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Kowalski86

What do you value most in an RC?

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I keep thinking on an off about what counts as "hobby grade" vs "toy grade", adjustable this or that, metal vs plastic, electronics, etc etc.

I've been curious to know what everyone else looks for, is it the build? Scale? Nostalgia? Performance? Billions of adjustments that you'll never mess with?

For me, it was all about adjustability, metal, "fancy" stuff for a time, but none of that ever really translated to "fun". My Team Associated RCs had plenty of nice upmarket parts, but it's never "fun" paying for marked up OOP parts if you can even find them. Plus, any adjustment will be moot without putting good time into driving an RC first.

Now, I'm more about simple low maintenance stuff. Ideally something versatile that looks good on the shelf or in action, or works decent off-road and on-road.

The more hop-ups and complex stuff I find for my XV01, or the more crud that my TT02 R-for rally dumps everywhere, the more that I'm drawn to something basic like a 2wd Buggy. Something that can go off-road, doesn't need much maintenance, and keeps dirt out. Something where I don't need to fuss about universals, low friction bits (that should be standard), pinions in a weird size, etc etc.

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Good post. For me, this changes from month to month and my 'fleet' reflects it.

The thing I value most is a  personal 'connection' to a each model that is real and tangible. For me, each model is quite personal and I don't buy based on whatever the trend of the day happens to be. It's gotta mean something to me.

There's not a single one in my collection that doesn't fit at least one of the following categories,  many in fact fit into more than one:

Such as:

A). I remember the model clearly from back in the 80s or 90s...e.g. Falcon, Wild One, Grasshopper, Hornet or

B). I raced it....Kyosho Ultima Pro, Falcon, Losi Jrx Pro.(fortunately I kept the Ultima and Losi and both are on their way to being raced once again)..or 

C). It's scale.(this is a biggie for me)..e.g. 1:14 semi trucks, Audi Quattro TT02, CC01 Land Cruiser, F1 F60 Ferrari...or

D). It's just plain fun and quite adaptable (and usually also pretty scale)...e.g. Blackfoot, Monster Beetle etc.

E). Or it flies....I also enjoy RC aviation also (scale warbirds etc).

For all of them though, my interest harks back to the 'models in motion' intent that Tamiya started for me. There's just something about seeing these miniature works of arts under braking, acceleration etc with the suspension doing what it does. This aspect I really admire.

All of em, also need to look really good on the shelf in between driving too. I have found in recent years, I've become more fussy about the scale aspect and perhaps this comes with having the patience when building (most of the time at least) that I never had when I was a younger modeller to turn out better quality models.

I also think it's great that we have a hobby that can mean so many things, to so many different people. Whatever spins your tyres I reckon :).

cheers

Kurt

 

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For Tamiya models, I value the build and nostalgia most. There's nothing like that beautiful Tamiya box art, having the original assembly manual, fitting it with a time-correct radio system and battery, and running it with a Tamiya hop-up brushed motor. Also, having the correct wheels and tires for the shelf, but having runner options for drive time. I don't get tied up with all the other hop-ups most of the time.

For crawler realism, I value the RC4WD kits and all the available accessories to match up to my 1:1

For brainless crawler fun, I value stuff like TRX-4 and the various minis on the market, and I'm not interested in throwing additional parts at them.

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I want to walk into my workshop, look around at the shelves, and feel happy. That's all.

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Something unique and fun.

Unique is quite straight forward, I like having a car that is unique or different. With the exception of a CW01 Pumpkin all of my cars have different bodies than they were designed for. Making them work (and look like they've come that way from the factory) is my favourite bit of building. This might be my MF01x Pumpkin or FJ45 QD or Jeep GF01 or D12 Quick Drive.

Then it's fun. For that that's three things

Looks. A car has to look great static. It also needs to look good driving. That might mean handling well or doing jumps or going fast, but I am not racing; the principle fun comes from something that looks good whilst doing it, more than it does it fast or better. I rarely worry about performance hop ups.

Reliable. I dont want something that doesn't  break when driving

Repairable. I want something I can drive that I don't worry about too much. 

Oh, and they need to be 1/12 scale and have a cat driving them. 😄

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2 hours ago, markbt73 said:

I want to walk into my workshop, look around at the shelves, and feel happy. That's all.

Nicely put 👏

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For me I think it falls into four categories:

* Fun, cheap and easy to repair. I have a Lunch Box and Mad Bull for bashing around the park and taking on holiday.

* Shelf queen nostalgia or top end build. Stuff from childhood memories or the pinnacle of mainstream buggies like the Thunder Dragon, Egress, Top Force or a hopped-up TD2.

* Interesting chassis or trying something out for running. Brushless Fire Dragon, fully hopped-up Optima Mid with low turn brushed motor or TD4 with big bore dampers.

* New in box kits plus hop-ups. For the collector in me.

