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Monday, 7 July 2014

10 Tips For Buying A Model Kit

Generally a model kit contains a scale model of an object or vehicle - automobile, aircraft, military vehicle, motor, building, replica figure, etc. (there are many to look at and choose from). Such kits include all the necessary pieces of the idea photo on the box (make sure to ask if you are unsure as some buildings show fences and trees, but these are sold separately or just a special part(s) of a larger model), which the hobbyist assembles and then personalizes with paints and decals (usually sold separately).
With model kits, there are two primary types of hobbyists: the builder and the collector. The builder fancies the challenge and the hands-on aspect. The collector, on the other hand, focuses on the possessing, and many collectors opt to display the kits untouched, in their original packaging.

Buying a Model Kit

For the new hobbyist, buying a model kit can be a daunting task simply due to the sheer amount of choice that’s available. Collectors have to choose a vehicle and the scale at which they want to work. Then, they have to factor in price, complexity, customization, tools and supplies, and so forth. If the desired model is no longer manufactured, then the hobbyist has to deal with a series of additional concerns, including appreciation. Choosing a kit is not simple, but even the new hobbyist can avoid the most common pitfalls by following these 10 tips:

1. Research Model Kit Types

The first step is awareness of the various types of kits that are available. The traditional model kit, often called Snap-Tite or Skill Level 1, is made of plastic and simply snaps together. Snap-Tite kits are very newbie-friendly and usually only require mild filing and light gluing to complete.  Experienced hobbyists will eventually graduate to Skill 2 requiring glue and paint and to any of the more advanced Skill 3-5 kits as well as die cast models and radio-controlled vehicles.

2. Choose a Vehicle Type

The next step is to choose the type or class of vehicle. The most popular model kit classes are classic, sports car, NASCAR, hot rod, truck, and service vehicles. Classic car models tend to focus on American muscle, but there are models available for the classics from all over the world. Skill 1 classics tend to be the most accessible kind of kits for the beginner. Hot rods are roadsters, typically open wheel, that have very distinctive aesthetics and engine mount configurations. Hot rods make great looking models, but they can be quite challenging in the building and customization stages. The most popular type of automotive model kit is the sports car model (Corvette, Austin Martin, Ferrari, etc), a class that focuses on street legal sports cars from all years and from all around the world. In the U.S., NASCAR models rival the sports car and classic car classes in overall popularity. The service vehicle class, which are intricate and challenging, includes vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances, snowplows, and so forth.
And just to add to the pile, don't forget Military vehicles, aircraft and ships.

3. Select an Interesting Subject

When choosing a particular model, collectors should opt for a subject that engages them. A Porsche 911 is very popular and a staple in most automotive model collections, but it can also be very boring due to that commonness. Rather than choosing a model based on what is already known, the collector should shop around until a model chooses them. Finding a model car that is aesthetically interesting, challenging to build but still suitable to the beginner, can be difficult, but such models are available.

4. Decide on Scale

The next step is to choose the scale of the model. The most common model size for a car is 1:25 (and manufacturers often use 1:24 rather than 1:25), which is approximately 6 to 7 inches long. In Europe, 1:18 is also very popular. The 1:18 kits are approximately 9 inches long. There are also 1:60 scale kits, which are approximately 3 inches long and are particularly well suited to the small hands of a young child. Small kits are also popular among collectors and builders who enjoy the miniaturization aspect, but tiny kits can require a great deal of patience and fine hand control.
We will discuss in a future blog about the different scales in military, ships and aircraft.

5. Evaluate the Complexity

After choosing the model and scale, consider the complexity of the kit. The first gauge of complexity is the number of pieces in the kit. A Skill 1 kit usually has less than 50 pieces. A Skill 2 kit can have up to 200 pieces. A Skill 3-5 kit can have 200-1500 or more pieces and include many fine parts.
Skill 1 kits are preferable for beginners, children, and adult builders who just want a relaxed experience. Most children can complete a Skill 1 kit with little supervision and only occasional help. Skill 2 or higher kits require additional skills, tools, and supplies. Be aware that choosing a complex model that the builder isn’t ready for can intimidate and overwhelm the builder and therefore loose interest in a very enjoyable hobby.

