Monday, 22 October 2018

Slot Car Racing... Brands and Scales.

I've been thinking about this post for a while.
I know it will sound a little odd as some people understand that there are many different brands of Slot Car, in the UK we have always had Scalextric. That is the way we refer to Slot Car racing, It's Scalextric, since the 1950's it has been the known UK brand and that is what we use, we even refer to Carrera, Carrera Go, Ninco and many cheap makes or Brands as Scalextric. When I say cheap brands I mean the home race sets you find in the Entertainer or other High Street Toy Shops, Even Argos actually has it's own make of Slot Car Track. An we all call them Scalextric.

Just as we all call a Vacuum Cleaner a Hoover. Though a Hoover is actually a Brand Name not the name of the Cleaner.
(I'm not even sure of the spelling of the last bit.)

An now we move on to Scales.
Slot cars unlike trains have a slightly different scale setup, an I know a few of the train enthusiasts would be able to tell me all the difference between HO, O, N, gauge trains I myself don't actually know how these scales work I do though know how the slot car scales work. Like a lot of models they work on a 1/XX scale. So we shall deal with the scale.

Scalextric has two scales. 1/64 and 1/32.
The 1/64 is called micro and it s the tiny cars. This was designed to fir with one of the Hornby train scales. I think it is HO, I could be wrong though. The idea to be able to drive cars around your train layouts.

1/32 is what we see as normal scale.
A lot of companies make 1/32 scale cars and most of these will work on Scalextric track.

Carrera make three scales, 1/43, 1/32 and 1/24.
1/43 is used by several different companies it is a little larger then Scalextric Micro.
SCX in the UK also make 1/43 and several "own brand" slot cars tracks also use a 1/43 scale.
Speaking of SCX if you are in Spain as they are a Spanish company they use the Name Scalextric, and Hornby in Spain us the Name Superslot for the Scalextric cars over there. (There is a story behind this but it's not for this blog)

1/24 scale is generally raced on Wood, though Carrera Evolution track is designed for this scale as well. It is the wider track Carrera use for Both 1/32 and 1/24 cars in the Evolution sets.
Though Carrera 1/24 cars are normally digital and there is a whole new blog for that as well some where in my head.

Ninco, used to make 1/32 and 1/28 but since they stopped and started making slot cars again they are only doing the 1/32 scale at the moment.

Then there are everyone else and to find all the brands of cars in the world would take for ever, so I am hoping this helps with some of the questions I get asked about names and brands in the world of Slot Car racing.

So I hope this helps a bit about why we call everything scalextric when it is really all Slot Car Racing.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Table 6 is retired. Welcome Table 6.

We've been quiet since the rebuild after the flood some 8 months ago.
Been a lot going on in here though. 
As this is the first rebuild week of 2017, thought I should run you through what we have been up to.

We have recoloured all the lanes, no lane has the old colour and no colour has the same series lane as before, but each lane is still equal across all the tables. 

We retired Sao Paulo table 6 after it being with us for 6 years and replaced it with Bakersville, which is a fast flowing table which we expect to see big scores on. (Video will be at the bottom)

An generally cleaned all the tracks up and made sure all the connections are tight ready for the Easter Racing to begin. 

As the Formula 1, BTCC, Formula E and BSB, are all now starting to roll once more it's never been a a better time to come and try your own hand at racing around these replica layouts and finding out about the Hobby of slot car racing. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

C3538 Boss Mustang Vs C2898 Chevrolet Camaro

When I first started working for Electric Tracks (Scalextric Racing) Many many years ago, my favourite car was the Boss Mustang. Scalextrics and Hornby had designed this model car that looked like well a car, big powerful and robust pieces of kit that were easy to mod, simple so change things around in and fairly robust. It was a general mix between the group of which was better the Camaro or the Mustang. I will always say the mustang but then isn't this the debate across the pond generally any way?
I digress. We now come full circle and we have a digital ready Mustang and a Digital Ready Camaro.
Gone are the old blue clip out guide blades and replaced with the digital guide, the chip sitting a little way back as with all cars of this modern digital era. What is the different between the original and the new moulding then?

To be honest not a lot. The Camaro has a fairly standard, magnet in front of the motor set up with no ability to change it's position, acts like most muscle and rear wheel drive cars where if you push it to hard into the corner or accelerate to quickly out it can fish tail or tank slap (depending where you are in the world depends on which reference you would use)
Fairly fast in a straight line, need to break a little early to stop it coasting off through the barriers and to get the front wheels down for the corner. All in all it is a nice car to drive if you know what you are doing and looks fairly good doing it.

The Mustang. Now the mustang carries on with having the variable magnet position and straight out the box it has the magnet mounted directly below the rear axle, giving maximum attraction to the track, as with a lot of the newer (post 2013) cars the thinner magnet and new positioning has increased the grip at the rear no end. The downside the mustang is a long nose car. With all that down force at the back the front is going to ride high and this can cause de-slotting when entering the corners, or in the case we have here using a mechanical lap counter completely missing all together.

With the pre digital set up there was room for a tiny circle magnet to go into the nose of the car, this kept the front end down when the back end was in the air. If you watch the video you can see the Mustang vibrating at the nose as it goes along this is the power in the rear wheels pushing the  nose of the car up into the air as it goes along. Don't get me wrong it is nice that they have finally allowed the Mustang to be able to join the other digital cars on the track but would have been nice if they could have left that front magnet in as well or the option to put one in.

