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Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

The SCX Ford Focus RS WRC is a slot car that I especially like, not probably because it seemed like a more or less beautiful car, but when I started in rally competitions back in 2003 it was one of the leading cars in from the Group N category. I recognize that I also have a weakness for the rally cars that SCX manufactured between 2001 and 2005 (Ford Focus, Seat Cordoba, Citro├źn Xsara, Hyundai Accent, Mistsubitshi Lancer ...), some very good cars repoduced and with small (and cheap) adjustments they performed very well on the slot tracks. Regardless of the reason, I like the SCX Focus RS WRC a lot and I have several units of the model in my private slot car collection.

Some time ago, I got a scrap body from that car to which I attached an Avant Slot rally chassis. It goes without saying that the new chassis improved the car´s track performance tremendously, and more so considering that the slot car itself was quite good. In this link you can see the process of adaptation the Avant Slot chassis to the SCX Ford Focus WRC body.

With the chassis attached, it was only necessary to decorate the body. I hadn´t clear the decoration and I checked the "Calcas de rallye" website, which has a lot of decorations for 1/32 scale rally cars. Looking in the section of Ford cars, I found a decoration that I liked a lot, belonging to the Ford Focus RS WRC with which the Portuguese driver Rui Madeira ran the 2001 Portugal rally and achieved the 11th position. In the following image obtained from the internet appears the car running in that rally.

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

So I bought a set of decals with the decoration of the Ford Focus RS WRC, which are the ones shown below.

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

The decals are of a pretty good quality although they have some improvable things that I will explain later. I have decorated several cars with decals of this manufacturer and they work very well and are very resistant, in fact, in some cases I have been very rough in their handling and they have responded perfectly.

As a preliminary step to the decoration, I painted the body with Tamiya gloss white acrylic paint applied with the airbrush (reference X2) and after a couple of well applied coats I let the paint dry and began decorating with the decals. As I said, the decals are very thin and resistant (to some extent), in this case they fit very well to the body shapes and are easily placed leaving a very attractive result, although some decals are not well scaled and therefore They do not fit well where they should fit (for example in the case of the decals on the sides of the car) and the resolution of some of the logos would be better. The problem of adjustment is minimal, and can only be seen when we are very sharp when placing the decals, the resolution problem is hardly solvable since it is surely a problem of the limitations of the printer used to make the decals. But as I said, they are a good buy.

After placing the decals and let them dry well a couple of days, I applied two coats of automotive lacquer to protect the decoration, giving a soft pass with fine waterproff sandpaper to eliminate imperfections, with the result that can be seen in the following image.

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

The interior was painted white and decorated it to highlight it a bit without great pretensions, the dashboard was painted in matt black (Tamiya's XF1). I aslo painted the driver and co-driver, the simulated spare wheel and roll bars. To close it, I glued some ribbon as a seatbelt.

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

I also painted black the edges of the windows in the way I explain in this link, although I don't have any images of them before placing them.

Regarding the mechanics, I chose a Avant slot Hunter 4x4 dual-axis motor that delivers about 20,000 rpm at 12 volts with two 8-tooth nylon pinions (from Cartrix). On the rear axle, place a 28-tooth crown of Team Slot, anchored to the chassis Sloting plus with Victor´s bearings, and aluminum wheels from Slot.it. From my experience, Victor´s bearings are the best to place on the rear axle of these chassis, since having a ball joint inside we can adjust the height of the rear axle without any problem and the rotation of the axle will remain smooth.
For the front axle I used a 26-tooth crown also from Team Slot, with the specific bearings for the front axle of this chassis (Avant Slot reference 20409). The guide and the cables with silicone sheath are the ones that Avant Slot usually mounted in these chassis, and for my taste, the guide is especially good.

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

For the wheels I wanted to maintain the aesthetics of the car, so for the front axle, I chose some OZ wheels from SCX (the originals of the car) painted and decorated, and for the rear wheels, use some aluminum wheels from Slot.it. To maintain the aesthetics of the rear tires, I turned two tires into inserts for the aluminum wheels. I simply sanded the tires until they fit inside the aluminum rim, with the result shown in the following image. On the left, the original rim painted and decorated model appears (to be placed on the front axle) and on the right is the aluminum rim to which I placed the central part of the original rims as an insert (for the rear axle).

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

A set of Avant 20306 reference tires complied perfectly with the aesthetics and behavior of the car on the track and that is why I chose them to fit them on the wheels.

Finally, there were only some details of the body to finish: paint the taillights (with translucent Tamiya X-26 red and X-27 orange), make the exhaust pipe with an crimp bootlace ferrule and the front grille, a piece of shadow mask of a CRT TV attached to the body, since in the original car the grill was attached to the chassis, which does not happen with the new chassis. With the previous ones, and the rest of the pieces attached to the body, the car looked like this:

Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001 Ford Focus RS WRC. Rally de Portugal 2001

To be a car made "without a fixed course" has been pretty good. When I adjusted the Avant Slot chassis to the body I thought about using it for testing, but when I found the decoration of Rui Madeira´s car I decided to finish it completely. The car has really helped me to practice and perfect things like interior decoration (which has never been one of the strengths of my works) and improve the detail of some parts of the car, such as the taillights or tires, which improve greatly only with a coat of paint and a few decals.

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