Posts in Slotcars
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I've picked up a few new cars since last update. Some of them are because I have classes to run them in, and some are because I just really like the car.
The McLaren M8D is an example of the latter.
I originally wanted to convert this car to an anglewinder and slap a Flat 6 RS into it for our unlimited class, but it can't be anglewound, so it has to stay as a sidewinder. I might swap out the rear wheels/tires and try a better motor, but if not it's just a really nice car to look at.
Next is a BMW M1 by "Sideways by Racer", for our FIA Group 5 class. This car has slot.it parts and is REALLY well balanced. It just laps the track like a bandit with no complaints at all. I swapped the stock motor pod out for a slot.it hard model to control the torque of the Flat 6 motor, and threw NSR rubber out back, but those are the only mods really.
Finally we have a Nissan R390 by slot.it. I LOVE the way these cars look, and have always wanted one. I immediately converted this to an anglewinder with a Flat 6 S, but I'm having some tire clearance issues on the drive side. Once that's solved (probably by wheels with shorter hubs) this thing should really hook up.
It'll need new rubber out back and some tuning of course, but the car is so low and flat it seems like it can only be fast. We have a modern Lemans class that I can run it in, but currently I'm running my Audi R8C, into which I've just swapped a 25k S can motor, tweaked the gearing, and ditched the urethane tires for NSR rubber. How fast that goes will determine how much work goes into the Nissan.
The slotcar group I race with has been a fun bunch of people. We race approximately twice a month, and always on a wood track with no magnets (which is why I'm thinking about building one). One of the classes we run is late 60s/early 70's Trans Am cars. Eligible care are Scalextric 67-73 Mustangs, Camaros, Dodge Challengers, and if Scalextric ever makes an AMC Javelin (do I even need to finish this sentence?).
Due to the dimensions of the actual cars, and the center of gravity of a slot car, you basically get your ass kicked if you're not driving a 70-73 Camaro in this class. Unfortunately, there are only a handful liveries for this car, and only a few decent looking ones. So, you can easily find yourself on a 3 or 4 lane track racing your clones.
I decided that I'm easily confused enough as it is without trying to figure out which car on the track is mine, so I decided to grab an all-white kit and do my own livery. I chose Chevy Hugger Orange, and went with a flat black hood. It took me some experimentation with the paint and paint can temperatures, but the result is so far pretty good.
I still plan to paint the rollcage silver, and I might try painting the driver's helmet or something, but for now I think it looks pretty good. I went with a slot.it 21.5k orange endbell motor, which is the max allowed by the rules, and Paul Gage tires. It hooks up pretty well, but I think the tires offer a little too much grip on wood, so I might try going back to rubber.
When I got into slot cars, I built a 2-lane plastic track for test and tune purposes (yes, you can tune slot cars). While a fun layout (see previous blog entry), it had its limitations. First off, racing only two cars at a time isn't much fun, and it's not enough lanes to host races. Second, I used Scalextric Sport track, which is notoriously dodgy in the connectivity department.
But now there is another drawback. Lately I've been racing with a club that races on routed wood tracks with no magnets. This is a total BLAST, but now my home track is not only useless for tuning (wood and plastic are very different animals), some of my wood-tuned cars won't even run on my track.
So... I'm considering selling my current layout and building my own wood track, either 3 or 4 lanes. I don't have a lot of space, but I still might be able to host races (which is fun!) and at the very least I'd be able to tune cars. It'll be a fun project, and the guys in the racing club have offered to help me, so it shouldn't be too daunting a task. I'll post pics of my progress. Work should start once the weather warms up!
We have an unfinished section in our basement. Part of it is out laundry room, part is storage, and part is our home gym. But another part is actually a 1/32 scale slot car track. I call it "Poolesville International Raceway". I thought it was a cute name for a small track in a small town of ~5500 people in rural Maryland.
The track is a 2-lane track that's 66' long, laid out on two 4'x8' sheets of plywood in an "L" pattern, and is mostly twisty. There's a progam that you can download to create track layout layouts, and my current layout was the 5th revision of my 29th attempt. You can end up with a lot of crappy layouts before you get one that works, Not to mention one that's fun to drive.
So this is basically what I ended up with:
Eventually I'll make a version with all the turns named. Some of them have ominous names like "Curva de la Morte" (the top left of the track, lower R2) and some have no names at all. It's a fun but difficult track to drive, but it's at least 10x more fun when you have someone to drive with, which I haven't had in a long time.
The reason I have the track is because a good friend of mine, Nick, is bigtime into slotcars. He was always wanting to take me to races, so I bought a car to drive so I wouldn't have to borrow (and crash) his. Well, having a slot car sitting around with no track to race it on is pretty pointless, so that's why I decided to build a small track, to practice and set up my car. Well, cars.
One car became two, then three, then ten, then well, a lot. I think I currently have over 30 cars, most of them eBay finds. I have Jess's old, OLD computer hooked up to time laps, and I'm thinking about putting a wireless card in it so I can run pandora internet radio down there while I race.
The reason I'm ressurecting the track is because I stopped driving my cars for a while, and when you do that, the track oxidizes and looses its electrical connectivity. I was to lazy to go around and scrub it clean, but my friend Frank helped me out one evening, so now things are running perfectly. I even got a dust cover for it to keep it clean.
As far as cars go, my latest addition to the "stable" is this cool Mercedes SLR McLaren:
I've ordered some new tires for it, which will definitely help the traction in the back (and make it do faster laps). I just really like the way it looks, which is how I choose most of my cars. Who wants and ugly car?
The rest of my cars can be checked out here, on my slot car page.
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