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What scale and modality to choose in radio control

Before choosing the type of car or model, we need to know what scale is the one that best suits us , that is, what size radio control model convinces us the most.


The scale of a model, what it means is the size ratio between the original and that model , that is, how many times smaller is the model than the original. For example, if a car is 1/5, it means that the car is 5 times smaller than the real one. Having this clear, we can already deduce that the larger the number at the bottom of the fraction, the smaller the size of the model.

Knowing the scale, and the size of the original, we can calculate the approximate dimensions that our model will have, to get an idea of how big it will be. How to decide between the different scales?

As always happens, each scale has a series of characteristics that we can take into account to help us choose.

SMALL SCALE MODELS: 1/18, 1/24....

The size of these models is usually around 25cm, so you will hardly need space to store them, nor will you need large tool cases; In addition to the fact that most are RTR versions, which already come ready to work; Therefore, workshop tasks are greatly reduced. These scales are quite focused on initiation, they are mainly focused on indoor use, so we do not need to go out to put them to work, although it is important to take into account some aspects due to their small size. For example, in the case of cars, the distance from the chassis to the ground is also small, and therefore, the surface must be as smooth as possible so as not to damage them. Most of these models are electric.


1/8, 1/16 scale models are included here... They are more expensive than the previous ones. They require a certain space to store them and they also need more accessories and tools for their set-up and maintenance; that we will normally store in briefcases, so it is also necessary to provide some space for these other elements. These scales are very widespread, and therefore it is easier for us to have a circuit or facilities nearby where we can enjoy the hobby. The models can be electric (both brussless and brushed, without brushes or with them respectively), as well as nitro. There is a wide variety of models ranging from the RTR for beginners to the most advanced models used in competition.


Mainly 1/5 and 1/6 scale models are included here. Being much older, so is their price; as well as the space we need at home to store them; along with all the necessary equipment for setups and maintenance. Due to their size, it is clear that these models are focused on outdoor use. Most of the models are gasoline, the size of the engines makes it easier to carburete them in other smaller scales. These scales allow the parts and components to have a "more normal" size or similar to the real ones, so their similarity to the originals is even greater.


If we are going to choose a naval model, we will more or less know if we prefer speed or enjoy the details, in which case, we will opt more for boats or hydrofoils. If we are more into model aircraft, we can also be quite clear if we do not like airplanes or helicopters more. But if what we like is model cars, then an additional question arises: better track or off-road?

Everything is a matter of taste. There are people who are clear that they prefer the track, and yet others who have been looking for a TT model from the beginning. Here we are going to summarize some characteristics of both options that can help you in your decision.


Due to the characteristics of the car, they are prepared to work on circuits with asphalt in good conditions, basically because the height of the chassis is not very high and if we take them over irregular terrain we can ruin our model. They reach very high speeds (over 100km/h on a straight line), so they allow us to enjoy speed. The track circuits are cleaner than the dirt ones, so the car does not get as dirty and it is also easier to clean afterwards.


They are very versatile, due to the fact that their damping system and the geometry of the car allow them to be used on very different terrains: dirt, snow, stones, water... The negative part of this is that they are terrains that dirty the model a lot, and therefore we must take into account that subsequent cleaning is important, if we want it to be in optimal conditions the next time. The circuits and taxi zones admit more variations than the track circuits (jumps, modifications of the layout...), so it can be more fun. We can take them on excursions and not be limited to their use on a circuit, since they admit many types of terrain. It is important to bear in mind that if we want to make them work with sections with water, the electronics must be suitably protected; so if you are starting the RC world you should pay attention to this.

Finally, we mention a modality that is becoming fashionable lately, it is the Rally models . They are not exactly track or TT, they are an intermediate family. These cars can be a very good option for beginners, precisely because they are an intermediate point; or for the undecided, since with the correct set-up, they allow shooting on the track and on other dirt surfaces.

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