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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking forward,
Tiddly-pom,
To this release,
Tiddly-pom,
With baited breath,
Tiddly-pom,

However, my first impressions are somewhat disappointing.

I know the polish of SCX products is often somewhat behind their rivals but this one really lacks something. Put up beside the Hornby offering and the difference is painful. Margate's tampo work and depth of finish is superb. The punch on the mouldings of the Spanish rival isn't as hard, the grills are a tad furred up and the colours don't have the bite of the Scalextric pigments.

And for some reason I have yet to fathom, when the screws are loosened off (big Brownie points for not having; 1) too many screws and 2) all of the same size) the rear of the bodywork wants to spring clear of the chassis to the limit of the screw. Could be the chassis ain't flat, I've not had time to fully disect the beast, but I'm not so sure.

And, is this an attempt at modelling the same version as the Hornby one? Only the front of this car looks way too rounded to me. It's reminiscent of that ubiquitous modern day MGB, the Audi TT. Guess I'll have to have a look see on the web to find some photos but this SCX car to learn more but this car doesn't have the presence of the Hornby one. No sir.

Once fettled a tad I'm sure it will have the performance I so like from this marque, but my initial perception ain't as I had hoped for and that after the joy that was the Opel Coupe.

Still, plenty more Brownie points for the driver being set back and the proper race car dash and airplane style steering wheel. At last!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hmmm, this one has taken a lot of fettling and still I ain't happy with the chassis/body fit. Has anyone else got one of these where the body springs up at the back when the screws are slackened?

Fitting slicks to the backend surely improved the running some. But there is a way to go to get her as silky as the SCX Astra.

Any ideas?
 

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Allan Wakefield
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I don't have one as yet but am I the only one to find it wierd that the Hornby Merc was one of their best yet whereas the Astra was terrible IMHO.
Then you go to SCX and the exact opposite is true.

Any correlation? does any give a flying ????? naw - didn't think so...


Any post hijacked enough, back to the question...

Has anyone else got a broken Merc from SCX or is it just SCX joining in with Hornby against Wankel
 

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Scott Brownlee
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Written for NSCC Newsletter....

DTM Doppelganger - new Mercedes CLK DTM by SCX
A review by Scott Brownlee



Pic:Which is Which? New SCX on the left.

Another week another new slot car release. Sadly, too many of them are of models already made by rivals. Were these mass market, RTR affordable versions of some rare resin kit it would be no bad thing, but usually it is a case of Hornby copies TechniToys copies Fly copies Ninco copies Hornby. And so it is with the latest DTM racer to come from SCX, the Mercedes CLK, which fights for shelf space, both retail and domestic, with an all but identical car from Scalextric.



Pic:Standard SCX layout

The car presents no technical novelties. The faithful RX-41 driving the rear wheels via a 9/27 gear set and copper strip 'wiring' providing not only robust reliability but a sprung front guide. The so-called Xenon lights impress with their brightness and apparently focussed beam making it possible to read barrier adverts as you lap in the pitch dark. The body is held together with three screws in a 2-1 formation and the externally mounted bar magnet is easily removed via a couple of screws.

On track with the magnet still in place the car is noisy and quick, but not fast. That is to say, it will corner as if on rails, or even in a rail it is magnetically attracted to. The trouble with such a configuration is it is no fun.

Without the magnet the car becomes no quieter, although at least the need to modulate the throttle brings with it a change in pitch. The car also becomes visibly faster in a straight line and much more fun around the bends with the tail very happy and the front end rooted in the groove. Thanks to the torquey nature of the RX-41 the car is very controllable, perfect in many ways for those wishing to go magnet free for the first time since it will slide and whip around without endlessly de-slotting.

The noise diminished a little with some lubrication and running, but never really subsided enough to allow me to carry on listening to Christopher Lee reading Sherlock Holmes stories on the radio. Sad to say, the rear wheels are not round in the truest sense of the word, but then few are these days.



