Thursday, 11 December 2014

LA Slot Racers

This is unusual... a pop music video that is a part-documentary of the lives of slot car racers in Los Angeles.  Interesting though and the tune isn't too bad either.

It's been over two months since I last posted on this blog.  Slot car effort mainly been on helping Andy set up his big digital track for last weekend's racing session - of which photos to follow I hope.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pro Karts - finally in the right scale!

Back at the Slot Car Festival in May, I bought a couple of pro kart kits from Steve Ward at Penelope Pitlane.  Go Karts have been available for slot car circuits for fifty years but never in the correct 1/32 scale.  Steve Ward has managed this with a tiny motor driving the rear wheels with a belt rather than usual cogs.  The kit comes complete with everything needed except paint and decals.

It's all fits together well.  I sprayed one in black to go with Lotus decals, and the other in yellow to go with Shell.  I made my own decals and printed them out on clear and white decal paper, depending on the background they were going on to.

Here's how they turned out:

Andy confiscated my 1/14 scale Ninco Go Karts so that I couldn't practice before his Grand Prix in a couple of months.  Consequently, I can't do a comparison photo, but here they are on the track.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Daisy Duke's Jeep 'Dixie'

Catherine Bach was a formative influence on many of us growing up in the 1980s.  I think it was the shorts.

I'd already built Rosco's police car and Boss Hogg's limo from body shells produced by Chase Cars to accompany my Scalextric model of the General Lee.  And back in January, I bought Chase Cars' jeep bodyshell, ready to convert into Daisy's AMC Golden Eagle.

It came with a windscreen and some large tyres, which I used with a PCS chassis with some wheels painted gold.  I didn't need the supplied male driver but found a female driver from Le Mans Minatures who I turned from a blonde to a brunette.

The body shell was primed and sprayed white and then I constructed a roll cage from thick wire.  The final step was to source some graphics from the web to make my own decals.  You can print onto white or clear film using a standard colour printer so it's now pretty straightforward to make your own water slide transfers.

The car had Golden Eagle decals along the top of the wings when it was given to Daisy in the series but it was called Dixie and so, just like the General Lee, it had its name added to the bodywork.

Overall, not a bad match to the real thing...

And here it is with the rest of the cars from Hazzard County...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Half a decade on...

Amazingly, it's five years this month since I started this project.  It's gone from this...

to this...

So I thought it was time for a new video showcasing the track layout.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Track improvements

I've never been completely happy with the bridge over the long straight.  It's narrow, drops in height too quickly, not fully supported along its length so not flat enough, and the clipped on barriers on the sides keep dropping off.

So thanks to Andy's big car, I got some more MDF and cut a long length to support the track over a steady six foot drop, that then continued losing height around the corner, so the track isn't table height again until the apex of the corner.

This looks and races much better, and allows more space to store cars underneath the elevated track.  I raised the corner piece of scenery and added some more fencing from Slot Track Scenics.

Another minor addition - a marker to indicate exactly where to stop to refuel, as the sensor in lane 2 can't be seen easily if there is already a car refuelling in lane 1.  The sign is made by Playmobil and I stuck a graphic of a fuel pump over the original image.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Race reports

I had a couple of race sessions with both Stuart and Andy in recent days.  The bad news is that the new start-finish gantry isn't Stuart-proof...

...but it was easily re-erected and fixed again.  These spectators were not so lucky:

After all the effort of building them and then tweaking them, the good news is that the BMW Isettas race fantastically although their shape does give them a tendency to role - synchronised in some cases:

With a bit of practice, they race really well although I think a little bit of lead over the front axles will set them up just right.

Andy and I also raced some of our pre-war cars, the Stutz, Bentleys and MG K3s.  A 1950s/1960s British sports car race series is in the wings.

My Dad dropped off some tools last week and a variable voltage power supply has now been adapted to act as a rolling road for tuning the cars on the workbench.

MGA Mille Miglia

The predecessor to my latest real car, the MGA was produced from 1955 to 1962, and it's a lovely looking car.  I bought a resin body shell off eBay a few months back and married it with a PCS chassis.

The casting was good but needed a lot of cleaning up around the base and the wheel arches, so after 30 minutes with the Dremel it looked like this:

I sprayed the body in crimson red, painted up the driver and built the chassis.

Another addition to my growing collection of 1950s and 60s British classics.