Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SCX Slot Spot-new website announcement

So the hardest working man in the slot-journalism community, Guido Kruschke from Germany, has a great looking new website devoted to SCX:




Take a look at SCXSlotSpot.de when you get the chance, it's available for download now.

DaveK

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New F1 Honda Livery


The Honda Racing F1 Team today announced a major new initiative for the 2007 Formula 1 season. To help raise awareness of the environmental issues facing the planet, the RA107 F1 car will simply feature a huge image of earth, in place of the advertising and sponsor logos which have featured and dominated all other F1 cars for decades.

The car’s new look is a powerful call to action for fans, sponsors, customers and members of the public to join Honda’s commitment to help address the environmental issues facing the world.

Via the websitewww.myearthdream.com, anyone who wishes, will have the opportunity to have their name on the car, make a pledge to make a lifestyle change to improve the environment and make a donation to an environmental charity. Under the concept of “our car is your car”, each name will form a tiny individual pixel which will help build the image of planet earth on the car. Each name will be visible on the website when you make the pledge or under a microscope on the car.

News and photo used with permission HondaRacingF1.com, no reuse without their permission.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Carrera 1/24 Rod comparisons


Carrera 1/24 Rods compare favorably with Monogram 1/24 rods, with scale overall proportions. Above, the blue Carrera '34 is posed beside a red Monogram '34 Ford.

The '41 Rod is wider than the Monogram '39 Ford, but these rods, in real life, can be widened to accept modern platforms and running gear. I think the Carrera '41 is a Buick.


The Blue '34 has some mighty big rear tires! In hot rod jargon, the red '34 Ford is a "highboy", while the blue '34 is channeled (body lowered over the chassis). Both are classic hot rod styles.


Carrera chose a chopped top for the flamed '41 Rod, while the Monogram '39 Chevy has a stock height body and roof, as typified "jalopy" stock car racers of the 1950's and early 1960's. Carrera adheres to scale wheelbase for both '41 and '34 Rods.


Massive rear tires create the look and style for the Carrera '34 Rod. Parked right behind is a 1/24 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, posed here to show relative tire sizes. The Land Cruiser wears off-road, 31" diameter tires, dwarfed by the 34" diameter rubber on the '34. Rims on the Rod scale to 21"; try buying those at the bling rim and tire store.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Scalex F1 twinset

More great photos from Guido in Germany...this time it's the new Scalextric F1 set.






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Saturday, February 24, 2007

SCX Audi and SEAT (SCX livery)

Guido has sent some great photos of new SCX liveries.
A DTM Red Bull Audi.




And the SEAT Leon SCX livery.



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Friday, February 23, 2007

Latest Scalex releases

Maserati MC12
Reference No: C2784 Class:GT

History:
The Maserati MC12 is a two-seater long-tail coupe-spider with a long wheel base (2800 mm). It has a typical racing/sporty set-up with a removable hard top. It is also powered by a naturally aspirated 12-cylinder 65° V engine that displaces 5998 cc and punches out 465 kW (630hp) at 7500 rpm. Highly advanced composites and alloys have enhanced its structural rigidity and kept its overall weight down. The MC12's bodywork is entirely carbon fibre, while its stress-bearing chassis is made from a carbon fibre and Nomex honeycomb sandwich. The Scalextric MC12 is modeled on the Maserati that was released towards the end of the 2004 FIA GT season.

The Scalextric car

Produced by Scalextric as a rear mounted, in-line, rear wheel drive chassis.
Fitted with lights front and rear. Ideal to race against all of the GT cars. This car has excellent road handling characteristics due to the separate engine mounting sub-frame.

Features:

Sub-frame engine mounting design for better road holding. Adjustable magnatraction positions, Front (Neon) & Rear lights. Quick-change braid plate. Self-centering guide blade.

