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Nikko85

Which Tamiya to teach children 9 - 11?

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As I might have mentioned, I work for a University in London providing STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) activities for a local community in West London.

One of my colleagues has started a project with 17 - 24 year olds making e-scooters, and I was wondering if I could do something similar with younger children and their parents and RC cars

The idea would be that each family would receive a car, and over a series of sessions we'd build it, whilst also exploring the topics such as electricity, air resistance, geometry, electric motors etc. We'd also spray paint the cars, and 3D print some elements too, so there's a degree of tinkering.

 Although the outlay is quite a bit per family, that's not that terrible if we can make it last 6 - 12 sessions (and much less than an e-scooter!)

This is all still very much in the preliminary stage, but I was wondering what car people would recommend please?

It needs to be cheap, spares readily available, easy to put together and be tough (we don't want families to just throw them away when they break, but come back and fix them, but within reason). It'll be people's first car, so it doesn't need to drive amazingly.

I was thinking the Neo Fighter (although body shell might be hard) or the rising fighter, but would really appreciate suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a great idea.

I think you're on to it with the entry level modern buggy as they can be used anywhere so most if the kids will be able to use it once they're home. On road requires a reasonably smooth surface which makes it hard.

You mentioned costs, I would get a DT02 or 3 and work out which is the cheapest once you add the essential oil shocks and bearings. I think the DT03 comes with oil shocks but not bearings. Some DT02 cone with everything. Bearings are easy as you order in bulk so they are super cheap. Obviously as a first car and what you're doing the best performance isn't essential, but you want them to enjoy it once they have it right?

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Frankly, I would get ECX kits.  $120 gets you everything including the AA batteries for the Tx.  Easy to build, tough as nails, and cheap.  If a kid catches the bug, show him the Tamiya kits.

Terry

 

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21 minutes ago, Frog Jumper said:

Frankly, I would get ECX kits.  $120 gets you everything including the AA batteries for the Tx.  Easy to build, tough as nails, and cheap.  If a kid catches the bug, show him the Tamiya kits.

Terry

 

Does ECX make kits? I’ve only seen RTRs from them in the US ( through horizon ) 

Might  be interested in some of their kits 

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15 minutes ago, Dakratfink said:

Does ECX make kits? I’ve only seen RTRs from them in the US ( through horizon ) 

Might  be interested in some of their kits 

I bought one from my LHS for my 12yo son earlier this year to try to get him interested. It’s an “Amp” SC Truck but I saw the same kit with a buggy body at the LHS…

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I'd go for a TT-02B. More to it than the average 2WD, so more build time, more scope for improvement, more educational opportunities, etc.

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14 minutes ago, TurnipJF said:

I'd go for a TT-02B. More to it than the average 2WD, so more build time, more scope for improvement, more educational opportunities, etc.

I agree, it satisfies all the requirements set out in the OP. As a relevant anecdote, I worked through a TT02B build with my 8yo nephew. He’s awesome at Lego, not quite into full Technic yet, but very good and methodical. It took him some practice to switch from click-together to screwdriver, but once he got that the only stages of the TT02B build he really struggled with were the diffs, cva dampers and body shell, which might suggest they are classes / modules / weeks in themselves, with learning opportunities both in technique and function (1:10 and 1:1)

Think it’s a great idea though, and can see it really appealing, especially when they all get to play / race together when complete 👍

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Oh, and the electronics install, which is almost a completely separate workstream to the 'model' build 

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5 hours ago, Nikko85 said:

As I might have mentioned, I work for a University in London providing STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) activities for a local community in West London.

One of my colleagues has started a project with 17 - 24 year olds making e-scooters, and I was wondering if I could do something similar with younger children and their parents and RC cars

The idea would be that each family would receive a car, and over a series of sessions we'd build it, whilst also exploring the topics such as electricity, air resistance, geometry, electric motors etc. We'd also spray paint the cars, and 3D print some elements too, so there's a degree of tinkering.

 Although the outlay is quite a bit per family, that's not that terrible if we can make it last 6 - 12 sessions (and much less than an e-scooter!)

This is all still very much in the preliminary stage, but I was wondering what car people would recommend please?

It needs to be cheap, spares readily available, easy to put together and be tough (we don't want families to just throw them away when they break, but come back and fix them, but within reason). It'll be people's first car, so it doesn't need to drive amazingly.

I was thinking the Neo Fighter (although body shell might be hard) or the rising fighter, but would really appreciate suggestions.

A SU-01? Base cost <£40. Gearbox and the fiddly bits prebuild. 370 motor so not too fast. Very good front bumper that actually deflects off a wall. AA batteries possible as it comes with the battery case. Only possible problem is the electrics as the TRE-01 is very hard to source. May have to package it with a suitable lipo battery, 1625 ESC and some kind of nano Rx (with additional instructions). Without hopups, I estimate the complete cost to be £90 to run, but postage from Japan..., unless you can get bulk shipping. 

