Forces of Valor released a series of 1/24 RC tanks with what they call “Battle Beam” technology. There are six different frequencies available so six tanks can run simultaneously and do battle. Detail is not that great and the controllers have some minor issues like shaky trim controls. The treads are plastic single link that snap together. I have had them break apart on me but that was due to my aggressive tank control. For the price I feel they are a good deal. A few other issues are slow turret rotation, somewhat limited range and lack of spare parts availability.
What I like about this series is that there are four different teams for infrared combat. Unlike the Vs Tank & Tamiya systems that have only one channel, you have to be careful not to shoot any tank that may be on your side during team play. With different selectable teams that’s avoidable, and since the infrared beam tends to expand at further distances like a shotgun blast it can make a big difference on the infrared combat field.
This team selection also allows one to set up different adversaries to combat without the need to avoid fratricide. Specifically antitank emplacements (which FOV also makes), mine fields and other tanks. I’m working on having a few autonomous tanks driving around the battlefield so they can roam around and fire without scoring hits on each other.
When the tanks first power up they default to team “one”. This setting acts like the Tamiya system where any team “one” will score a hit on another team “one”. While the tank is powered you can program it to one of three other teams, these teams will score on any “other” team except their own. So a team “two” will score a hit on teams “one”, “three” or “four” but not “two”. The antitank units work the same way.
I have two Academy 1/25 model kits that are just asking to be converted, the Panther and Jagdpanther. The Tamiya equivalent kits are also great candidates. There are a few other 1/25 kits out there that may make a fun project. The electronics shouldn’t be too hard to fit in another tank, the mechanical components should transfer easily also.
I’ll post more as I tinker with these products and post a video of the autonomous tanks as soon as I work out a few issues.