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.