Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Where it all started...

This photo just popped up on my Facebook memories - seven years ago today! - with the caption: "Have wanted to do this for about twenty-five years..."

It's come a long long way since then...

Sunday, 17 July 2016

New barrier signs

The barrier signs I've used for several years are quite modern, like in this old photos of the pit building:

But I wanted simpler bolder signs like in the vintage Scalextric sets:

The current ones are printed on self-adhesive paper, having upgraded from printing on paper and gluing them on.  Self-adhesive was easier, but didn't stay on any longer, eventually drying up and coming loose.

So I thought I'd try printing on self-adhesive gloss vinyl, which is used for making home-made stickers.  The first attempt didn't go well:

I then found some self-adhesive gloss vinyl sheets which are coated with a layer which allows inkjet printing, and unsurprisingly got a much better result.

These have come out really well and stand out much better on the layout.  Fingers crossed that the self-adhesive is stronger too.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Spray booth

I've still only had a couple of tries with the airbrush Andy got me last year.  Neither spraying indoors or in a poorly ventilated garage seems sensible, so I invested in a portable spray booth.

The box opens up to provide a spraying area with sides and roof, a turntable and a long tube which connects to the fan output at the back to take the fumes away.  I cut a letterbox hole in the wall of our metal garage and slid the tube nozzle into it.

Seems to do a good job.  Now I just need to get better at using an airbrush...

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Wiring Board

I rewired and tidied up the Phidget board and associated electronics that control all the lights and lap timing on the layout.  This hasn't provided any additional functions but valuable to check all the connections and satisfying to make it look neat.  Well, neater than it was.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Refreshes the parts other hobbies cannot reach

One of the few vintage Scalextric buildings absent from my layout is the refreshments kiosk (item A228).  They are occasionally seen complete on eBay but for quite high prices.  I picked up a bag of bits at the recent Slot Car Festival that provided a starting point for making my own.

This had some of the right parts - but the tea urn was missing, the cake stands had no picture backing, and the base building was a pit building not the kiosk.  I quickly found a missing tea urn and extra cake stand on eBay, and scanned and printed a copy of the picture backing on the latter.  I also scanned the tatty insert and reprinted onto new card, and printed the right stickers for the building to disguise its pit building origins.  The result is this;

You can see the insert and backing for the cake stands more clearly here:

The original kiosk has a flag with Scalextric printed on it.  I didn't want to replicate that: I know my layout is only a model but I don't think it should be that obvious!  So it got a Refreshments flag in the same style.  And I managed to just squeeze it onto the layout by moving one of the TV camera towers to a new location.

Monday, 23 May 2016

UK Slot Car Festival 2016

Andy and I made our annual pilgrimage to Gaydon to the newly-renamed British Motor Museum for the UK Slot Car Festival.

Highlights included:

A micro slot car layout in a briefcase...

A brilliantly detailed 1/32 slot car store, complete with Scalextric box sets in the windows.  I'd read about this the weekend before in Slot Car Magazine and got a chance to chat with the builder at the Festival...

A slot car Wall of Death...

Additional vehicles to the Italian Job set I've blogged about in previous show reports.

A huge Minic Motorways layout with automated trains and vehicles...

A Mad Max truck conversion from a Revell plastic kit...

...with an ingenious method of taking power from the track and powering the truck units rear axle with additional gearing to increase the torque...

And lastly, a 1/32 scale Apollo rover vehicle...

I got change from a twenty pound note for all my purchases this year which is a record.  A few drivers and some bits for a building project - subject of a future blog.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

My MGB Roadster

I bought an MGB Roadster a couple of years ago and have finally got round to making a replica 1:32 slot car.

Scalextric do sell an MGB ready-to-race but it has a hardtop and is the wrong colour.  I found on eBay on old Airfix kit.

I modified the chassis and sprayed it up with a can of Inca Yellow that came with the full-size MG.

I cut down a PCS slot car chassis and fitted it into the Airfix chassis, and cut out the base of the cockpit tub to allow space for the motor.

I started fitting it together and painted the engine, dashboard and chrome parts.

I selected a driver but he had to undergo some liposuction on his left leg and backside in order to fit around the protuding motor.

I put the car together with the same style wheels as my car.

And made a tonneau cover.

Lights were painted and fitted, along with a radiator badge and number plates.

The bonnet opens and provides a view of the engine, with twin SU carburettors, fan and radiator.

So a perfect match for my real car and now ready to race...