Project Mil-Spec: RC4WD Beast 2 6×6 Build

Building the RC4WD Beast 2
It has been just over three years since RC4WD first announced the Beast 2 RC military truck kit and I've wanted one ever since. This isn't your run of the mill scale RC crawler. No, this bad boy features a functional 6x6 drivetrain with cast axles, all metal gears, a two speed transmission you shift from the transmitter, a scale transfer case, and an unbelievably detailed hard body. Speak of which, the Beast's body isn't a single injection molded piece like you're used to seeing on other RC trucks. On the contrary, the Beast body is made up of one hundred separate pieces that require many painstaking hours to glue together. If you're the type that likes to build your own RC kits, the RC4WD is a dream come true. Thanks to the magical powers of Santa, I finally got my hands on a Beast 2 of my very own. So, please follow along as I document my time building the RC4WD Beast 2 with a few upgrades including a custom built interior and a completely hand made anti-aircraft gun for the bed!
The first impression you get of any RC car or truck is from it's box art and the RC4WD Beast 2 doesn't disappoint. From the cool looking helicopters dropping Beasts onto the battlefield, to the mean looking skull biting a sword, the Beast 2's box art has it going on. Thanks to its tightly packed goods, the Beast's box might look a bit too small to fit such a large truck in its interior but once you try to pick it up you'll quickly know that the Beast is waiting inside.
RC4WD Beast 2 Box Art
RC4WD Beast 2 box
RC4WD Beast 2 box dimensions
RC4WD Beast 2 box
Unlike most RC crawlers that have plastic axles, the RC4WD Beast 2 comes equipped with three Yota 2 cast metal axles that feature metal gears, removable diff covers, 8 degree round knuckles, a compact offset front pumpkin and 12mm wheel hexes. They come finished in a glossy black powder coating but I'll be painting them a flat OD green to make them look even more like the real thing.
RC4WD Beast 2 front axle
RC4WD Beast 2 metal front axle
RC4WD Beast 2 front axle before paint
RC4WD Beast 2 middle center axle
RC4WD Beast 2 center axle
Although I removed the diff covers to get a picture of the axle internals, I would suggest that everyone who builds one of these trucks does the same just to be sure that a proper amount of grease was used. Why? Because some buyers have reported that their axles came completely dry from the factory. While that was probably just early production teething problems, taking the diff covers off doesn't take too much time, so why not check them anyway?
RC4WD Beast 2 axle diff gears grease
The RC4WD Beast 2 includes the pre-assembled scale R3 transmission. What makes this transmission so cool is that it has two speeds that can be shifted from your 3 channel radio transmitter. Although the Beast will never be a speed demon, the two speed allows you to have one super low gear for crawling, as well as a second gear for those times when a little more speed is needed. It also features all steel internal gears, a delrin spur gear and a slipper clutch.
RC4WD Beast 2 2 speed transmission
RC4WD Beast 2 metal transmission
RC4WD Beast 2 aluminum transmission
RC4WD Beast 2 slipper clutch
In these two photos you get a better look at the what makes the RC4WD Beast's 2 speed transmission tick.
RC4WD Beast 2 transmission gears
RC4WD Beast 2 steel transmission gears
Much like a real truck, power from the Beast's transmission is transferred through a shaft to a transfer case and then out to the axles. The Beast 2 features a Triton transfer case with a scale cast metal case and steel gears. Just like the rest of the truck, the Triton comes packed with ball bearings.
RC4WD Beast 2 transfer case
RC4WD Beast 2 steel transfer case gears
RC4WD Beast 2 metal transfer case
One of the things that really lured me to the RC4WD Beast 2 is its gorgeous wheel and tire package. While many other RC trucks come equipped with wheels and tires that are way too aggressive and cartoonish looking, the Beast 2 features a nice set of aluminum wheels wrapped in scale military truck tires. The Beast's Humvee wheels feature an internal beadlock design to keep the Mil-Spec tires in place without having to be annoyed with the mess of CA glue.
