In the mission looking for handsome 2WD buggy!!!! (A potential shelf queen!) I was online window shopping few weeks ago looking for vintage or scale like sand buggy at several of my favorite R/C website hoping to bump up my collection of handsome looking buggy and something classically look good on racing track..prefer sand dune like buggy. My target of choice would be 1/10 scale TAMIYA HORNET, TAMIYA WILD ONE, lines KYOSHO SCORPION, KYOSHO TOMAHAWK or an alternate BAJA 5B look alike 2WD platform which looks good and also can handle dirt bashing very well with little money to spent on maintenance. Why TAMIYA and KYOSHO brand?...because these company make "good looking realistic" 1980's like off-roader unlike other cheap manufacturer who build their off-roader models looks like a retarded space ship on wheels, glossy and soapy plastic Lexan bodyshell appearance. Unfortunately with brands like TAMIYA and KYOSHO i would ended up paying premium cost for its famous label rather that the raw material: it comes in kit where hand assembly are required, lack of ball bearings, lack of servos, some paints required plus they are not as durable as once thought because classic 2WD frame based on vintage 80's design are fragile (they only look good thats why people collect those)...but if they did make it durable the price will going to burn my pocket way down my shoes rock bottom. Have you guys seen my video of building vintage 1/10 TAMIYA WILD WILLY 2 on my Youtube channel?...cool looking model but pain both assembly and for my wallet. Going 1/5 HPI BAJA 5b? ...ouch that's a month worth my salary. The only cheap good looking sand buggy that could face apocalyptic bashes and crashes available in the market would be 1/12 scale WL-TOYS L959 (HPI BAJA 5b looks alike) but its way too small for my liking and didn't have any driver figurine inside the cockpit...semi realistic scale like sand buggy i would say. The wheel design sucks too, plain plastic looks.
As days passed by i decided to find my luck at GearBest.com online store hoping if any vendor releases any cool looking realistic design off-roader and cheap bash-able 2WD'er for my liking..of course the handsome looks must come first for my collection along side with my existing models such as its rival KYOSHO SAND MASTER in my hangar. After scrolling several pages in the car/truck directory behold i found it!: 1/10 scale HUANQI 739 DESERT BUGGY (Actually it was spelled DESERT TRUCK on the box but i beg to differ..its not a truck! seriously!). First impression ...ahh! okay not bad for $90'ish price: it has the long slender classic 80's sand dune buggy looks with classic style rear tube caged engine compartment, i guess it must be big 540 sized brushed motor, classic buggy tubed roll caged cockpit, there a driver inside and has a wider stances on its wheel base. Nice...finally some R/C company made a real buggy that doesn't look like a space ship! At last!!!! This buggy appeal to those 80's sand dune lover...except what missing was long whipped antenna with little rectangular frame and KC fog lights. Unfortunately it comes with bald cheapy looking wheelsets that was popular trend for racing around the track but that can be fixed later. At the time of its releases GB didn't show much of the internal layout what behind that plastic body lid, details of the electronics, chassis layout and etc so its quite a gamble to buy the unknown. But i place my bet that all the stuff inside should be worth buying because its HUANQI brand which have been around for decade building quality R/C stuff for years....100% bet definitely it comes as integrated electronics like any RTR but it wasn't much an issues for me at all....time to put my cash on it and click the CART button. ........Oh wait! GearBest.com is my long standing major sponsor....lol, looks like i can save up my cash and asked if i could get my hands for test and review, so i decline to test one of their soon to be FPV racing quads for my next review and instead sent me the 1/10 HUANQI 739 DESERT BUGGY which i love the most. 4 days later via DHL express i got my huge box of happiness!! Merry Christmas...to me!! ..arrived just in time before Christmas holidays! As i open the box and unveiled i realized it looks more awesome than as visually pictured on the website..of course the wheels still sucks tough. Still the chassis the design looks very manly and sexy!...very pro alike.
Specification (as describe by vendor/manufacturer)
Model: Desert Buggy (The box says DESERT TRUCK..but its not a truck, very typical manufacturer namings.) Chassis size and builds: 1/10 scale with durable plastics
Chassis build: Durable flexy plastics + common tub design.
