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Slot car track. Pic's and idea's please.

Discussion in 'Collectables, Literature, & Models' started by James-NZ, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. James-NZ

    James-NZ F1 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2007
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    I am about to construct a slot car table (room?) I am using Scalextric track.

    I am looking for ideas on what to do, I have the Scalextric booklet with a few concepts of track design based on real tracks, this appeals to me and I will probably go with one of these designs, however I would like to make it look real good also, so im thinking mountains, trees, grandstands, pits etc, also a car park for displaying my expanding collection of model cars.

    If you have photos of tracks from basic to amazing I would love to see them, also photos of the tracks on the build would be great too.

    Any help you guys can come up with is would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

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    Here are a whole bunch of track plans. Each circuit shows plans for making a scratch built version, or a version using old Strombecker track, which isn't all that different in length and width from Scalextric track.

    The most famous slot car track of all time was in Inglewood, California, and the club was called MESAC, of which I was an on and off member, from 1968 through 1997, as I was in Europe 75% of the time. The track was actually built in 1964 or 65. The MESAC track could actaully be converted into a number of different layouts fairly quickly.


    This link should give you some ideas. An article on the MESAC track is at the bottom...scroll down. Unfortunately, a lot of the MESAC people have passed on :(

    http://www.vsrnonline.com/SearchIndex_TrackPlans.html

    Here is some other slot stuff, including scale plans for cars that might be of interest:

    http://www.vsrnonline.com/VSRN_Main.html
     
  4. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #3 tifosi12, Oct 15, 2007
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    To get the most track length out of a given space you need to do some figure 8 configuration. I agree that using an existing track as the baseline is a great idea. That leaves you with a few options: Suzuka and Fiorano. If you're a Ferrari fan, the choice becomes obvious. :)

    If you are using digital Scalextrix you have to be careful when building the up and down ramps to make sure you have good electric continuity.

    If you are starting from scratch I would definitely go digital. Ideally with 4 hand controllers and a nice pit lane for strategy games.

    While I love a detailed set and built one (akin to a model train), the gaming fun has to be given first priority. Things that get in the way when trying to retrieve a car shouldn't be there. You also need lots of "run off areas" so the cars can powerslide over the edge (see pics below).
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  5. James-NZ

    James-NZ F1 Veteran

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    Thank you dretceterini, I will check out those links now.

    tifosi12, is that your track? It's awesome! I hope you get the time to enjoy it. Do you have any build photos?

    How did you construct the hills and tunnel?

    I have a friend that has built a very impressive train track, he used a fine wire mesh and plaster with a dye in it, I’m thinking of using this method to build mine.

    What area dose your track require?

    Sorry for all the questions, I want to start this project the right way and not have to revisit things I messed up by being uninformed.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  6. DMC308

    DMC308 F1 Rookie

    Aug 19, 2006
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    Cool F-104
     
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  8. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
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    Love your track Andreas! I now have a Scalextric digital set. We are moving house next month and I have plans to build a large set in my new shed! I'm not sure whether to go for an existing circuit or make one up in the 'spirit' of say the Mille Miglia or the Nordschleife. I really should do Monza as I've spent so much time there, but I want the track to be more interesting than that!
    Would love to see more pictures for inspiration.
     
  9. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes, this was my track, but when I moved I took it down. Slotcars are only fun if you have somebody to race against, which is why it is important that you go the digital route where you can have up to six players racing each other. None of my friends were into this and it is no fun playing alone.

    I have some build photos that I could dig out. I started out with several tables, stands and planks of plywood to create the platform. Then I laid out the elevation changes: Hardening foam ("Great stuff") for small hills and fibreglass mattes hardened with epoxy resin for bigger stuff. Underneath some boxes and plywood as well. Then painted everything and sprayed with glue, then added grass etc to it.

    Couple of advice: With slot cars in general and digital in particular it is PARAMOUNT, that you have good continuity all around. So make sure the elevation changes are smooth and not too steep and that the turns all work out. Make sure the track elements are all soldered together. Or run your own double lane of copper wire around it. Gets better results but harder to do.

    Also in hindsight I wouldn't introduce grass and "dirt" to the track anymore: It makes for more realism, but if a car leaves the track and ends up in the grass, the dirt gets onto the car and the track and ultimately negatively affects the racing.