6. Consider Customization Options and Necessities

An often hidden aspect of model building is the optional, and sometimes necessary, customization and personalization of the model. Automotive model kits are often labeled 2-in-1, 3-in-1, and so on; what that means is that the build process has a branch that allows for multiple finishes. For instance, many classic car kits come in a 3-in-1 configuration, which means that the collector can build it as a stock car, custom car, or race car. Many hobbyists opt to build these kits in all variants and display them alongside each other. First-time builders, however, should consider a basic kit that has no variants for simplicity.

7. Consider the Needed Tools and Supplies

Another important consideration is tools and supplies. The beginner will require basic hobby tools, such as a hobby knife, tweezers, paint, a fine file, and modeling glue/cement. Skill 2 and higher kits, however, will require a range of hobby knives and files as well as putty, sanding paper, spur cutters and perhaps a rotary tool or other power tools. Diecast models require metalworking tools, and radio-controlled models require batteries, an electronic motor, controller, and so forth.

8. Opt for a New Automotive Model Kit

Manufacturers produce kits in runs, which are typically time-limited. Once a run ends, the kit then becomes vintage and begins to appreciate in value. Vintage model cars sell at many times their original sticker price. For the builder, the most common reason to buy vintage is to get a particular classic car, which tend to go in and out of production. Although this will limit the hobbyist’s options, the beginner should focus on new kits in order to work with modern materials and avoid the vintage premium. (many kits are done in a re-release at milestone marks such as the 10th, 25th or 50th year anniversary of that kit or the car/piece)

9. When Buying Vintage, Price It and Haggle for It

If the collector opts to purchase a vintage model, then they should price it first. Price guides will provide a general appraisal, and the Internet is a powerful resource to determine the actual going rate. When buying a vintage model, shop around; check online, local shops, garage sales and shows/conventions. Once found, don’t settle for the listed price, which is generally a best-case scenario for the vendor.
(Be realistic in your negotiations you don't want to insult the one selling the kit in case you want to buy from them again)

10. New Builders Should Have a Contingency Plan

New builders should have a contingency plan because first builds usually do not go according to plan. A benefit of buying a current kit is that the collector can easily purchase an additional kit from the store or replacement parts directly from the manufacturer. Some vendors sell open box kits, which may be missing parts but are a cost-effective way to have spare parts on hand.


Buying a model kit for the first time can be difficult due to the sheer amount of choice available. A hobbyist’s first step should be to educate himself or herself on the various options that are available: classes, models, scales, books and other sources. Next, the beginner should choose a subject that interests them, but also one that isn’t so complex that makes it difficult to learn. With the first build under one's belt, the builder will be able to graduate to one of the more intricate kits the next time, and go into dioramas - but that's another blog......

What did you think of this article?  Please email us or comment on this post and let us know your thoughts and questions.

partial source 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Start Sets by Scalextric

There are a few Start Sets by Scalextric. The track is a little sturdier. Some of these sets:

What else makes them neat?

All you need to get started
This sets includes everything you need to get started, including skill level hand throttles – twist the dial on the side for the novice setting so that cars won't come off the track, or set it to advanced for more realistic skill-based racing. Also included are track, a lap counter, and two  racers.

Fun, flexible, and realistic
A lap counter is included in this set so that two drivers can set up to 50 laps of endurance racing. Each hand controller has a two-position selector switch which allows the driver to choose slow or fast speed settings to reflect the driver's experience.
The Scalextric Start track has a very easy push-together, pull-apart system which keeps assembly time down to a minimum. There are four alternative track shapes to make, and the vehicles are tough and robust. A sheet of decals is supplied with each car so that the car can be decorated with racing graphics.

Adjust the difficulty for different skill levels.

Why choose Scalextric Start?
The Scalextric Start range is designed to be the perfect introduction to Scalextric for children aged 5 years and up, featuring parts designed specifically for younger racers. The track pieces are especially easy to connect and disconnect, making for easier assembly and tidying away. Each set includes super tough cars built to take a tumble, and they need not whiz off the track at all thanks to the optional novice setting on the hand throttles. Scalextric Start is also compatible with standard Scalextric products.
Scalextric Start provides everything for the rookie racer in a ready-to-race package. Accelerate into the world of 1:32 scale slot racing; available in a selection of ready-to-race sets, Scalextric Start provides everything for the rookie racer!

