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Had this body laying around the bench for a while with too many projects always getting in front of it. So today was the day. Vac body haters may move on now.

It is a TrueScale Audi R8 1/32nd body By Victor Ferguson and I painted it up roughly to look like the Stephan Johasson (Steve Johnson as A.J. Foyt calls him) non Factory Audi team. Decals exactly like those are not easy to find so I improvised and it looks fine to me. (I am easy) It has a scratch built printed circuit board chassis and a Slot-It 29k motor. Runs and looks well I think. Victor does very nice vac bodies.



Due to a couple request's I am including a photo of the Audi R8 chassis. It is a torsion bar chassis that is quite flexible. It weighs in at a around 120 grams with body.

 

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Graham Windle
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I love vac bodies and Victors are superb as are yours Larry show the guys some ,By the way the proxy cars are in the post at last hopfully you should get them by week end.
Graham
 

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Allan Wakefield
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See what I mean folks?

About Vac Bodies moving on so much


No way does that look like a typical Vac body - Nice work Larry !

How is the chassis attached and can we see some pics of it please?
 

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I find vac bodies very hard to paint up nicely. Maybe it's just me. If I could paint the bodies to look that nice then I would most likely be useing them.

Very nice work
 

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Oh, come on.

I couldn't see a title like this thread has and a photo of a vac without some comment.

But, and I'm drawing blood on my lip here, why do so many vac bodies sit on chassis that are soooo narrow?

Notice how I am ignoring and not commenting on the dodgy handling of the pinched waist under the front wings the real car has and that this one appears to have simply painted in. Oops!

Oh, Pandora's box is open now I may as well pick up on the comment made by Swiss. Sorry mate, that looks exactly like a vac to me. How thick are those rear wing supports? Inked in shut lines? Why?

Maybe Victor was ahead of the game and got his out before SCX but I can't see why in this day and age, with so many sharp models available off the shelf, why anyone would want to go this route.

"Hes naked, he's naked", cried the little boy as the King went passed in his new clothes.
 

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Some fair points, but not all.
QUOTE Inked in shut lines? Why?
Because ALL cars look significantly better with shut lines inked in, vac-formed or not. Yet no RTR manufacturer does this for you.
The first injection body supplied with all of this aready done will be hailed as having raised the bar another notch.
To be realistic and fair, vac-forms will never have as fine detail as the best injection bodies, but many modern vacs are a great improvement on the almost totally featureless blobs of old.
 

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Well there you go Meco, it's a wonderful and varied world and we each see beauty in different spots of it. And that's a good thing.


But me, I'll take my wagons without the inked in lines thankyou. Urgh.

QUOTE ...but many modern vacs are a great improvement on the almost totally featureless blobs of old.

Don't doubt that but how bad were the old ones???


In our modern world, injection plastics have moved even further forward.

Presumably it is the lightness of the body and the sheer entertainment of construction that draws folks to these dodgy simulacrums (oh, oh, eleven letters and a triple word score!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well Wankel I did warn you that there was a vac body to be viewed. You viewed at your own risk. Don't blame me for your problems.

The comments about vac bodies being mounted on such narrow chassis is a bit hard to figure out? The chassis under this car is a full 2.5 inches wide. And handles very nicely with out a magnet in sight and with silicone coated sponge tires. It weighs in at around 115 grams. The side indents can be made on the vac car if you want to take the time to do it. I may yet do it, if it is to be entered in a proxy race for concours points, it is not a hard thing to do.

Then as to another point, since when is the "air space" located in the opening between body parts the same color as the car. Many slot cars look like their doors etc. have been welded together with a poor weld joint and then painted over, that looks weird. Never saw a 1-1 car with the door opening spaces the same color as the body. Another example is this diecast with opening doors. Horrors real door lines!!!!!!!!



The main advantage to a vac body is the light weight and flexibility allowed for, making a decent scratch chassis handle to it's potential with out the massive stiff weight of a rigid injected body.

But it all comes down to a point of view. you don't have run to against my type car, so it should never be a problem for you. To each his own and the twain shall never meet.
 