Dimensions & Configuration:

Car: Overall length 163 mm, Wheelbase 87 mm, Weight 91 gm
Rear: Axle width 65 mm, Tyre diameter 22 mm, Width 11 mm
Front: Axle width 63 mm, Tyre diameter 22 mm, Width 11 mm
Magnet: Rectangular Stepped, Gear ratio 9:27

Motor: In-line, Rear Mounted 2 wheel drive Mabuchi S-18k rpm




Peugeot 307 Reference No: C2788
Class:Rally

History:

The Peugeot 307 WRC was designed to replace the triple title winning 206 WRC for the 2004 season. The car features new engine, suspension and gear box with power of around 300bhp at an engine speed of 5250rpm. Despite early teething problems the 307 achieved its first victory with Marcus Gronholm driving car no.5 in Finland. Peugeot went on to claim 4th place in the 2004 Manufacturer’s Championship. The version modelled is the Peugeot 307 Pirelli sponsored yellow livery No.25 car driven by Italian Gigi Galli.

The Scalextric car:

Exclusively produced by Scalextric as a front mounted sidewinder motor, four-wheel drive chassis.Fitted with lights front and rear. Ideal to race against all of the Rally cars. This car has excellent road handling characteristics.

Advantages:
Superior detail in the crispness of the body lines and of the livery decoration. The front mounted motor provides weight over the guide blade thereby helping the blade to stay in the slot. This makes the car very satisfying to rally drive through corners as the back of the car can slide out but the car will not easily de-slot. The front driven wheels are always pulling the rear wheels back in to line from a skid. The 4-wheel drive rubber belt provides quiet and smooth power, a far more pleasing option than other designs.

Features:

Front mounted, sidewinder motor driving front axle with drive belt driving rear axle. 4-wheel drive - Sprung guide blade - Adjustable magnatraction positions - Front & Rear lights - Quick change braid plate.

Dimensions & Configuration:

Car: Overall length 136 mm, Wheelbase 82 mm, Weight 77 gm
Rear: Axle width 56 mm, Tyre diameter 21 mm, Width 8 mm
Front: Axle width 56 mm, Tyre diameter 21 mm, Width 8 mm
Magnet: Rectangular 2.5 mm, Gear ratio 11:36

Motor: Sidewinder, Front Mounted 4 wheel drive Mabuchi S-18k rpm


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Jel Claws tires

Jel Claws are soft tires which provide a wide variety of shapes and sizes for many cars. The tires are nicely molded, very true, and grip well on many surfaces. We have found they stick better and better the more you run them, as the tires seem to soften as they heat up, due to sliding friction. For certain cars, they may be superior to other brands. Experimentation will show which tires work optimally on which cars.

Jel Claws for "Aston Martin DBR1" are a good fit on Scalextric Classic F1 wheels, providing the correct size, and better traction than the original tires. These Jel Claws are a valuable addition to the range of tire options for vintage slot car racers.

Jel Claws for "Early Revell" scale a huge 31" in diameter, which explains the perplexed look on face of the vintage Revell driver. Actual Revell tires are on the front, and Ortmann repro Monogram on the rear; these are the correct sizes for this car. These Jel Claws fit center-rib wheels, not found on early Revell slot cars, which used a drop-center rim.

Jel Claws "Ninco Classics" (on the right), softer than Ninco tires (on the left), and a slightly lower side wall. A great fit on the Ninco Classics rim.


A rebuilt Scalextric Ferrari 330 P4 with scale sized Slot.It 15x8mm wheels on the rear, MMK on the front. Jel Claws tires for "Fly GT40 and Ferrari 365" fit perfectly, just a little tighter than the MRRC Chaparral tires shown in the picture below. Note the realistic curve to the sidewall. On the front, Jel Claws for Ninco Classics on the MMK narrow rims. Again, note the rounded sidewall.

Jel Claws for "MRRC Chaparral, Cobra, Slot.It & BWA Wheels" do indeed fit Slot.It 15x8mm rims, a standard size for late 1960's through current-era race cars. Here a tire mechanic smiles on the good fit of these Jel Claws mounted on a Slot.It Sauber Mercedes rim.

