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· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the flatland raceway...

I thought I would post a thread that is more about designing a layout into a small space in a smallish room that doesn't get solely used for Scalextric... It shows how my rather twisted brain works... The bulk of the first posts follows is the designing of a "Test Bed" for the principle of what I'm doing which at the moment is a single layout board.

Over the coming few months what will evolve will be a system to have 3.... yes that's right 3 layouts that fit into a space of 10ft x 1ft when folded away each, of which can be brought into use in less than a minute so it's as convenient as a permanent layout but doesn't take up a whole room.
I will also discuss the problems associated with "Small" layouts as each has to fit into a limited space that is only 10ft x 4ft6 at its largest points and how i got over the many many design issues that have come up along the way.

FLATLAND is the codename given to the layout project as each of the three layouts can only be 9cm tall (which is a scale 9ft) so large inclines, tall trees, Grandstands etc will have to be planned to perfection to get then to fit....

The FLATLAND test rig

With Christmas just behind us I'm sure there are loads of people thinking about building a permanent or semi-permanent layout so thought the lessons learned over the last three months might help people avoid the mistakes or learn from the successes I've had while they are still fresh in my mind. What I have done to lift the layout above my sofa bed could easily apply to a kids bedroom, dining room, shed or garage etc etc

I guess I am no different to many here returning to slot cars in a bigger way... Kids have flown the nest, bigger income means a bigger house... suddenly I find I have the space to build a semi-permanent layout... In the house! I am really using the next year or so to "develop" my skills and fund the purchase of the cars and track I need before migrating to the loft...

Ultimately I will have a 30 x 15 space amongst the rafters, but it needs boarding, a proper drop down folding ladder, insulating, electrics and all up that will cost £500 or so... It will need to share the space with my other Hobbies, N Gauge Railway Modelling, and an indoor RC Space on the floor... So before I make that kind of investment in both time and money I want to see how deeply slot racing is engrained in me and learn about how much space it will need...

For now, I have a "Downstairs" room set as my den its only 10 ft x 8ft and while is rarely used as a 4th bedroom it does have to have a double sofa bed (to keep the peace in the household) and space to store my RC cars, multiple games consoles, 32" TV, books, and Scalextric bits A bit of a squeeze!

The design constraints were a nightmare and knowing that 4ft or so width was imperative for the track geometry, there simply was not enough space to have a layout on a "table" which was a shame but I do like a challenge and so I decided that I would have a folding layout... Measuring my own reach at a layout height of 3ft from the ground... I decided that most of the track would need to be within 3ft of the edge of the layout so another constraint placed itself on the table...

With the longest unbroken wall behind the sofa bed, it became the natural place to put the layout... The Height of the back of the sofa bed was 3ft so the layout had to be mounted above this... This would give a maximum of 4'6" for the layout width before it would hit the ceiling. So the board design ended up looking like this...

The Board itself was built from cheap timber from B&Q 18mmx70mm (3/4 x 3") and a simple frame was constructed and to stop the "twist" in such a long frame polystyrene was used to stiffen the box sections and 6.5mm Plywood was used to surface the layout... Here are two self explanatory pictures...

Sorry for the tatty top surface but I stripped my first layout recently and now using the board to test my new FLATLAND layout plans... This is great because it means no crawling on the floor for me!

Here you can see how wood framework was replaced by polystyrene to save weight... to be honest it works fantastically well and keeps the frame rigid but the weight it saves is very small compared to the weight of the track on top... but one person can raise or lower the layout easily even with 70 or so track pieces mounted an extra pound or two in wood would make little difference.

This board is then hinged with 5 hinges off a frame section bolted to the walls and supported by a couple of legs for safety (plaster board walls) so the whole thing looks like this in side view.... Sorry can't take a picture as the frame fits so close to the extremities of the room FORTUNATELY the swing on the board just misses the lampshade! The first layout was then built on this framework and i will discuss later all the lessons learned from that.
The frame is built from cheap SAWN timber 75mm x 100mm (3"x4") Two 100mm pieces actually are running along the back wall to give sufficient "Depth" to suit the original layouts height.

The frame work extends two feet along the wall on the right hand side and four feet on the left hand side. I thought I would need legs on the underside of the layout to support the frame when folded down but were never needed the 75mm x 18mm (3"x3/4) wood for the frame supported by the polystyrene insulation is more than ample when resting on the side supports..

So that's the basic woodworking done... Next time I will describe the lessons learned during the build.

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

This is the only picture I have of the first layout which I began at the end of September and was stripped between Xmas and new year.

The second layer of supports were made using the same wood as the frame and the same 6.5mm plywood was used (cut to the shape of the track design plus an inch either side) I drilled a hole through each track support then drilled a hole in the upper deck and placed a large wood screw through each into the baseboard securing the whole lot together as one... so it stays in place when folded up.

It took two "Afternoons" to build the frame, An evening to build the support system and mount the board on the frame so a good weekend project... The front of the framework was inclined a little bit and the hinges mounted above the centre line (see pic above) so when folded up the layout frame is tipped backwards a little so it is self supporting... Actually I've never bothered fitting any locking mechanism as the weight of the track on the board causes the board to tip backwards rather than forwards.

Fixing the track is a subject that seems to come up time and time again and there are a number of methods that have been suggested. With the layout being indoors there is not the same expansion problems experienced by some whose layouts are in lofts, sheds or garages...

One big mistake I made was mounting the track after the board had been screwed to the wall, reaching across was difficult in places and would have been much simpler if i had free access on all sides... I think next time i will "fix" the track beforehand it will be heavier to move about but would have saved a load of hassle.

