D.I.Y Scalextric track edges

It’s a bit of an unusual post this week. I was given some foam board from work that had been previously used as promotional boards. I’d also been given a load of used classic Scalextric barriers and an idea was forming in my head!

Scalextric produce plastic track edges that clip straight onto the side of the track but, me being me, I decided to have a go at making my own!

I used a section of straight track as a template for the lengths of the parts I will have to cut and divided the section of board into 5cm wide strips.

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Cutting the strips out is best achieved with a scalpel or modelling knife. It’s best to use a metal ruler as well to make sure the edges are straight but I’m a maverick and followed the lines by hand. Not my greatest idea but it’s passable.

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The barriers I’ll be using are the soft plastic barriers that were sold in sets between the 1970s and 1990s. These clip onto the side of the track but, if you get these second hand, you will often find some of the little tabs are broken that hold the barrier to the track as they are brittle and awkward to get on and off.

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I mated them up into red and white pairs then chopped the “feet” off along with the exposed end connector. Then, I made them as straight as possible and marked the feet location on the boards with a black pen (you can just about see the marks in the picture). I wanted the barriers to sit about 1cm from the back edge of the board.

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Now that’s done, use your scalpel to slice into the marks where the fit will sit and push your barrier into the track. The foam board will be tight around the barrier so don’t worry about gluing it in. The scenery will also hold it in place.

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Now we can start o the ground work!

For the grass from the edge of the track to the barrier I will be using a railway modeller’s “flock”. It’s like a funny, spongy, weird material that sort of looks like grass. There are plenty of companies out there that make flock and you can get it in lots of colour and texture variations to get the look you want!

Behind the barrier I will be using model railway ballast. It’s actual purpose is to simulate the rocks that you see underneath rails. I have a super fine stuff that works perfectly as fine gravel though! That will be going on the 1cm strip behind the barrier. It does normally come as a very bright grey. If you are going for a very authentic model then it will be worth going over it with a couple of black/brown dirty washes as in real life rocks are never a uniform colour.

To stick the flock down I will of course be using PVA glue. I’m mixing it with brown paint so that if there are small gaps in the flock it will just look like mud underneath and not foam board. Likewise for the stones at the rear I will be mixing in grey paint! If you access to it use poster paint. I’m tight and lazy though so I didn’t buy any, instead I’m using Vallejo model paint which I use for absolutely everything.

It looks disgusting but it works!

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Tiny little screwdriver as a mixing stick as I’ve somehow lost all of my matchsticks. It came from a Christmas cracker many years ago and had sat in the bottom of my tool box.

Put the paint/glue mix on nice and thick so you can’t see any white underneath.

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Then sprinkle the flock on over the mix! Try to do it as evenly as you can to avoid wastage. As long as you have good coverage though it doesn’t matter too much.

Finally, I painted the white edges with Vallejo field grey. It acted as a nice compromise between the brown at the front and the grey at the rear.

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With all four done, lets get some glamour shots with a couple of 1970s F1 cars. The Brabham BT44 and the March 6 wheeler which I don’t think has ever been on the blog before.

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