FMS (Also known as ROCHobby) are the makers of beautiful RC Scale models in low speed crawler style. The 1:12 scale Type82e KommandeurWagen which is a variant of the Volkswagen Beetle, is their latest and the attention to detail on this model is simply amazing.
This car is a departure from the increasingly fast RC cars I've been reviewing recently. Instead with the Kommandeurwagen speed and power is replaced with beautiful form and mechanical function in true scale detail. In simple terms this is a fully proportional scale crawler with immaculate detail, a 2 speed gearbox and scale lighting with all controls from the transmitter. There are many more functions which I'll discuss more below but first lets looks at the key features and what's included.
What's in the box?
Really just the basics here: the beautiful scale car, a 4 channel remote control, a 2s 370mah lipo battery with USB charger and a comprehensive multilingual manual and nut removal tool. It would be unfair for me not to mention the packaging - it ships in a plain cardboard shipper which protects the main package which has beautiful high res matte printed artwork (without the Chinglish!) Inside this sleeve is a high density closed cell foam carry case with sturdy plastic latches. Of course this means your car should arrive safe and sound but it doubles as useful carry / storage case
Only the basics are included
The carry case deserves a pic and will keep your car safe and sound
A closer look at the features
Here is a quick look at the features of this car and my explanation of them in red
Some of the key specs for this car are:
This car is all about the detail so I will review these methodically function by function before I cover off the performance.
Control. For a simple remote there is a lot to cover off so let's get started.
These are good controls for the ESC. Personally I like forward and reverse without brake for crawlers, battery is lipo so the low voltage cut off is appropriate and drag brake on 75%. These are the settings shown on the photos pf my transmitter above.
Suspension. This has been designed with scale mechanics in mind rather than optimal crawling performance. The have faithfully designed trailing arm front and rear suspension without a coil spring in sight keeping it super clean and scale realistic. It performs pretty well all things considered but certainly prioritises scale accuracy over crawler performance
FMS / ROCHobby have gone to a lot of effort to make suspension like this, not because it performs better but because it is true to the car it is based on.
The battery is a standard ROC Hobby 2s lipo 7.4v 380mah unit which is common accross their small scale models and is enough to run the car for around 20 minutes.
Drivetrain. As mentioned in the features, the drivetrain uses 30 stainless steel bearings, enough for every rotating part. All gears and driveshafts are metal which is a nice touch considering it is relatively low powered. Driveshafts are actually CVDs on all 4 corners so you don't have to worry about losing dogbones or about cup wear. The 2 speed mechanical gearbox is a nice addition which allows the 130 motor to power this along well. Diffs are planetary but stiff to allow good traction. Perhaps the coolest features in the driveline though is the rear portal axles - essentially there is another small gearbox in each rear hub that brings the axle away from the wheel axle and increases ground clearance without compromising drive shaft angle. These are usually a premium option on hardcore crawlers so a really interesting option here. My guess is there weren't added with crawling performance in mind but again, commitment to the scale adaption of the original car which has these in the rear. This adds a lot of mechanical complexity to the car including reversing the rear drive shaft mechanically but has been well executed.
Other cool touches. There are too many other cool touches to list so I've made a brief video below to take you through them all. The details is just exquisite.
As I've mentioned many times, this is a scale model first and and RC crawler second. As you can see above it has many cool features to add to the scale performance but how does it perform? Well, you know it's not fast so that really leaves us with crawling. For a 130 motor it actually goes well thanks to the short gearing. Tyres are skinny but grippy. It won't compete with a dedicated crawler but it will surprise you on the surface you can run. I found myself wanting to run on more scale accurate drives rather than tough courses, it feels so much more at home with this car. I've captured a few pictures and videos of where I have run so you can get a feel for the performance with your own eyes.
The FMS / ROCHobby Type82e KommandeurWagen is an expensive 1/12 scale RC car that is only just OK a crawling and with a top speed of 5km/h - you would never make the mistake of thinking it was fast. So why would you but it? Firstly it is an absolutely beautiful replica of the Type82e variant of the VW beetle used in WW2, with this particular paint scheme being from the North African deployment. This alone would not justify the price, it is the design and execution which is second to none and is consistent in quality with what I have seen with other ROCHobby / FMS vehicles. This is not a car for everyone but if you appreciate the look, features and quality then this car would be a worthy addition to your collection.
If you are looking for a discount on this car, I will post any coupon codes or flash sales for it over here on my coupons and discounts page. Remember buying from any of these links supports my page without any cost to you and is appreciated especially since I don't ask for money via patreon and the like. If you want to get involved in this discussion, feel free to join the QuadifyRC Facebook Group Here or like my page below.