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Foreword: this post became a lot longer and pic-heavy than I first anticipated. Ill try and keep the next ones a lot shorter. Just got at bit carried away with the writing etc.
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Hi,

Ive seen theres a new member introduction sub-forum on this great site, but in order to be able to track my own track project, learn something from your critique that must stem from much deeper experience, hopefully even give an idea or two, inspiration or at least something to someone else - and last but not least to create some peer pressure to myself to keep going and get it finished (will it ever be?), I decided to start sharing my little track project and introduce myself just while doing that.

First off: Im totally new to slot cars. Four weeks to be precise. We moved in to a house with a basement a couple of months ago and a couple of weeks later I came up with the idea of having a man-caveish room down there. It could only fit a 7-foot pool table which would almost never be used and which wouldnt be enjoyed by no other than me and an occasional guest or two. Suddenly I stumbled across a nice slot car track when browsing the internet. I was sold. Started reading more about the different track systems and decided on Scalextric, which is carried relatively well by some retailers in my country (by now you mustve guessed Im not a native English speaker). Im Finnish, actually. A father of two girls, eager to try and learn new things in my life, somewhat handicapped when it comes to arts and crafts: but willing to learn none the less.

Back to slot cars: I took the plunge and got myself a starter kit, ARC Air with some GT-cars and a few extra pieces of track + barriers:

Wood Flooring Floor Composite material Bumper

It didnt look or feel right sitting on the floor, even if the racing was fun! My 7-year old daughter liked it, I liked to race with her and by myself against a ghost car, I wanted more.

On Easter holidays I had the time to create myself a track plan and build a table where the track could sit on. Time for a trip to the local hardware store to buy some timber and green patio mat, Ikea to buy some table legs and the hobby shop to buy some more track pieces. After some good 15 hours of work during the holidays I had a sort-of a track plan that, after a few trys and modifications I thought worked well for my type of racing and after a few tables had been built:

Wood Building Flooring Hardwood Indoor games and sports

The table measures 92 (width), 5 (depth), 8 (depth in the deeper section of the L).

About the track design: I wasnt that interested in super-fast driving with magnets that, to me, has little resemblance to real life (maybe Ill grow to it), but settled to a track that looks and feels like a home track instead of a super-highway like one you see in clubs. Just what it is with the space constraints. Following principles were adopted in the design:

1) The track should have at least one long straight
2) It should have one a bit more technical section,
3) It should use various curves and shapes: parabolic/tightening, opening, left to right sweeping that unsettle the car a bit. A nice flow, albeit with slower speeds than what could be achieved with less track / more space. Not afraid to use even R1s, although try to limit using multiple R1s in a row (save one hairpin).
4) Incorporate both right and left hand turns
5) Some variation in the straight lengths: a 4x long straight, 3 x long straight etc.
6) It should be able to fit extended borders for to allow drifting on the outer lane, magless racing is what Im interested in
7) Some room for landscaping
8) No overpass, however try to keep the lane lengths somewhat equal if possible. If not, no worries, we can always do 5 minute races, count the laps + fastest lap and swap lanes after that.
9) Some undulations. The back section of the track higher than the front field for better visibility and reach in case of de-slots.

Then I started to envision the setting, milieu of the track. I got this vision of a foresty, mountainy region somewhere in Europe. Possibly the Hartz mountains in Germany or somewhere in Scandinavia. Granite rock faces, conifer trees etc. The challenge was that Ive never, ever done any sort of landscaping or modelling in general in my life. After a couple of nights spent reading about how the model railway guys (and girls) do it, I took the plunge, drove to the hardware store (and hobby shop) and got some supplies. Started learning by doing. After piling some foam, cutting some mesh people use to keep pests and rodents away from finding their way to under the roof, gluing toilet paper, plastering, carving, painting voilá:

Wood Slope Urban design Plant Bedrock

Now that looks disappointing. After a few more tries and coats of paint:

Sky Wood Slope Landscape Asphalt

Wait... does that look like granite? Maybe. I might be getting somewhere at this.

So this is where Ive got to in 4 weeks and some 40-50 hours of labour:

Automotive design Urban design Asphalt Automotive tire Road
Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire Wheel

Made some tweaks to the track - both the first corner and mid-section now drive a bit faster (one less R1 in both) and freed up some space on the table.

Still lots and lots to do. Once Im relatively done with the landscaping, its time to add some cars. This will not be a modern F1-track, thats for sure. Its going to have a feel of vintage, more like a road car like racing than dedicated track race cars with huge downforce-creating spoilers. Think some Porsche 911s from the 1970s etc. Maybe vintage rally and touring cars. Well see.

Any scenery & track ideas and feedback in general are most welcome!
 

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What a first post, welcome! If that is your skill level for a first time job, wow I am impressed. Only advice I can give you: you should race race race the track before you start scenery.
 

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Jim Moyes
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Welcome to the forum, ScaleFinn !
thumbsup.gif


You have certainly jumped in with both feet. Excellent work so far.
 

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What a first post, welcome! If that is your skill level for a first time job, wow I am impressed. Only advice I can give you: you should race race race the track before you start scenery.
Thanks! Actually the very beginning, say the first 3 hours of creating those rock faces felt hard, as in what the heck am I supposed to do?. But it sort of got going.

