Monday, June 26, 2006

Sloter Lola's-get a closer look!

Sloter just sent these photos to us here at SCN so I thought, since they are such nice shots, I'd post them again, larger files too!

Nicely detailed cars, and the contours look well done.

A week from now these Lola's will be for sale.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chaparral anyone?

Durable, affordable, and realistic (and most importantly cool) Resilient Resins has a great new body in the works. A Chaparral 2E in 1/32 scale will be coming out soon. For information about this or any of the many bodies that Resilient Resins makes contact Doug Haynes at

Thanks to Resilient Resins for the news.

New Slot.It V12-3 motor series!

This is the first in new family of motors that will replace some of the current motors.

Image used reposted from

It is the first of a new generation of motor, which improves upon its predecessors' magnets, balancing, bushing and cooling. The first member is a 21500 RPM motor, with torque, and a max power 0f 9.6W. The endbell is orange and carries the logo.

This motor will be standard on the cars in the future. For the time being, all the V12/2 motors will be produced. Pricing will remain the same as the other V12/2 motors, part numbers:

SIMN06 - case inline
SIMX06 - universal no pinion
SIMS06 - endbell inline
SIMF06 - endbell sidewinder

Images and description used with permission of Slot.It.

Editor's note:
This motor appears to mark an important shift in the current line of motors. If you have a short track or just like slower motors it seems that Slot.It is going in the "less (RPM) is more" direction, and I applaud that. At least the slotter is getting more choices in quality motors, and that's never a bad thing. Especially with the high quality Slot.It is known for.
With the absence of the now out of production NC1 Ninco will Slot.It produce a similar motor? Time will tell.

In the near future the Clarion Nissan R390 GT1 will be released with a "chassis surprise", will the Clarion be the first car with the new "standard" 21k? Is this the surprise in the chassis?


Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Sloter Cars!

Fresh from our friends at pix of the new Sloter Lola's, the yellow T280 which raced at Sebring in 1972:

And the blue Lola T290 that raced at Vallelunga also in 1972:

And again thanks for permission to repost the images!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Links about Slot Car Motor Performance

Here are three links which describe the workings of the motors we use. Highly recommended by our technical staff!
Pictorial review of many slot car motors, with RPM ratings at three voltages.
No explanation of how RPM was derived; seems to be a mix of test results and manufacturer's claims.
In Dutch, but the statistics can be figured out.
Interesting, wide ranging discussion of theory and practice of small permanent magnet DC motors. Emphasis on HO locomotives, but relevant to slot car motors. Easy to lose you place in this sprawling site.
How to measure stall-torque using mechanical methods, in the lab at MIT. Clear description of how a motor's Power rating is simply derived from stall torque and no-load RPM. Pretend you are an MIT student!

Links anyone?

Guys, if you have slot car or racing related links you think I should have please let me know. Send them to me at . There are lots of pages out there with slot car links but I'd like to know which are the pages you look at most. I want these links to be a quality list, not just quantity.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Watch out!!! This lizard flies!

Scalextric is releasing another 911 GT2 livery, and one that is long over due. The ALMS Flying Lizard livery is coming out as a "Collectors Centre" car this year.
The car will feature the new yellow 20k mabuchi, mounted as a sidewinder.

And now the real car from Lime Rock '05.

Lime Rock images from the Slot Car News archives.

Thanks to Harry at Home Racing World for permission to use the images.


I couldn't help but post this since the Maserati MC12 is a favorite of mine. Ferrari has transferred ownership of Maserati to Fiat.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

SCX Aston Martin DBR9

SCX Aston Martin DBR9, reviewed and tuned by Robert Livingston

Nice mouth on this car. A classic. But how does it go, and what's inside?

The car is nearly 2.5" wide over the tires, and slightly less over the widest part of the body. Yes, the tires do hang out beyond the fenders.

A great looking replica. This model captures the spirit of the Aston Martin DBR9. Weight is 90 grams.

On the wood track, at 13.6 volts, the SCX DBR9 rivals the lap times of a stock Carrera DB5, and a parts-built Revell DB5, with vintage RP-77 motor. 6.5 seconds for a 61 foot lap, or 9.4 feet per second. Must be the tires! The car is sliding! I pulled the motor, shown below.

Motor is a new model, an RX-42. A quick test on the tach, and we see 15,400 RPM at 12 volts. Out with it! In goes an RX-62C, which has turned 20,100 on test at 12v. It fits perfectly (almost perfectly; I had to shorten the shaft and press the pinion closer to the motor).

