Now that I have fixed the tie rod on my Losi Micro DT I have had a chance to test more layouts of the modular micro RC race track I am building. Here is a video of a number of track layouts using 5 or 6 modules. These layouts include:
Small Oval (5 modules)
b-Shape (5 modules)
L-Shape (5 modules)
C-Shape (6 modules)
Brickyard (6 modules)
It also shows the process for changing between two layouts and adding a module to the layout.
It’s time to approach making some terrain for my micro RC track. I have been thinking about how I want to go about this and the types of terrain modelling techniques and media that could be used. The ideas I have are:
Paper Mache – When I was young I made my own play sets with terrain for my Micro Machines. I made paper mache using wallpaper paster to do this. There are other techniques for making paper mache glue as well such as flour and water. Paper mache will also paint quite well with water based paint but enamels will also work.
Plaster – Using Plaster of Paris terrain could be molded, cast or sculpted. It is fairly robust once it is finished and can be painted easily with cheap water based paints.
Epoxy Putty – Two-part, kneadable putty is common in hobby model making with brands such as Milliput and Tamiya readily available (I think I have some of both lying around the house unused). It is also available from the hardware store in various brands. It is paintable but I am assuming you need oil based paints.
Builders Putty – This type of putty, unlike the two-part epoxy, is an oil based air curing putty used in joinery and glazing to fill gaps. I am not sure just how well it will work but it is quite cheap so it is worth trying. I think this will also require oil based paints.
Packaging Foam – A cheap and easy foam to source is packaging foam or expanded poly styrene foam. I always seem have some lying around the house and it is easily sculpted but I will have to look in to techniques for strengthening and finishing it. It can also be used as filler for other modelling techniques.
Modelling Foam – The other foam option is modelling foam or ‘blue foam’ which is extruded polystyrene foam (and not always blue). The extruded foam is more durable than expanded foam and used by many types of model makers. It is also considerably more expensive.
Builders Polyurethane – Here is Australia this is most commonly known as ‘liquid nails’ and typically comes in a caulking gun pack from the hardware store. They also sell a sausage pack at the hardware store. Using this will be somewhat experimental and I am thinking of forming it into rough shapes and carving it to the final shape when cured.
Cast Polyurethane – This is a quite intensive technique as a mold would need to be made to cast from. I would only use this if I create a piece of terrain from another method that I want to replicate many times.
Wood – Some of my brainstorming included making jumps and a quarter pipe. Wood is a logical choice for some of these larger terrain features. Plywood techniques such as egg crating and countour building could be combined with other modelling techniques to make interesting terrain. Wood dowels on their side could also be used to make little logs to drive over.
Cardboard – Making terrain from cardboard will not be robust in the long term but for trying out concepts before making them with wood. Cardboard can also be used to make egg crate and countour models.
There are so many other potential methods too. Let me know if you have any ideas for making terrain in the comments section below.
I have completed seven of the eight base modules for the micro RC race track and have finally gotten around to making a video of it, so let’s get straight into that…
It worked better than expected although the car wasn’t sliding on the plywood as it did in the earlier ‘Proof Of Concept’ test. I am not sure if that is because I have changed the trim settings on the transmitter, if the batteries are not getting a full charge or if having built up the track on the support it grips better for some crazy reason. The latter seems unlikely I would suggest.
My intent was to show a number of different layout options in that video but as you can see I broke a steering tie rod on the first layout so that was the end of filming. Reading around the forums I see it is possible to make tie rods for the Losi Micro Desert Truck and Micro-T using cable ties. I will give that a go as soon as possible and hopefully show you some more layouts before I start adding terrain to the modules.
Well, not quite, but the hard bit is complete at least. The lane markers have been slotted and mitred with the only remaining step being a coat of paint. I will show some details of the slots and mitres in a separate post.
Here are a couple of pictures that show a 600mm and a 1200mm lane marker coming together at a corner.
I plan on doing a little test run on the flat track with different layouts. After that it will be on to terrain and textures.
As the build progresses of my modular micro RC race track continues I have been thinking of the layouts I can have with the number of base modules I am making. My intent is to have a total of 8 modules but you can make a fun and modular track with as few as 5 modules as my proof of concept video shows.
Here are a few ideas for micro RC track layouts using 5 modules.
It’s been a little while since I posted here but rest assured, the Micro RC race track build is progressing. I have finished building seven of the eight base boards. The only reason I didn’t finish the eigth is one of the pieces of wood for the support structure was not straight. The base boards now just need the holes drilled for the lane marker dowels which I have done on one board as a test.
Here’s a few little pics of the lane markers on the base board as a work in progress.
The next steps are to finish the slots on the last few lane markers, mitre the lanes marker ends and add the dowel holes to the base boards.
So with the module size being determined it was off to the hardware store to start buying some materials and test the idea. I have picked up 8 of the 1200 x 600mm plywood boards in 7mm thickness.
At the time of buying the boards I still was not 100% convinced in my head the size was right, so when I got the boards home I decided to do a little test. I layed out 5 boards, the minimum I think you need to make a track, and tested my Losi Micro Desert Truck on the layout. Given the track system is also modular I tried a couple of other 5 board layouts. Here is a brief video showing the results with three different layouts:
In developing the modular track concept the main problem I have faced so far is determining what size each module should be. For my mind the module size needs to consider:
The minimum recommended lane width for Micro RC cars. This should consider cars such as my Losi Micro Desert Truck as well as vehicles such as the newer 1:24 Losi Micro vehicles and Kyosho MiniZ buggies.
The available space of typical locations the track will be set-up. I am targeting my open plan living/dining room but other spaces people may utilise could be a garage or a basement.
Transportability of the track. I would like to be able to put all of my modules in my trailer, a 6′ x 4′ fully enclosed box trailer, to take to other locations. I would also like to be able to put a few of my modules in the back of my wagon or small SUV if I wanted to take them to a friend’s house who also has the same module sizes so we can make a bigger track.
Typical materials available. I would like to be able to utilise standard sized, cheap plywood sheets (or similar) from my local hardware store if possible. If not possible a minimal amount of cutting and wastage of purchased material would be desirable.
Set-up, storage and pack-up of the track. Let’s face it, I am doing this so I can have my own track but it will be in the way if I leave it out. I also want to be able to set it up quickly when I want to race.