Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WLF1 Ring - Overview March 2009

Well after all those detail shots of buildings I figured I'd better roll with some overviews. Tracks looking good from a far. A lot of people have been asking for video so last weekend I rigged up my sony handy cam on a bodiless chassis to run it around the 'ring'. I had it all rigged up with minimal vibration. The car was struggling a bit in areas but I could have made a lap at decent speed. I charged up the cam only to find it is malfunctioning so unfortuneatly video will have to wait a bit longer. I just turned to the camera to snap up some pics of my progress so far. I've got call outs for my lane changers and such now, you can probably see the bleachers I made here too. Guys like the various vantage points they offer. My favorite shots I think are from the south east corner, you get a good overview of the whole track from there.

Up and coming for the Ring: Transmission Towers, more scyscrapers behind the benetton 90 corner (I left a huge vacant area there for those), Perimeter Track Lighting, Lap and Sector Timing via a good electronic whiz watery tart type friend ;)

You never know what else, with the time I spend pondering this thing anything might show up.

WLF1 Ring - Design Buildings

More Low Relief Action!

I never liked the east side of my track. My first go was grass and weeds, kinda sloppily thrown together so I ripped it out and made the new Design Building Complex. A series of three low relief buildings. They get gradually less relief as you move down the hill to Eau Rouge. 1/4" gatorboard scored and cut once again and trimmed with wood planks, corrugated paper and train ballast for roof gravel. A new armco barrier outside the exit curbing and some trees and shrubs complete the image. A huge improvement for sure!

WLF1 Ring - Tux Tower Atrium

After the success with the low relief ARC building I quickly moved to something a bit more ambitious... the eight story Tux Tower Atrium. The goal here was to begin and cover some of the trim from the doorway at the back of my track, so I went slender and tall. Tux Tower sits prominently over the viaduct leading to the Tech Center and covers some of the door trim quite well. It's of similar construction as ARC, blue foam, gator board, tint film on polycarb, etc. For the main focus though I wanted an arcing atrium overlooking track side. The atrium itself is 5 stories and is trimmed in black and white decor, hence my dubbing it Tux Tower. Plant Pots and Benches are plastic end caps for metal tubes. I found a slew of them at my work and quickly made use of them. They've got just enough detail and paint up easily. The atrium has LED lighting on each floor and is wrapped in clear polycarbonate, wood trim and black crochet mat cut into strips. I call it additive building. My basic constructions start out pretty sloppy knowing full well that you can add layers of detail with increasing precision to get a nice finished look. Tux Tower Atrium, A great view of the tra...ck Hey I can see down that ladies shirt from up here! ;)

WLF1 Ring - A.R.C. Building

Geometry rules! The A.R.C. building is a tribute to that fact for me. Aerospace Racing Corporation is a name I came up with as a teenager drawing cars and such. It derives from my love of aircraft, space, speed math and racing wrapped up in a tidy geometry term: An Arc!

Low relief buildings have been my target for the 'ring' lately and ARC was the first attempt. It's cleverly positioned on the uphill section of Eau Rouge and is basically a sheet of 1/4" blue foam scored and cut with bricks and windows. From there I created a single story triangular shaped out crop that comes out over the track. That was fabbed up from 1/2" gatorboard for the triangular trusses and the whole thing got a concrete stipple paint effect. The windows are window tint film that I applied to a polycarb graphic laminate. Clear poly plastic would work well too. With the tint film you just need something more stable to mount it too so it doesn't ripple all crazy-like. Make sure you spray water on both surfaces before squeegying. This will help get a nice smooth bubble free surface. Then it was all cut up and glued in behind the basic gatorboard architecture. Its great for making buildings you don't want to see in to. From there I cut up some plastic gas line for smoke stacks (yeah baby, Pollution!) and made armatures for the "smoke" out of silver solder. I shredded up some cotton balls and spray glued the armature then adhered the cotton to the wire. I sprayed with non-aerosol hairspray which shrivels up the hairy cotton and make it look more puffy. After that I spray painted the undersides with gray primer (any gray really will do) to help amplify the shadowing. First try and it looks pretty good and EASY to do. A few additional details like a guard rail, shrubs, second story deck, white trim pieces and such help make a low relief building like ARC really pop off the back wall. The cars look sweet screaming under it on there way up Eau Rouge en route to the Benetton 90. I gotta do some more of this!

WLF1 Ring - Propeller Speed Station

I've had this access hole in my layout for some time and I had an inspiration for a lake side deck bar. I'm calling it the Propeller Speed Station. A name paying some tribute to the Bar's canopy I made from toothpicks. The deck itself was cut to shape from gatorboard and covered with plank wood strips and stained. It looks very authentic, but a note to the model makers out there: Hot Glue Guns and Stain do not mix! I had to repair several planks when the stain softened the hot glue. I'd go for wood glue next time. The 2 Bars were framed out in gatorboard then counters were covered in diamond plate textured styrene. Some corrugated paper trimmed out the exterior and I made glasses out of tube styrene. Stools were made from conical plumbing washers for the seats and Tile Spacers for the feet. Those two parts were connected with another piece of tube styrene. By the way, Tile Spacers work very well for chair or stool feet. They're four sided and come in various sizes. Not to mention you can get a bag of hundreds for just a few dollars. The one downside is some types are a bit rubbery but at 1/32 scale it didn't seem to matter too much. Adjacent to the station is a two story building which encases my basements support pole. That was constructed from gatorboard, scored for a wood plank look and trimmed in wood pillars. It's a great way to disguise the pole at track level. Eventually I will have a deck walk connecting it to the Propeller Speed Station.
The downside at this point are the cords coming down the pole from the track lights near the ceiling. I have plans to introduce all perimeter light fixtures and eliminate those lights on the pole. Its definitely an eye sore at this point, but will be fixed soon.
Oh and if you were wondering, Propeller Speed Station serves up Labbatt Blue Light, Diet Coke and Water... I miiiight be able to scrounge up a Jaeger for Martin though :)