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Sunday 25 January 2015

Four Tier Slot Car Track

In my efforts to get as long a Scalextric circuit as possible in to my small 2.4m x 1.2m (8' x 4') space I have gone upwards. At one point there are 4 levels of roadway.

The tricky bit is maintaining visibility.  It's no good having a long track if you can't see the cars or recover them when you leave the slots.

The circuit I have put together has as many long straights as I could fit and starts with a hill climb. It's difficult to see this from the 2D plan.

In my opinion the slopes add interest when driving the track.  The circuit is a little over 17m (nearly 52') long including the overhangs. I can accommodate some bits of the track going over the edges in my attic room.  The same track shape can be shortened to squeeze in to only 2.4m x 1.2m with no over hangs but that reduces the length to about 16m (just under 50') long.

The bridge supports are tested to the required, two cat weight.

As detailed in earlier posts, I've added barriers and tyre walls where needed to minimise how far the cars can fly off the track.

As an added nicety I've included curbs for some of the circuit. All the more beneficial curbs are complete and I'll add more of these over time to finish off the edges.

Saturday 24 January 2015

Tyre Walls and Borders

At several points round the semi permanent slot car track I have been putting together, there are custom made edges. These are to level the track with the curb so the car wheels do not fall off when drifting round corners.

Made from 9mm MDF cut to fit the curve of the track with a chamfered edge to drop to the 8mm track height.  For those custom sections, rather than barriers to stop cars straying too far from the track I have fitted tyre walls.

I think these add a bit of extra interest and break up the monotony of having all the same barriers.  There are other scenery items from the same supplier but at the moment I am not after creating a full diorama, but just a nice to look at and practical to race on track.

I have added a sheet of scenic grass matting under the entire track to break up the expanse of MDF.  This is Woodland Scenics Ready Grass matt.  I selected the Spring Grass 50"x100" roll.  That was big enough to cover my 2.4m x 1.2m board in a single piece.

The track and borders sit on top of the grass matt.  Perhaps in a bit of extreme safety consciousness, instead of fitting the tyre walls to the borders using a simple screw sticking up out of the MDF, I have used a loop of plastic.

My thinking is that if I lean across the track to recover a car I am less likely to accidentally put my hand down on something painful.

I hunted the shed for suitable plastic and 3mm diameter strimmer cord fitted the bill perfectly.

Cut to length, bent over and pushed in to two 3.2mm holes drilled close together, about the width of the inside diameter of one of the tyres in the tyre wall.  Two loops per tyre wall.

The result holds the tyres perfectly and is very easy and quick to fit.

Scalextric Barrier Packs

To avoid the cars catapulting off the track and ending up anywhere I like to have barriers round all the corners.

I like the look of the Scalextric barriers with their red and white curb section.  They come in two types.  One type with a border coloured to look like a sand trap are excellent.  Easy to fit and solid.

However I was disappointed with the other type that is just the red and white curb with separate clips.

I found the individual clips very time consuming to fit.  They are fiddly and then after all that the curb section just rests on top of them.  Many popped out as a car passed over it or did not stay flat!

I employed the simplest of solutions.  I super glued the clips to the curb section.

That not only made the curbs stay put but fitting to the track was so much quicker and they appear to hold in place better.

Monday 5 January 2015

Scalextric Track Design

I've spent a little more time playing with the track layout for my new Scalextric than I expected.  I am trying to optimise the maximum track length with long straights that will fit in to my confined 2.4m x 1.2m tray in our attic room.

I looked at a few track design programmes but have stuck with the free SlotMan app.  It's a bit old and has not been updated for a while but at least it works with Windows 8.  That is as long as you run it as an administrator.

SlotMan comes with some of the Scalextric Sport sections but only the basic track shapes are included.  This is enough to design most layouts but I found that it has a built in way to add extra track sections to add a bit more detail.

From the Manage menu select Track Systems...

When that opens tick the expanded view option and you get lots of extra tabs which enable you to edit and add track sections.

I spent a few minutes adding the significant extra section that makes Scalextric Digital different to just Sport.  Namely the lane change section.  I also added the curved cross over section and completed the radius 1 and 2 parallel curve options.

With those two additions I can now show the actual layout that I currently have setup.  Note the lane changers and the racing curve cross over corners.

I have exported the Track System file (.STS) file so if anyone else wants to use it you just need to download the zip file.

Uncompress the contents and import it in to SlotMan.

You should then have Scalextric Digital as a Track System choice for your layouts.  I have not tried to include any of the single lane or pit lane options.  I am not even sure if they would be possible.

I hope what I've added is useful to someone else.  I will now get back to trying to fit more layers of track without obscuring the view of too much of the rest of the track!