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A 5 year old on Christmas Eve would be the best way to describe my childish feelings when opening the Carisma GT-R box last Sunday. Although an old-school Tamiya Hornet die-hard, I was looking forward to experiencing what indoor racing had to offer.
Unpacking the box it was clear to see CML had done everything to minimise time between getting the model home and then onto the racetrack - our racetrack comprising of a polished village hall and some paper cones. Well, you have to start somewhere.
The first thing that struck me was the attention to detail in my Nissan GT-R 1/14 Carisma. Although smaller in scale than many Radio Controlled road cars, the 1/14 Carisma range has risen to the challenge this presents and come out on top.
With the batteries fitted we did our first couple of laps. I immediately had to get used to the steering wheel controller, which differed from my normal twin-stick unit. But within a few laps this was mastered and surprisingly easy to use.
The main difficulty faced by us all was the lack of traction afforded by the polished floor. Our Mulsanne Straight was manageable, but the sharp 90 degree corner just before the hall fire escape was not. However, within 20 minutes our power-slides were coming on nicely, no doubt aided by the excellent four wheel drive.
Next week we are going to be trialling some rope barriers in a vain attempt to reduce the wear and tear on our cars. The odd accident did demonstrate to us how easy these cars are to repair, which, for any model enthusiast, is part of the fun.
After the session at the Game People R/C Club I hit the Internet to see how I could improve my car. I was really impressive with the online help provided by the guys at CML headquarters who were able to answer my queries without problem.
CML also offer a myriad of upgrades, from mechanical hop-ups to be added as handling skills improve, and numerous shells. The parts shop on the CML web site is easily accessible and online purchases are delivered within a couple of days.
My only disappointment was that the 1/14 body shell range is a little limited and CML do not offer clear shells which would enable some personal spray work. Needless to say, the first to mould a 1/14 Lamborghini shell will score major points!
After a few more races I can foresee us all tinkering with the suspension or steering in an effort to give our base models the edge over our race buddies. Until then I think I'll just concentrate on my cornering!
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