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I'm still new to 1/32nd scale racing although it might be difficult to believe with my post count. Since nobody here in the north eastern US does much slot racing in the summer I opted to take a shot at building a car. Actually two cars for Professor Fates 1960s F1 proxy race which is coming up soon.

I've no idea what an F1 car is but, what the heck, it can't be too hard. My first mistake was trying to build a car I know nothing about. The second mistake was trying to build a car to scale. The next mistake was not waiting for the bodies to come in BEFORE building the chassis. Wait, there are still more mistakes. Never mind
On the plus side, since I came from HO racing I am not frightened by the small size of a '60s F1 car. Yeah, they're small but compared to an HO car? Not hardly.

I've constructed two cars for this race using completely different chassis ideas I had. Both are incredibly simple but hugely different. Quite laughable designs by current standards. One car uses an Atlas motor which Professor Fate suggested early on in the thread. After years of using neo and cobalt motored HO cars, with armatures only a nutcase could love, this Atlas motor looked extremely wimpy. It only has one motor magnet and it's some molded grainy looking thing that probably isn't strong enough to be a refrigerator magnet. Apparently looks can be deceiving. I geared the thing around 4:1 like Professor Fate suggested and it's way too jumpy
Boy, am I glad I didn't use shunt wires, rewind the armature or use heavier gauge motor wires. I'm considering putting in a resistor or two to slow this thing down so it's more managable. I didn't have any axles bushings so I made up a mini jig to allow me to mount ball bearings on all four corners. Looking back now I can see that an F1 car doesn't have the space for bearings AND suspension detail so the detail was lost. I probably couldn't have done the suspension anyway but...

The second car I built also suffered from having its chassis built before I had the body. This probably isn't a problem with people that are familiar with these cars and modeling but for a newbie that doesn't build models, it's not good. Since this chassis was something I was building completely for personal amusement I cut weight dramatically and used weird parts like wheels from a 1/24th scale car and a pinion from an Aurora Thunderjet. Don't ask where the ball bearings came from
I had several ideas that I ended up dropping just because I'm too new to this stuff and don't have a track to test on. This is really no big deal but it would have helped me a lot because that's the way I think. Design, build, test, list faults, modify design, test and so on. No test track meant that building up the chassis to running condition took a lot more time than I expected. That is another reason why I dropped some ideas from the car, I wanted something that ran to send out to the proxy race. As it turns out, this second chassis is actually more driveable than the traditional chassis mentioned earlier. At this point I'm actually adding weight to it just to compress the braids and get the front tires near the track. Yeah, it's that light


By just trying to build these two cars I've learned a lot. My confidence level has improved dramatically as well. I still can't race them but I think I can swap parts and fabricate repairs with the best of them
I still farm out painting but that was expected, you don't ever want to see me paint anything. My friends took away my air brushes and other spray guns then said to call them when I need something painted. I now have some excellently painted stuff
You should see some of the paint jobs they did on my HO cars. I still have the cars just because they look so good. Now I'm hoping I can get the same kind of paint work out of them for 1/32nd cars
But I digress. Although at times building these cars has been frustrating, all in all, I'm glad I did it. I'm still looking forward to sending my two cars out to the '60s F1 proxy race. They aren't the prettiest cars, they aren't very accurate and they don't run that well but I built them and they'll be there filling out the ranks


I often mention basket weaving but I'm really still fiddling with my slot cars. They kicked me out of the basket weaving class anyway. It was something about my using electric motors to speed things up...


Now I need to find that Fiat for the small car proxy race. It's around here somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was going to point out that pictures were already posted but then I remembered that the body pictures weren't. Sooo...



...here they are. One picture with both cars. I found that the car is pictured with straight numbers and diagonal numbers on the nose so I had my friend put them on both ways. The diagonal numvered car is the traditional chassis while the straight numbered car is the one I hope the folks racing and judging find amusing.

My ISP has botched their network so my upload speeds are horrendously slow right now. It took me over an hour to get just two pictures online using their lousy server. This is one of those times I wish I could just put up my own server. If they ever fix their router I will be able to put up one or two more pictures. The traditional chassis cars body tilts forward on a hinge in the nose. Yeah, it cost me scale points but it was fun
 

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Those cars look pretty cool
. Good idea on the wheels! Good luck in the proxy, man. Thanx for the pix
.
 