Pic:Is it real or is it SCX? SCX top, Hornby below

As mentioned, this isn't the year's first Vodafone CLK since Hornby released their version about six months ago. Swapping between the two the close visual similarities are not matched by sound or action. Where the SCX car sounds like a coffee grinder the Hornby is a dentist's drill. Where the SCX swipes its way round bends the Hornby car tips and darts.

Against the clock the senses are confounded for the SCX car, despite apparently spending too much time sideways, is faster. Specifically, it took 7.2 sec vs. 7.4sec to cover 15m of mostly classic track with a bit of Sport arranged in four longish straights with U-bends of all possible radii. So convinced was I that the SCX car's advantage was merely a consequence of its forgiving nature that I repeatedly tried to beat the time with a smooth 'perfect' lap with the Hornby car. I never did, but all the practice made me able to lap the SCX car even quicker. There's a lesson in there somewhere.



Pic:Related rear ends - SCX on left

The Hornby appears to suffer from tyres that won't slide as much as tip - suggesting a higher centre of gravity - while the SCX car is more stable and forgiving. My guess is that on all but a big, smooth track the SCX will lap faster.

Curiously, the cars' on track behaviour is predicted by their static appearance. Viewed apart the Hornby car looks smaller, but is in fact the same size. The optical illusion caused, I think, by the SCX car's slightly bigger window apertures, wheels and logos. The Spanish maker has also captured more of a low slung racer look that seems right even if it might fail a micrometer test

The Hornby car is summed up by the word finesse. The livery is crisper, the moulding shaper, and the details smaller. The SCX is typically, well, SCX. It's all there and it looks right on its own, but closer examination reveals the shape and livery are a bit more stylised and the colours a bit thinner. For on-the-shelf appeal the SCX wins by virtue of those apparently bigger wheels filling the arches and the correctly positioned driver figure making up for the less glossy finish and absence of small metal details such as brake discs. It's swings and roundabouts to be honest and unless your club has a concours section this will matter little. As ever, if you want precise replication on a smaller scale buy a die cast from Minichamps.

It should be noted that the SCX car is cheaper to buy. At about £25 or less it is very good value. Maybe it is that bit cheaper to ship from China to Spain than to England.



Pic: Merc Mirror! - SCX on right

I think SCX cars are fun and this Merc is no exception. I am looking forward to racing it on both plastic and wood tracks this week. Given the poor past performance of the Hornby version I have no doubt it will be more competitive, if only because of the better retardation afforded by the RX motor and the stability in bends, but will it beat the Nincos? Time will tell.

Post Script

That was written prior to last week's club meetings at Farnham and Liphook. Sad to say the Merc's eccentric rear wheels were too much of a disadvantage on Farnham's long Ninco straights. More than once she just bounced right out the slot. Sadly the wood and cooper tape of Liphook proved even worse. I might try putting the rear axle from the Dome in to see what might have been. But should I have to?
 

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Hi Wankel,

I don't have the SCX Merc but I do have the Astra which initially showed similar symptoms to those you described. Determined to make this car "rock" I set about doing all the standard fixes that a lot of box standard cars require, Even earlier Scalex cars needed attention from the box.
The first fix is to reduce all the slop from the drive. If the motor shows ANY sign of moving in it's cradle, hot glue it in place. A thin strip down each side should do.

SCX rear axles are notoriously sloppy! I remove the axle and remove the rear wheels. I then remove the rear axle bearings and fill them with solder with a hot iron (40W) While the solder is still molten and holding the bush with some angled pliers, I blow through the bush and remove the excess solder. I then broach the bushes with a a sharp 3/32 drill and refit the bushes to the axle and reinstall the axle. Any slop between the axle bushes and the floor pan is removed with superglue. Not too much as you may need to remove them again at some later date. (I have had a couple of modern SCX cars strip their crown wheels for no apparent reason?)
It is also a good idea to run the car for 30 minutes with a dry crownwheel, this will quieten up noticably once oil is applied. I use neat STP or Wynn's engine treatment to coat the moving parts initially and lube with 3in1 or Singer oil at racing events

The best tip for the wheels is to test all four and put the best two to the rear. Also try mounting the tyres in different positions as they tend to be thicker in places. Once the best combination is reached, minimal sanding should see them running true.
I'm a board track racer and the extra couple of mods I do is to fit a Ninco 10 tooth pinion. The SCX RX41 is a high torque motor and without the constraints of a traction magnet will pull the next ratio up with ease.

