Kyosho Sand Master – Build & Review

Orange and Black version of the Sand Master

Orange and Black version of the Sand Master

A few months ago I was in one of my local hobby shops  and I saw a kit that looked like something you would normally have seen in the late 80’s, it was a Kyosho Sand Master. The Sand Master was part of Kyoshos new EZ Series of vehicles, they all share the same basic chassis but then have different bodies and setups, the EZ series’s claim to fame is that they can be built with just a Phillips head screwdriver which is supplied (and a wheel spanner which is also supplied). These kits are actually great kits for someone who is interested in building their own car but may not have the confidence to tackle some of the more advanced kits.

Whats in the box

As you can see from the pictures Kyosho has packed some of the parts in bags and others in a plastic tray, all looks very neat. Manual is in a bag with the Sticker sheet, a Phillips head screwdriver and a Tamiya spanner . When I got everything out and arranged I opened the manual and looked at step one I saw that it had already been done. From what I have read this is the second revision of this buggy so the manual may just be for the original version.

The Build.

Steps 1 through to 3 involved putting the front clip together and starting on the front suspension and steering, once built it screwed onto the main chassis. As I am intending to build this completely stock I have not replaced the brass bushings with bearings as yet, after a few runs and some testing I will start modifying the Sand Master to get more out of it as part of this will be replacing any bushings. I will also be replacing the camber and steering links with adjustable ones.

The Sand Master kit I bought comes with an 45A ESC and while it is only a brushed ESC it is both water proof and LiPo  aware so no need to worry about running the voltage on your LiPo batteries down too far, it is also limited to a 2S Lipo but that should be more than enough for this buggy. As you can see in the one picture the has a series of pins which allow you to select between NiMH or LiPo and also a set of pins to reverse the motor direction, so all the OCD people out there no longer have to put up with mismatched wire colours 🙂 . The ESC and the receiver are located in a box which which sits in the the driver figure when the buggy is complete. I also installed the steering servo which at this stage is just a good ol’ Futaba S3003.

One of the things I had read about before I purchased the Kyosho Sand Master was that it cam with a plastic pinion gear and sure enough, once I open everything up I found a stock standard silver can brushed 540 motor with a press fit plastic pinion. This gave me pause but I decided to stick with my full stock build idea and see how long the gear lasted. As you can see in the last pic the diff and rear suspension is now installed. The diff came pre-built so will leave it as is for now. I  will post a tear down update at a later date.

After installing the drive components I then proceeded to finish the rear suspension and start finishing the buggy. I added the driver figure and then install the roll cage. All that was left was to add the body panels, these use some tiny plastic press clips to hold themselves to the rollcage and a lot of people has said that they tend to fall off even over serious bumps, I will be looking at how it performs and looks at some sort of modifications later.
One thing of note with regards to the shocks is that you have two options, you can leave them as friction shocks or use the supplied kit to upgrade them to oil dampened shocks. It took about 15 minutes but I think it is time well spent as even though the stock shocks are pretty average this will help with driving performance.

Finished Item

The finished article, it has a very retro scale look and I have yet to decide what stickers I will use or if I will paint the body panels. One thing I found very quickly is the the battery compartment clip is just a total PITA , it looks like a great idea but you need to push the button hard enough to almost break it while trying to simultaneously slide the tab back and hopefully not break anything or stab yourself. One you get the tab pushed back you need to hold it bad and then try and slide the battery plate forward and then maybe just maybe it will open.



As yet I haven’t had a chance to give the Kyosho Sand Master a good workout, I will be posting a video and some comments on it’s performance in the near future.

To Be Continued…………………..







2 comments on “Kyosho Sand Master – Build & Review

  1. Jake says:

    Hi I’m very new to this level of R/C. My son got a sand master for Christmas it is a ready set so it was built. I struggling with the battery it’s an Orion rocket pack 1800 7.2. Do you know what LiPo battery will work in this so it will have a longer run time?

    • admin says:

      Yes a LiPo will work, if you bought the one with an ESC included you will see that there is a jumper that can be changed to LiPo to make sure you don’t over drain the battery.

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