    My track was actually even longer than in the picture: The part with the F104 (same scale as the cars!) was longer, but I left that out of the picture. So the overall lengths was over 30 feet, which is not bad. Length does matter btw. But with length comes the problem of getting to deslotted cars and how to quickly get them back in the game. So make sure your racers (or stewards if you have any) have good positions and can reach into the far corners. Dont build a long tunnel.

    BTW: There is a great magazine called "Slot cars" and it covers all the techniques of building tracks, modifying cars, going digital etc. There are people who have built incredibyly tracks. One of my fav had a "Targo Florio" theme. Very cool.
     
  10. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Glad to hear things are moving along again. Good for you my friend.

    Yes, Monza is boring. As a slot car track and in real life (sorry). Nordschleife would be a good theme: You could have a couple of racers in the center. Lots of elevation changes and lots of charisma in the landscape. If you have the space, that'd be awesome. I'd focus on a few of its main areas: Adenauer Hoehe, Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz, Fuchsroehre, Bergwerk, Karussel.
     
  11. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    I opted for the Carrera track as it supports 1/32 and 1/24. Their banking was better, so I had a 35' 4 lane Daytona tri-oval with the road course in the middle. I have not kept up with this, so I do not know Carrera's digital equipment vs. Scaletrix. If it comparable, then go Carrera.
     
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  13. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    The digital solutions from all three manufacturers haven't really matured yet and could all be improved. Comparing Carrera to Scalextric directly, Carrera has better functionality overall. Scalextric however is the only manufacturer who offers a kit to turn analog Scalextric cars into digital ones. But if you start from scratch, Carrera is the better option. Ninco has arguably the best set for digital.
     
  14. rcraig

    rcraig F1 Rookie

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    #11 rcraig, Oct 16, 2007
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  15. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    You win!

    B-R-A-V-O-!!!!!!!!!!

    Absolutely outstanding. This is the kind of tracks the slot car magazine I mentioned features regularly. There is some unbelievable stuff out there. I love the elevation changes in this. Awesome.

    If you'd go digital, you could actually integrate that pitlane and make it part of the racing strategy: There are computers that simulate refueling and all.
     
  16. litespeed1

    litespeed1 Karting

    Jul 17, 2006
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    Mercy! I think back to our slot car days as kids in the 1960's and we could have NEVER dreamed that this level was attainable.
     
  17. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    +1

    Today's slot cars are a far cry from the sixties.

    I found some original Ferrari slot cars from the sixties on ebay. For not that much money. I beefed one up with today's motors and tires etc. I never was purist, regardless of scale. :)
     
  18. James-NZ

    James-NZ F1 Veteran

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    Goodness!!!!

    That is amazing!

    So I have much to learn, these are the sort of tracks I want to build.
    I have brought 2 Scalextrics tracks already and quite a few extensions, the packs I have are not digital at the moment but I will probably add the digital set up to my existing track and then I should be ready for racing.
    Fortunately for me most of my friends are petrol heads and most seem keen to use the track when time permits.

    Build photos would be excellent, I have a fair idea of how to go about it, but if I can learn from others then I’m one step ahead.

    I love the detail in both setup's here, the lights in the pit garage add realism and the dirt could probably be advanced upon by using PVA glue over it to keep it in place.

    I can't wait to get started on building the table, but first I have to settle on a track arrangement.

    I want a tunnel, a hair pin corner (already have the track) and elevation. Trees grass and mountains, and also a pit style garage so I have a place to display the cars.

    Plenty to organise and plan. Thanks guys.
     
  19. James-NZ

    James-NZ F1 Veteran

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    Andreas, is that a 250GTO in your first photo?

    I can't even find an Enzo here, let alone a 250GTO!
     
  20. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    What he said. Andreas is correct about everything, except Phil Massa, and then he hits bottom. :]
     
  21. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    There is a magazine, I think its called Slot Car Racing, simple, but the ideas and photos can make you drool. Not sure if it still exists.

    I started in slot cars during the first craze, mid 1960's. I refused to submit to the lexan body crap, preferred to use actual model kit bodies. I was always last in the organized races, but the crowd always loved my black and gold Smokey Yunick style Rambler Matador stock car, complete with driver, roll bar, etc. Then there was the purple Corvair drag car, Ralph's Special, I set the guide way back so it would do wheelies down the straightaway.