With so many choices, you can really have an interesting layout and remember it can be expanded on with any number of accessories and of course, more track.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post.  Please comment and let us know what you think.  Feel free to share this article with a friend!

Thanks, from all the guys at Chinook & Hobby West

Monday, 23 June 2014

Building A Road

Would you like to include a road or sidewalk on your layout or diorama?  We have great kits for beginners to experts that give great finished looks.

We know we have a kit that's ideal for you!  Make sure to come down and see us for more info and techniques.

Our first kit is for Beginners or great for school projects:

 the Woodland Scenics Road Kit for building roads and sidewalks on our layouts and dioramas.  Its easy, fast, a good price and looks great when finished!

Woodland Scenics has also released a great video to demonstrate just how easy this kit is to use:
Click Here to view

Our other kit is for Intermediate to expert:

Road System Learning Kit


Modelers learn to easily add roads and other paved areas to any layout. The kit contains illustrated instructions and enough of the following products to build a roadway approximately 3" x 4' (7.62 cm x 121 cm): Smooth-It™, Paving Tape™ and Spreader, Asphalt Top Coat™ and the Top Coat applicator.

Here is another great video to help you bring this Road System kit to life for you:
Click Here to view

Are you looking to add more realism to your road?  Check these out!

Paving Tape™


Use this adhesive-backed foam tape to create straight-edged forms for paving, even on curves. Use to model streets, roads, sidewalks and parking lots. Easy to apply and remove. Includes Spreader. Roll 1/4" w x 1/16" h x 30' l (6 mm x 1.5 mm x 9.14 m) makes a road approximately 15 feet long (4.57 m).

Top Coat™ Concrete


Top Coat Concrete is a non-toxic, water-soluble compound used to simulate the color of concrete road surfaces. Brush-on application. 4 fl oz (118 mL)
One bottle will cover approximately 9 to 12 square feet.

Top Coat™ Asphalt


Top Coat Asphalt is a non-toxic, water-soluble compound used to simulate the color of blacktop road surfaces. Brush-on application. 4 fl oz (118 mL)
One bottle will cover approximately 9 to 12 square feet.

Smooth-It™ (1 qt.)


Smooth-It is a plaster material that is used to smooth rough spots, create streets, roads and parking lots. Mix with water and apply directly to any clean hard surface. Covers 26' by 3" by 1/4" (HO Scale - two-lane highway).

Road Striping Pen - Yellow


Easily stripe roads, parking lots, crosswalks and other paved areas. Road Striping Pens make precise and opaque, realistic markings and dries quickly. Works for scales N through O. Use with Flexi Edge™ to create accurately scaled stripes and lines. 1/pkg and includes extra tip.

Road Stripe Remover


Use with Road Striping Pen - White and Road Striping Pen - Yellow to correct striping errors easily. Removes paint from Top Coat™ painted surfaces, leaving no residue. 1/pkg

The Scenery Manual


The most popular and comprehensive scenery manual available. Anyone can make beautiful, realistic scenery, and this manual will show you how. The spiral-bound Scenery Manual is loaded with various tips, techniques, ideas and instructions for using more than Woodland Scenics products to model realistic scenery. 170 pages contains hundreds of full-color photos and illustrations. Includes a 22 page addendum featuring the new terrain products.


Thanks for checking out our blog, we hope you enjoyed this article.  Please leave a comment and let us know if this article was helpful.

Happy Hobbying!

From the gang at Chinook & Hobby West

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Frequently asked questions about Model Building

Welcome to Chinook Hobby Talk Blog! Ready to learn something?

There are so many great books to get started into a hobby or to hone your techniques.

One of our fav's for Car and Truck plastic model building is:

Here are some beginner questions we get asked:

What is a scale model? 
A scale model is a miniature representation of either the real thing or a vehicle from the builder's imagination. Most scale models are made from kits, but some are made from scratch. Modelers strive to build with care so the result looks like the real thing. Careful research from books, photos, and observing the full-size subjects comes into play. Builders try to eliminate seams and create realistic paint jobs, along with adding extra details. 

What is meant by scale?
The scale of a model determines its size in relation to the real thing. A model in 1/25 scale is one twenty-fifth the size of the original. In other words, it would take 25 models end-to-end to span the measurement of the actual subject. 

