Awesome 6×6 Defender crawler

This will definitely go where other Defenders can’t

6x6 radio controlled Defender model

by Neil Watterson |

How about this for a top Defender build? The oversize tyres, the attention to detail and the fact that it is a true 6x6. And it’s 1/10th the size of a real one.

This monster was built by Neil Brooklyn and is the latest of a long line of scale Land Rovers he has built.

‘I was working at Land Rover Experience West Country,’ he tells LRO, ‘and when my youngest was asleep I needed something to do, so I built a radio controlled LRE Defender, based on the vehicle I was driving every day.

‘Since then it’s snowballed and I’ve built over 20 since, including Range Rover Classics, an SVX prototype, Overfinch soft top and four more LRE Defenders. I competed at Trek in 2016 and I made an exact replica of the Defender we used, complete with roof rack and accessories.’

Real Defender and model version of it
Spot the difference – a faithful replica ©Neil Brooklyn

He used existing radio control chassis for the running gear and got the bodies from wherever he could – many were from JSScale Bodies in France, while others, like the Range Rover Sport, were from proprietary models – he simply modified them to fit the chassis.

This new build has a Traxxas 6x6 chassis. ‘Traxxas started making a licenced Defender three or four years ago,’ Neil explains, ‘but the only 6x6 they make is an AMG-bodied one, rather than a Land Rover – so I had to cut-and-shut the body from two Defender models. Apart from the rear bed it’s all standard stuff, just modified to suit.

Rear end of R/C Defender showing spare wheel and jerry can
Admit it, you want one! ©Neil Brooklyn

‘The wheels are just cheapy ones at the moment and we [Red Winches] were considering making some beadlocks for crawlers, so I added them to it – I’ll be replacing them when they come on line – we’ll also start making a range of wheels for the popular models.

‘The tyres are Pro-Line licenced replicas of the BFGoodrich Crawler – and look right, on the portal axles of the 6x6 chassis.’

Top view of 6x6 Defender
Attention to detail is superb ©Neil Brooklyn

That’s where Neil’s attention to detail comes in. ‘I like things to look realistic,’ he continues, ‘you’ll often see some people go over the top with their models, fitting a scale 45-gallon drum on the roof rack – something you just wouldn’t do in real life.’ The detail goes to down to the accessories fitted, from the MaxxTrax and ground anchor lashed down on the rails on the load area cover. He’s even just bought a fid to enable him to try properly splicing 2mm Dyneema rope. But given that he works for Red Winches, why the Warn 8274?

‘We haven’t built a scale version of the Hornet yet,’ he laughs, ‘it’s in the pipeline, but we’ve been that busy making full-size kit, we haven’t had time to make it yet,’

Front end of 6x6 Defender
With working lights it looks almost real ©Neil Brooklyn

Some additional kit has been installed, though, like the Holmes Hobbies steering servo. ‘This gives 50kg of turning force compared to a standard one’s 13kg – it’s the equivalent of running hydro-steer on a challenge truck.

‘The servo can be powered directly from a battery, so it does not affect the other electronics – you can experience what’s called a brown-out where the motor becomes jerky as the servo draws power – that’s eliminated with this one.’

R/C Defender with lights illuminated
This will keep rolling on even when it's dark ©Neil Brooklyn

It looks good, but does he actually get to use it? Well, he runs a charity event raising cash for a local primary school in a disused quarry in Somerset each year. He lays out five 100-gate trails to test the vehicles on and attendees come from as far away as Edinburgh.

This year’s event is on 11-12 September, so if you’ve an interest in radio control crawlers head to Southern Scale Trail to find out more.

And you can find more about crawlers and radio control Land Rovers on Facebook on the Southern Scale Trail or Radio Controlled Green Oval pages.

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