Monday, December 31, 2007

Scalextric 2008 releases

Tons of releases here to see of the Scalextric 2008 releases.

A sort of suprising development is that there are no less than 4 Porsche 911(997)'s and ALL of them so far are the low detail, high impact line...sort of disappointing I'd say.

Another thing that does seem to be appearing to be a reality is that none of the Porsche 997's that are coming out (meaning the releases from both Ninco and Scalextric) are from the Grand Am Series (which can be seen on TV in the US), all are from the Porsche Super Cup Series, which is a racing series that can't even be seen on TV in the US at all as far as I know. And now Scalextric seems to have made a duplicate livery of the one that Ninco already does (see inset photo of the Forum Gelb 997).

C2899 PORSCHE 997 GT3 RS
Feature: Digital ready - allows easy fit of DIGITAL PLUG to transform in to a Digital car in less than 60 seconds. Magnatraction and Easyfit braid plate. SUPER RESISTANT BODY.

C2900 PORSCHE 997 GT3 RS
Feature: Digital ready - allows easy fit of DIGITAL PLUG to transform in to a Digital car in less than 60 seconds. Magnatraction and Easyfit braid plate. SUPER RESISTANT BODY.

Another eyebrow raising issue is this next puzzling product...

C2906 Porsche RS Spyder
Penske Racing
R. Briscoe
Feature: Digital ready - allows easy fit of DIGITAL PLUG to transform in to a Digital car in less than 60 seconds. Lights front and rear. Magnatraction and Easyfit braid plate.

...exactly which car is this?

From the ALMS website:
Ryan Briscoe
Birthdate:September 24, 1981
Birthplace:Sydney, AU
Residence:Cornelius, NC US
Team(Class):PENSKE MOTORSPORTS,Porsche RS Spyder(LMP2)
2007: At Sebring, made Series debut with Penske Motorsports in Porsche RS Spyder with fellow factory pilots Sascha Maassen/Emmanuel Collard.
2006: Did not compete in Series.
Ryan Briscoe didn't race the car shown in this photo (which was the only year that the car shown was raced)! That leaves a retool for Scalex, or a fantasy livery for us, odd for a company that gets it right so often.

But will Scalextric score a hit with? Well really there are tons of really great things to see like the "BBC Top Gear ‘Powerlaps’-The new BBC Top Gear Scalextric range is launched in 2008, beginning with the arrival of Powerlaps at the start of next year. Have you got what it takes to step into the shoes of the ‘Stig’ and handle the Gambon Corner?"
It's a great idea for Scalextric partner with this amazing TV show (which is on every Monday night on BBC America is should be required watching for any car guy with digital cable.

And this quartet of cars should be a hit...

Features: Digital ready car accepts DIGITAL PLUG for quick conversion to Digital system.
Magnatraction, easyfit braid plate.

Features: Digital ready car accepts DIGITAL PLUG for quick conversion to Digital system.
Magnatraction, easyfit braid plate.

Features: Digital ready car accepts DIGITAL PLUG for quick conversion to Digital system.
Magnatraction, easyfit braid plate.

No.88 AMP
Features: Digital ready car accepts DIGITAL PLUG for quick conversion to Digital system.
Magnatraction, easyfit braid plate.

BTW, I just wanted to mention all photos here have been used from the site.

Sloter Zytek racing kit - review

Sloter comes through again with a Racing edition kit, this time it's the Zytek. It does seem a great choice that Sloter has made to release racing versions of the RTR cars they sell. Many racers rebuild cars anyway so why not release them in kit form? It's a good idea and Sloter is in good company these days with kits.
Here you can see the parts laid out. The wing, headlight bezels, even headlight lenses are separate pieces for you to glue to the car.

The driver is 3 pieces, the vacuum-formed tray (which is the upper body of the driver), the drivers head, and the visor for the helmet. The rear view mirror has a small chrome insert, once you slip it into the mirror housing the has a really nice look to it.

