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Steelyglint

Advice on builds for 12 year olds

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My three boys are 12 early August. I want to get them three off road tamiyas to build, ( I'll help) so we can thrash them on the back lawn.  I'll need everything I. E. All electrics, batteries, controllers and would like to be sub £600 total. Ideally something not too fragile but something you can get spares for etc. and is an interesting build I'll paint them different colours so doesn't have to be three different models but I'd be up for that if they would have equivalent performance. Any suggestions? ( my experience built one TT02B) 

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Off the top of my head, I'd say if you can find DT02s, or DT03s, get three of them. Doesn't have to be the exact same model, as long as the chassis are DT02/3. These are 2wd buggies, which means they'll be fast enough with the stock motor, thereby saving money. Get 3 Flysky tx/rx sets (GT2 I believe?), which are also cheap, but good value for money. All you'll have left are batteries and servos. Any decent servo will do; 2wd buggies are light up front don't need torquey servos. 

Don't forget to buy ball bearings if the kits don't include them.

Hope that helped.

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1 hour ago, DeadMeat666 said:

Off the top of my head, I'd say if you can find DT02s, or DT03s, get three of them. Doesn't have to be the exact same model, as long as the chassis are DT02/3. These are 2wd buggies, which means they'll be fast enough with the stock motor, thereby saving money. Get 3 Flysky tx/rx sets (GT2 I believe?), which are also cheap, but good value for money. All you'll have left are batteries and servos. Any decent servo will do; 2wd buggies are light up front don't need torquey servos. 

Don't forget to buy ball bearings if the kits don't include them.

Hope that helped.

Thanks Its does, I'll have to swot up on chassis and figure out what's doable for August. Which chassis is the most fun to build? 

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Posted (edited)

Agree with deadmeat666, you can get a DT-03 (58628 TAMIYA RACING FIGHTER - DT03) over at Fusion Hobbies and you’ll get 5/10% off depending on your forum member status.  Just to seal the deal the kit has a nice bonus pack included - it features a torque tuned motor and CVA oil dampers.

Only snag is your timeline, perhaps the DT-02 (58374 TAMIYA SAND VIPER - DT02) is an option as current showing 1-2 days, and comes with bearings and CVA shocks also better front tyres and some say better looking.

Hope that helps, and enjoy the time with your sons with the cars, I know I did with my dad and now he said he wants to do it all again(30 years later) with me which is one of the reasons I am on the forum and have purchased a DT-03 as my starting point. 

Edited by Gibbo78
Had to add more info
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I hate suggesting this bc I’m a Tamiya fan-boy, but I recently bought an ECX Amp kit from Horizon and it was the perfect first build for my 11yo son. It was a complete kit with electronics and batteries for less than $150.  It’s a metric kit so you can use your existing tools.  It was a fun build, the more complex stuff was pre-built, and he got to help spray the body. He enjoyed it, but hasn’t really shown “the love” yet. So no regrets. 

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My kids were 11 and 12.5 when they started . I spent quality time with them when they built their DT03. My daughter (the youngest) did not mount herself, but detached all the parts from the clusters, while my son built it himself at the exception of the shocks. 6 months later, they both built their Lunchbox chassis alone. And they prefer it to the DT03. All depends what they prefer. Having 3 kids give opportunity to find different styles they can exchanges between them...  But ultimately, they might finish leaning toward the same car...

from what we see here :

- DT03 is a good off road buggy, but if you plan to run in the garden and you have grass, the ground clearance is likely not enough

- Lunchbox : a lot of fun, indestructible, a different style, and a lot of possiblities of body design for the van (A-team, Mistery Machine, Vanessa's, ...)

- Grasshopper chassis style : a good way to learn rc as the car is totally unpredictable, which mandates the driver to learn to react fast

- Other : probably less fun...

At the end, the favorite of my kids is the Lunchbox. I got one for myself initially, but as soon as it was built, there was no way anymore for me to touch it... And now they both got one (need to pay attention to that in the future, as addiction to RC may have already started :-D)

 

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Thanks for the advice, can ask which is the more enjoyable ( complex) build? DT03 or lunchbox? 

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I agree and think that DT-03 would really be a good choice for your boys as starter kits for their age. Then they can move on to something more complicated once they continue their enthusiasm with the hobby.

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If you run on grass just make sure the tyres are ok. Once those spikes get run on asphalt they wear down really fast and then won't work well. DT02 or DT03 would be my pick. It would also run at a club if they decide to try that whereas a Lunchbox won't. 

Transmitter- Flysky GT3C is the one to get in the Flysky range, there are bound to be others which are comparable. Has all the functions you need,  multi model memory and it comes with a battery. The GT2 is very basic and the GT3B needs 8 AA batteries so its heavy and will get expensive in the long run. Alixexpress seems to be the cheapest for them

Charger. Ideally you will be able to charge 3 (4 incl yours?) batteries at once. 2 dual chargers would work, or a quad. Chevk out SkyRC D100 or Q200. Or HTRC C240 or T240. Good bang for buck chargers. Banggood should deliver in time for August. While youre at it look at the SPT 4412LV servo (also from Banggood). Cheap and good specs

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How about Comical Frog, Grasshopper and Hornet? (or any number of WR-02 chassis) 

FiIuyBp.jpg

ffnLkIV.jpg

0mQd0nj.jpg

Since they are RWD, they are a bit cheaper than 4WD Comical Avante, etc.  You won't teach them racing techniques with these, but they are fun.  These will wheelie a bit more willingly than Lunchbox.  A bit more complicated to build than Lunchbox, though.   