What is a vacuum-formed kit?
Like an injection-molded kit, these are made from plastic. But vacuum-formed kit parts are heat-pressed into sheets of styrene plastic. Each part must be cut from the sheet, the edges of the parts must be sanded, and a few other special steps must be introduced to the building process to get these kits together. A vacuum-formed kit can be assembled with plastic cements, superglues, or epoxies. They usually are not for beginners, but often may be the only kits available of certain subjects. You should have a couple of years of experience with injection-molded kits before trying one of these. Vacuum-formed kits are generally manufactured and sold by small aftermarket companies. 

What is a resin kit?
Instead of being molded with hot plastic as injection-molded and vacuum-formed kits are, resin kits are made from liquid resins poured into silicone rubber molds. The liquid resin sets after a few minutes, and the molds are separated to release the parts. Resin kits usually are of subjects that are not available in injection-molded kits, and they can be expensive. You must use super glue or epoxy to build resin kits. Like vacuum-formed kits, resin kits are made and sold by aftermarket companies. 

What are photo-etched parts?
These are fine detail parts that usually are obtained as aftermarket items. Parts such as instrument panels, seat buckles, louvers, and grilles, are photographically transferred onto thin sheet metal. Areas outside the images of the parts are etched away in a chemical bath. These add-on parts take some experience to handle and install, but they can improve the look and detail level of a model. 

What kind of cement should I use?
Most plastic kits can be built with tube or liquid-type plastic cements. Superglues (also known as CA for cyanoacrylate) and epoxies also can be used on plastic kits, and will work with other materials such as resin, metal, and wood. 

How can I use superglue on my models?
Superglue can be used to put kits together, and gap-filling superglues (thick formulas) can be used to fill seams and depressions. Cured superglue can be sanded and polished just like plastic. 

Are there kits for people just starting out in modeling?
Yes. Dozens of simple kits have parts that snap together. You won't need glue to assemble them, and you may not need to paint them, either. You can move on to more complex kits after you get your feet wet. 

What kind of paints should I use on a scale model?
Several brands are available, usually in hobby shops. Enamels are oil-based paints and they require paint thinner to thin and clean up. Enamels are easy to apply and come in a wide assortment of colors. Enamels also are available in spray cans, many matching bottled paints in the same line. Water-based acrylic hobby paints are becoming more popular. They are more difficult to airbrush, but they are less toxic than enamels. Most acrylics are thinned and clean up with water. Automotive lacquers, such as touch-up paints, are also used by many builders. Their advantage is they go on thin. These paints require the use of primer, and are very toxic, so a two-stage respirator and sufficient ventilation should be used when spraying them. 

How does a modeler decide which scale to build?
Some modelers prefer to work in one scale only so they can see the size relationship of their subjects. But others may not be concerned with constant scale. If there is only one kit of the subject they are looking for, then that is the model they will build. Usually, large scale models have the best detail, but the variety of subjects is limited. Automobiles usually are found in 1/24 or 1/25 scales. There are some kits in 1/12, 1/16, and 1/20, and 1/43 offers a wide variety of kits and finished models. 

What is stretched sprue?
The material that the parts of a plastic kit are attached to is called sprue. Modelers occasionally use this raw material to produce new parts for their models. For example, by heating the sprue over a candle flame, it can be stretched as thin as hair or bent to produce other shapes. Stretched sprue often is used to represent antennas. 

What are pin marks and mold seams?
During the injection-molding process, certain blemishes appear on the parts. Ejector pins that push the parts from the mold often leave small circular marks on the part. Mold seams sometimes are visible too. They appear as small raised lines along the line where the halves of the mold separate. Modelers try to eliminate these blemishes on their models with filler and sandpaper. 

What is detailing?
Modelers often add details to their models that are not provided in the kits. Some details, such as improved instruments, seats, seat belts, antennas, engine accessories, and decals, are available as aftermarket items, but some modelers make their own improvements. 

Of course there have been many more questions and we are open to answering yours too!  Drop us an email with your questions to and we can help you.

Please feel free to leave comments below!

source 1

Monday, 27 January 2014

Model Tips for Beginners - Part 2

Previously we did a Blog on  Basic Tips For Model Building for beginners that takes you step by step through some basic steps on building a model kit.  

The following are some questions that some of you, our customers, have asked either through email, social media or here at our store.  If we haven't answered your question, please send us an email or come down and see us here at Chinook & Hobby West!

