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Ben might be one of the figures passed out beneath the grandstand!
Part of the reason I've been spending time down the basement is that I cracked a few ribs a week before Thanksgiving day and didn't feel up to being in the garage. I'm just about fully recuperated now but managed to progress a bit further on the track while healing. That 1/32 wrecker does look like it's sized pretty close. I really wanted some form of trackside support vehicles somewhere so I'm glad it looks OK. There was a sale at the local Dollar Store on 1/32 scale semi truck car haulers. They're plastic instead of diecast but for $6.25 each I couldn't pass them up. It makes it a little easier to park more cars on my table space. The other two wireless controllers arrived along with more of those driver's displays. Now we can run six human drivers, one ghost (computer controlled) car, and a pace car simultaneously. If I can someday find another bargain on two more wireless controllers I'll eliminate everybody's need to be tethered to the track. I've got more to post but suddenly FABO's site has gotten wonky and won't let me upload more pics. I'll try to add another post.
The drver's displays are pretty neat when racing. I'm still struggling to figure out how to utilize all of the options but using these displays to show fuel level works great! The tach option is just eye candy because you'd never be able to monitor it while driving. The sight of six of these displays together is cool. - Maybe even better when the lights are dimmed in the room. I've spaced them in pairs so that there will be room for seating. The printed billboards that I was using for the pit area before didn't seem to me to really resemble a pit area so I used my printer again to re-make the background. You've probably noticed that I've pictured the classic NASCAR cars on the track. That's because I did manage to modify them with digital chips to run on the new track. Some of them were easy to do but most needed to have a drill and X-acto knife persuasion. The glue gun has been really handy adhering the new chips to the various different chassies. The new chips can be modded into almost any brand of slot car so they'll be compatible with this track. Although I haven't gotten a better camera yet, I was able to re-take some photos with the flash turned off to get a clearer image of the layout with the room lights off. They're not the best pics but hopefully they'll better show the way some of the animated signs change. Whenever I tackle a new project I end up doing a lot of research online to figure things out. As such, I've been visiting slot car sites. During my research I came across a discussion about attempts to add realistic sounds to slot car racing. Their general train of thought was to add recorded sounds at various positions around their layouts that would be triggered when a car passed by. I wasn't able to chime in with an idea I have because the site didn't allow me to join but I'll share it with you. I'm thinking of using micro sized MP3 players/speakers mounted inside of each car. That way the sound will travel with each vehicle the way it should. I've also considered using some form of micro sized bluetooth speaker inside of each that would duplicate the sound from a single source to every car and still allow the engine sounds to travel. Some of these micro sized speakers and MP3 players can be purchased for a few dollars each so the cost doesn't seem to be too bad. - Not sure if it'll work but I think I might give it a try.
- Still plugging away on the racetrack. I installed another 60 lights today. I'm expecting five more cars to show up this week that I purchased online along with more digital chips for conversions. The earlier NASCAR cars are the ones I've been most trying to get. These are the additions that are coming: Painting the little people is a boring task but I ordered another 100 unpainted figures. They're coming from Hong Kong so it'll be awhile 'til they arrive. I need to get creative on modifying them so they don't look like clones of the ones on the layout now.
The herd is still growing. Those five cars that I said were on their way did show up and I immediately set myself to the digital chip modding. Within a few hours I had them up and running on the new layout. The sight of a few of these early cars on the track is nice but seeing something closer to s full field of them makes it seem much more realistic. Most of my projects are never ending but I feel that I'm close to completion of this one. I did manage to buy four more cars that might be here by the end of the week. I doubt I'll be looking for any more (at least for awhile). One of the four cars is the #99 Charlie Glotzbach Daytona. The second one is this #7 Ramo Stott Superbird. The third is the #22 Bobby Allison Daytona. The fourth is another #55 Tiny Lund Daytona. I know that I've already got one but I got a good price on it and plan to do a re-paint on it. My plan is to paint this last car in the theme of Sal Trovella's Daytona. I think it's a really good looking car. Hopefully I'll be able to do it justice with my re-paint. Carrera had made a version of this car years ago but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere. I found a source for reproduction decals so I think it should be a breeze to modify. That website with the decals has a huge variety to choose from. For anyone looking for reproduction modeling decals, - you may want to check them out. Decals
This picture is of Sal Trovella's Superbird. I found the picture online and included it because I was in the process of making one for myself. Sal had campaigned Superbirds and Daytonas and I found a source for 1/32 scale decals of his Daytona. I finally finished it yesterday. (except for a clearcoat) I managed to get a good buy on another blue #55 Tiny Lund Daytona that I decided to convert. The decals I used look really good but they scratch easily so I'm sure I'll need a protective coating on the car. This is what I started with. It's an analog car so I'll have to re-chip it asap. This is how it looks now. It's still sporting a blue interior so I'll probably change that but you don't really notice it unless you're using a camera flash. One other thing I got done was that I finally have six matching chairs for the track. Two of the old ones I had were too short for comfort if you wanted a good view of the layout. I needed a pair for the garage so those won't go to waste.
