Whether you choose the simplicity of electric radio controlled cars or the realistic sights and sounds of nitro rc cars, one major decision the newcomer is faced with is just what type of radio controlled vehicle will best meet his needs.
Whatever you choose, think carefully about just how you will be spending your time with your new hobby and balance this against your current level of experience. Here is just a taste of the options open to you.
On-road cars are undoubtedly the most popular type of radio controlled vehicle. The standard for on-road radio controlled cars is the 1/10 scale model, although 1/8 scale models are also commonly seen. With the recent influx of micro and mini rc cars, there are now also a number of hobby quality on-road cars as small as 1/18 scale.
Both electric and nitro radio controlled cars come in on-road versions, and can be purchased either ready to run or as self-build kits. Built and geared for speed, on-road radio controlled cars should be your choice if you plan to race your cars.
If you want to be able to run your radio controlled cars just about anywhere, you’ll definitely need the rugged construction of an off-road vehicle. These sturdy cars and trucks will handle hills, uneven terrain, jumps and even sand. Available in two or four-wheel drive versions, off-road vehicles can be driven in your back yard, a vacant lot or just about anywhere you like.
Like their on-road counterparts, off-road radio controlled cars can be purchased ready to run or as self-build kits and there is a wide range of both electric and nitro cars, as well as trucks, for you to choose from.
Although they are not the fastest cars available, off-road rc cars are durable, rugged and can be run practically anywhere.
These durable little vehicles are powerful enough to handle on and off-road terrains with speeds of up to 60 mph and are becoming increasingly popular. Although buggies can be great fun, for a wide choice of models, you will need to buy your buggy as a self-build nitro kit and this can be a lot to handle for the beginner.
Radio controlled flyers also feature amongst the most popular and exciting of rc vehicles. Electric and ready-to-run versions are the most accessible for the beginner, though of course there are nitro and self-build kits available to allow for growth and customization.
Radio controlled airplanes are extremely light weight, and can be made to fly at very low speeds. The electric versions are also quiet enough to be run in a school yard, which makes them a great option for the newcomer to the radio controlled scene. If you wish to include competition as a main element of your new hobby though you should be aware that there are many fewer competitions run for rc airplanes than there are for rc cars.
Though perhaps a little too complicated the beginner, radio controlled helicopters are both exciting and challenging to fly. They are normally run on gas, and can be great fun for the more experienced hobbyist.
Boats and Watercraft.
Available in both electric and nitro powered versions, radio controlled boats are normally only available in kit form and the need for waterproofing adds an additional level of difficulty. As a result, boats and other watercraft are not recommended for beginners but, once you become familiar with the workings of radio controlled vehicles, you will find boats and other watercraft possibly the most fun of all to build and race.
Although it is very much a personal choice, the newcomer would be best advised to start with ready-to-run, on-road electric radio controlled cars and, once he is familiar with the basic art of running and racing rc cars, he can then move up in stages towards his preferred model.