Way Back Machines

Years ago, Many Many Years ago, I was into Radio Control. You might say I was obsessed and even started the very first RC collector website in America. I know my old hobbies were not necessarily related to Puppets, nor Puppet Master, but however, my hobbies have always involved model making. Id like to share some of my past model creations with you, starting with this very heavy 1:10 scale Radio Controlled tank kit, which was imported from Japan in the late 90s, and was one of several tanks I built. The kit weighed approximately 70-90 lbs. Some of my own modifications included a rotating turret.

The model operated with as little as a two channel RC radio and was powered by choice of a sewing machine type motor, or an optional gas engine which ran on model grade nitro fuel. I placed the soda can near the tank to reference its scale. (which by the way I later crushed in just a few passes)

When running on the electric motor it was rather slow, and under powered, and when the gas engine was installed it seemed to be just as loud as a lawn mower, and nearly as destructive and dangerous.

I had my fun with it before selling it to a fellow collector who was primarily interested in model tanks, I didn’t miss it at all, as it was heavy, noisy, hard to start, smelled bad, and always left a puddle on the ground. One might compare it to a certain American made motorcycle which shall remain nameless.

The next is also a 1/10 scale tank, this time a German Tiger I.

This particular tank was purchased from some one who started, but was not able to finish the kit, and luckily I discovered it for sale at a local hobby shop which had been around since the 50s. The owner was retired and the shop was on the verge of closing as they were rapidly losing business to newer stores.

I cant recall how I happened to notice the tank since it was in pieces in a plain brown cardboard box, and none of the original documents or packaging anywhere in site. The story was the kit’s previous owner completed about 10% before returning it to the store.¬† I really wish I had more information about the kit before selling it, as I understand now that the kit was actually very valuable.

I believe I paid less than $100 for it, and today Im sure the kit is worth thousands.

Unlike the previous tank which was made from sheet metal and cast aluminum, this one was very light, and even featured a firing mechanism. The kit was mainly constructed of sheet aluminum and lacked fine detail. Other than the tracks the only cast part was a the plastic piece at the base of gun. I imagine  several more resin cast parts such as the turret doors etc. were missing from the kit along with the gearbox.

I never did operate it since the gearbox and drive train was missing, and without documentation I was not able to locate a source for the missing parts etc.


Now here is the Real Tank in action!

Tiger I, old, slow, and 1 of only a few which are still operable.

Today there are numerous radio control tanks available, and in various scales most of which are electric powered plastic toys, as seen here. (mostly 1:10, 1:15 scale or smaller)