Make sure to check out Part 1 from last week:


What type of paint is best to use?
There are dozens of different paints sold in hobby and craft stores, hardware stores, and chain stores. We generally suggest that you try to stay with paint made specifically for plastic models. Most hobby paints will be either:
  • Enamel, which you will need to use paint thinner or turpentine to clean your brushes and equipment, or
  • Acrylic, which is water based so water will clean brushes and equipment.
You must clean the unpainted plastic parts prior to painting because paint may not adhere to the parts otherwise. This will remove the oily mold release spray that is added during manufacturing. To clean, put a few drops of a liquid dish or hand soap on an old toothbrush and give the parts a quick scrubbing. Let the parts air dry.
Many modelers like to use spray paints for the largest parts of their model, such as car bodies or aircraft fuselages because sprays will provide a better finish. Usually smaller detail parts are painted with a brush using bottled paints.
Some general guidelines when using sprays are:
  • Use a coat of primer before spraying on your paint. Some paints may "craze" or attack the plastic surface depending on the paint's ingredients.
  • Don't attempt to cover the part with one coat of paint. You want to spray several very light coats to build up the coverage. Paint coats that are too heavy cause runs and loss of engraved detail. Follow the directions on the can, but generally you'll want to wait 15-20 minutes between paint coats.
  • It's best to stick with the same manufacturer for the different types of paints you use on the same model (primer, color and clear, if you use a clear coat). Putting one manufacturer's paints over another may cause them to react with each other.
  • Let the paint dry completely before handling or trying to polish out the paint. Although it may seem dry on the surface, a good way to tell if the paint is fully cured is to hold the model up to your nose, if you can still smell the paint, it's probably not dry yet.
Why can't I find colors like fiery yellows and leafy greens in paints?
There are a variety of manufacturers that make an almost universal variety of paint colors that are compatible with plastic models. Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Floquil and Badger are just some of the companies you may want to check out. Rust-O-Leum is also safe because it is fish oil based, but always test first to be sure.
Don't be afraid to look in military, automotive, marine or any other category for paint. It's the color that counts, not the name on the bottle.
How can I fix a mistake in my paint job?
Your model should be quite salvageable. First thing, do NOT use sandpaper. There are a number of products that will remove most paints from styrene plastic safely. We recommend using products made specifically for this purpose, such as Scale Coat or Easy Lift Off by Floquil. Once you have stripped the paint from your model, wash and dry it thoroughly and re-prime. You should be good to go!

Why do I sometimes get bubbles in my paint?
There are a number of possibilities that could cause bubbles in your paint, but one of the most common is residual mold release left from the manufacturing process. Before painting any model, wash it with dish soap and dry thoroughly. Be sure to prime your model before painting so any imperfections may be resolved before applying your finish coat.
Is it better to paint the model before or after it's built?
Generally, you will have better results by painting your model before assembling it. An exception is to first glue together small parts of an assembly if they will all be the same color and painting it as a unit.

Decals: Types & Application

How do I apply decals?
Revell SnapTite® (Skill Level 1) kits contain "Peel 'n Stick" self-adhesive decals that are applied by simply peeling the image from the paper backing and applying to the model. Kits that require glue (Skill Levels 2 & 3) have traditional waterslide decals.
To apply a waterslide decal:
  • Cut apart the individual images from the sheet.
  • Dip the decal into lukewarm water for 1 or 2 minutes. Take the decal from the water and see if the image will move or slide on the paper backing. If not, return to the water for a few more seconds.
  • Once the decal will slide on the backing, put the decal and backing on a paper towel for a few seconds to remove the excess water.
  • Then bring the decal up to where on the model you want to apply it and slide the image from the paper backing onto the model. While wet, you can still move the image on the model a bit to position it just where you want it. If there are any air bubbles under the decal, gently push the bubble toward one of the edges of the decal with a wet Q-tip or edge of a paper towel to remove it.
  • When the decal is in position, simply leave it air dry and it will stay in place.
Many hobby shops will sell various decal setting solutions that will help the decal conform to sharply curved surfaces. We suggest trying out the specific solution you wish to use on an unused decal from the same sheet applied to a piece of scrap plastic to make sure the solution will not react with the decal. If you wish to spray a clear coat over your decals, the clear paint you intend on using should be tested first using the same method.

