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The drift scene goes from strength to strength in the UK, with ever- by etssetcf


The drift scene goes from strength to strength in the UK, with ever-

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									                SpArrowhAwk dX

    By peter ‘mAd pete’ grAy

Born S

                                                                                                       iger RTR 1/
                                                                                              Thunder T
                                                                                                        ic Drift
                                                                                              4WD Electr
                                                                                                                                                                             say that
                                                                                                                                                            but suffice to
                                                                                                                                         r in the article                           e
                                                                                                               nt. M  ore on this late         e a locked re    ar diff and activ
                                                                                             spool in the fro                 rs I tend to us                         with most cars
                                                                     UK, with ever-          on all my prev
                                                                                                              ious drift ca
                                                                                                                                      are tough plas
                                                                                                                                                         tic and as
                                                     rength in the                                                  e diff casings
                                                                                                                                                             ring multiple po nna
                                     strength to st           onsored driver
                                                                               s and
                         goes from                                                               locked front. Th                          k towers, offe

       he drift scene                      onal events, sp                       There       or                           ount the shoc                           boasts an ante
                        rs attending regi           seasoned     drifters alike.              of this type us
                                                                                                               ed to m
                                                                                                                                 ts as a chassis
                                                                                                                                                    brace and                 allows
       larger numbe                wbies and now                          at weekends                          e top deck ac                              bathtub chassis
       forums caterin
                          g for ne
                                           ets of drifters
                                                            meeting up                        to be used. Th                           g control. The                           ned LiPo
                           ene with pock                         e relaxed R/C
                                                                                 fun                          ount    for the lightin          or the corre     ctly proportio
        a real street sc                       y to have som                                  mount and m                     e, stick packs                            tteries is all th
is also                        ing a great wa                          your first real         either 6-cell sid
                                                                                                                  e-by-sid                               nsmitter ba
in car parks an
                 d discover                            t if you want                                                                  of pack and tra
                                       re do you star         y to run car, wi
                                                                              th all the                        ed. Your choice
                     evenings. Whe           u want a read                                     packs to be us               up and runnin
                                                                                                                                              g.                        that’s needed
 on long summer              rm of R/C? Yo                         are on a budg
                                                                                                        d to get the DX                              get the punch
 taste of this ex
                   citing fo                       tail but you                                require                           at important to            d sustained ru
                                                                                                                                                                              ntime, so
                  ies like lights and chrome de                 th the be st of them on           With a drift ca
                                                                                                                   r it’s not th
                                                                                                                                         more a long an                          d slow
 trick accessor                              that will drift wi                    ared                                -road racing,                            stick packs an
                           u want a drifter     further, somet
                                                                   hing just appe               with traditiona
                                                                                                                 l on                            mAh NiMH                               is fun