I made a trip to Kansas last week to pick up more stuff for the track. I know, I know, - I didn't really need it but it was such a bargain I couldn't pass it up. Now I've got an additional 10 cars besides all the extra track stuff. I am using all wireless controllers now and have added a third pit lane that I've modified so only the pace car can use it. - I also modified the pace car so it won't park in the pit lanes for the other cars.
This might sound crazy but I've totally revamped my track. It wasn't a bad layout before but it did have some issues that kept it from being as much fun as I wanted. The analog 'dirt track oval' that I constructed in the infield never really got used once the digital road course was functioning around it. For the most part it was just wasted space. Over the Christmas holiday Teresa's grandkids were here and it was frustrating seeing the cars constantly flying off the track (and having to place them back on). Power distribution was uneven because the track pieces don't always have perfect conductivity between them. There was a tendency for the cars to run slower when they were furthest away from the power terminals. Even though I could adjust the maximum speed for each car with this digital setup it was difficult to get it dialed in with that uneven voltage going on across the course. I added a bunch of wire taps from the power terminals to various locations to even out the voltage. That helped a bunch. Then I masked off the rails and fogged on some black gutter spray sealant to aid with track adhesion. Now the cars are able to take the corners at higher speeds without flying off. I removed the dirt track from the infield and changed the digital layout to take advantage of that space. It's much longer now and a lot more fun to drive. Here are a bunch of photos of the new layout:
I bought a bunch of 1/32 scale resin bodies for future car building. The Barracuda is actually a '69 but I'll try to make it resemble my '67 fastback.
Back in the early '70s a buddy of mine campaigned a Mustang with huge success on Nebraska dirt tracks. He was winning pretty consistently and decided to attach a sprint car wing on top of his car as a joke. Within a few weeks a lot of the other racers copied him thinking it might have given him an advantage. I decided to build a tribute car (without the wing) for the race track.
Very nice work John.
Your attention to detail is extraordinary!!
I feel lazy, watching all this work you do! It looks amazing.
Thanks guys. Compared to the folks that do super realistic scenery on their railroad & racetrack layouts, this is just so-so. Still, it is a lot of fun to tinker with. I've gotten lucky with buying used stuff off of Craigslist so I could keep costs reasonable. Now that I think I've got a setup that I won't be changing for awhile I can concentrate on building some more cars. I'd like to make a bunch more reproductions of cars from various movies such as 2-Lane Blacktop (55 Chevy), Crazy Larry Dirty Mary (Charger), Bullit ('68 Charger/'68 Mustang), and others. I also want to make a few more of some of our local racers from the past. One of the circle track trends around here is the growth of the modified classes. I found a website that sells paper 1/32 scale modified bodies. They're awful pricey though. They want about $20 bucks for one. -AND IT'S PAPER!!! Seems nuts to me but they look cool. I think I can design my own and build a few for almost free. Here are some of the images I found online of some paper modifieds: Once I get a template figured out it should be simple do design various paint schemes. Then I should be able to print a body on heavy card stock whenever I want.
It looks cool. Love those modifieds! Very popular division in New England.
I agree with your assessment of how these look. - And with as many friends that I have around here racing modifieds, it seems like the least expensive way to reproduce local cars. If it works out I won't have to mess with paint or decals. I'll be able to let my printer take care of the hard work.
OK, I think I've figured out why they charge $20 bucks for those paper modified bodies. They're a real pain in the butt to make. I still am not satisfied with what I've come up with but it's still in it's experimental stage. I found a chassis with the right wheelbase but I had to cut it down quite a bit. I played around with body dimensions before figuring out what would work best. This is one of our local racers. I was using his car as a model to copy. Crude, but the first attempt made it on the track. Hopefully a better made, more detailed version will be soon to follow.
Great first effort!
That's really cool. I love the look of those.
Thanks 69_340_GTS. I've been trying to do a rush job on this track stuff so I focused more on getting a prototype done than I did on getting all the details right. I wasn't sure how well a paper body would stand up to driving around the course, - I didn't know if I could get a decent looking scratch built body to start with. The main thing I was after was to prove to myself that this was a viable endeavor. I did go to the trouble of working with the graphics a bit so I could find out if the MS Paint program was going to be good enough for later builds. So far I'm fairly pleased. I believe that adding a driver's head, roll cage, nerf bars, and a 3D air cleaner will help a lot with final results. I left off a lot of the graphics that are on the real car and the rest of the rear spoiler. I'm certain they would have been a plus too.
Thanks fyssh. There are so many forms of motorsports that I have gotten to like over the years. I can think of nothing more enjoyable than the thought of creating tributes of a bunch of local cars and then inviting those guys over. The reactions could be priceless!
They will be amazed, for sure. The paper lays out in the same manner the real sheet metal does!
One of my original concerns was that the bodies would be too flimsy and prone to damage. So far it doesn't seem to be a problem. I guess any damage they might receive is likely to be more realistic than the cars with hard plastic shells. Most of the modifieds I've watched around here tend to look like popcorn balls by the end of the season. These classes such as the late models & the modifieds all run slab sided aluminum panels and would be easy to duplicate in a scratch built slot car. The exact size of each car isn't the same as every other one on the track because of the way they're made. That gives me a lot of leeway when it comes to making bodies to fit various chassis and less concern about dimensions being off.
Another track additions.
I added more details to the concession trailer. My camera doesn't take photos well in low light.