Being indoors i used the Scalextric track clips in the bulk of places... Fixing these is not easy... the Hornby track pins suggested to be used are only 10mm long and hard to hold in place and get a hammer to them because the track is 8mm tall.... I used a dremmel to drill a pilot hole for the pins then pushed them in and tapped them home with a hammer and a blunt nail... Simple! There are places where they were too hard to fit and here i used "PECO" track pins available from any model shop they are about 15mm long and very thin... Despite the ply being hard they are tough enough to go into the wood although i did bend loads... The track pins are long enough to go through the track and leave enough in the board to hold securely but the heads are so small they are almost invisible. I put the pins as close to the edge as possible in the "channel" that the boarders clip into to avoid the track warping.

These pins are very thin and will bend enough to allow enough movement for my needs... it is important to remember that the track "hangs" when stored vertically so on all joints for corners i put pins in the end of each piece curve piece so the track "hangs" on them when vertical. The track barriers also had a pin placed in the edge of each one to hold them to the board.

This was enough to keep all pieces in place and preserve the electrical continuity at all times so will use the same system again... One word of warning is that the "digital pieces" including the pit lane half straights and curves are a couple of mm thicker than standard track and the clips will deform when used... which is annoying... i found a small card or thin balsa fillet placed under the clip prevents this happening and i would recommend doing this to everybody using them. This type of fixing is unobtrusive and best of all I was able to strip the entire layout down in around two hours so really increases flexibility if you only ever want a semi permanent design that can be folded away.

I covered the bits of the board not covered by track with "grass paper" from Jarvis scenics its cheap and reasonably effective.... however the grass bits do come loose and when the track is folded up and fall to the back of the layout which then drops onto the back straight... they are hell if you don't hoover them up, they get picked up by cars, stuck in gears and worse of all get flicked up inside the bodywork and stick on the inside of windows due to static in the plastic.... I will look for an alternative to "scatter" type materials for a folding layout.... I may use this stuff again but would "seal" it with a matt varnish, gonna do a test of that soon... will update when i see how well it works

Track planning....

My track was planned to perfection before starting the board but as i bought more bits i incorporated them into the design and I ended up with a completely unplanned layout with way too much track on the board...

I made up some paper track templates using Microsoft Publisher at 1/5th scale which i shuffled on a tray marked with the edges of the board so i can see easily what fits in the space... I stuck some onto "foam core board" to make them stiffer but to be honest they weren't any better than the paper ones... I find this easier than using software, but they may just be because i prefer tangible things to a computer screen.

The track design shown here is one of many that were abandoned in favour of using space to have "track borders" I used the Scalextric tan ones because of their ease of availability and could be reused when i changed the track design...

I would recommend anybody building a digital layout to use as many borders as possible... They give a de-slotted car somewhere to go so another car following doesn't always have to hit it... even if the car is still on the track the impact will be less severe if the crippled car has somewhere to go.... It also evens up the lane speeds and prevents drivers "riding the barriers" and getting an advantage.

My biggest disaster was my bridges... I used a 7cm vertical space between levels, fine for all cars but where a bridge crosses a curve below a de-slotting car will often roll and become wedged almost vertical and forms an immovable object for any following car.... Digital driving is hard enough without finding a hidden obstacle in your path at high speed! Not to mention the damage risk to the cars. They also make it harder to judge your speed if you can't see your car on the lower track "newbies" travel very slowly or roll which makes for bland racing... Also don't hide the sensors of digital pieces by hills in-front of them or bridges over them as "newbies" to the circuit will not know when a blind lane change can win them the race... Its your circuit but nice to have a level playing field.

Avoid R1 curves as much as you can, they are almost impossible to overtake on due to the inside lane cars sliding sideways across both lanes... The inside lane will often de-slot if its tail hits a car in the outside lane and a car in the outside lane can't pass if the tail of his opponent is in the way, it also slows any "drone" cars to a very slow pace...

Leave a space between tracks for scenic items, it's far too tempting to squeeze a little extra track into a space set aside for scenery which often leads to the layout looking very bland...

Always place your tightest corners at the front of the layout and the widest turns at the rear... its the tight turns that people de slot on and even if you "play no re-slotting" everybody will have to stop if you have to reach across three feet to recover the de-slotted car..

Ensure you have at least a full straight between digital track pieces as "Newbies" will often hold the lane change button for too long and ending up somewhere they didn't mean to by making two lane changes instead of one... And as you get faster on your own circuit it can even catch you sometimes!

All things here are solid advice but by no means a complete list and no matter how much time you spend planning and testing you will always think of a better way just after fixing it down permanently.

Next Time a full explanation of FLATLAND and how i'm going to squeeze three layouts into a space 10ft x 1ft folded away....

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
QUOTE (sealevel @ 5 Jan 2010, 06:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It has been suggested that you cannot use both the Scalextric track clips and borders at the same time. Is this true?
Or do the borders go on the track then the track clips on the borders?

Simple answer is.....Yep you can

I did it all over my layout it is a fiddly job but full instructions on how is included in the pack of track pins....

Put simply... You put the Clip in the slot of the track... Clip on the border which covers up half of the track clip... Put a nail in the remaining hole and pin down... Slide the next border along to join the last... put the clip in the slot... etc etc... easy enough!

Although they do hold the borders in place because the tongues on the borders become "trapped" in the channel at the edge of the track... they can still "flap about" when the laout is folded up and down... because they do not hold the rear of the borders.... One railway track pin in the outside edge soon solved that

Hope it helps..


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Welcome to Flatland Part 2...

Thanks for your encouragement guys... will be a while before there are any really pretty pictures to look at, Layout planning, woodwork, track laying, testing, then scenery! Ho hum but i enjoy it.

Ok so here goes for the big plan in a small room... 10ft is not a lot of length for Scalextric barely enough length for 5 straights and the associated curves this has made planning layouts tricky but the dogbone shaped boards make life even more difficult.