So the hobby is quite varied for me, like it is for several of us I suspect. The key thing though is that I produce something tangible when I build. As someone whose day job is desk based it's really nice to actually produce something you can interact with!

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durability and reliability.

 

Much rather drive and customize than troubleshoot. 
 

 

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I always go for exclusivity.. and one-off stuff unless a special edition car (or just special to me) where I will build at least one box art.  

Cars anyone can just go out and buy/build is no fun (to me).   This does not mean that the car has to be expensive.. it just has to be original (lots of creativity and considerable people hours put in) and ideally with quality parts.

Example from my earlier build.. XM1 Competition (chassis is no longer available at the stores) with my own livery.   My cars are all driven at the ride heights shown with no rubbing.  These aren't just display cars for me, they are concourse cars that are also admired while in motion.

IMG_2023-09-20-145708.jpg.48e50580fa1ec31468ce8653c4e9e283.jpg

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28 minutes ago, ADRay1000 said:

durability and reliability.

 

Much rather drive and customize than troubleshoot. 

Same here, a handful of my earliest 1:1 cars were "quirky" cars that always needed troubleshooting. An Air cooled VW, a half a dozen Volvos, I got tired of it.

Now I drive "boring" stuff and enjoy having more time to do things around the house.

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7 hours ago, markbt73 said:

I want to walk into my workshop, look around at the shelves, and feel happy. That's all.

This is important for me too. I dont have the time to use my RCs all the time, therefore they HAVE to look good on the shelf. 

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Good thread. I guess it's nostalgia, an I always wanted one of those, I just want one of those others, and funnily enough, even though I never stop moaning about it, working on my RC cars.

I guess in quite a few cases that has been restoring basket cases to running again, the acquisition is often cheaper that way, though often replacement parts aren't, and they are scarce.
Perhaps I'm also anthropomorphizing the cars, you know, bringing them back to 'life'.

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24 minutes ago, Kpowell911 said:

This is important for me too. I dont have the time to use my RCs all the time, therefore they HAVE to look good on the shelf. 

That's... not what I meant at all.

I have cars that I love to run, and cars that I haven't run at all yet, and cars that I ran once just to see in motion. Finished projects and not-yet-started projects and plenty that are somewhere in between. I've got shelves and shelves of models, and drawers and boxes and little plastic organizers full of parts. The contents of this room are always changing or moving around, and yet, to an outsider, it always looks exactly the same: jam-packed full of stuff, verging on cluttered, but with an undertone of organization that shows that the curator of this mess actually cares about all this stuff.

Some of it, taken individually, doesn't make me happy at all. I've got plenty of failed projects, mistakes that I wish I hadn't made, "lesser" examples of models that are replacements for a "better" one I wish I hadn't sold, and stuff that's finished to the best of my abilities, but not up to the standard that I want to hit someday. And some stuff that sits unfinished because I'm afraid I'll mess it up. But I've also got a few absolute triumphs that I'm really proud of, and plenty of beat-half-to-death cars that earned every crack and scrape and replaced part.

But none of that matters, because when I walk into this room and close the door to keep the cats out, I can look around and feel at peace. I can sit down for a marathon work session on something, or just squish suspensions up and down, or impatiently sit waiting for a battery to charge so I can go drive the car sitting on the bench with its body off, and it all makes me happy. It's the one place where I don't have to care what anybody else thinks; I do all of this for myself. I'm never satisfied, I'm never finished, but I'm always at peace here.

And so any new addition, to answer the original question more thoroughly, must add to, never detract from, that sense of peace and happiness.

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Great topic. I've come to accept nostalgia is key and that realization has saved me money by not chasing the latest and greatest. That's what really makes me smile in my hobby room or behind my old AM transmitters. I do have an incessant drive to assemble and tinker though, to the point I've incorporated it into my day job. I could never just sit around working from home. I need to have my hands busy messing with something mechanical whether fixing, assembling or just figuring how it works. It does make avoiding new tempting unique buggies like the TD4 hard though.

I like how things were all unique and constructed differently BITD. There's a lot of variety just in the Tamiya lineup back then. Tamiya's "flaws" give us latitude to improve in both performance and durability and the benefit of having personality in the drive experience. 

Aside from that,  @Nikko85 hit my most important points.

The nostalgia bit ensures it looks good to me. Tamiya guidebook action shots come to life anyone?

Reliability for me doesn't mean it can't break. I drive within the design limits and that has kept my Tamiya's mostly in one piece. The throttle, amazingly, isn't an on-off switch, but keeping power levels reasonable means there's still plenty of opportunity to bury the trigger. There were a lot of expensive piles of garbage BITD that many never experienced and they broke even when driven very sedately. Tamiyas, generally, weren't like this. Many things were under-designed back then. The old MRP High Rollers's drivetrain comes to mind. That is something I don't have patience for in my hobby.

