In a 1/10 scale, Helion
has added the upgraded SCv2 to lineup; the
differences being all about speed. The motor is upgraded from
a 550 Brushed to a Radient Reaktor 3500kv 2 pole sensorless,
slotless. The LiPo
is now a 3S 3000mAh 7-Cell NiMH rechargeable battery pack with High
Current T-Plug. And the gearing is changed from 3.1:1 to
3.4:1. The upgrades will provide a noticeable difference compared
to the Dominus SC sibling with reported speeds in excess of 30mph.
The first thing I considered with this review was the company behind
the product. I want a good deal like the next guy, but if the
is going to break (they all do) and I can't get parts or support, my
money is wasted. The Firelands Group CEO, Mike Gillete saw an
opportunity in the market using his experience as CEO of Horizon
Hobby. Out of that came the Helion brand (among others) and
this Dominus SCv2 review. They are also out of Illinois, along
the other major r/c companies so I feel we are buying from a company on
solid ground, and being in the USA one I could visit if I really felt
the need. That means something to me.
What about support after the purchase? Given there are only two
(Hobby Town or direct) to buy a Helion product, this is a legitimate
consideration. Going down to the local hobby shop isn't an option
you don't have a local Hobby Town near by, so you will be down for a
few days when repairs are required. This leaves you with online
phone support as the only option, which can be fine in most cases; This
is especially true since I found their website
very easy to use for ordering new parts.
are simple and complete, helping with several troubleshooting tips for
the new driver. It also has exactly what you need to understand
the transmitter, ESC, calibration and binding; they even include
video's to make it even easier.
The Helion Dominus SCv2 is a short course 4x4 truck, and it's a crowded
space filled with many choices and price ranges. This vehicle
package finds itself right in the middle to low end of the market in
terms of price at $289.99. If there is value in the
package is what we need to determine, and to date I've run more than 30
battery charges on the truck and have let a handful of people drive it,
including an enthusiastic 7 year old. It is holding up almost perfectly.
improvements to boost performance with the equipped Radient Reaktor
series brushless system in the SCv2, while maintaining entry-level
The stock configuration provides solid top speed performance when the
8.4v 3500mAh NIMH battery is fresh and the decline is only barely
noticeable after about 15 minutes of run time. I find typical run
times around 20 mins of active driving.
Helion also made upgrading simple should you decide to go LiPo.
the motor gear and slipper clutch is a clear plastic cover. This
does help prevent dirt and debris from getting in, but the more I drove
through leaves, sticks and dirt, the more it filled.
For everyday driving around the yard, or even at the track, it will do
it's job nicely. It's also easily removed with a couple of pins,
making cleaning a snap.
ESC is set
from the factory to work with the included transmitter, and no
adjustment was necessary to get started. Included is also 3 built
in protection modes: LVC to protect LiPo's from over-discharge, Thermal
Overload to protect against temperature, and Current Overload which
monitors the components against spikes in Amps.
Here is where the almost perfectly I mentioned above comes into
play. The ESC is secured with double sided tape, which does fair
well with extended all-terrain driving. The ESC was quickly
flopping around under the body and needed a better solution to secure
it, which came in the form of 3M. No harm done.
the receiver is a water resistent box. Secured with two pins and
protected with foam where the wires exit, the box is durable and
resists dirt, debris and water very well.
I have no concerns about the receiver's safety considering the flips,
tumbles, rolls, jumps, water, dirt, dust, sticks and leaves this truck
as thus far encountered.
adjustable, oil filled coil-over suspension is easily adjustable
depending on what you're trying to achieve. The stock
configuration is fine for every day, backyard bashing.
I found the travel to be adequate for everything but the big
jumps. The suspension's durability is right on par. As
evidenced in the video, I've not been all too kind to the truck and
it's held up flawlessly.
When you start exercising the suspensions travel, the bottom of the
truck doesn't stand much of a chance, but I never felt like control was
an issue resulting from suspension. Being independent, it
transitions terrain well and gives the driver respectible confidence.
wheel's are connected by a dual, pillow ball solution and typcial
dog-bone set. These have yet to pop out or break. Again,
they've performed flawlessly.
The wheel's are standard gear, and ripe for an upgrade. Through a
mixture of terrain, including pavement, they've held up well.
That said, the truck has to be driven much differently now than when it
In the dirt, driving has changed from controlled entry and aggressive
exit through turns. It's now trying to manage a controlled drift
or slowing so significantly any advantage is lost. It makes
driving fun for bashing, but not practical if you're racing. Get
new tires if you're going to a track.
the power from the motor and applying it to the wheel's are all-metal
main gears and planetary differentials.
Greased from the factory, these should be the least of your concerns
over the life of the truck. It's a proven, durable setup that
leaves little for you to do with regards to maintenance.
The harder you drive, the more you go in water and mud, the more you'll
want to pull off the case and lubricate them. Simple, strong,
LONG TERM TESTING
Going the Distance
out of the box, it only took charging the battery to start enjoying the
SCv2. I was fully expecting to have to go through the binding
but none of that was necessary. It was ready to go.
I was immediately impressed with the speed on a fully charged NiMh
battery. I can see where 30mph may be attainable with a LiPo
battery. I began with a few straight pavement runs to dial in the
steering trim and get a feel for the throttle. The Reaktor motor
is responsive and the ESC is precise and the transmitter is comfortable
while fitting in large or small hands. The Dominus SCv2 is smooth.
The suspension does a nice job soaking up the bumps on uneven pavement
and transitions well to other terrain. I was initially concerned
it wouldn't hold up, but it did. It's one thing to put the truck
in the hands of an experienced driver, on a groomed track surface, but
the true test comes with inexperienced driver's in the back yard and
Regarding the back yard and beyond, the Dominus is not going everywhere
you point it. It's a short course truck. However, it
handles just about everything I put it through quite well and the
ground clearance is pretty good, making it a solid basher. Given
the multi-terrain driving it is subjected to, cleaning can be a
pain. The simplest way I found to keep the truck tidy is to hook
up a blow gun to my air compressor and carefully blow away the
debris. Flip the truck upside down, tap, blow compressed air and
it stays relatively clean. For a thourough detail, there really
isn't much keeping this from being an easy 30-45 minute disassembly.
In the hands of my 7 year old (among other novice drivers), the truck
not only survived, it thrived. I should have kept count because
there were several times I thought I was in for repairs only to inspect
the results of a crash and find the truck was no worse for the
wear. There was one particular occasion I remember when the
Dominus tumbled end over end at full trottle several times after a
jump. I could not believe the only damage was a slight crack (see
pics below) in the body on one side and a bit crumbled on the other
The pictures here are the most recent pictures, after a couple months
and more than a couple dozen fully charged batteries. The video
is reminiscent of the every day driving this truck experiences.
The Helion Dominus SCv2 continues to impress and is becoming the goto
truck for some quick fun.
Service/Product Support Location: HobbyTown
Firelands Customer Service/Product Support 1233
Libra Drive Lincoln,
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.