Artic Hobby Land Rider 403 Remote Control Tank

The Arctic Hobby Land Rider 403 is a remote control tank in the 1/16th scale of the renowned Leopard Tank with all you need to get rolling except a battery charger.

Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 22/25
Features 22/25
How much I enjoy 22/25

Total: 89/100

Artic Hobby Land Rider 403 Remote Control Tank

Arctic Hobby is a new area of expertise for the computer noise suppression and cooling company with remote control vehicles and console gaming systems available. The 1/16th scale Land Rider Remote Control Tank is a classic Leopard tank design in a large model that you control.

The Land Rider 403 includes the tank itself, a multifunction transmitter, 7.2 volt NiMH battery, instruction sheet and plastic bullets for the functional cannon along with a pusher rod. My tank did come with a 9 volt battery for the transmitter and a cardboard target with base but did not come with a battery charger.

The company now sells the charger which only costs $15 without shipping charge, just about any 7.2 volt NiMH charger will work for these batteries though. The tank is a fully functional tank including independently controlled treads, rotating turret, moveable and firing main gun with sound for everything.

The Land Rider 403 comes with plastic bullets that are gently pushed into the barrel of the cannon and you fire them using the transmitter control. The transmitter uses a 9 volt battery for power and has an extendable antenna for better reception using the 27 MHz frequency common to RC transmitters.

Whats in the Box

The controller has two toggle control sticks that control each tread for forward and reverse independently, the controls for turret and canon barrel are below the tread controls. You can rotate the turret almost completely around, something like 340 degrees while the barrel of the main gun can be raised and lowered by about 15 degrees.

Each tank tread, the turret and gun all have separate motors and the firing can all be done at the same time for accurate combat simulation along with the sound of firing my an internal speaker. The plastic push rod pushes the bullets into the barrel to engage the internal latch that also pushes the spring that is used to fire the bullets.

The bullets can go a lot further than I thought, I shot one easily six feet from my living room into my dining room and this is about average depending on angle of the barrel. I can easily shoot my cats from across the room or when they invade my office from the comfort and convenience of my desk chair.

The plastic bullets are an inch and a quarter long with a rubber tip to protect fine furniture and various roaming animals silly enough to stand still long enough to be targets. The bullets do not hurt when fired at you and is even a fun way to while away an afternoon shooting at your friends or spouse, unless she won’t return the bullets.

Turret Detail

Of course you should have their permission and not shoot animals or people in the face or other tender areas but I cannot see the small projectiles hurting anyone. The main gun only shoots the bullets about six to ten feet depending on the bounce and bullet sliding across the floor but I have shot in a single arc about ten feet.

The tank does a good job of replicating the real Leopard tank and even has the well done camouflage paint scheme typical of the real main battle tank. The paint is sprayed on and has taken plenty of abuse in my yard through leaves and grass along with the weeds and plants in my garden without scratching.

The tank itself is 19 inches long, 9 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall with the main guns barrel sticking out 4 inches in front of the tank itself and the antenna rising 11 inches above the turret. The tanks treads are rubber with most of the other parts plastic, some of the attaching parts are rubber or plastic like the machine gun and side grab rails.

I did have a problem pretty quickly with the tank beyond having to purchase a charger for the battery, the machine gun on the turret broke at its base. The machine gun is a good replica of the MG-3 German machine gun but the mount to the tank has a couple small plastic pieces that attach it.

Interior Components

Sometime when flipping the tank over to install batteries I probably did not protect the machine gun enough and broke it off, you can try to glue it or leave it off.

I did find a metal replacement in this scale that has a much better metal mount for added security but the part I found is from a German website. As a matter of fact this scale has a lot of parts available such as the additional tools and things like smoke and mine launchers, figures and even ammo boxes.

Tamiya has a full line of this scale for parts but other sites especially the AFV-Model site has a lot of parts for this specific tank that can enhance the look with a little work. The Land Rider 403 looks great for the cost which is about $130 not including shipping but you are also going to want to buy a charger if you do not have one.

The Land Rider tank is not on the low end of remote control vehicles as some I have seen are way cheaper in design and build. The tank handles well and even runs through leaves and yard debris well without too many problems but it does have a low clearance and leaves especially can clog up in the treads.

Installing Batteries

While running the tank around my yard I did notice if you get one or both treads off the ground or debris stuck in the treads the motors will whine a little. With just a little back and forth work you can easily get the tank moving again but as soon as you hear anything other than normal operation you should try to alter course.

I do have a video that will also be published of me running after the tank while my son drives it around and terrorizes the local squirrel population. The Land Rider 403 handled the angles and small bumps of my yard and I can easily see the tank handling a 35 degree slope like the Arctic website claims.

The remote control tank is a well made, sturdy model and handles yard and grass well for maneuvering and flat out runs, gravel is also easy and the tank can even peal out a little. I had no problems running the tank from the end of my driveway while the tank was rumbling into my back yard about 50 feet away.

The transmitter has decent range but beyond about 80 feet I was having problems with seeing the tank and not the strength of the signal. I feel that much beyond these eighty feet would be a waste as you really cannot see the tank much when it’s further than about sixty feet or so. 

I was trundling the tank around in a parking lot just a couple houses down from me that is at least a hundred feet long and had no problems running the tank the length of the lot. The 30 meters or 98 feet that Arctic claims as their controlling distance is definitely not a problem and other than interference or just plain old line of sight running the model at that distance should not be a problem.

I would however like to point out the inherent dangers of running a remote control vehicle that costs over a hundred dollars anywhere near real vehicles like cars especially at distances like 100 feet. Be careful on sidewalks and when using the tank in parking lots as a car is no match for the might of the 1/16th scale tank, a 2000+ pound car will squish the Land Rider to pieces.

The tank is pretty tough but not that tough, the body is well designed and the actual tank wheels that allow the treads to run are well secured to the body. The underside of the tank that will take the most abuse is a tough plastic and even the battery compartment is secured with a screw to make sure it does not easily come off when driving.

The battery is about the only thing I have a problem with, you need to flip the tank over, which is probably the cause of the machine gun breakage for me. The battery compartment is located on the bottom and is secured with a small Philips screw and a rotating button that holds the cover in place as well.

The battery is a common 7.2 volt NiMH battery that is easily replaced if you wind up running the thing ragged by chasing cats or squirrels all over the place. You can also buy a second battery of the same voltage and capacity for a spare to keep you on the road or even higher amperage to stay on the road longer.

If you do replace the battery or get a spare ensure you do only use a 7.2 volt battery with the small Tamiya battery connector, a higher voltage would not be good on the motors and other internal components. A higher amperage battery will give you more battery life and is how batteries are rated, amperage is capacity or how long the battery will hold the voltage.

The Land Rider tank is a hobby class remote control vehicle and is on the inexpensive side of the hobby, the more expensive version of the remote control tanks will run you much more. Arctic Hobby has a wide range of remote control vehicles available from Leopard 2 tank, various on and off road cars, work vehicles and even boats along with the battery chargers and transmitters.

I have had a lot of fun trying out the tank and can highly recommend the Land Rider 403 for a good quality remote control vehicle.

Land Rider 403 @ Arctic Hobby