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Loft Conversion purpose-built for Suzuka GP Circuit

63527 Views 343 Replies 57 Participants Last post by  RACING LINE
Hello guys, I'm a new member here at SlotForum. You'll be able to tell that anyway by the fact you won't recognize the name, and also by the way it'll say "Posts: 1" around/above/below my name

Anyway, I originally joined for advice on how to devise a fairly accurate model of Suzuka in Scalextric Digital. I had originally asked an English company, going by the name of "Jadlam Racing Models" to build me a custom layout, but after initially being quite positive about my request, they went quiet and so I decided to look elsewhere.
I couldn't find anyone to help me, so joined this forum but then almost immediately received a phone call from a "friend who pointed me in the right direction..."

As things stand, I've just bought my first house. My immediate plans were (and are) to convert the loft into a man-cave. In this fantastic bachelor pad will be housed said layout (on a space no bigger than 18ft x 6ft), plus a mini-bar, my DJ set-up, and a projector screen for football/soccer matches when the 'lads' are around.

The layout is currently being designed by a local model shop owner; I've told him that I appreciate it will be hard to fit Suzuka onto a board no bigger than 18 x 6ft, so just concentrate on getting 'the essence' of Suzuka GP and it should be fine. I've seen some pretty convincing interpretations of Laguna Seca in Slot car racing which were actually quite short and nowhere near the real thing, so my request shouldn't be too taxing.
The plastering will be finished by Wednesday, the wooden floor will be laid no later than august 25th (the joiner is on holiday as of today). The table (whatever size it may be) is being built by same joiner immediately after he installs the floor. The layout table will be open-framed to allow full scenic development.

I'm going for a 2-lane track, but with 4 cars at a time. I've ordered 4 F1 cars, and 4 GT-style cars for variation. Here are a few photos of progress so far:

The loft, before work started:

And then some 'progress' shots (a fitted fold-down loft ladder will be here):

I've no idea what the Joiner, Joiner's apprentice, nor electrician were discussing here:

And this was taken tonight. The plastering (wet) will be done tomorrow:

In the hilariously unlikely chance you didn't know, this is the layout I'm hoping for (or as close to this as, and shamelessly purloined from Wikipedia):

And then the plan of the loft:

I hope all this effort pays off and I'm not met with some "too many images" message. I'm new so I'm not sure what the limits are

I will update regularly over the coming weeks (and months) and I hope you guys will enjoy this thread over time.
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Wow, that space looks amazing! It looks like your loft even has its own mini loft above it?

You've certainly come to the right place if you have any questions along the way.

Good luck!
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Hi asjwood. You're right - the joiner thought it silly to waste that space and literally lifted the old loft hatch and put it onto the ceiling of the conversion, making another loft "within my loft". It amuses me

I would say I will certainly need some help along the way; once the loft is finished and the open-framed baseboard is built I am on my own!
I'm lucky* in that I don't have a budget for this Scalextric project - Space is my only constraint. That and, to a lesser to degree, my own ability. I'm actually a railway modeller, but I'm hoping the skills will transfer easily enough.

*I've worked hard to be in the position I am now. And now I'm going to enjoy myself.
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Hi RikkiGTR,
Looks like you have got everything under control and will have plenty of room to expand the layout if you want. Great space for the slots and like you said you've worked hard to be in the position your in so its definately time to start enjoying yourself , and enjoy yourself you will.
Goodluck with the rest of the build.
Railway modeling should transfer nicely to scalextric track building. You're in the right place for all the technical and slots-related information you need.
Fabulous loft, as others have said.
I look forward to seeing this one progress.
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Great project! This is the point where, in my view, you should think about what sort of track you want. Plastic track has some significant limitations, not least in terms of fitting a layout into a specific space. You might consider a routed wood track, which would give you much more flexibility to model Suzuka - and, IMHO, a much better racing surface. Check out the tracks directory before you make your buying decision. Best of luck!

Thanks guys.

