2.4GHz radio system Many hop up parts available
Chassis very tunable Exceptional handling
Great looks Stress-Tech parts gaurantee
is only one thing I am concerned about. While the plastic gears
are light, they may not hold up with an after market brushless
has designed an 1/18 scale short course truck that is as much
at home on the race track as it is in your drive way.
Vendetta SC is great for racing. The thing that makes this truck
special is the ability to fine tune the chassis to any race surface.
will discuss what's hidden beneath the hood of the Vendetta SC
as well as the many tuning options.
Name: Vendetta SC Price: $219.99 (price may vary) Length: 12.75" Width: 6.6" Wheelbase: Adjustable 7.25" - 7.5" Motor: 380 VR3 brushed Drive Train: Front and rear differentials Batteries Used: 6 cell NiMH (sold seperately) Radio equipment: Included two channel 2.4GHz Tactic radio,
2.4GHz Tactic TR-324 3-ch receiver, and standard size Tactic TSX200
AA batteries for transmitter
cell 2/3A NiMH battery pack
I removed the Vendetta SC from its box, I noticed a few minor
things. The body wasn't very interesting and the front fenders
rubbed on the front tires. Both of these problems needed to be
taking the photos I applied the extra decals that were included
with the Vendetta SC. They were simple to apply. The sponsor groups
were connected so you don't have to struggle to align them. After
the decals were applied the body was literally transformed. It
went from plain to "dang." It looks great! It's amazing
what some stickers can do.
I need to address the body rubbing the front tires. The adjustable
body posts are secured with clips. I raised the body posts by
one hole and trimmed the front wheel wells. A little of the headlights
had to be trimmed as well but it's not noticeable and still looks
great. The two minor issues are solved.
Vendetta SC has durable front and rear tube style bumpers. Attached
to the rear bumper are two rubber mud flaps. The mud flaps don't
increase performance but they sure do look cool.
plastic frame was well thought out. The plastic used in the bumpers
is flexible and the plastic used in the chassis and suspension
is sturdy. Aluminum is used in some key areas that we will discuss
offers the stress-tech guarantee on many of the plastic parts.
They will send you a free replacement for any Stress-Tech part
that breaks during the first year you own the vehicle. You will
need proof of purchase and there are some limitations. Check out
site for more details.
distribution is great. After installing a six cell battery pack,
I tried to balance the truck. The balance point from left to right
was dead center. The balance point from front to rear was 1/16"
behind center and can be adjusted by battery placement. That's
the Vendetta SC from 12" reminds me of a dead blow hammer.
There is no recoil, the suspension soaks up all the impact.
can tell the Duratrax Vendetta SC will be a decent track performer.
Let's take a closer look inside the truck.
rear top angle
rear top angle
with extra decals
with extra decals
with extra decals
bumper w/ mud flaps
Wheels, tires and drive train
wheels are plastic five spoke and have the appearance of beadlocks.
Scale off road tires with directional tread patterns are glued
to the rims.
vehicles being produced these days have loads of power and require
metal drive trains. As you can imagine, I was a little disappointed
to find plastic gears throughout the vehicle. The majority of
the drive shafts are plastic as well. Although the center drive
shaft is aluminum, the other four drive shafts are plastic with
steel reinforced pins.
longer I thought about this, the more I realized that in this
application, weight was more important than brute strength. Testing
the vehicle is the only way to know for sure, but I'm going to
guess these plastic gears will be plenty strong for this motor/esc
setup. Going brushless however is an entirely different story.
we've already discussed, the spur gear is plastic and uses an
aluminum center drive shaft to transfer the power to the front
and rear differentials. The differentials consist of plastic bevelled
pinion and drive gears. Beveling a gear's teeth creates a larger
contact surface and a more solid mesh. This in turn makes a stronger
the differentials are four plastic bevelled spider gears and plastic
left and right drive gears. The differentials are filled with
grease. All drive components are supported with ball bearings.
shaft w/ U-joint
center drive shaft
am delighted to see Duratrax using a 2.4GHz radio system with
their Vendetta SC truck. 2.4GHz offers a clearer and more secure
operating frequency. The 2.4GHz radio also means no more messing
with matching crystals. Interfering with other racers vehicles
by crossing frequencies is not something you will need to worry
about. That means no more frequency clips stuck to your antenna.