If you're a fan of SCX's Pro parts line you will recognize SCX's wheels and blue 26-tooth crown gear which Sloter has used on this car. The larger 17mm wheels are on the back and smaller 16mm wheels on the front. Why there aren't large diameter wheels all the way around I don't know. This is an LMP car after all, and there should be huge wheels the whole way around. But these will do just fine for now.
Here you can see the Pink-Kar Competi 3 motor. It's a high torque, long can motor. 21,500 rpm with a whopping 326 gcm of torque...tons of power! With all that power it would be great to see a very rigid pod holding this motor in the chassis. Ideally the motor would be held in place by screws in the holes provided at the gear-end of the chassis. There aren't any screws provided, in future kits it would be great to see these included.

The pod is held in the chassis by 4 screws. Unfortunately the screws are much too short and when you loosen them and because of this you can't get as much movement in the motor pod as you should be able to.
Also the heads of the screws fill the holes in the chassis, even if they were loosened they would only be able to move up and down and not side-to-side. There should be a bit more room around the screw heads to allow some lateral motion in the pod.

In the final photo you can see the front of the chassis. If you look under the axle you can see the guide wires do touch the axle. This will slow down the rotation of the axle. During prep of this car for racing that would need to be fixed.
I did try to get some road testing done on this car. A few laps were done on the 61-foot East New York routed wood track, but they provided little information worth writing about. The tires didn't stick terribly well on the track that night. I did get a bit of hopping which I think is due to the looseness of the motor. It's clear this car has a tremendous potential. It was hard to get close to that potential during a few laps that night.

Having pointed out a number of things I'd like to see changed on this car does that mean it's got problems? Well, not really. You see I judge cars on sort of a sliding scale of expectation. Your average slot car, which is supposed to be a magnet racer and is aimed at the largest audience of slotters, this car is held to a different standard than this Sloter Zytek racing kit. Why? Well this car not only costs more than your average car, it's aimed at racers. They expect more from a car, and are willing to pay it. Also as a kit (which must be assembled) you can't reasonably expect it to be a car that will work without some tuning done to it.

This car provides an excellent basis for a really serious car.

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Zippo's hot rod - inside the Carrera Club car

A slotbrother from Germany who goes by the name Zippo, and runs the site, had the good fortune to win a contest to design the livery of the new Carrera Club car for 2007.
The first article on his site about this car, and here's a link to the second article. The second article has detail shots of the inside of the slot car. I think the process of developing a new slot car is facinating, I'm glad Zippo has allowed us a look at how this is done.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Slot Car 201 - tire truing

Truing tires will help smooth out a car and it will help get just a bit more speed out of the box stock car that you have. It's time to true the tires. What you're going to do is get your slot car to the track, get a piece of sand paper at least as coarse as 220 grit. Keep in mind that if you really don't feel like doing this you really don't have to, you can enjoy the slot car as it is. But if you want to begin down that slippery slope to making your cars go just a bit faster than take that first step...but watch out it's hard to turn back once you've started on this trip!

You see an SCX Ferrari 550 here as it comes out of the case. The tires are seated flat on the wheel.
Put the sandpaper on the track. Hold the car on top of the sandpaper. Pull the trigger on the controller and lower the car onto the sandpaper slowly. When the tires first begin to touch the sandpaper you're going to probably going to feel some bumping as the high spots on the tires start to hit the sandpaper. Now you're making the tires rounder or more "true".

As you first start to sand the tires do just a few seconds on the sandpaper to see where (or if) the sandpaper is hitting the high spots. If it looks like the paper is sanding the whole surface area of the tire you've got a pair of very round tires (and wheels to BTW since you will be able to see if they're round as well by doing this). If there are cuts from the sandpaper only here and there on the surface of the tire keep going you need to do more to sand down the tire.Sanding tires is something that you will have to get a feel for. It's hard to explain how long you'll need to sand the tires for. It may sound simplistic to say but, if the car is smoother then you're done. The more you sand the smoother the car will get. Take your time and keep sanding is my advice.

Sanding the tires will do several things really. It will allow you to see if the tires are seated on the wheel. It will allow you do see if the tires are round AND if the wheels are round too BTW.

Round wheels are really hard to come by. Many, many of the press-on plastic wheels that RTR cars come with aren't really all that round (somewhere a Scalextric fan is jumping up and down yelling, "mine are...mine are"...well we've heard enough out of you my friend so take a seat please while the rest of us do a bit of work!).