  Most  importantly yo          form? Look no                                                                     e some    Ansmann 4600               tion as poss   ible. Run time
                    rable plat                                                                  I decided to us                     t as much dura
  a stable yet du                        car park!                                                              at 1 Amp to ge
                         ross the RRCi                                                          charge them                  the essence of
  go ing sideways ac                                                                                      d speed is not
                                         ng’                                                     time, an
                        hout the ‘Sti
          ‘Bling’ witand Thunder Tiger has released ththe off, and
                                                       e                                                                         eSS
  All the     owing dem                  s right from                                                       h nd thrup-l                                   uses a
                                                                                                   good-meSiniuA motor plate, which doublesadjusted by just loosening
                                                                                                                                            as a heatsink,
     To meet the gr                                        boxe
                                      . It ticks all the          cash where it
                                                                                 should be,                    m
                                                                                                     The cast alum                          ar mesh to be
                    DX 1/10th Drift          ur hard earned                                                               to allow the ge                       during the thre
                                                                                                                                                                                 e full
   Sparrowhawk                         s yo                                   ell options,              ry cam system                           t system and
                    e-point, it keep looking Japanese import sh                                    rota                      p. This is a grea                        to touch the m
   at a £199 pric               realistic                                 pending upon                                the to                          , I never had
                     nk! With                                   lights de                          a single bolt on                  ne with the DX                         other cars
   firmly in the ba                         n 14 to 20 LED                          rome                             sting I’ve do                            astic, and on
                       em with betwee                              d ten-spoke ch                   weekends of te                         on the DX is pl           brushed motor
        D control syst                        racing tyres an                          usts                                set. The prop           ing a low wind
    LE                       , 26 mm drift                             e-plated exha                      it was initially
    the shell you ch ated light casings and twin
                                                                             dth and 263
                                                                                                                    a cause fo   r concern. If us              n in the  prop and the
                      e-pl                                         m track wi                       this has been                           oduce oscillatio        form it wasn’t
                                                                                                                                                                                   an issue
    wheels, chrom                             nce. The 190 m                          e and full                          they tend to pr
                          d for in abunda                            4WD shaft driv                      hless system                           ad. As run in kit                       ’! The
          bling is catere                        ifting from the                          times     brus                       ars its ugly he                        and ‘thrup-less
                     e will ensu  re stable dr                            d aid long run             dreaded ‘thru
                                                                                                                     pping’ re                        ed smoothly                            d
     mm wheelbas                                            e friction an                                                             the prop work                          d duration an
                                       inimise drivelin                                              and performed
                                                                                                                       faultlessly,                          e of power an
                     as standard m                                                                                                       d gives a balanc              en require d.
      ball bearings              your chosen ce
                                                                           to see what lu
                                                                                           rked                       great choice an                p to replace wh
               the most from                              en up the diffs                            17t motor is a                ildable, is chea                        Po did the
                         RTR, I de cided first to op rential at the rear was well                     even thou  gh it isn’t rebu          brushless sy    stem and 2s Li
         As the DX is a                       e gear diffe                           ght was                             ted a 4800 kV
                            ed steel activ                            in what I thou                    Only when I fit
            e. The harden                          e factory and            ed hardened st
                        ease st  raight from th              to use a lock
       packed with gr                     r has decided
                       , Thunder Tige
        an odd choice

