SlotForum banner

Hatching an Eagle

11504 Views 68 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  David Lawson
After five years of wandering around before the inevitable '60s 1/32 F 1 race at Las Vegas, I vowed (in public) that I would have my own car this year. Despite having a drawer full of Ferrari, Cooper and BRM bodies, most of which would accomodate a more-or-less conventional motor/chassis set-up, I decided to tackle the Eagle body that I obtained several years ago (a Fitzpatrick glass body)

When I first metioned my concerns about the space inside on a DL some time back, Russell, ever helpful and generous as he is, sent me one of the rare K's motors advising that it was about the only thing that would fit.

Take motor in one hand, body in the other and push them together - hmmmm - not going! - and add some side plates to the motor to form a chassis and it gets worse!

Opened the motor drawer and here is what came out:


Left to right: a version of the currently popular Bear Dog mini-motor, the TMM (Taiwan mystery motor), K's, an (MRRC?) eBay find, and, for contrast, a standard Mabuchi can. Although the K's is 0.002" narrower than the TMM, by the time side plates of any reasonable thickness, say 0.032" are added, you are at 0.66" - a non-starter for this chassis. The MRRC is about as bad, even without the screw heads. The mini-motor and the TMM are the same cross section, the only difference being length. Since my friend Jim Butt has a wickedly fast Indy Turbine powered by one of the latter and since, like the mini-motor, an end-of-the-can mount can be done, it got the nod. Like the mini-motor, the shaft needs to be sleeved to accomdate a 2 mm bore pinion (more about gears later).

Looking at photos of the Eagle Weslake, I decided that, in addition to the distinctive body shape and paint scheme, several other things defined the "look" - the solid polished (titanium?) upswept front A-arms, the long rear suspension trailing arms and the very distinctive polished exhaust system. The model would need to incorporate these.

Next consideration - the guide: The front overhang on the Eagle is long but narrow. Both the Sakatsu (trailing) guide and the TSRF guide can be accomodated without extending past the tip of the nose. The TSRF guide is more easily adjusted for height and has the wires extending from the back of the braid mount rather than the front (in the case of the Sakatsu), an advantage with the narrow nose so the nod went to the TSRF.

Thanks to wheel and tire size info from Mr. P and wheelbase and track data ( 96.5", 61" F/R) from Prof. Fate, I was ready to start cutting metal. I decided on a wire sprung pivoting chassis ( and am not at all certain that my version of this type will have any handling advantage over, for example, an out-of-the-box MRRC brass Clubman). Working on this scale has its pitfalls - most of what you will see is second and third tries (but I keep telling myslef that I am learning with each mistake)

On the jig:


and right side up:


The rear assembly is machined from brass stock. The front section is 0.062" brass and the front axle carrier and origami-like upper A arms is 0.032" brass sheet. the pivot is 1/16" drill rod and the torsion springs are 0.047" music wire.

Here is the first trial assembly:


The wheels and tires are temporary but they are of the right diameter - 0.80" front, 0.85" rear.

Now, about gears - notice the little green crown gear above - it is the smallest (24T) Slot-It gear. I would have loved to have fitted a 64 DP crown with an internal (same side as the teeth) hub but to the best of my knowledge, no such animal exists and the width does not allow for the fitting of an external hub. I know that the Scaly etc. crowns are a bit smaller but I am not about to spend the time to build a scratch chassis and then fit a P.O.S. gear set! Here are the consequences of my choice:

Dr Jekyll:


Mr. Hyde:


And that amount of cutting does not allow for any body movement! I believe that I can accomdate a little body shake by skimming 1-2 mm off the diameter of the gear (they appear to survive much more powerful motors) and chamfering the outer edge. Beyond that, I plan to add a little built up detail of some lines, add rear suspension detail including the coil-over spring units, paint the gear silver or black and hope that those measures, along with the extension of the exhaust pipes, will mask the surgery.

An Eagle or an omlet? - we shall see.

See less See more
61 - 69 of 69 Posts
On the other hand....

