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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
I've been working on my new track since the end of November..ish when fellow member Savage inspired me to get cracking on my next project.

Its a 3 lane routed analogue track with steep elevations and twists and turns. This is also my first use with a router and working with mdf.
The track is in my basement which roughly measures 12' by 8'. Access to the basement is down a steep tight stair case with a tight 90 degree turn at the bottom meaning the track had to be routed in small sections that could negotiate the turn.

Its a bit of an odd shaped room which I wanted to fill in a Luff (oldslotracer) type fashion. I also wanted 3 lanes as a minimum and no digital. My last track ( Raceway101 ) was scaley digital and was great fun, but I love the simplicity of analogue more.

I wanted as much track length as I could sensibly fit in to race with, which meant having a long squeeze to incorporate 3 lanes in a small awkward room. I'm hoping this will keep the racing close, bunched up and pressured, with short, steep elevations and twisty sections with little room for passing....this isn't 1 for newbies! I've also made sure that all areas of the track are visible from the 3 driver positions.









You can see how much strain the mdf is here, pushing its limits!






No slot is tighter than the outside lane of an R1 track piece, hopefully this should keep it flowing as much as possible. You can see the last little piece I need to route in some of the pics, I hope to get this done tmw. This was left until now because I was unsure how much the elavation changes would effect my templates...about 6" longer! The unfortunate side of working with small sections is all the filling and sanding. It should be painted and coppered over the next week.

The theme is a dangerous mountain road with dramatic scenery to suit. The upper levels overlap some of the lower ones so it will look like the road has been carved out the side of the mountain. Yummy!

Hope you like
Thanks
Stuart
 

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Stuart Walters
Joined
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi

First off, thanks for all the kind words, I find them v.inspiring
Everything I have learnt about slots has come from this great forum.

QUOTE (oldslotracer @ 18 Jan 2009, 03:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Once you guys get used to driving those long squeezed sections, you're going to have some very exciting racing. It'll be all about pressuring the guy in front into a mistake. It'll make for amazing video when the scenery is done.
TransAms and sedans will be cars of choice. Blunt front and rears will allow lots of contact...avoid exposed rear wheel cars. Ask me how I know...
Luff..........the long squeeze is all about pressure, unfortunately exposed rear wheel porches are my favorite!!!!!!

QUOTE (justDave @ 18 Jan 2009, 09:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One question about your long squeeze section. I'm wondering whether you considered opening it out on some of the hairpins - it looks like you would have room.
David
David.......Yes I did consider it, but decided against it for simplicity of the build as this is my first ever go. I would have also needed to extend the bends further for slides as I want no barrier aid at all. I will defiantly play with this idea for my next build though.

QUOTE (knoath @ 18 Jan 2009, 21:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's a l-o-n-g squeeze section... have you driven many sections like that?
How will it race?
Dick
Dick.........As mentioned earlier I'm hoping it will be a pressurized race with well timed moves. Its nearly ready for a trial run. I've cheeked you track a couple of times now for ideas, which I copied your power to the rails idea and the copper tape laying device.....hope you don't mind kind sir!

Now for a quick update...........

The track is now painted and 2 lanes completely coppered, wired and running. Silly me was about 3' short of tape on 1 side of the 3rd slot so another roll is on its way in the post!





It runs really well, I'm very pleased with how it flows and the bends are great fun. I'll try and get a video to show.

Scenery next....I'll start with painting the sky and backdrop then move on to good stuff!
 

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Stuart Walters
Joined
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
With all the my digi gear now sold I have brought some more materials and done a little work on the track.

First I built the land up with polystyrene and hot glued it in place.



and then added some papermache



The idea is to have a river running through the caves and down a waterfall into a lake.
Next I started on some trees, which I wanted to be detailed to take the eyes off all the rock thats going to be around. These 2 took about an hour and a half to build:



You can just see some pine cones here:





I also brought a car or 2!



Next is to add the rocks and start painting. I also need to make a load more trees and play with water!

Hope you like
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks gents.

I got the tree material from here, a link that Bill gave in his Targa build. The service is really good.
I will do a 'how to' pic show when I build some more. The trunks are wooden chopsticks that have had a good scraping with a hacksaw blade and a light paint job with fence paint.
I will get some woodland scenic pines aswell to break up the cosistancy a little.

I had my first few laps with a friend the other night and it raced really well. Its amazing how well the cars run on wood. My friend would be classed as a newbie and he had no problem controling the cars (which haven't been tuned for this track yet) with very little incidents. The race for 1st place into the squeeze is great fun and applying pressure once in the squeeze is good too.

I desperatley need to upgrade my controllers, any advice would be welcome regarding make and suitability for my track. I'm also in the planning stage for a light bridge lap timer that I will hide in rocky overhang.

