With the exception of large-scale models with gasoline
engines, model cars use “nitro engines,” which are
named for the fuel they burn. Model engines run on
“nitro,” a mix of nitromethane, methanol, and oil, which
you purchase at the hobby store.
In nitro cars, a
servo is used to
open and close
to control the
Most cars and trucks are sold ready to run, or R TR.
;is means that all the electronic gear is included
and installed for you, including the transmitter and
receiver. Car transmitters are very simple: ;ere’s
a wheel for steering and a trigger for throttle.
Squeeze the trigger to go forward; push it up to
apply the brakes. If you’re driving an electric car,
most models are set up so that pushing the trigger
up a second time after returning to neutral will
activate re verse throttle. Unlike many toy RC cars
that don’t allow fine steering and throttle control,
hobby-quality RC cars have “proportional” controls.
;e farther you turn the wheel, the more sharply
the car will steer. ;e farther you pull the trigger,
the faster the car will go.
BUILD IT YOURSELF
;e vast majority of RC models are sold RTR,
but if you dream of building a car yourself from a
kit, you still have options. High-end racing cars
are still o;ered almost exclusively as kits, but
these aren’t the best first-car choices unless
you plan to jump straight into competition.
Tamiya is the king of kits, with everything from
super-simple beginner cars to competition
models to ultra-detailed scale vehicles including
tractor-trailers. All are easier to build than you
think, and if you already imagine that building
a car is fun to do, you won’t be disappointed
doing it yourself. On the other hand, if spinning
wrenches isn’t your thing, stick with an RTR.
;at’s why they make ’em!
This is the platform
that all the parts
are bolted to. Most
are plastic, while
most nitro cars use
an aluminum chassis.
Yep, it holds
This is the exhaust pipe...
to keep things simple.
It’s called a “tuned” pipe
because it is specially
shaped, or tuned, to
enhance engine power.