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David Collins
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2,449 Posts
My second track (you can't call them permanent, they just never seem to last long enough) was built in haste, and in practice showed the evidence of poor design and bad implementation. It looked OK, but some parts of the track were difficult for some cars, and successive attempts at rebuilding after copper taping only made the poor connectivity worse. And as for the (lack of) grip....

So I saw myself faced with three choices:
1) an extensive programme of work to rebuild the Scaley Sport track, a potentially unrewarding exercise with an indefinite timescale and an uncertain level of success
2) routing a new track in mdf, where the uncertainties lay in the timescale and the technical requirements for a severly technically challenged person
3) relaying the track using Ninco, which promised good connectivity and grip at the end of a short build.

Well the title gives it away, but yes, I took the easy way out!


It always looks so depressingly messy when you rip the track up.

I wanted to follow the existing track design as it was a good use of the space, and I could use the existing sub-structure. The Scaley layout translated pretty well into a Ninco version.


The Scaley track design was just too tight in the corkscrew on the right.


The Ninco track demands more space, but that (and learning from my mistakes) led to a simpler, more open and flowing design that is more usable, particularly as probably the major function of the track is in tuning cars for non-mag club racing.

Track building itself was not much of a story, apart from finding out that the Ninco track is much more rigid, and so it's not so amenable to closing gaps - but then again, that flexibility may be one of Scaley's fundamental problems.

Anyhow, the track went down well. I set it within 9mm foam rubber underlay for wood flooring - it's the perfect height for the Ninco system, and it cuts easily with a sharp knife or a big pair of scissors. So it butts up against the track to make an excellent border.

And wonder of wonders, the first few tentative laps with a club car showed a gppd level of grip, even before it has had a chance to rubber in with racing. And the electrical connectivity - did anyone mention you don't get problems with Ninco? What people say on SF about this track system is true - it's just great!


Well, with a quick track painting job, the boring work is now almost done - just the crash barriers to put up, and then it's good to go. The nice part, the scenery, I can now afford to take my time over - the space left is enough to give the opportunity for creativity.

That's all for now folks!

David
 

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.. Leo A Capaldi ..
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2,482 Posts
Good choice/decision,
I switched to Ninco 10 years ago and have never had any track problems since. Layout became permanent about 8 years ago but has had a couple of extensions/revamps. Although permanent it is in a small area against two walls so the track does get a bit of abuse as I stretch across it to retrieve cars and fiddle with scenery.
 

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John Roche
Joined
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4,237 Posts
It looks good David,

You've got your new track together quicker than I've got mine. I've got some time off coming so hopefully I'll get it done soon.

Cheers

John
 

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Premium Member
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898 Posts
I enjoyed your previous track and I shall be keeping up with development here too. As an aside with track painting to a more realistic colour being commonly done I wonder why manufacturers don't manufacture in grey?

Allan
 

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Martyn
Joined
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742 Posts
Hey I too have just changed to Ninco track, but from Scaley Classic. My track wont be used until next June 2010 which seems like an age away but I know it isnt. anyway I look forward to hearing how different you think the track is compared to Sport also I would be interested in how you feel the Ninco DS light gantry behaves itself as I too want to go that way. I only need the light gantry I already have the computer part.

Best Of luck.

Athrlyth
 

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Dave Capelen
Joined
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2,796 Posts
Hi folks

QUOTE I wonder why manufacturers don't manufacture in grey

Of course, in another dim and distant past age....Airfix did just that. I have some in fact, not yet used as I wanted to get an original Airfix power supply and controllers. Still, they're not entirely necessary, I guess.


@justDave - it's interesting to hear you and others say that there are no connectivity issues with Ninco track. This has always been a bit of an issue for me with the Scaley track - as my current track's not permanent (is 2 and a half years still temporary?), I haven't bothered to copper tape over it. I was aware of the superior grip of Ninco and in fact arranged for a Ninco track for someone's birthday on those specific grounds.

The new track to go in my attic will be routed in the New Year, which probably means in February and March, when all the conversion work has been completed (starts 11 Jan). Can't wait...! It will also be flowing, as yours is, but with one or two sharpish bends.

And again, as with your track David, mine will also be built with the intention that I can prepare and set up my cars for UK trips to places with routed tracks, such as Wolves, Wellingborough, Dowty's, Oaklands etc.

Will be keenly watching progress.

Cheers
Dave
 

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David Collins
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2,449 Posts
Thanks for your encouraging comments, guys.

John - it's hardly surprising I've got my track together faster than you - it's only about 20% the size!

Allan - you're right about the track colour. Why did manufacturers go away from grey, I wonder?

Athrlyth - it will be a while before I get the lap counting working, but I'll post when I do!

Dave - the risk in moving to Ninco track was that in the end I would not find reasonable grip for non-mag cars, but my well-prepared club cars (maybe less of the 'well'!) behave nicely.

Overall, it has definitely been worth the trouble and expense. I would recommend Ninco over Scalex to everyone - although perhaps a digital enthusiast would have a different perspective.

One thing I have noticed is that the few magnet cars the kids have seem more stuck down on the track - I don't know if that's because the Ninco rails are thicker or something. I'll have to swap to lighter magnets.


Enough crash barriers are in place - I can now take my time about proper landscaping. The rather bilious blue background was a mix of some left-over paint, but I rather like the strong colour contrasts between the green carpet mat, grey track and bright blue 'sky - I'm after an effect here, rather than realism.


The corkscrew - now a pleasure to drive compared to the last version of the track.

David
 

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Dave Capelen
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2,796 Posts
Hi David

QUOTE the risk in moving to Ninco track was that in the end I would not find reasonable grip for non-mag cars, but my well-prepared club cars (maybe less of the 'well'!) behave nicely.

