Slot car racing became a phenomenon decades ago, with enthusiasts going to great lengths to build their own mini-car mockups from scratch. Even those who don’t put forth that sort of effort will still modify the store-bought versions to allow for greater performance.
A popular brand then and still today is Scalextric, sold in many hobby stores, including Carrera Slots as an example.
The premise behind the hobby is for slot cars, small-scale model cars, to race on a track fitted with grooves or channels navigating the vehicles around the various turns and keeping them in line on straight paths.
A hobbyist can buy a set with everything necessary to race upon opening the box. Still, you can purchase accessories, like added tracks, controllers, and car components, including after-market pieces. What are some tips and tricks to achieve the smoothest slot car ride? Let’s learn.
Scalextric was, and is, among the favored slot cars on the “road.” These are somewhat smaller tracks than other brands but still offer incredible performance.
While the cars, and particularly the track, play key roles in overall performance, the driver has a significant impact considering knowledge, expertise, and skill, plus how well they maintain the equipment.
As with anything, adequate care and upkeep make a difference in the speed and smoothness of the ride. The cars receive electricity from the rails, keeping them in line. That means the cleaner the rails are, the faster the vehicles can travel and the smoother the pace.
Maintenance requires merely wiping them down often to ensure cleanliness. If they become corroded, the cars will begin to stall or could slide from the platform. Corrosion can be rectified, but it’s tough. Go to https://www.instructables.com/Slot-Car-Track-and-Car-Cleaning-Tips/ and then check out these basic cleaning steps.
When preparing to do a basic cleaning, you want to start with a clean, soft cloth dampened with warm water. The market has a range of cleaners specific for taking care of slot car tracks, but when performing general daily upkeep, it’s wise to use just plain water.
The “microfiber” soft cloth should be clean and only damp. All excess water should be wrung out when cleaning the rails. If your tracks remain up all the time, you should clean the rails at least once per week. If you assemble the tracks only with use, clean the rails after the tracks are together.
Instead of using water for cleaning, investing in a “braid conditioner” will give a much smoother ride for drivers interested in the fastest pace. The conditioner improves the braids’ conductivity. The metal threads referenced as braids run from the vehicle to rest on the rails.
These allow the transference of electricity so that the car will go. If you race slot cars in a competitive capacity, the braid condition will help make your pace seamless and faster. It might only be a slight advantage over water, but some say the investment is worth it. Go here for some tricks on how to keep your vehicle on the track.
The technique is an even, smooth motion going across the track’s surface forward in the way the vehicles would run, moving around the entire surface to eliminate dirt, debris, and dust from the rails.
The starting point doesn’t matter as long as the whole track is cleaned. If the pieces are unassembled, clean each length separately, ensuring that you clean every section.
The pressure should be gentle. After a thorough “once over,” the cloth should be dampened again and the track gone over roughly three more times to ensure it’s spotless. You want to avoid the material rusting, so it’s vital to have a clean, dry towel ready to dry the track once the cleaning is finished.
Go over it multiple times to ensure it’s completely dry, with a recommendation to enlist a spurt or two of “canned air” to encourage faster drying.
Regardless of the brand, whether it’s a Scalextric or another option, cleaning is critical if you hope to have a speedy, smooth ride when slot car racing. You can also get a little edge using a braid conditioner instead of mere water.