Most of my slot car projects on this blog seem to be resin bodied scale models or restorations of older Scalextric cars. That’s ok but it really isn’t pushing my modelling ability or bringing any new content to the blog. So I thought it was time for a change!
Betta and Classic are a company that have been producing model car bodies since 1956. They make a huge range of shells in a number of materials in both 1:32 and 1:24 scale. One of the materials that particularly caught my eye is lexan.
Those of you that have been following this blog for a while will know that I am no stranger to lexan as 1:10 RC shells are made out of the stuff. It is incredibly light, I have a small stash of paint for it, the appropriate tools for cutting it out and it is very, very, very cheap! Perfect for a quick project!
The shell I picked for this project was the Porsche 917/30. For a bit of context the 917/30 was a Can-Am car of the early 1970s and was powered by a 5.4 litre flat 12 which, in qualification tune, could produce 1580hp. That’s a crazy figure in itself but the car only weighed 850kg which gave it a power to weight ratio of 1965hp per tonne!
A fair few people on the internet told me to stay away from lexan shells, comparing them to “plastic bags” and such. In the world of RC manufacturers can get a lot of detail into the shells yet I was uncertain that anyone would be able to pack such detail onto such a small lexan form. Betta and Classic have excelled themselves though! This Porsche has all the correct panel lines and air vents etc! Amazing really, especially considering how thin the poly-carbonate they use is compared to the RC shells. They are literally paper thin and totally weightless!
Of course, a shell like this deserves a quick chassis. Betta and Classic themselves do make a floor pan compatible to these lexan shells as does Richard Mack. I’m not 100% in my ability to mount a shell to one of those though, I’m sure a with a little easy fabrication it would be fine but for the minute I thought I would take the easy option and get one of these Slot.It HRS 2 chassis’ with the pre added side mounts.
If you are unfamiliar with these they are a great chassis! They come as a ready to run package with an adjustable wheel base, side shell mounts and a possible choice of three different motor mounting: inline mabuchi (typical to most slot cars), “side winder” mabuchi (transverse mount as seen in Fly cars) and boxer side winder. I opted for the boxer side winder simply because I’ve never had one. A lot of people really like the boxer motors though.
First things first, we will need to cut out the shell! To do this you will need a set of angled scissors (these are from Core RC but nail scissors do the job just as well) and a sharp modelling knife.
Use the scissors to cut around the shell and cut the arches out. The curve on the scissors will help you achieve a good looking, smooth arch as opposed to using straight scissors which will give you box arches haha! The cut lines for the arches are already on the shell which make this super easy!
This car is open topped and so the cockpit will need to be cut out so the abs plastic driver and seats can be fitted. To do this I scored the edge of the cockpit with the modelling knife until I could easily push it through and follow my score lines around. This can be abit time consuming as even though the plastic is very thin it will take a few scores to weaken it enough.
Now for the fun bit! Paint!
I’m not going to lie, I did order three of these shells just in case anything went wrong and sure enough, it did. The shells have a kind of semi translucent film over them to protect the outside of the shell from over spray, as you paint them from the inside, much akin to an RC shell. So I did two light coats of orange but the paint hadn’t reached into all the crevices of this shell leaving big clear patches. I only noticed after taking the film off so tried to mask the outside with tape to get a couple more layers in. The layers covered much better but when I tried to remove the masking tape the lexan is so thin it tore haha! Lucky I got spares so I can make the mistakes and tell you guys to do multiple layers!
This is the second attempt I believe, as you can see it’s hard to see how well it is covered with the film still in place.
Once the film is removed it’s fine though.
The little driver is much easier to paint! I used my regular mix of Halfords rattle can (gloss black in this instance) and Vallejo brush paint.
To fit it to the body I just poke it into the hole (oo-er) we made earlier and hot glue it into place. If you haven’t got a hot glue gun you need to purchase one immediately, they are so handy!
Now to fit the body! Basically the little rails that you see on the side of the chassis have to be stuck onto the side of the body shell.
To do this I used double sided velcro pads. These are basically double sided tape on one side and velcro on the other, so they can be stuck and unstuck as many times as needed without loosing stickiness. Double sided velcro can be found all over the place!
Final thing to do is to add a livery. I normally get my water slide decals from Pendleslot Racing but they were out of Jaegermeister sets so I found a cheap set on eBay.
The printing is absolutely fine and looks really well detailed but gosh it did not want to stick to the lexan! It just wanted to curl up at the edges once it was dry! Thankfully a re-wet some Humbrol decal fix seems to have them held in place ok!
Just a side note; I did swap out the factory fitted front tyres for some Slot.It zero grips. They are super low profile so I was able to get arch clearance at the front.
It’s not perfect but it’s a fun little build! I’m going to do some more Betta and Classic shells for sure! I might have to give one of their chassis’ a go too! I’ve not driven the car yet but I will let you know how that goes as I have something special to do with it.
Thanks for reading if you would like to see Betta and Classic’s full range of shells click here; http://www.bettaandclassic.com/
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