 

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5 hours ago, IoWBasher said:

That be the FTX Outlaw, an Ultra 4 type truck. 

 

They’ll need ‘readily available spares’ for that one!!! :D

I do own one and, actually, it might not be a bad shout for slightly older kids.

It is big so easier to work on, relatively simple, you can do things like add way bars to the suspension and easily see the effect. It is a poor design so it is easier to see improvements.

In stock form it is hilarious, mash the throttle and it will lift a wheel and with the big tyres it won’t care about terrain in the way that a TT02B will.

But it is not a kit. The manual is an exploded diagram rather than a build manual.

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1 hour ago, Badcrumble said:

The manual is an exploded diagram rather than a build manual.

But it don't have to be, OP is writing a course on it, so how to build it should be part of the course materials. You are approaching it from the perspective of some kid just buying it and trying to build it, which even for Tamiya "shake and bake" easy to build quality kits, is not suitable for younger kids. Even Tamiya acknowledged this fact. IMG_20211002_094619.thumb.jpg.29454e59e1af269b5f89e4067f5a40d3.jpg

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2 minutes ago, alvinlwh said:

But it don't have to be, OP is writing a course on it, so how to build it should be part of the course materials. You are approaching it from the perspective of some kid just buying it and trying to build it, which even for Tamiya "shake and bake" easy to build quality kits, is not suitable for younger kids. 

Fair point, I got hung up on the first few posts mentioning kits Vs RTR. Previous threads on this topic (there have been a couple) have centred on indoor cars like M chassis or TT-02 and I would think Tamiya would give a far more pleasurable building experience for a 9 yr old. My (now 7yr) has really enjoyed putting together the Dual Hunter and in a couple of years I expect him to have the manual dexterity to build a kit from scratch pretty much on his own. I'll keep him away from the sharp stuff and the paint though!

Have you seen the Outlaw 'manual'?! I have resisted modding mine so far because it was not going to be a quick fondle with the wrench! Adapting that for 9yr old students would be a challenge, I think. Not insurmountable but Tamiya would be an easier route!

The previously linked article had kits assembled at different stages which could be a good route to go down for younger kids. And I do think the Outlaw provides the ability to make easily identifiable improvements.

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11 minutes ago, Badcrumble said:

Have you seen the Outlaw 'manual'?! I have resisted modding mine so far because it was not going to be a quick fondle with the wrench! Adapting that for 9yr old students would be a challenge, I think. Not insurmountable but Tamiya would be an easier route!

No I have not but I will expect someone putting together a SCIENCE, TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING, MECHANICAL course to be able to and put together a sensible and understandable set of instructions/course notes for his target audience of 9 - 11, even from a set of "back of fag pack" drawings.

I had mention numerous times in the pervious thread that even Tamiya does not recommend their RC kits for <14yo and selling/recommending it to 9 - 11 could bring about liability issues but OP seem really intent on pushing this one brand/range. 

There are already many more age appropriate RC kits for that age group, even Tamiya makes some educational project kits themselves (one of which I have in the Build subforum). 

I know many got caught up in discussion of their own hobbies, just looking at the number of discussions about bearings and CVAs at the start of this thread, really? For a 9yo? Will they even care? 

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Superb idea!!

13 hours ago, Nikko85 said:

I was thinking the Neo Fighter

That would be my goto.

Tamico was the best deal , pre Brexit, but don't know what the price would be now, I believe you need a £150 order before they'll even ship? (Shipping used to be around £13)

https://tamico.de/Tamiya-Neo-Fighter-Buggy-DT-03-Kit-58587

They where coming supplied with CVA shocks, bearings and a torque tuned, but just says ,CVA's now (but you never know). I was selling the esc and motor nip, and getting half the money back anyway! 

Tbh, if it's with bushes, you can test the load on the motor with bushes and with bearings etc.

 

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Apologies @alvinlwh, my attempt at humour obviously missed the mark. The 'manual' is not a manual in the Tamiya sense, not even a diagram to Axial quality standards either.

And yes, you could Adapt the Outlaw exploded diagram but 'is the juice worth the squeeze'? The car is a lot of fun though! Massive grin factor for a 9 yr old!

And you are quite right that Tamiya has a wide range of educational kits that could be more age appropriate.

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8 minutes ago, Badcrumble said:

Apologies @alvinlwh, my attempt at humour obviously missed the mark. The 'manual' is not a manual in the Tamiya sense, not even a diagram to Axial quality standards either.

And yes, you could Adapt the Outlaw exploded diagram but 'is the juice worth the squeeze'? The car is a lot of fun though! Massive grin factor for a 9 yr old!

And you are quite right that Tamiya has a wide range of educational kits that could be more age appropriate.

Sorry I missed the joke. My point is still the same, I will expect someone to be writing the course notes to be an expert on the subject. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Well, the same can be said for any course notes made by all the teachers and lecturers all over the world. I definitely do not expect to sign up to a course and be told to go and but XYZ kit, follow the instructions and that the end of it. 

