Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WLF1 Ring - Race Control, Garage and Heli Pad

I've started the race control tower which I have been making out of 1/8" brass tubing, hand curved and glued into a three story complex. I've got red styrene stairwells I fabbed up to connect the levels and created a two story observation deck out of some more plastic plates like the podium. I then connected it to the podium with a cool glass walled catwalk. There's a ton of work to do on the tower before I can finally close it up with glass (Polycarbonate) Desks, chairs, computers, lighting and doors to name but a few.

My collection of cars has been growing with every trip to the hobby shop and I decided to make an area on the track to store them. On the leading edge of the circuit perimeter I extended out a bit to make a two story parking garage out of 2x2's and mdf. I made some brick walls in the back and added light rope in the ceiling. It looks sweet! I am thinking I should have made it bigger because it's already about two-thirds full. Hmmm, I am thinking sub-terranean floors are in my future! There are concrete ramps connecting the track to the two floors as well.
Someone turned me on to a 1/32 scale helicopter model available in china so I bought that kit and it took about 3 weeks to get here on the slow boat apparently. Anyway when it arrived i proceeded to paint and build it all in one night. A nice custom paint job in my typical black, yellow and silver color scheme. A very cool element on the track which then required, of course, some helicopter landing pad lights!

I remade the brick walls under the bridge areas. It was a detail I made long ago but was unsatisfied with the original scale. Its now a much smaller brick and I trimmed it out in white sintra pieces. A big improvement for sure.

Next post coming soon to showcase the enhanced pit complex. Also furniture, and doors in the race control tower, Heli refuelling station and a lot more light effects. Those are done I just need to take pictures. Oh did I mention I painted the basement walls sky blue?!

WLF1Ring - Let there be light

And the Slot Gods said: Let there be Light!
And so it was. And it was bright. And it was flashy. And it was blinky. And this is good.
The last several weeks have been spent introducing lights and effects to my track. It really has been fun and challenging to put fixtures and effect lighting 'round the Ring.
I found these cool mini landscape lights at Michaels (Craft Store). Their used for those tacky mini ceramic homes and stuff but are a decent scale so I used them for lighting the bridge and a few other areas around the track. Apologies if you like Tacky Mini Ceramic Homes.
Also I have been collecting old cell phone transformers, hell any transformer I can find and building custom LED fixtures for other areas. You just need to match up the voltage with the LED voltage draw (or at least close) and you can get series of 3-5 LED's on a transformer. So I have a series for the Red Start Lights, Pit Box Lighting, Pit lane strip of about 50 mini lights along the pit wall, and 3 bridge top lights, two of which flash. Hey you can't be too careful with helicopters and stuff flying around the Ring. Speaking of which I painted in the Heli Landing Pad and a section of 'concrete' for a fuelling station. As a result I have searched high and low for a 1/32 scale Heli to no avail, so I'm just gonna have to build one from scratch. Ahhhh back to the Transportation Design Days...
I made a podium out of styrene and a plastic plate turned upside down. Eventually from the podium there will be a catwalk over the track to the 3-4 story race control tower. I have a vision for that, but am still noodling how best to build it. Park Ferme (Winners Circle) is there now too for the victors. I've disguised the final two marshall areas with landscape, rock and trees. Lastly I put up Sector Arches over the track in thirds including the start light tower. Hopefully I can get BT to hook me up with a 3 sector lap timing system, but I'll probably have to do that graphic interface for him first, oh and actually own a real laptop pc.

I had a race night a few weeks back with Dave B, Todd, John A, Steve, Brian R, Brad, Donny, Martin, Chris and the neighbors. A good night of close fought battles. Now if I can only figure out how to better capture the racing action on film...

Also Pete T came out last night and I have to say he is officially hooked on CNC routing and AC2 car style for his massive table he's constructed. His overall responses "The racing is so smooth" and "its much cooler to race on a landscaped track" Buh bye 400 feet of Carerra plastic track!
Until we meet...the next lap.

WLF1 Ring - Its the Pits!

Welcome to the WLF1 Ring Paddock Complex, or at least the beginnings of it.
You'll need the proper F1 Credentials to enter, but I'll take you on a behind the scenes look because surely none of you have the proper credentials.
Michael Schumacher, Raikonnen, Hamilton, Alonso and others cross under the Viaduct waterway and enter White Lake. There they park their far to expensive speedboats at the pit box docks and enter through their respective side doors and prepare themselves for a day of testing at 'the ring'.
The pit crews are active on all the cars (purchased plastic talent from Scalectrix which could use some paint detailing and will get some, some day)
Some crews are working on refueling strategies (Also from Scaley and requiring further detail) while others are practicing tire changes (which by the way the Scaley Pit Crew Kits come with some kick ass sticky tires for F1's which was a bonus, but you'll need two crew sets to get two rear tires) and yet others are chilling on the paddock's upper deck catching some rays with their SPF 1 billion on their heads (actually helmets but hey it blocks the sun, right Jennie?!).
Pit boxes were constructed from Gatorboard, painted and detailed with various styrene plastic parts. Its all removable at this point so I can get into the pit boxes to add tool chests, telemetry monitors, led lighting and such at some point. They are color corrdinated with my logo red, yellow, blue, green and numbered etc.
Roofs are covered in gravel (railroad ballast), the upper decks and catwalks are made from more styrene and polycarbonate for the glass railings. Those will get some paint on the decking eventually for a metallic grate look. All in all its looking pretty good and brings a real sense of scale having people in the mix, even if they are a bit lack luster in detail at this point.
On deck for the ring:
-Race control tower
-Podium Complex
-Paint and Epoxy the lake
-Helicopter landing pad (oh yeah F1 drivers love choppers!)