered with a drill. One part I had looking for a long time. I couldn´t find the white part in the white foam. Especially if you are expecting a black part. The work goes on without any difficulties. The axles are connected with braces and draw rods.
A specific feature is the suspension of the front axle. It is always a problem to find enough space for all the rods, the gauge and the drive shaft. In this case the front axle have to lower rods, ONE(!) rod on the top, diagonal working, and a Panhard rod. So all unintentional moving is fixed and the suspension strut can do their work. At the rear end the suspension is much easier. The moving is guided by lower rods and triangle rods on the top.
Wheels and rims
RC4WD delivered six MIL-SPEC ZXL 1.9 within the carton. So the truck will do his first drive without spare tire. The tires are set up as no-pump tire with block profile. They have a diameter of 106 mm. The tire looks like the original tire, which is in use on the MAN at the army. So the idea of scale is done with these tires. The tires are delivered with foam. First of all the tires need to be installed on the 91 g heavy Humvee 1.9 Internal Beadlock rims. The rims are set up from three parts, two outside parts and one ring in the middle. The ring is placed in the tire and the other parts pressed the rubber against this ring. Everything is fixed with 12 screws M1 and their nuts. Eight screws are just placed optically in the middle of the rim. This kind of job can be done in the living room. Such monotonous work can be done in front of the TV. We stay really long in the hobby room, so such work is a good reason to stay with your partner.
After tires and rims stay together all six are connected to the axles. The rolling chassis is finished. Now the wedding of chassis and cabin is the next step. The driving cab is fixed with two hinge joints on the metal bumper. The flat is fixed with four split pins to the ladder frame. Every is stable connected, so you can lift the MAN at the front and the rear end.
To set up the 6x6 was really fast and without any problems. All parts are good fit and look high-quality. The front axle has only limited steering angle belonging to the price level. The idea of scale is done in a fine way outside. I am missing only the spare tire and an exhaust pipe. The spare tire could be ordered in the shop and was added. Inside the driving cabin nothing is set up. No steering wheel, no seats, nothing. The skylight is the only way inside. On this way you can place a driver. Excluding the big engine cover nothing can be opened. The doors and side panels can´t be open, this minimize the playing quality. All in all for the price of around 500$, customs uncleared from USA, a solid basis.
Ok, now we need to do the function test. This is a must to such a truck. Before we can start the test, we need to insert the electronic parts; engine, servo, Speed control and receiver.
Servos and engine are coming from RC4WD. The servos are “Twister Ultimate High Performance Waterproof Servos” (Part # Z-E0063). Both are default size. 22kg torque at 6V looks like a really powerful servo, which is not the cheapest. At the steering the correct choice, at the gearbox a little bit oversized. As engine RC4WD recommend the 45 Turn brushed motor. As a speed controller I use the SERVONAUT T20. This off road speed controller offers light function as well. Stop light and beam are set up with LED. The two servos are installed, easy work, but the mounting can´t be corrected to the needed distance. The connection points are a little bit too far from each other.
The motor is screwed with the gearbox. The power of the engine is going via a slip-clutch to the two gears. The speed control and the LiPo 3S battery is placed in the engine cabin together with the receiver. A hole was drilled for the power cable from speed control to the motor. After everything is fixed and connected the first test drive can happen in the hobby room.
The BEAST II starts really fast. In the first gear the 6x6 drifts extremely on the ground, the second gear is much faster. This is not the behaviour of a truck. Thanks to the fine working speed control moving in tight ro
ute is possible. My feeling said this motor is too fast for a truck and need to be exchanged. If you want to build up a rally truck “Dakar” keep it. I used a real truck motor with 100T. Less speed, more torque. With this change the MAN feels more like a truck, less than a race car. The race motor showed two points which should be changed; first the back lights should be fixed with screws. That’s an easy job and fast done. Second problem are the mirrors. They are fitted without hinges. So they will break if you hit something. This can damage the drive cab. Next test will be in the garden. On the grass and on infirm ground the MAN runs really nicely. Starting-up behaviour und brake behaviour is harmonious. Loose stone lumps and branches are taken under the tires. Everything works without any problems. If you can`t see the stumbling rock the slip clutch will save your drive. The slip clutch can be set up to your driving style. One thing can be seen in this easy area, the truck doesn´t stop directly. In the drive shaft we have an internal clearance from the motor to the wheels. If you drive downhill you should keep this in mind.
The next big test drive is in the woods. On this muddy roads with leafs from the trees the 6x6 can do his job in best way. Until now I couldn´t roll the BEAST II to the side. This looks like a good center of gravity. It is set up deep to the ground. Next stop is a working area with some pile of sand and RCL. This RCL is made from recycled materials, crashed concrete, sand, small stones. This is excellent test area for a truck which will survive at the end of the world.
He does a good job. The six-wheeler pushes always forward the not existing road. One thing looks not so good. The last tires pick up some bigger stones and wrap it between the rubber and the fenders. I would change the fenders to some rubber or something similar material or remove it at all. The last test ground was a parking area with asphalt. Here the BEAST II can run fast as he can. The cornering ability is good.
Also in this test the 6x6 didn´t overturning. But be careful; I did this for this test. Never do such things with your truck. It will need a little stone or a bump and your nice truck will have some damage. Especially if you tow things on the platform the center of gravity will come higher in the truck and makes is more instable.
THE BEAST II is a really nice truck. It was fun to build it up and to drive. The price-performance ratio feels good to me. The Californians never said it´s a MAN. So it will forgiven, that they build up only a 6x6, even though the original was build as 8x8. To me it feels like a real MAN KAT 1.