My first layout was designed to do everything... Have fast bits, slow bits, pits, 3 lane corners and all the elements you could think of but it ended up a "jack of all trades" and did nothing really well but It helped prove the concept could work. What i really wanted was more space to make a layout but without resorting to the loft or garage in winter the dayroom was the place. So i made up a wish list for version 2 which consisted of...

1) A Fast track that novices could race on easily
2) A Flowing circuit for the Gt1 cars with some hairpins for car control skills
3) A Twisty rally track for my rally cars
4) A drift track for my drift cars

There was simply no way of meeting those requirements with one track in the space available so I simply had to find more space... But where from? Simple... instead of a single board that folded down from the wall... I could build a "stepped" support system as shown below as long as each layout was less than 10cm in depth I could fit THREE of them all on the same wall... that will give me something like 100sq feet of layout space in a space but only using 10ft x 1ft in the room when folded away, as my son said... TARDIS!

So having taken all those things into consideration I decided what i wanted was

Track 1) A "Fast" banked NASCAR/Brooklands type oval for Newbies. In DIGITAL

Track 2) A Flowing GT1 Circuit in DIGITAL

Track 3) A Road/Rally Setup that was fully bordered in ANALOGUE so I could use my drift cars based on car park racing...

The framing system had worked reasonably well so I am confident I can actually build this but i was going to need to decide on how it could work in the room.

The first problem was working out how you could reach past the first layout to get to fold the second one down, let alone get past the second to fold the third down... Don't forget this its a REAL problem, I could stand on the sofabed to reach the next layout but it meant that the maximum width the board could be at some point was 2ft 3" to be able to reach past the first or second layout.... to fold the others up or down...

With ALL that decided I had to work out the shapes of the boards to give maximum access for marshalling and the constraints of reach for folding them up and down... Including a place to "Grab" each one that was integral to the frame to avoid twisting and warping when putting the layouts up and down... So I ended up with this set of plans...

The NASCAR oval would be a minimum of 3ft in width so that had to be the first to fold up against the wall otherwise I couldn't reach the others... it was decided that it would feature the pit lane game and be run using my 4car powerbase and a lC7039 lap counter.


The GT1 Circuit would use my 6 car powerbase for lap timing and race management once the "Simple H mod and PB Pro" was completed... But would the board would have to narrow to 2ft 3in for at least 2ft of its length... Quite a restriction!


The Road/Rally was to use my "Sport world" unit for timing and race management but it overloaded all the time when running the drift cars so it would have to use a standard powerbase and the standard lap counter and be 2ft 3in for the bulk of its length


All three board would be supported at the back by the stepped frame and so i had to work out the sizes of the frames to do the job and the side support system... I developed the plan shown below but since have decided to "Beef up" some of the sizes of wood used...

I Will post more on the changes to the frame design when construction proper starts...

For now I am concentrating on building the "Layouts for real... Already tried NASCAR 1 on Sunday but has gone back into development again and GTCircuit 1 was assembled today for testing... Hopefully by Friday I will have ensured that the layout designs can be fitted in the spaces (No amount of PC Programs or drawings are as good as doing it for real) and test driving the layouts for a couple of days really helps to avoid niggles that cause a complete tear down"

The basic track plans were drawn up over a few weeks... (don't rush the planning) and will look something like this...

© Mr Flippint

The three lane design is required to avoid cars gaining too much nadvantage from leaning in the barriers... May change the pit lane to extend the entry around one of the curves... not sure yet... find out more when the test track gets its turn on the layout board.

GT1 Layout...

This circuit is still too wide in this plan so today I spent several hours juggling to make it fit within the width and have done so... Will race it and modify it as necessary before taking pictures for the thread. Obviously the test circuit does have lane changers! .

Road Rally Layout....

Believe me getting something interesting into this kind of space is a nightmare and any ideas gladly received, new thoughts arrive in my head every day.

I am now in the Sample layout building and testing phase using the actual space available... This is where a cm here or there makes a real difference in keeping to plan but fortunately the track has some form of "flexibility" built in so with a bit of "fettling" what seems impossible on a "PC" can be done in real life...

Any thoughts, questions, advice or general input welcomed on both the track designs and the framework... Oh and its nice to recieve encouragement!

More to follow soon.


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (ronMcRain @ 5 Jan 2010, 16:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Wow hankscorpio .. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before! Amazing and innovative. [I too know about space restrictions, living in *box* without room for a layout a.t.m.] Just a thought. As these are fold-ups anyway, there could be *detachable* bits to them? I'd try and get the turns as wide as possible for the Nascar. Thus swap the Nascar/Rally tracks .. as the latter is easier to make, with some wiggly & twisty bits.

Thats an interesting twist on the problem! hadn't considered a removable section (doh!) in three months of thinking about all this... Love the forums for all the ideas... only problem i can forsee is the reach issue... my layout "touches" three walls so access is from the front only... Nascar layout will probably hit the "board" again at the weekend... GT1 Layout in test today... May post about that later

QUOTE (ronMcRain @ 5 Jan 2010, 16:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Also, you could make the left bend into a 3-laner [w some more track cutting] or add pits to the top straight.

My last layout had three lane curves made from single lane R'3's outside the R2's as normal and Outer lanes "cut from" R2's on the inside of the R3's slicing R2's, R3's, R4's and straights is easy there is a rib in the midle on the underside you can use to run your knife along... simples as a meercat would say! R1's are more tricky but i normally draw around a dinner plate and cut them from the top.

Thanks Ron, will let you know how it goes...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
GT1 Circuit

Its daft "o" clock in the morning and i have kidney stone pain agan... probably brought on by yesterdays stretching to build the layout... Another day off work looming!