The car is lots of fun for a 9yo no doubt. My 5yo loves her SU-01 and she helped with the build, but it does not mean she understand what bearings or the diff does, she just pop and that's it. Also, even with that 370 motor, she can knock a 6yo clean off his feet.

In this world of liability litigation, is it really safe to push a clearly stated for 14yo over product to 9 - 11, no matter how fun it is? 

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46 minutes ago, Wooders28 said:

Superb idea!!

That would be my goto.

Tamico was the best deal , pre Brexit, but don't know what the price would be now, I believe you need a £150 order before they'll even ship? (Shipping used to be around £13)

https://tamico.de/Tamiya-Neo-Fighter-Buggy-DT-03-Kit-58587

They where coming supplied with CVA shocks, bearings and a torque tuned, but just says ,CVA's now (but you never know). I was selling the esc and motor nip, and getting half the money back anyway! 

Tbh, if it's with bushes, you can test the load on the motor with bushes and with bearings etc.

 

This is the cheapest I had seen, shipping included with prime and no import fines, TT and CVA included, but I will argue that these things are not necessary for a 9 - 11yo and a TT (or even the silver can) is probably too fast for them and can cause injury if driven into someone at full speed. 

Screenshot_2021-10-02-11-20-35-688_com.android.chrome.thumb.jpg.aab7e48db94753f5a961ceca80d76541.jpg

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Thanks for all the replies.

Personally I'd include bearings, but not oil shocks unless they came with the kit - that could be an upgrade if they get into it.

Those links to sessions look great, thank you, although those children are 11 - 18, I am looking at 9 - 11, so does need to be quite simple. Lots of these families might have zero prior experience to any kind of engineering, LEGO etc.

LiPOs would be a no, I don't run LiPOs myself (yes, I'm aware they are not as dangerous as people say) but I can't give something to a child that can possibly cause a fire, the risk assessment would be a nightmare.

Parents would have to be involved in the making, the idea is to get parents and children working together with Science, as it's often the parents attitudes that inform children in later life. 

We'd be purchasing all the kits for families. The sessions would involve making, but also families talking to researchers in each relevant area (fluid dynamics, electrical engineer etc. with other activities to pad it out to around 20 hours or so). If we are spending £120 + per kit, I want it to make it worth it, not just a day's session.

Although we'd be making notes for the session, for the build itself a clear manual would really help, as I can't do better than Tamiya. I'd probably break down the manual into smaller chunks so it's less intimidating, with a list of all the parts needed for that session to keep it simple.

The rising fighter looks more simple, but the DT03 is a much better car - and the same price?? The cutting of lexan could be tricky, essentially I don't want a situation where if someone gets it wrong it can't be fixed! I guess adults could do that part, but many adults really don't know how to use scissors! I could always use a sharpie to show where to cut, which although sounds obvious might not be.

Knives are a little harder to use, so anything that just uses scissors is better!

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, alvinlwh said:

Sorry I missed the joke. My point is still the same, I will expect someone to be writing the course notes to be an expert on the subject. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Well, the same can be said for any course notes made by all the teachers and lecturers all over the world. I definitely do not expect to sign up to a course and be told to go and but XYZ kit, follow the instructions and that the end of it. 

 

I'll try and explain myself a little better. 

I meant adapting the Outlaw diagram is a lot of work for an educator when using something like a Tamiya manual could allow them to do more teaching about the function of the diff, dampers, etc. 

Slower motors and adjustable TXs can help reduce the speed of these mighty machines though they will still pack a punch. A rostrum or some hay bales might be in order!

I have to say I don't think I have ever before ended up in a 'point scoring' argument in Tamiyaclub before. I think I'll stop contributing now.

Good luck @Nikko85,  I reckon you've a good handle on what you can do and what is appropriate for the intended students.

 

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If I think back (🦖🦕) to my first RC build, I was 21, most of the hopups that have been mentioned didn’t exist but I still had loads of fun with a humpback battery and a clockwork charger.  I had to look up STEM/STEAM as it meant nothing to my old addled brain but now I have I think the most basic model without cva’s, bearings would fit the bill. It could be a RTR with a sub section in building, hopups etc. If the kit route is preferable then the Madbull might be a good candidate? Easy to assemble, tough as old boots, cheap parts and most of all fun!!!!

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5 minutes ago, Badcrumble said:

 Slower motors and adjustable TXs can help reduce the speed of these mighty machines though they will still pack a punch. A rostrum or some hay bales might be in order!

I have to say I don't think I have ever before ended up in a 'point scoring' argument in Tamiyaclub before. I think I'll stop contributing now.

That is going beyond the project brief of cheap and simple first kit for someone of zero experience already. 

I honestly do not see this as point scoring argument, I though we are giving input to the OP for his idea? And all I am trying to do is to tell OP to exercise caution as even Tamiya states that their RC kits are not for his intended age range. 

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