Tires you can sand...nearly any stock slot car tire can be sanded. Stock tires will pick up a good deal more grip if they're sanded.
-Urethane tires can be easily sanded, like Ortmann tires (which are usually in need of serious sanding due to generally poor molding), and K&D tires (which I don't have too much experience with yet but I just got a few sets and they seem to sand well).
-Silicone tires generally don't sand well, especially Super Tires brand tires, they're nearly impossible to sand, but luckily they're damn round so you shouldn't need to do much to them aside from keeping them clean.

Sanding the tires also will warm them up and clean them as the same time. So just before a race try a bit of sanding to get just a bit of an edge on your competition.

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

Slot MINIAuto #39 - January 2008



En nuestra primera revista del 2008 destacamos en portada el Peugeot 980 HDI. Una prueba en paralelo de los modelos de Scalextric y Carrera. Este número 39 incluye diez pruebas en pista: Opel Manta de Sloter, Hummer H2 de Ninco, Courage C60 de Spirit, Pescarolo Avant Slot, Porsche Carrera GT de AutoArt, Chaparral 2F y Porsche RS Spyder de Superslot y la gama Mercedes de Carrera. Además, este mes se incluye de regalo, la primera entrega del coleccionable del Diccionario Técnico Ilustrado, SLOT A-Z, una obra imprescindible para los aficionados al Slot.

Aprovechamos para desear a todos nuestros lectores y amigos un Feliz Año Nuevo.



In our first magazine cover in 2008 we highlight the Peugeot 908 HDI. A joint track test of Scx and Carrera Peugeot 908 Le Mans models. This number 39 includes ten track tests: Opel Manta of Sloter, Hummer H2 Ninco, Courage C60 Spirit, Pescarolo Avant Slot, Porsche Carrera GT AutoArt, Scalextric Chaparral 2F and Porsche RS Spyder and the Carrera range of 4 Mercedes. In addition, this month includes, the first delivery of the collectable, SLOT A-Z, Technical Dictionary Illustrated, free, a work indispensable for slot lovers.

We wish all our readers and friends a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New 1/43 MA Scale Models

MA Scale Models has some amazing looking new 1/43 cars they're showing.

SCX Compact - maintenance video

Bryan's been busy putting video's together for the SCX Compact line.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Tecnitoys McLaren set and Ninco Hummer

Bantuslot is showing a number of interesting new products. The new Scalextric/Tecnitoys McLaren box set.And the Ninco Hummer Police car.

SCX Compact video - Bryan Young's take on the system

A video today from Bryan Young, SCX tech rep for the US, has a video showing the Compact system.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Slot Car 101 - gear lubrication

OK, so the motor is lubed, the braids are set but you're not quite ready to race...yes patience grasshopper.

Below you can see the gear from a Sloter Zytek kit. There is a tiny bit of white lithium grease on the crown gear but hardly any in the self centering channel of the gear. For the gears this might be an adequate amount of grease, but for the channel that centers the gears (where the shaft from the motor rubs to provide the centering of the gear) you really need copious amounts of grease.This are has a lot of friction, especially if the shaft is a bit off center and rubs on one side of the channel. And if you have no grease at all you will get brass dust around the area and your gears WILL wear out quickly. Don't run a car without grease...especially a high performance car like this Sloter, a Slot It...well anything really.

Here you can see a sidewinder gear from a Sloter/MB Slot Racing Ferrari 312 (hmmm, Sloter photos are jumping onto the front page tonight for some reason I guess). And as you can see it's completely dry.
With cars with plastic gears (though the pinion gear is metal) like this one it might not be as critical that you grease the gears but basically it's a bad habit to get into in any case.Here you see a chassis from the Scalextric Jaguar, it's got plastic gears all around. The car will run ok without grease, but it will run slightly faster with the grease, and it will run noticeably quieter.

Will your cars run without greased gears? Yes...will they last as long as they should if you don't grease the gears? NO...

Dave Kennedy

New Ninco N-Digital Porsche's is showing photos of the new Ninco N-Digital Porsche's. It's a cool idea to release a number of different racing liveries of the car with the intention that they be raced sort of like an IROC series.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Revell 320 BMW's - review

Publishers note:
Frank's review of the BMW's will be the weekend update.

Huge fat fenders, we love 'em around here! And when a box with some Revell DRM BMW 320's modeled after cars raced in 1977 arrived it was a good day to be a fan of that ample-fendered genre.