I am a first-time model maker and am having difficulty removing the decals from the page to apply to model. Do you have any suggestions for application?
Decals should be dipped in lukewarm water for only a moment and then set on a paper towel to let the water soak in and dissolve the adhesive that holds the decal on the paper. The decal will curl up, and then unroll after a short time. At this point the decals should be able to be moved around on the backing paper and slid into location on the model. Once in place they can be dabbed with the tip of a paper towel or tissue to soak up excessive water.

My model requires that I put the gas cap on before the decals. How are you supposed to fit the decals over the gas cap?
The best way to do it would be to apply the decals first, and then with a sharp hobby knife make an "X" pattern hole in the decal and then install the gas cap.
For a tutorial on putting on very small decals Click Here

Replacement Parts

I bought a very old kit from a garage sale, at a swap meet, or on Ebay. Do you still have parts and decals for it?
Although we do our best to fulfill requests for missing parts, many of the kits available through collectors or other independent sources were released many decades ago. These kits can make wonderful collector's items, but it is unlikely that we will still have parts for them.
If this is the case, you might want to contact another collector through an online forum. Collectors will sometimes seek out multiple copies of the same kit so they can combine them and have one complete kit with some extra parts. You may be able to arrange a swap or purchase that way.
We usually suggest that you try going directly to the manufacturer of the model kit.

Why do models sometimes look different on the box than what's in the kit?
Although manufacturers try to make sure that the box art represents the actual model kit, in some instances there may be small variations in what is shown. Sometimes, the hand-made master model is used for the box art photo because the actual kit production hasn't been completed. Or, the producer of the actual prototype may make changes after the model tooling is committed for production. In either case, the differences will be subtle and will not affect the overall model kit subject.


We hope that we have been able to answer some of your questions.  Please let us know what you think of our blogs. We love to hear from you.

Thank you for checking out our Blog.  Please visit our WebsiteFacebook and Newsletters.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Basic Slot Car Maintenance - Part 3

Make sure to check out Part 1 of our Basic Slot Car Maintenance to learn:
  • Fixing track to a Baseboard
  • Power drops and breaks
  • Testing Lane Change sections
and Part 2:
  • Cleaning
  • Lubricating the Chassis
  • Guide Braid/Blade replacement.

Welcome to the exciting hobby of Slot Cars.  At the beginning it is great fun, until everything starts to hesitate and slow down. That's when you need to look after your setup so you can continue with maximum enjoyment of your Slot Car experience.

You are here to learn abut how to maintain your Slot Car setup before it needs major maintenance (we hope we've caught you in time, lol)

Weather you have a small and simple setup or a 4+ lane for club racing, the proper cleaning routine is needed.

Tire Maintenance

Cleaning the tires gives the greatest amount of benefit to car performance.
Before using these tips, ensure that the track surface is clean and dust free.

For the novice:

  • Clean the rear tires with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Dry the rear tires.
  • Test the car on track.
A good tip is to visually check the colour of the rear tyres. If they are grey (the colour of dust) then they need cleaning. Repeat the process of cleaning and testing until the tires remain black after a track test. Then, the tires are ready to produce the best results.

For the experienced racer:

  • Clean the tires with tape (masking or gaffer tape or similar)
  • Test the car on track.

For the advanced racer:

  • Clean the tires with tape
  • Apply 3-in-1 oil (or similar) to the tire surface. Rub it in to the tire surface.
  • Gently remove any excess oil from the tire surface. Tires can be moist but not wet.
  • Test the car on track.
Tire truing is also recommended for the advanced racer and involves running the rear tyres on a flat surface of sand/glass paper to wear the tyres down to a smooth flat surface where 100% of the contact area touches the track surface.

Magnets & Downforce

What to race : A Super Resistant or Fully Detailed car?
Let's use the Audi R8 GT3 as a comparison. It comes in detailed and super-resistant form. With two cars of the same make,  in super-resistant and detailed build, the differing down-force between each car might influence your choice depedent upon what type of circuit you race on.