I do plan to use plastic Scalextric digital track for the layout. Of course, if the design is simply inconceivable I may revert to another like wooden routed (but I would really rather not).
Suzuka is in my top favourite tracks of all time; joint second actually with Le Mans, 3rd is Laguna Seca, but nothing comes even close to Nürburgring Nordschleife (a layout of that beast would never be anything more than a pipe dream, sadly).You may or may not see this as of much an advantage as I do; but I have driven thousands of laps of Suzuka GP on the driving simulators 'Gran Turismo' 4 and 5 (where the track and surrounding area is modelled to an almost O.C.D level of detail) so I know it's every nook and cranny 'like the back of my hand'...
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Suzuka has actually been a very popular layout with slot fans over the years, because it's one of the few with a natural crossover. I'm sure there have been layouts proposed in period magazines, using either plastic track or routed wood, and probably the contemporary US magazine Model Car Racing, published by Robert Schleicher, has covered it as well. He has a website

which might have the info, or let me know, and I'll look through my issues and/or his books.

Just looked in my own index, and there was an article back in the June 65 issue of Model Car & Track on building a routed Suzuka track at the back of a 2 car garage, so in a space 20 x 4.5 feet...

There was also a multipart series by Mr. Schleicher on building Paramount Ranch, a similar track, but in California, which might have a slightly smaller footprint... However, also routed.

Hi RikkiGTR,


The space looks great and your idea sounds good!

I guess one of the next jobs is to see how you're going to fit that track on a 18' x 6' board. This is a similar size to my digital track and I think it's safe to say that what you end up with will be representative of Suzuka rather than a copy of it.

To design the track it helps to use some software like Trackpower which although not cheap is really good.

There are lots of really helpful people here and lots of awesome tracks to get ideas from.
I've got a book with a plan for a 3 lane routed Suzuka track in it that would fit in the space you are talking about, I can send you a photo copy of the track plan, I think I've also got a plan for Suzuka in Scalextric track as well, definitely got one for Suzuka in 1:64 scale track.
Please do, any help in configuring this layout will be invaluable. I'll PM you my email address...
I did a Suzuka many years ago, 4 lane which makes bends a bit more tricky. I straightened out the track to get a long blast and swapped the bridge from a go over to a go under to keep the track straight and fast. Just out of picture close to us was the S's.

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QUOTE (ss67 @ 9 Aug 2011, 10:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>To design the track it helps to use some software like Trackpower which although not cheap is really good.

How do I buy that? There doesn't seem to be an option

That software is definitely what I need! I've tried designing the track myself, but there's simply no way of doing it properly as the geometry needs to be bang on; without any kind of software or template system it is an exercise in futility.
I downloaded Scalextric's very own [free] track designing software last week, but it was absolutely useless as it wouldn't work half the time. Perhaps it wasn't compatible with Windows 7.
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Hi again,
The track designer I used was UR3.0 which is free,easy to use and as far as I'm concerned 100% better than scaleys.
QUOTE (RikkiGTR @ 9 Aug 2011, 11:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How do I buy that? There doesn't seem to be an option

Paypal the money to [email protected] and the download link and serial code will be emailed to you!
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QUOTE (mattcrackers @ 9 Aug 2011, 11:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi again,
The track designer I used was UR3.0 which is free,easy to use and as far as I'm concerned 100% better than scaleys.

EDIT - it's ok, they have appeared after closing and opening the program
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After quite a bit of head-scratching and fiddling about, I think I've got it:

It's not exact. The S bends are missing 1, the 200R corner has been angled quite a bit so it's more of a sharp turn, and the 130R has been straightened out a bit.
Still, this looks better than what I thought it would.

Am I right in assuming the squares on that program represent 1 x 1 ft? If so, then the layout fills a space 17ft x 5ft which is perfect.

What do you guys think?
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I'm very envious of your space, I wish my loft was like that- you have room to stand up evrywhere!!!!!!!!!!
That looks great! Expect some tweaking, of course, and definitely get the track set up in a temporary way and run some laps so you know what parts you want to change before you dive into landscaping. Seems a silly thing to say, but it bears repeating. ;-)
Here's one (90 feet, needs 33' by 7' of space) I doodled one time in UR3. Once I have 33 feet to spare, of course. . .

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