RC4WD Beast 2 tires
RC4WD Beast 2 mil spec tires
RC4WD Beast 2 tire tread pattern
RC4WD Beast 2 1.9 tires
RC4WD Beast 2 wheels and tires
RC4WD Beast 2 1.9" wheels and tires
RC4WD Beast 2 aluminum wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 beadlock wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 back of wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 beadlock rings
To keep those tires in contact with the rocks, the Beast 2 comes equipped with six billet aluminum oil filled shocks with dual springs, threaded bodies, and steel shafts. Like the axles, transmission and transfer case, the Beast's shocks come pre-assembled. All you have to do is fill them with the included 35w shock oil.
RC4WD Beast 2 shocks
RC4WD Beast 2 aluminum shocks
The chassis of the RC4WD Beast 2 military truck is comprised of twin aluminum frame rails that are connected by multiple aluminum cross braces and a billet aluminum transfer case mount. All of the chassis parts come finished in a beautiful satin black powder coating but as with the axles, I will be painting the entire chassis in an olive drab green to give it that scale look.
RC4WD Beast 2 aluminum chassis rails
RC4WD Beast 2 chassis
RC4WD Beast 2 battery tray
RC4WD Beast 2
The first problem I came across while building the Beast 2's chassis is that the steering servo mount appeared to be machined wrong. When assembled according to the manual, one of the servo mounts would sit at an angle. See the first photo below to see what I mean. After some investigating, the problem turned out to be that the servo mount was cut too short. To alleviate the problem, I filed a thin washer down so that it would fit in the opening in the chassis. This spaced the servo mount out enough so it would sit correctly. Considering the cost of this truck, it is pretty disappointing to see quality control issues like this. If we had no other problems with the truck from here on, we'd chalk it up to a fluke. Sadly, that wasn't the case.
RC4WD Beast 2 servo mount problems
RC4WD Beast 2 servo mount fix
For those who also have this problem, here is the fix. A thin washer was filed so it fits in the hole in the chassis. This acts as a spacer to make up for the improper length of the servo mount.
RC4WD Beast 2 servo mount
RC4WD Beast 2 chassis assembly
RC4WD Beast 2 chassis
RC4WD Beast 2 body mounts
RC4WD Beast 2 chassis front
RC4WD Beast 2 bed mounts
RC4WD Beast 2 suspension mounts
RC4WD Beast 2 shock mount towers
Here are all of the Beast 2's aluminum suspension and steering links assembled. Like the rest of this truck, they'll be getting a coat of OD green.
RC4WD Beast 2 suspension links
At the rear of the RC4WD Beast 2 chassis is an aluminum battery mounting plate. It is machined to accept the included velcro straps that making battery mounting as easy as can be. If you are planning on using this battery mounting method, you'll need to get a battery that has low profile or side exit wires, otherwise they'll interfere with the bed. I am planning to mount my battery in the rear of the cab along with the rest of the electronics. More on that later.
RC4WD Beast 2
After completing the assembly of the basic chassis and suspension components, it was time to starting painting everything. All of the parts were lightly sanded and then primed before applying a few thin coats of OD green paint. The key to any paint job is the preparation so you'll want to sand all those little nooks and crannies with 200 grit sandpaper to give the paint something to bite on to. Also, if you aren't going to completely disassemble everything and paint each part separately, you'll want to pay close attention to masking all of the shafts and bearings so they don't get covered in paint.
RC4WD Beast 2 painting the axles
RC4WD Beast 2 painted axles
RC4WD Beast 2 od green axles
RC4WD Beast 2 olive drab green
RC4WD Beast 2 flat green
RC4WD Beast 2 link mounts painted
RC4WD Beast 2 links painted
RC4WD Beast 2 painted transmission
RC4WD Beast 2 painted transfer case
After everything was painted, it was time to assemble the remaining components into a rolling chassis. Here is a photo of the suspension link mounts bolted to the axles. Like the chassis components, all of the RC4WD Beast's suspension parts are machined from aluminum.
