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Hi all, first off I must say that this is the fulfillment of a dream. From the beginning I was not only interested in building cars but in building cars suitable for minifigs and in finding ways to combine them with a town surrounding. Now what could be nicer than to have even moving vehicles within a town? So many thanks to my dear friend Altezza whose invention of a slot road (when thinking about ways to get his cable car move) made this possible. Many thanks to Nils O for many useful advices, and last not least to Na Dine who provided quite a few parts. At first sight you might think that this layout doesn’t differ too much from the prototype presented here some months ago. In fact it’s totally different. It is twice as large, much stronger, it works much better, it is 1000 times more reliable, cars are connected to the chain in a much better way, it allows a much higher speed, and last but not least it’s standardized or at least 90 percent standardized until now. That means that it could be copied and would probably work as well. Plus it fits in a town surrounding - which of course must be modified. When working on this I soon found out that one slot circle - or a block, as we call it - should be kept as a separate and compact element. There’s no use in breaking it up and build it up somewhere else - until the slot (the chain, that is) is running well, the event has passed. That means that a slot circle must be built as a module that can be kept and transported as a whole. A module made of 4 x 3 baseplates fits in each car and can be carried through most doors, so this seemed to be a suitable measure. When roads are installed the center pit of a module (or a block) has a surface of 3 x 2 baseplates exactly, so that some four or six usual modular buildings will fit in. Another consequence of this is that each module or block contains only the inner lane of the road. Where two modules meet you have two-way traffic. The outer lane (the great circle, as we call it) that leads around the whole layout has a modular design, too. It doesn’t have a chain, though, which would be much too long. Now some words on the construction: The module is built upon a plate which only serves as a means to place and to transport it, it doesn’t provide any stability, baseplates aren’t even fixed. This is required to keep the “100 percent Lego” status. Another advantage of this is that you can even stack several modules when transported. You only have to detach the buildings (which are transported separately) and pavements which rest within the center pit. Roads stay in their place although they are detachable, too. This is required to keep the chain and drive train accessible. Here you can see the road profile of such a module. In fact it's just a further stage of the road system already presented here, see http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=83287 The idea was that using baseplates and road plates has quite a few disadvantages when building larger layouts and that the separation of pavements and buildings (which in reality are completely separated, too) allows more flexibility. Roads and pavements are detachable, buildings are resting on a few pillars. The height of the whole thing is a result of the requirement of installing a monorail underground - once you lift the whole thing, you may use the space underneath for some nice features (there are quite a few ideas ... ). Of course the city will have street lights which can be installed easily (but this would even be possible with the original road system). And now - the slot cars. There are already quite a few of them - especially the full-size cars like the Impala (which already had a working suspension) have proven to be suitable for that purpose. Real slot cars have a self-steering front axle and a rear suspension which is necessary due to the unevenness of the slot roads. So what do we have: School Bus (motorized freerunner). You may have already see one or two videos with this one. It is meant to be moving on the great circle. Ecto-1. To be honest the Ecto is not the most suitable slot car until now. A few laps are possible, but due to its weight (there's the battery box) the car breaks down sooner or later. It will be rather used as a special feature. Chevy Impala Convertible. If everything is fixed properly this car may stay within the slot for an hour or so before anything bad happens. Checker Taxi Cab. Since this car is built to be used in the slot it is the most stable and reliable car. It will move for hours if required. Impala Police Interceptor. Same as the Impala Convertible. Roadster. No real slot car, rather used to compare the different types of vehicles. It doesn't steer and is unsprung, so it doesn't look too good in curves. On the other hand it can go on full speed for several laps due to its lightweight construction. It's quite stable, too. Vintage Truck. Quite reliable, too, the big wheels don't come off easily. CHiPs. Can't be called a MOC, just an idea how to involve motorbikes. 1477. This is rather a personal reminiscence since this car (with the proper dust on it) was - apart from two 2x4 bricks - the only remnant of my Lego collection after my dark ages. That's why this car is featured in the pre-title sequence of the following video which shows (nearly) all the cars in action: Many thanks for reading all this stuff, c&c welcome as usual.
Hi all, another aspect of the town layout planned by Altezza and me, based on the already known SNOT road and pavement system (see http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=83287). Our idea was to have more street life within the city, so we thought about possibilities to get the cars moving (Altezza’s San Francisco Cable Car was the first step in that direction, see http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=83761). This prototype of a slotcar system is chain-driven. Of course it will be improved and enlarged, but what you can see already is that the system as such is working. Bird's view: The cars must be modified to do this, of course – you need a self steering front axle and a suspension with spring at the rear since you can’t keep the roads completely plain: 2 videos: More pics here. C&C welcome as usual, thanks for looking.