Above is shown the internal layout. Nice SCX rocking motor pod, spherical brass bearings at rear, a true running plastic gear, and a light centering spring on the guide. I reassembled it with only three of the five body mount screws: two under the nose, tight; and one at the rear, backed off a full turn. The chassis has enough flex, and the rocking pod takes care of the rest.
With the faster motor, lap times improve minimally, but the car is not hooking up. It is controllable, and feels well balanced, but the cornering speed is not there. I install some Ortmann for Slot.It replacement slicks, and the car hooks up and takes off. Lap times fall into the range of the highly competitive GT cars raced in RAA '06, on this very track (East New York Raceway). Best lap time is 5.385 for a 61 foot lap, or 11.3 feet per second. Not a bad time for a car on a nonmagnetic wood track. The car can be pushed, rarely deslots, and retains that good balanced feeling. However, it does deslot at times, and I noted the front tires are a little wobbly. 6 grams of lead under the front axle keeps it in the slot, along with this little mod:

The braids are re-arranged so a single pigtail trails back from the front of the guide, and the nose and tail of the flag are trimmed with a reverse rake, which helps the guide stay in the slot when it bangs against the stops.

Nice tampos! The SCX Aston Martin DBR9 is a good one. It handles well, and with the right tires for the track, it handles even better. The original motor is a little slow, but should be sufficient for short tracks with straights seven feet or less. This is a fine car, with great potential for stock-based, magnet-free GT racing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Review: SCX 360 Ferrari Modena

Where to begin.... The Ferrari 360 Modena is a fantastically fun car, I just couldn't hold that in for much longer. Even before I opened the case I knew I was in for something special.

The red and green Rose Island livery is striking. The color on the car is opaque and the colors are vibrant. All the printing on the car is complete with no breaks or miss-printing anywhere. There are plenty of areas on the body where you'd think there might be an error. For example the names of the drivers on the car which are printed on the "a" pillar (which are printed in about 1 or 2 point type) are clearly printed and easily readable, no small accomplishment. Further, the body is painted red as a base color and then covered with other colors and then clear coated. A personal pet peeve of mine is a body that is cast in color and then NOT painted over with more paint to add that basic level of detail that makes a car look less toy-like.

The lights on this car are very bright, in fact almost by accident I found out that you can actually race the car in the dark using just the car's own headlights.

The wheels are nicely modeled, the wing is in proportion and the tail light lenses are nicely molded and all of the external body pieces are free from any extra plastic flash.

The model of the motor alone is almost worth the price of admission. AND more importantly, SCX chose not to include a nicely done motor in the rear window of the car at the expense of the internal workings of the car. So many company's have chosen to make a full interior on cars that add tons of weight and come at the expense of the mechanical integrity of the cars. This car has a half-pan interior, and boy am I cool with that. Most every car should have this design as far as I'm concerned.

Nine-tooth pinion, 27 tooth crown gear are standard on this car. But for such a slow turning RX-41 motor higher gearing might add a bit of speed. For a GT car the motor in this car is perfect. When you put this car through it's paces around the track there is some gear noise, but it's easily deadened with a piece or two of duct tape on the bottom of the interior pan.

The car has a tilting motor pod, the pod rocks on 2 small plastic stubs. The design of the pod does not allow any adjustment to the amount of travel in the motor pod. But like some racers do a piece of tape on the bottom of the car to limit the rattle. Over the life of the car this might be more important since the pod will loosen up as you race it more. The rear axle is held in place by 2 arms on the rear of the pod. 2 small brass spherical bearings hold the axle firmly in place and make a nice mesh between the pinion and crown gears. The chassis is very, very flexible and if you remove or loosen all 5 (yes 5!) body screws the chassis has plenty of room to move on its own.

I like the wireless design that SCX uses to get the power from the track to the motor and to the lights. It's easy to take the car apart, especially since you don't have to struggle with pulling wires around to take the car apart and putting it together.

The tires on this car are a high point. The compound they use sticks to everything well. On both the plastic Carrera track I tested on and my own wood track (painted with flat latex a few years ago and now "rubbered" well), the stock tires stick like crazy. One small detail on my test car that I was unhappy with was the front axle. It was very, very bent. And caused the front tires/wheels to wobble a lot. But since the rest of the car is so well put together, and so well thought out that I'm not upset at all that I'll have to replace the front axle.

A track test on the 67 foot long Carrera track at Bud's HO in Cortlandt Manor yielded laps around 6.5 seconds. I did many laps on the track most of which I'm sure where much faster than the few timed laps I did. The nose of the car felt a bit light and every time the car deslotted, the nose hopped out. And since the wobble was discovered I'm thinking that the sliding out will be eliminated if this small detail was fixed. The magnet holds the car firmly on the track, but some magnet fans might find the stock magnet a bit light. I was able to drive the car around the track and slide the tail out with confidence that the slide was recoverable.

