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Blackarrow

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Had one arrive today. Now I just need something to run it on...

 

Looks stunning though, one of the best presented cars I've seen. Nice, even paintwork (dayglo green is a little dull perhaps) and tampo is excellent all over. Side mirrors are flexible.

 

First problem I can see is that the skirt in front of the rear wheel is so low that the rear wheels are off the deck slightly. I'm sure it's adjustable, but I'll also need to find some star screwdrivers before I can open it up for a look, all screws are 6 point. Comparing it to a Slot.it 962, it has a lot of give & flex through the back of the chassis. The front wheels remind me of the Scaley Sierras (and some new NSRs) and float freely.

 

The 28k motor won't suit the average home racer, & the price probably rules it out of a lot of club racing. I got mine '2nd hand' locally, doesn't look like it's been out of the box other than to photograph it. I worked out including postage, it'd be around AU$130 to get one from Spain, I guess it'll have to perform very well to achieve it's goal of competing with NSR and Slot.it.

 

I'll report back as soon as possible about some on track reports.


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Hey folks,

 

I've written this for my website. It's my first full review, I normally just stick to photos! It is photo heavy, and if (in interweb speak) ths is tl;dr in brief: rest assured the car is good.

 

There may be a few photos I didn't use below on my flickr page .

*****

 

Black Arrow is a new player in the slot car market, and make no mistake, they have set their sights on being the best. They state on their website that they are aiming to satisfy the speed and endurance markets, but if their first contribution is anything to go for, visually, they are right on the money too.

 

The first release is the 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 #009, very close to how it ran at the 2007 24hrs of Le Mans (only noticeable difference is that vents over the front wheels were run at Le Mans).

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The car looks stunning, and has to be one of the best finished slot cars I've seen, both in and out of the box. It is presented in a black cardboard box, which while not ideal for the collector wishing t display the car, looks great and is a teaser for what is inside. As an officially licensed product, the box bears the name and logo of Aston Martin Racing on the ends and the makers name down the side. The bottom of the box has the usual car, manufacturer, copyright and safety information.

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The car isn't fixed in any way to the box. It sits snugly in he lid of the box, held by foam at the 4 wheels. The base has a slot so the car can sit flat for display. The only spares with this model were some extra grub screws.

9385036474_0b8505fd17.jpg

 

It is resplendent in British Racing Green, and the paintwork is flawless, with an even low gloss coat, no bleeding or other imperfections, although the dayglow yellow/green is a little dull. Tampo all over the car is crisp, fine and clear.

 

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The car features flexible side mirrors for those rollovers, although the rear wing is solid hard plastic, but seems pretty sturdy after couple of knocks.

 

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Even after some laps and a few offs, there was no obvious scratches or marks on the paintwork. All of the photos were taken after a run.

 

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I'm still a relative novice when it comes to engineering and set up of cars. I will therefore let pictures do a lot of the talking. I was able to fiddle enough with it to raise the body enough to drive the car, but there is plenty to be done to get real speed out of the car. Thee are tuning tips on the Black Arrow website. The other issue with the Black Arrow cars is that they use 6 point screwdrivers for the larger screws and it looks like one of the screws on the pod mount was ready stripped before I could even get at it with a Slotting Plus hex-driver.

 

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The car has a single piece chassis with a separate motor pod. It is thin plastic, and looks more like a metal chassis than a ready-to-run plastic chassis, with the chassis not meeting the body at the front or rear. There is plenty of flex due to the thin nature and design of the chassis.It is designed to allow the front and rear to flex independently without interfering with each other. This is achieved by the cuts running along the chassis between the axles. There is no magnet factory fitted, nor any obvious space to add one if you wanted.

 

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First problem that you'll notice is that the skirt in front of the rear wheel is so low that the rear wheels are off the deck slightly. The whole rear is adjustable with two sets of screws, a suspension system and grub screws to adjust the pod. The engine pod appears to be fairly conventional, with a full bushing housing (not sure of the terminology here!? - the axle threads through rather than snaps in like on Scalextric), quite centred on the car. There was a pretty tight mesh, which is enhanced by having the bushings so close to the gears, there's no room for movement.

