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MDF Dakar track, how to do

75988 Views 92 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  PIT SLOT RACING
Hi everybody,

My Dakar track was in the may 2006 edition of the NSCC Journal.
I sent only pictures of the ready track to the editor.

Here on the forum, I want to show you some pictures of the building process.
I hope they are usefull, when you start making your own MDF track.
Enjoy the pictures.


Drawning the track on the MDF board

One half of the track

The track complete, after making the slot with a pendulum jigsaw

How to make a wooden African bridge

Cutting pieces of the track surface with a chisel, to get it rough

The copper tape

I turned the whole track on its side, to plaster the vertical rocks

The building of the African village

How it is done

Several colours of paint are the basic for the desert landscape

The sawdust mixed with grit from the model train shop on the wet paint

The roofs of the cottages are made of cardboard and sisal

The sisal roofs after painting

Some local inhabitants made from Scalextric figures

Driving on the rough mountain roads of the African desert

Dakar atmosphere
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Simply Awesome!

Nice work - more pictures please!

You make it look easy, but I'm sure it isnt.
Very nice to see the great tracks explained.

can you come to my house
and do mine its box mountain 2 i am always up for comments.!!!!

thats looks breath taking how long wa the whole process take you.

best regards nik
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Thank you very much for your compliments.

It took me about 6 months to build the track.
Most important, before you start, think about what you really want to create.
Only, after you have a detailed worked out plan for yourself, you can start with the building process.
You donnot need to have the plan on paper, it can also be completely worked out in your mind.
During the building, you often still have to improve, but your basic plan keeps you always in balance.
It is also true, that some patient helped a lot.


Just for fun, here are 2 other pictures of the track

The African village

On 3 wheels, leaving the village
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Thanks for the how to rallyhub, your work is simply amazing!!

Very cool. One of the best ever. I want to try & do something similar using the Ninco raid track. After I have it set the way I like I'm going to fix it in place, bondo the seams & then paint it to look more realistic. Someone here did something like that (w/standard blacktop track) & it looked awesome.

Do you use any "loose" material on the track? If so, what? Cheers.
Hi Downtowndeco,

There is no loose material on the surface.
After the paint is dry, the saw dust and grit from the model train shop is removed with a vacuum cleaner.
The left material what you see on the surface, has stucked into the wet paint.
So, it cannot damage the gearing of the cars.
On the picture below, you can better see the surface of the road.

Success building your own Dakar track, and show us also some pictures if you like.


Do you use any "loose" material on the track? If so, what? Cheers.

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Hi rallyhub!

I admired your track in the other thread. I love the way the track surface looks. It really looks like a deep sandy track.

I think the track must be good to drive, but a nice realistic scenery makes a very good track track a superb track!

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Hi everybody,

Here I want to show you 2 pictures of real Senegal and 2 of the Dakar track:

This picture is taken by my wife, when she was in Senegal.

This is the well on the Dakar track

The second real one is from our newspaper "De Volkskrant"

The Rally Raid cars on the Dakar track in action

Both pictures inspired me, to build the Dakar track, with the well into the typical African village.

During the building process of your track, it is always usefull,
to lay some of your racing books or pictures on the track.
It gives you a lot of information about the colour settings,
and what it will look like.

It doesnot matter what kind of track you are building.
It also helps when you, for example building your Le Mans circuit.

I hope this will help you also when you start building your own track.

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Schitterend! Puik werk man! Echt origineel! Prachtig gedaan!

* Translation of the dutch sentence: Fantastic, great job man! Really original! Beautifully done!

Where in holland do you live rallyhub?

Hi Gunther,

I live in the south of Holland.


Fantastic, great job man! Really original! Beautifully done!
Where in holland do you live rallyhub?
I remember seeing this in the NSCC journal a few months back and admiring it then.

Fantastic work, lots of original ideas and great attention to detail.

Hi pace1970uk

Thank you for your compliments.
For me, it was a big honour to be in the NSCC Journal.


On 2 wheels downhill.
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Hi everybody,

During testing on the rough Dakar track,
I lost very soon the profile of the rear tyres of the 2 wheel drive Ninco Ford Ranger.
Just like real driving

But after a short time, I also got rear axle damage.

The teeth had gone!!!

The solution was very simple.
With some sand-paper, I made the holes smoother.
During testing, the car jumped now less, mainly on the uphill sections.

So, if you want to have longer pleasure of your cars,
donnot make the roads to bumpy!.

The 4 wheel drive cars are a lot smoother on these tracks.
Just like real, they have a big advantage on these roads.


Some twisty, narrow bumpy section

Jumping over the bridge

Sliding over the rough surface, with only rearwheel drive
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Its always nice to see this great track, and even better to see how it was built. I like the 1:1 comparison pics too - which just emphasise how good this track is.
Hi astro,

Thank you for your compliments.
I hope a lot of people want to build their own Dakar track now.
With the new SCX cars coming very soon,
and the real Dakar Rally 2007 edition starting within 3 months,
the rally raid fever will grow.
I hope the track and the next pictures give some inspiration.



Driving along the rocks

The mountains in the desert

Crossing a small streamlet, that passes the road

Between the rocks, keeping attention to the mirrors.

Rough terrain

Downhill around the rocks on the inside

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How did you make the slot big enough, because isn't a Jigsaw cutter 1.5mm thick, but you need a 3mm gap?

Jigsawing seems easier than routing.

Also love your track!

Hi Mattzani,

Thank you very much.

I soldered 2 jigsaws to each other, to get the 3mm thickness.
It worked perfect.
On the picture, you can see how I did it.
But, you have to avoid tin coming into the teeth of the jigsaw blades.


2 jigsaws soldered to each other, to get 3mm thickness

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