Re. racing: Thanks for the tip! Some of the corners (and the back straight) are already quite fastened by the landscape but I still have some room for changes if deemed necessary. As a matter of fact the layout has already been altered after a few (didnt keep count) hours of racing: the first corner with its R2 left, R1 right, R2 R2 R2 right etc. you see on the first picture where the track is on the table lost the R1 as it just didnt work well after the main straight. Now its just the main straight followed by 180 degrees R2 right followed by one more R1 right (tightening) and opening to a straight by a R2 left. Ditto for the next two corners in the middle field, it too lost some of the complexity and some its dual hairpin nature - although that was nice for drifting!

BTW, the forum software seems to lose all apostrophes when posting - they are there when writing but dont appear when the message is sent. Might have something to do with my phone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks good.

What are you using for the grass?
I have some Noch (like Woodland Scenics but German) grass I haven't used yet, but will when I get further with the landscaping. What you see now is just green patio carpet from the hardware store. Bought two 200x120 cm pieces of it.
 

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Martyn
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Great start, If you're going to do it, do it. very brave, can't wait to see where this is heading. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Its a a great track and I am impressed by the scenery. However as has been said, drive it first before you do too much. Me I an an R1 lover but you have the chicane type hairpin at the back. I had one but removed it. For a skilled driver a stabdard R1 hairpin is a great place to pass and can lead to close racing. the Chicane type can actually hinder passing. I would leave this area till last so you can make your own decision after a good bit of experience with your track. Same goes for the R2 crossover, although I sometimes use it as in solo driving you get to drive both lanes without effort, but its bad news I thing with pace cars and opponents. Again your decision but don't commit that bit for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Its a a great track and I am impressed by the scenery. However as has been said, drive it first before you do too much. Me I an an R1 lover but you have the chicane type hairpin at the back. I had one but removed it. For a skilled driver a stabdard R1 hairpin is a great place to pass and can lead to close racing. the Chicane type can actually hinder passing. I would leave this area till last so you can make your own decision after a good bit of experience with your track. Same goes for the R2 crossover, although I sometimes use it as in solo driving you get to drive both lanes without effort, but its bad news I thing with pace cars and opponents. Again your decision but don't commit that bit for a while.
Thanks - yeah both the chicane and the crossovers came with the starter pack. The crossovers are gone already, I didn't like them and they actually caused a couple of times when the ARC app crashed (if a car stopped right at the crossover it caused an electric failure). So far the hairpin stays but as I now have a couple of extra R1s, I might replace it with a standard R1 needlepin. Like the idea of a needle pin corner where it is, it's a bit like going up a mountain serpentine road there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Heres a snapshot of the current layout after the changes explained above:

Wood Building Electrical wiring Hardwood Ceiling

It drives nicely and theres very little I see I should change, but one thing sticks to my eye: there are four parallel straight sections in the middle. Having at leas one of them maybe in 22.5 degree angle or changing to sweeping, large radius corner would make it a bit more interesting to the eye. It would have to be the second straight from below, as both the main and back straight are pretty much set and the one nearest to the mountain Id like to keep almost touching the wall of stone. Maybe Ill figure it out.
 

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*** Leo A Capaldi ***
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Hello ScaleFinn, greetings from Scotland.

Your layout looks good to drive and you have got the scenery bug so you will get lots of enjoyment with the track.

Keep the updates coming, all good so far !

Leo
 

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(by now you mustve guessed Im not a native English speaker)
only because your written English is better than a native speaker!

And your modelling also hides your inexperience,

keep it up.
 

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Oh, and good choice of legs, I have them for my circuit when it is free standing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all!

Heres a neat trick I came up with just by chance. Must be common knowledge to experienced modellers, but at least it was new to me (and I got that sense and feeling of invention). Was wondering how I could get the track in the ground not on it, and didnt want to start cutting and carving the insulation foam with a knife. Nor did I want to glue the track to the ground with gypsum. I realised that plaster does not stick to common baking paper, so I just folded some paper under, by and over the track, poured some plaster and leveled it sloping a bit away from the track. Just lift the track and remove the paper after the gypsum has hardened.

Wood Composite material Railway Urban design Track

Liquid Road surface Automotive tire Asphalt Freezing

Think you dont need to do perfect job with the levelling, one can always add some foliage or something if theres such gaps that meet the eye after the grass has been applied.
 

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Nice !!!
 

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The project is moving nicely. Got my rocks and parts of the adjacent soil painted. Even the first coat of grass has been applied to one part of the track, the one you can see on the hill in the picture below.

Infrastructure Automotive tire Plant Asphalt Land lot

While waiting for the freshly glued grass to dry I designed a grandstand and made a mockup for it from paper. Just couldnt find ones that were of the right size and design, although Magnetic Racing seems to have one model that was pretty close and looks very nice. Gave it a shot and tried to make what I needed myself.

The proof of concept didnt look too bad so I went and made one out of balsa wood. Originally I planned to place it to the infield, so that the human drivers could see the little people (tbd which kind) and the logos in and on the stands, but as I laid down the first finished part of the galley to the table I had to abort that plan. Even though the stands are just 4,5 inches tall (smaller than my bigger trees or the back straight mountain) and it fit between the track just fine, it just messed up the scale. Suddenly all else was dwarfed. Moved the stand to the other side of the track and it worked again - actually it kind of visually closed the track area on the table and in doing so helped to create an illusion of a little world of its own.

The grandstand became such a dandy looking piece of scenery (like a giant sauna seat) that tonight I built a second one. Both need some finishing touches - guardrails, stairs, some brownish -like walnut- oil etc. but thats just work in progress.

Vehicle Automotive design Wood Outdoor bench Motor vehicle
Wood Flooring Asphalt Road surface Urban design
 

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