Think you know Short Course? Think again!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s September 2015 issue.
Words: Mark Ronge
Photos: Walter Sidas
The Senton 6S is the newest vehicle in the rapidly growing line of high quality RTR’s that bear the Arrma brand. This beast of a truck is a 1/10-scale 4WD electric short course vehicle, however everything under the body shell is 1/8-scale in nature. That means you get a ridiculous power combination capable of handling up to 6-cell LiPos, but is still brutally fast on a 4-cell setup. Beefy internals from the 1/8 buggy line that Arrma offers ensure the reliability of the truck along with a killer steering servo that will never have to be swapped for anything else. While not the cheapest truck on the market, the Arrma Senton 6S has plenty of value in the build quality and electronics that can stand up to anything you can throw at it. On top of all that, it delivers some of the most fun you will probably ever have when driving a short course truck!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Arrma
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced drivers
PART NUMBER: AR106007
HOW MUCH: $519.99
BUILD TYPE: Kit or RTR
• Built off of an 1/8-scale chassis for supreme durability
• Brushless motor + ESC capable of handling 6-cell LiPo with no mods
• Powerful 208 oz. metal geared servo
• 1/8-scale gears and diffs to handle insane power
• Under body roll cage included as standard equipment
• Plenty of anodized aluminum parts both enhance the structure and looks of the truck
• The ESC’s fan can get a little noisy, especially when handling the truck while it is powered on
The Arrma Senton 6S is seriously some of the most fun I have had in a short course truck in a while. It is not common to get such good performance out of an RTR without having to swap out any of the components. Everything is fantastic from the power system right down to the individual 1/8-scale components (I couldn’t break the thing!). If you can swallow the price tag I can assure you that this will be one of the last short course trucks you will ever need to own.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench L wrenches
• 4-6 Cell LiPo battery • 4 “AA” Batteries for Radio Transmitter
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• Trakpower 6700 mAh 14.8V 90C 4-cell LiPo battery pack
• MaxAmps 5250 mAh 22.2V 60C 6-cell LiPo battery pack
• Duracell Alkaline “AA” batteries
The foundation of the Arrma Senton is a super durable 1/8-scale buggy chassis made out of anodized aluminum measuring at an impressive 3mm of thickness. Because short course bodies are so large, there is plenty of space to mount all of the larger scale electronics with room to spare. I noticed with the Trakpower LiPo pack we used the Senton was balanced perfectly both lengthwise and from side to side which allows for accurate steering control and great handling characteristics. Aside from the chassis there are plenty of supports located throughout the vehicle to protect from both side and top impacts. The composite roll bar has a very unique design that conforms to the body perfectly and in testing when I landed on the body it helped protect all of the components from any danger. The rear bumper is absolutely massive and the front has plenty of flex engineered into the design to help absorb energy on impact. These design features are critical with this truck because with the massive power this thing will put to the ground crashes and hits are nearly impossible to avoid.
What’s great about the Senton riding on a 1/8-scale chassis is that you get all the durability benefits that come with the larger vehicles and heavier duty components to match. A case in point is when you look at these shocks you know Arrma means business with this truck. They are absolutely massive big bore dampers constructed of anodized aluminum components and threaded for quick adjustments to the ride height. With the stock setup they are nice and plush which is perfect for bashing; racers might want to firm up the shocks. Speaking of racing, the Senton already has sway bars equipped to help keep the truck surprisingly flat around the corners. This is nice to see since these are only an option on other trucks. Otherwise you can expect a standard 1/8-style suspension setup with pillow balls used in the front and rears for adjustments to camber and other settings.
One awesome trait about this pillow ball suspension setup is that it allows the truck to have gobs of steering while retaining its durability. Normally I have to fight with short course trucks to get them turning the way I like, but the Senton had the opposite problem. I was often oversteering and had to keep reminding myself to keep a light feel while turning. The truck is equipped with a powerful ADS-15M which is waterproof and capable of pumping out an impressive 208 oz./in. of torque (@ 7.2V). Adjustable turnbuckles allows for easy changes to toe angle. The servo saver is just like full-bred race buggies, fully adjustable and integrated into the dual bellcrank steering setup. The steering rack is made out of anodized aluminum with the slick red color scheme the rest of the truck has. The steering knuckles are also made out of the same aluminum .
What makes the Arrma Senton special is the insane power system it comes with from the factory. The 6S in the name of the truck stands for just what you think, the Senton is capable of running on a 6S LiPo battery with no mods. This is partly accomplished by the brushless ESC/motor combination. The motor is an 1/8-scale sized 2050Kv motor which is very versatile. It can run all sorts of speeds depending on the gearing you run. Of course this motor would not work if it didn’t have a beefy ESC that can handle the 6S power (and is waterproof too). The ESC has a plastic shell that protects it from debris, but I did find that the cooling fan would act funny and make some noises when handling the truck, most likely due to slight flexing in the case. Thankfully when the truck was on the ground these symptoms disappeared and it did its job of keeping the ESC cool. With all this power running through the system, and 1/8-scale drivetrain is mandatory and just like the rest of the truck Arrma delivers. The short course truck has three diffs with the center diff having a steel spur gear to mate with the motor’s pinion. Dogbones connect to the wheel hexes and while they aren’t CVD’s the narrow stature of the truck ensures that they will stay in place.