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Graham Windle
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Vac form


This is a multi piece vac form I made a couple of yrs ago,the beauty of vacforming in my opinion is that it is a cheap and easy way of making a variety of models ,whilst it can never reproduce the fine details of resin cast or injection moulds a good model can be produced and usualy it will perform better due to lighter up top weight.
Take alook also my Lola body which has been expertly painted by Mark Gussin




Graham
 

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The biggest advantage of vac forming is that it is cheap and easy when compared to injection moulding, to the extent that it is (supposedly) possible to do at home... (but I'm not going to try!).

Injection moulding requires expensive, usually multi-part tooling and moulding machines though a number of components may be produced at the same time. The flow of the molten plastic through the tooling has to be very carefully designed, hence you sometimes see transparent models around that have been used to prove material flow (these are very rare). This is one of the reasons new models take so long to reach the shelves. I would hazard a guess that from initial idea to final production would be about 6 months for say Scalextric. (If anyone can quote an actual figure then please do so!)

Vacuum forming can be done with a relatively simple pattern that is shaped to look like the model. Yes, it has its limitations, undercuts of any significant size are not easily reproduced and imperfections within the pattern are faithfully reproduced especially if very thin plastic is used. If you really want to go to town a multi-piece body can be made, see Grah1's model pic...

Also, many people enjoy the challenge of painting their own shells and a large number of clubs do not race the 'hard body' cars, only those with vac formed bodies... and of course you can make any number of shells fit one chassis if you so wish!!!

I personally prefer models to look like a real car rather than a 'blob' hence the majority of cars raced in BSCRA type meetings have little appeal to me and as many are 1/24th scale they won't run on my home track either.... but if it looks reasonable I don't mind either injection moulded or vac formed...

Shut lines are another subject altogether... where the shut lines on real cars are say 3-5mm wide at a scale of 1/32 this would be 0.09375-0.15625mm.... I know I can't draw a line of this width and this is where much of the problem lies.... knowing what features can and cannot be scaled without spoiling the model.... My own thoughts are that if you are adding shut lines, keep them as thin as you possibly can!!



PS: I note that the vac formed Audi body does NOT have the hideous hump over the gear that the SCX model does... Well done Larry on producing a superb looking model.
 

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Larry et al, firstly, please don't get me wrong here, I don't mean to disparage the work that has gone in to your car, I don't blame you for my problems. I merely wanted to engage in the big blobby debate, which probably wasn't Larry's intention with the post (although the title makes me wonder) and apologies are due if I've hijacked the thread.

Have you added images to your post? My comment about the axle width was based purely on the top photo where, to my myopic eyes, the hubs seemed to be nested quite a way inside.

QUOTE Because ALL cars look significantly better with shut lines inked in, vac-formed or not. Yet no RTR manufacturer does this for you.

Thankfully that is the case: they don't do it for you. Granted not true in the examples here, but in many vacs that I've seen it looks like it's been done with a fat black chiseled marker pen and the result is way, way too thick. And that just draws attention to the lines. With RTRs the shutlines are the same colour as the bodywork, you are right, they shouldn't be but they are generally nice and sharp and get highlighted by natural shadows. True, they should be darker.

Don't get me started on the realism of silver painted headlights!


Bump on the rear deck of the SCX? Bang to rights, you got me. It is a most unfortunate addition. How has that been avoided with the vac form??

It is as I said, folks play with these archaic hang overs because they are better engineers/modellers than me and can hang a decent paint job on them and/or because they come from the speed driven side of slots.

Sorry Swiss, Larry and everyone else, they will never be truescale to most.

It's an opinion couched in non-aggressive terms. I hope.
 

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On another board thee was criticism of a truck a guy made to look like the ones running in the NASCAR Craftsman truck series. We have a shop in our area that sells broken body work from real race cars. I almost bought the front end to the Momo Ferrari 333sp, but it was sold for about $800. Right now they have a truck frontend. The funny thing is that it is not in reality as detailed as a street truck and many of the details were stickers. The headlights were stickers. The VAC body was just as accurate as the original or could be made so, but someone was criticising it and had never seen the real thing.

The problem with homepainted cars is we don't have tampo machines to make fine lines and super high end printers to make the decals. Here is my mind set on where to be critical.

