Lots of new developments at chase-cars with a lower cost chassis and additional bodyshells too, it won't get you the fastest lap around your club circuit (unless you ditch the caravan race and have an American TV chase instead) but will be plenty of fun chasing the bad guys on your home track.
You can see all these new items and try them out at the UK Slot Car Festival 2012 - Sunday May 20th, on the chase-cars.com display in the main hall.
First, the chassis. Building on the established idea of making an American saloon car, errr, sedan, look realistic as you thrash it around the track, the chassis has steering for dramatic looking power slides and suspension so the car leans as it corners. The emphasis is on making the car easy to drive so the centre of gravity is low, the motor is mounted lengthwise, the tyres aren't super-grippy and there are no magnets.
The new chassis is more compact so it can fit under a wider range of bodyshells and it's easier to build too. Wheelbase is adjustable from 75 to 103mm and now there's only 16mm from the front axle line to the front of the chassis so if your yank tank has a short nose, this chassis will fit.
As before, the chassis uses a laser sintered process to make it very tough, and standard parts wherever possible to reduce costs. If you have a few old, dead cars in your toolbox you can probably use the motor, rear axle, and bearings for this chassis. A full list of parts required is on the website and can be easily sourced from your favourite spares supplier.
Because the chassis is more compact, it's cheaper. The chassis kit which includes the fixings, front stub axles and all the custom parts now starts at just £22. If you don't want to shop around for the standard parts like motor, axles, wheels (Penelope Pitlane alloys) and tyres (Ninco classics) then the complete kit is available for £50 and a fully assembled chassis is £65
If you want your slot car to look like this:
Then you can drive it like this:
There are also new bodyshells in the range too. The 1977 police car is still there; a resin cast bodyshell and wheel inserts, with vacform windows and interior and extra details like clear resin roof lights, custom waterslide graphics and a resin Sheriff's head for the driver figure.
It's joined by completely new bodyshells you won't find anywhere else. The Bad Guys' black limo is a resin cast bodyshell and wheel inserts, with vacform windows and an interior featuring a driver, front seat passenger and Mr Big on the back seat. It's your choice how many dead bodies you fit into the trunk.
This very special resin bodyshell is made from 3D data which is fed into the latest rapid prototype machine to produce a high-resolution master body. Then it's back to traditional skills of a silicon tool and from there the slush-cast resin body. Mounting posts are included which line up with the custom chassis, or you can mount it to any standard chassis of the right dimensions.
Then there's the exclusive 1974 police car which is perfect if you're 106 miles from Chicago, you've got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and you're wearing sunglasses. A resin cast shell and wheel inserts, with vacform windows and an interior with 2 figures. The passenger appears to be looking at the dashboard and saying "fix the cigarette lighter".
This bodyshell was created by a graphic artist and again uses the 3D data to directly produce the master body.
Resin wheel inserts complete the castings and the custom graphics are of a Mount Prospect police car, the whole thing looks great with a weathered look
Available in May is another unusual choice, the 1981 panel van. The bad guys couldn't get enough of these on TV; painting them as delivery trucks for kidnapping the daughter of a wealthy family or transporting stolen goods to a deserted warehouse. Or if you're planning a coast to coast race you might decide that this van painted as an ambulance will help you win. Maybe you'll paint it black and grey with a red stripe and decide it's the best form of transport for soldiers of fortune. The kit includes resin wheel centres for this choice and the roof spoiler too.
The next project which will be released this summer is a 1982 pickup truck. Imagine you're a Hollywood stuntman, you need a vehicle to get around with one or two of your colleagues (and pause here to think how beautiful one of your colleagues might be) but to make ends meet you're also a bounty hunter so you need a vehicle that can go anywhere to avoid the bad guys. Your vehicle of choice will be a fantastic pickup truck painted brown and gold and the only place to get the correct one is at www.chase-cars.com.