This will be the first of a series on how to navigate the initial learning curve, and to choose what is a good entry point. Whether you are shopping for yourself, or are looking for a gift for the Holidays for someone else, there will be plenty of advice to be had.
Last holiday season, I embarked on this journey, and had to figure most of this out myself. Now, I will share with my readers what I learned.
Over the summer, I was looking at adding to the stable, and I had an Arrma Mojave 1/7th scale that was going to scratch my short course/desert truck itch.
Alas, it was on backorder from my Birthday, and the last update I got on shipment was that it would have shipped on September 6th (and then it was delayed again) so I cancelled it. It was on backorder soooooooo long that the batteries I ordered to go with it from Banggood all arrived before I cancelled the order.
I have been in RC Cars for a relatively short time, but one thing I hear, from the community, is that there are some places that are good deals to buy cars, parts and accessories from. One such is Banggood, a Chinese market of pretty much any good you might want to buy. Batteries, chargers, geegaws and some surprisingly high quality vehicles are all on offer and pretty reasonably priced.
I should know this from my past experience with hobbies. Yes, they are expensive. You have acquisition costs, and operating costs, but then there is the cluster of trivial shit that you have to acquire.
The lockdown has led to some boredom, and that, coupled with a new hobby of RC cars, inspired me to buy and build a kit. After a lot of research, I selected the Vanquish Products VS4-10 Ultra. It is a solid platform, with impeccable quality components, and the uplift for the Ultra over the Pro version of the kit is mainly the Curie Portal axles.
In the last week, the Vanquish Product’s VS4-10 crawler kit arrived, as well as part of the electronics. After a quick purchase of some grease, and a fresh (as in unbent) needle nose pliers it was time to begin the process.
Like potato chips, RC cars are addictive and you can’t have only one. Part of the reason is that there is such variety, such a range of capabilities, that you really can’t do it all with one car.
And that’s all right. Currently I have a 1/8th scale Buggy, and a 1/5th scale Monster Truck (The X-Maxx). And I have a thirst for more.
I am getting the bug to build a kit. Also, the desire to have a good crawler, something like a well set up Jeep Wrangler. I could go with an Axial SC10 kit, but I know that I would end up upgrading a lot of parts.
Instead, I pulled the trigger on a Vanquish Products VS4-10 Ultra (with the portal axles) and most of the electronics to go with it. It should arrive next week, and will provide a couple of weekends of building enjoyment.
Alas, the motor/ESC electronics are all on back order, so until they are shipped, it will be difficult to complete, but that reduces the “rush” and “cut corners” temptations.
A smaller monster truck. I debated between the e revo or the new Maxx, a little brother to the X-Maxx. I am leaning towards the e Revo 2.0. It is a stunt-y vehicle, shorter in height than the X-Maxx, more agile, yet with ample punch to have fun, jump, and bash.
I am also looking at a high end driver kit. Something like the Team Losi Racing SCTE short course truck. It is a race class kit, with a lot of good parts. Like the Vanquish above, it will come without the electronics, or tires, but I think I will get a great deal of joy building a top quality kit.
Then I have a hankering to grab one of the modest cost Tamiya kits. The Porsche 911 looks tempting. Or, perhaps I will get one of their “fun” kits and build it up with the neighbor kid. He seems to like watching me drive, and one of the funky, but fun Tamiya’s would be a good way to spoil him.
Last, but not least, I am going to have to get a nitro vehicle. I will probably rarely run it, but the sounds, the smells, the experience is something I want to partake in.
This hobby sucks you in. That is a good thing, especially during the shelter in place orders.
Picture if you will, a desire to enter the world of RC Cars. Perhaps there is a latent desire to drive, or you see someone driving, and it looks cool. Or that you work (or have worked) with an enthusiast, and want to give it a try.
Regardless, we all start at square one. This post will explore a few use cases and some common advice that can be taken or discarded.
Just a quick post. My first RC car was/is a Losi 8ight v3 RTR. It was pretty pricy for what it is, a 4wd buggy with 4S compatible electronics (at least compared to others in the class). Now I know that a TLR kit will cost more for a comparable vehicle, but it comes with better components, and missing a lot (like motor, ESC, controller, tires) that you will have to buy (so, getting started is like $1,200)