RC Car Collection

RC Car Collection

Hello fellow RC enthusiasts from around the world.
 I hope you are all well.

In this post I will be showing you the RC Cars I have owned over the years. There are many cars in this post I sadly no longer own. This would be mostly down to the space they take up or, I have moved on to a different class of rc car. I am not going to add dates, simply show you what I've owned over the years and my experiences with the said RC Car. This post or list of cars will be a long running topic as I am constantly looking for new projects to build and blog.

 Ok, here we go. (In no particular order)

HPI Savage 21. (nitro fuel).

 This is actually the second Savage I have owned. The first one was the more powerful Savage 25 however, it was always stripping gears and munching the differentials. I sold the 25 and bought a second hand 21 and had no problems with the drive train.

 The 21 was a much better truck albeit a little slower. Believe me, when you crash one of these it gets expensive, so a slower (slightly) truck was better for me.

As you can see my savage sporting a brand new Bronco body shell finished in bright orange.

 The 21, in my humble opinion was the better truck and was slightly cheaper than the 25. This was a great truck and took some beatings from me. I have to say, for a big truck, it handled really, really well. Very predictable and quite agile. Unfortunately, I sold this truck not long after this picture was taken. 

King Motor Baja. (2 stroke unleaded petrol)

This buggy was a monster and I didn't keep it long as it was too big to store. It was also very noisy and a real handful to deal with where ever you went. It tore up fields (literally) and tyres just for fun. It was also very heavy and very dangerous. With a 29 CC engine and tuned pipe, this thing just took off and being rear wheel drive, it was a challenge to keep it in a straight line on any terrain. Flat out it could quickly and easily hit 35 mph. At approximately 40 Kg in weight this buggy was very dangerous to all in the immediate area. It would scare aware all animals and children instantly.  Me and 2 of my friends literally tore up a football pitch within 30 minutes. Yes the pitch was damp but, wow, very destructive. It was the same story on tarmac, instead of tearing up earth, it tore it's tyres apart.

With only a rear brake supplied as standard, it was also quite hair raising to slow down, with the back end wanting to come round to the front. This mostly ended in a total flip of the buggy, resulting in broken rims, arms and rear wing. A very costly mistake. The strut braces also had to be upgrade as they bent very easily. 

The picture above shows off the tuned (and very noisy) exhaust pipe and the brake lights I installed the brake lights to stop me getting rear ended from friends. A good looking and fast car but it was handful to look after, store and drive. Obviously the fuel was a major hazard, but also was driving the car and the funds to keep it running. Not a scale I would ever return to to be honest. I sold the buggy soon after these pictures were taken. I did love the look of this buggy to be honest. A proper dune buggy.

Traxxas T-Maxx .21 (Nitro Fuel)

The Traxxas T-Maxx. was without doubt my favourite 1/8 scale buggy. This was better than any Hpi Savage in design, value for money and outstanding handling. What with a reverse gear as standard and an on board starter this truck was rocking. The above picture shows the T-maxx sporting a brand new Pro-line beetle body shell with an offset Tamiya Sand Scorcher paint design. 

This truck was an absolute pleasure to drive. Absorbing the toughest of jumps and terrain without batting an eyelid. In fact it made you look like you were a professional driver. However it was the T-Maxx calming the situation down during difficult choices made by the driver. ALSO some of the best standard spring and shock assemblies I have ever seen, soaking out the most difficult terrain and jumps.

An absolutely fantastic buggy. This is one buggy I do regret selling. I loved it, and I still hunt for a second hand project to this day. Hopefully I may find one on Ebay. I would however convert it to an electric version. I have seen it done with a twin titan 550 motors, giving almost the same results as the .21 nitro engine. I will as far as I can, NEVER use another IC engine car. My first reason is obviously to try and keep the air clear of harmful particles. Secondly, the fuel is dangerous to keep and goes "OFF" and is no longer useful if left over time. Using "spent" fuel causes many misfiring and starting problems. It also destroys glow plugs for fun. With that information in hand they are also very expensive to run.  The IC engine cars are also very smelly and drip oil everywhere making my wife a little angry.  However much I loved the car, it was too dirty and expensive to run as basher imho. I sold this buggy in 2012. An EMAXX  today will cost you more than £900, plus batteries. I wish I had kept my TMAXX. A very under rated car/truck/buggy of that era.  

Kyosho Optima Re-Release (Battery).

I had always wanted an Optima back in the day, but I could never afford one. A friend of mine owned one back then and I loved it and admittedly I was a little jealous. At the time I was driving a Tamiya Super Sabre, which was also 4 wheel drive and a fast buggy. However the Optima was of a way higher calibre. It cut turn faster, handled like a dream and in general wiped the nose of my Super Sabre. Don't get me wrong the Tamiya could take a beating as good as the Kyosho but the Optima always had the advantage. Ever since then (1987), I had wanted an Optima but by the year 2000, when I could afford one they became very rare and ultra expensive to purchase. I was unwilling to pay £600 to £700 for a piece of nostalgia. Then many years later, when the want for an Optima had almost completely faded away, Kyosho Re-released an updated Optima. I resisted the urge to buy one for almost 4 years and eventually gave up my struggle. 