On my wood track the wobble in the front was more pronounced but still the car was very fun to drive and was very fast. The cornering speed of the car makes it fast on my track. The motor and gearing on the car limit the straight away speed. But that's ok, what I give you on the straights, I'll take back on the turns.

A word about the ProSlot 360 Modena versus the SCX car. The SCX has a much more pleasing shape and obviously more detail and the ProSlot has a slightly shorter wheelbase.

So, what's the verdict? Well aside from the axle, there's nothing NOT to like about this car. There is tons of potential in this car to turn into a serious racer (if that's your bag) or just leave as it is and blast around the track against any other modern GT car (now where did I put my Aston Martin DBR9?). And the car offers more detail than more expensive cars...what's not to like?

A huge thanks to Gene of for the car. And also thanks to Robert at Bud's HO in Cortlandt Manor for track time to test the car.

By Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New links added

I've recently added links to galleries of photos from the vintage race in 2004 at Lime Rock Park and the American LeMans Series race in 2005 also at Lime Rock. In a few weeks I'll cover the New England Grand Prix ALMS race for SCN and SCI. All the photos will be available to sale.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Scale speed calculator

An awesome new feature has been added courtesy of Greg at the Houston Scale Auto Racing and John Russel. Page down to the bottom and you'll find the scale speed calculator.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Review: Ninco 350Z

A great review from Harry Wise of Home Racing World about the new Ninco Nissan 350Z.
Thanks to Harry for allow SCN to repost this review.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Got Bling? (Carrera Old vs. New part deux)

One thing I was amazed by was, when you'd drive the cars fast around the track, the spinners would still spin like crazy when you'd come to a quick stop.

All the cars feature Carrera's doubled up brushes. And a good guide that doesn't wobble.

All the cars have the E200 motor, it's hard to read the printing on the motor unless you pop it out of the chassis, since the printing is on the bottom of the can. Also the motor is a really tight snap fit, a nice snug "hold" on the motor, I love it, no slop here at all.

The Chargers and the Plymouth has rear motors (inline of course) but the GTO has a front motor. Despite this difference I didn't notice much difference in handling on my wood track. We'll see what Dr. Vanski thinks when he gets to do some fast laps on a plastic track.

Nice tampo printing on the rear of the black Custom Charger. Not much in the way of tampo printing on these cars, but what there is looks great. The depth of the paint is obvious, it's not just a thin coat of paint. This is something that I'm, frankly, really impressed with. So many company's use a fairly thin coat of paint for very large (or small for that matter) areas of printing, not these cars
Now more wheels than you'll want to see I'm sure...

The Mustang's are interesting. The yellow Mustang (which I'm assuming is the older design) has a completely different chassis from the new green Fast & Furious Mustang. They both have different chassis, different positions for the reversing switch, and since the green Mustang is the only one with lights, very different "guts".

Of all the cars the green Mustang is the only one with lights. The lights that Carrera uses are very bright and nice maybe a bit on the "cool" side as far as color temperature goes, but I much prefer them to any other company's lights.

And no they don't shine down on the track, or through the plastic BTW. Very nice. While I was looking over the cars, I realized they all had different license plates. Sure, of course real cars would, but I wasn't expecting that Carrera would bother to make each have their own identity.

Tons of details to take in here I know.

So I took the cars for a serious spin on my wood hold on, hold on. I know they're meant to be at home on plastic track with the magnets holding them firmly down. But they worked quite well on my track. The tires, despite feeling quite hard, stuck surprisingly well. Laps were respectable, especially given that these are street cars and not "racing" cars.
On another, but related topic, the cars had great "track feel". They are all quite heavy cars (which probably made them stick well), and all have a nice smooth personality. They all have freely spinning axles, all have no mechanical issues that I can find. And when you pick them up they feel good, meaning that they are nice and solid feeling. Some cars have a light, thin, un-solid (for lack of a better description) feel to them. Not these cars.

All of these cars would be great cars to let kids bang around. In fact my wife Karen and 16-month-old son Tyler drove these cars around the track when I was at work today (sure technically Ty was sitting on her lap...). She loved the green Mustang (sorry Van) and she was impressed with how well the cars all drove. She's driven some of my other cars but has never been "taken" with any of them, but these cars...she liked 'em! Not bad, the wifey seal of approval!

So what's the verdict? You just can't go wrong here. You have nice models of popular cars, at a reasonable price...what's not to like?