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Bleep has asked me to create a new thread containing all the elements of my track instead of making separate ones, so that it can added to the Members' Tracks and will provide a central source for anyone wishing to copy any of my techniques. I know blogs do much the same thing but nobody ever reads them or comments on them, do they?

So, here we go.

First of all the baseboards were constructed from 18mm chipboard on 100mm x 20mm rough-cut timber frames each one sitting on a pair of wooden trestles.







 

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Perhaps a track plan would be good at this stage.



I have added an XC in the straight between the hairpins and plan to replace the crossover at the end of the main straight for an out-to-in LC. Having only one cross-over will mean a second lap will follow the other slot unless you change lanes.

It's quite a big track, measuring 5m x 2m. Each panel is 1m wide so it is easy to transport. It currently sits in the stables but will have to be moved into a slightly smaller room (the old pig sty) in the ground floor of the villa.
 

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Next up, the castle, from which the track gets its name. We live just below the medieval castle of Castello delle Forme and it struck me that the track needed a theme. The castle came to the rescue! The story is that the Contessa's two sons, Francesco and Giuseppe, were interested in motor racing and, when their father died, persuaded their mother to turn the estate into a racing circuit. There will be a piazza at one end, the towered gateway to the estate, which doubles up as a walkway from the car park to the infield, and the castle at the top of the hill.







and this is the start of the towered gateway build...

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now we come to the famous wall building! I used styrofoam to decorate the walls and cut each individual piece, sanded it and then stuck it on. I used thick blocks for the curved hardboard and thinner pieces for the 9mm plywood, so that the walls ended up more or less the same thickness. I love this material as it's cheap, light, easy to work with, and paints up well.









and painted up...



As you can see I've also used it for rock faces. These are built up in roughly-cut layers, carved with a surform, and finally dressed with a sharp knife and sanding block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Commercial tracks can be quite boring so I added borders and painted the track up so that it follows a more interesting line.







just look at the way the esses flow...



Careful placement of the lane-changers enable a racing line to be taken through the corners.



This is how I marked out the red and white strips...all hand painted!



Well, that's it for today folks. I couldn't sleep so spent some time posting these pictures. Enjoy! There's more to come!
 

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No1 super guy
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QUOTE (Graham Lane @ 11 Sep 2007, 05:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I know blogs do much the same thing but nobody ever reads them or comments on them, do they?

Graham,
I'm ashamed to say that untill you had mentioned it here, I had'nt even realised you had the "blog" icon on your information.
Just show's how observent I am

Great to see all your fine work in one thread. Though the wife and I will miss playing "hunt the Graham thread"

Look forward to more of the same. It's always nice to see a person's build from start to finish here on the forum pages.
Super stuff

Mike
 

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Excellent!! Nice work Graham
and nice to see it all in one place at last, you will make Bleep's day and im sure many others will be glad that its all here easy to find the information when stealing your ideas Well 'imitaion it the highest form of flattery' !!!
 

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Tel
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Excellent idea making the slots the racing line and the painting the track sides different to the actual track, it breaks up the uniformity and adds to the realism

Is the track fixed to the base boards ?
What paint did you use for the track, and does it improve grip ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Miker
With all the help you've given me you are completely excused!
Spzero
Copy away! I have gained incredible ideas and inspiration from this forum.
Savage
Thanks. It really feels like you are taking the racing line through the esses as your eye follows the bends. The track is not fixed down but sits in a recess created by the borders. I need to lift it up to disconnect it when moving the track anyway. I did find in 42°C that the track expanded and the bridge section needed lifting out, but it's dropped back into the recess now the temp's dropped a bit. The paint was primer for plastic. Although it doesn't stick brilliantly, coming off with masking tape, it is acceptable and can be touched up. I never drove on the bare plastic so can't comment on the grip, but it seems satisfactory enough.
 

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You may be interested in my background in slot racing. Excuse me but this is aimed at those who know little about slot racing.