Unfortunately I lost a lot of my pictures and I will retake them very soon. The above picture has the Kyosho Optima in the foreground and is a picture that survived.

As you can see I have painted another body shell, which is a reproduction which was not as well defined as an original Kyosho body shell. Saying that I am more than happy with the shell as the car only sits on a shelf so I cannot speak about it's integrity. The original Kyosho polycarbonates are well defined and quite thick to stand up to the abuse, but they are very expensive. The above picture show the Optima with it's original wheels and tyres of which I love. 

The above picture shows the Optima with it's original shell finished in box art. It is also sporting a set of JPRacing 2.2" white pepper pot wheels fitted with Schumacher full spike tyres. You may also notice I changed the original shocks for some adjustable after market big bore shocks for aesthetics purposes only. They are not filled with oil as the car is simply for display.

The above picture shows the Optima with the repro body shell, JPRacing wheels and Schumacher full spike tyres.

If look look carefully you will be able to see the after market alloy suspension bottom arms. Again this is only for aesthetic purposes, nothing more. I have heard bad reports of after market alloy parts, such as having a poor finish to not fitting properly. Fortunately in this case, they are finished beautifully and fitted perfectly. They also match the alloy chassis in colour and texture. It also makes the car all alloy underneath and look stunning.

The above picture shows the Optima sporting JPRacing 2.2" white pepper pot wheels. They are fitted with Schumacher mini dart tyres, with a narrow tyre and wheel on the front. Again you may be able to see this car is fitted with a motor but has never ran. It is a display model only.

I have not driven an Optima in more than 30 years so I cannot judge it as a basher. It was always (back in the day) a fast buggy. However the rerelease can now handle a brushless motor and li-po batteries. So, it will be lightning fast and will handle well. It also looks a million dollars imho.

The picture above shows the Optima in the box art colour scheme and I adore it. With the original, body shell, wheels and painted tyres fitted, this car is exactly what I wanted for many years. I still, after 33 years appreciate and love the look of this buggy. 

A view of the car from underneath, showing all the alloy chassis and bottom arms. It looks perfect to me. 

I have to say, this kit was a joy to build. Every detail and component was detailed and illustrated perfectly. If you have never built a Kyosho rc car before, I urge you to build one. You will not be disappointed I promise. 

The only thing I would note (and this is not a complaint), is that all the colours you see on the car are decals. These are quite difficult to apply due to the curves and detailing of the body shell. I would rather apply these decals and paint one colour rather than masking the shell up and spending more than £30 on 4 different colour paints. Tamiya PS-1 was the only colour required. However, in my ignorance I used TS-1 paint and it is flaking off. DOH.

Schumacher Cat XLS Masami

I bought this car in December 2019 and was not my first choice. I wanted a Kyosho Beetle 2014 rerelease but the Schumacher was on a special offer with 15% off so I chose the Cat. I did, initially regret my choice but I soon as I drove it, I fell in love with it.

As soon as I started reading the manual, I realised this was going to be a completely different build than I was used to. I also realised this would take more time to complete what with all the polycarbonate parts. 

 The polycarbonate under tray (above) is one of the first parts needed in the build process. With this car I went with the box art colour and pattern, another process that takes hours. 

As you can see the car is long and low giving it perfect handling capabilities. It is an absolute dream to drive and handles like it on rails. The turning capacity is more than impressive and I love it. It is well balanced and the shocks are truthfully some of the best I have used.

The massive rear wing keeps the back end down and helps keep the rear wheels in line line the front wheels. The car always manages to stay level even when stationary due to those beautiful shocks. 

Back in 1987, I was not a fan of the XLS even though it whipped us all every week. However, after building one I can see and appreciate how it was so fast and agile. As it was a lot lighter than the competition, it also benefitted from longer run times. I only ever ran this car in the house once, due to the fact it was meant as a display model only. It now sits on a shelf. 

HG-407 ((Tamiya Bruiser Clone)Battery)

The Tamiya Bruiser Clone was a big let down for me. It cost me £220 for the kit with no electronics. Yes it was nearly all metal but I just didn't like it. My intention was modify it and maybe use it as my daily driver but my imagination got the better of me and I ended up not using it.

Even though a lot of the complicated parts were preassembled, it was a torturous build. The instructions were also very vague. 

One of the first things I did to the Bruiser was to convert the wheel hubs to a 12mm hex fitting. This modification allows the fitting of a massive range of wheels and tyres. I chose some 8 spoke 5 stud metal weighted wheels with mud country general use tyres. I thought they fitted the style I was aiming for.

I also Tye dyed all of the plastics black to match the black components. The wheel arch extenders are also black to match the snorkel and roof rack.

I also fitted some spot lights to the roof rack. 

I also painted the door handles, fuel filler cap, bonnet and window seals black. If you look closely at the picture above you can see the alloy badges at the rear of the front arch extender. 

I also detail painted the interior in the colours used in a real Toyota Hilux.

