Everybody is looking for an affordable basher that can take a beating without falling to pieces. Helion RC’s latest basher to hit market is the Verdikt 12SC. The Verdikt is a 12th scale 2wd short course truck that promises lots of fun for a small amount of cash. Did they hit the mark? Can it take a hard hit without breaking? Does it have enough power to be fun to drive? Keep on reading to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 2wd
Electric or Gas: Electric
Waterproof: Yes, very
Weight: 770 grams
Motor: 380 brushed
Speed Controller: Combined with receiver
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Helion HRSS-2.1 2.4GHz
Slipper Clutch: No
Driveshafts: Plastic bones
Shocks: Friction, plastic bodies
Servo Saver: Yes, in rack
Pinion/Spur Pitch: M0.6
Tires: Helion scale tread
Battery: 1,500 mAh 7.4V 2S LiPo
Part Number: #HLNA0541
Warranty: Limited, 30 days
Front wheel travel: 1″
Rear wheel travel: 1.2″
Wheelie on demand: No
Backflip off ramps: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 25 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC): 11 minutes
Street Price: $154
Primary Competition: No, you won’t be finding a whole bunch of 12 scale short course trucks on the market, so its primary competition is other bash oriented SCTs of different scales around the $150 price point.
What’s Needed To Complete: Just four AA sized batteries for the transmitter.
Build Quality: While we didn’t find anything out of order, we did find excessive slop in several areas.
Test Drivers: Our normal entourage of Sam “The Noob”, Iron Mikeee, Tim Mohr, and yours truly.
Test Venues: Our weather has been awful lately so we tested at a limited amount of venues. Our CostCo parking lot was dry and used for top speed and runtime testing, while we performed all the driving testing at a city park in Arnold Missouri that didn’t have too much snow. For durability testing we used a neighborhood cul-de-sac.
Set-up Notes: The Verdikt was run box stock. We didn’t change anything and ran on the included LiPo battery. We did however skip the included charger, opting instead to use a Radient Ascend.
Turning: The turning is best described as slow and predictable. While it didn’t have a ton of steering, it did go where you pointed it, with a slow servo making sure it didn’t do anything too darty. It did have some on-power understeer, but it was not drastic, if anything it made the truck easier for noobs to drive.
Jumping: Friction shocks plus tires with no foam made for some interesting take-offs and landings. Actually, taking off from a smooth wood ramp wasn’t bad, but landings were always terribly harsh as the truck easily blew through its suspension travel. On bumpier take-offs, say a rough slope at the park, you were never quite sure which way it was going to leap off the peak. We would also like to note, that while its power system has a number of good attributes, it didn’t have enough power to raise the nose of the truck during an endo, or enough brake/tire rotating mass to bring down the nose when tapping the brakes. Once you were in the air, there wasn’t much you could do to level things out.
Bumps/Whoops: Once again, friction shocks and no foam tire inserts are bad news for rough sections. The Verdikt was quite bouncy over small bumps, and uncontrollable over the big stuff.
On-Road: While still a bit on the bouncy side, we had fun driving the Verdikt on-road. It was not “fast” compared brushless RTRs, but it drove relatively predictably, much better than when driven off-road.
Grass: The Verdikt’s low ride height, loose diff, and relatively small tires limit it to short grass. But even in the shortest grass we could find, it still had a hard time gaining speed. If you plan on doing a lot of grass driving look at some of the larger trucks in the Helion line-up.
Tires: Ok, we learned a vital lesson from Helion during this review. Every single reviewer laughed and made fun of the fact that the Verdikt did not come with foam inserts. Ha ha ha we thought, how could they exclude such a basic thing? So here is the scoop. All our of testing was done in wet conditions, extremely wet. If it wasn’t 6″ of standing water, we were trying to drive in 3″ of snow. With a “normal” set of RTR tires, the foam inserts would have constantly been getting saturated with water, meaning we would have to stop, squeeze out the water, then continue driving. The Helion doesn’t come with foam, therefore we never once had to stop to “drain the tires”, which actually turned out quite nice. Tires with no foam isn’t optimal for traction, but it sure was nice not having to constantly stop to get the water out. Oh and btw, the stock tires have a great scale appearance and actually work fine in a variety of conditions.
