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We Review the Helion Verdikt Electric RC Short Course Truck

The Verdikt is in, and this one is a winner!

This article was originally published in RC Driver’s May 2015 issue.

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Words: Justin Glaze
Photos: Walter Sidas

The Verdict 12SC is one of Helion’s many offerings geared toward entry level RC enthusiasts. It is a compact 1/12-scale platform that is light and easy to transport to your favorite driving destinations. The Verdict comes ready to hit the track with a solid RTR package that makes driving as easy as taking it out of the box, throwing in some batteries and enjoying the ride within minutes. The buggy-like handling makes this a sporty little RC short course truck capable of offering you many driving options. Although you won’t find all of the fancy tuning options found on purebred racing machines, the folks at Helion have set this truck up with a very comfortable balanced driving package that will work for just about any-one. Helion is making a huge step in promoting LiPo battery safety by including a LiPo safe pouch for the included 1500mAh battery. Huge props to Helion for starting new RC drivers off on the right foot!

AT A GLANCE

WHO MAKES IT: Helion
WHO IT’S FOR: Beginner to intermediate drivers
PART NUMBER: HLNA0541
HOW MUCH: $154.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR

PROS
• Easy-to-drive power
• Roll cage protect driver and electronics
• Included LiPo battery safety pouch promote safe battery storage
• Versatile tire compound last a long time
• ESC/steering servo combo looks clean

CONS
• Power switch is a bit tricky to access with the body on
• Lights on the front and rear bumpers look cool but don’t light up

 

REVIEWER’S OPINION

With a proven track record, Helion has once again come out with a fun and reliable basher. The sporty 2WD has a fun, flick- able feel for a great package to start or continue your RC journey. The easy handling characteristics make this a great vehicle to let your buddy try. With its very affordable price point, maybe he will go out and get his own Verdict so you can have double the fun!

TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench
• HRSS-2 2.4 GHz Transmitter
• 1,500 mAh 2s LiPo Battery
• 2S LiPo Balance Charger and power supply
• LiPo safe charging bag

ITEMS NEEDED
• 4 “AA” batteries for the transmitter

ITEMS USED
• 4 “AA” batteries

HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Brushless motor. Once you are totally comfort- able driving with the stock motor, installing a com- patible brushless setup will increase the speeds and thrills. At this time, there aren’t any hop-ups listed directly from Helio

FEATURE BREAKDOWN

CHASSIS
With the body off of the Verdikt, you will notice that it looks a lot like a buggy chassis. This truck lacks the wide chassis style found on many other short course trucks on the market. A very cool feature is the included roll cage. This does a great job of protecting your valuable electronics in extreme driving conditions. The plastic carcass holds up well and strikes a nice balance of strength and low weight. Throw on the cool-looking painted body and this truck looks fast before you even install the battery. Speaking of the battery, Helion located it nice and low in the chassis. How low, you ask. It is accessed from the bot- tom of the vehicle and secured with a plastic pin which has a body clip to keep it in place. One quick tip is to insert the clip from front to back; this ensures that it will not be knocked out as you brush by objects. Several cutouts are located in the vertical sections left and right of the tub-like chassis. This saves weight and introduces added flex to the chassis for more forgiving handling.
• Suspension. Helion built four-wheel inde- pendent suspension into the Verdikt via four coil-over damper shocks. Each shock includes a shiny silver spring and they require very lit- tle to no maintenance to keep working in tip top shape. The shocks themselves are not adjustable and do not contain oil. The shocks mount to the truck’s flexible control arms which have two lower shock mounting posi- tions on all four corners. This is your one opportunity to alter the handling via the inner or outer lower shock locations for your specif- ic driving conditions. Foamless tires mounted on black competition style spoked wheels compliment the suspension action.

STEERING
The Verdikt included a unique steering servo which is built into the ESC as one unit. This keeps things simple, yet main- tains the ability to replace the servo if the need ever arises. If you come across rocks or other objects in your driving environment, there is a servo saver built in so you don’t have to worry about your precision servo inter- nals getting damaged from sud- den hits. The dual bell crank steer- ing system provides smooth action when coupled with the quick speed of the servo. Helion dubs its electronics weather resistant in case the going gets wet. The ESC/ servo combo fits nicely into place in the front of the chassis.

DRIVETRAIN
The Helion Verdikt is delivered stock with a durable gear diff. The sealed gearbox con- tains ball bearings to complete a nice package for an RTR. This gives you a smooth and reliable driving experience. The layout of this vehicle makes removing these parts for maintenance simple for first timers. Composite dog bones bridge the gap from the diff to the
rear wheels, putting the power from the 380 brushed motor to the ground.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES
The rear mud flaps look awesome and keep the roost down while giving the Verdikt a realistic short course look. There is a driver inside the roll cage located on top of the bat- tery compartment and in front of the main power switch. This gives it a really cool look, although the driver’s head could be a little high- er up so that you could see it better through the clear windows of the body. You can order replacement drivers and bodies that come clear, so customizing this truck is a possibility once the stock equipment looks a bit tired from hours of abuse.

