RC Tank 's Definitive Guide
The beginner's guide to RC tank 's world, A quick ride in the detailed and historical hobby beginning with defining what is the hobby of RC tank models, Its a hobby which is suitable for 12 year old kids or 50 year old men its all about history of warfare equipment ( especially tanks ), major battles and army equipment.
Most of hobbyists share that love of war history starting from WW2 till modern wars, And there have been more than 900 different types of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery manufactured through modern history of military equipment.
Every and each one of them has its own details, features and an amazing history of success and disappointments. For that having a detailed tank model or RC tank for a hobbyist means taking a part of that magnificent history.
After all You can't forget the element of fun after all its a remote controlled tank there is a ton of fun ideas can pop up in your head about it right now.
A kid's toy or a grown man hobby ?!
you may be thinking about that in my opinion i think it can go both sides, Some RC tanks are more toys than a hobby or a model and some of them can't ever be considered as a "Toy", how and why will be explained in the article below.
States of Assembly for RC Tanks
When you buy a RC tank model it can be in different conditions inside the brand new box and here comes the real hobby. RC Tanks mainly are customizable there are no rules or limits you can upgrade buy new features or the optimize you tank to the best condition.
RTR ( Ready to Run ) : Its the condition when the tank is fully assembled from the manufacturer and doesn't need any further steps or work ( except charging or batteries ) to get it run.
Needs assembly ( Unassembled Kit condition ) : When you buy RC tank in this condition the tank will come in pieces and you will make the assembly process using tools and instruction manuals, This type of assembly condition require several skills and the assembly time can take weeks or months. The assembled kits usually are much more detailed and curved than RTR tanks (The Real Hobby) .
ARTR ( Almost Ready To Run ) : The Tank kit needs assembly but the tank will lack of any electronics or paints which can be sourced in the after market.
Types of Assembly Kits
Assembly kits are typed by skill levels like
- Beginners or basic kits
- Intermediate kits
- Advanced kits
The main difference between them is the mainly how difficult to assemble that depends on the assembly time, the numbers of pieces, electrical and critical components.
Components ( Plastic and metal ) pieces , chassis, torsion bar, suspension parts, electric motors, wires and electric components and a control unit.
RC Tanks Main Parts :
RC Tanks Inner Parts :
Main Scales of RC Tanks
Starting as RC tank collector you must know about scales because every model or RC tank is made according to size scale of the real tank, Scales have wide variety mainly from 1/72 ending with the giant 1/4, we will mention here most popular scales and recommended uses :
- 1/32 - 1/35 suitable for starter or beginner hobbyist
- 1/24 suitable for starter or advanced Collectors
- 1/16 suitable for starter or advanced Collectors
- 1/6 suitable for advanced Collectors
- 1/4 gigantic remote controlled tanks lover
Main Factors and Features in RC tanks
its not just a tank model which can move forward and backward the situation is much more advanced than that, RC Tanks now are developed to simulate real tanks as much as possible ( yes it can shoot ! ).
RC Tanks can be categorized into to types :
- Air Soft RC Tanks
- Infrared RC Tanks
RC Tanks Main Features :
|Rotating Turret||Can rotate 360 degrees in some tanks.|
|Controlled Cannon||The cannon can move up and down also can rotate in some kits.|
|Firing Capability||Many RC tanks can actually shoot but not real shells of course, The main gun is airsoft and it can shoot BB firing units.|
|Sound System||To imitate the actual tank there must be that noise of the engine or the turret or even the shooting this is also a cool feature in a lot of RC tanks, volume control can be included.|
|Smoke||Although Most RC tanks depends on electric motors but you can have smoke simulator for the engine using a special smoke liquid.|
|Operation in water||The ability to operate in water.|
|Suspension||Realistic suspension connection system.|
|Battle Systems||If you want to battle other IR RC tanks battle systems provide the battling capability.|
|Lighting System||Control LED units (headlights or tail lights)and can also include flashing canon.|
|Metal tracks||( My personal favorite feature ) insanely important make the tank 150% more realistic because of the sound real metal and the ability to overcome obstacles.|
|Camera||FPV Camera Systems can be installed in RC tanks, Goggles may be included. This feature is hardly to be found on new tanks kits but it can be customly modified into the tank.|
|Speeds (ESC)||Different moving speeds can be installed in the tank including Forwarding speeds and Back warding speeds. Electronic Speed Control (ESC) control it using "Digital twin motor differential" DMD control unit.|
|Alum. barrel||The Tanks canon (barrel) can be made from aluminum making it alot more stronger and realistic, As it reduces canon problems especially for airsoft tanks.|
|Barrel Recoil||The ability to reload the tank's canon.|
Main Specifications of RC Tanks
RC Tanks Control
Take your First Steps
◊ Find The Perfect Tank :
Popular Remote controlled Tank Types :
- German Tiger versions
- US M1 Abrams versions
- US M4A3 Sherman
- German Leopard versions
- German Panther versions
- Soviet T-34/85
- US M26
- Soviet KV versions
- Soviet Tank T-55A
- US M41 Walker Bulldog
◊ You May Choose a Brand and a Scale
( 1/16 - 1/32 is recommended as a start ) :
Popular Brands of RC Tank Models :
1.Tamiya ( RC Tanks Gold Standard ) : The Highest quality Japanese brand for RC Tanks makes a wide collection of tanks with distributors around the world.