Pistol grip Tactic 2-channel transmitter offers dual rate steering,
steering and throttle trims, and servo reversing.
Tactic 2.4GHz 3-channel receiver is mounted to the plastic battery
hold down with double sided servo tape. The receiver does not
have an exterior antenna, so threading antenna tubes is not necessary.
The receiver comes bound to the transmitter and only requires
the push of a button if rebinding is necessary.
steering servo is a Tactic TSX200 standard sized servo and is
held to the chassis with double sided servo tape. Although there
is not a whole lot of strain on this servo, Duratrax still protects
it with a horn style servo saver. The servo saver mounts directly
to the servo's out drive gear just as a servo horn would. The
servo saver uses a plastic c-shaped spring to protect the servo
gears from any unwanted jarring.
ESC, and Batteries
motor is mounted on the right side of the chassis just behind
the chassis center line and the battery is centered from front
to back on the chassis' right side. All electronics are spaced
well which results in a well balanced vehicle.
"get up and go" of the Vendetta SC comes from a Duratrax
380 sized VR3 brushed motor. An aluminum motor mount holds the
VR3 in place and a metal pinion gear delivers power to the spur
gear. The motor is fitted with a plug that makes it easy to disconnect
it from the ESC. A plastic cover protects the pinion and spur
gears from debris.
DTX ESC7550 electronic speed controller is mounted to the plastic
battery fastener with double sided servo tape. The DTX ESC controls
forward, reverse, and braking power. The on/off switch is clipped
to the rear of the ESC and can easily be moved to the side if
you choose. There are seven cooling fins on the top of the ESC
for efficient heat transfer.
battery tray is on the left side of the chassis and is basically
centered front to back. A plastic fastener slides into the front
bracket and is secured to the rear with one clip. The truck comes
with two different sized foam blocks. These are used to position
the battery securely. The battery can be placed toward the front
or rear of the battery tray. This will help tune the handling
of the short course racing truck.
suspension is similar to many 1/8 scale buggies and truggies.
It is highly tunable and consists of upper and lower A-arms in
the front and lower H-arm with threaded upper links in the rear.
front A-arm suspension uses adjustable ball links to secure the
left and right steering blocks. The balls can be adjusted in and
out (look in the tuning section below) and are held in place with
metal threaded ball retainers. The benefit of threaded ball retainers
is that you can tighten them as the steering blocks wear. This
ensures the suspension remains tight.
rear suspension contains traditional hub carriers. Both front
and rear suspension contain trapped metal pins at the suspension
inner pivot points. Check out the tuning section below for several
suspension handling options.
front and rear blue anodized aluminum shock towers support the
plastic bodied oil filled shocks. The shock caps are aluminum
and the ride height can be set using the plastic spacer clips.
Check the tuning section below to see how the different mounting
positions will effect the truck's handling.
steering linkage had a little too much play so I tightened up
the screws and removed the excess wobble.
Aluminum shock tower
and shock tower
Pillow balls & U-joint
Manual offers many tips for tuning your Vendetta SC for the race
track. The section below will highlight some of those tips however,
the Vendetta SC is not limited to these few adjustments. Many
others can be made and the manual covers them.
wheel base can be adjusted by inserting the clip in front
or behind the rear hub carrier. A shorter wheel base provides
more steering and a longer wheelbase offers more stability.
can be set by adjusting the top pivot ball in front and
the threaded link in the rear. 2 deg negative camber is
a great place to start. A little bit of negative camber
will increase traction in the turns. Positive camber is
usually a bad idea. The idea is to keep as much tread on
the ground as possible.
can be set by inserting the clip spacer in front of or behind
the upper front A-arm. Placing the clip behind the A-arm
decreases caster angle and gives more turn in but will decrease
on-power steering and stability. Increasing caster will
increase on-power steering and straight line stability,
but decrease initial turn in.
the front shocks in different positions changes the handling.