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ON THE TRACK
I took the Helion Verdikt 12SC out in a variety of driving situations. First, I made the trek outside for some fun in my driveway. I put out one of those plastic bicycle jumps and drove around several times to get some great air time. While circling around to take more passes at the jump I was able to get the 2WD truck to drift. In these conditions I was able to slide the rear end out like the pros in the full-size Pro 2 Short Course truck series.

The stock motor and smooth drivetrain allowed for a very predictable driving experience on the concrete surface. As I raised my speeds I did have some nasty looking roll-over’s. Each time I ran over to flip the truck back over I was pleased to find no damage. Eventually I was able to thread together a makeshift track consisting of the plastic jump in the middle and several hairpin turns. I spent a few runs out there until I decided to head out into a wooded area in the backyard. On the way out there, I drove the 12SC through the grass. It did struggle there a bit due to the small tires so I decided to just pick it up for the rest of the walk. There are several natural ele- vation changes out back which, with a little massaging with the shovel, are perfect for some jumps. The unique off-camber angle of one of the jumps I made kicked the car a little sideways once airborne. This was no problem, however, as I was able to use the throttle and steering to pitch the truck exactly the way I wanted it to go for smooth landings. It’s amazing how cool it is to watch the Verdikt sail through the air while doing what looked like a dirt bike whip! Of course I had to see how far I could jump this truck so I sailed it off of a four-foot high drop off. Again, there was no damage as the Verdikt came out begging for more.

My next natural obstacle out back was a banked dirt mound which got steeper as it went up. I was able to make a fun, bermed turn out of it. It resembled a quarter pipe of sorts like you would see a skate boarder hit in a skate park. The little Helion jetted up and around with ease thanks to the great punch the 380 brushed motor provides. The car had a small amount of mud in the chassis after driving in the dirt which I quickly wiped off and the electronics held up excellent thanks to the weather resistant rating.

Next up I headed down to the local RC track at RC Madness in Enfield, Connecticut. The indoor off road carpet track offers up plenty of traction and allowed me to test out the Verdikt’s suspension through the high bite turns and jumps. The layout changes frequently and this particular one was very fun and challenging. I was still able to occasionally swing the back end out a bit like I did at my house but typically in this driving situation, the suspension articulated and kept things stable around the corners. The track is set up for 1/10- scale racing but this 1/12-scale truck handled everything with ease. I was able to hit all of the doubles on the track and keep up with some larger vehicles. With a few snags of the track boundaries during the testing phase, the Helion Verdikt held up great with no damage.

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The contents of the box include your standard 4-way wrench, a 1500mAh LiPo battery and a couple of features not seen too often in a vehicle in this price range. The LiPo safe pouch is a huge bonus, as well as the balance charger to ensure your battery stays in good health for many charging cycles. The HRSS-2.1 2.4 GHz radio has a com- fortable grip and thanks to it being dig- ital, you will not have to worry about crossing radio signals with others.
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Helion hit it out of the park with the fit and finish of the chassis and its components. The aggressive tire treads offer versatility for many driving surfaces.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS

DIMENSIONS
LENGTH: 13.54 in.(344mm)
WIDTH: 8.07 in. (205mm)
WHEELBASE: 9.84 in. (250mm)
WEIGHT: 1lb-11.2 oz. (770g)

BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted and cut short course
WHEELS: Black spoked rims
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm hex
TIRES: All terrain

SUSPENSION
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 1-tower, 2-arm, R 1-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Non Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Non Adjustable
WHEELBASE: Non Adjustable
RIDE HEIGHT: Non Adjustable

STEERING
TYPE: Dual bell crank
TOE: Non Adjustable

CHASSIS
TYPE: Long channel
MATERIAL: Composite
THICKNESS: N/A

DRIVETRAIN
TYPE: 2WD
TRANSMISSION: 3-gear rear-mounted
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear diff
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Bearings in gearbox, bushings elsewhere

WRAP UP
Entering the RC hobby is a great activity for people of all ages. With great handling and a small size, this is a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle to bring with you to explore the terrain around town. You are sure to have a blast with this little truck in both on and off-road envi- ronments. The simplicity of the components and the reliability that Helion has become known for will ensure that you have many hours of enjoyment out of the Verdikt 12SC.

LINKS
irelands Group, LLC.
helion-rc.com, (800) 205-6773

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