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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning all. New member here. I have put together a small permanent layout in my loft for my kids and I currently have a working layout with no scenery added yet.

My kids are five years old so I intend to make something fairly simple and fairly robust. It needs to be robust because they climb on it to retrieve cars that come off the track and the board is strong enough for them to step on (I am tempted to stencil "Step" on the strongest points of the track as they do on aircraft wings!).

The layout has a lot of track squeezed into a small L shaped area (2.8 metres by 2.2 metres) and is designed to be viewed from the height of a five year old (well, four year old when I started if I am honest). I have miraculously ended up with exactly equal lanes 18.04 metres long.

It has some fairly large elevation changes from 35 cm high in the foreground rising to around 85 cm at the highest point; a suspension bridge crossing the back of the layout. This makes it a bit more interesting for kids who look at it from the side rather than from on top as we do.

The foreground is intended to be a winding mountain road (inspired by the sort of mountain pass that the "Italian Job" ended on) and will probably have a fairly rocky look to it. The rear section will be flat in the middle with rising ground approaching the bridge. There will be no fussy detail that can be easily squashed like pit buildings or trees but I do have a Goodyear bridge hiding the timing lights for the laptop.

Regards

Threeracers



 

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Great looking track in a small area - however, I can see 5 year olds climbing onto the layout to retrieve cars and tripping over the various raised sections, damaging themselves and the track. Also, I would think unless your youngsters have a good understanding of how it works and a lot of patience (instead of the 'pull the trigger to maximum and let them fly' type) they are going to spend far more tome off the track than on it.

Lastly, the obvious place for accidents will be the crossovers, but the hand controllers are some distance away, and in the time it takes to get to the crossovers, replace the car on the right lane and get back to the crossover, the other lane could have done a complete lap. Because of this, I think you may find hand controllers being dropped to the floor at the first coming-off, and it won't be long before your hand controllers need replaceing after being dropped/tripped over/stood on!

All above IMHO you understand, but good luck!


Aaron
 

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Fantastic track!

The layout diagram looks like a plate of spaghetti, but in the pic it loocs brilliant!

My personal opinion would be to remove the chicane narrowing bit on the suspension bridge, and the crossovers, since the curves and hills should make it plenty exciting enough without those hazards.

The 5 year olds may think differently though!

cheers

Dave
 

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I love that track! The benchwork looks first rate too!

Get some scenery on that and get the kids on the rack to stretch their arms!
 

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Simon Moss (Undisputed #1 Racer Fan)
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I agree a great looking track in the making, especially when scenified, but IMHO it's too good for 5 year old's. Maybe your using the 5 year old excuse to construct it for yourself, eh!

How do you propose to retrieve any cars which come off on the far side ? By looking at the picture it looks impossible to get round the back.

Good luck with the project though.



M
 

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i believe a 5 year old is inserted in each far corner and given the responsibility of marshalling while dad races the cars round!
 

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Hello Threeracers and welcome to the forum.

Nice track...really like the suspension bridge, have not seen one in a layout before.
Would be great if you could post a picture on the bridge in "close up".

Cheers

Eric
 

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No way that track is for a pair of 5 year olds.
Come on Three it's time to come out of the slot car closet and announce to the world. "Yes I race slot cars, so what?"

By the looks of the benchwork, me thinks I see a train guy.
 

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Gary Skipp
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I think there are two five year olds, hence 'threeracers' Him, and the two kids.

Nice layout, looks very demanding, especially if you get any non mag action. Have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the comments all.

There are three five year olds - triplets, hence the "Threeracers" (with me too perhaps that should have been Fourracers!). Here are two;





They are five now but were nearly four when these were taken.

I suppose I have rather shot myself in the foot by admitting that these were taken over a year ago as you can see how little progress has been made in that time! Too much time racing and not enough building I am afraid.

It did take some time for them to realise that the hand controllers were not just on or off but I am pleased to say that they are past that now. I started them off with a couple of old Scalex hand controllers with different sized wedges behind the trigger until they got the hang of it.

They can reach a lot of the layout now, including those two crossovers, but if a car goes off the back corners or on the bridge chicane they do need to step up on the front and lean on the midsection to get to the cars. Such accidents don't usually gain the lap advantage that you would expect as the other car tends to stop and wait for the recovery - or it might meet a foot/elbow/hand on the track!

I haven't seen a suspension bridge on a layout before either. I wasn't sure that I would get away with it as I thought it might look odd without a big river or something underneath it but I had to do something as I ran out of space - I really am against the walls on all sides. I don't have a close up photo of the bridge but then I am not sure it would stand up to close scrutiny as it was just made from offcuts and spray painted with silver paint. I always meant to replace it with a better one but have not got around to it yet.

It's probably a bit tricky for them right now but they are getting into it. Although I made it for them they do let me have a go too!

Threeracers
 

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QUOTE (Gaugemaster Controls @ 16 Aug 2004, 14:28)Also, I would think unless your youngsters have a good understanding of how it works and a lot of patience (instead of the 'pull the trigger to maximum and let them fly' type) they are going to spend far more tome off the track than on it.
I wish people would give some credit to youngsters... I built a track this weekend on the lounge floor and got comprehensively outdriven by my 4 year old son... and at one point I walked into the lounge and thought he was beating his 3 year old sister... wrong... she was beating him...

OK, so their attention span isn't as great as an adult, but their drving ability improves each time they use their Scalextric, not only that, but the damage rate has decreased noticeably...

The biggest problem i find is that if crossovers are used the cars tend to be replaced on the wrong lane. I think colour coding of some form would be very useful on a circuit such as this one, for the adults as well as the children...
 

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Simon Moss (Undisputed #1 Racer Fan)
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I bet they were racing cars with heavy magnets. My observation is that youngsters have quicker reactions (as you would expect), but not so good with magnet-less cars.

M
 

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if your getting beat you aint goin fast enough! lol

basically - rag it


nice track and I have noticed no one has mentioned grabbers to retreive the cars, I believe places like Radtrax carry them in the US and lakeland plastics in the UK.

Inte
 

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Dave Kennedy
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Great bridge in the background....got any closer shots of it? I'm thinking of a bridge like that on my track and I'd like some inspiration to start thinking about it.

DK
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have found a couple more photos of the bridge. Not exactly close-ups but perhaps a little more detail. As I mentioned in an earlier post the idea was born out of necessity; I really had run out of room and needed to bridge across to fit my preferred layout in the space available. As there is track underneath I couldn't use supports so it had to be a suspension bridge.

I have bought a brick effect paper to go around the base of the support and continue along the sides of the approach. Once I have done a little more work to it I will post some more.

Mark


 

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Standing on the track can cause the rails to bend and the connections wont be as good so you might want to make sure that doesn't happen. I know this from experience.
 

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Dave Kennedy
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Those pix are great. And the bridge is wonderful, simple but effective design. Thanks a lot, very helpful.

DK
 
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