Afternoon all. I’m looking at getting a little electric RC car for the back garden and wonder what the best kits/places to buy are? Any moons ago I had a few different tamiya kits I built myself. Mini and focus wrc spring to mind. But I’m after something a bit more rugged and off reader like for throwing around the back garden and something my little boy may be able to have a play with.
I like the look of the Retro kits such as the lunch box and hornet would prefer something pre built and fast charge/many batteries as this was always the thing that killed it for me back in the 90’s.
Anyways. What’s people thoughts of what to get. Not wanting to break the bank. Under £150 if possible. Will need a receiver/controller too. Is that possible?
A bit more than you want to spend but have you considered a short course truck? Rugged & loads of fun and waterproof lekkys!My son and me both have the HPI Blitz's which at the moment are on the original brushed motors but with lipo batteries. Next mod will be brushless!
I'm Tamiya through and through. Depending on how much you want to spend I'd suggest having a look at the Tamiya Konghead. 6 wheel drive with a truck body. Have a look at some videos on YouTube and you'll see how much fun they are
Thanks for the advice. These things appear good value. Any experience?
Good price but the battery is very low in capacity and not a lipo so those will be the first things you will replace very soon after buying at which means another charger too as that one supplied will not charge lipo's.
My advice is to be careful with these new fangled chargers and lipo batteries. I must have got the settings wrong but even with a charging bag I nearly set my mom's house on fire! I'd only ever charge batteries outside on a non-flammable surface in future.
Gotta be a Midnight Pumpkin or Lunchbox. I don't think it was ever designed to be on it's wheels! Wheelies, jumps, rolls, you name it. Parts are pence if you break anything.
I took mine out with my 4 year old and let him race across the field, straight into a tree. Damage? Snapped the servo horn (I had a metal servo, so my fault) along with a slightly bent tie bar.
Still, I took the opportunity to put on a spring loaded servo saver and oil shocks. Just straightened out the tie bar. Steering doesn't matter a lot on one of these as they spend their time on the wheelie bar
For simplicity, stick with NiCads. LiPo's are literally a bomb if you don't look after them correctly. And they are very delicate. Nicad's are cheap and plentiful. You can get 4200mah batteries for just a smidge over a tenner, and a decent charger should have one of these done in about half an hour. Get 3, and you'll always have one ready to go.
My experience with Traxxas was always that it was fragile, but we are talking 10+ years ago. Kyosho stuff on Ebay is cheap enough, as I don't think many people look for it.
You mention fast charge, lipo batteries are fantastic today, they don’t suffer from the performance drop off like an ordinary battery does - you know what I mean the longer you run the slower your car goes? With a Lipo it stays at a more constant voltage through its discharge cycle so performance stays pretty constant.
There are some crazy motor/speed controller options about, to be honest have a look around and see what you fancy looks wise, I’d recommend buying a branded car though as you WILL need spare parts for it!
I like Tamiya hornets and lunchboxes, but the hornet will struggle on deep grass and although the lunchbox is fun it’s an old design, I don’t like the hornet/grasshopper/lunchbox/midnight pumpkin floating rear axle design, in my opinion how it attaches to the chassis is poorly designed,
The other thing with Tamiya re releases is that if you use lipo’s you will need to buy ‘round case’ type or they won’t fit in the battery opening
I have a few cars and the best all rounder for me personally Is the vaterra twin hammers, it’s my choice if I’m bashing in the garden or running in the woods, you might be able to pick up a second hand one with your budget,
An alternative would be something of the same style but with inferior components, FTX outlaw looks reasonable and if I was going to buy a new car for my son it would probably be one of these, they come ready to run but I would defiantly upgrade the battery to a Lipo (you would also need an appropriate charger - and maybe a replacement speed controller dependent if the existing one has the option of a ‘low volt cutoff’)
Whatever you buy, post here and we can help you through some of the basics that come with RC car bashing (& braking!)
I'm not sure what the ready to run RC's are like now but I used to have early Tamiya when I was a kid and the pre built couldn't touch them also they are not complicated to build and when brake you now what to replace and how to do it. I found assembly and diss assembling for cleaning and greasing part of the fun, again not sure on the pre built but as you get better you can upgrade bearings motors suspension servo's basically everything with confidence because you built it in the first place. I brought a Grasshopper a few years ago from the bay loved it, brought back lots of memories of me and my mates disappearing for the day down our local woods beatties bag with Tamiya rc and a car battery (for the fast charger) all balanced on a bmx oh the joy of the 80's.
Well thank you for all the advice. I finally made a decision and couldn’t get past the memories of wanting a lunch box so I have one arriving today. With a couple of bigger batteries and fast charger etc. I also went for some ball bearings instead of the plastic bushes.
I can’t wait to crack into it and enjoy it with my son!
Great choice, I hope you have a good time with it, have you thought about motor and speed controller? Or do they come with it? I’m sure you’ll have a blast, if you decide to run lipos you will need the ‘round case’ type