RC4WD Beast 2 axles link mounts
RC4WD Beast 2 painted
Each of the Beast's wheels require assembly with twenty tiny screws and nuts that will leave your hands aching for days. Just pay close attention to how the tire bead sits in the internal beadlock ring otherwise you'll be pulling them back apart. Don't ask me how I know.
RC4WD Beast 2 painted wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 assembled wheels and tires
RC4WD Beast 2 wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 green wheels
RC4WD Beast 2 wheels screws
RC4WD Beast 2 rear wheels
RC4WD Beast 2
RC4WD Beast 2
The second problem I had while assembling the RC4WD Beast 2 was that one of the electronics mounting plate screw holes was stripped from the factory. To fix it I carefully drilled the hole slightly deeper, threaded it with a tap and used a good bit of thread lock to keep things secure. Again, this is a quality control issue that shouldn't be happening with a kit of this caliber. Speaking of thread lock, RC4WD includes a little tube of thread lock with this kit. It may not look like much but it's more than enough to assemble everything. I'd suggest using it anywhere there is metal to metal contact except for screws that are secured with a locknut.
RC4WD Beast 2 problems
RC4WD Beast 2
When assembling the the chassis, pay close attention to the length of the shocks and shock mounts. The two front shocks and mounts are longer than the rest. Here they are installed on the completed chassis along with the axles and suspension links.
RC4WD Beast 2 assembled suspension
RC4WD Beast 2 rear axles
front axle  RC4WD Beast 2
RC4WD Beast 2
The only parts on the truck that didn't get the OD green paint treatment were the shocks. I planned on painted them as well but their design made that tough. Because these shocks have a dual spring design, there is a spacer between the springs that slides up and down the shock body. If I had painted them, the spacers would bind and eventually they'd scrape all of the paint off the shocks, leaving a less than stellar appearance.
RC4WD Beast 2 shocks
In this photo you get another look at the Beast's axles. It comes equipped with standard 12mm drive hexes that allow you to run just about every 1.9" RC crawler wheel on the market today. While I can't imagine swapping out the sweet Mil-Spec wheels that come with the kit, it is nice to have options. Unfortunately our truck was missing a drive pin behind the pre-installed drive hexes. Strike three.
RC4WD Beast 2 rear shocks
RC4WD Beast 2 oil filled shocks
Here is the RC4WD Beast 2 rolling chassis painted and assembled. It may not look like much but between sanding, priming, painting and assembly, this took quite a bit of time to accomplish. Now on for the fun part, building that gorgeous body!
RC4WD Beast 2 roller
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
The RC4WD Beast 2 includes a stunning hard plastic body that is comprised of 100 pieces. Assembly starts off with just a few pieces needing to be glued together but in no time it starts looking like a real truck.
RC4WD Beast 2 body assembly
Both sides of the Beast 2 windows come covered in film so they don't get painted. Or at least they should. For some odd reason, only one side of my windows had this film on them. So, as you can see, I had to do a little masking.
RC4WD Beast 2 windshields
To assemble the body you'll need to glue everything together. At first I planned on using some ordinary model glue or even CA glue but after doing some research I found that the best solution is using Plastruct Plastic Weld. This stuff isn't like regular glue. It's actually a solvent that melts the plastic together for a super strong bond. One little bottle of Plastic Weld is enough for the entire truck but if you're planning on assembling a lot of bodies like this or doing any type of work with styrene, you can buy giant cans of a chemical called Methyl Ethyl Ketone (M.E.K.) at your local hardware store for a much lower price per ounce. It's basically the same stuff as Plastic Weld and in my opinion works just as well.