What put me off was that the car was just not articulate enough. It would have struggled to do what I wanted it to do and therefore I sold it. It would not buy another of these and would advise people to do the same. There are other way better crawling trucks out there for just a little more money. They will also be better upgrades too. Please remember this is just my personal opinion.

Kyosho Beetle 2014 (Battery)

I bought the Kyosho Beetle to add to my collection. I have have no intentions of ever running this car, It's for display only. I wanted the Beetle before I bought my XLS but for financial reasons the Cat came first. When I could finally afford one it was almost impossible to find one. I paid for one and put it on back order with ModelSport and after many delays it was finally delivered. Notice the box art as it does not show the Goodyear tyres as they are not supplied with the later kits. This is also true of the Tomahawk kit. The battery box in this kit should have been yellow but in the later kits in was replaced with a black battery box. This kit is Officially endorsed by VW (arrowed). As of today (20//7/21), the Beetle 2014 kits are very difficult to secure for some unknown reason.  

As with any Kyosho rerelease I have built, it was an absolute please to put together. Every part is precision made held together with high quality engineering bolts. As you can see in the above picture, I have not fitted a motor or any electronics. 

I had always intended to do the original yellow box art on the beetle, but at the last minute changed my mind. I instead went for Tamiya PS-1 white and some white wheels which I personally love. I also thought the white would make the decals stand out more. 

A front view of the beetle. If you look close at the above picture you can see a paint bleed on the front of the drivers door window. This error will be luckily covered by the window decals as can be seen below.

I have to say that these particular decals are some of the largest I have ever applied. There is no tolerance for error either however, using the soap and water method I eventually got them perfect. I took many attempts and many hours but the hard work and attention to detail paid off. In my opinion it is stunning. 

In the picture above you can see I did the drivers racing suit in the yellow colour intended for the car body. I did not hand paint the drivers face as my hands are not as steady as they used to be when I was younger.

I personally cannot comment on how this buggy will drive. I have not driven or ever owned a 2WD car before and I will not be finding out with this car. What I can say is, watch the link below showing a beautiful box art Beetle 2014 being put through it's paces. Massive thanks to Rich over at The RCNetwork Channel for allowing me to share his experience of this iconic rc buggy.

Schumacher Cat XLS Masami ((Fully Upgraded)Battery).

I never planned to build a second XLS. Nor did I plan to spend so much money on this car. I did, over a long period of time (18 Months) buy some new carbon fibre parts to upgrade my original XLS. I also bought a full new body set and a pro transmission in the same period. When I had collected all the parts I wanted to upgrade, I stopped and thought about it for about a week and came to the conclusion that I did not have the heart to open up and modify my first XLS. My first thoughts were to sell the parts on to buyer but then a strange thing happened. Schumacher, for one reason or another decided to discontinue the Cat XLS for a second time. At that point in time, every collector in the world rushed out to snap up the last kits available. Inevitably the price of the Masami almost doubled and at that point I knew I had to build a second Masami. 

So from March 2021 and using only my original Schumacher manual, I started collecting and putting together the kit. As the news of the discontinuation of the buggy started to spread, the spare parts quickly started to disappear. I waited for some parts for more than eight weeks. Eventually, I had all the parts in hand needed to start to build.

The Schumacher Cat XLS has always caused disagreement between builders. What I will say is "Brace yourself for a long and maybe tedious build". Saying that, the driving experience rewards are more than worth it, I promise you. 

There were many upgrade parts that had no assembly instructions, which slowed my build time. I do not have a running video as this buggy is for display purposes only but I will add some running footage soon.

There were many hours spent cutting, shaping, sanding and painting the many polycarbonate parts for this kit. However, the results (imho) are superb and worth the hours of work. Gorgeous!

After many months of planning and building, I am so happy with my labours and is unique in many ways. 

Schumacher Cougar LD2 Stock Edition.

I got this buggy as a treat to myself, as I did intend to go racing again with my local club.

I have in fact just completed this buggy and oh, what a joy to build! It should also be a track weapon, but maybe not in my old wrinkly and shaky hands. It has a new LiPo battery and a new high speed steering servo fitted. 

Kyosho Optima Pro

Above and below is The Optima Pro 4WD

And from another angle.

Kyosho Optima Mid 2022

Above and below is my newly built Kyosho Optima Mid rerelease.

I did not use the wing, wheels or tyres from this kit. The wing is from a Schumacher Cat XLS Masami, the wheels are 2.2" JC Racing and the tyres are Schumacher Mini Dart if anyone is interested.

And another angle of the Mid.


I always have been a buggy man at heart, yet when I saw this car in action, I knew at that moment I needed one in my collection. However, I had to sell my Schumacher Cougar LD2 Stock Edition to pay for it!

Thank you for reading my humble words and looking at some of my past and present collection. I hope post this list will become very long.

Take care my fellow RC enthusiasts.

catxls.com 1/6/2022


  1. I'd like to express my gratitude for sharing such an excellent article
    Kids Bike in Perth . The article is instructive because it offers some useful information. Thank you for sharing it with us. Continue to post.

    1. Thank you, you are most welcome! Please visit again soon!!


Post a Comment