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I have revised an earlier project in order to create a track that is compact, easy to live with, and basically never see completion. This rally circuit is on three levels with hidden ramps for passing between levels. It is contained in a "cabinet" 2' deep, 10.5' long, and just over 5' tall...designed to fit in a niche in my bedroom.

The interesting thing about this track is that each level can be reconfigured and/or re-scenicked independently of the others and, as they are visually separated, can each be different scenes. Mountains, coast, autumn, winter, day, night...all are possible in one track. My goal is to never finish this one, and that it will provide a contained space to engage my personal slot car hobby interests.

The track, as a rally circuit with loops on each end, is analog by nature, but a passing section has been included to accomodate digital racing against a pace car via PB Pro.

As you will see, another nice thing about this setup is that each level is in a different phase of construction, so I can have detail work, scenic contour formation, and track layout all going on simultaneously.

Okay, here is the layout all closed up. This helps me keep things tidy/liveable while significantly keeping dust down. The doors are light weight and lift up and out of cleats at top and bottom. (in this photo the doors look a bit skewed as I had to Photoshop several pics together)


Here are the layers in the basic construction phase. You can see where the hidden ramps will be placed. Each layer can be removed from the others, but the three are locked together by corner boards at the outside edges of the cabinet. The entire cabinet is on wheels and can be rolled away from the wall for cleaning/maintenance.


This picture shows my current progress and is taken from more or less race position where all three levels can be clearly seen. Each level has it's own lighting. Because a bookshelf arrangement is being used, scenic elements only need to extend as far as the proscenium.


Here are some details sections of the middle level.






Obviously, such a layout isn't workable for many in the hobby, but for indoor space and overall , long-term interest/engagement, it works well for me.

Problems? Well, to be honest the whole thing is based on a series of compromises. Getting the geometry of the three levels right was the hardest part so that are each level is visible given my height. I was also worried that the ramps would work well, but I needn't have...the cars scrurry right up w/o any complaint. Lastly, if I had more length I think I would benefit from more visibility coming out of the hidden ramps into the first curve one encounters. I have, however tried to adjust scenic elements to maximize this visibility.

So there it is...one idea/approach among many. I'm pleased in that this will keep me busy for a long, long time and, if need be, I can dismantle each section and move it. I'll post more pics as I move on to other levels.
 

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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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Truely inventive thinking gokartride - I love this idea. It proves the point that just about anything can be done with creative thinking and willingness to compromise. The scenery modeling is first rate and will surely continue to be since you plan on taking your time to complete the build. The background painting, as Dick noted, is pure artistry. It gives the illusion of great depth with the trees set just in front of it. The stone building is terrific too. Brilliant work - thanks for sharing your project.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the kind words all. I should note as an aside (and for the sake of discussion) that all the buildings pictured, the tree trunks, and all the stone walls are made of carved stretchable caulking over a foam rubber base and are all squishy...a bit safer for cars. Hay bales (not seen in these pics) are also made of foam weatherstripping w/ carved caulking and hay texture...also good in an impact. I like experimenting w/ these materials.
 

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absolutely! - i had snagged a pic way way way back when - not knowing whos track it was (lost track of the thread over time) -
really liked the simple but very effective painted backdrop and landscaping -
fantastic - please keep the updates coming

Ron
 

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How clever is that!!!
Wow, great idea, great use of space, great track lay out, and last but not least, great scenery

Thanks for sharing this project of yours, it will give us a lot of good ideas!
1 question, the back drops, are they painted or? A quick ABC would be good, please.
Keep the pics coming, Per
 

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Lars Ole
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I love it, and it looks very well executed.
I'm building something similar at the moment, for the exact same reason, compact track that can be packed away(dust protected) and that can develop over time.
take a look here if you like:

eventually it'll be digital as well.
Can you work on yours from all Sides ? as I find this the greatest problem, while doing certain scenery parts

looking forward to more images.

cheers
 

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Awwhh .. my jaw hurts, picked it just up from floor .. Truly a most amazing piece of work, artistery and innovation .. aah, you know all that, gocart .. !! You had an old topic when you were constructing this. Is there a linky, somewhere? Or on the other hand ..

Please, Pleeeeeaase .. give us more PICTURES! Of the ideas, sketches, construction, trackplans .. please? And an ABC indeed!

An immaculate 11 out of ten!!

-- ron --
 

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That is brilliant! I like the tiered idea, as it really increased the amount of layout space and scenic possibilities.

Can we please have some more close-up shots? I'd love to see it in closer detail.
 

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QUOTE (gokartride @ 18 Jan 2009, 19:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'll post more pics as I move on to other levels.
Yes, please. And especially more close-up detail of the connected ramps.

Quite innovative.


Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
QUOTE (perthor @ 19 Jan 2009, 02:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>1 question, the back drops, are they painted or?
At present everything on the backdrop is painted...the backdrops themselves are made of the back side of inexpensive vinyl flooring that has been cut into wide strips so the backdrop can wrap around corners. Next time I work on the actual painting I'll post some pics. Basically, the sky is made using two shades of blue, blending the lighter blue into the darker w/ a wide paint brush when the paint is all wet. As for the hills, I find that when I'm racing my visual depth of field is more focused on the cars/foreground, so I find the suggestion of depth (rather than tons of detail) works in the backdrop and keeps attention/visual interest where I want it (it may not work this way in pics, but it does when I actually see it). Anyway, for this part of the backdrop I start with some light gray paint and a basic green that I use for grass, foliage and the like. In small plastic containers I mix a little green in w/ the gray....then add more green to that in another container, and the same again and again so there is a good variation of shades. I used four shades on this backdrop....but one could use even more shades for added depth.

Here are the paint colors I used on the backdrop:

The lightest green shade goes in the back....hills here are broader, less extreme. Working forward w/ progressively darker shades, the hills can have more jagged profiles. The same approach (using darker greens) could even be used for trees to add depth within a treeline.

QUOTE (PSRRFH @ 19 Jan 2009, 02:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can you work on yours from all Sides ?
I do as much work as I can on the bench for sure. I can open up a 3' section on the center back, but that is more for maintenance. Much of the work along the back of the circuit is backdrop and/or flats, so I work on many items using posterboard (or similar) at the bench and simply glue the final product in place rather then try to get a brush way back there. I'm working on a stone wall in this way right now.
 

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Excellent, Gokartride!!!

I remember a thread back on last April discussing this type of project. You did it, sooo well!! Being part of the ones that gave some ideas I am very curious about how is the driving experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (rallyP @ 30 Jan 2009, 13:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I remember a thread back on last April discussing this type of project.
Yes, I tore that down and reconffigured everything. This layout makes better use of my available space and renders the whole thing more portable/movable "just-in-case." I'd had this idea floating around in my head for a long time, but it was a thread here that got me thinking about it again. I was also intrigued by the idea of diversifying scenery and track redesign based on three, visually-seperate levels.

So far, the racing is awesome. The circuit does not fold back on itself in the typical manner but still has lots of interesting and varied curves.

This weekend I'm doing some paving....building shoulders and pavement areas on the lower level.
 
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