Tel........I just need to add some barriers in places before a decent session, although I had no real incidents the other night, I know how much you and I want to win and I would hate to see any fatal accidents! You will be my first point of call when they are ready.
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
QUOTE (knoath @ 6 Mar 2009, 21:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This track will be a masterpiece for sure, going by your attention to detail with those pine cones!!!!

Thanks Dick, the pine cones are already part of the leaf material, the trick is in the positioning of the branches.

QUOTE (4myson @ 7 Mar 2009, 13:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I loved your last track work and cringed at the destruction of it. I admire your detail, what method and paint did you use for the track surface?, it looks great.
Andrew

Thanks Andrew, Raceway101 was great fun, not only building but racing on to. I hope to achieve the same with this track. The road was painted with grey wood primer and whist it was still wet I blobbed a few random drops of black acrylic and come raw umber (think it was that 1) and smeared the paint around with a j cloth. It was messy work but I'm very pleased with the results. The photos don't show it to well, but the subtle smears of black and brown help break up the flat consistency of the grey.

Can anyone advise where I can get some IR sensors for my timer (UK)?
 

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Stuart Walters
Joined
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926 Posts
I've had a few short stints on the scenery recently. I irritatingly ran out of plaster to finish off the rocks on the right hand side as I wanted to do all this area in one. I still need to add a water product to the river, this will wait until the river and lake the other side is painted.

Overview of the section I've been working on, here you can see the mountainous background and the tree area which will have trees planted in front hopefully giving some depth.



Some close ups of the rocks, I've never attempted brown rocks and am pleased with the results. I have purposely gone a bit over board with the vegetation as there is going to be a lot of rocks in this project. I'm aiming to break up the consistency of the colour.



I've tried to replicate some fallen pine cones round the base of the trees!









The track is running really well. I'm amazed how well out of the box cars perform with no mods at all for non mag racing. My 3 year old son managed 2 slow laps without deslotting at 12V!!!! Just need to get some better controllers now.

I have the parts to build a lap counting/timing lead, just waiting on my old computer to be fixed and set up and I'll be setting some fast laps!

Thanks for looking
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thanks for the complements gents, they are very much appreciated.

The paint I use to undercoat is home brand fence paint, very cheap and lots of it. I also use it for the trunks of my pine trees. The other paints are artist acrylics, these to were very cheap for this type of paint.

All my rocks are molds. I like to apply mine a little different from most. I like to let the plaster (as in plaster of paris) completely dry before removing the mold. I then cut or break the plaster mold to fit where I want, not following any pattern unless its a large crack. This lets me use one mold, but never really repeating its self.
Next I dab wet polyfilla (home brand of course!) on the back of the plaster and quickly press it on to plaster cloth in the required position. This dries super fast, literally seconds so I make sure I know how and where the piece Will fit. I then fill all the joins with the filler not really being over cautious. I also fill between the rocks and the land, then paint and add the green stuff. For the grassy areas around the trees I painted on some pva type glue and lightly sprinkled on some sharp sand to get the texture and painted the same time as the rocks.

Hopefully these pics of the work in progress show what I mean! Here you can see the plaster cloth in between the tree and the temporary waterfall. I was short of plaster to finish this bit. Around the cave area you can see the individual mold pieces.





On my next rock build I will photo the process and show you how I do it. Its really easy to get very good results.

Hope this helps a little!

Thanks again
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Thanks for the comments guys.

Dick.....please critisise away, I'm still new to this stuff!

The water is very blue but its not finished yet, this is just he base colour. I intend to add a water modeling type resin product to it once the other side is finished. I hoping this will 'calm' it down a little. It will probably take a good 4-5 layers to which I could add a little shading colour to the resin in the mixing process. I also need to add the ripples to give the effect of movement.



All the rocks are coloured with a paint brush, which I do not clean in between colours. I' show how in my next rock session.

Wraith....I'll also do a 'how to' on the trees. On page 2 of this thread there is a linky to the company I bought the material from.

Thanks
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Hi Dick

Yes I intend to make my own and have the materials to do so, but I've not built any of the land up around the bends that need them! Nothing but road and air!!!! By tempoary barrier I mean nailing a strip of hard board round the edge of the road until I'm ready to build the land up on those parts of the track.

Hope that makes sense!

Cheers
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Hi gents, I'll try to keep this as simple as I can!

In Graham Lane style (except without a thread per step!) how I build my trees using Fine Scale forest products from here (please note that Bill gave this link out in his Targa build thread, thanks to all that share their research and linkys to good sites).

I have followed the instructions that come with the bag of tree material, although there are no photos. There are no trunks with this, I use wooden chop sticks that measure 210mm or just under 8 1/2 ''. I've made 6-7 tress and have hardly put a dent in the bag.

