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Do you remember your first scratch build

3075 Views 26 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  mac p
My first scratch build was an Airfix/Scalex hybrid that I built and used to win my school F1 championship way way back when plexy track was the new thing .At the time I built it I didnt realise why the thing cornered so well but I do now and its still a closley guarded secret that I use today. Nothing the other guys used came close and it inspired me to go on to build and develop slots over the next 40 yrs.Unfortunatly the car got lost in the passage of time and slots got faster and more complex, but may be one day Ill build a replica as I have of several of my other cars from the past .
What about the rest of you ?
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you can't go round tellin us u know how to make cars go round corners brilliantly, and then tell us its a secret!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by the way, i can remember my first scratchbuild as it was finished a few hours ago!
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An old racer always has more up his sleeve than just his arm Astro

Beware the Dark Side
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My first was a brass and piano wire anglewinder X frame chassis with a Group 20 motor.
It had a scale wheelbase of 9'-9'' with orange foam tyres covered in evil goo...

It ran beneath a Dodge Daytona Sports, a car which never really existed and was later outlawed by the then governing body the ECRA. It went pretty well, winning a Regional 3 Hour Team race.

Must build another, I guess the closest thing to it nowadays would be a Carrea Superbird body, but it's too narrow!......maybe I'll have to get me a "handling" lexan Daytona?......The lure of the "Dark Side" never goes away.



PS Graham is Phil sending the Proxy cars to you?
QUOTE is Phil sending the Proxy cars to you

I think he is hurriedly constucting a p68 so probably ,do you want yours back before the uk races?
Time: 1958
Place: Student Apartment in New York
Action: The bits and pieces of a Scalex tinplate car lie scattered over a metal-topped kitchen table. A Merit Vanwall kit is close at hand. Some implement is found that when heated in the gas flame of the stove, will melt through a circular hole in the lower section of the Vanwall body that will just accept the Scalex rolling gimbal guide/pick up. Two holes are bored through the aft end of the lower body section with the heated tip of a knife to accept the screws that fasten the Scalex sidewinder motor in place. The top half of the body is secured with tape and the resulting assembly (sans front wheels - no way to attach them) is taken for a test spin on the figure-8 rubber track...........

And it's still going on!
My first was an Airfix Cortina powered by a Scalex motor taken out of one of my Lotus 16's! Bloody rubber track and those hard to remove clips after a hard days racing! That was until Mum weakened and allowed me to leave the track setup in the spare room. Second was big scale Merit Lago powered by the motor removed from the Cortina.

Go Airfix!
My first was an Airfix Auto Union chassis (I think) cut and shut to fit under an E-type kit body- I think it must have been the E-type. It was so much fun I went on to saw up all my RTRs into small pieces. Thank heavens I got over it very quickly.
But what was going on in my head? From a perfecty good fleet of classic F1 models- Coopers, Ferraris, Masers- I ended up with a home-made team of Ford Zodiacs, Vauxhall Vivas, Sunbeams, Cortinas.... Why?
They all ended up in the bin.
It must have been the hormones.
Hi Alan
Was a time when the Dodge Daytona's ruled in Ecra/Bscra in saloon! the body is still eligible in Bscra but what they have changed is the lead length rule from guide post to rear axle [107mm max for saloon] which would make the Daytona a wast of time, however both the Betta and Cat versions are still available.
Can't remember my first scratch car, probably a big pile of "£$% as my soldering skills were very limited due to the fact that i was using a 15watt iron at the time!
Do some of you older geezers remember using "liquid solder" for soldering on your pinions?
.... it was a grey sludge sold in a jar, you mixed it and then applied it to the armature shaft and pinion and then heated it up with an iron, it was supposed to make a solder joint as good as using the real stuff but never did as some of my cars would regularly "let go" round the Nordic track!

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Ah John

I remember it well!......The stuff never did work......I can still remember bending the tip of my Weller trying to get pinions on!.

