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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
VERSION 2, PHASE 1

For my first permanent track I made a hinged layout on the wall of my brick-built shed. The story is here. It was fun to drive, but after I built it I realised two things:
1 - I wanted to use it too often to make it worth putting it away;
2 - There was more room in the shed if I sacrificed my work bench.



Well, what would you do?

This new topic won't tell many readers much about building a permanent track, still less about creating a scenic layout. But it may give someone inspiration about making a viable track in a tight space and with limited resources (in my case, of skill, time AND cash!).

I started playing around with new layouts in RailModeller on my PowerBook, and came up with another compromise. Not many of us have unlimited space in our houses - particularly in the UK - but few have as limited options as mine! But a new layout offered a longer straight along the back wall, and overall an increase in track length to about 15 metres.



There are still many compromises, particularly a lot of tight corners because of the limited space. So I tried to make every corner different in nature. And in fact there are no two corners the same. I wanted to use the old workbench height to give some variations in level, and also some potential for scenery development.

I tore the old track down, and took Tileguy's and Shaunbmx's advice on my first track. I carefully sealed the pine and chipboard contstruction in gloss paint to reduce the chance of warping, moved the electrics, and used the remaining flooring underlay from my first build to give me a bed I could set the track down into.



I've got the track down. After the start/finish area and a double-apex R1 hairpin there will be an R3 banked 90 degree banking leading onto the back straight:



At the other end of the track there is an R3/R2 corner leading into an R1 corkscrew - just what experienced builders would counsel against! But my view it is not how fast the track is, but how fast you drive. And actually it was harder for me to build than it is to drive...it looks really rough here but it is not the finished result.



Early tests show 6.8 secs for a Challenger, 6.4 for a non-mag club car, and 5.5 for our MG Lola with mag.

So we've got to first base - the track is up and running. Loads still to do, of course. Next I want to paint the track to reduce the tail-happiness of my non-mag cars, and as a way of kick-starting the scenic work. I'm aiming for a slightly old club track feel - an 'image' rather than a scale representation. But I'll cover that in Phase 2 - when I've got there!
 

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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I found some more pics which will give you a better impression of what I am trying to do...it's a lap of the track really. I've got the Armco up so that the racing is not too destructive!

Start/finish area:


Back straight and coming back up the hill:


The corkscrew:


Overview of the back section:


Next:
- paint the track
- install tyre barriers
- light the underpass area
- plant grass, trees, etc
- set up pit area
- etc, etc, etc.
- maybe do some racing!
 

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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With some track paint experimentation in an (midly satisfactory - still working on it) attempt to improve grip for non-mag cars, and copper tape laying (FANTASTIC!), I have now moved on to phase 2 of my track development - landscaping.

Progress was halted with a switch to SportWorld thanks to RikoRocket's tip about cheap sets from Modelzone. Probably worth it just for the ability to run in both directions by just pressing a couple of buttons (I haven't got to grips with the 396-page manual yet) and the pace car record feature.

I'm aiming for a 60s-70s club track sort of a look - which I suppose says something about my age! Firstly for sports/GT LeMans style cars, but I then hope to build up a collection of '60s open wheel cars.

Basically most things are now in place in a rough kind of way - except for a rocky underhang under the corkscrew section. But there's work needed everywhere and more leisurely (and careful!) detail work on every section will be the next phase.

Sorry for the quality of the pictures, taken with a mobile phone.

A lap of the track:

Through the start/finish to the double-apex hairpin:


Flat out from the banking onto the straight:


The corkscrew - the tight inside lane is 'challenging' for a few very wide low cars like the Scalex MG Lola:


The underpass - a nasty little humback flick, better now lighting has been installed:


Onto the back straight and my first attempt at a FROCK (rock painting by my 7-year old daughter Isla:


Up the climb back to the finish:


So far, lap times run down to the low 5's for mag LMPs like the Scalex Lister, and low 7s for tuned not mag cars (not enough grip yet, and not enough space for full-on drifting!).
 

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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Scenic update.

