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Do you remember your first scratch build

3072 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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Well, I'm nothing if not a pack rat. A brief trip to the archives turned up 2, not 1, catalogs from Precison Model Engineering Co. Ltd. 10, South Road. Waterloo. Liverpool 22.

They offered "Fryolux" solder paint for 8/1 for a 1 oz tin and 15/6 for 2 oz.

Additional offerings included Scaltextric F1 Lotus and Vanwall as well as an Aston Martin and Lister Jag for 32/6, K's Precison Mk. 1 motor for 30/7, S.M.E.C. wheels for 7/7, the superb range of SMEC wood kits for 14/10, and the Merit range for 7/7


P.S. for those youngsters out there who grew up after decimalization, 8/1 is 8 shillings, 1 pence - 20 shillings to the pound, 12 pence to the shilling. In those days being a slot car builder also involved learning a whole different currency system!

First scratchbuild???

About 59 or 60. Was a small one, but dad insisted that knowing how to solder, shoot and work a torque wrench were basic skills. At a local toy store saw a Strombecker kit of some european car. Called a MERCEDES. I was in rural New Mexico.... well about 20 miles from the "Roswell Incident". But the car looked COOL. So, Ibought and built it. But it just SAT there. I mean I was flying model airplanes and THEY moved. And my dad had a train set and IT MOVED. But in the kit, there were these little brochures about converting the car to run around a pylon. So, I pulled it apart and converted it with a surplus servo motor. But it went round and round. But another brochure talked about doing a RAIL car.
So, one day my dad comes home and sees a 4x4 foot plywood bit with a single rail snaking its way around the table, and the Mercedes slowly bouncing around the thing. "Great idea, where did you get the rail and motor". Silence. I did WHAT to his trains? Followed up with the Strombecker 1/24 Scarab. THUS doing all two of the kits the local toy store had.
In 61, flying to the Philippines, I read an article about a club in new york doing a SLOT instead. Thought I was a great idea. Converted my cars to slots. Single slot in the plywood, aluminum foil strips. Added a Maserati from the first Merit kit(and an aston martin and a Healey from Revell). Carved my first body and did a Lotus 18 from an article and cut away in Road and Track.
On my move BACK from the philippines in 63, all but some parts and the maserati disappeared(common with government movers). Destroyed the Maserati body and replaced it with a fibreglass knockoff.
Still have the Maserati and have raced it with EMs Vanwall in the last 6 Vegas conventions.
And I am trying to build up replicas of the others. In that persuit, I have found a Stromie Mercedes kit. YAAA!

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QUOTE And I am trying to build up replicas of the others. In that persuit, I have found a Stromie Mercedes kit. YAAA

Why didn't you tell me you were looking for one - have several lying about!

Nice story Prof - I hope your Dad got his rail back once you'd converted over to slot!
having read these posts, iv tryed to tye down the car i could call "my first scratch car" in the mid 50,s my farther and i messed about with free running cars, a hand held power pack, i think 6 volts, with wires leading to the car and an on-off switch, we would trot along behind the things thinking we where haveing fun!! i think, could be wrong, the motors where "mighty atoms? we set about bulding a "remote controlled track" this had 2 lanes , vertical brass walls 1/2 inch high in an small oval the centre "wall " being the common return. the cars had antenna to pick up power from these walls fed by ex-wd voltage regulators, the inside car always won, could never work out why?. the bodies came from plastic toy cars with no common scale. thinking back to how many merit kits we scaped, if we did that today they would through a net over us and drag us away. my farther passed away during the rail period, i wonder what he would make of todays "little cars" mac p
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Now you've mentioned that Mac... I can remember my Dad building a straight test track out of battened hardboard and using aluminium foil for the conductors. It was two lane but we only had one car, a light blue Vanwall converted from a 1.5 volt electric toy - that always seemed to win too! The driver had a little red helmet. Aw, getting all nostalgic now!

Mac, I suppose it's a bit late to suggest turning the voltage down on the inside lane?
come on john give us a break, iv only just got used to not de sloting, no i mean de-walling as it is!!! mac p
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