82 www.rAdiorACeCAr.Com 07/09
                                                                                                                             rrCi feAture

    A complete package ready to drift. Polycarbonate
    shell comes pre-painted and fully loaded with
    drift graphics and chrome detailing

‘thrupping’ become obvious, but this was overkill and really not needed           night hAwk
for entry level drifting.                                                           The Polycarbonate Nissan Z bodyshell comes pre-painted with typical
  Moving to the double wishbone adjustable suspension, this is moulded            drift inspired graphics, chrome exhausts and a very large rear wing. I’ve
from carbon plastic and boasts beefy hub carriers with moulded solid              always been a fan of the Nissan Z and I like the cool way Nissan launched
links setting the camber. This limits the amount of geometry alteration           their new 2009 370Z in the latest ‘Need for Speed – Undercover’ video
possible, but to be honest the DX is pretty dialled straight out of the box       game. It’s the first time an automaker has staged the world premiere of a
and ran side-by-side (literally) with cars costing twice the price during         new car in video-game format, now that’s clever marketing!
testing. It’s built for a long life and hours of trouble free running, so will      The real wow factor is that it’s fitted with LED’s in the headlamp and
take the typical shunts in its stride when you are learning to drift. The rear    tail buckets. These are low power consumption items that are controlled
has slight toe-in, perfect for drifting and you can see that Thunder Tiger        and powered through the receiver directly on the steering and throttle
have tested this set-up thoroughly. Other than playing with different pre-        channels, with the ESC and steering servo plugging directly into the
load spacers on the composite independent oil-filled coil-over shocks,            control box. Cables then plug into the receiver and complete the control
there is nothing else to adjust but thankfully it works perfectly as it is.       circuit. This doesn’t affect the performance of the electrics in any way
  The wheels are ten-spoke chrome plated wide offset rims fitted with             and the box fitted to the top deck is about the same size as a small
hard drift tyres. I must say that of all the drift tyres on the market today,     receiver.
this compound is amongst the best I’ve tested. The DX has been run on               When working the lighting effects are triggered by the throttle and
a variety of surfaces, with consistent results and just a variation in the        brake, flashing the headlamps and taillights, and operating the indicators
amount of throttle used to initiate the drift is the only varying factor. With    showing direction changes and operating the hazards. At dusk it looks
over twelve hours use over three weekends, they are holding up well and           great, and even better in complete darkness. All I need now is some
I wouldn’t hesitate to replace them with the same once worn beyond use.           glow sticks as corner markers to drift around at night. The Thunder Tiger
The 12 mm plastic hexes allow you to fit any drift rim and tyre currently         Sparrowhawk DX attracted quite a crowd in night mode! The gold and
available on the market and a hex bolt secures the wheels. This is a nice         graphite work really well together and I’m sure you will agree, it’s a pretty
touch as too often wheels are held on by cross headed countersunk bolts,          slick looking car in action.
making them easy to strip and damage over time, the beauty of the ones              The rest of the electrics are basic but functional. The Veloci-R
provided is how robust they are.                                                  forwards and reverse ESC is digital and can be programmed for endpoint
                                                                                  adjustment and to disable reverse. The ESC can handle all motors 17t
                                                                                  and above. Being digital it was responsive and gave a smooth throttle
                                                                                  action. The supplied ACE 27 MHz transmitter and receiver were another
                                                                                  weird choice. The transmitter is a stick unit, and these days it’s an odd
                                                                                  choice for a RTR drift car as most newcomers are learning steer wheel
                                                                                  straight off. The transmitter allows servo reversing and worked fine in
                                                                                  testing so long as we kept track of the crystals in use and co-ordinated
                                                                                  our frequency usage.

                                                                                 Left: Hardened steel diffs arrived with twin planetary gear
                                                                                 rear and locked spool front, but they worked better the other
                                                                                 way around!

                                                                                                  07/09 www.rAdiorACeCAr.Com 83
             SpArrowhAwk dX

                                                              10-spoke chrome wheels and drift compound tyres work

Ace Jaguar 27 MHz stick transmitter, receiver and standard
servo work well together
                                                             CArpArk CAperS
                                                               For the first of the three days’ testing we ended up near the NEC in an
                                                             empty overflow car park. The surface here is smooth but not as fine as
                                                             running on a purpose built track. We set-up corner markers and after a
                                                             few minutes getting to grip (or lack thereof!) with the DX, had a series of
                                                             1-on-1 races.
                                                               The Thunder Tiger drifts really well in stock form, the 17t motor spinning
                                                             the wheels with ease and breaking traction straight away. The solid front
                                                             and standard rear diff worked well together and a quick touch on the
                                                             brake all that’s required to unbalance the car ready to initiate a drift
                                                             around the next corner. The steering servo is a standard ACE S1903 and
                                                             is fitted with a combined servo saver and servo horn. It’s not put under
                                                             much load during use but is essential if you have a shunt with another
                                                             car or clip a corner marker. Its response time is perfectly adequate for
                                                             counter-steering and I was often just flicking the steering to initiate a
12 mm hex adaptors                                             After three packs, and at least two hours of continuous use, I was
ensures any 10th scale                                       revelling in every moment with the DX. We ended up weaving in and
wheel fits perfectly                                         out of single parking spaces, playing cat and mouse using the throttle
                                                             to control the radius of each drift. It was easy to just clip the apex and
                                                             have the nose facing as forward as possible into the corner but still stay
                                                             in control. As I said before I was running against a car that cost twice as
                                                             much, running brushless and LiPo.