The Lotus 49 and the Atlas Ferrari, and the two Monograms, the stock 64 car and the stock #4 of the clipnosed sharknose(stock mono running gear) have run every year on the king with no problems. They will not run with the modern hot motor in Jims stuff, but some of us just like an excuse to turn out with an "old friend".

Howmet & all,

Thanks for your interest... I've just added photos of Vegas 04 and Dino Derby 2 to my site. Next week I'll add close photos of several new cars I've built. Also, I'll photo the "WarHawk" that so many seem to like when it is complete later this month. Check it all out at:

Sorry to see EM's damage. I only seem to suffer damage at events like this during free practice. One of many reasons why I prefer the Dino Derby "qualify then race crash and burn" race format better than the "free for all" that dominates the Vegas Convention.

I agree that it would have been nice to run races on other track than the King... but it is the best track at Rad Trax. The Lazy 8 is fun, but very loose and the small road course is in rough shape. The Carrra track is OK for magnet cars but each lane seems to have a different power level...

I built the Allstate Special as a tribute to Dave McDonald. I never crash him out on the first lap... Unlike the real deal this car is extremely fast and forgiving.

The body is from the 1960's I do not know the manufacturer. Patto's has a similar body availalble. The main difference is the the Pattos body has molded-in exhausts. I made the decals and would trade them to anyone building an Allstate Special.
See less See more
Nice to make your acquaintance, Jim! Congratulations on your beautiful work.

I know I shouldn't do this but.... I really, really want to make that car! If I have anything that you'd want in trade for those decals, I'd be happy to post them. Is that Patto body resin or vac?
Thanks for the references to ABS - Andy replied to my inquiry very promptly and the new body will be ordered today (as well as a few other bits that I found on the site) I'm going to make a few changes in the next iteration - the exhaust supports are an obvious "must-do" and I'm going to try either AluClad or Bare Metal Foil for the exhaust headers to get a better match to the pipes.

It will probably be a while before the project is started - there are a few things in the line:

1. Clean and re-organize the shop! I spent nearly 30% of my building time in the " Where did I put that #@%&&*@# ..........." mode.

2. Build the new routed track - Russell is very successful at going directly from bench to starting line but I am not.

3. The P 68 thread is very interesting and I still have one or two of those kits on the shelf?

4. And finally - a "maybe"project - I also have a pretty complete woodworking shop and I've been thinking about a slot box - not really ideal for air travel but it would be fun to have.

But I promise - the Eagle will fly again.

See less See more
QUOTE Nice to make your acquaintance, Jim! Congratulations on your beautiful work.

Having had the good fortune to see Jim's work "up close and personal" I can only say that it is indeed exquisite - the photos don't do it justice - and, as the results show, the cars are not only beautiful but they are fast as well ( as is the driver!)

QUOTE (howmet tx @ 17 May 2004, 08:02)I know I shouldn't do this but.... I really, really want to make that car!
See less See more
EM: Sorry about the fate of the Lotus!
But glad you plan to make the sequel!

Jim: One very nice looking piece of art!


QUOTE Showing stupidity here, but is this because it gives off less smoke or that it requires more heat to ignite? Or is there some other reason?

Methanol, the fuel that came to replace gasoline in Indy cars and also used in other forms of motorsport, has pros and cons. Its fumes do not explode the way gasoline fumes do (one of the major problems in impact crashes, especially with fuel tanks rather than fuel cells), it does not produce flames when burning, and burns slower and with less intensity than gasoline. On the downside, the flames from burning pure methanol cannot be seen, only the heat haze can be (additives have been developed to help with this problem. Also, because it burns with less generated energy, cars that use it must be set up to pump greater quantities into the engine to yield the same HP output. However, because it burns cooler, it is possible to produce MORE HP than with gasoline at the same engine operating temperature if the induction system can stuff enough fuel into the engine. All in all, it IS safer, especially if an additive is used to make burning fuel visible. We didn't have any additives when I raced, and the few fires I've witnessed (with no injuries) were very scary because of the invisibility, though the same fires with gasoline would probably have had tragic results.
See less See more
Does art mirror life or life imitate art? Whatever, here's a sad tale that is very similar to EM's experience at Las Vegas.

61 - 69 of 69 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.