In case you didn’t notice, the original brushed Dromida 18th Scalers flew off the shelves at local dealers. While the originals were fun to drive and held together well, they were missing one thing- big power. To right that situation Dromida has new versions of all their vehicles with Brushless Power Systems. Do the new vehicles give you a true brushless rush? Do they have too much power? Are they fast enough to really have fun? And more importantly, are they worth the extra cash? Read on to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pics By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4WD
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Motor: 5300kV brushless
Speed Controller: Dromida BL18 25 amp
Radio: Dromida D100 2.4GHz
Differential: Gear diff front and rear
Slipper Clutch: No
Driveshafts: Plastic bones
Gear Ratio: 9.5:1
Shocks: Plastic bodies, oil filled
Servo Saver: On servo output shaft
Battery: 6 cell 1300mAh NiMH
Part Numbers: DB4.18BL #DIDC0055, SC4.18BL #DIDC0051, MT4.18BL #DIDC0052
Warranty: 90 day limited
Front wheel travel: 1.4″
Rear wheel travel: 1.4″
Wheelie on demand: No
Backflip off ramps: Yes
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on stock battery): 25-26 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC): 15 minutes
Street Price: $149 (SC & MT) $169 (DB)
Primary Competition: Associated RC18 series, Helion 18th scalers, etc.
What’s Needed To Complete: Nothing, absolutely everything comes in the box.
Build Quality: We had our bash crew closely exam all three vehicles to see how well they were built. The overall build quality was good but we did find one loose wheel nut and the gear mesh on one of the trucks was a bit on the tight side.
Test Drivers: Iron Mike, Sam The Noob, Jake The Uber Noob, Robbie G, T-Money, and yours truly.
Test Venues: St Louis Dirtburners in St Louis MO, a CostCo parking lot, Washington State Park outside Desoto MO, and a local cul-de-sac.
Set-up Notes: Bone stock is how we ran all the vehicles. We didn’t alter ride-height or even switch out any battery connectors. We did not use the included battery chargers but instead opted to use a TrakPower VR-1 to get the packs ready to go.
Turning: All three of the Dromida’s have a lot of turn-in at corner entry. One of our testers described the Dromidas as “darty”, meaning that a little bit of steering input resulted in a lot of steering. Once past corner entry their cornering characteristics were fine. At mid corner they all behaved quite well and you could pound the throttle at the apex and simply rocket out of a corner.
Jumping: The addition of brushless power not only helps the trucks jump further, but it also makes it easier to make mid-air corrections. They are fairly sensitive to trigger input while airborne, but typically not in a bad way. All three jumped relatively flat but bottomed out hard on big landings due to their soft suspension settings.
Bumps/Whoops: The Dromidas were a bit softly damped for true high speed bomb runs, especially in the rear. The soft damping would have them bouncing a bit more than we would have liked to have seen and on occasion they would swap out their rear ends.
On-Road: The speedy little Dromidas were a blast to drive on-road. They had enough speed to be fun and enough grip and cornering ability to stick with much larger vehicles. The DB and SC had more side-bite which would cause traction rolling on occasion, but all three were great fun blasting around the cul-de-sac.
Grass: With small 18th scale tires and not much ground clearance, you will want to leave grass driving to larger scale vehicles. Yes, you can drive the Dromidas in super short grass, but any taller and they simply get stuck.
Tires: The mini knobbies on the DB and SC got more grip on pavement and hard packed dirt, while the rougher tread on the MT helped it get around better in loam and on grass.
Power: Does the stock brushless powerplant give a true brushless feel? Yes it does. The BL equipped Dromidas have a lot more power than the original brushed versions. Low end felt to be programmed somewhat soft, but it rips through it mid-range and quickly runs out of gearing. Yes, they have plenty of yank for hucking good sized jumps and more than enough power to put out large rooster tails. They are geared conservatively, giving them long runtimes and low electronic temps, tossing a couple of more teeth on the pinion should easily unleash more power as a driver gets more experience. Out of the box they do give a good brushless “rush” through the mid-range, but their low gearing makes them manageable for noobs. If you are an experienced driver or true power freak you will be putting on a larger pinion for more top end.
Radio: The Dromidas come with a fairly standard issue Hobbico RTR radio. We didn’t experience any glitching and the ergonomics were in the ballpark for all of our testers.
Broken Parts: Our test vehicles did a lot of bashing with very little breakage. We broke a couple of hubs and a couple of driveshafts, but relatively speaking they held up well.
The BL series vehicles come with separate servos/escs/receivers. This is great for troubleshooting or for making small upgrades.
Keep an eye on those wheel nuts. The extra rpm and power of the BL systems lead to us find a few loose ones on our test units.
While crashing on a couple of different occasions the battery pack would get tossed from the vehicle. The stock battery tray is slick and the battery bar doesn’t hold the pack tightly enough on high g-force hits.
Best Mod Under: This is an easy one, thicker shock oil front and rear. Shock oil is cheap and stiffening up the damping will make all three vehicles handle better in pretty much every way. As a free mod we would recommend taking the pre-load spacers out of the rear and putting them on the front (or ideally just putting more spaces on the front). Raising the ride height on the front softens up initial turn-in at corners and makes them easier to drive.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Charge up a battery and bash, it doesn’t take much to get the Dromidas going.
Workability: B The Dromidas use a fairly standard layout which makes them easy to work on. However, we sure would like to see them start shipping with metric hex hardware.
Car Show Rating: B Our testers like the new graphics and the general looks of the vehicles. The MT comes with snazzy scale looking wheels and tires while the addition of lights on the DB looked very cool.
Bash-A-Bility: B We broke a few small parts here and there, but overall they held up well.
Fun Factor: B The brushless versions are significantly more fun to drive than their predecessors. The extra bit of raw power did wonders for putting smiles on our tester’s faces.
Handling: B The Dromidas drive well for 18th scalers, among the best in their class.
Value: A The Dromidas rip and have very reasonable street pricing.
Parts Availability: C While there are a lot of dealers that are starting to stock Dromida parts, you still won’t find them in stock on every shelf. However, spare parts are readily available on-line.
BigSquid Rating: B We had a great time driving the brushless Dromidas. Their brushless powerplants are worth the extra cash and they hold together even when slammed into the occasional curb. Overall they are solid little bash machines that we can highly recommend to you.