                                                             on trACk And thingS got triCky
                                                               The next session for the DX was at the Bedworth On-Road track in
                                                             Warwickshire. Now thinking you’re a drift god in a car park is one thing,
                                                             hit a track, with real corners, grass verges and solid corner markers and
                                                             things get a bit trickier! The surface is far finer and actually gave less grip
                                                             than the car park. Much less throttle was used to initiate a drift, and more
                                                             finesse needed to get the correct entry speed and counter-steering. It
                                                             was both an eye opener and a learning curve, but my perciverence paid
                                                             off and after some practice I could make it round the complete track,
                                                               The best way to drift on a track is by using just a short in-field section
                                   Oil filled coil over      as a point-to-point battle. When things go right it’s a joy to behold as in
                                   shocks with pre-load      a 1-to-1 battle, both cars drift in unison and you see them both initiate
                                   adjustment using          a drift into a corner at the same time and then get set-up for the next
                                   spacers allow fine-       corner. When it goes wrong, it’s almost as entertaining to watch and half
                                   tuning                    the battle is trying to get the other driver to make a mistake and give you
                                                             the win. It’s as much a test of nerve as anything else.

  84 www.rAdiorACeCAr.Com 07/09
                                            rrCi feAture

Swapping the diffs
over to put the locked
spool in the rear gave
more control

        RIGHT: The top deck
        adds rigidity to the
        chassis and has built
        in spur cover

                                              Alloy motor mount
                                              ensures perfect mesh
  Carbon plastic                              with the spur and acts
  components built                            as a heatsink for the
  tough, note solid                           motor
  links for steering and
  suspension geometry

                                07/09 www.rAdiorACeCAr.Com 85
                SpArrowhAwk dX

                                                                                                                          QUICK SPEC
                                                                                                                   Class: 1/10th 4WD Drift Spec On Road
                                                                                                                   Type: RTR Electric
                                                                                                                   Manufacturer: Thunder Tiger
                                                                                                                   Price: £199 RRP

                                                                                                                   equipment uSed
                                                                                                                   8 x AA cells for transmitter
                                                                                                                   Ansmann 4600 mAh stick pack

                                                                                                                   No turnbuckles
                                                                                                                   Plastic propshaft

        Chrome light buckets at the front for night action. Twin exhausts and chrome rear
        light buckets add realistic detailing
                                                                                                                   Tyres work perfectly
                                                                                                                   Easy to drift out of the box
  flip reverSe it!                                         keeping everything simple, robust and well made         17t Super Sport motor
    On the final test and back on the car park I           has shown me what fun and value for money entry         Extended run time
  swapped over the diffs, putting the locked spool in      level R/C can be.                                       Ball raced throughout
  the rear and the active diff into the front. What a        In conclusion, great value for money and a            Solid construction
  difference! Much less was required to initiate a drift   competent entry-level drift car. Swap the diffs
  and there seemed much more steering response             around and things improve even more! And if you’re
  and control once in a drift. The same weaving in         contemplating fitting brushless, simply because
  and out of single spaces was effortless and it just
  pushed my enjoyment to that next level. This is
                                                           of the longer run-times and minimal maintenance
                                                           required, get a metal propshaft as your first upgrade
                                                                                                                             Amerang Limited
  one highly recommended modification for the DX           and eliminate the thrup, you won’t regret it.
                                                                                                                              01903 765496
  as you take your first steps in R/C drifting and I’m       It’s dusk here now and I’ve some fresh stick packs
  contemplating locking the front too and seeing if        charged, now if I just find a nice local pub with
  that has any further effect on the performance. I        an empty and smooth car park, plus some fellow
  have other drift cars, and each has its own driving      enthusiasts and a crowd to play to, now that’s drift
  style, but my favourite at the moment isn’t the most     heaven… rrCi
  expensive, but the one that feels the best to drive
  on or off the track and, the DX. Thunder Tiger, by

                                                                                Digital Veloci
                                                                                RS has a
                                                                                17t limit
                                                                                and is fully

ABOVE: All electronics fit neatly on top
deck and in front of motor

  86 www.rAdiorACeCAr.Com 07/09

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