Making some progress on making the track look at least a little better. The idea is a late 60's/early 70's feel, but I know it's full of anachronisms, like the SCX tyre wall (thanks LeMans!).

Four cars for atmosphere - unfortunately I don't have digital, just Sport (and SportWorld if Scalex can fix the CPU which has blown up).

Credits: construction by Bodge the Building, contractors Filler, Scatter and Lichen...

Down the straight to the corkscrew - finished!


Approaching the corkscrew:


The corkscrew is still missing a Big Tree in the centre (on order from China):


Out the other side. Don't know why I put the Fly Carrera on the inside - it HATES the corner. I think I need to find a deeper guide:


I'm now just gradually working may round the circuit - now planning overspill pipes in the underpass, creating a stream that goes under the track, through the tunnel and into a culvert. The work's all very satisfying, but it does seem a lot of effort for just about five seconds of pleasure!

PS: Sorry about picture quality...
 

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Jon Grainger
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3,825 Posts
Hi

This has moved on so much! Really nice, I like it, it looks more like a proper circuit. The Corkscrew are is just fantastic, it looks to me like jmswms's Targa track!(If you have done that, you must have done good!

Jon
 

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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the very generous complements, guys. I don't think it looks too bad (work in progress and all that) but I really would be embarrassed to be compared with JMSWMS - he's a real artist and I'm an amateur. My track doesn't bear too close a look! Actually, the corkscrew is too tight for some cars on the inside lane and as such must be considered a failure.

I took some more photos to illustrate the 'We Homest' trees for Wankel - the trees in the foreground of all the shots are from them.









Another of my failures was to try to find a paint surface that would work with magless cars, and the shots in the previous post were evidence of one such attempt. It was probably a mix of black and white emulsion at the time...basically I think the circuit is too tight to get the same handling characteristics as a club track and so I've given up on trying, really. The surface now has a rough sandtex-type finish which does enable me to road-test my club cars, but I've come to the conclusion that I really need to leave the magnets in




David
 

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Registered
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642 Posts
QUOTE (justDave @ 23 Feb 2008, 21:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks! I dream of moving house to fill up the garage with an expanded version:



Maybe one day...

David

I had a garage all to myself once. It was a wonderfull place to be. She who must always have what she wants decided she wanted to extend her kitchen into it. Now I have a 6' square space in what is left of my garage.




If the picture is still there ( I keep losing them some how) you'll see my Carrera 'test' track and a whole range of sizes for slot cars. I love the 1:24 scale which makes my lack of space even more hard to bear.
 

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Lars Ole
Joined
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1,640 Posts
QUOTE (justDave @ 23 Feb 2008, 22:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks! I dream of moving house to fill up the garage with an expanded version:



Maybe one day...

David

looks like a wet dream to me, with a litle more room for those sliding cars :)

cheers
 

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David Collins
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2,492 Posts
Well, actually my shed is quite dry PSRRFH...
. Although it feels like a bit of a dream to wake up to find this old thread revisited! I was just thinking of moving to a larger house (with requisite garage) as my current mortgage deal was coming to an end when the credit crunch hit...so plans on the shelf for now. Actually, I'm getting around to the idea that a DOUBLE garage would be nicer....

The track is non-functional anyway, as I am fixing the tight downhill hairpin and putting in variable power and computer timing while I am at it. All the bits assembled, and the plan was to do it over Christmas, but it was too bl**dy freezing!

David
 

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Lars Ole
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1,640 Posts
all slotters should have build access to 20 degree rooms all year round. a double garage sounds good as well.

So I guess you finally gave up on that corner :)
Congrats on the computer timing it's gonna be so much nicer scenery wise, than that standard lab counter in between everything else

Chuppy dub.
 

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Registered
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18 Posts
Hello!
You really are to be congratulated. A truly marvellous effort. Just the sort of thing I attempted to promote in my articles, and in my book. As I have said and written so often, how often does one see a model train layout that consists of just train and track? I attempted to get this message across many times in my main club, to no avail. Detail might return no winner's trophies, but it does so much to enrich the slot racing experience.
Again, WELL DONE!
Regards,
RWG
 
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