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This truck is superficially similar to the Scorpion but it's a bit of a hot rod in comparison. Both derived from the F10 buggy chassis but where the Scorpion had lower gearing and a slower motor to compensate for the bigger wheels, the Thunder Falcon has the same gearing as the buggy and a full fat 27T motor so it is very swift!
Unfortunately, it's also fairly heavy and the motor is almost entirely encased in a plastic dust guard. Not such a problem for the more modest Scorpion but with this truck, it can lead to major heat issues. This is one of the few vehicles I've ever owned where simply using a lipo can allow the motor to cook itself simply because it's already so on the edge thermally with the stock 1600mah nicad.
Allowing the motor to access the greater reserves of current a lipo offers as well as the much longer run times proved to be too much for mine and ironically, the plastic cooling fan inside the motor melted!
The truck is definitely over geared IMO and the motor is thermally suffocated by the dust cover. They are fine if you stick to short runs with the stock 1600mah pack which is essentially acting as a safeguard but lipos are dangerous in stock configuration.
I found removing the dust cover from the motor made a significant difference to running temps but the high gearing still made for a pretty toasty motor, especially if you want to bomb around in dirt and grass etc (which is very much where I like to drive) so I decided to put a brushless motor in! I ended up fitting a 550 size 3100KV motor which has more than enough speed for this basic chassis and also runs as cool as a cucumber compared to the stock 27T brushed. The servo was switched to a generic MG996 clone and the receiver is now a flysky 2.4ghz unit. So far the gears have held up fine which isn't too surprising as the gearbox is as tough as nails if treated sensibly. The transmission is quite similar to a Tamiya Grasshopper style but with metal diff gears and a shock absorbing mechanism built into the spur gear.
I spent a lot of time debating about the styling of this truck. I'm a big fan of cheesy old school rc liveries but at the same time, I could see something altogether more elegant hiding underneath the plethora of stickers and add-ons just waiting to be revealed so in this case, I went with a 'less is more' approach and I have to say, I think it's a pretty gorgeous looking truck!
The only significant mod I'm looking to do is the same as with the Scorpion which is to find some decent oil shocks with a suitable spring rate that suits the weight of the vehicle. I know the cheap 'HSP' 1/16 ones work well on the Grasshopper and Nikko F10 buggy but I fear they may be a little soft for these heavier truck versions.