The magnets on both cars are the same so why the difference in down-force?
A super-resistant Audi R8 has a weight of 87 gm and a magnet force of 260 gm. This down-force is measured with the magnet fitted to the car. The overall downward weight on the track is, therefore, the force of the weight of the car and magnet together. E.g. 260gms. The magnet accounts for a force of (260-87) 173gms.
A detailed car has a higher weight of 93 gm and a magnet force of 277gms. The magnet added a force of (277-93) 184gms.

The 11gms difference between both cars is accounted for by no two magnets being alike in terms of their magnetic attraction (gauss value). Other factors such as flexibility of the chassis also come into play as does the condition of the track, thickness of the tyres, etc as the distance of magnet from rail is critical and exponential. The magnet being twice as close to the track doesn't mean it's effect is two-fold - it could be tens times stronger! So differences in all of these areas can make significant differences.

From a practical point of view, for racing both cars have good performance. This car does race well and feels sure-footed, even for those racers who prefer to race without a magnet (which is the best way to race in my opinion!).
Pros and cons are:
A light weight super-resistant car is superior on smooth track and/or long straights since it won’t be inclined to de-slot and can accelerate to top speed far quicker than a heavier fully detailed car. For circuits with bumps or only short straights a heavier car is recommended because the extra weight is required to keep the car in the slot and not so much is time is wasted accelerating along short straight lengths of the track.
If you have a car that sticks to the track too much check the underpan to see if the magnet can be moved to a different position. Usually, moving it foward lessens the downforce effect. When you are ready for more of a challenge, try removing the magnet completely. It's interesting to note that most Scalextric clubs ban the use of magnets!
---weights can also be used to increase downforce

Motors - An overview

An overview of Scalextric motors.

Scalextric motors are rigourously tested to help ensure that the Scalextric car is fitted with a motor that has good durability and will give many years of serviceable life without problems.

Is maintenance necessary?

Generally, a Scalextric motor needs no maintenance at all for the average home user. In fact, the car is built so that access to the motor is difficult. This is to comply with toy regulations and means that the motor has to be durable and maintenance free.

Maintenance for the enthusiast.

Enthusiasts may want to ensure that the motor is running at its optimum. Therefore, with chassis removed, it is possible to add a single drop of oil (3-in-1 light oil) to the ends of the motor shaft. Whilst this maintenance is carried out it is also good practice to clean all moving parts such as the pinion and axle gears and the axle bearings and lightly oil these components. Electrical contact cleaner can be used to clean the internal motor brushes but be sure to only carry out this maintenance on a cold motor.

Motor specifications

Scalextric motors are expected to be used at 12 to 15v. In practice they will work up to 18v without much problem. Above 20v seriously shortens the life of a motor.
In basic terms, current draw is 0.5 to 1Amp. However, strength or magnet, weight of car, grip of tyres are but just three factors that effect current draw.
Note that the current draw will only, and can only, be no more than the current available from the power source!
We recommend that only Scalexctric power supplies are used.
The standard Mabuchi S (SP) can motor or Mabuchi slimline motor (FF) fitted to most Scalextric cars are rated at 18,000 r.p.m. measured at 12v.

Performance Motor range

Motors can be changed for higher revving motors. See our Performance Motors range.
This range has 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 rpm motors available.

Car Tuning

We do not recommend that any tuning is performed on an electric motor other than a spot of oil placed on the external motor shaft bearings - now and again. However, the components that act with a motor to deliver forward motion can be tuned. Adding a higher revving motor doesn't neccessarily mean quicker lap times or a better handling car! Different gear ratios can be used to effect the acceleration and braking of the car to improve the overall balance and performance. This is where tuning becomes more of an art. There are no strict guide lines to say what is best as so much depends upon such elements as driving technique, motor, car balance, tyre grip, track surface, hand controller, gear ratios and shape of track circuit - to name but a few variables - but making changes one step at a time and recording the differences is a steady logical way to go.



Performance Tyres

The performance range of tyres will fit most Scalextric cars.
Here's a brief guide to indicate which tyres will fit your car for those extra fast lap times.

C8413-Le-Mans-TyresC8413 - set of 4

Porsche 997
BMW 318Si
Aston Martin DBS
Dodge Viper
Peugeot 908
Nissan 350Z
Ford GT 2004
Nissan Skyline JGTC
Ford Mustang FR500C
Lamborghini Gallardo
Porsche Spyder
Ferrari F430
Maserati MC12
Aston Martin DBR9

C8414-Single-Seaters-TyresC8414 - set of 4

F1, Indy, A1GP cars.