The GT1 circuit was always going to be the toughest layout to design, if i used a "single loop" design it would only give me an average lane length of around 25ft, far too short for what i wanted. You can see what I had in mind from my earlier post and in theory it should be possible to build a double loop layout without the need for bridges (The baseboard design doesn't give enough height for bridges). You can tell its possible to build a double loop because Scalextric track is around 6 inches wide.. 4 tracks side by side therefore only takes up 2ft or so... Its therefore just planning the corners correctly and juggling with the "straights" to get it all to link up properly.

After around an hour of simple building the basics of the layout shape was in place and it fitted, it was just the fact the sharper corners looked too sharp and the "esses" were too tight that bothered me.. So I took a break and had a drink... watched some tv and returned to the problem.

Reminder of the board shape...

Ron Mcrain suggested that i could bridge the space between the two bulges with a removable section... a fantastic idea enabling a wider selection of layout possibilities but still enabling the main board to be 2ft wide for folding it up and down... clever twist on what i have been doing! And something for others following the thread to consider.

The most important thing about this circuit was that all the corners should "FLOW" into each other with a changing radii, no boring 90 deg bends, no corners of a fixed radius... oh yeah and as many R3's as possible and as few R1's (other than the hairpin) as i could get away with.

I wanted no more than 45 degrees of R1's in any corner. The reason for the limiting R1's to just 45 degrees is because in my experience... If a car approaches too fast a 90 degree R1 Bend on the apex the car will "de-slot" 75% of the time, a single R1 will just throw its tail right out 75% but only "de-slot" 25%... This makes races flow a lot better.

A good example of using a changing radius in a curve is the first corner at the end of the main straight... it starts with 45deg R4's, then 45deg of R3's then 135deg of R2's into the next corner 22.5 deg R3'sthen 45deg of R32's keeping the radii flowing in a downward direction increases the entry speed of the corner (& reduces de-slotting on entry) and allows racing to continue after a straight or to start earlier out of a corner the only corner that does not follow this rule is the hairpin, where late braking and maintaining as higher speed as possible allows all the speed to be carried out onto the straight and around an increasing radius corner onto the main straight... The speed carried around the hairpin can therefore have a major effect on the lap time.. just like the real thing...

Enough explanation of the design... The track Plan below shows how a design program says it will clash, but the flexibility of the track means it can be fettled to fit.... its why i like the little paper track templates more than a computer...

The Powerbase is actually at the right hand end of the straight now..

The circuit plan was designed to work on the basis of being able to blast out of the last hairpin to cross the line... However at the moment the "Powerbase" is in the wrong place to form the end of the lap... However when i get it upgraded to PBpro & Simple H i will ask rich G nicely if he can separate the powerbase from the sensor to increase flexibility... There is a thread explaining how to do the separation on the forum... Link

It took three hours to finally get the corners flowing correctly getting the R1s so there was only 45 degrees on a corner and if you had the outside lane on the 1st R1 you get the Inside lane on the second R1 to balance the difficulty of the lanes..... In the design I placed the two in to out lane changers infront of the R1's so you can avoid the inside lane on both corners for a higher overall lap speed... All the corners even the tightest have been designed on an increasing or decreasing radius basis...

The average lane length is 38.5ft with a lane difference of just 11 inches (2.5%) not bad for a track with a maximum length of 10ft... The lane difference is not such a problem with digital.

Despite being a small space i always try to achieve as higher percentage of R3 or larger curves that i can.... this design has 40% of curves R3 and above... and it runs just as i hoped... lap times dropped from 6.8 seconds to 5.9 seconds after tuning the runoff areas.... I don't have the right hand out to in clc .... I had to put a R/H CLC Out to-in.. The lay of the track is not a smooth as it should be due to the uneven board surface.... so lap times may get a fair bit faster yet!

So some pictures...

So hard to get a wide angle picture in such a small room...

Hairpin... oh and all i know is we call him the stig!

Minimum width at the centre of the track is 2ft 3inches for about 2ft of length bang on target!

Need to split the powerbase to get it in the right place... the sweeping 225 degree 1st corner! the brave can keep the hammer down right to the sensor track! (I know there should be a straight before the clc to avoid misses... but it seems fine and the space i have is sooooo small!

Where there is not a space to fit a full track barrier i will build up a balsa fillet topped off with scenic gravel in a similar tan colour, the gravel glued in place with diluted pva glue... Because the tracks are side by side to avoid head on crashes a wall will be built between tracks probably using 3 cm plastic angle... available in 8ft lengths from any DIY store.

Hope that gives you some idea as to how to squeeze a flowing track into a small space... when the first car ran i was completely blown away, the track flowed great, the car sliding on the R1's without de-slotting and the first corner...... that is a real test of nerves after a long (for me) straight at full speed. After an hour or so of testing, solo and racing against a friend a problem appeared with the second tight corner, one i hadn't anticipated... Designing a layout is always a matter of compromise and in the second tight R1 curve it was one of those compromises that was becoming a niggle..

As you can see from this blow up the left hander had a CLC in to out followed by an R1 45deg curve... what was happening was the braking zone for the R1 started on the lane flipper which is dead electrically, when i looked at the other R1 corner it was a slightly different design so the problem didn't arise there... bugger... the space was ver very very limited!

I juggled the design so an R2 22.5deg could be fitted before the R1 45deg... Of course this made the next straight too short by 2 centimetres... this is probably the worst situation in Scalextric track planning no space and a small difference... looking at the back straight it had a 7.8cm short straight in it, this was changed to a quarter straight 8.75cm which halved the problem, fortunately the approaching straight had a quarter straight in it, so i swapped it for a 7.8cm short straight and thereby closing the gap... whoopee!

