I have already mentioned it other times, of all of the slot car competitions, the raid slot ones are the most I like. From my point of view it is very fun because speed is not so important, being also important, but also the ability to pass obstacles on the tracks. They compete in pairs generally in three circuits, first on one lane and then on the other for about five minutes per lane, and the one who travels the longest wins by adding all the distances run in each of the lanes. The sections recreate a stage of a raid race, with sliding tracks, toasted flour on the surface simulating the sand, climbs, descents, various obstacles and traps that test the skill and speed of the drivers.
Mechanically, raid slot cars have differences from normal cars, since they have suspension on the axles and the guide is coupled to an arm that allows the guide to remain attached to the lane even though the car is passing over obstacles. In addition, the chassis are higher than the track to better pass small obstacles and the bodies are also higher than the chassis to prevent the wheels from touching the body due to the travel of the suspensions. Because of these mechanical features, the center of gravity of raid slot cars is higher than rally or speed cars, and to lower that center of gravity a little, counterweights stuck to the chassis are generally used to give more composure to the car.
As in all competitions, there are different categories, from the simplest, with cars practically out of the box, such as Ninco´s cars, to trucks, passing cars with different levels of preparation and even quads. In short, it is a very fun type of competition and completely different from the slot competitions we are used to.
Reviewing the box of spare parts and various scrap yards, I found a Avant Slot Mitsubitshi Lancer Racing chassis, in its first version, with the long guide arm. Testing its fit to different body styles, I found that it fitted quite well into the Scalextric VW Race Touareg bodyshell. The fit was not perfect, since the wheelbase of the two cars is about a millimeter different, but it was quite good without having to make modifications to the chassis, so I got a body from the Scalextric VW Race Toareg to start work.
The first thing I did was attach the chassis to the body. In the following images you can see how the wheelbase of the Avant Slot chassis is very close to that of the Scalextric Touareg, so the adjustment is relatively easy to do and, above all, it is not necessary to make any modification to the chassis.
After disassembling the original interior of the Touareg, I divided it into two parts, on the one hand the passenger compartment (which in the image below appears painted in Tamiya X-11 silver) and on the other the support for the posts to attach the chassis (painted in matt black 33 from Humbrol). In both cases painted with the airbrush.
At the back I glued the posts to screw the body with two-component glue since the joint must be very resistant.
That placed in its place would remain this way.
The previous image also shows the front posts of the chassis, glued to the body in the same way with two-component glue.
I already had the chassis and body attached and the next step was body decoration. After removing the bodywork by immersing it in a 96° alcohol bath to strip the original paint, the modifications to the bodywork were limited to covering the hole in the front hood with a plastic sheet and leaving the part well finished with Tamiya putty. After a coat of gray spray primer (Dupli-Color) I applied the paint with the same scheme and following the same process with which I decorated the MAN truck Dakar , that is, I applied the Tamiya XF-14 acrylic color (Japanese aviation gray), with the airbrush, XF-59 (desert yellow) and XF-58 (olive green) in this same order and without waiting for them to dry, but first I applied the XF-14, rinsed the airbrush and applied the XF-59 and following the same process I applied the XF-58 color. As it is a decoration without defined cuts between the colors it can be done in this way without problems and very quickly.
The decal set I developed is also quite similar to the ones I made for the MAN but adapted to the Touareg´s bodywork. Almost all printed on white decal paper.
Its placement did not have much difficulty but the decals printed on white paper are somewhat more delicate so we have to be more careful in their placement. After a long time soaking and placing decals, the car looked like this:
After placing the decals, I applied two coats of automotive varnish. But I took this car as a test bench and had in mind trying to leave a satin finish on the varnish instead of the gloss that remains when we apply the automotive varnish. On the one hand, I thought about sanding the entire body with very fine sandpaper to kill the gloss of the varnish, but it was not very clear and I preferred to apply a coat of Citadel satin varnish on the shiny automotive varnish. Gross mistake.
