HPI Maverick Scout Review and Video

Recovering from a bout of man-flu I had a bit of time on my hands to try something different. As luck would have it a HPI Maverick Scout...

Recovering from a bout of man-flu I had a bit of time on my hands to try something different. As luck would have it a HPI Maverick Scout came through the post to review.

Rock Crawling has become a popular part of the hobby. From the original scene of custom built rigs that were epic adventures in home custom design this area of 'Slow Fun' has been gaining strides and thanks to Maverick releasing their Scout Crawler, you can now sample this fun without a large outlay or spending weeks beavering away in a workshop.

As you would expect the Scout comes well packaged in a large box. It is a R.T.R (Ready to run) car so it comes with a full set-up to allow you to take it for a drive.
  • Maverick scout
  • Controller
  • Battery
  • Mains Charger
So that's everything you need to run the car, other than some AA batteries for the controller.
The shell is very distinctive and it shows that this Truck means business
As this is a full scale rock crawler the Scout looks very distinctive. It has a small shell that looks like a light off roader with all of the wings cut away to allow a wide range of suspension movement.
The front and rear axles are both locked
To help it climb, it has locked front and rear locked axles, This is essential if you want to put down the torque without the loss of drive that you would get with a differential.
The tyres are soft and have foam inserts
Hanging off the end of the axles are some large 2.2" beadlock wheels that are a standard for serious crawler action. These hold the tyres on steadfastly with locking rims that are held down with 6 screws on each wheel. Fantastic detail and quality for such a low priced kit.
The central gearbox drives the universal joints to the front and rear gearbox.
The 4 wheels are driven via universal joints from the main gearbox. The whole drive train is ball raced so that it is able to run as efficiently as possible.
Everything looks well constructed and assembled on the Maverick Scout!
The main gearbox has a incredible gear ratio of 1:48! that is really low as these types of trucks sacrifice speed for the ability to be able to spin the wheels up in a fraction of a second to pull itself over the rocks.
55t Crawler motor for extra grunt!
The main frame is the heart of the vehicle. The gearbox is set in the middle of the frame and a 55t 540 sized brushed crawler motor delivers the power. This motor is slower than the ones you will find in your average rc kit, but that is because the Scout is all about torque and conquering obstacles, not lap-times or catching air.
The included Crawler esc has lip cut-off and a very strong brake
The motor is driven by the Maverick electronic speed controller. It is for brushed motors and it is made specifically for rock crawling. What this means is that it has a massively strong drag brake. When you release the throttle the car will come to a stop and then hold itself in that position. I am curious to see how it will hold the scout on a large incline as it is pretty heavy.
A strong powerful servo, ready to help you steer out of a ditch!
The steering his handled by a 9KG steering servo, this should help you wiggle the wheels even when stuck in a rut.
2.4ghz Steerwheel radio
Everything is controlled by the MTX-243 2.4ghz wheel radio. This has adjustable throttle and steering trim, channel reverse and also more importantly EPA for steering and throttle. EPA (End point adjustment) allows you to dial out the amount that your steering servo moves. If you want full lock you want to ensure that the servo does not go too far, as it can put unnecessary load on the servo saver or even the servo. Just watch the car steering and when it gets to full lock, if the servo tries to move more just wind back the dial until it stops exactly on full lock.
The receiver is 3 channel, and easy to rebind with it's Bind button.
The other fantastic thing is that it is 2.4ghz. This means that you do not have any issues with interference so friends with other cars can all drive together.
1800 mah how long will a charge last?
The car also comes with a UK plug slow charger and an 1800mah battery.
Check out that suspension movement
The other thing that I must call out is the amazing articulation of the suspension. The long aluminium capped shocks are able to allow a huge range of movement, looks like boulders are the only thing that might stop it.

Changing the shell

I was quite taken with this quirky looking car, but I fancied making it look a little more unique. To do this I decided to fit a more scale looking shell onto the car. I used the HPI Ford Raptor body. I am sure that some crawler experts might baulk at me making the swap, but the shell is only 70g (ish) more heavy than the original shell and in my opinion it looks fantastic.
Body post extenders are easy to fit
To fit it you can just use a set of longer body posts, or body post extenders as it is a little wider than the original shell.
A little trim of some of the mudguards allowed the suspension to still maintain it's movement.
I had to trim a few of the wheel arches a little (like real trucks that are modified). The end result was superb and the HPI shell looked fantastic. I couldn't wait to take it out for its maiden voyage.