I have DT02, DT03. There is a reason why they are good recommendations. (In fact, they came to my mind as well.)  I just wanted to throw in something new. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

If you run on grass just make sure the tyres are ok. Once those spikes get run on asphalt they wear down really fast and then won't work well. DT02 or DT03 would be my pick. It would also run at a club if they decide to try that whereas a Lunchbox won't. 

Transmitter- Flysky GT3C is the one to get in the Flysky range, there are bound to be others which are comparable. Has all the functions you need,  multi model memory and it comes with a battery. The GT2 is very basic and the GT3B needs 8 AA batteries so its heavy and will get expensive in the long run. Alixexpress seems to be the cheapest for them

Charger. Ideally you will be able to charge 3 (4 incl yours?) batteries at once. 2 dual chargers would work, or a quad. Chevk out SkyRC D100 or Q200. Or HTRC C240 or T240. Good bang for buck chargers. Banggood should deliver in time for August. While youre at it look at the SPT 4412LV servo (also from Banggood). Cheap and good specs

Thanks that's really helpful. 

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1 hour ago, Juggular said:

How about Comical Frog, Grasshopper and Hornet? (or any number of WR-02 chassis) 

FiIuyBp.jpg

ffnLkIV.jpg

0mQd0nj.jpg

Since they are RWD, they are a bit cheaper than 4WD Comical Avante, etc.  You won't teach them racing techniques with these, but they are fun.  These will wheelie a bit more willingly than Lunchbox.  A bit more complicated to build than Lunchbox, though.   

I have DT02, DT03. There is a reason why they are good recommendations. (In fact, they came to my mind as well.)  I just wanted to throw in something new. 

 

Thanks I think I'm going DT03 (or DT 02 if DT03 not in time). 

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You know your boys better than anyone here but I showed my girls pics and vids of loads of cars so they could get excited at (and engaged in) the prospect - and be invested in the build. 

Way more important than a chassis they lose interest in after 2hrs - and (in most cases) you can always slot in a better chassis or hop up an existing when they can drive it + will mean something special to them 👍 

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On 6/27/2021 at 6:33 PM, Steelyglint said:

Thanks for the advice, can ask which is the more enjoyable ( complex) build? DT03 or lunchbox? 

The Lunchbox is really simple to build...

That being said, my son broke a few things on the DT03:

  • a chassis
  • a servo saver
  • lost few screws

Very simply, it goes faster, so the risk of breaking something is definitely higher...

On the lunchbox, at this stage, only a bend adjuster rod... The Lunchbox is almost indestructible. At worst, it will be a broken servo saver : the tires are allowing for a lot of mistake as they act as additional bumpers.... The only weak points are the body mounts...

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You know your boys better than anyone here but I showed my girls pics and vids of loads of cars so they could get excited at (and engaged in) the prospect - and be invested in the build. 

Way more important than a chassis they lose interest in after 2hrs - and (in most cases) you can always slot in a better chassis or hop up an existing when they can drive it + will mean something special to them 👍 

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The DT03 is a great choice imo.

I think the DT03 all come with oil filled shocks now (?), a torque tuned motor and a tble02s esc (bearings too?). Tamico have the Neo Fighter for €80 (under £70). It was £13 delivery last time I ordered a kit, but there's more hoops since brexit (think you need a £150 ish order, before they'll ship to the UK?) 

They're maybe not as stong and durable as ,say a hornet, but much more of a capable buggy (4 x independent shocks etc) 

One thing I would look at,is a radio that has EPA (End Point Adjustment), which I think the gt3c does (?) ,as that feature allows you to slow the car down via the controller, to a speed that's perfect for them, and easily turn up, as they get better.

 

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I would say anything from the DT range would be a good choice.

The DT-01 is a relatively basic model, giving Lunchbox-esque levels of reliability and ease of construction along with a lower centre of gravity resulting in better handling and fewer rollovers. You can choose between the big-wheeled Mad Bull for more extreme terrain, or the Fighter Buggy RX with standard buggy wheels for more conventional racing surfaces.

The DT-02 is to my mind the best-looking of the bunch, and also the highest spec in stock form if you go for the Sand Viper or Desert Gator versions with their oil shocks, compact metal dogbones, axles and outdrives, full bearings and polycarbonate shells. More complex, but not overwhelmingly so, they are great runners and are quite reliable, not as much so as the DT-01, but tougher than the DT-03.

The DT-03 is effectively a stretched DT-02, with the same gearbox and suspension but a longer chassis which isn't as strong as the shorter DT-02 item. Although the most recent release, and thus probably the easiest to get hold of, it isn't as tough as either of its predecessors, and comes with the lower-spec plastic drivetrain parts of the Holiday Buggy rather than the Desert Gator/Sand Viper metal items. However it is the cheapest, allowing more room in the budget for upgrades.

 

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6 hours ago, Wooders28 said:

One thing I would look at,is a radio that has EPA (End Point Adjustment), which I think the gt3c does (?) ,as that feature allows you to slow the car down via the controller, to a speed that's perfect for them, and easily turn up, as they get better

I’ve got a GT3C and it indeed has EPAs 

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So brief update. 

3 Sandvipers bought from fusionhobbies along with paint for 3 different 2 tone colour schemes inspired by the colours they use in rocketleague. Bought the GT3Cs from aliexpress which have turned up looking fairly battered and weren't worth wrapping up as presents. Hope they work! Build has started and I'm impressed with the quality of the parts (TurnipJF was right). IMG_20210814_163140.thumb.jpg.9a6f50e80a18d660f9da56c29eeade1b.jpg

IMG_20210814_171653.jpg

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