Is anyone here into “racing models”, rockets, RC, Mini4WD, etc?

SignOfZeta

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Do you build anything that flies or drives without you in it? Kites? Pinewood derby? Are you a Tamiya Collectard?

I have two Tamiya RCs, a Lunchbox and a Plasma Edge II. I have about 80 meters of Mini4WD track in my basement and I’m involved in a Michigan Mini4WD group where we have built much larger tracks in the park, etc.




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StevenK

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I've got a 20 year old nitro car shoved in a cupboard somewhere, used to love that car. It was so easily broken though, nearly every 20 minute run ended up needing something replaced from a minor clip on a rock or something, is that the same with the battery cars?

I've put a few cheap lightweight planes in trees over the years too, but I always wanted one of those insanely fast ones, I was just convinced I would end up killing someone.

I don't even know what I'm looking at with the mini 4wd stuff, what's the story on those?
 

lachlan

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80 meters of track in your basement heh and here I was thinking you had a torture dungeon.
 

NeoSneth

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I probably would be into more of the indoor racing if I lived in California. They only race offroad stuff out here.
I have built a few RC Tamiya's, but they do not take a beating very well. Havent done one in a long while now that I think about it. My last one was the Datsun 240z rally. Looked really cool, but couldnt handle anything that wasn't compact ground. Much like a real rally car.
 

kernow

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I had miniz and traxxas, just the udr left
 

SignOfZeta

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I've got a 20 year old nitro car shoved in a cupboard somewhere, used to love that car. It was so easily broken though, nearly every 20 minute run ended up needing something replaced from a minor clip on a rock or something, is that the same with the battery cars?

I've put a few cheap lightweight planes in trees over the years too, but I always wanted one of those insanely fast ones, I was just convinced I would end up killing someone.

I don't even know what I'm looking at with the mini 4wd stuff, what's the story on those?

A 7.2V electric car with brushed motor and stock gearing only goes about 18mph so as long as you didn't buy too much aluminum and carbon stuff it can take some pretty good whacks. I bent a shock shaft on the buggy once, same shock shaft Tamiya has sold since the mid 80s, and a wheel rim on the Lunchbox that I still haven't fixed because its minimal. You have have to be careful not to make your car too fast and fragile to be logical to own. The more $ you have in your pocket the more restraint it takes. :) I typically only use stock power levels and official Tamiya parts. "Stock" is good because stock is reliable and stock replacement parts are cheap and easy to find. If you aren't actually racing against anyone then more speed is pointless. What matters is fun. The LB has smacked into some shit at max force multiple times and its rolled more often than I can count. Its extremely durable by design.

Mini4WD...the closest thing I can compare it to is model rocketry. The car is designed to tackle a specific track. Once you turn it on it just hauls ass at max speed, completely on its own. You have to build into it the entire logic needed to pass the course, like a Rube Goldberg machine on wheels. To be honest there is nothing like it in all of racing, real or miniature. Its totally unique. Its an engineering exercise. While its billed as "entry level" in truth its gets super hardcore quickly.
 

SignOfZeta

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I probably would be into more of the indoor racing if I lived in California. They only race offroad stuff out here.
I have built a few RC Tamiya's, but they do not take a beating very well. Havent done one in a long while now that I think about it. My last one was the Datsun 240z rally. Looked really cool, but couldnt handle anything that wasn't compact ground. Much like a real rally car.

Tell me about it. I'd love to do indoor RC racing, floorpan monoshock stuff, F1, CanAm, but in Michigan I haven't seen it since the 80s.
 

StevenK

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A 7.2V electric car with brushed motor and stock gearing only goes about 18mph so as long as you didn't buy too much aluminum and carbon stuff it can take some pretty good whacks. I bent a shock shaft on the buggy once, same shock shaft Tamiya has sold since the mid 80s, and a wheel rim on the Lunchbox that I still haven't fixed because its minimal. You have have to be careful not to make your car too fast and fragile to be logical to own. The more $ you have in your pocket the more restraint it takes. :) I typically only use stock power levels and official Tamiya parts. "Stock" is good because stock is reliable and stock replacement parts are cheap and easy to find. If you aren't actually racing against anyone then more speed is pointless. What matters is fun. The LB has smacked into some shit at max force multiple times and its rolled more often than I can count. Its extremely durable by design.