Testing the track again showed that the extra six inches before the R1 45deg moved the braking point away from the flipper and problem solved! No more stalling. I have put a full track list (in laying order) for the revised plan, just in case anybody wanted to "steal" any bits of the design.

I built the first hinged board as a test rig... people thought i was mad tearing off the track after only 8 weeks! The track layout was only ever temporary to learn what all the different DIGITAL track pieces were like, get to grips with their foibles and what i liked and didn't like about them. I knew when that layout was stripped off, I would have a board i could develop all the new layouts on... By spending time getting to grips with a new track design you can iron out all the bugs before going permanent and having to tear up large chunks of scenery to solve a problem.

its this kind of attention to detail that helps to make your track a pleasure rather than a chore once its fully built... It may all seem a bit anal to spend half an hour juggling one track piece but when you consider that there is over £300 worth of track on the board and it will probably cost at least another £50 to build the new framework, surface it, paint it and put in the basic scenic shell... its time very well spent...

Well with that working great it is time to tear it down and pack all the pieces together in a box with all the borders and start on the "Car park drift rally!" Although i already seem to have used far more track than i originally planned! Maybe a trip to the shops will be required before it can be run... time will tell

By the way, (6th jan) if anybody wants a C7008 R/H Lane change curve out to in.... I have one i'm not using and will put on ebay unless anybody on the forum wants it... PM me with an offer, have a proper box for safe postage.. or if you are local to Norwich you can pop in to pick it up, I live close to toys R us...

So tommorow the Drift Layout... much much easier... (I hope)

As the track designe has changed here is a lap starting from the hairpin...
Chicaine Out, Half straight, R3 22.5, R3 22.5, R4 22.5, R4 22.5, Half straight, Straight XLC, Start Grid, Start Grid, Full Straight, PB Pro, R4 22.5, R4 22.5, R3 22.5, R3 22.5, Short Straight, R2 45, Sensor, RH CLC out-In, Full Straight, R3 22.5, R2, Short Straight, Short Straight, Short Straight, R3 22.5, R2 22.5, Sensor, R/H CLC in-out, R2 22.5, R1 45, R2 45, Half Straight, R3 22.5, Full Straight, Short Straight, Short Straight, short Straight, R3 22.5, R3 22.5, Sensor, L/H CLC In-Out, R2 22.5 , R1 45, R2 45, R3 22.5, Half Straight, Qtr Straight, Half Straight, Full Straight, Straight XLC, half Straight, R3 22.5, R3 22.5, R2 45, Half Straight, Chicane In, Hairpin 90, Hairpin 90... That's a lap!

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh dear... after the smoothness of digital for the last few months I forgot how tedious analogue can be... The drift layout... complete disaster... complete rethiink needed on that one... gonna breeak it down tonight and get the NASCARS up and running again, work out all the glitches from that before returning to the Car park rally idea...

Had this great plan for a rally type layout in a car park... lots of static 1/32 cars most with retro fitted LED headlights lighting the layout up...

Oh well... some fun re-planning to do...

More on NASCARS in a couple of days...


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 6 Jan 2010, 22:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sean, if you're going to just do a parking lot rally, why not have it be your first routed track? that's what I'm planning to do for my first one, maybe this summer. Grab a board, draw a nice squiggly line on it, and then rout the line out. Tape it all, wire it up and BAM! routed track.
Well, ok, there's a little more to it, but you won't beat the smoothness of a single board routed track.
If you were planning to have it analog anyway, why not?

You make a good point... Sean and powertools is often a dangerous combination... Father in law is a demon with a router.... mmmm a layout with only half the work now that is a thought....


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE (PSRRFH @ 7 Jan 2010, 11:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I really like the detailed compactness of your plans and your digital tracks has some really nice turn combinations.
When driving it is it an advantage to take the outerlane in the curved lane change positions ?

Lars... first of all i take my hat off to you... well mountain is something truly special.... and the layout is so tall it got real snow this year
no chance of that in the flatlands!

Squeezeing a fast track into a space that small is difficult and the GT1 Cars, Maserati Mc12 especially hate the inside lanes of R1's... meaning a sharp stab on the brakes is required... Gaining a fast time on a small circuit is often about smoothness as there are less places to "put the hammer down"... If you look in detail at the line on the corner from this picture... Perhaps you can see what i was thinking.

Without the CLC the car on the inside lane has a far shorter line in terms of distance... The curve "RH CLC, R2 22.5. R1 45, R2 45" Lane 1 outside =105cm Lane 2 Inside = 78cm thats a big difference... It means the car has to really hit the brakes to get around it... Where as the outer lane can use a feathered throttle to drive the corner. without any braking...

What providing the "CLC in-out" in that position provides is the chance for both lanes to use a feathered throttle if they wish... The inside llane gets almost an extra 6" of virtually straight line travelling thanks to the arrangement of the racing line on the lane changer and the "dead" portions of the flippers assist in slowing the car without brakes....

This means both lanes now have the option of using a fethered throttle rather than one having to apply the brakes.... No brakes means you can carry more speed out of the corner which gives you the opportunity to make up "time" between the two sharpest corners in what would otherwise be a very slow part of the circuit...

hope that makes some sense.. most of the time getting a corner to flow is more about the "look"..... if it looks smooth it will drive smooth... if a corner has lots of changes of angle it will drive like a pig! R2 45, R1 45, R1 45, R2 45 gives a smooth hairpin... Try driving R1 45, R2 45, R1 45, R2 45... completely different feel!

Thanks for your comments... most appreciated...


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Well after another evening of toying with the NASCAR/Brooklands layout i have a final setup that works a treat...

Will do a full write up hopefully tomorrow...

