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Hot Bodies, despite the rather dubious sounding name is actually an R/C company responsible for some of the finest R/C cars around today.

The name if you didn't already know comes from their original line of products - car bodies! phew, cleared that one up - let's hope not too many sites blocked this review already, but just for good measure:- strippers, hot laydeeez, bikini madness.

Hot Bodies is nowadays owned by the mighty HPI - Hobby Products International. Indeed, if you look around at the latest HB adverts in magazines and the like, you'll probably see a small "by HPI" logo in the corner, reaffirming the impression that this is the racing-oriented sibling of the much larger HPI, with their (HPI) mostly 'fun based' lineup.


The Hot Bodies Cyclone D4 arrived in an unfeasibly small box which, perversely, opens at the top instead of the bottom – upside down in other words.  The contents are delicately ‘stuffed’ inside, with the main chassis, body shell and other large items running from corner to corner diagonally across the box, and even then the body is a tight squeeze in here.  The idea of course is to minimize on shipping costs.

The Box is proudly emblazoned with their 2006 IFMAR world champions status – of course that was for touring cars, not the dedicated off roader within.

The chassis on the Cyclone D4 is cut from very high quality carbon fibre. The main chassis plate is 2.5mm thick, and both front and rear upper decks are 2mm.

The shock towers on the D4 are also cut from Carbon Fibre, but at 3mm thick they should be good for the job.

The chassis is strong and stiff - though with some flex around the cell cut outs as you might imagine.

The main chassis is first up - and the first job in the build is to seal the edges of the chassis (and indeed you can do ALL the carbon parts at the same time if you like). Sealing the edges is fairly straight forward and involves running a thin bead of super / CA glue around the edges to stop the carbon delaminating, it also makes the carbon a little nicer to handle.

Now, this step isn't entirely necessary and I don't usually do it myself - but I appreciate the benefits. John, who was going to be racing the car, wanted to do it however so I left it to him whilst I paraded around with the camera attempting to trick him into gluing himself to something - which he obligingly did, just to entertain us all (Right).

Using a cotton bud (Q-tip) soaked in thin CA glue, you carefully run along all the edges to seal them - or not, it's up to you!

The chassis with newly sealed (or not) edges is ready for the first build stage. This is to add the centre bulkheads & motor mount, along with the front and rear suspension mounts.

These are all machined from aluminium but unlike much of Hot Bodies other products this is thankfully not anodised purple - instead a more sedate black colour is used. These can and do look a little too understated perhaps.

The suspension mounts have a unique (in my experience) feature - that all the inner hinge pins rest inside rubber mounts! This not only gives the option to change anti-squat angles (at the rear) without changing blocks, but also should absorb impacts to a certain degree without damage.

The rubber bushings need clipping from a sprue and simply push into the large holes in the suspension mounts.

The manual suggests using 'rubber cement' (not provided) to secure the bushings in place, but bushings are flanged and are a nice tight fit in the mounts, so aren't going anywhere - we left them unglued which seems absolutely fine.

The suspension mounts should absorb some shocks
Rubber inserts in the rear suspension mount The front bulkhead is of course alloy and also has rubber bushings

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