There are two basic ways to get into the hobby. The first is to buy second hand and the second is to build from a kit.

Second hand purchase

Buying second hand seems like a great way to get on the layouts quickly but it does come with a few words of warning. Whatever the price it is extremely difficult to check the build quality other than paintwork. You will have no idea if there are any problems and these may just show themselves later. So some words of wisdom may be in order.

  • check whether you get everything you will need to run it, truck, radio, battery and charger.
  • buy via your local club, They will not take any responsibility but they can offer advise.
  • never buy blind always ask to see the model and to see it running.
  • ask what upgrades have been done.
  • if you are buying off the internet then ask for more pictures, e.g. uderside, inside the cab, bits that you cant see, with the lights working etc.
  • don't be afraid to ask why the owner is selling.
  • ask for others opinions, its easy on FB etc.
  • collect if you can, as then you can have a look at it, also consider taking someone from your local club.

New build from a kit

Building from a kit can be a little more involved and you will need to buy more things but you can spread the cost, it will take longer to get you up and running.

A basic kit is a great way to learn how the models are put together and help you understand the parts, their function and how they all fit together. There are a number of things that you will absolutely have to have te get your kit up and running and there are a few nice to haves that are best done at build time.

Must Haves

You will need:-

  • A kit, I would suggest one of the simpler 4x2 (two axle) or 6x4 (three axle) kits. More recently tamiya have brought out some more complex kits and for a first build I would not pick one of those.
  • Servos, most kits require two servos, one for the gearbox and one for steering. You can lock the gearbox into a gear using the supplied clips meaning you only absolutely need 1 servo. Standard types will do but depending on the surface you might like some upgraded the steering to one with metal gears.
  • Radio I suggest that you buy new. Radio can be horrendously expensive and complicated so I would suggest a simple set such as the flysky FS-I6s, up to 10 channels and can be purchased with 6 or 10 channel receiver, its simple to set up and good for a starter radio
  • Speed controller or multifunction controller. A speed controller is cheap with a hobbywing 1060 running around £20 at time of writing, thats adequate. GT power do a cheap multifunction unit that is worth considering. There are other options but we can discuss those later
  • Battery, Its probably best to get two, 5000mah Nimh or lipo celss. NB. Some esc's and multifunction units cannot look after Lipos correctly. Lipos will need a liposafe charging bag.
  • Paint

This will get you a functioning truck.

Nice to Haves

There are a few nice additions that you may want to consider some because they enhance your drive and some to enhance the experience.

Two should be considered at build time, I know it adds to the cost but its easier to do it now:-

  • Bearings. A set of rubber shielded bearings will improve the way that your truck runs, If you dont add them at build time then its quite a big job to do later.
  • Motor. The supplied motor (27 or 35 turn) is too fast for most layouts we generally advise a 55 or 80 turn direct replacement motor AND locking the gearbox in first.

Other things that you can consider are:-

  • sound and light, you can spend a few pounds on lights and up to a few hundred on an all singing and dancing system, my advice is to start simple.
  • Decals these trucks are all the same but they are also all different, the decals in the kit are ok but the addition of a full paint scheme and supporting decals helps to customise your truck, even down to a compy of a specific owners truck.


 To give you an idea of what can be done, hear is the journey of my first truck.

This is how it all started for me. I was deeply in to fast electric model boats until the floods came and approaching age gave me an aversion to rain, a trip to a show tipped it for me. This is a scania 6x4 kit with a tamiya flatbed trailer (yes you will want something to pull!

That was all a bit plain for me but a newly found FB friend had a lovely scania with a nice set of decals so I decided I would come as close as I could.

Then I added a carson flatbed trailer and worked on the load.

Finally I bought a heavily modified a carson tipper trailer. I really do need to get it out again!


Now I have what my wife would call "rather too many toys" LOL.




One final thought, you will have invested time and money in your model(s) and supporting parts (batteries, chargers, cases, loads and diarama parts) so it would be would be a really good idea to get some insurance, this could be an extension to home insurance or it could be completely separate. Yes we as a club have insurance for events but it does not cover everything  ( Like someones child tripping over your truck, or indeed many scenarios of someone tripping over your truck.) , so check out our insurance and your own, and dont forget cover whilst in transit and at shows!


Hapy building. please feel free to contact us using the contact form for any help or info you might need.