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...

Monday, 18 January 2016

Making a spectacle of themselves

Some more colourful figures from Andy's painting bench...

Spot the truant...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Hairpin improvement

One of the pair of hairpins that form the climb up to the back of the track has always been problematic.  Firstly, the track rails seem to get pinched and so some of the cars would get stuck going round, and secondly, the side swipe would cause more accidents than in the Michelin hairpin because it was mostly hidden behind the pit building.

I've belatedly realised that Radius 1 turns are available that don't squeeze the lanes together.  I had to buy four 45 degree turns to make the whole 180 degree hairpin (see on the right of the photo below).

I've left the original tight hairpin at the top of the slope by the Michelin Man so we'll see over the coming weeks which is the most suitable.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Brooklands-inspired pit buildings and control tower

Over Christmas, I finished the other buildings for Andy to complement the Goodwood Pits I made him in November.  Sticking with the 1930s theme of Andy's track, this time I also looked to Brooklands for inspiration - from the pitlane garages with spectators above like this...

...and this one at Goodwood...

But for the control tower, the inspiration came from the central block of the old aero control tower at Brooklands...

A combination of foamboard, mounting board, clear plastic for windows, and lots of logos and textures printed on to adhesive paper, plus quite a few hours, finally produced this:

It's really three buildings so the two pit buildings could be placed together with the control tower elsewhere on the layout.  (Note that it's only temporarily on my track for the photos).

Here's a close-up of the control tower, with the style of doors and clock taken from the Brooklands building:

The roof lifts off so that figures can be placed inside...

...and then the second floor lifts off to do the same on the first floor...

Finally, here's a view of the rear of the building with the stairs for the spectators to reach the roof:

Soon to be installed on Andy's track, this is a Limited Edition of One!

Before putting my own pit building back, I replaced the old red cardboard garage doors with silver-painted corrugated plastic, and sprayed the grey Jersey-wall concrete barriers alternately red and white.  So it's gone from this: this: