I really like routed tracks but once it's done you're stuck with it
Make a bad choice and you're an unhappy camper. Routed tracks are the best to race on, in my opinion.
I don't care much for plastic track but you're never stuck with the same layout.
Both can be good to race on and both can stink. It's more of who I race with that's important to me but the track can set a bad mood if it always needs work or is just a bad layout. You need to determine what you want out of a track, others can't do it for you. If you're pressed for space either one will work fine. If you like changing layouts often, then that would be a clue as to which you should go with
If you want to kick some butt at the local track and they race routed then your practice track should be routed too.
Don't worry about magnet cars not working on routed tracks. They make magnetic braid. I just installed some on a rather large banked turn that was made to mate with Revell/Riggens plastic track. That's another option, you could do what one of my friends did. Use plastic track for the normal stuff and when you wanted something 'different' that can't easily be duplicated with plastic track, build and route the section you want. I'm still trying to get him to switch over to a full routed track but that's because that's what I like. I offered to route some straights to replace plastic in long straights. Then I was going to offer to route turns, then...
I'll take a routed track any time! Fantastically smooth and the freedom in design is endless. But, you need to know exactly what you want, and you need to realize that you can't easily change it. Often, this is similar to permanent plastic setups too, but routed is the most severe form of committment. I personally won't build any other way, but many don't like the permanence of routed and I wouldn't recommend it to someone unless they are experienced in the hobby.
Edit: Posted at the same time as aBill, and in agreement!
At the Le Mans Club Denmark were I race, we have a 4 lane Sport track (with no grip at all unless you use silicon tires) but have been talking about making a wooden 4 lane track.
At home I got a Scalextric Classic/SCX track and I think that it is much more fun to race at even though that the tracks are bended at bit. You got much more grip with the Classic/SCX tracks!
QUOTE (Fergy @ 5 Jul 2004, 20:14)I'll take a routed track any time! Fantastically smooth and the freedom in design is endless. But, you need to know exactly what you want, and you need to realize that you can't easily change it. Often, this is similar to permanent plastic setups too, but routed is the most severe form of committment. I personally won't build any other way, but many don't like the permanence of routed and I wouldn't recommend it to someone unless they are experienced in the hobby.
Edit: Posted at the same time as aBill, and in agreement!
Oh - I had no idea that routed tracks were not for newbies..
I got my first slot car (a Fly Corvette convertible) in April - and built the track in May...
I could not imagine anything other than a routed track.
It simply takes planning. Just like a model railroad layout even routed tracks can be altered and changed relatively easily.
QUOTE I had no idea that routed tracks were not for newbies..
Paul, my comment was a generalization. You are in a tiny minority. Most newcomers to the hobby would not know where to start in terms of creating a good layout design until they had played with various plastic layouts.
QUOTE Just like a model railroad layout even routed tracks can be altered and changed relatively easily.
As easy as plastic? No.
As I've said before elsewhere, I'll never own another plastic track, but I do think that newcomers are generally well advised to get some track time on plastic before attempting a routed track. JMO.
Just like a model railroad layout even routed tracks can be altered and changed relatively easily.
Yes and no. Model railroads are a lot easier to change, especially if you didn't already build up the scenery. If you have wood working skills then you can change a routed track layout but it isn't that much fun. You either need to fill and reroute on the existing board or cut out the section you don't like and replace it with a new section. I really can't recommend a newbie to woodworking do this unless you're patient. Proper filling takes time. An expert can speed up things tremendously.
Ummmm Newbie here from UK chaps. What do you mean exactly by 'routed' .............to clarify - untill recently i was happily clipping my track together like any child ahhhhurmphh....years younger than me. Now via this site and an expanding collection i am eyeing up improving on that however some of the terminology is a bit new !!
By the way - a question asked a zillion times i am sure so excuse the asking again but where can you get hold of 1:32 tabacco sponsership decals ?? aka Marlboro and mild 7 etc so i can get my F1 cars to look right !!
Btw any rumours as to whether scalextric , scx or ninco , Carrera whatever have a B.A.R in the works ????
Many adults here are still using plastic clip together track as you are, myself included!
Routed track is where the track is made out of large pieces of material (usually MDF), cut into a custom track shape with a jigsaw, and a 'router' is used to cut the slots. Then the 'track' is painted a suitable colour with paint to give the desired amount of grip - some people use sandtex - and either copper tape or special magnetic braid material is used to make the 'rails'
This has the advantages: not so many track joins - which means the cars drive more smoothly
You can design any layout or type of curve, your 'lanes' can get narrower or wider and all sorts.
It has the disadvantage that it takes a lot more work to build it, and it is (arguably?) much harder to change part of the layout if you dont like it
QUOTE By the way - a question asked a zillion times i am sure so excuse the asking again but where can you get hold of 1:32 tabacco sponsership decals ?? aka Marlboro and mild 7 etc so i can get my F1 cars to look right !!
QUOTE It has the disadvantage that it takes a lot more work to build it
Sorry Astro, but this is one time I disagree with you. Building a permanent plastic layout requires considerable effort to ensure that all tracks joins are smooth and tight and that any elevations are correctly supported to prevent kinks at the joints. Obviously these are non-issues with routed. For large permanent tracks, routed also requires less wiring as fewer feeder points are needed (assuming one is striving for optimal power distribution).
I built (and was using) my 48-foot routed modular (4 sections) track after a total of 2.5 days of work. My 51-foot plastic HO track took over a week just to get to the point where I could run cars.
Woodworking is a hobby of mine, so perhaps I can work faster than those who lack the experience, but for me.... routed is simpler and easier!
I had Scaley track all my life. I have rubber, plexi, Sport and SCX. I also now have Ninco, and Carrera.
I'll take routed ANY time, with one caveat - it has to be the right routed track!
By right, I mean the right surface texture, braid, etc.
Our club track is routed in MDF, painted with blackboard paint (they call it chalkboard here in Texas), and uses Magnatech ™ braid.
The outer corners are slightly banked, all the others are flat. The original layout was Scalex classic. Lane spacing is same as classic.
Look at the pix on the site: we are just in the process of extending the infield, so that puts paid to the myth that they can't be changed. If the track is built onto a table rather than into a table you can make it modular (in fact you will probably have to).
Thought your suface finish was going to be snow Fergy?........
Interesting debate ...I think both types of track have merit , and I agree that gradients on Plastic track can be problematical unless they are done correctly.
I alway's look to Luff's sites when I want to see just how good routed tracks can be....but on the other hand I look at David's Palmer Divide , Lee's superb track and Good 'ole JP's to see how good plastic track can be.
Ah well......I guess I will never decide which is best.
A forum community dedicated to slot car owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, racing, displays, models, track layouts, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!