 

9396313833_060c61c818.jpg

 

The front end seems fairly straight forward too. The guide is screwed in and sits against the bottom of the car. Out of the box, the front axle resembles an old Scalextric car with a massive amount of float. This can be controlled very easily with 4 grub screws, 2 each top and bottom. These need to be adjusted or the front splitter will cause some deslotting.

 

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Before we continue, I'll say very openly that for every adjustment that the car needs, there are a dozen this driver needs! I'd never run on the track I did the testing on either, so learning a new car on a new track when I haven't had a proper run for a couple of months wasn't ideal.

 

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I dropped into Armchair Racer and had a run on the 100ft 'back' track. Straight out of the box it did some 9 second laps before I made some adjustments to the back end to stop it from bottoming out. This immediately improved the performance. The car flowed through the long corners, but was a bit tippy through the tighter bends, and (I guess with an car & any track) even a little too much pace resulted in an off. It wasn't going to give me any controlled sliding, until I raised the front end and then any slide would tend to snap back the other way.

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The ride was smooth and pretty quiet. The aluminium rear and Delin front wheels and tyres were all in good shape, although the rears were torn up pretty quickly. The rears are a high traction tyre, while the fronts are a 'zero grip', both produced by Black Arrow. It handled the nice long sweeper well, probably the most satisfying part of the lap (and consequently a lot of mistakes were made at the next tight left).

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The full power of the the 28k motor isn't fully realised, even with a track that size, although it is a little casual under 'brakes', which shortened the straight considerably. I'm sure there was plenty more available out of the top end. Unlike the Scalextric 30k I've previously used, it had reasonable pickup from a standing start and didn't struggle through the slow corners in the same way. Perhaps a 25k would have been more suitable for this track, then again most home users would probably prefer an 18k or 21k.

 

I think all of the problems would be sorted with a bit of weight and perhaps some better tyres. It would help get the power down and made it more stable under acceleration and would bed it down better in the turns.

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I only did 30 minutes running (and much of that time was send picking the car up & reslotting), but I got down to a 8.154. There was a gentleman there who had his Slot.It Lola, magnet free to 5.4. I also picked up a Slot.it GT40 and Tic Tac Porsche 962, which each got 3 or 4 minutes running. Comparing times, out of the box I could only get a mid 8 with the GT40 and a 7.4 with the 962, so I think the Black Arrow has some serious potential.

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For looks alone I'm thinking about ordering the 2nd DBR9 installment in Gulf livery, which has only been released in the last couple of days. The factory finished 2007 is sold out, as is a limited run of 199 rally version kits. A white body kit is available. The company is trying to keep their costs down by skipping the middle man, and they are only selling direct from their website. This might be fine for Europe, but to ship to Australia you're looking at $130-$140.

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Regardless of what brand you buy, if you want to get the most out of a car, you need to put some work into it. From my quick exploration of the Black Arrow DBR9, I think there is plenty of potential there, and the adjustments available will appeal to anyone who loves to find the extra hundreths through set up. As mentioned above, the 28k motor isn't t all back, but it won't suit the average home racer. The price probably rules it out of a lot of club racing, especially considering what you can get out of a $65 Slot.it. I have no doubt that with a little work, racers who do choose to spend a little more on the Black Arrow won't be disappointed and will quickly be up to speed with the best from NSR and Slot.it.


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Thanks for the write up. I can' no get over how good it looks. Should be illegal.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Thanks for the honest and frank review - there is no need to apologise about your lack of driving of late.

 

The mere fact you put it on the track is a good thing.

 

Have to agree it's a cracking looking model. I'd be interested to see how it improves over time as you spend more time with it.

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Just imagine how quick the red one will be!

 

Everyone knows orange is the new red. Looks like an anglewinder chassis so i guess there is a separate cradle to?


4x national champion 6x national runner up. I come second most often but my girlfriends happy.

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Kewli. Would like to get a decent look at one. But just a lot out of my price range.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Damn.... That's going to be one helluva looker.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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A few months back I got my first Black Arrow. Tried it out on @Johnnotrack a few weeks ago. I was pretty impressed considering all that all that was done was a quick front set up. Will be a nice car when it is properly tuned.

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You have to bring your cars back for tuning. Doors open Warren when this stay at home is removed or relaxed we can get some track time for the cars and yourself

Was great putting a face to the name. 

 

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