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Something a little new and different - maybe

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  • Something a little new and different - maybe

    Well this was new and different to me anyway
    Called in to my local retailer today for a quick purchasing fix to build up my collection of cars. While there I noticed a new space on the shelves had been created for some cheaper cars that looked perfect for my visiting niece and nephew to use - they can be a little destructive, so these seemed durable and cheap enough for them.

    Coming in a variety of simple body styles and colours they look a great little deal, and the chassis looks pretty nice too.

    Removing the body is simple, just loosen 4 screws and it pops straight off for easy maintenance.

    Now I am not 100% sure, but the similarities are so close that I am 95% sure, this is a simplified Plafit chassis. This looks to be a original product line Plafit are doing for this particular store, cheap enough for beginners to get into the hobby, strong enough to take abuse, and with double magnets front and back will be easy to race.

    Looking forward to testing these out this weekend and also seeing how much adjustment is in the chassis to lend to other projects. Hope they turn out to be good little runners with or without magnets.

  • #2
    This looks interesting.. I have been looking for years for a buildable car for getting people into the hobby.
    What do they cost?
    Are there other models available?
    Maybe in 1/24 scale as well?


    • #3
      Looking forward to test results


      • #4
        Originally posted by DVD3500 View Post
        This looks interesting.. I have been looking for years for a buildable car for getting people into the hobby.
        What do they cost?
        Are there other models available?
        Maybe in 1/24 scale as well?

        I only saw 1/32 scale there and just recall seeing mini style body shells aswell as the beetle. I met the CEO for Plafit a while back so have emailed him to confirm if this is from their product line and if so for more details of models available and availability. I paid around 3000 yen each on them (26 USD).

        Will let you know how they run when I get out to my tracks.


        • #5
          please do!
          I have been looking for a long time for 20-30 easy to build car to get a new series started for getting people into the hobby.


          • #6


            I need these for hardbody conversions... Please do find out..


            • #7
              Ok, will start by saying that I believe these cars are sold exclusively in this particular chain of stores for beginners as they all run Banpro tracks. Banpro make very precise tracks and I think these are suited for them. They will require some tweaking to run on other tracks as explained below.

              I can not currently run this on my routed track. The guide blade is VERY deep and on my track this strikes the optical sensor I use in the track. Here it is side by side with a standard Scalextric guide blade and you can see the issue. Also for me I do not like that these guides pivot from the back of the guide instead of the middle or front. This would make the guide protrude past the front on many cars.

              Initially it would not run on my Carrera track either. The car sits very low, has a steel chassis and strong magnets. The result of this is that it actually touches the rails and creates a short. Probably not an issue on tracks where the power rails are flush with the track instead of slightly raised. You can see this had already started to wear through the tape after just a couple of laps.

              As for the actual running of the car, out of the box on the Carrera track (set to analogue mode), it is quite slow even when running at 14v. I suspect this is due to the strength of the magnets and them being so close to the rails. I believe on Banpro tracks the effect is less as the track braid is not magnetic, rather the steel plates under the braid all around the track are what these magnets are designed for.

              Standard setting on the wheel base is 60mm, set rigid by a notched steel plate.

              A couple of small screws hold the magnets in place and is just a few seconds work to remove these.

              A small drop of oil to get the guide moving smoothly and back out onto the track. This time a much improved car on my track. Faster, smoother and of course a little tail happy with the magnets removed.
              It runs noisier than a Plafit chassis but not really loud. Plaffit chassis is very very quiet runner.

              You do have adjustment in the wheel base to go longer. By undoing 4 screws you can move the base plate forward to get you to a little over 70mm.

              You can then if needed also move the front axle piece out of the slotted base plate to get you up to just under 80mm wheel base.

              The axles are located into folded steel tabs, so no real height adjustment possible except by using larger wheels/tires.

              Next step for me is to replace that guide with something a little smaller to fit my routed track.


              • #8
                I'd definitely be interested in one or two to.
                Thanks for posting them.

                Is there an easy way to buy from Japan (to the US) ?
                What is the shops name, do you know if they'll ship to the US ?



                • #9
                  hakuhinkan is the shop name and they have a website and there is a slot car category there. But the website stock is very limited compared to what is in store and they don't seem to have these up the website.

                  Am still waiting to hear back from Banpro/Plafit on these and hopefully they can tell me more. Am back in Tokyo in a little over a week and if nothing else comes before then, can happily grab a couple more and send you some for your own evaluation. I may even be able to swing by Banpro on the way back and talk with the owner again in person.

                  I did not have a suitable guide to replace the one it comes with, so I got the Dremel out and shaved a bit off the one they use so I could run it on my routed track. Car itself ran ok, but the motor creates so much electrical noise it screwed up the lap timer. I have a Racer Capri that also does this. I have to see if I can either eliminate the noise on the motor or protect my lap timer from it better.


                  • #10
                    If you wire up a small capacitor across the motor leads it should remove a lot of the electrical noise. A few microfarads should be more than enough.

                    Also, the electrical noise may be due to sparking at the commutator. This may be reduced as the motor brushes wear in.

                    Installing a capacitor should not result in any issues at tech inspection. In Europe, I believe, capacitors are required precisely because of the electrical noise issue.

                    The motor will not perform any better or worse with the capacitor installed. Motor brush life, however, may be improved.

                    Ed Bianchi


                    • #11
                      Thank you. I have a bag of capacitors and will give this a try. Would certainly be nice to get the Capri running for timed laps on the track.

                      In my haste I missed something on the magnets that now going back for closer inspection I see. There are 4 small circular magnets in total held in place in pairs by a small holder. I now see that each of these does also have in turn a small grub screw the same size as for the wheels holding them in place. Using small hex key you can then adjust the height of individual magnets. This would remove the issue of them contacting and shorting out the track without the need to remove completely.


                      • #12
                        Even with all these caveats they look like great cars....


                        • #13
                          I've had a couple of messages from members here, but seems pretty much impossible for me to reply through the message system. I keep getting prompted on user name and password. I have tried, but not sure any messages have actually been sent.

                          So to update. No reply yet from Banpro/Plafit. I am really hoping to get down to their store/factory next week to speak with them. Nothing confirmed yet 100% as am currently looking for my next employment contract so if anything comes up the hobbies must take a back seat.

                          I will however make it to the Ginza store that stocks these for sure and get more details on colours and various bodyshells etc.

                          Agree there are some caveats with these cars that need to take note of, but they are turning out to be fun running on the Carrera track in analogue mode. Been starting to run the one in and made a little adjustment on the body. Move the body locators further up inside the shell so it sits a little lower and looks better.


                          • #14
                            I have practically stopped posting here because it is such biatsch to post ... keep getting kicked out...
                            Anyway: Thanks for the follow up.

                            Yes lowering should help a lot. :-)

                            I really think this may be what i have been searching for for a long time...


                            • #15
                              Went back to the store today and picked up a couple more. I think I got a bargain the first time as looks like the price has been marked up a little now, but still not bad. Here are the colours on sale and the models - just Beetle and Mini.

                              Also this time noticed the sign there that confirms this is a Banpro product. Have reached out to Banpro again to get more details and if can be ordered from them directly. Could not get to Banpro shop as seems they are closed Monday- Wednesday every week, so a little difficult to get there when they are open. Hopefully they respond to my request now.