Repairability in these old designs is paramount to me too I guess. Tamiya rereleases have brought back spares and that means driving with a bit less fear. I like to drive respectably but not necessarily with kid-gloves on either. Get out there and use them as intended and have fun, not doing gentle circles in a driveway then freak about the possibility of getting dirt/dust on it (unless that's your thing). That's just my opinion. YMMV, but spares help me do that in peace. 

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53 minutes ago, Saito2 said:

I like how things were all unique and constructed differently BITD. There's a lot of variety just in the Tamiya lineup back then. Tamiya's "flaws" give us latitude to improve in both performance and durability and the benefit of having personality in the drive experience. 

Reliability for me doesn't mean it can't break. I drive within the design limits and that has kept my Tamiya's mostly in one piece. The throttle, amazingly, isn't an on-off switch, but keeping power levels reasonable means there's still plenty of opportunity to bury the trigger. 

Same here, if you threw a modern Schumacher, RC10, or whatever they run at the track next to one another I couldn't tell one apart from the other. And I've mentioned elsewhere how most on-road stuff all looks the same and have the same shortcomings.

I like to think that I have a fairly reasonable standard for reliability, that being that gearboxes are well sealed from dirt, dogbones/suspension bits don't fall out on level ground on brushed power, and that the electronics don't act up on NiMH power.

Unfortunately, there are a few modern, name-brand RCs that don't meet those standards. I'm looking at you MB01, MF01X, HPI Jumpshot, a few Kyoshos, etc etc.

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2 minutes ago, Kowalski86 said:

that being that gearboxes are well sealed from dirt, dogbones/suspension bits don't fall out on level ground

And Tamiya seems to have gotten worse at this for some reason. Ejected dogbones were a thing BITD to the point an RC Car Action "pit tip" was to paint them a bright color to facilitate finding them on the track, lol. Aside from the Falcon cars doing it sometimes, (though they reportedly could be forced back in without tools) I don't recall other Tamiyas doing it. Wear or failure maybe but not ejection. A lot of it seems to stem from them messing about and "upgrading" older designs like the ORVs, although the TD4 supposedly isn't all that well sealed from dirt either.

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18 minutes ago, Saito2 said:

And Tamiya seems to have gotten worse at this for some reason.

Oh it's not just poorly "upgraded" old designs, this is a lightly used MB01 that I had for a time, a brand new design. Note the wear on the suspension arm from wheel rub using standard m-chassis wheels, and the spare CVA piston needed to prevent the pivot ball from popping out. This was just a silver-can on-roader, so more or less a scale "toy" with how I drove it. Also, note the comically giant steering limiters, I don't think Tamiya intended it to be run on tight courses.

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My XV01 "rally" chassis has been decent enough, but the gearbox cover doesn't seal that great if I ever wanted to run it off-road. I think the BBX and a few others use that same gearbox. It's just too flexible and lacks attachment points.

 

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2 hours ago, Kowalski86 said:

Same here, a handful of my earliest 1:1 cars were "quirky" cars that always needed troubleshooting. An Air cooled VW, a half a dozen Volvos, I got tired of it.

Now I drive "boring" stuff and enjoy having more time to do things around the house.

quirky 1:1s are fun if you don’t need them everyday 👍

 

love my old Mini but the ‘15 Subaru is the one I can count on. 

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As someone new to hobby, I'm interested in things different to what I already have, in terms of the build and the look. 

Not interested in shelf queens at all, I want to be able to drive what I build. Surprisingly, as someone who came into the hobby as I couldn't afford a tamiya kit as a kid, I haven't bought any of the models I hankered after (grasshopper, hornet etc), but do fancy a blackfoot at some point.

My next build will be a CC02, built almost stock to start with and will use it a a project car to upgrade slowly, experiment with and build scale accessories for.

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1 hour ago, ADRay1000 said:

quirky 1:1s are fun if you don’t need them everyday 👍

 

I prefer to stick to only owning one car, so it needs to be dependable.

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A kyosho nitro buggy from the 1980's (wildcat, land jump, vanning, etc.).  Really wish Kyosho would rere some of these.

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2 years ago - only Tamiya, only self build, grab as many hopups as I can.

1 year ago - as budget as possible, try to keep it below £200 (budget rally build). Only essential hopups.

Past few months - (A)RTR modified cheaply to rally build.

Currently - cheap as possible RTR, rebuild with as many hopups as I can throw at it.

Basically went in a complete circle, except not with Tamiya, and not kit build.

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two things for me: I don’t really drive a lot, although I did like catching up with others I had met on this forum when I first joined. I mainly like to tinker, so my primary value is making parts and restoring older cars. The other value for me is based on reason I got back into RC hobby, it was a way to deal with stress from work. As a small business owner it can be a bit hard to escape work, and a hobby like this allows me to forget things for a bit. The only really issue I have now is that work is a bit crazy at times, and I use to be annoyed I didn’t finished projects as quickly as I like, but now I take a very long term approach to projects. I’ll have plenty of things to do whenever I get the chance to retire :D in the meantime I do as much as I can, and store what I can’t get to yet.

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