Thunder Tiger Bushmaster Buggy Review
There is a new 8th scale bash buggy on the market called the Bushmaster from Thunder Tiger. The Bushmaster comes on a fairly standard 8th scale buggy platform but has some nice scale touches like a roll cage and engine sound module. We’ve had a chance to run a few packs through it, read below to see what we found out.
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 3,850 grams
Motor: Ripper 2000kV brushless
Speed Controller: ACE BLC-100C
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Ace RC 2.4GHz
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: Yes, ESS One
Differential: 3 gear diffs
Slipper Clutch: No
Shocks: Big-bore, metal, oil filled
Screws: Metric, hex
Tires: Thunder Tiger, short course style
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #TTR6410-F112
Wheelie on demand: No (has center diff)
Backflip off ramps: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 4S 6700 LiPO): 40 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC): 17 minutes
Street Price: $579
Primary Competition: Other 8th scale bash oriented off-road buggies.
What’s Needed To Complete: You’ll need 6 AA batteries for the transmitter, a pack for the buggy, and a battery charger.
Set-up Notes: We ran the Bushmaster bone stock. For batteries we used Duratrax AAs in the transmitter and a TrakPower 4S 6700 LiPO to power the buggy. Charging duties were handled by a Hitec X1 Pro.
Handling: You probably recognize the tires on the Bushmaster, they’ve been used for years on various Associated products. While the tires don’t look bad, in fact they sort of have a scale look to them, they hold back the handling on an otherwise great machine. The tires don’t have much side-bite and they don’t work well in grass. Yes, the Bushmaster can get through moderate grass, but you really have to grind through instead of just ripping right along like you could with more aggressive tires. In corners the tires give the buggy some push at entry and they make the rear feel loose. The Bushmaster is an impressive jumper, tending to jump flat and was an absolute joy to catch air with. Much the same could be said in rough sections where the Bushmaster could be pushed at warp speeds without getting too out of shape.
Power: Oh ya, there is loads of power on tap with the Bushmaster. Low end is very strong, it rips right through the mid-range, and its 40 mph top end is more than enough for most bashing. More importantly, if you are looking for “crazy” brushless power, the Bushmaster has it.
It takes just one large body clip to pop the front of the body up. It is hinged on the back making it super easy to get to the chassis. Btw, the body sits on top of the sound module to keep it from slamming down on your fingers while wrenching.
We found the ESS One sound module to be very loud in the Bushmaster. We typically ran the volume at half, or less than half of its full output. Btw, our testers are still big fans of on-board audio, it really adds a nice touch while out bashing.
The a-arms are incredibly thick and the rears even have carbon fiber plates on top. It will take some crazy abuse to break an a-arm on the Bushmaster.
We had a few problems with our review unit, the glue on a couple of tires came loose so keep an eye on them your first few times out, and bring some glue with you. A screw in one of the tie-rods fell out, so like most vehicles, make sure things are tight. We really liked the platform and concept of the Bushmaster, so with a little preventative maintenance you should be good to go.
The Bushmaster has a mix of scale/basher looks that our test crew really liked. It comes with a tough 8th scale drivetrain and was an animal during our bashing sessions.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B The Bushmaster is quick to get going out of the box.
Workability: B+ The flip up top with only a single pin holding the body down makes it quick and easy to get in there and work.
Car Show Rating: B+ Most of the crew digs the look of the Bushmaster. The scale is a good size and the sound system scores points for turning heads when your out bashing.
Bash-A-Bility: A The Thunder Tiger took a serious bashing. Except for some glue, we haven’t been able to break anything else on the vehicle.
Fun Factor: B Bashers like to go everywhere, so being not so great in grass out of the box shaves off a few points, but that can be fixed with some tires. The audio ads to the fun factor as well. It just does not get old when you let it shut down, or pretend you better get out there and roll it over before it dies.
Handling: B It’s good in the air, and can keep up with the competition. It has plenty of power on tap to go big on the track or at the bash spot.
Value: B- $579 is hardly chump change, but for an 1/8th scale vehicle it’s not far off the mark. Keep in mind the sound system ads to the cost, but it’s worth it. Seriously.
Parts Availability: C You probably aren’t going to find Thunder Tiger Bushmaster parts on the pegs at your local shop, so you’ll need to order online. At the time of this review, many common parts were out of stock.
BigSquid Rating: B The Bushmaster has a mix of scale/basher looks that our test crew really liked. It comes with a tough 8th scale drivetrain and was an animal during our bashing sessions. Keep an eye out for parts online, or drop HRP an email and ask about availability.