Was planning a trip to B&Q to get some wood to commence the build proper at the weekend but the snow may mean its put back to sometime next week...

But with 2 out of 3 layouts now working as I want them to it just goes to show how good planning beforehand can make life easier...

I am in two minds now whether to stick with the "car park rally" idea... loved the idea of a sweeping layout with drift cars doing donuts just mm from lit parked cars and pit babes figures and maybe some of those "homies" i've seen elsewhere... Police drift land rover giving chase and sometimes giving the 4wd rally cars an outing before developing a proper "box layout" to fit on a shelf for them...

Been spending the evening taking photo's of some leftovers for ebay... hopefully that will finanace the 7010 CLC and 7036 XLC i need to complete the GT1 circuit, but i have all the track for the NASCARS which will be the first full build... But still have to decide on a support system for the banked curves...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
QUOTE (PSRRFH @ 8 Jan 2010, 09:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was asking because you use them a bit different than I normally see round the forum. ( I do like it)
Are you running magnet or non magnet ?

Ah yeah you got me... I am not a purist in any form... to get a decent race with "friends and family" de magging cars leads to iminent disaster and a very boring evening of grumpy faces and lots of broken cars
guess thats what comes from racing after a few drinks in the city... really shouldn't drink and drive! for me slot cars is social... not a race... (especially if i lose)..

So yep magnets for me... and to get full throttle out of a circuit in a space only 3 Metres long it takes lots of tuning of track flow and the tuning of SOME cars to allow people to pick up and play... then I have "MY" cars... now they are de magged for solo sessions against the clock... and the track flow comes into its own...

by the way I found the vids of "Well Mountain" on you tube last year before i knew of the forum... It blew me away... I really liked the way you had used the goodwood chicaine against the mountainside and the way those pit lanes have been used to create the city loop... and those flagstones...oh my god... I will do some scenic work this time but not like that... keep up the good work! Oh yeah thanks for the inspiration lars... its already cost me over a £1000!

I guess what makes my approach different is when i first lay down the track I spend a good few hours tweaking the design to get roughly the same lap time achievable in both lanes, the length is irrelevant... its making each lap the same in time which i place importance on for fun racing...

Later today my magnet infested NASCAR setup hits the forum... will explain more in there

I can almost see the pained expressions on some faces! MAGNETS

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
The Flatland Oval Raceway...

The saddest thing about this track design was knowing before I started that a "Tri-oval" style layout that I really wanted was beyond my space considerations. With that in mind I decided that it would be aimed at the less experienced of my friends... It was going to be 4 car using a std powerbase (until the 7042 is released at least) and use a C7039 lap counter...and the "pit lane game" Although testing would be done with my trusty 6 car unit...

I won't bother boring you with a diagram of the board... it's simply a 10x 3 square with a maximum 7cm depth... This gives a maximum scale scenery height of about 7ft and therefore limits the maximum tilt angle of the banking. I had planned to use Scalextric "R2 Banked curves" which i had stored in a cupboard until i finally picked up a couple of Nascars from a local retailer at £25 each... the pit lane game had been picked up off ebay for £17 both Great prices!

Using the cars for the first time i had an awful shock, on a two lane setup the inner lane was so much slower (3.2 sec lap) than the outer lane (2.4 Sec) which could lean on the characteristic wall on the outside of the curve. This means that on a two lane setup that the only reason toi leave the outside lane was to use the pit lane and it would be impossible to overtake a car in the outside lane. The .8 second lap difference (25% faster) was a disaster... I immediately went to my spares box and pulled a couple of magnets from some old cars and double magged them... this helped close the gap to .4 seconds... so i ordered some silicone tyres... some stronger magnets (10 for £5) and some weaker ones (10 for £3.50) after spending several hundred on track a few pounds on tuning parts seemed like a good investment... all I could do was sit back and wait for them to the meantime I worked on the GT1 setup.

So Last night I began laying out the track, it was a combination of designs from people who had offered help with the speed difference problems... The Lap counter will actually go into the layout where the powerbase is shown and the powerbase will go on the back straight..

The inner lane is 545 cm, The middle lane 593 cm, The outer lane is 641 cm... a massive 96cm (18%) difference!

The idea of the "cut and shut" outer lane was to slow the middle lane by prevent it from riding on the barriers... The design fortunately only used bits i already had in my spares box.. so no investment required... I decided to do the first build on a "Flat" basis as there was no easy way to support the third lane using the standard Scalextric supports and crossed my fingers...

Firstly I fitted the new silicone tyres and then abandoned the twin standard "Scalextric" magnets in favour of one large one as the two magged cars were slowed severely by the drag and i feared for the longevity of the motor! One large magnet was ok but the "breakaway" was very severe when the magnet swung too far... So tried again this time with two smaller magnets front and rear.. (sliding the smaller 1mm wide magnet fully to the left of the slot as Nascars only turn left!).. I switched on the powerbase and the car was immediately more "spritely" without the extra drag and started lapping on the inside lane... the car was averaged at 2.5seconds. I switched to the middle lane and amazingly it averaged around 2.5 seconds... so onto the outer lane "switchback" which could be taken at full throttle and as if by magic the lap speed averaged 2.5 seconds... Somehow I had fluked a setup with the cars that meant overtaking could be done now on the Inside or outside of a car!

Obviously the relative speeds of the car... the inner car is lapping at 4.9mph and requires some careful driving to keep the speed at 2.5 seconds, the centre lane car is travelling at 5.3mph and needs some care or the car will fishtail and lose speed the outer lane travels at 5.7mph... this should make for some quite scary overtaking manoeuvres on the straight lane changers as cars jockey their speeds and chopping from the outside lane to the inner one to use the pit lane game requires a requisite drop in speed and an element of skill i hadn't predicted!

