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AF­TER PUTTING TO­GETHER THE TAMIYA BEETLE RALLY CAR

RC Car Action - - CONTENTS - Peter Vieira Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor/ Sur­face Group pe­terv@airage.com

and work­ing on the fix-your-sus­pen­sion ar­ti­cle with Kev for this is­sue, I couldn’t help but think about how many hours I’ve hap­pily spent at my hobby bench work­ing on RC cars (not to men­tion static mod­els, rock­ets, and elec­tron­ics, plus many more hours in the garage work­ing on bi­cy­cles, but I di­gress). I love work­ing on stuff, but I do get the ap­peal of ready-to-run mod­els, and I fre­quently ap­pre­ci­ate the chance to jump right into ac­tion with no assem­bly or paint­ing re­quired. RTRS have been great for the RC biz be­cause they’re what most peo­ple want. Open box, in­stall bat­ter­ies (and add fuel, per­haps), go have fun. I’d say you don’t know what you’re miss­ing by not build­ing a kit, but maybe you do know—or at least think you do. If you think go­ing DIY with RC sounds like a drag, I bet it’s be­cause some past dis­as­sem­bly dis­as­ter con­vinced you that you weren’t “me­chan­i­cally in­clined.” Some­thing, some­where, some­time made you think putting stuff to­gether just wasn’t your thing, and if you take apart your car or try to build one your­self, you might dis­turb the me­chan­i­cal magic that al­lows it to work at all. If that sounds like you and you’re wary of work­ing on your cars your­self, don’t be. It’s not hard, and there’s more to be gained by do­ing it your­self than just sav­ing a trip to the hobby store. Any­time I roll my chair up to the work­bench to de­com­press with an RC project, I can’t help but think how much of the hobby, for me, is work­ing on cars as op­posed to driv­ing them. Mind you, RC cars don’t need to be worked on that much. It’s not like they’re mopeds or Fi­ats. I just en­joy work­ing on my RC cars, so I do it a lot. I like tear­ing them down and re­build­ing them, I like trick­ing them out with af­ter­mar­ket gear, and I like cre­at­ing my own cus­tom ma­chines. While I don’t root for parts to break or wear out, I do en­joy fix­ing what­ever needs to be fixed. And so, it’s a bum­mer when I see RC driv­ers (some­times young, of­ten not) lim­it­ing them­selves to only half of the hobby—the half where you’re hold­ing the trans­mit­ter. The other half, where you’re hold­ing a screw­driver, hex wrench, or sol­der­ing iron, can be just as much fun, if not more, and very re­ward­ing too. The next time you’re ready to turn your car over to the techs, give your­self a turn at mak­ing the fix. You just might sur­prise your­self with how well you do and how much fun you have do­ing it.

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