Mini4WD...the closest thing I can compare it to is model rocketry. The car is designed to tackle a specific track. Once you turn it on it just hauls ass at max speed, completely on its own. You have to build into it the entire logic needed to pass the course, like a Rube Goldberg machine on wheels. To be honest there is nothing like it in all of racing, real or miniature. Its totally unique. Its an engineering exercise. While its billed as "entry level" in truth its gets super hardcore quickly.
Man I've never seen or heard of the mini4wd stuff but I've just watched a video on youtube - me and my 8 year old could spend hours on this stuff together. I did find there's a very small UK scene but all meets have been canned with the covid shit. I'm going to keep an eye open for it opening up again.
 

profholt82

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What a coincidence. I literally just bought this Jurassic Park rc jeep at Target this afternoon. I thought it looked like fun, and it was cheap. Orco's my test driver. The baby and the dog are equal parts fascinated and terrified at the moment. Haha
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Late

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I still have the Tamiya Grasshopper I got as a kid, it's at the family country place, drive it a few times a year. Some friends have gas-powered ones, seem to require a lot of maintenance (I guess that the pit stop stuff is part of the experience)
 

HDRchampion

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Does the Mario Kart RC Carrera count? We put 3 balloons on the back and do battle mode. Did this w/ the wife and kids during the summer.
 

NeoSneth

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I still have the Tamiya Grasshopper I got as a kid, it's at the family country place, drive it a few times a year. Some friends have gas-powered ones, seem to require a lot of maintenance (I guess that the pit stop stuff is part of the experience)

Gas was great because it gave longer run times. ~15minutes. That was amazing when batteries only lasted about 5 minutes.
Now it is a lot of extra maintenance for nothing.
 

NeoSneth

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Does the Mario Kart RC Carrera count? We put 3 balloons on the back and do battle mode. Did this w/ the wife and kids during the summer.
You should get the Mario Kart Home Circuit cars. They are built really well, and the integration in the Switch is very well done.
 

HDRchampion

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You should get the Mario Kart Home Circuit cars. They are built really well, and the integration in the Switch is very well done.
yeah i still have an unopened Luigi, so never did the two player as i needed another switch. It was fun setting up the course but the wife didn't like it as it was all over the living room & dining room for almost a week. Might do it during spring/summer on the deck.
 

SignOfZeta

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Does the Mario Kart RC Carrera count? We put 3 balloons on the back and do battle mode. Did this w/ the wife and kids during the summer.

Well, there are sorta two kinds of RC cars, Hobby and Toy. Both have their uses, sometimes the lines are blurred, but this and the Jurassic Park Jeep would be Toy for sure. I haven't seen the Mario Kart ones but I'd assume the quality is on the high end for Toy stuff. I know the Hot Wheels cars sure are. Nintendo seems to demand a certain minimal level of quality and I think they more or less made this themselves, right?

Broadly but not precisely....

Hobby:

1: Build from a kit.
2: Sold at hobby stores.
3: Usually on the market for years and years (Lunchbox has been on the market since 1987 and is based on an even older kit).
4: Spares are sold at the same store as the car, good support from manufacturer and 3rd parties.
5: Usually light and fast OR accurate depictions of something.
6: They can go outside (in fact, indoor is usually impractical if not impossible).
7: Rarely licensed from popular IPs (probably not Superman, Power Rangers, etc) because paying %40 to the rights holder makes the car junk.
8: Little to no cutting edge tech, but rather established tech.
9: Can be maintained and rebuilt for literally decades and handed down to the next generation.
10: Modular with little to no proprietary parts (no "black boxes", glopped chips, don't need a Switch or an iPhone or whatever to use it).
11: Designed to go fast, break, be fixed, and go fast again.
12: Higher initial cost.

Toy:

1: Came built in the box
2: Sold at Walmart, TRU, Target, Ali Express, etc,
3: Made for one or two seasons then abandoned forever no matter how successful it is.
4: Spares are perhaps included in the box, maybe available from the manufacturer, but often the Toy is junk the first time it breaks a single part.
5: Slow, heavy.
6: Indoor only, not waterproof or easily made waterproof.
7: Usually called Grave Digger or Batmobile or something to get Grandma's attention at XMas time.
8: Glop topped chips, non-standard radios, weird shitty little batteries.
9: Junk as soon as you hit a curb.
10: All proprietary parts except for maybe the motor.
11: Designed for the trash can so you can buy another one next year.
12: Cheaper initial cost.
 
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