You have an opportunity to go between the faster outer two lanes twice per lap.. With a "chicaine" type arrangement on those two lanes to add some excitement... the inner lane can only be switched into and out of once per lap... Half a lap before the pit entry to give cars a chance to slow down enough to use the pit entry and on immediately exiting the pits to get back into the racing lanes... Obviously you can lap on the inside lane but maintaining a 2.5 second lap consistently is not as easy as it is in the other lanes but you do avoid the risk of being hit in the chicaine!

So miraculously with a design twist on one MrFlippant suggested some low power magnets bought on a whim and some decent tyres the track does everything i could have hoped for it!... The only real issue i had was when switching to the 4 car powerbase to run a test...

Having the powerbase only connected to the two inner lanes the track relies on the flippers to conduct the current to the outer lane which meant that it only received about 60% of the power needed... Obviously when building the layout permanently i will have to run a power tap... but it caught me by surprise just how much current got "lost" relying on lane changers alone.

So with both of those layouts "boxed up" I have spent the rest of the day putting stuff on Ebay that I will no longer need... Will spend a snowy weekend tucked in the warm planning the last of the three layout designs as snow is forecast again for us tomorrow!

Guess I learn something new every time i try a new design... part of the fun of slot cars!

Any comments or observations on the last two layouts appreciated as I will be starting work "proper" on the woodwork hopefully next week...


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
A little help please

Of the many people who have taken the time to view this thread can i just canvas a few opinions...

As the NASCAR cuircuit has to be built first to allow this idea to work, so I have some pressing decisions to make...

this is the type of oval that inspired the build..

Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Shape: Concrete Oval
Track Length: .533 miles (My layout is .128 miles... 1/4 scale)
Front Stretch Length: 650 feet
Banking: 24-30˚on Turns 5-8˚on Straightaways
Seating Capacity: 160,000
Opened: 1961

The track is intended to be scenic... but using "toy" parts... no track painting or weathering of buildings and cars for example but...

If I bank the track more than 5 degrees there is not enough height for the characteristic "Wall" with chain link fence above... this means abandoning the scalextric banked track supports and building them from scratch... Not a problem but a little time consuming...

I have drawn a scale diagram so i could get the feel of what i am trying to build

Obviously the 5 degrees reflects the banking at this track on the straights but is far from the 24degrees of the 1:1 track...

Would it be better (and easier) to leve the track flat and concentracte on the scenics....


do you think the banking is important to the feel of the circuit and any representation 5 degrees or whatever is better than nothing... obvously more than 5 degrees and there is not enough height for the wall and fence...

Any build like this is a compression of the real thing and as it is 1/4 scale in length will 1/4 of the banking height be to scale?

If I go much higher in the banking there will be no space for the LED's on top of the fence posts to light the circuit, night racing is a big part of NASCAR...

Any views gladly taken... any advice happily recieved


· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 10:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would make sure the banking doesn't affect the lap times either for each lane, I would try to do a makeshift "prop" to test.

If it wasn't for the snow I would have gone to the "big local model shop" and got some balsa to make a prop system... May walk into the city tomorrow and buy some from "langleys" toy shop and bank one end as a test... but they are a bit pricy for balsa! and some "ferraris"

I know its going off topic but has any body seen this..... MRE Scalextric tradeshow visit The thing that worried me the most was the "Ferrari stuation" Quote: "There are Ferraris in the 2010 range but they cannot be marketed. Why ? Because Carrera now have an exclusive licence for all Ferrari slot cars and all of the SCALEXTRIC production must be produced and released in the first half of the year. Whatever remains at 30th June must be abandoned and destroyed"....... so probably gonna go pick up the few ferraris i do want while they are still on the shelves... the collectors are going to wet themselves!

QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 10:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You could make a removeable chainlink fence. Some mesh with poles attached then "tubes" or something on the back of the walls to locate the fence? Would add a few minutes to your set up time but you get what you want then.

I love the removable poles idea... Only problem is.... I was planning to run the wires for the LED's up the centre of the poles... If i could find a flexible enough fence i suppose i could "hinge the fence posts... put 2 small magnets on them to hold them "up" and use them to transfer the current... from a "ring main" under the track... mmm

Has anybody used these fencing products?: Slot track Fence Kit - FK-2: Straight fence kit is now available. The benefits of the straight fence kit is that fitting is easier without the need for wires at the top section of the stanchions makes these kit easier for non permanent track layouts. As with the FK 1, for fitting you can buy some of our fixing clips for use with plastic track (CFP) or wooden track (CFW). You can also purchase additional straight stanchions (SS10) in packs of 10... The fence kits (FK 2) have 10 of our new angled stanchions and a roll of mesh 1.75 metres long by 70 mm wide. They also include instructions on how to assemble it. Note the picture shows the fence its self being painted in grey. Item comes green in colour.... LD Discounts - Slot car fencing

QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 10:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>With regard to a "scale" banking. 24 degrees is 24 degrees. It would be like saying "I am building a square house with corner angles of 90 degress, at 1/4 the size, so i will have the corners at 22.5 degrees on the model"

Thought about this issue a lot today... and we must remember that when we scale things we decide what it is we are scaling...

I kind of agree with you but when you think about the "scale" issue....To get the corners to be to scale they would need to be "Radius 8" which would be Radius of 4'6" or require a board of 9ft diameter/width... this would give a corner circumference of (2 x pi x R) of 28ft or 3'6" to the 45 degree point of the curve... From the 5 degree banking on the straight this is roughly a 20 degree rise in angle over 42 inches.... or 1 degree rise in steepness for every 2 inches travelled...