Motor: 540 size brushed motor
Steering servo: 1/10 FUTABA size standard with 5 wire servo connected to integrated servo/receiver/esc unit
ESC: Brushed ESC + Integrated electronics board..not sure what Amps rating was.
Radio Receiver: 2 channel 2.4ghz radio + Integrated electronic board
Play time: 10~20 minutes (Depending on throttle management)
Speed (km/h): I don't know..my eyes says its fast.
Control distance: 50m ~ 100m.... (Haven't really push further yet)
Battery details: 7.4v 2000mah (2s Li-on cylinders cell)
1x 1/10 HuanQi 2WD Buggy model
1x USB charger to charge Li-On pack (seriously?..on USB?..i'm not gonna try that)
1x 7.4v 2000mah 2s Li-On battery
1x Pack of plastic rings to adjust shock's spring tension
1x Plastic tools to open the wheel's hex nut
1x Manual book.
Quality, performance and builds.
So i finally got my hands on HUANQI 739 DESERT BUGGY!!! The packaging looks very amateurish much like what you get on any colorful HSP look like packaging and so does any China based design with toy box. If they can do some nice art box like Tamiya does i'm sure this thing sells. After getting the 739 buggy out of the box the models itself does looks spectacular and more tempting than what was displayed on their website. It looks more brutal than depicted via picture online. Most striking feature of this buggy when compare to my other 2WD buggies in my hangar is somewhat it looks bulkier, beefier and more wider stands build for stability and has 'basher' attributes all over it. The front and rear bore cylinder shock are big; not as big as 1/8 scale but it looks like 1/8 but bigger than standard 1/10 scale. It does reminds me of TRAXXAS or BAJA 5b style, the damping and rebound seems to work smooth and nice. I didn't check if it has damping oil or not but i always keep it stock default and save me much tinkering and mods before out to play outdoor with it. The rear wheels units along with gearbox drivetrain system come fully ball bearing except the front wheel which is bushing since it only coasting around freely with no active drivetrains as its only 2WD rear wheel driven. The suspension "A" arms and shock tower seems to be more beefier than what normal 2WD buggy have when compare to my other collection the 2WD 1/10 KYHOSO SAND MASTER and TEAM-C buggy unless it pitted against line of TRAXXAS. The wheel 'dogbone' shaft, wheel hub drive cup, motor mounting, pinion gear are made from metal/steel but the differential cup drive are made from plastic which i suppose to prevent "over torque" tearing the main differential gear from breaking under pressure....breaking the cup drive is more sensible than replacing the expensive differential gear drive i guess is that's what manufacturer tends to protect it for noob basher. The rubber tyre treads has a very grippy pattern which i'm 100% could holds massive amount of traction off-road but the bald boring looking black dish type wheel design doesn't appeal me much, it looks sucks!..that's individual preference when it comes to looks but i knew i had it coming since i only get this 739 because i like the body styling and the wheels pretty much can be replaced since all 1/10 models comes with 12mm wheel adapter for easy swap with any compatible 1/10 scale rims/wheelsets. The rear 2WD main gearbox are at very rear end of the model well 'scaled' caged like a real dune buggy which make it easy to access removing motors and tuning gears without removing the whole body shell to access critical parts at pit stop. 739 come in with standard 540 silver canned size brushed motor which looks like some old MABUCHI clone popularly used on TAMIYA's so i guess you can easily fit TAMIYA super sport motors in it too for upgrades. The manual didn't specified how much "T" turn the motor has but the my 739 bashed videos shows it does has massive amount torque and speed on stock powered with only 2s 7.4v 2000mah Li-On battery pack. The top Lexan plastic type body covering the lower part main chassis is held up by 4x body clips, the top shells fit the lower chassis body like a glove..tight fit which is good since it minimized amount of sand and debris getting into inner chassis to save amount of clean up after much bashing. I must say this is the only buggy i encountered