RC4WD Beast 2 body glue
RC4WD Beast 2 body assembly instructions
RC4WD Beast 2 gluing body together
RC4WD Beast 2 styrene body
RC4WD Beast 2 body
RC4WD Beast 2
RC4WD Beast 2 fender wells
Before assembling the wheel wells, make sure you get that latch set up correctly because one of the screws is held in place by a locknut which is inside the wheel well. Once that wheel well is glued in place there is no getting to that nut.
RC4WD Beast 2 body cab latch
Although the Beast 2 body looks amazing, its interior can really use some work. In stock form there is a sheet of plastic that goes through the middle of the interior that makes building a scale interior a tough job. That's why I chose to cut most of that plastic away and build my interior so it looks more like the real thing. Unfortunately the motor and steering servo sit right below this area so a little creative building is necessary. Here is a photo of the first version of the I came up with. After cutting the stock plastic away, I added a custom floor pan and an area for the seats to mount, both made from styrene sheets.
RC4WD Beast 2 interior mods
RC4WD Beast 2 body upgrades
RC4WD Beast 2 roof
RC4WD Beast 2 roof
The hinges for the roof hatch are made of up 15 separate pieces, not including the metal hinge pins, that have to be carefully glued in place. You'll want to be sure that everything is lined up so the hinge pins slide in place without binding before the glue cures.
RC4WD Beast 2 roof hatch
Here is the Beast's front grill all assembled. I would suggest painting behind the grill before gluing it in place because that will be tough to do down the road. The truck also includes an RC4WD logo for the center of the grill that I chose not to install because I thought it looked cleaner this way. The hinges that hold the cab to frame are screwed to the large front grill so make sure it's well secured.
RC4WD Beast 2 grill
This was my first look at the cab mounted on the rolling chassis and I was stoked! I think this truck would look awesome even without the bed in place. I guess we have to keep it this way because our truck is missing more parts!
RC4WD Beast 2 assembled cab
RC4WD Beast 2 cab
The full size truck that the Beast 2 is based on, the MAN KAT 1, has a regular bucket seat for the driver and a bench seat for the passengers. The first version of my interior wouldn't allow this design so I ripped everything out and started over. This time I installed the motor and steering servo so I could figure out how much clearance I needed and I got to work.
RC4WD Beast 2 motor
I made a new top plate that covers the servo and left enough room for the motor. A curved top piece to cover the motor will be built at a later time.
RC4WD Beast 2 motor cover
With the cab mostly assembled I decided to jump on building the bed. Then my fourth and biggest problem came to light. My Beast 2 kit was missing the bed sides and the bottom mounting rails which meant I couldn't continue the build until getting a hold of RC4WD for replacements. After contacting them about the problem, they sent me the missing pieces so I could get back to work. Sadly, this process took a solid three weeks and was a total bummer. If you've been keeping score, we've had a incorrectly machined servo mount, stripped screw hole, missing drive pin and now a number of missing body parts. That's just unacceptable in my book. As much as I loved building this kit, I just can't recommend RC4WD kits until these quality control issues are resolved.
RC4WD Beast 2 missing bed pieces
RC4WD Beast 2 missing parts
This is what the bed looks like with the main components assembled. The floor of my bed was actually a bit too long and took some sanding to get everything to fit nicely.
RC4WD Beast 2 bed assembly
RC4WD Beast 2 bed rails
RC4WD Beast 2 bed body mounts
These are the bottom rails (which were missing from my kit) that hold the bed in place. If you didn't want to build your Beast 2 in box stock form, this would be the perfect starting point for a custom bed. I can see it now. A few sheets of styrene and a custom built boom, and you've got yourself a tow truck. Or maybe a large bed with pumps in it for a fire truck. The possibilities are endless.
RC4WD Beast 2 bed rails
RC4WD Beast 2 assembled body
RC4WD Beast 2 bed
RC4WD Beast 2
The Beast 2 includes two faux tool boxes that mount under each side of the bed. They go together quickly but adding the little details can take some time. The tool boxes are supposed to be glued to the bottom of the bed but that can be a problem. I've seen videos of these trucks getting the tool boxes hung up on stuff while crawling and breaking off. To fix this I chose to hold them in place with magnets. This way they'll just pop off when they get hung up and I can pop them back on again.
