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Track Layout Concepts - Comments Needed

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  • Track Layout Concepts - Comments Needed

    I am starting to develop track concepts for my 1:32 layout. I am probably going to go with routed MDF with mag braid.

    Below is my first concept. I used 8.5x11 paper to help visualize the layout. It will be two lanes with adequate borders. The platform is 8x24. Main straight is about 16-feet long and the large curves are about 44-inch radius.

    A question I have already is should I neck down the straight width to 8-9 inches (3.5-4 inch lane spacing) and only broaden the outside shoulder on the curves? This would give me more area for scenic elements. I want to scratch build pit and bleacher structures placed around the layout.

    Thanks all.

    image2 by bonez 300

    image1 by bonez 300

    image3 by bonez 300

  • #2
    Hi Bonez. Great looking project but I note double the number of right hand turns to left. This will make tracks very uneven. Strongly suggest cross over to equalise turns in each direction. Pity not to do three lanes too as so much more fun. Would suggest a minimum lane separation of 90mm but if you do 100mm you could race 1/24th too if that is an option. Gutter lane need to be 130mm minimum but 150 is better. You can narrow down gutter to say 100mm as long as well past corner. Good luck with project. Regards Chas Le Breton


    • #3
      That will be a very fast track... A car with traction magnets on magnabraid will be flat out for over half the lap... yes, the two lanes will differ significantly in lane length, but with lane rotation in a race - that won't be an issue. There is plenty of scope for the scenary that you've done so well on the HO table...

      Yes, you only need aprons on the outside of corners, so I'd suggest taking the Carrara inside slot to track edge measurement as the inside corner measurement ( so you can cater for 1:24 should you wish ) , but look at something like 150mm as the apron from outside slot...

      Cheers, Tony.


      • #4
        You should incorporate a bridge for sure and make it 3D - no reason to keep it flat 2D. And like Chas and Tony mentioned - keep an equal number of turns in each direction so the lanes are equal length.


        • #5
          More info:

          I am planning on elevation changes rather than all flat.

          I pretty much race by myself and sometimes The Wifey. So matching lane lengths is not that important.

          Most likely will never run 1:24.

          I found these two plans that feature crossovers. I would modify to fit my platform and scenic elements. Is this what you guys are recommending (or something similar)?

          Thanks again.

          scan0001 by bonez 300

          scan by bonez 300


          • #6
            To get equal lane lengths, you generally need to have a crossover bridge to form some kind of figure eight - as many RH corners as LH corners. When you run your eye around either of the two examples you can see how that works...

            However, how many 1:1 race tracks have a cross over bridge? Suzuka is the best known example - there have been a few others, but that still represents maybe 1.5% of all 1:1 race tracks.... Then again, 1:1 tracks don't have a slot in them, ( usually...) so it's all artistic license......

            If in your design you really wanted to make the lanes equal length - you could give the lane the Mustang is 'in' a shortcut on the inside of the turn 3 hairpin ( where the Mustang's lane is on the inside ).... But this could look a bit unrealistic compared to just going with the unequal lane lengths and landscaping accordingly....

            I think you'd be more satisfied that way....

            If you don't need to cater for 1:24, then your inside and outside apron widths can be tidied up accordingly....

            Good to give it all a lot of thought before committing to anything!

            Cheers, Tony.


            • #7
              Hi again Bonez. Either of those layouts would be fine. An alternative if you really want to keep flat would be to incorporate two cross overs as provided by Scalextric to even out the number of corners. If you did this either side of one of the left hand curves that would even things out. Agree with everything else said including 150mm gutter if you thought you might ever want to run 1/24th. Great your are able to race with your wife. Wish mine was that interested in my "toy cars". Just as an aside however have you ever tried non-magnet racing. Once you have you might prefer. Perhaps the magnetic is to satisfy your wife. I do the same for my grandkids so understand. Looks like you already have a great looking track. Is this a replacement or do you just like modelling and need another project. All the best with whatever you decide. Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx)


              • #8
                Thanks again all for the help.

                I like elevation changes as well as a crossover as I think it adds interest to the layout. You can see what I did on my HO layout in this thread:

                I like the first of my examples but would try to use a large radius 180-degree curve at the end of the front straight rather than two 90-degreeís and short straight. I think this would flow better (?). I also plan on sloping the platform front to back so I can place pit buildings on the front straight and have the track behind the structures raised enough for sight line over the pit roofs. Iíll then place bleachers around the track as well.

                I have actually not run much 1:32 cars. I am more experienced with HO scale. I started racing back in the 1960ís when this hobby was prominent (born in 1957). My brothers and I had an 8x22 permanent HO slot/railroad layout in our basement. So it is in my blood. Our father was an American Flyer railroader so we got the bug from him.

                Most of the HO chassis I run use magnets for traction. Even my vintage AFX pancake cars used motor magnets for added downforce. Only my T-Jets donít. But for my 1:32 cars my thoughts are to use magnets only for the 1:1 cars that feature aerodynamic grip as well as mechanical grip. Once aero wings and tunnels were discovered most cars donít slide in the corners. So I will simulate that by retaining the magnets. But for the older cars of the late 60ís to mid 70ís I most likely will remove the magnets and only rely on tire grip. This to me should look more scale. I am more a model car racer than slotcar racer.

                The 1:32 track is not a replacement but an addition to my HO platform. My toy room is 1,700sqft and I have been collecting and dreaming for the last 20-years to fulfill my desire for a real fun room. My retirement goal was to be 12-years old for the rest of my life. And I am very blessed to reach my goal. I retired four years ago at 57.

                The photos in my opening post is the 8x24 platform that is next to my HO platform. This is my HO platform I completed in May:

                Overall 003 by bonez 300

                url=][/url]Overall 005 by bonez 300


                • #9
                  Hi Bonez. 1700sf that is about the size of my house. You perhaps have a full basement. Love your HO track. That must have taken a lot of effort and skill.

                  Are you going to use Carrera track or craft a routed wooden track. The latter is probably a lot cheaper if cost is an issue (think that was your intention anyway). Also produces a much nicer looking layout. Otherwise I agree the first example would be greatly improved if you make the change you have suggested. If using Carrera it can also run 1/24th but that might be a step too far. From my experience of USA Carrera tracks they run nicely in non-mag mode but otherwise I like your two tiered mag/non-mag suggestion. Carrera tracks have stainless steel power rails though so probably not suitable for magnet racing. Classic cars with low powered motors and narrow tyres are a lot of fun as long as you are nor a speed freak. The likes of Ninco Classic, Cartrix and even NSR Classic cars are great. Do not know whether you have ever considered but hand-built classic F1 GP cars are also great powered by the likes of the SRP 18000 or BWA slim can. You may have seen them in SCI or AUSLOT proxy races and DART Hobbies run a great series in Canada. Apart from that I have been retired for nearly 12 years but started slotting in 1960. Like you I think 12 years old is about right although I was 14/15 when I started. All the best with your build. Cannot wait to see final design and finished product. Regards Chas Le Breton (charlesx) New Zealand.


                  • #10
                    Yes full basement. I live on the side of a mountain so I have a full basement below the main floor. My toy room is under my garage.

                    i most likely will go with routed MDF with mag braid. Thinking 3.5-inch lane spacing with 4-inches from slot-to-edge on the straights. Then a larger TBD outside shoulder on the curves. This will leave me adequate edges to blend the track surface into my scenery. So the overall track surface will be narrower than what is initially cut since it will have scenery attached to the edges. I will contract this out so it will be more expensive. I then will work on scenery including scratch-building all the structures.

                    Iíll document the build in a dedicated thread.


                    • #11
                      If you are just going to be doing casual running on two lanes, I'd recommend a single crossover like the ones you've posted.

                      Normally I'd say a flat track is just fine, even though the lane lengths will be different, because in formal racing you rotate through all lanes in a series of 'heats'. But for just two people hacking around, equal lane lengths make sense.

                      Which is not to say equal lane lengths make equal lanes. Simply not true. Much time and energy has been spent trying to make all the lanes on a track equal. It just doesn't happen.

                      There are better things in life to worry about. Build your track and enjoy racing.

                      Ed Bianchi


                      • #12
                        It is easier to get a car with traction magnets to handle well, so magnetic braid might be a better choice for you. You will not get as much downforce with magnetic braid as you would with solid steel rails however, I would estimate that you would see about 70% of the downforce. With some cars you might have to do some extra tuning or add more magnets. The situation gets a little more complex when you run formal races on a track where magnetic downforce is a factor, in that case most clubs have a limit on the amount of downforce that is allowed and have scales to measure that.


                        • #13
                          H Bonez. Not sure what all this talk is about magnets. Use magnabraid if you wish but make sure it is in a dry salt free environment as it will rust. You can still run non-magnet but cannot use motors with high magnetic down force. Agree about the cross-overs (there must be two otherwise you only have one lane) but this was to equalise the lanes. Your preference however seems to be for a cross over. Look forward to your final design. Regards Chas Le Breton


                          • #14
                            So I visited Dan today at Viper (he is in Orem about 60-miles from me). We discussed routing vs. Carrera options and I decided to go with a two-lane routed MDF with mag braid. Lane spacing will be 4-inches with broad outside shoulders for the curves. We are using my concept as shown in my opening post as a baseline that will be tweaked after it gets loaded in the computer.

                            i decided to not have an overpass as it just doesn’t look scale to me and trying to equalizing lane lengths is not important. I will most likely be running on my own (thinking I am Mario, Dan, AJ, Niki, etc) as these cars run through the scenery.

                            Many thanks for all the great comments and advice.

                            i will start a new thread documenting the build. I hope to get started this Fall. I am still on hiatus playing outside before it cools and the lovely white powder starts accumulating.

                            I am excited to add this platform to my room. The HO track came out very well and I detailed a lot of the bodies but the larger 1:32 cars are so much more realistic and simply gorgeous. I have collected over 500-cars and I bought doubles and triples so I can race them without banging up what I placed in my display cabinets. Those will never be raced. The triples MAY be sold sometime down the road.


                            • #15
                              Slot Car Corner sells tinned magnetic braid that should resist corrosion as well as any regular braid.