Note : Tamiya IR battle system units are widely used in tank battles and clubs.
2.Heng long : High quality Chinese brand make a lot of models for relatively cheaper price.
6.Field of Armor Tanks : 1/6 Tanks
7.MARK 1 TANK : 1/4 King tiger Tanks
◊ Buy The tank :
RC Tanks online stores :
You will find multiple online stores and marketplaces which you can source your tank kit from. We will recommend a few great stores selling original high quality kits.
As You can check custom RC tanks for sale on our RC Tanks Marketplace when you can buy directly from the seller (which is a hobbyist as you are ).
How much does it cost ?
Costs vary for RC tanks beginning with small RTR models with some advanced capabilities can range between 20$ - 100$, and larger models or kits (1/24 - 1/16 ) with IR battle capabilities range between 100$ - 2200$, As For king sized RC tanks ( 1/6 - 1/4 ) the retail prices range between 2000$ - 15000$.
◊ Get your Tools Set Up Then Get Your Tank Assembled :
RC tanks Toolkit :
As a collector you will need a suitable toolkit to build or fix your tank.Many high quality toolkits can be found in hobby shops or online stores for great prices and you will also need paints and glue depending on the tanks kit or the camo you want.
Recommended starter toolkit :
- Craft or Modeling knife.
- Different sizes Screwdrivers including size zero ( magnetic tip is preferable).
- Side Cutter
- Tweezers small sized.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Polystyrene cement or plastic cement.
- Super glue.
- Spray paints for large parts.
- Brush Acrylic paint for the small parts.
The Assembly process is center of this hobby where all the fun exist, Its not hard as you may imagine as you will find every step and every detail in the assembly manual included in the kit.
Start the assembly by following the instructions of the manual for these main four steps :
Cutting Parts OFF :
First you need to cut the parts off the sprue or the tree using the tools we recommended before like side cutter and craft knife.
Glue & assemble :
After cutting the parts you will glue and assemble the parts according to the graphs on the manual and Use cement glue for the plastic parts.
Applying Decals :
After assembling the kit and finishing the paint you should begin the process of accessorizing and showcasing using decals or accessories included.
Paint the Tank Parts:
The next step is to paint the tank using either spray paint for the main body and large parts or arclyric brush paint for small parts, then let it dry.
◊ Engage RC tanks community :
RC Tanks Online Communities :
Your next big step is to engage tankers online community, RC tankers have an active online community filled with professional hobbyists posting the latest trends and custom upgrades which you can learn from, also you can ask the professionals for help with any obstacle you will find in your way and most of them will engage with you positively " its a passion".
Its also somekind of a competitive hobby not only in the battle arena but in showcasing and custom upgrades/mods, so you hobbyists post their latest works and models.
Finding active communities isn't that hard because you will find a lot of them with a short online search, Mainly its Facebook groups and online forums, We will recommend a few great communities with valuable resources you can start with.
◊ Join A Club :
RC Tanks Clubs :
Collectors clubs are around the world organizing battles, battlefields, Tank Shows, discussions, projects and several activities related to RC tanks you can find the club next to you and join them as soon as you fulfill their tank requirements ( mainly certain types or scales and membership subscription (not necessarily ) ).
How to find the nearest Club ?
RC Tanks Blog put together the largest database of RC tank clubs all over the world and you can find the nearest club by clicking on your state on the interactive USA map below -
Or you can find it by searching Google or Facebook search with ( city name + 'tank club' ), then you will find the results of the nearest clubs around you ( mostly Facebook pages or groups ), filter the results for the nearest and most active club then ask to join.
◊ Join A battle :
RC tank Battles :
RC tanks can actually battle and these battles requires IR battle system to be installed in the tank, As we mentioned before there are two types of RC tanks airsoft and IR, If you are planing to join a battle you should choose IR compatible tank which you can install IR battle system in it.
IR battles are actually a great simulation of the real battle, if the tank fired the main canon at another tank the receiver in the tank will receive IR beams and will simulate being hit with sounds and may also shut the tank off .
RC Tank clubs usually organize events for tank battles using detailed well-organized battlefields fits recreations of historical battles sometimes.
RC tanks battlefields :
For a certain level of collector building historical tanks isn't enough at all without creating a battlefield suitable for the area the real tank used to operate in, Battlefields usually include ( houses, roads, bridges, bunkers and of course small soldiers to run it all ).