RC4WD Beast 2 tool boxes
RC4WD Beast 2
RC4WD Beast 2 boxes
RC4WD Beast 2 toolbox magnets
One of the magnets was glued inside the tool box with the other glued to the underside of the bed. I also made these taller mounting tabs to accommodate the height of the magnet.
RC4WD Beast 2 box mods
RC4WD Beast 2 upgrade
RC4WD Beast 2 boxes mounted
RC4WD Beast 2 mud flaps
RC4WD Beast 2 mudflaps
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
One of the most time consuming parts of building the Beast 2 body is cutting out, sanding, and gluing all of the little cleats and latches onto the bed. Here they are all ready to be installed.
RC4WD Beast 2 cleats
RC4WD Beast 2 cleat latch gluing
RC4WD Beast 2 cleats
RC4WD Beast 2 latch handles
RC4WD Beast 2 rails
The Beast's rear taillights are designed to be glued to the bed but I figured they'd probably get knocked off at some point so I used a couple of small screws and locknuts to hold them in place.
RC4WD Beast 2 taillights
RC4WD Beast 2 rear lights
RC4WD Beast 2 spare tire carrier
Something I wanted to add to the Beast to give it a more realistic appearance was a muffler. The real MAN KAT 1 has it's muffler sitting right under the tool box on the left side of the truck. I tried scouring the net for a scale muffler that would work but when I came up empty it was time to take matters in my own hands. And here is what I came up with. The muffler body is crafted from sheets of styrene that I heated up and bent around a couple of sockets to get that typical oval muffler shape. Believe it or not, the tubing is actually left over pieces from the kit's parts trees that I cleaned up and bent to shape. The tailpipe is also a parts tree leftover that was hollowed out with a dremel.
RC4WD Beast 2 custom muffler
RC4WD Beast 2 hand made scale muffler
Since I'm using magnets to hold the toolboxes in place, I might as well take things a step further and hold the roof down like that was well. You may be asking why I'd do that. Well, for one thing it makes painting the interior easier. But, more importantly, it gives me easier access to the electronics I plan to install in the rear cab.
RC4WD Beast 2 roof magnets
RC4WD Beast 2 magnets
RC4WD Beast 2 cab
RC4WD Beast 2 cab hatch
Here is the RC4WD Beast 2 sitting next to my brother's Tamiya Jeep Wrangler. This is the same Jeep that was featured in a build article on this site many years ago. This photo gives you a better idea of how long the truck is.
RC4WD Beast 2 vs Tamiya Jeep Wrangler
With the main components of the body assembled I turned my attention to finishing that interior. Here are some photos of the truck's driver and passenger dashboards being built. Almost all of the interior components were hand made using sheets of styrene and some imagination. The passenger dash hand rail was made from metal coat hangers that were bent and glued in place.
RC4WD Beast 2 dash
RC4WD Beast 2 hand made dashboard
RC4WD Beast 2 dashboard
RC4WD Beast 2 dashboard
This is a before and after of the seat building process. The seats were made from three sheets of .040" styrene glued together and then shaped with a dremel to make them look realistic. The backs are held in place with custom angled braces, also made of styrene.
RC4WD Beast 2 custom seats
RC4WD Beast 2 seats
RC4WD Beast 2 seats
RC4WD Beast 2 interior build pictures
Here is your first look at the installed seats. Also notice the custom motor cover. This was done by bending a thin piece of styrene around a large socket and then carefully heating it up with a heat gun. That red stuff is body filler to clean up some of the small gaps.