Track Test

The Maverick scout looks like it can take on all terrain, but the weather here has been so wet the only RC vehicle I could use outside at the minute would be a boat!

Luckily I live near RC Model shop direct. This venue has become a firm favourite with the drifters in the North West, and they have also installed a large indoor mountain for Rock Crawlers :) So I charged the kit included battery (and a few spares) and travelled over to Leeds to take on the mountain terrain with the Maverick Scout!
Ready to ride the rocks!
When I got there I checked out the indoor assault course. It looked both fantastic and also formidable. I couldn't wait to get started so I switched on the Scout and squeezed the trigger.
Luckily UK roads have safer bridges than this!
The Scout quickly leaped away thanks to its very low gear ratio, it quickly reached it's top speed which was about the same speed as a quick walk (6-8 mph). I approached the track and the Scout just climbed over some rocks as if they were not there and I drove towards the rickety bridge that was the first challenge.

Here I noticed the steering arc, as you would expect the locked front and rear differentials do compromise the steering ability of the Scout. So you have to get used to making a few three (or more) point turns to line yourself up. The bridge was only just about as wide as the wheelbase of the Scout so I took my turn to line it up and gently drove onto it.
The low gearing combined with the responsive controller allowed me to gingerly continue along the bridge, making slow smooth movements. It was not long before the wheels started to slip on a vertical piece of wood one the bridge, stopping my slow assured crawl. I knew what to do and I blipped the throttle and all 4 wheels span up and the front wheels gripped and pulled the Scout over. The only problem was that there was another tough part on the bridge and I was still giving the Scout full beans so it launched itself over and as it landed the rear left wheel was hanging precariously off the bridge.

I wiggled the front wheels and tried to right the Scout but it was too far over and it fell down onto the floor.. So I had managed to travel about 2 metres in about 5 minutes on my first attempt, but I was already hooked.

After a few more attempts and learning more about how far the Scout could balance I managed to defeat the first bridge.
Probably the easiest part of the course
The second bridge was much easier initially, but just as you think you have an easy ride it becomes like a split rope bridge. The Scout however was really balanced and was able to crawl over it with no real problem.
Up and away!
Once you get to the end of the ropes you then have a really steep incline with several jaggedly rocks sticking out. Here I hit the throttle and the Scout just drove up as if nothing was there until I got snagged on one of the outcrops. The scout was leaning over at a crazy angle and it was really disconcerting, but that is because the chassis has a really amazing amount of articulation. I gently put the Scout in reverse and came down the rockface a little to free the front wheel from the outcrop.

The drag brake really shows it's worth here. With no throttle input the car just sits there on the steep surface not going anywhere. This gives you a lot of confidence, so when things start looking a little iffy you can release the trigger and the Scout will obediently stop on the spot.

Once the front wheel was free I then turned the wheels and drove back up the slope in a slightly different angle to avoid the outcrop and the Scout rode over the crest to the upper summits.

I spent ages driving the Scout and taking on the obstacles. I was not timing but I am sure I got around 45 minutes with the kit battery before I swapped it over. The chassis took a lot of abuse as I would become over adventurous and the scout would roll all the way down the mountain and smash onto the rocks below.  The great thing was that I lost all track of time, I was loving the different challenge that rock crawling was giving me, and I was amazed at how capable the car was. I managed to conquer all of the challenges on the course and I spent nearly 5 hours pushing the scout and it never had any issues.

Here is a video of the Maverick Scout in action taking on some of the obstacles.


Rock crawling is something that I have always been interested in trying and the Maverick Scout opened my eyes to the fun that this extreme form of off-roading can provide.
You cannot believe how hard this was!
I cannot say that I am a fan of the included shell, it is more functional than anything, but it is easy to add your own shell and make it look much more realistic, but I find it hard to find any other negatives about this package.

The price is great (UK RRP is £139.99) and the specification is good, and I was able to just get out there and have fun on the track instantly. On close inspection everything was well assembled from the box and I didn't have to tweak anything to get going.. and I am quite picky about these things.

I have been told there are several easy modifications that can be made for the scout so I will do a follow on article soon and see how they fair
The Included shell is distinctive
So overall I am really impressed with it and most importantly I cannot wait to get back out with the Maverick Scout and take on some of the brutal northern country side.

The HPI Maverick Scout is available from all good model shops, check out your local HPI stockists here:
Scout 9022979213777270166

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