ECX 1/12 Barrage 4WD 1.9 Scaler Builders Kit Review

Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner

Equipment Used:

- Stock setup for rig

- DX4S and 2ch Spektrum RX

- 2s 2200mah Gens Ace lipo

- Swapped connectors to XT-60

Pros:

- Great quality parts

- Extremely fun to build

- Annoying parts are prebuilt :)

- Nice tires and foams

- Upgraded links

- LEDs included!

- Great ground clearance

- Pre-reamed body

- All tools needed are included

- Final build looks & drives awesomely

Cons:

- Servo is on the weak side

- Turn radius a bit large

- Wish it came with a lipo and not nimh

Intro:

I'm going to start this review the way I do when I review products that fall under a category where you have some really hard core fanatics. I am going to start it by saying, I am NOT a hardcore scaler/crawler guy nor to I claim any expertise in this genre of RC trucks. What I am is a huge fan of most things RC and as such, I like to dabble in all aspects of air and surface products. I do own some rigs that hardcore guys own, but mine one is a stock RTR and the others are kits that I built with maybe a couple upgrades. I have always wanted a smaller crawler, but have always been hesitant based on reviews I've seen or read about them. When ECX released their Barrage RTR, I heard a lot of guys at the local shop saying how great it was. I wanted to get one, but honestly, the one thing that held me back was the color of the stock body. I know I could have bought a clear body to paint, but I didn't want to spend too much on what was going to be my indoor and yard crawler. When the kit was announced, that cleared away my excuse and I placed my preorder with Horizon Hobby.

 

Out of the Box:

As usual, I tracked my package like a maniac until it arrived at my door. As I removed everything from the box, I was extremely pleased that there were lettered bags with sub-bags in them. That usually means that every step of the way is contained in it's own bag. It's a big deal to me because nothing drains precious build time like using a ruler or a pair of calipers to measure hardware to make sure you are using the correct item.

 

I gave the manual a quick read and was happy to see that it was well written and well illustrated. The rest of the equipment includes all the tools you'll need for the build, a small nimh charger and a 900mah nimh battery, and an ECX transmitter and slim receiver. Everything inventoried, it was time to build!

 

As far as differences between the original RTR and the kit, they are according to Horizon Hobby, as follows:

The Kit version differences from the RTR version are motor plate for larger 390 motor (more power and torque), longer axles and housings (alleviates long wheel hex and has less wheel scrub and beter handling), aluminum servo mount (more servo options), 4-point links (improves articulation), aluminum steering links (stronger than plastic), outboard shocks (moved to outside chassis (better handling, articulation, realism and looks).

 

Build:

My build experience consists of an Axial Wraith, Yeti, and SCX10, and a Tamiya Euro Truck. Of those, the Wraith was brutal in putting together the tube chassis, and the Euro Truck was a pain cutting and assembling the body. The SCX10 was pretty straight forward, but it still required you assemble every possible thing that could need assembly.

 

With the Barrage, all of the annoying steps are done for you. The transmission is done for you, the shocks are prebuilt, the links are already assembled, and the body is already cut out and reamed. The wheels and tires are also put together already also. I had planned on doing a build thread on my page, but got through the build so quickly that I didn't really bother. I took some pictures along the way, but nothing too detailed. To be sure, this is an easy kit to build, but if you want to get one for your kid, I would say there are some parts that you'll need to help them with.  A few areas need some strength, and a few others need some finesse in getting the parts together. It is a perfect build for doing together with a child, but also a very pleasurable one for folks like me. Folks with kids, a job, and with very little time for their hobbies! :) To be honest, this is about as much building as I want to do on an RC truck. With a couple of the other kits I've built, there were times when I yelled at the manual saying, "Come on! You could have built that part for me!"  I don't think this rig should take more than a few hours of solid building. Oh, and that detailed manual I mentioned in the unboxing? Well, it is absolutely perfect. There were no points where I had to stop and examine every angle to figure it out. The manual tells you exactly what to do, with exactly what piece of hardware, from exactly which bag you should extract it from. Thus far, I have not seen such a perfect combo of clear instructions and labeled hardware. This in itself saves you a ton of time building...there is virtually no risk of error.

 

Since I painted mine black (Duratrax Metallic Black), I didn't use the window outlines. I just used the grill and light stickers. The other stickers I used were left overs from a Traxxas Platinum Slash.

 

Driving:

Driving the Barrage is as great as I figured it would be. There is some speed there for when you need the wheel speed, and it slows down really well for crawling. The surprisingly high ground clearance keeps you from getting hung up on obstacles that may try to stop your trail run. The Barrage even with the battery is surprisingly light. It wasn't an issue for me, but I am pretty certain the more hardcore guys will want to get some extra weight on it down low. Unlike most other crawlers, I didn't really find the Barrage to be excessively top heavy. The only times we have been able to tip it have been when we have tried to tackle rocky terrain that would prove challenging for even a full 1/10 scale crawler.

 

My son and I have tried the Barrage on a few other types of terrains (you can see some in the video below along with tons of commentary) and this little truck has handled them as well as any other crawler I have driven. As for suspension and shock oil and diff fluid, I won't pretend to know what changing those would do, but I am sure there are guys out there that will adjust these items to their likings. I personally, do not plan on changing much, if anything at all. The servo seems kind of weak, and the turn radius seemed a bit wide, but maybe I am doing something wrong. Maybe the servo just can't hold the steering link hard enough to make the tighter turn. I have too many rigs to upgrade everything all the time, so I am going to leave the stock servo in until it croaks, which may be never. What I do know is that the Barrage drives and handles to my satisfaction, and actually exceeded my expectations. It's a great little rig.

 

Conclusion:

So the main point to any review is to answer the question, "Is it worth it or should I buy it?" The answer? A resounding YES! The Barrage Kit costs $10 less than the normal Barrage RTR and $20 less than the Doomsday version. The price at the time of this review is $179. There is a $10 off sale going on, but I doubt it will last forever. For those $179, you'll get a great looking, great performing 1/12 scale 1.9 crawler that includes everything you need to get started. You can make adjustments to the stock setup or add upgrades to it...or you can just leave it all stock, like I am for now. Either way, the Barrage Kit allows you to take what was already a great product, and make it truly yours. That and it has some improvements over the original Barrage as mentioned above. If you have been considering your first entry to the scaler/crawler world, or if you're like me and want to add another rig to the collection, the ECX Barrage Kit is a fun and awesome way to achieve these goals. Watch our video below, subscribe and Happy Trails!

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at admin@realrcreviews.com.  Also, to catch the latest reviews, follow us on Twitter @RealRCReviews or our facebook page.