Step 1:

Scrape down the trunk using the teeth of a hack saw blade or stiff wire brush. This is to get the bark effect. Although this detail is hard to see unless your up close, it only takes 10 seconds to get the effect.



Step 2:

I lightly paint (as in not loading up the toothbrush with too much paint) the trunk using dark oak shed/fence paint using a tooth brush. You can see that the paint sits nicely in the scrape marks from the hacksaw blade.



Step 3:

Using a 1mm drill bit I start to drill square on to the trunk and then angle the drill up so when I add branches they will hang down a little. The hole doesn't need to be deep. 1-2mm is plenty.
I start half way up the trunk and use some dead bush foliage from the garden to represent old dead branches. These are applied by dipping the end in to PVA glue and pushing them into the hole.



Step 4:

Next is to start adding the green stuff. Using the same process for step 3, I drill 3 holes about 10mm higher than the dead branches and add longer lengths of the tree material, again dipping in the end in PVA glue and making sure they are the right way up (pine cone etc)



Step 5:

A further bit up the trunk I drill in the space between the branches further down (see first pic). This helps bulk the tree out. I continue this process of filling the spaces all the way up the tree. As I get higher I use smaller pieces of tree material which need stripping back a little so the branch can still penetrate the drilled hole.









Step 6:

I don't add any material to the side thats against the wall or can't be seen. This saves loads of the branches.



Step 7:

For the last 10mm of the tree its really hard to drill holes so I just glue a few smaller pieces in. I also add a small piece to the top pointing up to look like new growth.



And there you have it!!! Its now taking me about 20-25 mins per tree depending how full I want it.



I hope the pics explain the process better than I do! Any questions then please ask.

Cheers
 

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Stuart Walters
Joined
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
The family and I have decided to move house, meaning this track will not be finished and will need to be destroyed. I would like to announce that I don't get enjoyment out of this even though this is second time I will have to do this.

Any how, here are some pics of where its at before I go nuts with the jig saw:







And here is the next section awaiting the green stuff:









And 1 last overall:


We are looking for a bigger house with a garage so another routed track will be on the cards, this 1 will definitely be semi permanent!

Thanks for looking in
 

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Stuart Walters
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Agghhh.....I've been without SF for nearly 4 days!

Thanks for your input gents


r3Ko...thanks mate, we've had 3 viewings so far and they have all been totally amazed at it, not enough to buy the house though


Tel......noted and thanks, I've got just the job in mind


Ian.....I really like the build process, especially stepping back and saying 'I did that'. I also loved the anticipation of not knowing how it will run until the copper tape is layed! The rock faces are well and truly suck in place, I don't think I could dismantle without breaking them up! Unfortunately we're intending to move further south but still in the same area.

PSRRFH...Your track is huge inspiration for my next, no doubt I will continually be popping back to it to steel some ideas


Marcel..Yer I do feel a bit like that tree!! The next track will be semi permanent in routed sections. It will be predominantly analogue but a digi swap out section or 2 are on the cards. Hope the family are well


Bill....Thanks for the kind words, I've learned so much from your threads, hopefully I'll be able to complete a track 1 day and if it was half as good as your builds I would be very pleased.

gokartride..Good point, as mentioned above the next one will be semi permanent!!!!!

Dick....thanks mate. I'm a big fan of your tracks too, I think we have simlarish styles. Regarding the moulds, i don't think it would be worth posting them as there's not that many, but if we lived near by it would be worth dropping them round and race a few laps....does that make sense? I will keep them and use them on the next track. I got the mould from here a link Bill put out in his Targa thread. The moulds are excellent and some are huge, mine takes 3.5 pints of plaster to fill!!!!!! They are based in the USA but he posts internationally and is very reasonably priced. The moulds will last your modeling life time. Give them a try.

sealevel...I have thought about this. The scenery is also attached to the wall meaning a lot of it will break up when I move it, the same mistake I made with my 1st track (link in my signature). The way I have built the track and supports I think it would be easier and quicker to start again. I also built this track to fit a very awkward room which is how I like to design my tracks. All though it will be a shame to destroy this one, I will get the pleasure of building the next.

Thanks again and I will update on destruction day
 

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Stuart Walters
Joined
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926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Thanks gents. I have yet to rip it up, trying to put it off as long as possible!

We haven't sold yet, the whole buying/selling process is so slow, especially in the current economic climate. Keeping fingers crossed though that we will have moved before Christmas and our wedding in Febuary.

I'm very keen to scratch build chassis's in 1/32 and 1/24 so my next track will incorporate both scales. I'm planning for a fast track with little but good quality scenery that will be built in modules so I can dismantle or extend.

Thanks for the comments again

Stuart
 
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