that have such great sealed like body covering chassis out of the box making dirt driving more convenient. The inner chassis exposed some actual RTR type electronics and main battery are located at mid bay for a good CG displacement. To my dismay the integrated electronics box which houses receiver, servo PCB circuit and ESC all on one board is place inside the battery tray which consume almost half of battery tray space leaving small enough to fit small 2s 7.4v 2000mah Li-On battery. If the electronics box located elsewhere outside the tray i'm sure it could fit much bigger, long pack and high capacity battery such as 2200mah~300mah Li-Po pack. The chassis layout is very much solid in construction, robust and bash-able...2WD worthy! Another bum was there no indication how much the internal integrated ESC "A" ratings rated at...everything on the RTR based electronics side and motors have to do some guess work if you need to make some compatibility upgrades in the future. Servo comes with 5 wires instead of 3 which indicates that much of the servo PCB controller is integrated with the receiver and esc all on one single box, hey what do you expect from an RTR unit which manufacturer presume doing that to cut cost than emphasized on modular upgradability. The servo size is compatible to standard FUTABA S1001 type servo which will fit nicely on this chassis. If you think the 739 electronic sucks you can easily upgrade without to much modification of DIY works with no alteration to chassis required, just need to cash in for proper Servo, ESC and radio receiver plug in and off you go to the dirt track. As for me the RTR electronics out of the box works fine for me, good enough to enjoy decent bashes under the sun...i hate to spend too much money for it, if the buggy flies off the ramps nicely its gold enough for my liking. In the past when i was young i made the biggest mistake by upgrading a stock RTR R/C car/trucks/ buggies and etc and dump the stock electronics that was not broken into the bin...man sure i spent thousands on branded electronics labels such as SANWA radio, CASTLE CREATION/LRP/ORION Esc, FUTABA/ HITEC servo all cost triple more than the R/C models itself just to get the feeling of being 'PRO' and not shunned by local community or R/C racer....that was dumb move i did. As i grow old and wiser in R/C i stick to only one golden rule: "Don't fix it if it ain't broken". For driving performance the driver skills matters over equipment. The results over the years after that i successfully stayed cheap and full in my wallet thus allow my hangar grows, lol...that how my hobby flourished. Oh btw other stuff that include inside the box i don't have to mentioned about it because you can watch those in the video i attached below (Unboxing video). Just don't put high hope on the supplied battery charger....USB charger for a big Li-on pack?!...i'm stumped! I'd rather use proper charger to charge that battery using IMAX B6 charger or TURNIGY ACCUCELL 6 for safety reason. Don't go cheap on charger if you want the battery live longer than your household pet.
Another short note about HuanQi brand; for those who didn't know much about this company HuanQi have been around for around a decade in the R/C business so they are pretty much very good at making models and pretty much alive today. During those era the best affordable China quality "cloned" brand to buy was HaiBoxing (HBX), Double Horse, HuanQi, Nanda and Firelap. HSP and Heng Long both compete their own platform while HPI still enjoy their pride before ROVAN kicks in few years later. I had my first 1/18 scale R/C models from HuanQi 10 years ago and it was a direct cloned from X-RAY M18 platform and later bought few mini monster truck based on famous US brand which i forgot what it was. It still has the same smell of plastic resonated 10 ago...i wonder if they still uses the same raw material after almost a decades?. It smells like GOOD YEAR tyre mix with TRAXXAS plastics, lol. One thing that remain the same with HuanQi's was they always come with integrated electronics and their differential cup always give me a low blow. The only good out of it was the chassis...their chassis always tough till the end. OK! lets get beck to out 739 topic.