Power: If you do not know what an “electric type powerband” is, the Verdikt is the very definition. No, it doesn’t have much wattage on tap, but its power delivery is buttery smooth and truly electric. When you give it 1/16 trigger on the transmitter, you get exactly 1/16th of its available power, when you ask for 3/4, it gives you exactly 3/4, with no dips or sudden peaks in the power output. Absolutely smooth, absolutely linear, the powerband was great for noobs while the old farts loved it too. Anyways, for raw power the Verdikt has enough to throw a small roost from a dead stop and its 25 mph top end feels a lot faster than that because of its suspension.
Radio: No frills here, the HRSS-2.1 got the job done without doing anything outstanding. All of our testers thought the ergonomics were quite usable, and we experienced no glitching and solid range.
Broken Parts: Here is where the Verdikt really shines. First we must note that all of our testing took place in temps below 45 degrees F, with our final durability testing taking place at 20 degrees. Typically, 20 degrees means instant death to most plastic parts, but that was not the case with the Verdikt. After our normal testing, our test truck was still in primo shape so it was time to “get Really rough” with it. We started off by driving it full speed into a concrete wall. And… nothing broke. We did it again, and one of the rear light buckets broke off. A slight nuisance, but no big deal. Then we slamming it full speed into the concrete wall 4 more times, resulting in only a cracked front top deck (that had minimal affect on the way it drove). Also, we did crack the body in a couple of spots, but still nothing major. So ok, the Verdikt only has a top speed of 25 mph, so that was probably saving it during the wall slams, so it was time to up the torture factor and end its life. Yay, it was time to do a two story roof jump to pavement! The first huck off the roof was a solid nose dart, with the front of the Verdikt hitting the pavement first. Oh ya, it had to be busted now!!! But no, it drove away like nothing had happened. Time for roof jump number two, there was NO WAY it would drive away from that in 20 degree temps!!! So off the roof it came again, this time landing right on its lid. Wooo Hoooo, we had to have killed it that time!!! But no…. once again the Verdikt drove away with zero breakage (this was from 20 feet high driving off about 10 mph). Ok, time for one more roof jump so we could take it home in a bucket! We launched off the roof a third and final time and landed right on its rear bumper. And like a miracle, it once again drove away with zero issues. Yes, on the last jump we broke part (but not all) of the rear bumper mounts, but otherwise the Verdikt suffered virtually no ill-effects. So there ya go folks, we tried to destroy the Verdikt (in cold temps no less!) and could not do it.
The Verdikt comes with a couple degrees of toe-out and non-adjustable turnbuckles. It “turns out” that it corners pretty well that way.
A LiPo sack comes standard, very nice touch.
Another nice touch is the included Deans/t-style connectors.
Nearly all of our running was in water/mud/snow/muck and the Verdikt proved extremely waterproof.
Btw, don’t even think about possibly making the stock shocks hold oil, it’s not gonna work. In fact, there is a hole big enough in each cap that you can look through and see the shock piston.
12mm hexes are used at the wheels, making it somewhat easier to find replacement wheels/tires.
The Verdikt comes with a little driver figure on the inside, but he sits too low to be seen outside the truck. However, you can just remove the SCT body and body mounts and basically drive around a buggy at no extra charge.
The Verdikt turns better to the right than to the left, keep that it mind when you need to make sharp corners.
Best Mod: Oil shocks ASAP! For you new owners, the center to center length on the front shocks is 57mm, while the rear units are 71mm (for when you go looking for upgrades).
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B Charge up the included LiPo, pop in some AAs and you are ready to bash.
Workability: C Twin spar frames are great for strength but not fun to work on.
Car Show Rating: C The tires, wheels and light buckets had a great scale look. On the other hand, while the graphics on the body were sharp, the shape of the body did not appeal to our test crew, and we would rather have seen a scale realistic type paint scheme instead of a “racer style”.
Bash-A-Bility: A Absolutely top notch, one of the toughest trucks we’ve ever tested. It is a tank.
Fun Factor: A No, the Verdikt isn’t fast, and no it doesn’t handle all the well, but if you are a hardcore basher nothing is more fun than slamming into anything/everything without fear of breaking.
Handling: D While the Verdikt does ok in the corners, its friction shocks and no inserts in its tires can make it quite a handful in the rough.
Value: B The Verdikt is a lot of bashing fun at a measly $154 price point.
Parts Availability: C Parts are only available two ways, via the Helion website or from your local HobbyTown USA location.
BigSquid Rating: B- As it stands, the Verdikt is a set of oil shocks away from being an epic basher. Even with the bouncy stock shocks, it is a great beginner vehicle, takes one heck of a beating, and we can highly recommend it to you.