Tarn Model Foundry
Review by Zipp
A small weighty package dropped onto my doormat a few days ago, the contents of which, are pictured above.
A selection of specifically designed slot car weights, designed to fit into the space left by the discarded traction magnets. These were kindly sent to me by Lawrence, of Tarn Model Foundry whom had been reading through the SCX Audi review, and came across a comment I made there.
So, what exactly did i have here then I opened up each packet to reveal an assortment of different sized, shaped and weighted blocks of metal. Each is stamped with the relevant weight in grams. These are not so easy to see in the photo's, so I have added text for clarity.
The weights are made of white metal. They are very solid in comparison to the pliability of lead. I am not sure if this makes them safer to handle than lead? Perhaps Lawrence can reveal the compound elements (so long as it is not a "TOP SECRET" recipe)
This does mean that they conduct electrickery, so don't let them hang too low, or make sure you insulate them from the rails. (Thanx for the heads up on that score Lawrence).
The most impressive looking of the bunch, are the SCX molded weights (bottom right above). There are no tool markings on these pair, but each were both equally weighted at 4.1g
Upon scrutinising the other weights for accuracy, i did find a few discrepancies to the stamped figures. I guess the art of molding small items like these is not an exact science, as variables must exist in the manufacturing process? Density of the material and cast off issues maybe? Results of the weigh in are pictured below.
Take the four 4g weights (above left), one weighed 3.7g, the next 3.6g another 3.5g and the last 3.4g. So all four are very slightly different to each other, in the same way that 4 identical cars would each weigh in slightly different.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, as you now have different weights with the same shape. One may make a car perform marginally better than another?
I am certainly not at a level of tuning where 0.1 or 0.2 of a gram, would make any noticeable difference. If there are folks out there that go to this level of accuracy, i suggest you buy 2 or 3 packs and match them up.
The thin strips are for additional balancing in tight areas. They should total 6.4g, if reading the stamps. As you can see below (top right), one is under and the other over, the stamped weight. Not a big problem, as you can use tin snips to fine tune, to the exact weight required. These would require gluing in place.
If I had not already salvaged the lead from around the chimney when it was taken down, and bought a pair of tin snips, then these would certainly be a cheap and easy solution to add basic weight to my cars, vice magnets.
I usually cut my own lead shapes to fit the chassis, and I probably still will for the replacement flat bar shaped weights, but there is no way I can match the accuracy of the SCX moulded items.
I cut a piece of my lead to the same shape as the 4g TMF, and both weighed in at exactly the same weight, so they must be of a similar density material?
If you are going to throw away the magnet and add weight to your car, then the now empty magnet holder is a very convenient starting point. They are normally located centrally in the chassis setup, and should prove a balanced position. You may need to add weight elsewhere, but i think it is definitely a good starting point, especially as these TMF weights, are designed to just slip right in.
So, lets have a look at which manufacturers all these shaped pieces fit into, and how well do they do it?
The bar type weights are all for the Scalextric holder. Most new Scaley cars have at least a couple of alternative magnet holders. The Porsche pictured below, actually has 3 holders. So with 3 possible positions and a choice of 3 weights, there are a multitude of different combinations, to try and achieve the perfect balance.
The small 4g bar is exactly the same shape/size as the magnets, and fits in the holders perfectly. The medium 7g bar has the same footprint as this, but a higher profile, and the large 11.5g, a higher profile still.
I could not get the medium or large weights to fit snuggly into the rear holder on the Porsche, due to the motor being so close, and the high profile of the weights. I guess this will be the same for most sidewinders I shaped the weights to make them fit, by securing them in a vice, and then cutting with a sharp knife. You do lose a gram or two in the process, but the largest of the modified two, still carried 10g. As the heavier weights are more suited to the rear position, perhaps Lawrence can look at and angled edge to address this? They do fit into the forward holders with no problems.
The SCX weights are just superb. Molded to a perfect fit, these 4.1g weights fit snuggly into the gap, and then secure in place with the two screws. A very simple, effective and tidy result. From mag to non-mag (weight tuned), in less than 1 minute.
The Ninco roundels in the range, will also fit the NSR chassis, and the older Scaley chassis. There is potential to produce a rippled weight to fit the entire length of the NSR holder, or perhaps a large "U" shape to fit around the outside of it
I think that a Slot.it style "C" shaped weight and a small Fly style bar, would both make useful additions to the range too
In conclusion, a very neat and simple to use idea. Easily affordable and delivers the required result.
Because of their colour similarity to magnets, you could easily get away with putting these in your competitors cars as magnets and running away with the race in your real mag car!!
Lets not forget that Tarn Model Foundry also put their metal into other shaped molds, and have a range of great looking 1:32 figures and accessories, if you are into that sort of thing.
You can see more of that here, in Taxi's review.
Thanks to Lawrence at Tarn Model Foundry, for sending out the weights.
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|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 20th June 2013 - 03:31|