C8415-American-Classics-TyresC8415 - set of 4

Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Ford Mustang
Ford Torino
Ferrari 330 P3/P4

C8416-Rally-TyresC8416 - set of 4

Chaparral 2F
Subaru Impreza
Ford Focus
Peugeot 307
Alfa Romeo 159
Seat Leon
Porsche 911 GT3R

We here at Chinook & Hobby West, would like you to have the maximum fun with your Slot Car set.  Please feel free to come down and talk to us about showing you how to clean and maintain your cars and tracks or to upgrade your cars to Digital.

We carry Scalextric 1:32 scale Slot Cars. We are expanding our selection for the slot car season of 2014-2015 (November to March).


Monday, 20 January 2014

Model Tips for Beginners - Part 1

Previously we did a Blog on  Basic Tips For Model Building for beginners that takes you step by step through some basic steps on building a model kit.  

The following are some questions that some of you, our customers, have asked either through email, social media or here at our store.  If we haven't answered your question, please send us an email or come down and see us here at Chinook & Hobby West!

How do I get the parts off the runners? 
It's best to remove the parts from the trees or sprue by cutting them off. Do this by cutting the part off as close as possible to the surface of the part so there is no excess plastic on the part from the tree. Most modelers use a hobby knife or sprue cutter (which you can find at most hobby shops). We do not recommend twisting the parts off because this can cause breakage, especially with thin or fragile parts.

Why do a few parts in my kit have rough edges?
Plastic injection molded model kit parts will sometimes have a rough edge or "mold line" on the part as a result of the manufacturing process. These can be removed by sanding the edge off the part with a small file, emery board, or sandpaper. Do this prior to painting your parts for a more realistic and professional appearance. Use a light touch as styrene plastic is soft and will easily sand.

I am a first-time model maker and am having difficulty removing the decals from the page to apply to model. Do you have any suggestions for application?
Decals should be dipped in lukewarm water for only a moment and then set on a paper towel to let the water soak in and dissolve the adhesive that holds the decal on the paper. The decal will curl up, and then unroll after a short time. At this point the decals should be able to be moved around on the backing paper and slid into location on the model. Once in place they can be dabbed with the tip of a paper towel or tissue to soak up excessive water.

We also would like to add that using a decal setting solution afterwards will help the decal 'snuggle' onto your project for your best look.

What type of glue or cement should I use?
Generally, most any glue or cement that is suitable for use on plastic can be used on your Revell model kit. Tube glues, such as Testors and Ambroid are the most commonly found and have a gel-like consistency. These are also made in a non-toxic formula to reduce some of the odors.
Use these sparingly in order to avoid the glue oozing out from the parts being joined. When using tube type glues you may want to squeeze out a small amount onto a scrap piece of paper or cardboard and apply a small amount to the kit part using a toothpick to control how much glue you are applying. Many builders like to use a liquid cement such as Testors, Tenax, or Pro-Weld, among others. Liquid cements can be applied using a small paint brush and can give you a nice, clean glue joint. Dip the brush in thinner from time to time to clean.
Other glue types frequently used are five minute epoxy, which is best used when you need a really strong bond for major structural parts of the kit, or "CA" glue, which is also commonly called super glue. CA is short for cyanoacrylate. Keep in mind that you do NOT want to use CA or super glues with clear or transparent parts as it will fog up the part.
Remember to always want to use any glue or cement in a well-ventilated area and to keep some nail polish remover nearby in case you glue your fingers together.

I accidentally got a finger print of paint or glue on my windshield. How can I get it off without ruining it?
If you only have a little bit of glue or paint on your glass, you may be able to get it off just by rubbing with a soft cloth. If you have any more, you may have to use more drastic measures like using a very fine rubbing compound ,such as white toothpaste. You can also use a superfine polishing kit. If you wind up with a slight fog on the glass, you can usually eliminate it by using model wax, clear enamel or liquid acrylic floor wax. If the glue is embedded too deeply, your only choice is to replace the glass.
Pro-Weld Liquid Glue

Testors Clear Parts Cement

Plastruct Liquid Glue

CA Glue, Debonder and Accelerator by Speed

Testors Model Cement and Liquid Glue

Watch for Part 2 next week:

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