1. Specialty companies like Fly better justify every nook and cranny and paint blemish.

2. Mom and pop operations should be cut a little or a lot more slack. Victor makes great vac bodies. If criticised it is done offline and with a private letter. I have a suggestion for Victor on how to improve the Audi (I own 3 of his bodies), but I won't tell you guys as that does nothing to change the body. My change will make the detail sharper, the body easier to make, and reduce molding errors.

3. Home builders. I know how hard it is for me to paint. Shaping a body is easy for me as putty can cover a multitude of sins, sort of a built in undo like on a computer. Some cars can only be made from what is available and with tools available. In my case with painting skills available. No criticisms on these people's work as they are working within major constraints.

I love cars like the one on this page as it shows me that I can improve my skills. I should post my VAC Audi and you will see what a work of art this car is compared to mine.

Dan
 

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There is some good reading!

I can't believe I read it all.

Goes to show just how much I like vac bodies. I also like just about every other kind of bodies (even the Female kind). I remember when I first started making vac bodies I would make them scale and they were 1/24 scale that meant they were large. I would take my cars to shop tracks to run them and would always get strange looks by most.

I did not let it bother me. I grew to really admire the vac bodies of the early years of slot cars. I did so, so much that I attempted to make my own.

I too was and still am keen to molded plastic bodies. But for some reason when ever I bought a model kit to make a slot car using the model body, I always rather have the body in vacuum form. One reason I guess, is that I could not paint models well enough so that the body would have a realistic shine. Also I noticed that my cars handled better with vac bodies. Heck! I don't really now why I prefer vac bodies but I do!

I think it's nice to have a choice!

I think back and think what I was like to have been around the tracks when the first vac bodied car was raced against the hard plastic bodied cars. I could only imagine
that by the time the next race came along more racers converted to vac bodies in order to keep up with last weeks winner who had the first ever vac body.

What's my point?...

I like the way my cars run with vac bodies. I also feel as in the case of cars I have seen like Larry's, Russell's, and lately Milans, that sometimes they can look very realistic.

Besides when you are a True Scale nut like me, you tend to go over board. I ask you just how think do you think the body shell of a real Porsche 962 is anyway?

It is pretty thin.

So that is the reason I make TrueScale vacuum form bodies so that they can be accurate in every detail even their thickness (I hope that don't start another debate) Yeah that's the ticket!


I truely think a vac bodied car can win a Concours over the molded ones any day. The race as well.
sounds like a good idea for a proxy.

Victor.
 

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If a vac-body is well shaped you'll get excellent cars - here some samples



And based on victors bodies - as only seen in his webshop as they are not available here - I can imagine what's possible with them! Vac-bodies are much faster than hardbodies, lower center of gravity, eaysier handling, most of the shells are close to unbreakable... If they are well proportioned I love vac-bodies!
 

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..these cars are 1/24 - I love this scale as the cars behave more realistic!
@ Victor - I'm living in Switzerland - and there is no distribution here up to now!
 

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Is anyone familiar with Matthias Parke? I have admired his work for several years, but I've never heard much about him. I am guessing he sticks mainly to ?German? sites due to my Google search under his name.



Anyway, to bring this back on topic, he does great work with the Vacs.
 

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I am so pleased this one got bumped to the top again.
There are some absolutely wonderful vac forms up there - as good as I have EVER seen.


But I do understand some of Wankels 'reservations' in a generalised way.
An awful lot of the vacs we see DO have undersized wheels and also a body that looks either too big or too small for its chassis. This is sometimes terribly exacerbated over time, where a couple of things can happen. One is that the plastic can warp, with a tendency to curl inwards, though it could be outwards, making the car look ridiculous. The other is that collisions tend to splay out the body at any of the four corners, making the car look equally ridiculous. The final 'ridiculous' factor is that the bodies are often mounted far too low on the chassis, losing all resemblance to the stance of the original. It's fair to say that this can happen with hard bodies too, but it tends to be less common with them.

This isn't the case with any of those marvellous examples up there, but we have all seen cars with some or all those characteristics and I think that's where Wankel is coming from.
 
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