On the first day around the dirt track with 739 buggy i have to say i'm extremely stunned and surprise how much torque this buggy can pull off with all those stock out of box setup, with a small bumps around the track the 739 can lunge forward jumping the the air as if it was on Brushless motor combos and Li-po pack but it was the other way around. The buggy if properly executed can easily pull wheelies on worn out CEN MINI MADNESS tyres which i swapped earlier to make the 739 buggy looks good in appearance. Its definitely very torquey buggy i can tell it straight away from the way it spew some dirt off the grounds with two wheel pop up flawlessly and as expected some rounds of 'donuts'. The suspension suck up any bumps weaving like water nicely over various surfaces which give me a grin in the face. That was awesome raw of power for un-mods 2WDs! With basher style driving, jumps, drifting around the dirt and few stops to relax my trigger finger i get around a good 14~16 minutes of runtime with supplied Li-on pack. I tighten the slipper clutch plate spring tension around the spur gear to give me extra ummpphh!! power (less spur gear slipping) between the pinion motor and the wheels yes risking possible torque twist around the drive cup soon...it will be. On seconds day i did my usual brawl around the dirt track again with 32 degree tropical heat on sunny noon, my skin tanned but definitely having great time than spending time with my R/C planes because it feels manly to spew around dirts and fog of dust covering the area around the track....feels like a man again. I haven't broke anything yet nor seen any scratches on those white shiny Lexan plastic body shell. Only few minor scraps on the plastic roof, rear skids and bumper but none bend or dent which is good. The only thing i would advice to noob driver who are getting their first 2WD buggy such as the 739 is that this buggy is like a wild untamed stallion. Very bucky and doesn't drive straight because it a 2WD. For Pro or skilled driver thats mean good news.. unstable skiddy rear means it can easily pull some cool moves like drift, donuts, power slides and other cool back throwing maneuvers like in real life 2WD vehicles. 2WD are for skilled driver...4WD's? y'all can go home....oh wait i have bunch of 4WD's too. lol. Oh yeah! 2 days into hard driving the 739 never fail to me happy and always keep me more alert every corner of the track.
After hard session of dirt bashing around the track i manage to check up how's the internal held up to see if any dirt or track debris getting into critical parts of the buggy especially the gearbox, to my surprise after unscrew and remove the gearbox cover there's minimal amount of dirt/sand entered the gearing especially between the main spur and pinion gear tooth, looks clean and no sand grinding can be found. This is great! Of course i did double check the gear case to make sure its well dirt tight before start to roll over the track and yes as mentioned previously you'll need to double check if any screw heads obstructing the gearbox cover from sealing tight. On the internal main chassis there seems to be less amount of dirt/sands went into the chassis despite hard dirt blasting around the track, this attributed to tight fit of Lexan body shell that nicely fit the lower chassis like a glove and completely sealed off any dirt and debris from flung into the internals and avoid doing too much cleanup on the receiver/esc and servo unit. Overall the sealed parts did well to minimized internal cleanup works after enjoying a day around the dirt race track. I really hate to do cleanups on my off-roader especially when they are cluttered with dirt and muds all over places in hard to reach nooks and cranny between suspension and drivetrains ended up spending between 30 minutes to almost an hours to do cleaning via brushing or using air compressor. 4WD models is far tougher to do cleanup overall than 2WD because they have twice complicated drivetrains mechanism to clean up more likely to gunk up some dirt around the diff case bulkheads and transmission between wheels and spurs. Which is why i love 2WD cause it makes thing simple to cleanup and since i only need to mess around the back side of the models and nothing on the front.
Speaking about 2WD transmission, other than being advantages over clean up work, they are also cheap in maintenance, affordable parts replacement and also reduce overall component stress when interacting with each other inside the buggy chassis which makes it more sensible to use it for fun bashing or Pro level racing than 4WD counter part. To to make it simple to explain the differences between 2WD and 4WD below are summary of pros and cons...this facts are derived from my 20 years past experience playing and racing between these platform.
Excellent for beginners driver because driver has more control in straight line driving and cornering without slipping away from intended driving line.
All 4 wheels rotate almost synchronized with each other to allow maximum amount of traction and straight line stability as mention previously.
More grip over various terrains and in slippery situation, less likely to stuck on loose terrains
Complicated drivetrains system, has more moving parts and gears to drive all the wheels. This also means more parts wear and tear and twice more expensive to replace parts than 2WD.
Parts clean up after driving session can be a major headache because dirt/mud and gunk will stick between front and rear drivetrains and more likely to mess around with center spur gear. 50% of marketed 4WD models comes with open air mid chassis spur gear and pinion for easy maintenance but an invitation for trouble since it allow more dirt and debris to grind the gears off.
