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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd always liked the look of the 1970's BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile', but the Scalextric C128 model of it somehow looked all wrong to me. After a lot of thought and study, I figured out that the model, although quite a good representation of the basic shape, was much too short and also too narrow over the front wheel arches. I presume this was another result of the infamous Scalextric banked track of that era, with its extreme curve and camber. The model also represented the later IMSA car with its wheels-arch vents and overhung rear wing. I decided there was hope of improving the model and I designed a rather radical cutting pattern, adding about 7mm to the length, widening the front arches and shortening the rear wing.

The cut-about body looked like a big improvement to me, so I continued with the conversion, using 2mm acrylic to extend the front arches and body sides and 1mm acrylic for the deeper front air dam/splitter. Apart from being much too short, the Scalextric chassis was too high off the ground. I had a scrap Fly Panoz GT front-engine chassis in my spares box, along with a motor from a 3-volt radio-control car. The wheels are Fly Viper wheels which, although not exactly like the period BBS wheels on the original racing BMW, were close enough for a first attempt. The Panoz chassis was, surprisingly, about right for wheelbase and only needed a little trimming to get the width correct.

After a lot of filing, filling and sanding, I sprayed the body with some discount grey automotive primer, then a finish coat of Rustoleum black aerosol from Wilko. I cut the original one-piece Scalextric glass in two, leaving the side windows unglazed for the time being. I also extended the original rudimentary Scalextric driver platform, with the intention of eventually using it as a basis for a proper interior and roll cage. The model is intended to represent the Peterson/Stuck car from Nürburgring 1973, subject of the famous 'flying' picture you can easily find on the internet. The decals for this are complex, so I'll tackle them later while I allow the paint to dry properly.

I'm pretty happy with the improvement to the car's appearance. With its long wheelbase, it handles pretty well, too, with a magnet on Scalextric Sport track, but these old Scalextric shells are heavy - the complete car weighs 89 grams - and the motor I fitted struggles to drag it along. I'll probably need to upgrade it one day.

Any thoughts and comments welcome.

Mike
 

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Fabulous and interesting work, and most worthwhile. I drove several of these cars years ago, and rate them as the best post War BMWs.

Look forward to seeing your car complete with decals.
 

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Does it go any better than the original?

I am not a fan of front engined cars, I prefer the weight over the rear wheels.

I used to race a stock C128 on a wooden track with Sandtex finish on big Scalextric slicks.

Actually went quite well, for the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello and thanks for the comments.

Trisha - I'm jealous! I've loved BMWs for years, but the closest I got was a 6-cylinder 3-series (M30), which was a great car. Not so sure about today's turbo engines and SUVs, though. As you probably know, the decals involve red-blue-blue BMW stripes on almost every surface, which is going to be quite a challenge to design and fit....

Petee - there's no comparison with the original - it goes much better, on my home track anyway. Standard Scalextric cars like this one from the 'banked corner' era are ridiculously high off the ground at the front and, with the pivoting front axle, prone to tipping, losing traction and de-slotting. The Johnson motors of that era are also pretty poor, low-powered, overheating and badly affected by the slightest traces of oil. Although the Scalextric chassis can be made much better with work, I decided to go straight to the Fly chassis, which I knew already handled better and is much easier to upgrade if I want. You're right, of course, about the weight on the rear wheels, but the Fly chassis has a big magnet right where a rear-mounted motor would be, which keeps it well-planted, especially with the long wheelbase, while the front motor keeps the guide firmly in the slot (at least with the current puny motor!). It will also allow a full interior when I get round to it.
 

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That's a beautiful job on the body work. It's fun to see kit bashed creations like this. You've really improved it, turning the toy-like original into a model racing car. Looking forward to more progress on this.