So to keep my layout in line with the prototype... My Radius 2.5 Curve is 18"radius wfich gives a circumference of 9.42 feet or 1.2ft to the 45 degree point of the curve so for the banking to raise at the same rate as the prototype of 1 degree every 2 inches gives a 7 degree tilt over 1.2ft at the 45 degree point of the curve...

To to get the angle to 24 degrees in the same 1.2ft would mean tilting the track up 4 degrees for every 2 inches of forward travel (roughly 3/4 inch)... now thats way way to steep to be prototypical...

Bam i agree with what you say... but how quickly the banking should rise is more of more importance to correct handling of the cars rather than the actual degree of slope... (possibly?) The 5 degree angle was worked out from the r2's of my first design... not the R3 single lane... (but it was late and i was on pain killers... please excuse). To me 7 degrees looks like the maximum angle required (a banking height of around 3cm) to give the increase in slope from the straights to the 45 degree point of the curve...

I apolgise to anybody if i have not explained the maths well or to anybody else if i have oversimplified or made a mistake.... or just bored anybody to death!

again anybody got an opinion on this... and a big thank you for all those that have replied already...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
QUOTE (Graham Lane @ 9 Jan 2010, 11:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've been watching this thread with utter fascination. What a great idea, and the planning is awesome. I've been wanting to build a Nascar circuit for some time so will be very interested to see how it goes with a full fleet of cars. Great fun, I imagine!

Graham it was great with the two cars I have, trying not to lower your speed to much when you swap to an inner lane to overtake is a real test of nerve... Jumping to the outside for the overtake risks meeting at the chicaine as you exit that lane... and the pit lane game forces any centre lane drivers to change lanes every once in a while at least!

Have had to bow to pressure from "she who must be obeyed" to put some of my excess scalextric bits on ebay to pay for the next two NASCARS.... anything to keep her happy she's lovely...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
QUOTE (Graham Lane @ 9 Jan 2010, 11:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've been wanting to build a Nascar circuit for some time so will be very interested to see how it goes...

Ok Graham here it is... the ultimate project...

If/When I migrate to the loft is to have a board 18ft x6ft for the scalextric.... running around the outside would be a nascar oval and a GT1 Circuit in the middle with a single lane rally stage built into the setup somehow... all designed big enough to run "unmagged" but weighted...

My Inspiration of course is obvious...

My plan from what i have learned already is to use R4 curves (radius 4'6") with an 18" straight between the curves on the short side which would basically give a "half mile oval" and all points would be within a 3 ft width for reach etc etc the banking would need to be 15degrees to give the right "lead up" angle and preferably 3 lanes all the way around with 6 cars..., mmm ok so the secrets out... Until then I am working basically 1/4 scale of the project... with magnets to make it work.

In an ideal world i would also like to link the two circuits to give a variable track possibilities... Hence my request to re-introduce the scalextric analogue pit lane pieces to make that work.... and the twist on the theme i posted elsewhere...

So my big secret is out... but its such an expensive project... Stage 1 buy the expensive track pices and 4 of each car.... Build a smaller version to test the running properties (preferably somewhere warm) hence the Flatlands project... Good way to test my build stamina, practice my scenic skills... and acquire the bits to make the big project seem like less of a financial monster and just enjoy the social side that slot racing in the mean time...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 17:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm too lazy to go into the math even though I find it quite simple
- Ive had the "scale speed" discussion on another thread - it all depends on your point of view.

I've been there to... the passions it raises is too much for me to handle... hence my NASCARS lap at 5.9mph and thats it!

QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 17:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would think the way to are planning to do it would look more realistic anyway. My way of doing things would be - does it look right? YES. Does it drive good? YES. Is anyone going to measure it? Are they hell!

Big believer in if it looks right... it is right....

QUOTE (Bam @ 9 Jan 2010, 17:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can't wait to see it in actio tho! You'll need to get a video up on youtube to show us all how it races.

Seriously in about 2 weeks and the "unscenic" version will be up and running new track clips and joiners in the post already... B&Q is way cheaper for the 3m lengths of timber i want than anywhere else... but My local superstore the wood is stored outside but undercover... with all this snow not only is it too cold to stand there and find the straight bits of wood.... The damp stuff will twist to buggery if its built straight into a layout and dries to quickly! There is a smaller B&Q store a few miles away with wood indoors which i will use when the roads improve a bit...

I promise full build pics... and a video of it running ASAP... this is not a pipe dream!

Thanks for your assistance...

· 42 Yrs
2,230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
QUOTE (ronMcRain @ 6 Jan 2010, 12:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi hank .. Just an idea [again, sorry ..] for the Rally track .. The straight angle crossing is restricting the designs and the meeting roads has to be 90 degrees only. How about making a detachable bridge instead? Dropped in place when racing, removed when folding up the layout. Thus you can make the [now] bridge running at any angle you wish. And perhaps give room for many more possible and interesting layout designs ..

Like that idea... will put it in the melting pot... I got a drift land rover for Xmas so will use that to set the height it needs to be... as by god its tall! just concerned about how steep the approach may be to get the land rover under it....

QUOTE (ronMcRain @ 6 Jan 2010, 12:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Btw. I forgot about access reg. the Nascar track .. Sure, reaching the outmost corners will be impossible, if you can't stand in the middle of it? The GT track looks very nice!

The access from one side only problem is the bain of my life... Sometimes even building the "test" layout is a stretch and I'm not even fixing it down!

Standing in the middle is an option I thought of... and making the board 1ft... 2ft space to stand in then 1ft... Problem 1) the base of the darn sofa bed is in the way and i cant get rid of it as i have to have somehere to sit and play on the XBox... If it wasn't there you could probably only get two people in the middle fine for analogue but not so good for digital 4 car racing... the space constraints on this project have been a nightmare!

Thanks for the thoughts though.. Will report back on the bridge height issue...
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