I also decouple the front wheels. This is a simple mod using 3/32 I.D. brass tube to allow the front wheels to rotate independantly but still revolve on the same axis. This, to me, is essential for cars that support their weight on all four wheels. A simple test is to drive the model at low throttle around a circuit. If it slows noticably in corners then the front axle is dragging because of the lack of differential. If, after the tyres are removed, the car runs normally through bends then the front axle mod should be carried out.

My Astra has now developed wings and on non magnet tracks is more than a match for any other make of DTM including Scalextric.
All the above mods with the exception of the gear ratio change should apply to magnet track cars alike. SCX tyres love being cleaned with Methylated Spirit and seem to develope more and more grip after each clean.
I also Think you'll find the reason for the body 'Jacking up' is the sprung brass conducters that take power to the lights are forcing the two body halves apart when the screws are loosed.

You might ask why go to these lengths when a Scaly is sitting on the next shelf in the Hobby Shop?

I pay AU$ 37.00 for SCX cars and AU$47.50 for Scalex. Apart from the achievement of getting the SCX cars flying, my limited budget allows me to buy over time, five SCX cars to every four scalextric. I am not impuning the quality of any make here, just making a fiscal observation which is very important to a lot of people on limited income.
I hope this helps people get ALL their cars working properly as there have been some huge duds over the years which now lay discarded in the back of peoples cabinets and toy boxes!

Wixwacing
 

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Oh Phil,

You lying bugger.......

You told me that you run these 1/32 cars stock out of the box, no tuning, no nothing ............

You attributed your incredibly quick on track performance at the Millennium Raceway ''Bathurst Bash'' to knife edge fast hand/eye co-ordination, micrometer accurate eyesight and a suave persona to unsettle the ''other'' competition......

I am shocked....

In all seriousness, Phil is one of the quicker racers in Queensland, a man with tons of experience in this scale of racing, definitely one of the ''good guys'' in our hobby.

Phil, I thank you for sharing with us (hee, hee...), there's a few little tips in your post that I will try out (....or could this be some devious ploy by Phil to knobble the opposition??).

All I need to do is LEARN HOW TO GET THESE LITTLE BEASTIES AROUND THE TRACK WITHOUT MAGNETS! (The Brisbane racers are holding a trophy meet in December, ''The two track challenge'' on routed board layouts, hence no mags)

This is the reason for me stumbling into this thread, I was hunting info on the new car I ordered today for the meet, I decided to try the SCX Mercedes DTM. I only have one SCX out fo fifty odd cars, as Phil says, at $37.00AUD, they ARE a bargain, so thought I better acquaint myself better with the brand! (plus I was very impressed with the pace of Phil's SCX Opel after seeing it turn a few laps on our layout).

Best Wishes,

Rob.

MILLENNIUM RACEWAY Slot Racing at Darling Downs, Q.
 

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A superb review by our Scott! (The review not the car!)
And follow-up posts in the same spirit - this is what I like to see - bloody excellent!

PS - I would be very interested in the detail of the front axle improvements too.
Any chance of a how-to from Wixwacing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A flood of information. Much obliged. Like Tropi says, this is how it should be.

Group hug everyone?

D'oh! Couldn't resist. I am weak, I am weak.

Seriously.

Interesting review there, Scott. Guess there may be more to the NSCC mag than I thought. The Scaley definitely has the edge in terms of crisp paint and looks. But you gotta just love the durability of the SCX and the characteristics of the RX-41. Sweet.