Fifty years ago my father bought me a Scalextric race set for my 7th birthday, just after it was first introduced. When I grew up I got interested in what I will call non-commercial (NC) slot racing where both the cars and the track are scratch-built. A friend and I built a four-lane track from hardboard panels in a big hut in his garden. Initially we raced Scalextric cars around it and eventually plucked up the courage to visit other tracks in our area. What we saw astonished us. The cars were travelling at speeds that made our cars look positively stationary! To give you some idea an NC slot car can accelerate from zero to 70mph and back to zero again within a 20 foot straight and the motors run at speeds in excess of 100,000rpm! The cars were blindingly fast.

We re-built our track as it was far too uneven for these sort of cars. The new track was 87 feet long and six-lanes, made from melamine-coated chipboard panels supported on forty-gallon oil drums. A lot of time went into designing it and it was widely acclaimed as the best track in the UK. It had a large sweeping curve over the bridge, three medium hairpin bends, and two six-inch radius corners (on all lanes), plus of course several straights. We ran both 1/32nd and 1/24th scale cars which were all custom built with some quite high technology. The motors and the back axle were fitted with phenolic resin ballraces. The motors had tiny machined aluminium heat sinks and balanced armatures. The axles were made from high speed steel, normally used for drills bits. Even the guide shoes were fitted with PTFE washers for near-zero friction! The hand controllers usually had a resistor of 0.5 ohm, compared to a commercial one at 15 ohms, almost operating as an on/off switch. The lap record stood at just 4.2 seconds, and remember two of the corners were six-inch radius! I 'retired' after a particularly nasty episode at an international race meeting on our track when a driver disrupted the meeting. The track went to Rolls Royce in Bristol.

This is me with our six-lane routed track 35 years ago!



Recently I noticed that slot cars had gone digital. This means that you can run up to six cars on one lane and with lane changing sections it is possible to overtake and dice between other competitors. The race management system is also impressive. It is possible to have qualifying laps for grid places, pit stops for fuel, and many other features. The cars are impressively detailed these days. I got the bug again and decided to buy a Scalextric digital circuit after studying the various makes on the market. I bought nearly all my track and cars through Ebay and I would like to say a special thank you to Martin Kay of Cheddar Gorge Model Motor Racing Circuit for his advice and help, and to Mike of Jadlam Racing in Glastonbury who seem to have the Ebay thing well sorted.

The track is currently being erected in the old stables of our villa here in Italy but will eventually have to move into my workshop, the old pig stys, as we now have planning permission to turn the stables into an apartment. I have based the track layout on the form of the six-lane circuit above with some interesting additions, partly due to the scope of the new Scalextric digital system, but also because six cars now only need two lanes.
 

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Jon Grainger
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Graham, where are the steps!!!!!!

How did you make this with no softner bottles!!


If I was you, go for 6 lanes, digital, full scenery, and 36 cars racing!!!

Love the track! And nice beard! (or should that be moustache?)
 

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Jon Grainger
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QUOTE (Graham Lane @ 12 Sep 2007, 17:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Jon seeing your new avatar I thought 'What a strange looking car'. Then I zoomed in and realised it was a helmet. Zooming back out it's obvious now. What a dummy!


Your eyes are going Graham!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is Fernando Alonso's!

Jon
 

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Graham
Love the work.....keep posting.....I particularly liked the back ground story....how did you end up in Italia?? I ended up in Australia!!! How are you finding the Scaly Track?? Love the way you have created your own track run offs and edgings...looks so much more realistic.
Keep up the good work
 

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QUOTE (The Squire @ 14 Sep 2007, 13:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Love the work.....keep posting.....I particularly liked the back ground story....how did you end up in Italia??

Thanks Squire! We came over here for a holiday, looked at some houses with a view to moving over here one day and decided to do it on the spot. We bought the house, went home, told the family we were emigrating, sold our house within 24 hours, handed in our notice at two well-paid jobs, and moved over six months later. No going back?...too damn right!
 
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