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WLtoys 12428 ACROSS 2.4GHz 4WD Off Road Vehicle Review

Gearbest has sent us the rather boringly named WLtoys 12428 1/12 off road truck to take a closer look at. Despite the rather boring na...


Gearbest has sent us the rather boringly named WLtoys 12428 1/12 off road truck to take a closer look at. Despite the rather boring name the truck itself looks like a whole load of fun. So let's take a closer look.

Whats in the box?


This is a RTR (Ready to run) kit so it comes with just about everything you need to get running.
  • Controller
  • Charger
  • 7.4v Li-ion battery
  • Truck
  • Instructions.
  • Screw driver and wrench.
The first thing I did was to take a look though the instructions. There are general instructions on how to run the car and maintain it. Importantly it also has a the assembly instructions that will prove invaluable if the car needs to be repaired.
Detailed dis/assembly instructions if you want to strip it down
These are much clearer than the average R.T.R. which usually just has an exploded diagram of the car, so that is a good thing. 
This diagram is not correct.
The manual does have some strange translations though.. especially the electrics.. can you spot what is wrong here? Yep, that's not a charger but a Servo. 
2.4ghz wheel controller for interference free driving
The controller is a wheel type, it is very light and quite small so ideal for younger children. The wheel has foam on it for a comfortable grip and the trigger is easy to reach and is lightly sprung.

4 AA batteries are needed to to power it up, ensuring that is remains light and easy to hold.
Throttle high point?
The controller itself has a steering trim, which is standard but it also has a Throttle dual rate, this allows you to make the car slower by restricting the amount that the throttle will go. Again this is good for younger drivers.  Whilst that is a good thing, there is no steering dual rate, although testing the car it seems to have a lot of throw on both sides, but still I would prefer a steering dual rate over a throttle dual rate.
The mysterious mode button
The controller also has a mysterious mode button.. I imagine it is for binding the transmitter to the receiver, but it comes already binded.
Charge these carefully
The 1500 mah 7.4V (2 cell) lithium Iron battery is a jump up from a standard nimh. Lithium iron batteries are in the same family as the LiPo batteries that many of us use in our race cars, and they can be charged on the lipo setting on a good charger (ensure you plug in the balance lead and set the charger to 2 cell battery).
The included charger, you need to select your region when you order
The battery is charged with a wall charger. (Takes about 90 mins) The one here comes with a European plug, but you can get Gearbest to change the plug for your country. Check the charger for it's voltage, as you can see this is 220-240V, so it is fine for us Europeans. US readers will need a US charger.

I popped the battery on charge and decided to take a closer look at the truck.
Looking good
The truck itself is 1/12 scale, so it is a good size (Height 180mm width 235mm  Length 405 mm) and it looks fantastic! It resembles the current crop of Desert race cars that can be tearing around in the Australian outback or in California. It has the term 'Across' on the panels so I have given it that name as 'WLTOYS 12428 isn't very catchy.

To keep with the scale appearance the Across truck has working led front and roof spot lights.
The little driver will soon be on a thrill ride
Like the real things, this RC version has a cage like frame that has panels attached to it, it also has a little driver and a basic interior (which also acts as a cover).
Soft but for a purpose
The panels are made from lightweight lexan and the frame is made from some very soft plastic. This is actually a good thing for it's intended bashing purpose as it will reduce the chances of breakages. The chassis itself and as it is a frame style buggy, the opposing forces of the chassis parts still make the overall car feel sturdy.
Very cool, like the real cars
The front of the truck has independent suspension. The front shocks are inline and hidden under the bonnet.
I added some threadlock to the grub screw to ensure it stayed in
The rear of the car has a different layout with the car having a solid rear axle which is articulated by a set of links attached to the frame and dampened by two large threaded aluminium shocks.
The dampers look good and are easy to adjust
The shocks themselves seem quite good, although they are not oil damped, I looked at the instructions and there are no o-rings or bladders so other than using a little thick grease to tune the shocks there is not much else you can do to tune them. However, as this is a basher, I think most people will just not be bothered anyway.

