The iconic Land Rover Defender is an eternal favourite. It’s popularity means there is a good chance you or someone you know is a fan of the boxy utilitarian looks. With production ceasing of the actual vehicle, prices of used models are on the rise, so comfort yourself with the knowledge that you can get your hands the Funtek Raid Adventure, a 1:12th scale model of one for less than £60!
What’s in the box?
Included is the truck itself (measuring 35cm long, 20cm tall and 16.5cm wide), a remote controller, 6v battery, USB charger, bodywork accessories, manual and sticker sheet.
The vehicle is ready-to-run , factory assembled, requiring no further construction to drive, just charge and install the batteries!
Who is it for?
Funtek suggest the car is suited to kids over the age of 8. Definitely keep it away from young children and toddlers due to the small parts. We feel the 1:12th scale model is ideal for hobbyists who want a detailed Defender style body and chassis for not a lot of money (perhaps for painting and posing rather than extreme performance). Or perhaps as a gift that will spent most of its time sat on a desk/shelf where aesthetics are more important.
Constructing the truck
Whilst the truck comes ready-to-run out of the box, we did need to attach some accessories parts to finish the look.
The trim parts are push fit, so attaching them is a simple affair, ours even came with a few spares. If you are having trouble identifying what goes where from the wipers, lights, vents, handles, mirrors and more, take a look at the photos below.
Our kit included a sticker sheet of RAID logo’d decals, but we actually preferred the vehicle without them!
Charging the batteries
The kit includes a USB charger to top up the model battery. From a standard USB port it will take 2 hours to charge a fully-depleted battery.
Once charged the pack is reinstalled under the bonnet with the plug nearest the windscreen. Battery life on this vehicle is reasonable considering the small 700mAh capacity.
Elsewhere the transmitter requires two AA batteries (not included). These are installed in the base of the transmitter and you will need a small cross-head screwdriver to remove the panel.
To turn the model on, slide the red switch on the back of the transmitter to the left, then flick the switch under the nose of the vehicle.
Limitations of ‘Toy Grade’ cars
Both front and rear diffs are locked, linked to the main gearbox via universal joints. Whilst it isn’t like a real defender (rear leaf springs etc) the chassis design is impressive with metal rails running front to rear. However the plastic bearing races, driveshafts and other drivetrain parts aren’t likely to last any extreme use. The electronics are not water-resistant, let alone waterproof, so do not get this model wet.
The hard plastic controller offers the range (2.4Ghz tech) you’d want to control such a small model but it isn’t a great unit. Whilst the transmitter has a multi-point throttle, it very limited steering control. As you rotate the plastic wheel you will feel a click on the endpoints, which results in full left or right lock steering on the model.
With no adjustments on the transmitter, trimming the steering can only be done via the dial by the steering servo on the model itself. Overall the transmitter is the weakest part of the package, limiting your ability to finely control the vehicle.
Raid Adventure on the trails
Whilst the truck is more likely to spend its time in the living room or on the patio, we took it to a local hard-packed trail for some off-road action.
That wheel on the back is ‘fully functional‘ and can be unscrewed and mounted on the axles for use. The tyres themselves are just sat on the wheel beads with no inserts, if anything the sidewalls are a little too stiff for the weight of the vehicle.
If you aren’t fond of the roof rack or snorkel, they can just be pulled off but it will leave divots in the body. Note the only plastic ‘glass’ in the truck is the windscreen, otherwise its open to the elements. The interior is nicely detailed with a textured load bed, two seats a dashboard and a rotating steering wheel (not connected to the actual drive wheels).
The body mouldings, snorkel, roof rack, spare wheel and other plastic accessories make it a lot more ‘scale’ in appearance than some more expensive models! We like how the detailing has continued underneath with mouldings on the pumpkin diff housings and gearbox. Manufacturers take note, we love it when models look real.
The scale-look shocks (in this case just springs) and articulated chassis provide a reasonable amount of travel, allowing the truck to tackle hard-packed tracks, small stones and short grass.
One of the things that attracted us to the model was the mention of LED lights and whilst it is a nice touch (and indicates the model is receiving inputs) they are limited to just the headlights.
On the move the truck picks up a reasonable amount of speed for its size. The issue is the lack of torque, whenever tested by an incline the vehicle sadly slowly grinds to a halt. The motor itself appears to be a 130-sized basic unit which suggests there might be some upgrade potential.
We’d love to see someone tear the electronics out of this and upgrade them with a quality servo and powerful motor, just to see what the standard drive train could handle.
RC Geeks : Defender Fans
You can buy the Funtek Raid Adventure on our webstore today and it includes free delivery. As mentioned you can pickup the truck in open top style (green, yellow or red) as well as the hardtop style pictured (again in green, yellow and red).
If you are interested in a more serious, capable, fully-licensed RC Land Rover Defender, check our hands on review of the Traxxas model, our article about converting it into a brushless monster and the time we fitted a lightbar to it. Then brace your wallet and hit up our webstore!