I have used several times the Citadel satin varnish for the chassis, usually painted with matte black Humbrol enamel (reference 33), with very good results, and I thought that finish on the Touareg bodywork could look good. With the automotive varnish very dry (I´m talking about a few weeks since I applied the last coat) I applied a Citadel satin spray varnish coat. I do not know if the spray can I have is damaged or if it reacted strangely with the automotive varnish, but it left the body completely whitish, as if a layer of frost had fallen and with a rather ugly finish. If I´m true, I didn´t even have a hard time because when I use cars as a test bench I never know what´s going to happen, so in order to try to improve the car´s result, I let the Citadel varnish dry completely and sanded the body lightly to remove the coat of satin varnish. I did not get it completely but it did improve a lot. After sanding the bodywork, the gloss of the varnish had completely disappeared but very uneven on the entire surface, so I applied a third coat of automotive varnish with the result that you can see in the following two images.
You can see the areas where, despite sanding, I did not completely remove the satin varnish, there was a certain dusty aspect that I like, although it is not what I wanted and it did not look equally good in all places. To finish off the bodywork a little better, after the third coat of varnish, I painted some parts of the lower part of the bodywork in matt black Humbrol enamel.
I assembled the interior after painting the parts that made it up in the usual way, the interior and the anti-roll bars painted in silver color X-11 from Tamiya, the dashboard, the steering wheel and the seats painted matt balck X-1 also from Tamiya, and the pilot and co-pilot painted with various Vallejo acrylic colors. In the latter case, instead of using flat colors as I usually do, after painting off-white with green details the overalls, I gave him a few passes with a mixture of very diluted matte black and dark brown paint, practically dirty water, to give a dusty aspect to the pilots, with a quite acceptable result although it is not appreciated in the image. For the seat belts, I used thin strips of plaster painted red with Vallejo paint. Although it is not a radical change in what I had done to date, it is a step forward in interior decoration.
Following the tests I decided to paint the interior of the body. I made it with a brush with silver color reference 70.997 from Vallejo. I expected a somewhat better result, but apart from the fact that I did not do it well at all and that the paint is very thick and as much as I diluted it, I did not manage to improve the paint. From my point of view I cannot advise this particular painting to paint our models except for small details, however, when I have painted on cardboard, I have achieved good results, but of course, our cars are plastic, not cardboard. I will not use it again.
If you look at the previous image, you will see that some springs are glued on the body posts to attach the chassis, it is a test that took time that I wanted to do. Raid cars have shock absorbers on the axles to overcome obstacles on the tracks more easily, but the body is bolted directly to the chassis. I wanted to make the bodywork somewhat more independent from the chassis and it occurred to me to put springs in the posts. Whether it is effective or not is something that I still do not know because I have not tried it on the track, but they look quite well. The springs that I used have been taken out of an exhausted ball pen, I keep them as the ink of the pens is spent and I chose two springs of the softest. As they are very long, I cut them in half and thus got the four springs I needed.
Regarding the chassis, the only modifications I made was to cut the sides a bit and glue some plastic strips so that the mechanics were not visible from the outside, and glue some small pieces of lead to increase the weight of the chassis, which it is an improvement that is usually done in the tunning of this type of car.
To finish, I put in place the headlights, the roof air intakes and the fuel tank cap (a resin piece cloned from one of the Fly Car Model). As the front had been a bit simple for me, I placed a yellow painted Avant Slot light bar (like the roof air intakes) to break the monotony of the car and to follow a scheme similar to the MAN truck.
And at last, I glued the fender flaps to the back of the car, the license plates and screwed the chassis and bodywork with what I had the car finished.
The problem with the satin varnish has somewhat tarnished the work, but otherwise, I am very happy with the result although there are things that can be improved. I do not know what is happening to me lately that I am very satisfied with the work I do, I do not know if it is because I´m doing a better works or is it that I have lowered the bar of demand. Rather I believe that when dealing with "test benches" the end result is secondary and what matters is putting into practice new ideas and techniques for future works.
|Chassis||Avant Slot Mitsubisi Lancer raid|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||133 x 63,5 x 57 mm.|
|Engine||Raid Avant Slot (Hunter)|
|Front tires||Mitoos Trail 25 mm.|
|Rear tires||Mitoos Trail 25 mm.|