Shame about the Daytona, it ruled the roost down our way in both Saloon and Sports/GT, we all had then except poor old Roy Norwood who didn't consider them "cricket" and refused to use one!.

I must admit I am tempted to try and recreate that car, possibly without the orange "foamies", as my cars were always painted bright yellow, and there was a little bit of a colour clash. Looked like something the cat had brought up!.


I first spotted Scalextric cars when I was around 7 years old. My first scratch built had a body folded from paper - the wheels and tyres were all part of the shell. I also had some purple/red metallic finish paper which seemed pretty close to the colour of the windings I had seen and so I used that for the motor. Unfortunately, I didn't have a track at the time so to this very day I don't know if it would have worked. I think it would have - a child's imagination you know.

Later on, not really scratch building I suppose, I discovered that you could build Airfix cars about 30% cheaper than you could get them ready to run. Times change don't they! First "proper" scratchbuilts though were probably sticking the Ferrari under an E-type and a Bullnose Morris(? - I remember it was red plastic anyway) from an Airfix kit using the old style Airfix "strap" motor and running gear all held together with Araldite.

Sadly, it was all consigned to the bin a looong time ago.
Spring 1967: a Chaparral 2D, Lancer body, with a Classic 26D and a scratch-built brass tube chassis copying Mike Morrissey's article in the April 66 Car Model..... Lots of cold joints, misaligned tubes, etc. Joints probably popped the first time I had it on the track, and never got it to work right... Tore it down to reuse bracket, bearings, motor, etc. I think I learned to solder when I discovered heat transfer and flux!

This doesn't count the bastardized versions of Strombecker and similar chassis that I never seemed able to really finish.

My first successful scratch-built was a pan-chassis (with brass strips, remember those? a very short trend!) under a Lotus 30 with a rewound 16D (60 x 30ga, balanced by EBCO I think, Versitec magnets glued in).
yeah, it's second incarnation caned Grah's sorry ass at the FWD race

sorry mate.. had to be done!

as regards to brass, I should be going to get a blow torch later on so i can make a start (again) actually there's a torch in the garage I'll just get a can for it.

So if you want me you know where I'll be... either looking like a mad professor or sitting quietly de-filtering the rear lenses on my car for that little modified touch, then I think I'll go and pick up my spoiler
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QUOTE yeah, it's second incarnation caned Grah's sorry ass at the FWD race

After I showed you where to place the magnet
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QUOTE Do some of you older geezers remember using "liquid solder" for soldering on your pinions? .... it was a grey sludge sold in a jar, you mixed it and then applied it to the armature shaft and pinion and then heated it up with an iron, it was supposed to make a solder joint as good as using the real stuff but never did as some of my cars would regularly "let go" round the Nordic track!

I used a different version which, quite to the contrary, was very good. It was called "Solder Paint" and I got it , by mail order, from a shop in Liverpool. It was a mixture of finely divided silver solder and a paste flux - a match or soldering iron wouldn't touch it. I used a small torch* to make very good brazed joints on brass and steel. I have tried several so-called silver solders in paste form since then and none of them are even close - they are all low temperature solders.

EM (official geezer)

* this was well before the advent of little butane torches. Mine was a twin-tube alchohol torch with a fuel resevoir in one tube and an alchohol soaked wick in the second which, when lighted, would serve to vaporize the fuel at the torch tip and produce enough pressure to provide a nice little flame.
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Whoa, that's weird. I think I have one of those alcohol torches in my basement.

I've always cheated when possible and use extremely high tech epoxies when soldering looked dangerous.
I'm going to look around and see if I still have mine- it was fussy to use but was ideal for the purpose - hot enough to flow the solder but not so hot as to draw the temper on music wire.

Sounds like it might possibly be the same paste, don't remember the make but now you mention it i do remember some people using matches/lighters to heat up there pinions so thats probably were i went wrong! is this stuff still sold?
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