    Cornering was an issue.

    The good old days of slot cars. Now you have companies like Racer making Ferraris that look like expensive static models.
     
  22. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

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    #19 Iain, Oct 16, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Attached is a pic of a track I built some years ago in my garage - I think the board was about 18'x8' in total. Not much room left for scenery though :D

    Track length was 175 feet :D. - about 20-22 seconds for a lap. The whole thing could be raised up to the ceiling via pulleys and ropes. It eventually gave way for an extension with a new garage (where my 328 now lives :D ). The thing was designed with a piece of software called "tracker" that I found. Sadly I don't think its available any more - but it did a brilliant job of designing tracks using standard Scalextric sections
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  23. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

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    Fly make a 250 GTO http://slotcarillustrated.com/Reviews/Fly/GTO/Ferrari_250_GTO.html

    Enzo: http://www.shop-com.co.uk/cc.class/cc?main=p&act=30317295&ccsyn=261

    From looking around on the internet it seems that a 'routed track' is what all the big boys have. Basically you get a sheet of plywood, draw whatever track design you want on it and then rout out a groove. Add some copper tape and you have a custom built track.
    I think I'll stick with the Scalextric Digital for now as it's readily available and I'm not sure how much of my life I'm willing to commit to this hobby!

    I think the range of cars available today is incredible. I realise I am limiting my options a little by going for digital as many cars cannot be converted to digital, but it seems a more fun way of racing. I think I'll be getting a 430 and a Gallardo next as they look pretty tough. I need some nice looking cars and then some I can use for rough racing!


    Loving this thread! ;)

    P.S. Thanks for the kind words Andreas. The Indy and Imola wine bottles will be prominantly displayed in my new shed!
     
  24. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    LOL. Thanks I think. :)

    The 250 GTO is a kitbashing exercise: I took a Scalextric GT40 and removed the body. The GTO body came from a sixties slot car (ebay). Mated them. Not the best looking result, but it does the job and the car goes like gang busters. Scalextric GT40 is one of the nicest handling slot cars I found.

    Fly make a nice model: http://cgi.ebay.com/Fly-88250-Ferrari-250-GTO-Targa-Florio-1964-Slot-Car_W0QQitemZ230175672840QQihZ013QQcategoryZ4781QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I have an Enzo (Carrera I believe) and it is an absolute slouch. Boring car.

    BTW: F1 slot cars are the absolute worst. They easily deslot just by taking a turn and barely stay on when driving fast. Use them for displays, but not for racing.
     
  25. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

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    Interesting. I would have thought the opposite. When I was last into Scalextric (late 70's and early 80's) my brother and I would race Mini's. We found them to be a huge challenge as they were so easy to crash. If you could do a decent lap with a Mini anything else was easy! F1 cars were the easiest to drive as they seemed to stick like glue. This was all back in the days before magnets. I think I'll have a few cars without magnets in my collection to see if I've still got it. ;)
     
  26. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Fly (pun intended?) makes some of the nicest no magnets purely drifting cars. That's why you need run off areas for the outer lane so a nice powerslide doesn't cause the car to fall off.

    Maybe my F1 cars are such crap because they all came from Carrera and my track was Scalextric (although other Carrera cars had no problems). Particularly older models are horrible. The Eddie Irvine car in the shot below can't drive straight through a turn (hmm, maybe because it was Irvine?). The more modern MS car manages one turn just to deslot in the next.

    I'm not an engineer so I can't tell you what makes a good slot car, but I got good enough at playing to tell you with certainty that there are huge differences in how they handle. With or without magnets. It is simply astounding.
     
  27. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

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    But I assume they won't work on my digital track?
     
  28. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

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    http://sieversbenchwork.com/

    This company makes modular benchwork (usually intended for model railroads) which would avoid having to construct this part on your own. Then you can get to the fun part faster, and it is a little more professional than using a couple of ping-pong tables or such. They come in a variety of sizes so you can fit them together to get the exact outline you are wanting.

    I am using them for my model railroad system - maybe I need to include some HO scale slot car trackage?
     

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