Jel Claws tires can be sanded for perfect trueness and optimal profile, with light pressure and a medium grit paper.

Jel Claws are currently available from the e-bay store, at
this link.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

SuperTires quick look


Nick from SuperTires was gracious enough to send SCNews a few sets of his fine silicone tires. These tires are very familiar to many slotters in the US but maybe not to some around the world.

From the SuperTires website:

"Tear up the competition not your tires"
-Aerospace state of the art material.
-Made in the U.S.A.
-10 times the tear factor of other rear racing tires.
-Different profiles allow for minimum air gap under the car chassis, for maximum performance in turns.
-Different sizes, colors, and compounds designed to fit your cars needs.
-Satisfaction Guaranteed..

A number of questions have come up recently on the various message boards about which type of SuperTires fit the new SCX Nascars. The #1008 seem to have just about the perfect combination of sidewall height and tread width. In testing these tires slipped on well and really improved the performance over stock tires on our various wood tracks (painted with flat latex paint).


Compaired with the stock tires that come on the Slot It Lancia "Malardeaux", the larger diameter #1404 fill out the wheel well better than the lower profile tires. This car should have very large diameter wheels on the back, so putting large diameter tires somehow feels appropriate...even if it's not technically correct.

The tires are just a bit narrower than the stock tires but because of that allow much easier access to the set screw on the wheel.

To get the best from these tires you need a clean track...a really clean track. In extensive testing they work best after the track has been wiped down and then for the first laps around the track use the adhesive side of a mailing label to clean the tires.

Until very recently I've used Ortmann tires exclusively on almost every car I have. These tires, for many applications are superior. They have more predictable break-away characteristics and are as round as you'd want any tire to be ever! They're so concentric in fact, you might find out that those metal wheels you thought were round are now just a bit more wobbly than you might want to believe.

At this link you can find where they're distributed.


DaveK

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spirit S3X Motor


Here is what the Spirit website says about the new S3X long can motor which is in their newest cars:

"REF.00104 MOTOR SPIRIT S 3X Faster. Better Braking.
Stronger magnet effect
Specifications: 24.000RPM. / 12v
13,10 g.-cm magnetic force"

Ok, what does this mean? I assume the 13,10 "g.-cm" is an error, and they meant to say the motor produces 13.1 grams of magnetic downforce when placed at Spirit chassis height over Scalextric or other rails. This does not appear to be a torque rating, which would be in units of g-cm (a European decimal point is a comma, and a comma is a decimal point, in English). Several tests of other maker's long can motors with a Magnet Marshal show downforce readings of about 13 grams.

So that leaves us with the claim of 24k at 12 volts for the RPM rating.

Slot Car News tested two sample S3X motors; one had the colorful wrapper proclaiming "S3X", while the other is in the photo above; plain metal finish with a white label, reading "FK-180" and "D/V 15.0", among other things. My hunch was the motor was rated 24k at 15 volts, not 12v as claimed.

Under the light of the tachometer, both motors spun up at 12 volts, no load, to nearly the same RPM: 19,725 RPM for one, and 19,814 RPM for the other. I adjusted the voltage upward to 15 for the faster motor, and measured 26,163 RPM.

By extrapolating the numbers, 19.8k RPM (15v/12v)=24.8k RPM estimated at 15 volts; right on the claimed rating for RPM, but at 15 volts. This agrees with both the label on the motor and approximate performance of the motor.

Therefore, the Spirit S3X is correctly represented as a 24k (up to 26k) motor at 15 volts, and correctly rated at some 19.8k at 12 volts. The torque is unknown. The label on the motor is correct; the info on the Spirit website is incorrect.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Diecast slot car


This is an experiment to see how a diecast body would work as a slot car. I used a Porsche 550A Spyder by Maisto, 1/32 scale, installed on an existing chassis. The chassis formerly had a plastic Porsche 356 coupe body, built to compete with Ninco Classics. Performance was competitive as a coupe; lap times were in the range of 6.1 to 6.4 sec.