Overall fit and finish on my Revell BMW 320's was spot on. All the Tampo printing was very clean and had very crisp edges. The orange Jagermeister car has a nice saturated color as does the blue BMW. There's a lack of branding on the blue BMW that is obviously due to some issue with use of the Fruit of the Loom branding. Overall this doesn't take much away from the look of the car, though once you notice the bar codes it does look a bit odd come to think of it.

The half-tray interior is just bad form, with a front motored car there is more than enough room for a full tray. There is enough room under the back deck of the car to have these slot car be either an inline or a sidewinder configuration. If either of these motor positions were done it would improve the car for possible use in non magnet racing.

The wheels on the car were very well done and very good copies of the real cars. The tires were cupped, It would take a lot of truing to fix this problem, it would be easier to replace them. The tires also fit very loosely on the wheels and if you look closely you can see the tires are really designed for a wheel with a deeper rib. These wheels have a rib that's quite shallow and the cupping is due to that problem.

This car is a front-motor configured chassis, the drive shaft had quite a bit of wobble to it, this I feel would cause problems down the line, it would need to be trued and rear bushing adhered in a fashion to insure proper gear mesh. The rear axle was very true, with variances not only from side to side, but up and down as well. If you use these cars as they are with a magnet you'll never notice the fact there is a quite a bit of movement in the axle bearings. The vast majority of slot car racers will use these car with the magnets, if you want to go mag-less you'll have to change this to get those rear axles under control.

On my Carrera track the cars were both very fast and lots of fun to drive. I can see that both cars will become a valuable addition to my collection and I'm hoping to tune them more to my track's liking.

regards Frank

Friday, December 21, 2007

Super GT Series 2008 season schedule

Round1 Mar.15sat-16sun Suzuka Circuit-300km
Round2 Apr.12sat-13sun Okayama International Circuit-300km
Round3 May.3sat-4sun Fuji Speedway-500km
Round4 Jun.21sat-22sun Sepang Circuit-300km
Round5 Jul.26sat-27sun Sportsland SUGO-300km
Round6 Aug.23sat-24sun Suzuka Circuit-1000km
Round7 Sep.13sat-14sun Twin Ring Motegi-300km
Round8 Oct.18sat-19sun Autopolis-300km
Round9 Nov.8sat- 9sun Fuji Speedway-300km

Official tests
Feb.29fri - Mar.1sat Suzuka Circuit
Mar.26wed - 27thu Fuji Speedway
Jul.30wed - 31thu Twin Ring Motegi

New MRRC/Scaleauto Motors

MRRC is releasing a significant addition to its Scaleauto line of motors. The creators of the dreaded Red Can 35k motors have now turned their attention to the little guys, in size and speed. Enter the White Cans, rated 10k RPM at 12 volts, available in the standard "S" or FC-130 size; and low profile FF-050 types, for down-motoring earlier MRRC/Revell-Monogram cars, Scalextric Classic F1, and other cars with low profile motors.The Scaleauto white motors have shafts extending from both ends; the FC-130 may be mounted endbell-drive, to fit in brackets for standard Scalextric or Fly motors; or can-drive, to fit in brackets for Ninco NC-1, or Carrera motors. The slim cans have a stub end shaft on the non-drive end to allow easy lubrication of both motor bearings. Torque rating for the FC-130 is 100gcm/12v (compare to an NC1 at 60 gcm/12v); for the slim can it is 45gcm/12v. Power of the Scaleauto white FC-130 is some 31% higher than the Ninco NC1 (using the formula RPM x Torque = Power), so installing this motor is not necessarily a downgrade for NC-1 cars.

Complementing these low-revving white motors is a full range of slim motors in steps up to 38,000 RPM, for the speed demons among us. As customary in the Scaleauto line, RPM is coded by can color. RPM/torque levels are 20k/70gcm (silver), 25k/90gcm (yellow), 30k/100gcm (black), and 38k/120gcm (red). This is the first time such a range of FF-050 slim cans have been sold with torque values revealed.

Tests of sample motors showed all to be at rated RPM, or up to 1,400 RPM above rated RPM. None were slower. Thanks to MRRC for the samples.

Now, if only someone would release a line of brass pinions for the slim motors, bored to press fit on a 1.5mm motor shaft.