HO ‘Lead Sled’ Slot Car Build

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Most of the slot cars I have built for this blog have been 1/32 scale which is the standard scale for a lot of slot car and track manufacturers such as Scalextric, SCX, Slot It and Ninco and is the most popular scale for slot car in Europe. I’ve also briefly touched on 1/24 scale racing with my article on Mr D’s drag racing club but have never mentioned HO scale, which is another popular scale.

HO is roughly 1/64 or half the size of 1/32. The scale’s biggest racing system is called AFX which was made by a company called Aurora and was massively popular in the 1970s! Despite it’s popularity Aurora were finding AFX to be unprofitable and sold the brand to a British toy conglomerate who would later sell it on to Japanese toy manufacturer Tomy.  It’s still a massively popular scale in America and Japan but sort of fell to the wayside here in the UK. Scalextric have somewhat revived the scale with their ‘Micro’ range which has ran from 1996 but it certainly doesn’t have the following that 1/32 has.

The lack of interest in the scale is somewhat understandable. Aurora chassis are pretty expensive here and the range of cars most certainly isn’t as varied as in 1/32 and because 1/64 slot manufacturers use one type of chassis and then mount a variety of bodies to it the cars don’t particularly make for amazing models.

So why am I interested? Well 1/64 scale is logically half the size of 1/32 and therefore you would only need half the amount of space if you wanted to build a scenic track. There are also companies out there that produce lexan and resin shells to fit over Aurora chassis’ and Hot Wheels diecast cars are 1/64, therefore could there be some scope for true scratch building?

A good few years ago, before I started this blog I had a crack at building a lexan slot car over an Aurora chassis but it was put to one side. By the looks of it I couldn’t shape the arches quite right and couldn’t quite get it to sit right over the chassis with the provided mount.

start 1start 2

Yes it’s all coming back to me now! the company I brought the shell from also sold these clips that sit over the chassis like so.

The original double sided tape was useless so I was using my own but couldn’t get the shell to sit right over the chassis! Right then! We can lose that! That’ll give you a better look at the chassis too!

chassis bottomchassis top

As you can see it’s a simple enough little thing. Two brass pick ups at the front provide power to the motor from the track, the motor turns a solid rear axle and grip is provided by the big rear tyres and the huge magnets that sit under/in the chassis.

I’m now going to affix the shell with double sided velcro. One side can be stuck to the shell and the other to the chassis. This will allow me to move it about as needed! Getting rid of that clip means the width of the velcro won’t push out the sides of the shell.

velcro 1

Now to address the arches. I’ll be using curved scissors which are really designed for RC cars so the curve isn’t really tight enough. Some people will no doubt use a scalpel to cut the arches out but I don’t think I’m steady enough.

I think the first time around I just didn’t give myself enough time. Taking your time is key to any form of modelling. The arches are now a little too big but they had to be made as such.


Now to start work on the shell! With lexan you paint the inside of the shell and so you start on the details first. detail 1detail 2

The britework and headlights are Tamiya chrome, the grill is Vallejo black and the tail lights are Vallejo Carmine Red.

I then painted the body two coats of Vallejo Deep Sky Blue. It’s best to do two coats if you’re doing it by brush like me as the light can shine through the brush strokes; the second coat makes the colour a lot more solid!

Then it’s simply time to fit to the chassis. I’m not too sure whether to paint the wheels silver or leave them black. In person they look quite good black but in the photos I think they need a little colour. What do you think?

done 1done 2done 3done 4

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