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Desert400

Scalextric Prc Build - Super Sierra

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Hi all,

 

I've got enough parts to build the Slot.It upgrade chassis for the Scalextric Ford Sierra RS500 and the BMW M3, so I thought I'd have a crack at it. These are far and away my favourite cars to run these days: one of my favourite eras and categories of motor racing, and slot cars that have benefitted hugely from Scalextric's decision to go back to basics in terms of design.

 

To be honest I'm not entirely convinced that these cars really need upgrading with a new chassis and Slot.It internals. They run nicely out of the box, and with a modicum of work (glueing bushings and motor in place, changing the stock tyres for Slot.It) they are proper little weapons. So far I've got five Sierras and two BMWs, of which on my track I go a little quicker with the Sierras. So let's see what they're like with the extra performance bits and a change of chassis.

 

First of all the donor car, which is the Robb Gravett 1990 BTCC championship winner.

 

37144198921_8ba4d1cdfa_k.jpg

 

It was tempting to keep the bodywork stock, but then I decided that if I was going to build a 'Super Sierra' it needed to stand out from the crowd. I looked at what decals that the likes of DMC and Patto had to offer and couldn't get over-excited, so had a little think.

 

When these cars were in their prime, I was in my teens and lived at Silverstone pretty much. The Tourist Trophy was always a highlight, and usually brought a healthy number of intriguing international entrants to the party. You could always tell when the Europeans were in the paddock because the smell of the cigarettes was different - Fortunas, Belgas and Gaulloises rather than Marlboro and B&H. Anyway, in amongst the British regulars and the European visitors, there was a bright red Sierra from Australia that proceeded to blow the doors off the entire field: the Johnson/Bowe car.

 

I didn't have any real knowledge of the beef that had carried over from Bathurst the previous year, I just thought it was a pretty cool team. Having since learnt a bit about the politics it's even cooler - so that's going to be my subject.

 

37144115191_0972e956f5_b.jpg

 

As no sets are commercially available, the decals for the car are going to be made by a friend of mine. I decided to strip the body and repaint it so that he could get the logos properly made-to-measure. That's why I chose to use the Gravett car as the base - much easier to strip. Also these versions are going pretty cheaply at the moment - I guess a plain white car is never going to sell as well as a pretty, brightly painted one. But that was when I noticed the obvious problem.

 

Robb's sitting on the wrong side of the car.

 

It seems that Scalextric has made both left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive interiors for the Sierra. The dashboard is the only piece that needs to be changed. As far as I'm aware only the Eggenberger cars were built LHD, so whether there was a mix-up at the factory in China, or if the person signing-off the prototype was asleep, or if the plan was to make the Moffat ANZ car that got switched to the Gravett livery... who knows? Either way it's wrong.

 

This means that my Redkote car will also be wrong so I've written to Scalextric asking for a replacement RHD interior. Let's see how that pans out! If the worst comes to the worst and no replacement is forthcoming, I'll move the driver, seat and steering wheel over and hope that nobody notices the dashboard. Anyway, I finished stripping and repainted the body using Humbrol Ferrari Red - a shade lighter than the DJR 1990 car that Scalextric has modelled, but a nice bright red that will be easy to see when running on a big club track.

 

In case you've ever wondered, the Sierra shell breaks down into 15 separate pieces with the front and rear bumpers being separate mouldings, the rear wing, the lamp lenses and everything else. The whole assembly is incredibly light and I now realise it's because the plastic is almost lexan-thin and also that rather than hot glue or pegs to secure the pieces it's a sort of superglue. This meant that some parts simply wouldn't budge, particularly the radiator grille and rear light lenses, so I masked them off and carried on.

 

This is definitely the last time I try and repaint one of these things!

 

Primer and paint went on fine and then I replaced the black trim using Tamiya masking tape and a water-based black paint from Revell that can be removed quickly and cleanly if there are any runs. Even so, there was considerable nervous energy expended. Here's the result:

 

37096114206_ace677c5a1_k.jpg

 

37287089065_172edfaf65_k.jpg

 

That's as far as I've got for now. The body and glass are going off for the decals to be drawn and printed tomorrow, Scalextric may or may not send a replacement interior and I'll make a start on nailing the Slot.It parts together as best I can. I'll keep this updated...

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Excellent stuff and good job so far.

The black trimming looks even better that factory made!

I am curious at your choice of rims.

Looking forward to seeing more.


Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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Hi Grunz,

 

Progress has been stymied by work so far on my side, and the decal guru's progress has been delayed by making clear blue decals to go over a chrome finish on a drift car.

 

Hope I'm not barking up the wrong tree on the wheels, but if the tyres from a Slot.It Group C slip straight on to the Scalex hubs then hopefully the Slot.It articles will go under without major drama. If not then I guess the Pendle PCS/BRM/any applicable wheels will have to do.

 

I'm still waiting on a response from Scalextric. Their customer service team acknowledged receipt of my equity after a week. After two further weeks I got an email from a kid on work experience saying that he had passed it on to the design team. I thanked him, sent him some photos of the real Gravett car to confirm RHD and asked if there was any chance of sending the correct interiors through while the design team formulated their response.

 

That was a week ago.

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Decals are on and the driver figure is painted.

 

After a few chasers on my part, Scalextric came back to say that they won't replace the incorrect LHD interiors with either full RHD interiors or the correct dashboard to swap the driver and steering wheel over myself. I think that's very sad, particularly as the rest of the Hornby group does so well at providing replacement parts and decent customer service.

 

I showed them the error. They make the correct part but they're choosing not to send it. If I had raised an issue like this with Slot.It, I would imagine that Maurizio would pull a correct car apart himself and send the interior through. If I'd made a similar error, I'd cough for it as well. It's just a question of standards: on which Scalextric has once again been found wanting.

 

The M3 and the Sierra have shown what Scalextric cars could have been throughout the years of weighty interiors and their associated sidewinders and FF motors. The M3 and Sierra were (and remain) fantastic performers but the continued lack of attention to detail and the absolute failure to address a genuine mistake on their part means that I'm done now. This Sierra will be my last Scalextric car. So I'll make it the best I can.

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Close-ups are a cruel mistress.

 

38631708851_310583d183_b.jpg

 

Yes I know JB wore a full-face helmet. I just couldn't resist the face fuzz - as wrong as that sounds.

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Bodywork is done and lacquered, save for putting the mirrors, aerial and wiper back in place.

 

As can be seen, the Ferrari Red is a shade or two brighter than the red used by Scalextric, but these two are unlikely to run together. Absolutely lovely decals put together by my friend with minimal bleed through the white.

 

38002402115_36cb6a9284_k.jpg

 

Now it's time to start thinking about the chassis...

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