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  • New to the hobby

    Hello all,
    I come from a computer racing sim background for many years. Now that I will have my entire summer off and no work due to the virus I have been thinking about something new. I have been doing a lot of research on slot cars. My main interest is with 1:32 scale GT3.

    1. I would like to start with a 4x16 foot table to setup a track.
    2. I really don’t know what brand of track to go with since they all have their pros and cons.

    Here is what I know so far:
    1. Scalextric: good for tight spaces such as my current dimensions of my table. The not so track will be in the garage in which rust could become an issue with this brand of track also I’m not a fan of having to manage races through an app on an iPad.
    2. Carrera: good for stainless steel no worry about rust. The not so good expensive and widest of all other brands of track.
    3. Oxigen with Ninco track. Good in the fact that you can be flexible with car types of different brands and have your cars more on an “RC” type of connection. Also using software on a laptop is better than the iPad for me. The not so good...could be a lot more expensive than Carrera due to the software, chips for the cars and the chips for the track + controllers. Also possible rust issues with this track?

    if any of you could give me some additional insight or advice that would be great! Thanks again and I’m looking forward to a new avenue of racing!

  • #2
    Run!!!! Leave now. don't do it! get out while you can!!
    1) if you have the tools as you may come from a competitive background build a routed track
    2) Others will chime in if that's not an option
    3) spend a little more and start with NSR GT3 cars in a sidewinder configuration, Sideways Group 5 cars or Slot It Group C
    4) Welcome to the Asylm and we all look forward to helping you get started with your addiction
    The Jester

    Soxside (Chicago)


    • #3
      I was thinking of building a modified Barber Motorsports track (my home town IndyCar/Porsche track) or may be a more linear track such as Suzuka circuit. Explain “routed track”.

      i am not familiar with NSR, group 5 or C ?


      • Pappy
        Pappy commented
        Editing a comment
        Routed track is when you build it out of wood and route the slots in any configuration you want. The best wood for the track surface is 1/2" MDF board. Make it as many lanes as you want, you can use copper braid, copper tape or steel braid if you want magna-traction. There's a lot of ways to construct a track, you can do it as a table top or something like this. On page five is where Steve starts building his track and has pictures

    • #4
      Ok I was able to look up NSR, group 5 and C. Those are some sweet cars!


      • #5
        Four foot wide tables are common for HO tracks, but it is nice to have a wider table for 1/32nd scale. In any case Carrera track is wide enough to run 1/24th cars making it difficult to have a decent layout on a four foot wide table. Carrera track does have stainless steel rails, the other makes use nickel plated rails and those will resist rust as long as you do not use abrasives to clean the rails, that would be likely to remove the plating. Another make of track to consider would be Policar. You might consider a track like this one, there is an elevated section with some of the track right underneath.

        I race almost entirely on wood tracks where traction magnets are useless. If you are starting from scratch in the hobby I do not recommend going straight to a wood track, start with a set type track to see if the hobby suits you. Some people are lucky in that there is a club or an individual nearby with a wood track so they can give it a spin without having to build your own.


        • #6
          4 X 16 is a good size, especially for 1/32 and that is also enough room for a fun Carrera setup. .The Scalex track is just seems to narrow to run a old style slot car on. . If you run magnet cars, they don't slide so much and the narrow tracks are OK. . Ninco was popular, not sure how solid they are in today's market,, policar is probably a good choice and I think we saw basic sets for sale somewhere in the US the last month or two. Somebody may chime in with that info. I prefer Carrera over any other track, , but it is what I know the best. . I kind of think yo might be best off just buying a Carrera set and building a table and play around with it. You'll learn and you'll come up with questions that you aren't think about now and guys here do know it all. .We are all over the slot car hobby from home made wood tracks to digital racing whee you can run multiple cars in the same lane. Once you get a set and a couple of their cars, you can put together as a quickie flat track/oval and see how things work and what possibilities are..Trust me in the long run the price of a set is not much compare to what you will eventually spend and it is good way to learn. You'll find out about power supplies, controllers, different cars, different tires, etc. etc. You will have a working track right out of the box to start with and that will help you make decisions about where you want to go with the hobby. Stat simple, learn and then change as you go along. .Be advised that from sets to used track there is a lot of stuff available on Ebay and prices are lower in the summer months than winter. You may even find somebody on this forum that has a deal for something used, but in good shape.

          this carrera track was on a 14 X4 roll around table.
          Click image for larger version

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          Matt B
          So. In


          • #7
            Dbeland, You could let us know what part of the country you are in and maybe there is someone near you so you can check out slot cars and racing groups.
            This form has people all over the country and some overseas also.
            All the clubs/ groups i have contacted to check out their track, they are very open to having visitors. They usually will have slot cars and controllers you can try.
            When businesses start opening, maybe your local hobby shop will know of a group in the area.