The top outer hole gives more steering and faster suspension
reaction. Top inner hole offers slower steering but smoother
bump handling. The lower outer hole gives more high speed
steering and the lower inner hole gives more slow speed
the rear shocks in different positions changes the handling.
The top outer hole gives more steering, less rear traction.
The top inner hole gives more rear grip, more rear traction.
The lower outer hole gives more steering, less control over
bumps. The lower inner hole gives less steering, smoother
out the manual for more tuning tips like toe in and out, shock oil,
springs, ride height, pinion gears, and front track width. With
all these tuning options the Duratrax Vendetta SC will feel at home
on all types of race tracks.
Vendetta SC looks as if Duratrtax designed it with racing in mind,
but to be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot in the speed
department. After all, how fast can this little VR3 brushed motor
be? Well, I was surprised to see how quickly the Vendetta SC scoots
along. On the dirt track the tires lit up and propelled the 1/18
scale truck over jumps and around corners with authority.
Vendetta turned very quickly. The supplied steering servo has
plenty of torque for this little racer. As I was getting used
to the truck it got a little squirrelly in some areas of the track,
I could tell already I was going to have to make some adjustments
to the tunable suspension.
already trimmed the body's front fenders and it still rubbed the
tires occasionally but nothing to get worried about. The scale
tires hooked up great and supplied plenty of traction.
mud flaps looked cool but I think dirt was bouncing off them and
getting in the chassis. It's not that big a deal but I was concerned
about dirt getting in the empty receiver ports. I think I'll put
some tape over them just in case.
track at Chickasaw Trace was very loose, especially the jumps.
The truck had some difficulty keeping momentum on the loose slopes,
but it was still able to get some air.
were level over the packed slopes and nose heavy on the loose
ones. I was able to keep the nose up by applying full throttle.
This worked well for an hour or so and every jump was predictable.
After an hour and a half of landing jumps with the throttle wide
open, I finally broke the end of a rear diff cup. While packing
up my stuff for the day, I was thinking of how well the truck
handled on the rough track and I was satisfied with the video
footage I was able to get.
waiting for the parts to arrive, I made some necessary adjustments.
knew the first thing I needed to do was lengthen the wheel base.
That was accomplished by simply removing two clips and reinserting
them in front of the lower rear H-arms. The next thing I did was
move the rear shocks inward on the bottom mounts.
the new parts arrived I rebuilt the rear diff and filled it with
silicone grease. I put enough in there to stiffen the diffs movement.
This will also help with straight line performance.
last thing needed was to insert the battery pack in the rearward
position. I am now ready to try the changes made and get some
action shots. Oh, man! It's been raining for days and the track
is still wet!
only option was to find an indoor dirt track. Thankfully Thunder
RC Raceway, an indoor dirt track in Nashville, allowed me to use
their facility to get the needed shots and continue track testing
the Vendetta SC.
indoor track is a seasoned track with tight jumps and hard packed
straights. The Vendetta SC was right at home on this track. The
changes I made were great for this location. The jumps were smooth
and the truck followed a perfect arc making the landings soft
tighter rear diff offered more straight line control and allowed
the rear to slightly brake loose during on throttle cornering.
The truck was handling like a dream! The guys at the track were
getting ready for an oval race so I needed to eventually get out
of the way but, I sure would have liked to have been able to stay
and drive the truck for a few more hours. It was a pleasure to
Vendetta SC surprised me. I did not expect the speed and handling
this short course truck is capable of. Driving the truck was easy
and enjoyable, especially if you have a nice track to drive on.
It was difficult prying my hands from the controller. I was like
a little kid in the toy store with his mother in the background
telling him to put down the toys so they can leave. That little
kid is me, I can drive the Vendetta SC all day long and enjoy
every minute of it.
already offers several hop up parts for the Vendetta SC. If the
diff cup gives me any more trouble I will replace it with their
optional metal parts. Leaving the plastic parts in the truck as
long as possible will save on weight and probably give me faster
lap times, so I will leave the plastic parts alone as long as
they hold up.
that being said, I give the Duratrax Vendetta SC two thumbs up.
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.