Because all 4 wheels are connected to common drivetrain source and motor which allow more synchronized movement in all direction, this also leads to high amount of stress or should i say DISTRIBUTED LOAD STRESS especially during cornering and hard landing after major jumps. For example; when the 4WD buggy jumps and land the front wheels will hit the ground first will experience excessive impact or sudden jolt causing the stress load of both front wheel transferred to the front differential drive and then hit back to the spur gear and motor pinion gear within the gearbox unit causing excessive wear to the gear tooth and indirectly affect the rear wheel to dis-synchronized due to no-load as it was still in the air causing gearing slipping....so the back wheel couldn't catch what the front wheel does causing a slip and consequently will damaging the spur gear tooth or worn-out the pinion gear (force feedback i'd say). The difference between front and rear wheel "slip" load can be minimized by the use of "slipper clutch" which commonly found on high end 4WD racing platform especially with bigger models such as race grade 1/10, 1/8 and 1/5 scale but still the "slipper clutch" only minimized or dampen the stress load not as solution to the problem...inherently 4WD drivetrains parts will still wear out more than 2WD counter part. The most replaced part are likely the differential gear, differential cups, dogbone/CVDs and the least will be the slipper pads.
4WD platform are heavy! Even tough if you have a durable 4WD drivetrain the other parts outside the system may bot able to handle its power especially during crashes. The crash inertial force weight of full 4WD chassis will more likely to torn the suspension "A" arms apart, break the chassis and squashed the bodyshell...and lastly you're more likely looking around for missing "dogbone"..its the shaft connected between the differential cup and the wheel hub drive cup.
Of course 4WD more expensive to buy and they don't always looks as sexy and slender as 2WD because the front end nose chassis of 4WD houses bulky bulkhead of front differential gear. So they hardly seen designed to make it look as scale as classis real life dune/desert buggy appearance...nope, hardly.
Not as fast or as powerful as 2WD because the torque power on 4WD are divided into two portion; half goes to the rear wheels and half goes to the front wheels. So the motors have to work harder to propel 4 wheels. ESC Amps rating spec is always much higher than 2WD.
Cheaper to buy, affordable. They always looks good and simple in mechanical which makes it easier for maintenance and less spare parts to spend on.
Ideal for speed, jumping and dirt/muddy bashing because there's not much drivetrains transmission stress between the front and rear wheels (not much drive sync involve). The front wheel can do what ever it wants or take the grunt of heavy impact, the rear wheel doesn't care what the front wheel does and doesn't get consequences what the front does. Both are very independent from each other drive load.
2WD makes cool "Donuts" and skilled "Power slides" around the dirt track for those drive who know how to do it. Skills!
2WD chassis is also lighter which makes it ideal for jumps, airborne and less likely to cause serious damages to other parts inside the buggy is crashed outside the track. Less inertial force on the weight. Which makes the a great fun dirt bashing.
2WD Sand/Desert style buggy always have their main gearbox unit and motors located far rear end of the chassis protected by tube cage which makes it easier for quick hands on maintenance without open and disassemble the whole body especially for quick pit stop maintenance and tuning at the race track.
100% motor torque/power are transferred directly to the 2x rear wheel. Which is why most 2WD models always and easily pull cool wheelies!..where 2 front wheels raise up in the air, super cool!.
Not only they have torque power to wheelie but they also very fast and build up faster speed as it begins to rolls because both front and rear doesn't need to sync their wheel rotational speed parallel. The rear wheel just go rampage at max speed and front wheel just coast around with it.
2WD chassis can carry bigger and longer battery because there's nothing occupied much space around the chassis unlike 4WD where mid section occupied by drive shaft and front bulkhead gear differential case.
2WD slips and swings a lot at rear ends because of too much torque over traction and its hard to keep it driving straight line since the front wheel just coast freely. Will be a bit twitch for beginners to handle. Which is why most 2WD handlers are professional driver and you'll need to be extremely skillful to drive a 2WD.
Stock plastic differential cup always gets stripped/snapped or won off due to immense amount of torque applied between the differential unit and the wheels. A quick cheap upgrade to metal drive cup will permanently fix the problem for those who like to trigger happy the throttle stick.
