Sunday, 30 March 2014

Achtung Spitfire! (Part 2)

A couple of years ago, I blogged about my old Spitfire (above) and detailed the build of an Airfix Supermarine Spitfire to fly over the track.  Having still not found a model of the Triumph Spitfire MkIV, I concluded that the MkII was the closest I'd get, and my mother bought me the kit from Pendle for Christmas.

What's particularly nice about the kit is that the windscreen and bumpers come as separate chromed pieces to attach after painting the body.  I supplemented this with some more realistic headlights and swapped the driver's head for one without a helmet.

I primed the body in grey and then cut a card insert to fit over the interior before spraying in as close a yellow I could find to the Mimosa Yellow of my Spitfire.  I then painted up the driver, the lights and picked out the chrome bits with silver.  A lovely little car that drives very well.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Alfred Neubauer

Alfred Neubauer was the racing manager of the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team from 1926 to 1955, famous for his tactical skill and effective pit management.  He must have cut quite a figure on the circuits.

A model of Neubauer has recently been manufactured by the cutely-named Immense Miniatures.  It is nice to have real characters on the circuit and a refreshing change from figures who are average height, average weight and white (although I have already ensured that my figures are a bit more ethnically diverse).

I spotted a painted version of the model at the Swindon Swapmeet back in January.  I liked the figure but the paintjob wasn't perfect, and after dithering about for a while, found that it had been sold when I went back to buy it.  When we got home, Andy then revealed that he had bought it for me - which was rather sneaky but very kind too.  I finally got round to re-painting the figure this weekend.

And here he is on the track...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Down the hatch

After a number of years clambering up and down a shaky old aluminium ladder, I decided to treat the loft to a new enlarged hatch and folding ladder constructed from larch.
The new ladder is rock solid with wider and deeper treads, so much safer as slot car racers approach their advancing years.  The hatch is now much bigger at 700x1100mm but is pretty discrete once painted up.

Inside the loft I installed another handle to match the first one, which by a happy coincidence is the same colour as the rails on the ladder.

Wish I'd done this years ago...

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Crash Compilation

Couple of racing sessions this week with Andy on Monday and Stuart today.

You expect problems with the 360 degree turning Nissan 350Zs - head-on collisions at cross-overs and where the road narrows for the hairpins are almost inevitable.

Even gentleman racers in 1930s vintage cars can cause trouble for photographers who don't move quick enough...

But driving into paramedics already trying to calm down the traffic just isn't cricket.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl!

The first car I acquired when I started building the loft layout was a Aston Martin given to members of the Scalextric Club.  It was the subject of my first blog.  Since then the wallpaper on the laptop that controls the racing has featured that car in the background.

In the foreground is a Lola Aston Martin built for racing at Le Mans, where it came 4th in 2009.

I finally picked one up from eBay and they make a nice pair of racers in their matching Gulf livery.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess

Carrera, the German equivalent of Scalextric, was founded in 1963 and so celebrated 50 years of slot car production last year.  They had a couple of commemorative products but the one that caught my eye was a collaboration with Yello, the Swiss electronic band, who would be my single choice of music on my desert island.  I've had this car on pre-order since July and it finally arrived last week (51 years after the founding of Carrera...).

The car is a Shelby Cobra 289, appropriately enough a 1963 model.  The pre-production model had high detail models of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank and "Yello" in a gold script.

The production car has Dieter holding a spanner rather than a microphone stand, "Yello" in red script, and the gorilla image from the cover of 1983's "You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess" only on the flanks not the bonnet.  But still a really unusual car celebrating my favourite hobby and favourite band!

The tyre labelling "Bostich" refers to their first big hit.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Swindon Swapmeet 2014

Andy and I went along to Swindon Oasis last weekend for the annual Scalextic Swapmeet.

It's at least the fifth time we've been but this was the first time we've been stall holders.  We paid to share a table where we attempted to thin out our car collections and raise a bit of cash.  It was a good day as lots of people want to have a chat about your cars, and fortunately some of them want to buy them too.  I still came home with most of what I took along but I sold enough to make the day extremely worthwhile, and I learned a lot from Andy, the master salesman, who pretty much cleared his stock.  Keen to do this again next year.

I didn't spend much - a couple of chassis for future projects, a Maserati for spares, and a couple of Nissan 350Z cars with 360 degree drift guides.  They were only £3 each and I soon discovered why - they didn't work.  But it was only that the diodes had blown in the circuit rectifiers (which allow you to place the car in any direction and it always drives forwards) so I just bypassed them, and all was fine (although now you have to ensure the guide is the right way round before racing).  The 350Zs can swing around at corners and drive away in the opposite direction, clearly useless for racing laps but a lot of fun just to mess around with.  I also bought another Chase Cars bodyshell as a future project - watch this space.

Stuart visited today for another boys' day of racing and FIFA.  The racing was very close and "assertive" - as summed up well by this photo of the finish line: