Monday, 12 December 2011

Improvements and the future.

A few steps are now being taken to make improvements, with the results of the first of these steps shown in the picture below. The Talbot Lago rear wheel now has one of the first new early Borrani wheel nuts. I little thought went into this since it was obvious that even when they were new, these nuts had varying lengths of the 'ears. It was therefore decided to go for one of the shorter variations since these would obviously be rather stronger.

As with the earlier nuts, these come as bare castings, and are all machined on the front faces. The nut in the picture has had a light polish, and once I find some decent buffs, I'll try for a concours standard.

Early next year a few improvements on existing wheels will be made, the intention being to cover almost all 30's to 50's wheels, with perhaps a few from the 60's.

Efforts are now being made to tie up the project. The success of the ERA wheels has prompted the compliation of a couple of 'budget' wheel sets to use up excess parts on a couple of generic wheel sets with an expected cost of £22 including tyres.

The final part of the project will be the 'see through' wheels shown on Slot Forum some while back. The cost unfortunately means that only wheel rims, hubs and spoke etches will be supplied, thus alas limiting appeal to those with modest lathe access who can modify supplied parts and made other parts to suit.

My intention is now to continue making perhaps a maximum of 10 different wheels with the (very) occasional re-run of other types if there is a demand.


Monday, 28 November 2011

First Test Tyres.

The first 'test' tyres arrived last week and whilst I am very pleased with them, further work is still needed.

Four tyres have been produced with (initially) front and rears to suit the ERA wheels plus front and rears to suit the larger wheels, eg., Talbot Lago, Alfetta, Auto Union etc.

All four tyres are being made in both soft and hard compounds, both materials having advantages and dis-advantages.

The softer compound provides excellent grip, is easy to fit to larger wheels though inevitably as with real tyres, wear is likely to be somewhat greater than a harder compound.

The tyres in the harder compound actually have an improved grip over the Scalextric parts they are based on. The stretch on these tyres is minimal, even when warmed up. Fine where only a small amount of stretch is needed, but those intended for the 19" wheels are a fight to get on.

Both hard and soft tyres have retained their original shape and unike some urethanes, this rubber does not seem to be detrimental to painted wheels.

Above: A rear tyre in A30 compound fitted to an Alfa wheel.

Whilst these tyres are a step in the right direction, they are made using basic open casting techniques and as a result, the rear faces are not unlike other 'performance' tyres.

I expect that further tyres will be available in due course, most of which will be 'vintage' style with a large diameter and fairly narrow width.

January should see positive steps made to produce the larger tyres to a higher quality, using pressure injection methods.


Friday, 18 November 2011

My workbench is clean again, or: the mighty gremlins

Sometimes, there are little gremlins telling me to go down into my hobbyroom to build and scratch some slotcars. Mighty gremlins....
In my last post I announced the Lotus 18 and the Lotus 21 for the end of the year. Well, they are ready, I couldn´t stop....Look at this:

The Lotus 18 is the 1960 Monaco winning car, driven by Stirling Moss, a Penelope Pitlane kit using the PP-Sm1S-Chassis.

The Lotus 21 was the car of the american driver Walt Hansgen in the 1962 Mexico GP (DNF), body: Dave Jones, chassis: PP-Sm1S

I had to do some soldering and a little bit of resin works. Painting wasn´t easy with the Lotus 21. I hope, you enjoy the cars. The complete story and more detail pics you will find in the german 1:32 scratchbuilt-forum at the weekend  (thread: "Doppelpack")


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Last wheel requests.

With both Mercedes/Auto Union and ERA wheels sold out and Talbot Lago and Alfetta almost half subscribed, more time is being spent considering how to complete the project to my satisfaction.
One more fret is under way, with the etching work likely to take place in January/February. This will be the difficult lot, with a combination of low appeal items (21" vintage types) through an even smaller number of limited types which I expect to be snapped up prior to production, through to a number of high interest items which will work or will be a waste of time and money. A second bash at cross laced wheels will begin once a new set of forming tools has been made to see itf the etches will stretch enough.

Also next year will be a last fret,combining the best selling types, so effectively, those which have not done so well will be laid to rest, and only the more popular types continued.

These final type wheels should all have tyres available. Tyres should be 16" for ERA, 18" for Talbot Lago/Alfetta, 19" skinnies and 21" vintage. More on this as this part of the project develops.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Beautiful cars Taffy, well done.

Some news from Germany...

Sorry, guys, for my absence from this blog for such a long time. This year was not a real slotracing year for me. I was very busy with other things, than with tiny little slotcars.
But I want to show you the cars, I´ve built this year. You know, I like the 1500cc-era so much. So, in the beginning of this year I have built a BRM P57, driven by Tony Mags in 1963. The body is a resin cast, that I did, and the chassis is a Penelope Pitlane-SmS1.

The 2nd car is a Porsche 804-prototype, driven by Ben Pon in Zandvoort 1962, a car, that used the 4-cylinder-Mays-motor instead of the 8-cylinder. I took a Dave-Jones-body as basic and changed the front (a little bit) and the rear (a little bit more...). Chassis: PP-SmS1, too.

Hope, you enjoy the cars. Now on my workbench: Lotus 18 (PP) and Lotus 21 (Dave Jones). I hope to finish them this year.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Talbot Lago wheels

At last the Talbot Lago wheels are making progress!
Delays are still holding up production wheels, but now as well as the first prototype set to 'prove' the etches and determine dimensions, a pre-production set has been (almost) completed and from a head on view appear exactly as the production wheels with the exception of the early wheel nut, where an improved version is being made.
The Talbot Lago was made at the time when the large 18" wheels on GP cars were fast disappearing, even 17" swiftly gave way to 16" by the mid-fifties.
I'm pretty sure the Talbot wheels were made by Borrani.
The model wheels are a fair representation of the originals, or to be exact, of one of the originals. Most cars seem to have had the side/centre laced spoke arrangement on the front wheels and the centre laced set up on the rather wider rears, though some had centre/side for front and rear and others had centre laced all round. The spokes as ever are made in 0.006" stainless steel, heat treated and then formed into the conical shape as per original.
The lightened brake drums are again stainless etchings and since I found one picture of a car with drums having 8 holes rather than the standard 6, I've had some of those made too.
The last wheel in progress is for the Alfetta 158/9, the rear of which will be similar but slightly different to the Talbot rear, whilst the front wheel will be a narrower version of the same.

Monday, 24 October 2011


Well it's been a while since I posted anything new on here, in fact it's been months since I posted anything at all. One of the main reasons is that I had a fairly large order from Germany for twenty RTR Zagatos which of course takes time to complete. The order was for nine competition cars with the remainder being road versions. This meant that the rear arch flares that took four attempts to get right, have had to be removed. Not as easy a task as it sounds. Anyway things are progressing nicely .
As far as new stuff goes I have posted some photographs here of an unusual subject. Maybe not to everybodies taste but the 1964 Maserati Mistral is a striking shape. The body is based on an old Stabocar shell that I obtained from a dealer In Essen, Germany. Being of German manufacture the dimensions are pretty much on the button, but it did seem to suffer from shrinkage in one or two areas. The bonnet area being particularly poor.

So after stripping down the shell and a thoroughly good roughing up with an abrasive paper. the usual filling and flatting eventually produced a shape that i'm quite pleased with. With just minor details to attend to now, such as the blending of the waistline and a further build up of the bonnet bulge, hopefully I can get the master ready for moulding.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

A bit more Austin Twin Cam

Whilst efforts are still being concentrated on trying to complete work on the latest wheels, some time is found to work on cars.

The first ERA is now running, but this post is concerned with the GTM Austin Seven Twin Cam.

(All ERA wheels are now spoken for).

Much progress has been made with a running car likely within the next few days. I have two cars under construction, one using the original motor arrangement, the other using a fabricated brass chassis and a small Mabuchi SA 030 motor in an effort to permit more driver detail.

The image below shows the car with the front axle nearing completion. The brake backplates are a first for me, as one who has only embraced GP etc 'open wheelers' since I started making wheels for them. The backplates should actually be almost flush with the inner edge of the wheel, but a now abandoned thought of using the same wheel centres as the ERA made this impossible. The A7 will now have a dedicated wheel centre to permit flush fitting. No rear backplates have been attempted.

The picture below gives an idea of the completed wheels. Those for the real cars were made by Borrani. The wheels are a three row type, with each row comprising 18 spokes.

This is the second wheel type to be made with brake drums. The drums are pierced and as such would provide three benefits. additional cooling would be provided, the unsprung weight would be reduced and the rotating mass would be reduced, improving both accelaration and braking.

The drums are made in the same 0.006" stainless steel as the spokes. The tyres are G.P.Miniature urethane types. These wheels, together with those for the Alfa are the most involved to date with each wheel comprising 4 x turned aluminium parts, 4 x etched parts and one cast part, together with the two etched backplates and a pair of fixing screws.

It is expected that the cost will be held down to £24 per set. Contact through Slot Forum and the present thread on ERA, Austin Seven Twin Cam and Talbot Lago, scratchbuild section.


Saturday, 15 October 2011


The finished prototype parts.

The format of the wheels is much the same as the earlier 15" and 18" wheels, insomuch as they are quite simple, consisting of just rim, wheel centre, 2 x etches and a conical hub.

Production has been speeded up with the manufacture of modified tooling reducing the time taken to form the etches, and thus unless the cost of turned parts has increased greatly over the last year, a cost of just £20 per set in kit form is hoped for.

These wheels are built up in what has now become a standard procedure. all parts are painter prior to assembly, then to ensure true running, the parts are assembled using a drill press to apply pressure to the parts prior to and during gluing.

Front and rear wheels are pretty well identical except that the wider rear wheels have outer rims 1mm wider than those on the front. The rear wheel centres on this car have standard grub screw fitting, whereas the fronts, which incorporate brake drum detail, as designed to be glued in place.

Centres are interchangable.

Wheels for the Austin Twin Cam are now being painted, whilst machining on the Talbot Lago wheels will be completed over the weekend.

Next up will be more Borrani wheels, this time pricipally for the Alfetta.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

More wheels.....

On occasion I feel the work I do is of a lower quality to that which I know I can manage. The latest effort however, apart from a few slight detail errors, comes close to what I would wish for.

The above picture is of course an ERA wheel, as used on the 'A' and 'B' types, front and rear. Both are 16" diameter. No wheel widths are available, though tyre sizes are, fronts being 5.25", rears 6.60".

The front wheels are 5mm wide, the rears 6mm wide, the intention being to attain an acceptable compromise between accuracy and practicality.

Painted wheels on the next post.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Progress has advanced at an increasing pace, alas with a detrimental effect on other projects. Never mind.

As a compliment to the Mercedes wheels shown in the last post are those for the Auto Union, in particular the 'D'Type. It appears however that all cars used similar types, the main variation being diameter.

The image above shows a front R/H wheel from a restored 'D' type. These cars have the distinctive knock-ons, with the black (?) ears and aluminium centres. I have tried to replicate these as shown in the images below.

All wheels of this type are now spoken for. Apologies to those who have missed out.

Also using the same basic rims are the wheels for the Alfa 8C. this is a 72 spoke version of the 60 spoke 6C wheel made earlier. Wheels of both types are still available.

Work is now progressing swiftly on other wheel types with orders for parts shortly to be made.

ERA 'B' Type. One set not yet spoken for.

Talbot Lago. 13 sets spoken for, 13 sets available. These come with brake drums with either 6 or 8 holes.

Alfetta, with brake drums. plenty left.

Austin Twin Cam, brake drums and front backplates, picture soon? Plenty left.

BRM V16. Alas sold out immediately.


Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Latest wire wheels.

At long last things are coming together with regard to the latest wheel offerings. The wheel in question is the Mercedes and Auto Union 19" wheel.

The existing 19" turned wheel parts are used with the exception of some special spacers which have been turned up on the Myford.

The etches, again drawn up on AutoCAD, have has a subtle change to a couple of tolerances, just a couple of thou, which has resulted in less fettling during assembly. Simple cleaning up of the tab attachment points permits an excellent fit, rather than the previous dressing with a file which was required.

The above wheel is from a restored W154/163 Mercedes. I have studied a vast number of pictures and it really gets difficult deciding what is wrong and what is right. Contemporary photo's suggest the wheel nut is correct, but I have seen at least one picture of a restored 154 type, and one of an original, showing wheel nuts with HANDED ears that I assume parts were used as required. Such nuts seem to have been standard fitting for the W25.

Here is the new 1/32 scale wheel, with the 'earlier' nut. A look at the first picture shows the drums to have holes in, emphasised by the brake shoes etc. The model wheel also has drums with holes in, barely discernable. I'll perhaps try a lighter paint.

Pictures of the Auto Union wheel will appear soon, togther hopefully with the newest 19" Borrani.

Unfortunately all of the Mercedes/Auto Union wheels are now spoken for.


Friday, 2 September 2011


Another Turner model, this time the ERA B Type.

The wrong wheels are fitted to this car, the correct pattern wheels are on their way, not only for the B Type, but a very limited number for the C Type.

The Turner model seems to be based on Remus, the second ERA in the 'White Mouse' stable run by Prince Chula.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Talbot Lago from George Turner

Of the many resin kits available at present which cater for 'classic' styles is the new George Turner T26C Talbot Lago. I was tempted by the Proto/Ghost version of this car, but was put off by both appearance and cost combined. having already commited myself to making wheels for this car, the building of such a model was assured.

The above picture is pretty much as received, albeit with a coat of primer, chassis screwed in place and a set of my earlier (incorrect for this car) wheels fitted.

Here is the same body with a little progress made.


Monday, 8 August 2011

A little more on wheels.

Contrary to my expectations, the latest drawing is now with the etching company, we are both making checks after which the go-ahead will be given.

The next stage is trying to decide which wheels should take priority, a complicated issue to a degree.

The new Alfa Borrani 19" types will be the first out as the press tools are already made and the rims and centres already in stock.

Next up will be the Mercedes/Auto Union where a similar situation exists, but new wheel centres must be made.

Thus comes the sad bit where I must order up a large number of turned parts. I will probably look at getting all expected parts made at the same time as price per part will be just a little lower.

As an advance on the earlier wheels, many of the new types will include extra parts such as brake drums and (in the case of the Austin), backplates.

The picture of the ERA wheel is included because this may well be the second of the wheels available.

Also being made are steering knuckles, made specifically for beam axle cars. new orders from those who have previously ordered wheels (and paid) will receive a set free of charge.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A wheel upate.

After many delays for a variety of reasons, the next series' of wheels are now in sight. the original range has been reduced considerably with the potentially less popular types postponed for the present.

Those wheels now drawn up are;

19" for Mercedes D and Auto Union GP

19" for Alfa Romeo 8C 2300

18" for Lago Talbot. Three different specs will be available. D

18" Borrani. A variety of etches will permit a number of combinations. D

16" Borrani for Austin 7 Twin Cam. D

16" Dunlop for ERA, Riley etc.

17"/18" for BRM V16. D

Wheels with suffix D include ventilated brake drum etches.

The balance of original types proposed may be produced in the future.


Monday, 27 June 2011

There are in fact some suitable lamps, but for the scratch builder they are very costly indeed. Indicator/brake/sidelights work out at about £10 per thousand at cost, yet similar items are sold by major retailers at a cost of £1.00 per 4 which according to my lousy maths is a little over a twenty-fold profit.

I would imagine that the headlamps available (2 for £1.00) have a lesser margin.

The chap who ventures to produce superior lamps is brave indeed. I offer my hopes for success on this venture.


Saturday, 18 June 2011


One of the little details for slot cars that has always annoyed me is headlamps. The problem being that all those that are available are the wrong size. I searched high and low for some suitable replacements looking in every art and craft shop that I could find locally.There are absolutely loads of small self adhesive gems available for making birthday and Christmas cards, with every conceivable shape, colour and style. Except the one I wanted of course. In the end I had no alternative than to make my own.
The size of course was critical. All the headlamps available are made to 4 or 5 or even 6mm diameters, but a standard 7 inch diameter lamp as used on pretty much every car built in the '50s and '60s scales down to 5.5mm. So I drew them up in Corel Draw and had a sheet produced in photo etched stainless steel. Where would I be without photo etching!
The lenses are created using nothing more than clear casting resin, with a yellow pigment added to the resin to give an amber lense as an option. The photos show the prototypes but these have now been improved and they will be available shortly on the GP Miniatures website. I'm sure somebody will find these useful.


The ackerman steering unit has now been fitted to this Revell-Monogram Galaxie 500. A slight oversight in the design of the unit meant that it was a little too wide to fit any of the Astons, so mooching through my collection revealed that this was the only model that it would fit without too much modification.
The only real mods required were the removal of two mounting posts for the fitment of the original front axle and the drilling of two small holes allowing the unit to be bolted in place in the correct position. The picture below shows the unit in place. The stub axles were very kindly turned by a neighbour and press fitted into the wheel hubs and the whole piece placed approximately where it should be. I havn't tested it as yet as I have no space for even the smallest track, but it all moves very freely with the minimum of play either in the axles or tie bar, so I see no reason why it shouldn't do what it's supposed to.
The bodyshell has been stripped of all the tampo printing and paint with the idea of it being repainted to represent the car Jack Sears raced in the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship. Along side the Revell Cortina and maybe a few Minis and Jag Mk2s, I think it will look quite splendid.

DP214 heading for Canada

Here's a shot of another 214. This one is being built up for a customer in Canada. As most will know i'm pretty fussy about my models and if I see something i'm not happy with, i'll do my best to improve it where I can. In this instance, the offending parts were the transparent lamp covers. I was never totally happy with the originals, so I redesigned them with the result being a huge improvement.
The customers request was for the car that beat the Ferraris at Monza in 1963. This was a support race for that years Italian Grand Prix and being driven by Roy Salvadori, I don't suppose the Tifosi were very pleased. This was the only victory that either the 214 or 215 ever scored.

Wire Wheels.

Well after a very long gestation period, i'm pleased to say that i'm now fairly happy with my version of Borannis fabulous wire wheels.The development of these things has taken around six years off an on as funds have allowed.The original idea was to design the internal parts, ie the spokes and discs, to fit a modified BWA rim, in particular the very narrow, "skinny" item that was one of the last introduced by Al Penrose. Al worked very closely with me and redesigned the wheel to my specification only to announce his retirement twelve months later. Back to the drawing board!
The only solution was to find a company in the UK who could do a similar job and eventually a machining company was found. After a fairly lengthy wait the required wheels were delivered and a complete set built up The photograph above shows the result. The tyres are recasts of all the skinny items found on various Scalextric models with a scale appearance being the priority. Cast is a soft resin, not only do they look good, but i'm told they have much better grip than the originals.The initial lot are offered in the three sizes shown above, but this will be expanded to six very soon. The first batch have been designed as disc braked items, but i'm also working on a drum braked version too, allowing a much wider range of cars to be fitted. A two eared spinner is also offered as a further option. Clicking on the picture will give a close view.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

HRH and his DB6 Volante

I've been asked by a number of people if I have any plans to build a model of the DB6 Volante shown below. I guess this particular Aston is now almost as famous as another Aston driven by a Mr Bond. The simple answer is no. The DB6 in my opinion is where Aston Martin started to lose the spirit, where once they were proper sports cars that eventually were turned into four seater tourers. They're not even proper four seaters. I certainly wouldn't want to travel any distance in the back of one of these.To my eye, the DB6 has some very awkward angles and the wheelbase being four inches longer than the DB5 makes it just not right. The depth of the car from the waistline down was increased so that delicate svelt look has gone. Not for me i'm afraid chaps. It simply does not move me.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

An unusual one. A Mallock U2 Mk18 by M.R.Field

A while back I wondered about doing a model of a Clubmans' Formula car. I love the idea of a front engined racing car and I'm a complete "clubby" racing fan.
I phoned Mallock asking for leading dimensions of a Mk 18, the most numerous Mk. of U2 and was immediately asked if I'd make a model for Ray Mallock's 60th birthday. I was delighted to help them out.
I made the majority of the master from 60 thou. plasticard given to me by a customer as offcuts.
I then did the usual mouldmaking and moulding in resin, just slush moulding.
The model needed to be a working one so I made a brass chassis for it and used an HO type motor.
I used a Scalextric guide as Ray's track is Scalex in his loft. It seems he's a real slot car nut! Not bad for a Le Mans winner and famed preparer of racing teams.

The final model with special bits added to make it a model of Ray's actual car was collected by Richard Mallock and his wife on two Triumph motorcycles. Now that's style!

I hope this model should encourage people to make unusual stuff. At least it can be run on your home track with nobody telling you otherwise.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Hurg with the right wheels

With the louvres being cut out and refitted four or five times, i'm reasonably happy with them now and the few bubbles that appeared in the first cast have been sorted. So it's ready to go to be vacuum cast.Some weeks ago I was contacted by the editor of the HRG Society gazette who asked me if I could do a little write up on the development of the model. I duly obliged and a copy of the gazette arrived yesterday. They have been most helpful as far as history and detail of the car and one of the questions I asked was the size of the wheels. As i've mentioned in previous posts the wheels fitted were totally incorrect as far as pattern and size went. So just before it goes off to have the two part mould made, I thought i'd fit a set of 18 inchers made by Peter Seager-Thomas.
Apparently both 16 and 18 inch wheels were fitted to the Aero and I must say that the difference in having the right wheels on any model can make a huge difference. Very vintage in appearance and very skinny. Just how they should be.
I hope the next time I show it will be the final version and ready to go on sale. It's certainly looking very much the part. Form an orderly queue here! As ever, by clicking on the photo, you'll get a bigger image. Well worth it.