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I think we all sang the first-time scratchbuild blues at some point, Bill. It actually seems to get worse when you think you know what you're doing. Hot salt tears of frustration are just one of the many flavours of slot car building. But it doesn't look like you should have any worries!
I'd love to know more about HO motor hop-ups though, and it sounds like you might be the man to help. I have no experience of those tiddlers at all, but the current and growing crop of mini-motors offers some great opportunities for F1 car building. The stock motors just lack a bit of the grunt I'm used to, and I don't want to spend weeks making a car that creeps round the track as if it was on it's way to work, however pretty it is.

Good luck in the Proxy!
 

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Nice cars aBill


Love those little Hondas! What make are the shells?

Btw, sorry to hear about your basket weaving classes. I'd been following your... ahem, "innovative" raffia work with considerable interest over on BasketForum and your contributions there will be sorely missed I'm sure.

SlotForum's gain I would say
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It actually seems to get worse when you think you know what you're doing.

I was afraid of that
My sig file on another forum I participate in is "The more I learn, the dumber I get". If you think about it it'll make sense


The bodies are from Pattos Place. They are made of petg, if I remember correctly. Looks like clear lexan but tougher. They are pretty accurate representations of the 1964 Honda RA271 F1 car.

The best companies to deal with for well made HO motor parts are...

Scale Auto in Washington state.

Wizzard in Pennsylvania.

...and I can safely recommend them. BSRT components are more polished but both companies produce parts that you WILL win races with. I've used both in the past extensively. I generally wind my own armatures but their work is much prettier and better balanced.

If you just want a solid wind for any HO motor you'll do well with 90 turns of 38 gauge (US wire gauge). That works fine with polymer magnets and lower grade cobalts. I can't honestly suggest using neodymium motor magnets for anything but an all out race motor that has access to at least 5 amps, 3 amps will work but you're pushing your luck. Skip silver electrical items. Not only are they a waste of money but the silver brushes bridge the commutator plates very easily. Gold plated is OK but copper is best. Shunt wires are needed on higher powered motors but actually work well on all motors.

I've already given away most of my performance oriented parts but I may have something left over laying around. When I was heavily into building up the HO cars I was usually in the top end of the field with some of the fastest, easiest driving cars but I lacked the concentration required to finish first every time. I tend to talk when racing and really don't take racing toy cars seriously
So I never turned "Pro", I just raced locally in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. You may have seen the guys that walk into the track with a big cart or hand truck carrying dozens of cars and hundreds or tire/wheel/axle combos. Well I was the guy that walked in with a little tackle box holding maybe six cars and some spare parts. Then I passed out a couple of the cars as loaners, gave away a few armatures and started racing. Between races I'd work on other peoples cars or marshall, whichever seemed more important at the time.

Many of the innovations we did are now standard production parts at BSRT and Wizzard so you can get top notch stuff from them as well as excellent information. I'm a has been or a never was, depending on who you talk to
 

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Many of us have changed scales, or returned after an abscence, or have just gotten into the hobby.... or, in my case, recently switched back to a scale I haven't done in 30 years! It's culture shock when you get into it (or back into it) on a big scale (no pun itended
). aBill.... you aren't alone!
 

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I always loved those Honda air-cooled tranverse V12 engines. The sound was fabulous and they revved higher than any other engine of the period. They had no low-end torque, all on the top! They were very difficult to drive at first and Bucknum and Ginther sure had a heck of a time the first year...

Nice little models for your first time!


Philippe
 

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Bill,

The cars look great! The Hondas are some of my favorite GP cars. I turned my VIP Honda into an RA272, I have a half complete MRRC RA273, a Classic shell RA301 that I plan to convert to an RA300 and after seeing your cars you have inspired me to tackle my Pattos RA271. Do you have any photos of the car under construction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Click on the www button under any of my posts and it'll take you to one of the barest websites known to mankind
Click on "slot car stuff" on the right side of the page. Then click on "1964 Honda RA271 F1 car".

The page hasn't been updated since the end of July but it should serve. I'm really just not into photographing my stuff so a lot is left out. I kind of surprised myself by remembering to take those pictures
 
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