Unfortunately on the third day of 739 buggy bashing i accidentally broke the differential drive cup, its the thing that look like a cylindrical socket cup that connect 'dogbone' link to the differential gear which helps to connect and make the wheels spins. The small cup socket is made from plastic and more likely to break when you go overboard with the throttle, i guess that was my bad trigger hard on the throttle and bashed the buggy beyond its limit. However its a negligible thing because this parts are more likely to damage first for any bashes which is why require to upgrade to metal/steel drive cup or stock some more parts on it. Consider it luck it was only 2WD, if it was a 4WD i'll get a huge hole in my pocket just to replace all 4x. Well time to order myself a spare parts or an upgrade to steel cup. Like i said its a normal ritual thing for R/C basher to break this part on any bone stock R/C car/truck/ buggy or any ground models if you bash hard enough assume you're new into this thing so don't get bum and be prepared for spare if you do purchase this buggy. The good news is that i found a pair of metal diff cup inside my drawer i assume belong to one of my very old 1/10 scale truck models which i forgot what it was...probably Heng Long, HSP, HBX, Nanda or some cheap bootlegged model i suppose but who cares it works great! I'm back on the track again with improve sturdy and solid cup drive...yeah! On the bad side was physically i get tanned too much under the sun for hanging around the dirt track i ended having sunburn. I need to cool down with this buggy stuff as my aged catch up fast on me, Lol. Well the iconic fast food is just a mile from where i bashed around so a good cold ice creamy OREO slushy will keep me relaxed after all those fun on 739. Now that's fun side of R/C life.
Here are sample of video of i posted on my Youtube channel contain test review on HuanQi 739 1/10 scale 2WD Desert Buggy
- Product gallery: 1/10 HuanQi 739 Desert Buggy
Here are list of reputable vendor/seller which i bought from and also verified by community forum discussion groups. Also i've experienced buying from these places that have good support and services:
1. Seller GearBest.com: HUANQI 739 1:10 Scale 2.4G 2WD Remote Control Short (Buggy) Truck
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
Topic: Rcgroups.com 1/10 DESERT BUGGY HuanQi 739...nice looking basher
To tell you the truth i love this buggy more than other 2WD buggies in my collection because this one looks very bad ass and rugged. Its had this almost flat, broad, lowered looks yet has enough ground clearance to move about on rough bumpy terrains. It also looks like a real dessert buggy of the 80's rival to classic Sand Master, Scorpions, The Hornets, Super Champ, Wild One and other vintage R/C buggy models known before late 1990's.........of wait i forgot that black stock wheel that comes with it sucks hard, i meant it doesn't look good cosmetically = uncool!. So a quick fix by exchanging it with classic chrome wheel i ripped out from CEN MINI MADNESS, poor little guy now using that ugly black wheel. Finally my 739 looks super awesome than KYOSHO and TAMIYA! Despite i broke the plastic differential drive cup on its third day of bashing overall the buggy is much worthy to keep and enjoy, it just needed few dollars for minor fix of upgrade to much durable basher pretty much the same goes when you buy any R/C models with few hicks along the way. I guess my judgment and choices to pick up HuanQi 739 was the right choice this month and glad i didn't throw my bills on premium priced buggy such as TAMIYA or KYOSHO brands...i love both but it doesn't have the fun edge of basher labels on it. The 739 is a basher that looks good and it has all in one package without breaking the bank. For the electronics such as integrated ESC/ Receiver/Servo boards, motor and Servo itself i had no problem or any issues at all and extremely satisfied in stock configuration as it still works great till today at the time of writing...besides i'm not much into serious racing just bashing around the track and enjoy some dirt blasting so i don't mind much about the RTR electronics, it does it job nicely for such price. If i do need to upgrade the chassis does allow to fit easily any high grade performance electronics hardware and motor at your demand. Somewhere in the future (i mean probably in weeks or month) i'd probably will do some extensive mods and refurnishing this 739 buggy into awesome looking off-road vehicle with new paints, stickers, fog lights, metal upgrades and definitely and FPV upgrade for B.L.O.S driving soon. So stay tune for latest updates on my gallery section, my Youtube channel and Twitter for latest development on 739 at random times. If you do get the 739, i'd say "have a dirt blasting time and enjoy the big air!" Cheers..