            All above is good info. there are so many options today, analog (only 1 car per lane), digital (more than 1 car per lane, ability to have pit stops and simulated fueling stragies run on computer), and different types of track, Scalextric, Carrera, ninco Policar, plus a few others.

            You mentioned GT3, most car makers have couple GT3 cars.
            Scalextric have Merc AMG, Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 911, MclarenMP4, maybe a few other makes.
            Carrera have corvette C7R, Audi R8, Merc AMG, Ferrari 488, 458, Porsche 911, Lambo, and a few other makes.
            NSR is a premium slot car, lot of tuning options, they do have Merc AMG and only 2 or 3 GT3 cars.
            Last edited by lance; May 6, 2020, 01:05 PM.
            Lance Sofa racer, SA TX by way of Hawaii


            • #8
              Click image for larger version

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ID:	35554 Once you go wood you never go back. This is a 4x16 foot routed track. I carry it to different events and run the races for kids. I have been using this track since about 2006. It has only had one refinish in all that time. Welcome and have fun.


              • #9
                Dbeland , welcome aboard , this is a great place , very friendly people . And will give you the best info possible .


                • #10
                  What part of the country?
                  Anywhere in New England?

                  Scalextric doesn't rust THAT easy, never had a problem myself.

                  Policar track is a great choice, right now it's new and not everywhere but will be eventually.


                  • #11
                    Wood is great,, but plastic is an easy way for a guy to learn what all our lingo means and how cars work., You can experiment with different setups and learn what you might want in a permanent track..You can do it immediately. .If you don't really enjoy it and don't stick with it, you can box it back up and store it or sell it..You can't do that with wood..Plastic is plug and play and you can be running in 30 minutes or less.

                    Good idea to get together with some other guys and see what they have and what you think of it.. so let us know where you are. .this forum has the best combination of slotters,, styles and tracks on the whole internet. . If you are tempted to go 1/43, you find much less interest in that size. , there is some interest but it is sold mostly as kids starter sets and most guys that home race do 1/32. I do 1/24 and there are only a few guys here into that size. . This is mostly 1/32 stuff here.

                    Check this Carrera as a good starter set and it has free shipping.. There are good Scalex sets available for around $150,,but you will have to pay $35 or more for shipping..


                    Last edited by mattb; May 6, 2020, 04:01 PM.
                    Matt B
                    So. In


                    • #12
                      Thanks for all the replies. I’m getting a lot of great ideas and info on where to start.

                      I live in Birmingham, AL. I tried to look up slot car clubs in my area, but nothing comes up.

                      i have nixed Ninco since product seems kind of scarce. Leaning more towards Carrera due to availability and my local hobby shop carries a set. I will have to check out Policar.


                      • #13
                        There are a few slot clubs up your way. A couple in the Huntsville area too.
                        Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA


                        • #14
                          First of all....welcome!

                          Carrera has good presence in the US, nice wide track, and a nice deep slot. It works well.....the group I race with runs on a 130 ft Carrera track that is fully landscaped (Smithtown Speedway).

                          As several have noted, plastic is a great way to get started. I had two plastic tracks (Marx 1/24 and Artin 1/32) before going to wood. The Carrera track is very similar to the old Artin 1/32 track from the 90s.
                          You can get GT3 cars from several manufacturers, which is a good way to learn about motors/tires and magnets vs no-mag.

                          And 4x16 is plenty to get first routed home track was a 3 lane 4x16 layout.

                          The biggest thing is have fun, and ask questions!
                          Come Race at The Trace!
                          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


                          • #15
                            @WER - I'll have to keep a lookout for those clubs. Thanks for the heads up (BTW I graduated from Auburn - War Eagle!)

                            I looked into Policar track. Is there a difference between track types meaning digital vs analog or is it just the cars/controllers that are digital or analog? Could I buy the Evolution/analog set that MattB posted on ebay and use digital cars/controllers and receive the full features of those digital products?

                            Also, I viewed a couple of Policar track videos. In one of the demonstrations the guy used a variety of different cars from different companies such as Slot.It and Carrera. Did he have to modify those cars in order for them to work with the Policar track?