Friday, 24 July 2015

Crowd sourcing

I haven't posted for a bit so thought I'd share this colourful photo from Andy's painting table.  A collection of figures bought at the Slot Car Festival and repainted by Andy.  More to come...

Friday, 12 June 2015


I checked my Facebook feed when I got home tonight and spotted a posting by Scalextric of a layout they were excited about.  I started watching the video and it was immediately familiar!

It was my design but not my track, and watching it was quite a strange feeling.  All was revealed in the comments where the owner of the track (another James) had credited Highwood Circuit as his inspiration.

James had found my track design on Google which had led him to this blog.  I'm really pleased to discover that Highwood has a twin on the other side of the country, and I hope to follow its development.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

UK Slot Car Festival 2015

Andy and I drove up to the Heritage Motor Centre on Saturday for the UK Slot Car Festival.  Loads of traders and tracks, including the one designed by Martin Brundle to promote Sky's F1 coverage.

One of our highlights from last year was a collection of all the key vehicles in The Italian Job.  This time they did a demonstration of the Minis driving up into the coach with gold from the heist:


I bought a selection of drivers for my scratch built cars (including a couple of broken cars that cost less than a driver would on its own).  I also got a Morgan resin kit and the ready to run car from Fly that I'd had my eye on for a while - a Porsche from Fly as part of their Racing Films set.

The box set comes with the car, a leaflet and a copy of the film with which the car has a connection.

Like the Steve McQueen car I had for Christmas a few years back, this is a filming car, and so features movie cameras mounted front and rear.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Mazda 787B

I caught up with Stuart yesterday for the first time since his 40th birthday, so I can finally blog about the car I personalised for him.  The basic kit is a Mazda 787B from MrSlotCar in Canada, and comes with all the various parts loose.

The first step was to spray the kit with a gloss white, and to design a set of decals.  I found an image of decals for the car but then modified them to personalise it to Stuart and his hobbies.

A quick test printing on paper to check the sizes of the decals.

Then all the decals were attached, and after a few coats of lacquer, the lights, cockpit, antennas, wing mirrors and windscreen wiper were all fitted.

Designed by a top slot car champion, these cars are designed for racers with high-spec components, including machined bronze axle bushings, hardened steel axles, adjustable motor pod for spring suspension, and adjustable front axle height, so the Mazda handles really well on the track too.  I've got a version in matt black with a red spoiler but it couldn't keep up with Stuart.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Digital Kart Racing

Some racing on Andy's Scalextric Digital track using Ninco karts.  The Ninco motors draw more current than the standard Scalextric ones and this makes the chips operate erratically.  Raising the issue on Slot Forum highlighted that the standard chips can't provide the power needed by high rpm motors, but also identified a Slot Forum member who provided a service upgrading some of the parts on the chipboard to resolve these issues.  Pleased to report those upgrades seem to have done the trick.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Repositioning the Big Screen

 A couple of years ago, I modified a digital photo frame to act as a big screen on the layout.

The location looked good but it's always partially obscured the far corner.  This weekend I finally got round to moving it to the background.

I removed the screen and replaced it with a marshal's hit, and fitted the screen to a new stand.

I also added a Big Red Button (TM) for starting the races.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Boars Nest Cup

Andy and I met up last night for the inaugural Boars Nest Cup featuring:

  • Luke Duke in the Dodge Charger "General Lee"
  • Daisy Duke in "Dixie", her AMC Golden Eagle
  • Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane in his Dodge Monaco "hot pursuit" police car
  • Deputy Enos Strate chauffeuring Boss Hogg in his Cadillac Eldorado

Highwood Circuit had been temporarily redecorated to double up as Hazzard County.

Twelve races provided each car the opportunity to race against every other in both lanes.  The General Lee is a Scalextric model with the magnet removed; the other three are all scratchbuilt cars.  The big American cars swing all over the track making passing a challenge.  Daisy's car was fast but its high centre of gravity meant it had to really slow for corners or else it might topple over.  I will add some lead to it for next time.  "Dixie" wasn't the only car to leave the slot though...

The lap times were pretty close but Enos in the Cadillac was the clear overall winner, taking first place in each of its six races, with the General Lee getting into second place just ahead of Rosco, and Daisy firmly in last place.  I was disappointed that the Cup wasn't won by a Duke but it was great fun.