RC4WD Beast 2 interior
RC4WD Beast 2 interior
RC4WD Beast 2 custom interior
To build a steering wheel I took a metal coat hanger and bent it around a large socket. It took a few tries but I eventually got a steering wheel hoop I was happy with. The rest is all made from sheets of styrene. As you can see, I also completed the details of the dashboard. Gauges were made with thin washers and the rest is made of styrene. To finish off the interior I made a shifter from styrene and coat hangers. (see the trend here?)
RC4WD Beast 2 steering wheel
RC4WD Beast 2 steering
RC4WD Beast 2 shifter
RC4WD Beast 2 custom shifter
RC4WD Beast 2 gauges
RC4WD Beast 2 mirrors
RC4WD Beast 2 interior
RC4WD Beast 2 removable roof
RC4WD Beast 2 custom interior build
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
From the second I got this truck I planned on creating something to fill that large empty bed with. After some thinking I decided to try my hand at building a custom anti aircraft gun. Considering that I never built anything this complex from styrene it was quite the undertaking. To start, I cut side pieces from a sheet of styrene. The design is loosely based on the Russian made Zu 23 anti aircraft gun.
RC4WD Beast 2 gun build
RC4WD Beast 2 zu 23 scale gun
RC4WD Beast 2 bed gun
RC4WD Beast 2 gun base
RC4WD Beast 2 gun controls
RC4WD Beast 2 scale gun
RC4WD Beast 2 anti aircraft gun
Here is the completed anti aircraft gun for my RC4WD Beast 2!
RC4WD Beast 2 completed bed gun
And here is the completed Beast 2! The main body and chassis components were painted with Rustoleum Deep Forest Green and the camouflage was airbrushed with Tamiya NATO Black and NATO Brown.
RC4WD Beast 2 build pictures
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 camo
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 camo paint job
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 guns
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 painted scale custom interior
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 camouflage
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 camouflage paint
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 custom build
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 paint job
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 nato camo paint
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 led taillights
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 gun
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 custom gun
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 ar15
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 ak47
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 paint
The RC4WD Beast 2 has dedicated electronics and battery mounting plates on the chassis but their locations leave a bit to be desired. With them both being under the bed you are forced to remove the bed each and every time you want to remove the battery. To fix that I dremeled four slots in the rear cab floor and used the stock velcro straps to hold the battery in place. The rest of the electronics are secured with double sided servo tape. Speaking of, there is nothing fancy here. An Aial AE-5 ESC, an orange Spektrum receiver, a cheap crawler motor and a couple of ebay servos.
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 electronics
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 interior paint
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 seats
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 spare tire
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 underside
To give my Beast 2 that last bit of realism I added a set of LED lights. At first I planned to build my own light set for the truck but the pre-built set that RC4WD makes for this truck was just too convenient to pass up. They aren't the brightest LED's I've ever seen but they definitely give the Beast that finishing touch.
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 led headlights
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 lights
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 door
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 camo paint
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 front bumper
After months of hard work the truck was finally finished and I couldn't wait to give it a try. I plugged in my first battery, set up the electronics and got it out onto the rocks. The first thing I noticed was that the Beast is probably the most realistic scale crawler I've ever run. It is lacking suspension travel and that extra long chassis gives you some weird departure angles but that all just adds to the realism. The RC4WD Beast 2 will never be able to compete with an all out rock crawler. Heck, it probably won't even compete with your typical scale crawler. But that doesn't take away the smile I get every time I run it. Also, I didn't think the 2 speed transmission would be needed but after getting used to it, I don't know how I'll do without it on other trucks in the future. Normally, if you are running from one set of rocks to another you'd have to painstakingly crawl at 1 mph. That isn't as much as a problem with the Beast. Just pop it in second and you're flying to that next obstacle. Overall I'm super pleased with the truck and can't wait to get more runs in. Thanks for following along!
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 scale rc crawler
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 scale crawler
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 rc military truck
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 mann kat
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6 man kat
RC4WD Beast 2 6x6
If you've enjoyed this build and would like an RC4wd Beast 2 of your very own, please buy it through Amazon. We get a small commission from the sale that helps fund future projects.

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