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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Santa kindly brought my 8-year old son his first Scalextric set this Christmas (the V8 Supercars set that Toys 'R' Us are knocking out for £50 at present) and after a few days play we decided we needed more track etc. (the V8 Supercars has a near 2/X2 track inventory) so the Christmas vouchers and cash (his & mine!) were blown on various other bits - another £50 set (the Rally one this time), an expansion pack B, and a couple of 45 degree radius one corner sections.

Anyway we appear to now have near enough the equivalent of the 4/X4 track inventory so we've a bit of flexibility in design and yesterday we came up with this as our first home grown effort using Slotman:



A couple of the corners (the first one after the start finish and the tight one mid lap) have racing crossovers fitted and the track seems quite fair with best times pretty much the same in each lane. A couple of the straights are also the side swipe ones. We've tried a couple of track designs from the Scalextric site (the clamp, double flyover) but prefer this one for racing on as we don't get a lot of de-slotting (not with the V8 cars anyway - we get more than a few when sliding the rally cars about the place).

Anyway after that ramble I've two questions:

1) Any constructive comments on how to improve the track design, or alternatives with a similar inventory?
2) What track sections would you recommend getting next? I was thinking about another couple of the 45 degree R1 corners so we could include a tight hairpin, an elevated crossover and perhaps a jump straight.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for the excellent resource that this site & forum is.

Regards
Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

Great show, I know your 8 year old must be thrilled. I can still remember racing on my first HO set with my dad on the living room floor after Christmas, 1967. 38 years later in 1/32 now he is still my most frequent racing partner!

I just got back into slots at Christmas in 2003. Before I built a permanent layout I combed the boards for tips and put the best ones I found on the Layout Design page on my layout's website.

After building several different designs with the set track - I bought a Scaley F1 and Le Mans set - I decided I wanted to be sure to use R3s, R4s, and R1 hairpins to avoid the feel of a "set" track - all R2 corners. From the tips I read I used the larger turns in increasing radius and decreasing radius turns - had a rather small space constraint - and even made a "straight" that is essentially a number of large radius curves linked together to form a long, weaving section. It is lots of fun and a challenge to drive just right.

We also used 2 R1 hairpins, that each racer traverses in a different lane.

I guess my best advice would be to try lots of different designs and see what suits your tastes - and your son's driving skills at present. May be a good idea if you build a track on a table to plan on a possible redesign as you and he get more experienced.

My taste in cars has certainly changed in the last year. At first I was enchanted by the fast, smooth, stuck-down Scaley, Fly, and Slot.it cars. But now I prefer the non-magnet Ninco Classics and kit cars with the lower-power Ninco NC-1 motor. It is great fun to go around with the tail hanging out, even if the cars are slower. Somebody says "twice the fun at half the speed".

Take your time and explore varieties of tracks and cars. It's all fun!

There are some tutorials on my site that may be interesting.

Paul
Circuit TrustChrist
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Paul,

Thanks for that - some great tips there and on your website (which I've bookmarked for future reference). The point about all R2 corners is an especially good one. We redesigned our home circuit this morning to this:



and the best feature is the lone R1 corner, although only having one made it quite difficult to balance the track - I ended up with one racing crossover striaght after the R1 corner, and the other in the top left corner. Fortunately my 8-year old's driving skills aren't that far behind my own, and my 13-year old daughter (who's also been playing a lot) is also on pace so at the moment the racing tends to be pretty close and, with 2 crossovers and a side-swipe straight, occasionally quite brutal!

Based on your comments and what we've learned so far the next purchase will be another pair of 45 degree R1 corners, then some R3/R4 corner sections. On my layout above I like the idea of an R2 corner at the top left and an R3 or R4 corner at the bottom left leading onto the start finish straight. I like the idea of corners which tighten or open as well so I'll also redesign to take that into account. Our current lone R1 into R2 corner is great fun on the inside lane as the cars tend to break traction on the transition and wheelspin out of the corner.

We've also found we need lots more track edging and barriers as the rally cars slide about that having them on all corners seems to be essential.

Cheers
Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

Your new layout looks great! Borders are a great idea - they were one of the main reasons I went 1/32 when I got back to slots. It is hard to find borders for HO.

Since then I found 5/16 foam rubber sheets at McMaster-Carr which are the exact height as scaley track. Just put part number 8647k74 in the search box on the www.mcmaster.com home page.

I buy the firmess rating 5 sheets for $34.42 US. They can be painted, glued, and cut with a hobby knife. They look like this in place:





As you can see, they match the tack height exactly. Just put them under the track and cut around the track with a hobby knife - instant borders!

McMaster also sells strips of foam, described in this article, but they do not come in 5/16 thickness - closest is 1/4.

Another tip that is not on my website is that you can use the sideswipe straights as lead-ins/lead-outs with just one of the Scaley Sport R1 hairpins to make a 90 degree turn. The new Sport R1 hairpins are much easier to get around on the inside lane than standard R1s. I have to come to almost a complete stop to get around a standard R1.

Here's a design I did for somebody that uses the 8246 side swipe straights with the new 8201 R1 hairpins in that way:



Last, you might enjoy this page at Greg Braun's www.hoslotcarracing.com site. It shows the design of many different types of turns - I used it building my layout.

Enjoy!
Paul
Circuit TrustChrist
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[Paul,

Thanks for the advice, especially on the DIY borders which could come in useful if (when?) I decide to create a permanent layout.

Cheers
Steve
 
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