Now you can counter this of course, small weight like a ball of blue-tac in the nose, I wouldn't try and force a magnet in though if you are going to go digital this could cause some issues with the electronics possibly to be honest I do't know. I am not an electronics guy. Just a possibly poorly educated guess. Though you could use a 5g or a 2g wheel weight in the body work of the nose this might be enough to keep it in the slot. Not to heavy though as you don't want to keep dragging the car on when breaking.

The video I am using new editing software and as i am now able to do the videos again I am still learning it they will improve over time once I get the hang of it, though I think this is the best way to do our reviews, video and words. Also New track Austin Texas, I finished building it and went straight out to do this video as soon as it was completed.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Scalextric Audi Sport Quatro

So Scalextric have decided some of the greatest rally cars from the 80's, the RS200, 6R4, Audi Quattro.

I have done video reviews for both the 6R4 & RS200. But as I haven't got my camera to hand and it's been really busy of late, I decided to do this one by typing. I have just spent the last 8 minutes running the car through its paces.

The model its self is really good, the detailing design and even the paint job are superb, looks really good going round the track. Can not grumble about the model at all, or its performance. 

Technical spec:
Normal motor on a side winder mount, same as most cars, making the back end heavier than the front end, fairly normal layout there, but the magnet position is under the rear axle allowing for increased grip on the rear, this is handy though it makes the front end a little light and it can deslot as the front lifts from being tilted upwards with that much down force on the back end. This is not a bad thing, as you can counter it by breaking to get the nose down, but with a solid front axle do you want to get the nose down quickly through a corner?

I haven't taken the car to bits yet, as I don't really like the under-pan, it is formed in such a strange way I am unsure if it is screwed in and clipped in or just screwed and the body fits lose. I am unsure as I sit here with the screwdriver as it feels really tight fitting to the body and really I only need to adjust it if the guide breaks, motor packs up or the wires snap. 

Rear tires are slightly rounded which I find annoying as they are not putting down 100% of the rubber on the track and I am also going to hazard a guess they are using the sports plus compound for the tires themselves as they are really hard to sand flat, this linked with the fact they are so thin and tightly wrapped to the wheel itself. Also with the lowered magnet position now sitting flush to the gear edge any reduction in the tire depth could result in the car grounding out on the track itself.

It's a nice car though, possibly needs a couple of grams added to the front end to keep the nose down, and set some reasonable times on Donington Layout. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Technical Glitch

I was going to spend today catching up on filming to show you all these new cars racing around.
I've lost the charger cable for the video camera though, and as the camera hasn't been used for several months all the batteries are dead.

Friday, 31 May 2013

MP4-12C GT3 Review

 I reviewed this a few years back, video is on our you tube channel. I wasn't impressed with the road version, slipped and sliding all over the place, rattling magnet and generally to slow and not what I would expect from a super car of this calibre at all.
Now it looks the same, its is a MP4-12C GT3, I was expecting the same bad traction sliding about slow uncontrollable model I had attempted to use before.
On closer inspection though you will notice several changes to the model. For one the spoiler, an yes even at this scale it can make a difference, the clicking magnet issue is still there I still think it is to low to the track and any rails sticking up will scar the underside, but it now holds the track a lot better. Is this the spoiler?
I'm not sure if it is faster but as I still have both models available to me when I do the next video I shall be comparing them. 

At this moment in time I think this is a better model than the road version, I like the colouring but any car in the gulf colours always looks good to me. Just something about that blue.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lotus Evora C3387

No video yet for this model, am working on it.I have had time to take it for a run though.
Put through its paces on table 8. Anderstorp.
It appears to have very little grip and likes to push out on the back end resulting in de-slotting especially though inner radius 3 corners. I thought this might be a magnet issue so cracked it open to discover it has the thinner of the magnets inside. Though there is a second magnet bay behind the motor for you to move this magnet to. Attempting to do this I had a hell of a job removing the magnet, being a thin magnet I was more worried about snapping the magnet than the car, so was being careful and I still managed to crack the underpan along the magnet bay. It would appear the plastic here is very thin, and while the make up of the whole underpan is very rigid compared to a lot of the cars out there this point is rather flimsy and brittle.
I got he magnet out though without to much damage. Removed the motor and the back axle in order to get at  the slot, and the rear light PCB came away with out any force as it had not been glued into place.
Had to use a bit of brute force to get the magnet back in though.
Car rebuilt and back on the track, it increased its speed due to the increased down force of the rear axle from the thin magnet in place, but still likes to slide out on the radius 3 corners. 
So is this how the car is going to be? Wider corners causing the back end to slide out and the car to roll over?
With this all in mind as I set up to do my Video review in the coming days and how I like to run my cars as the came out of the box I shall be putting the magnet back, placing it on the shelf and waiting for the camera man to arrive. I will be doing 2 videos with this car, one showing the magnet in its original place and one with it at the back. I'll also add them under here with more thoughts once I have them done. 

Out the box thoughts.
Nice looking car, like the black like decals and design.

Plastic feels a lot stiffer than what I have seen before.

All the weights to the rear of the car.

Pretty quick in a straight line.