Matt
 

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Superbly planned and executed alterations to make a very accurate looking BMW - an extremely high level of model-making on show here.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Encouraged by the kind comments from Matt and David and after a long foreign trip, I've get sufficiently motivated to make some progress with the BMW. The decals were probably the most complex I've made, and took ages to apply. I'm sure many of you have experienced similar. I used a Molotow chrome marker for the first time for the details and found it easy to use. Overall, I'm reasonably happy with the results although the car isn't perfect by a long way. I still need to finish the interior and a couple of other small details.

It's quite good and progressive to drive, but the toy car motor I fitted as a misguided economy move is not at all satisfactory - no power until nearly at full throttle and very little torque. I'll have to look at replacing it.

Mike
 

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Nice work. Can't tell that it started out as the Scalextric version
thumbsup.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the comments!
My photos don't show it very well, but the bonnet, windscreen and rear window are all done very well by Scalextric and these are things I find very difficult to do from scratch - especially the sharp creases. Shame they had to distort the rest of it to make it run on the 1970s banked track.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Trisha.

I thought about making an earlier car, but I found the black 1973 'batmobile' with its 'iconic' BMW stripes more appealing visually. I STILL haven't finished the interior, so your post is a good reminder.......

Mike
 

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Years ago I bought a set of split-rim, cross-spoke alloys, complete with slicks from a racing 'Batmobile', and used them as coffee tables in the drawing room...

No, it didn't make popular. Looking forward to seeing this slot BMW finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well; as requested by Trisha, I've finally got around to putting an interior in the BMW. Ronnie Peterson and the roll-bar and seat came from a Scalextric BMW Mini, with the original Scalextric head from the BMW 3.0 CSL replacing the odd-shaped Mini driver's head. It definitely improves the look of the car, although my camera and photographic skills are insufficient to show the interior well.

I've also replaced the 3V toy motor I originally installed with a standard modern Scalextric motor, which has improved the performance a bit. The car is still too rigid to be really fun to drive, though; it tends to snap suddenly from no sliding to roll-over (the results of which are beginning to show on the paintwork.....) A rear-engine sidewinder chassis and/or a lot of weight low down might improve it, but then I'd need an even more powerful motor. The shell is so heavy, with such a high CG compared to my usual GT cars, that I'm not sure I want to spend any more time on it.

Hope you've enjoyed watching the build,

Mike
 

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Hans-Joachim Stuck's most memorable race? When his team-mate, Dieter Quester, slid across the finishing line in second place (Hans won) on his roof, having crashed on the last corner...
 

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Hi

Awesome work... and inspiring...

I am starting to improve my BMW 3.0 CSL and your work help me a lot...

My goal is to get a Niki Lauda #15 in Nurburgring '73.

More or less, I need to do the same modifications as you did, and some more..

I have a question... What glue used to bind acrilic to bodywork? In my case, I going to use PS, but I do not know if it bonds with bodywork well

Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi, Franz,

I use 'superglue' (cyanoacryrilate): the thicker 'gel' type. It bonds very strongly to acrylic sheet and to polystyrene, and reasonably well to the flexible Scalextric plastic, which I think is polythene. The Scalextric plastic is difficult to sand smooth, so I get it as close as possible to the required shape using a sharp craft knife, first, and then apply a thin layer of superglue before sanding. After everything is bonded, I apply a thin layer of quick-setting epoxy glue to the inside. This is more flexible than the superglue and is good for holding the joints together. For the windows, I use either epoxy or a 'UHU'-type rubber glue as they do not mark the transparent windows.

Good luck with your project and please post it here - I'd love to see it!

Mike
 

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What glue used to bind acrilic to bodywork? In my case, I going to use PS, but I do not know if it bonds with bodywork well
Siempre que encolo alguna cosa a una carrocería, lijo con grano medio justo el punto de unión; e incluso, a veces rasco con una cuchilla. De esta forma la unión es mas fuerte.

Whenever I glue something to a bodywork, I sand with medium grain just the point of attachment; and even sometimes I scratch with a blade. In this way the union is stronger.

Frederic
 
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