After the conversion to Spyder, best lap time rose to 6.511, which is understandable, as the overall car weight went from about 88 grams to 140 grams. The die cast body weighs 74 grams, and the plastic body it replaced weighs 22 grams. Chassis is ~65 grams without a body.

The motor is an old Revell SP-500, the first of the FT-16 type slot car motors, from 1964. It is a mild motor, about the same power as an NC-1. Gears are 4:1, unchanged for this experiment. Tires are EJ's rubber, about like Ninco Classic rubber.

The car is a bit slower, but it handles better. Sudden tip-outs plagued this car as a plastic body coupe, but as a metal body spyder, it is more stable. Brakes seem to be the same; maybe a little softer, but not bad. In fact, I think I'll leave it with the 550A Spyder body.

I had been using this diecast Porsche's front wheels and tires all along, thus the good fit. Rears were turned into inserts, and placed inside Revell aluminum wheels from the days of old.

Excellent results from this experiment. The drivability of the car is not compromised; the brakes remain good, the acceleration is slower, the cornering is more stable, and the lap times are about 94% as fast.

Highly recommended!

Robert Livingston, Technical Editor

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Monday, February 19, 2007

SCX news for February

A spec sheet for the new SEAT Leon SCX livery.



Some new liveries for February that will be available very soon.


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

More RAA GT car videos

The guys posted more videos so I thought I'd post them here too. These are slowest to fastest qualifying.




Mike and Wayne did a great job with these videos.

Dave

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Race Across America Proxy Race-1st stop



A video posted by Smokeio of a few laps with some of the RAA cars on their first stop in what is a very loooonnnnnnnggg racing season.

DaveK

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

NY Toyfair round up

So the show is over... here's what left in the notebook.

Arii
is not going to make 1/32 models anymore, which stinks since there's some really nice models of hard to find cars that they made.

In a conversation with Scalextric I learned they're constantly working on the tire compound they produce. So the rumors may be correct about improved grip from the new vintage F1's. The Scalextric Porsche RS Spyder will hit stores in late summer.

Some thoughts on the Carrera 1/32 Porsche RS Spyder that I wasn't allowed to photograph. It seems to be a well done model and it should hit stores in March/April, so we don't have long to wait. The contours of the RS look well done, but maybe lacking some of the sharp quality in the lines of the real car. The interior is a half pan and has a really finely detailed dash.

SCX seems to be heading in the right direction with constantly improving their designs. With each year's cars they are changing what they do, last year they put rattling/pivoting motor pods in their cars. This year they'll release serious racers with the Pro line of cars. The car looks like it's fast and looks like it's got all the potential of any of Slot It's cars.

I got to try SCX's digital system at the show and so did a friend of mine. Gene Molzon, owner of Slot Car Place got to race a bit with me and Marc Solano of SCX. We were both impressed with the set and the ease of use. Within a few laps you got the hang of how to pass and it was really great. The functions of the set are well thought out and SCX has really made a nice selection of track (including banked turns) and with over 24 cars now available for use on their digital tracks, this is a set that you should consider if you're thinking about going digital.

On a related note, the guys that were there from SCX (Chuck and Marc) were very interested in talking with Gene and I about a range of topics, I know I'm safe in speaking for Gene in saying that we both appreciated that.

Every slot company at the show is very focused on Nascar and the North American market now. One exec. admitted that in the past the North American market was and after thought, but no longer. It's clear that the US/Canada is high on the list of priorities for most companies. Frankly it would be stupid to do so. But what is lacking, especially in one company, is an understanding of what will sell (ie what liveries they should make). The drivers HAVE TO BE POPULAR to sell here. Because as I stressed to one exec., it's the drivers that people follow, it's not as much about the brand of car. So unfortunately the rumors are that a Dale Jr. slot car would cost tens of thousands of dollars because the license. And since his major sponsor is Bud, there won't be a car because they don't do alcohol liveries... that's what I was told, don't shoot the messenger.

DaveK
Publisher, Slot Car News

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