I understand that grip levels are better with Ninco than Scaley, so I would expect your non-mag club cars to be OK, as mine are already OK on my current twisty Scaley track.

QUOTE One thing I have noticed is that the few magnet cars the kids have seem more stuck down on the track

I would guess this is a combination of strong magnets and the better inherent grip afforded by the Ninco track.

I do think it is unrealistic when there is no tail-sliding at all, particularly for the cars up to the 70's, which is why I like the mdf tracks....


Cheers
Dave
 

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Registered
Joined
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177 Posts
I helped a friend with his connectivity issues on his Scaley track a couple weeks ago. I now understand why there are so many "Copper topped my Scaley track" threads. I am unimpressed with Scaley track. The lanes are too close together and the flexibility of the track is a liability to it's integrity. Yes it's easy to lay down and pick up, but that ease is ruined with the connectivity issues you get when you set it up and then tear it down. They need to change the male end of the connection. It's solid construction means it is unable to take up slack as the connections get loose over time. Carrera's sprung fingers on the male connector solves all those problems. What is Ninco's connector like?

I like the colour of a concrete track, but I'm going to burst some bubbles here. Sorry guys, no track owner has the money to build a track in concrete. They are all blacktop.

Eric's trials and tribulations: http://legionregion.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html
 

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Dave Capelen
Joined
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2,796 Posts
Hi biedmatt

QUOTE Sorry guys, no track owner has the money to build a track in concrete.

I agree, you wouldn't expect anyone to build a concrete racetrack these days.

But - if you look back at what happened post World War II, when racing started up again, most of the early tracks in the UK were on airfields, so at that time were mainly concrete. Nobody had the spare cash to build anything new. I believe the US had its fair share of concrete airfield tracks too. And the pre WWII Brooklands track was also concrete.

So if you are looking at creating a 40's/50's/60's period track, then a pale grey track would be perfectly acceptable for an airfield style track - but as you say, not for a tarmac road course.

I guess it depends on what anyone is trying to represent, when they design and build a model circuit.

Cheers
Dave
 

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Registered
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177 Posts
Ah, but the racing was done on the perimeter road. Just did a Google satelite of Goodwood and the grass airstrips are visable, the perimeter road appears to be tarmac. This makes sense since the perimeter road was for vehicle access and was not intended for aircraft use. No need to build it to take the weight load of heavy aircraft. Sure Goodwood was a fighter airfield and not a bomber airfield, but still the racing is done on the perimeter road. Same at Silverstone, it's just happens to have cement airstrips but the road is still tarmac.

There are a few exceptions, Brooklands and the banking at Monza, but then as now tarmac was much cheaper than concrete.
 

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Dave Capelen
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2,796 Posts
Hi Biedmatt

QUOTE This makes sense since the perimeter road was for vehicle access and was not intended for aircraft use.

You're quite right, there were a lot of airfields with perimeter tarmac roads, which were used for racing and which often were quite narrow. I have seen period photos of concrete in use though, during the era from late 40's to the 60's.

Even our local former war-time airfield in the 70's used part of the perimeter track and some concrete areas around the hangars, plus part of the runway system. There were others of that type.

It's also interesting to look at what happened at Silverstone, for example, which was certainly not up to today's safety standards!

"On October 2nd, 1948, amid straw bales and ropes, Silverstone's first event took place, the RAC Grand Prix. The crowds came in there (their) thousands, thrilled to see the return of Grand Prix racing after so many years of war austerity. The 3.67 mile course sent the 23 competing cars racing round part of the perimeter track, up the two former runways and back to the perimeter. This layout meant cars were racing towards each other head-on until they turned sharp left and returned to the perimeter. For this reason canvas screens were erected across the centre of the circuit to stop the drivers being distracted whilst the spectators were not allowed in the centre of the circuit because of the potential damage to growing crops."

They don't build them like that these days!

Cheers
Dave
 

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David Collins
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2,449 Posts
Simon,

The road under the car looks black because it's in shadow - that's the absence of light (and therefore colour) - but the tyres ARE black!

Memphis, how about this one? But sadly, it's only a toy, albeit a nice one (repainted Team Slot Alfa GTam):



David
 

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Dave Capelen
Joined
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2,796 Posts
Morning David

The No. 9 Alfa certainly looks like it means business...!

In the photo of the real Alfa, it looks like you have Little and Large on board


Returning to your track, I think the colour is fine personally. My own test track is mdf with grey wood undercoat.


You've packed a fair bit of track into a smallish space there and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun finishing off the landscaping. I like the metalwork bridge sides over the track below and couldn't help noticing the lights. What are they and how are they wired up?

Cheers
Dave
 

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David Collins
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2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Morning David!

The bridge is a Marklin OO guage, which is obviously waaay too small but I think still looks good. It will be better when I get around to a bit of repositioning and proper supports and parapets faked up - I think I'm going to follow Graham Lane into the building block manufacturing business...

The lights are simply Lilliput 12v bulbs from Maplins connected in parallel, mounted in a bit of plastic channel from a DIY store and powered with a standard wallwart. Actually I think they are too bright and don't give the kind of gloomy atmosphere I wanted for the 'tunnel'. I have an old Hornby railway controller I will connect up so I can reduce the voltage. Or maybe I'll just go and get some 6v bulbs!

This setup is functional rather than realistic, but you can't really see the lights - I did want to put something over the bulb that looked more like a light fitting, but I was worried about the heat build-up. Anyway, it's on my landscaping priority list - right down at about #998!

David
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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212 Posts
David, great looking track. I too use Ninco without mag's but I do experiance problems with r1 curves. I think the cars have too much grip at times!
Have you thought of painting the bulbs with yellow nail varnish or the paint that you can get for use on car headlights in the fog. This would give them a nice yellow glow.

Hugh
 
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