Since the servo and ESC are waterproof, the 2.4GHz receiver is contained in a waterproof radio box as well. This gives the truck almost full waterproof capability which should allow for running the model in any type of weather situation. The Senton definitely has one of the coolest short course bodies I have seen in a while. There are tons of cooling vents throughout the hood, roof, and rear of the body and they all look like vents you would find in real race trucks, definitely much better looking than the Swiss cheese pattern that I have seen on other bodies. dBoots tires help round out the full package, they are a great all-purpose tire with slightly harder rubber since the tires will be spinning most of the time
ON THE ROAD
I have driven tons of 1/10-scale and 1/8-scale vehicles with massive power systems, but the Arrma Senton is a unique setup with an 1/8- scale buggy crammed inside a 1/10-scale body shell so I didn’t know what to expect. The Senton can handle anywhere from 4 to 6-cell LiPos, so I pulled out the Trakpower pack first since I anticipated this would get the most use long term. Obviously patience isn’t my strong suit so the first thing I did after setting the model down and turning it on was to give the truck full throttle and hang on for the ride. On a grassy surface the combination of the heavy weight of the truck and dBoots tires surprisingly gave me almost full traction after a few feet and I was off and running at full speed in no time. You can tell that the truck’s stock gearing is set up for acceleration rather than top speed (I would estimate the top speed being in the lower 30’s), but don’t let this fool you, the way the truck pulls and gets there in a blink of an eye is what makes this truck so fun. I also appreciated how well the three diffs worked together seamlessly to keep the truck going forward with mini- mal input from my end. The Senton is a breeze to drive!
The Senton handles like a truck in general. It has a slightly higher center of gravity than full race-bred vehicles so I often had traction roll- ing issues on grippy surfaces. Drifting is a breeze on dirt, there is excess steering on tap and the servo had a fast enough transit time to pull off quick corrections (although you will be steering with the throt- tle more while drifting). I am surprised how much steering the Senton has, it is definitely more than you would ever need and helps initiate turns quickly. Otherwise the truck did plow a little with understeer mostly due to the center diff unloading with all the power shooting through the driveline. Whenever I took a turn too hard on pavement or grass, the Senton traction rolled, but always landed on its feet for what it’s worth. The dBoots tires did a pretty good job of gripping on dirt, grass, and pavement and have a harder compound so after shredding tires on pavement I did not see much sign of wear at all. If you want to take this to the track you will need dedicated racing tires.
Jumping the Senton was the only tricky part of driving the truck. The extra airflow the Arrma body provides did cut down on the ballooning tendency many short course trucks have. The problem I had (in all fairness all short course trucks exhibit this) is the smaller wheels made in- air corrections very difficult. That means I had to line up my jumps perfectly before launching to avoid disaster. However, when I did I was reward- ed with a perfectly balanced flight path. I wouldn’t make any changes to the shock oil or spring testing, it seemed to be perfect for jumps launching off ramps and soft enough to soak up the landings. Often there was a healthy chassis slap which is a good sign of a well set-up suspension. While learning how to jump the truck I did have plenty of lawn darts, but the Senton shrugged it off like nothing happened.
After I tested out every aspect of the truck I could think of it was time to try out 6-cell LiPo power. Having gotten used to the 4-cell completely, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want more from the Senton, mainly from the top end. Well right from the get-go the 6-cell LiPo was perfect with the stock gearing. Arrma claims around 45 mph with this setup and that sounds just right. Thankfully the center diff helps transmit most of this power to the ground, otherwise the front wheels would never be touching the ground. Obviously acceleration is still brutal and on any surface other than dirt traction rolling became more pronounced as my speed increased. After running the truck on 6-cell, I checked the motor and ESC and they were surprisingly cool for how hard I was pushing the truck. The entire time I had a smile on my face as it was like driving a nitro short course on steroids. Out of the two battery setups I will be using 6-cell more which is a surprise to me, but the truck retains its easy- to-drive characteristics even with this extreme power setup.
As for a damage report, there was nothing! I slammed this thing into all sorts of barriers with both 4S and 6S power and the worst thing that happened was one time the battery became unplugged. This highlights the strength of 1/8-scale platforms, they are nearly unbreakable.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 22 in. (560mm)
WIDTH: 11.5 in. (292mm)
WHEELBASE: 12.5-12.67 in. (318-322mm)
WEIGHT: 7lbs 15 oz. (3.6kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted and cut short course
WHEELS: 2.2-in. outer diameter short course
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm hex
TIRES: dBoots Sidewinder 2
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 2-tower, 1-arm, (R) 3-tower, 1-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Adjustable ball heights
WHEELBASE: Shim placement
RIDE HEIGHT: Aluminum threaded shocks
MISC: Adjustable caster
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles
MATERIAL: Anodized aluminum
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear diffs
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 10
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 7
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 10
Overall Value: 8
After driving the Arrma Senton I can wholeheartedly give my recommendation on this vehicle. It is tough as nails, insanely fun to drive, and needs nothing out of the box. While I would say the truck is more geared for bashing duties, everything can be tuned to hit the tracks, and a sim- ple tire swap would get this truck competitive. The versa- tility of the Arrma brushless motor is outstanding and the truck is fun at whatever battery pack you end up settling on. I can’t stress enough how fun this truck is to drive, it takes me back to the time when I first started driving hobby-grade RC!