Funny, but when I put mine side by side they look like they are models of different versions: the Margate Missile bonnet line appearing lower and more true than the Spaniard and the rear arches look meaner too.

Re: the brass contacts. That was my first thought, too springy and pushing the body up. But no, bent the fellows right back as I'm not a big fan of lights on cars and still she kicks up her booty. Guess I'll wait for another livery to come out and see what that does when I get it.

Thanks for the tips, Wixwacing. Don't think I'll go to the trouble of solder in the bushes though - bound to end in tears or a fireball.

Thanks again.
 

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I would have though the natural racing partner to the SCX DTM Mercedes would have been the SCX DTM Astra.

How do these two compare?

The Scalextric DTM Mercedes seems to have a slight edge over my Scalextric DTM Astra but it is marginal.


Moped
 

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I believe its the opposhite with the scx cars..

3.9 has a merc, but the opels beat it then we got the vectras out and made it into touring
pmsl!

Rob.
 

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Now listen carefully, I will say this only once, and please keep your monitors covered while viewing as I don't want anyone else, let alone other club members, to see this!!

Viewers from the Darling Downs and all Q32 racers please log off at this point!

The following mod is carried out to all fixed axle cars to reduce their bad habits in corners. This has greater benefits on smaller club and home circuits where you get really tight inner curves and may not be as effective on the hugh sweeping bends of large 6 and 8 lane club circuits. (Tell me Mr Scalextric, why did you make the Aussie V8's so they won't go round your inner curves? But that's another story)



The axle is sliced through the middle and ends deburred, I then cut a 3mm wide strip off some model aircraft aileron outer tubing. (Any snug fit tube or even small brass tube collars will do here). This is then slid down the stub to a pre measured point and superglued in place.



Both stubs are put back in place and the gap between the collars measured. A length of 3/32 ID brass tube is cut to a fractionally smaller size and placed over the ends after first lubing them with a touch of STP or Wynns.



You now have an independantly rotating front end with fixed front end stability. This mod can also be applied to cars where the front axle clips directly in the chassis pan a la Ninco etc. The only extra requirement is the placing of a small brass washer on the outside of the small fixed sleeve to prevent it boring its way through the axle mount on the chassis. A far cry from some of the Fly and other front ends where the wheels thrash around violently after a few hard sessions.

A quick note to Bilby Bob. Had our end of Season Gymkhana last night at Bracken Ridge, Watch out for pics and presentations

I'd like to thank all the guys that are making this a great message board, In the past I have been a bit uncomfortable on some of the others but being an ex-pat pomme, I feel very at home here.

Wixwacing
 

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Hi Scott.
You have a valid point in suggesting hard rubber. There are some other points to consider also. Hard rubber may have a lower hysteresis but on some surfaces may not have that much less grip than stock rubber. If you are talking HARD, hard rubber, then it would almost have to be unvulcanised. This would have negligable grip but from previous personal experience these types of tyres are very noisy. How many people have had Fly cars where the front tyres have sweated and gone rock hard over night!
The models in question rest firmly on all four wheels and with hard tyres on the front the cars sound like they are rattling along. Especially on uneven plastic tracks and board tracks.
An even better solution would be to run 'O' ring tyres but how far does the scale model racer want to go down that road and what do club rules allow?
A final suggestion is the average home racer may not have ready access to hard tyres from his local hobby store.

Both ways would achieve similar ends and the individual would have to decide on his own solution.

Wixwacing
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Moped, to answer your question, my Opel is a fast running dream. Smooth and stable without Beelzebub's little ferrous fiend. So good it made me hunger for the Merc, if only to give it some balanced competition. Sadly, my Merc isn't man enough for the job and is going to need some real work to step up to the plate. I'm just not sure if it suffers from innate weakness or whether I have a duffer.

Some of the mods above would render her illegal by our club rules so I guess I'll just plug away with what I know I can try and also await another livery to buy and then do a 'compare and contrast'.
 
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