The car itself is made with small m2 screws with a cross head pattern. This is different to the norm, but looking at the constriction it seems that they have used these to make the frame and panels look nice and scale. There is a little screwdriver and wheel nut included in the kit, so you can easily disassemble it.
The tyres are beadlocked
The Tyres are good and they feel good with the scientific 'Squeeze' test.
Fully ball raced
As you can see the whole car is ball raced, which will help the car run smoothly.
Universals help steering keep smooth
The drive train as a whole looks promising, the front end has universal drive shafts, to ensure you have smoother cornering, and also do not loose dogbones.
Central gearbox drives the front and the rear
The 4 wheels are turned from a centrally mounted gearbox which turns the front and rear universal prop shafts connected to the robust gear differentials that then spin the wheels.
What is that?
The included motor which powers all of this is a standard 540 size, although if you look there seems to be a rather strange attachment to the end. On further inspection the electrics themselves are not standard hobby grade stuff, but bespoke to the car.

The ESC/Reciever is one unit, and it powers a standard size servo, although this servo uses 5 wires instead of the standard 3 wires. This is probably to keep the costs low, and if it performs well, then it will not be an issue for most people.  The box states that this car has waterproof electrics, personally I am not going to drive it into a lake, but I would take that with a pinch of salt, It may be splash proof lets take it for a spin and find out.

Track test

It was a wet and cold winters morning. Ideal to test this all terrain aspirations of this truck.

With a squeeze of the throttle the Across truck drove away. The speed was pretty good especially for for a truck of it's size. Importantly the throttle control was accurate enough for me to slow down around the corners, and to power out once I passed my imaginary apex.

The steering also felt good, it is obviously proportional and the way in which the car rolls quickly gives a feel for the weight of the car.

We moved out to the muddier parts of the trail, it was time to get this truck dirty. On the flatter mud tracks you could see the trick exhibit a nice amount of torque twist on acceleration. It looked really cool and the car was still easy enough to point in the right direction.

We had fun racing it down the paths and the suspension looked great as the truck soaked up the smaller bumps and landed smoothly when it did catch air. At one point I noticed some large rocks and I had to swerve dramatically and the truck rolled onto its roof.  Infact on higher grip parts you could easily tip the truck over if you quickly transitioned the weight of the truck. It is not an issue, its a characteristic that is indicative of a truck like this with  that combines such a large amount of suspension articulation with speed.

We moved onto much more muddy terrain and the 4WD drive train had no problem tackling the gloopy surface. Mud was spraying everywhere but surprisingly not much was getting on the truck.

The smooth underside of the Across truck ensured that it did not get snagged on any of the roots or rocks on the path. This allowed it to get up to a decent speed making some small rooster trails as it raced around.  We had a few collisions with largish rocks and a rather immovable tree and the Across truck didn't break. (Probably thanks to the soft plastics).  We tried to test the toughness to the limit by launching the truck of a large slab of rock onto the dirt and the truck just took what was thrown at it.


As the test was coming to an end, we had one other thing to test. The Across truck box boasts that it is waterproof. Well as the the truck was dirty we thought we would give it a clean by racing it through some deep puddles. The Across truck had no problem splashing its way through them and it did look great, We did this for a couple of minutes as we tried to get some photos and we had no issues with the truck  So I would say this one is at least splash proof.

Overall

The WLtoys across truck was quite a surprise. It's something a bit different to anything I have driven before and it seemed very capable of racing around on a wide range of surfaces.

One thing I am not keen on is the strange OEM electrics. I was pleasantly surprised on how well they performed, however if one of the elecric components does eventually break, you will have to swap out most of the electrics at the same time. Everything is standard size so things will fit, but it is a shame that cheap standard electrics were not included.

The price is something that should be considered. The WLtoys Across truck is priced in a range between a toy and entry level RC car. So you are getting something that is considerably better than a Toy RC car for only a little bit more.

So overall it is tough, looks good, cheap and it is capable of tacking a wide range of terrains. This makes it a great basher for people who want a cheap RC truck to have some unadulterated mucky fun!

You can buy the 'ACROSS' 1/12 Scale RC Truck from Gearbest (Here)

review 95535561875825052

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