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Build Journal : Shark Track

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pratman2 11/8/22

So my theme and scenery has taken on a more realistic approach, partly in the interest of time, but also I was surprised at how well cardboard has worked out. It made it difficult to not add more realistic features and the kids don't have any complaints.   Eventually though I may figure out a way to incorporate some of my original ideas.  All the scenery is painted cardboard and Lauan plywood except the grassy areas, which is model railroad paper glued to cardboard.  Painting took longer than expected (I see why 3D uses his approach), but I felt I had no choice because kids will be crawling and banging on this thing and so far it's held up well.


This is a shot in process.


Here is the final product.  I like that it's basically a blank slate with room to add whatever we can think up as we go.  Also I've replaced the finish line and turn with a better one which I'll post pics later for.

The LEDs are a 32ft RGB strip light set from Amazon. I'm fairly happy with them though they could be a tad brighter.  The street lights are model railroad LEDs.


I'll be turning this into a little city so the kiddos can still play when we aren't racing.  Here is a little tunnel to push cars through to the lower level.


I've been adapting some papercraft models I found online as well as making my own to add detailed components.  The papercraft is printed onto self adhesive label sheets then transferred to 1/8" foamcore board, then cutout and hot glued together.  Pretty happy with how some of these have turned out.

This Pit Garage is my current work in progress.


I'm also making some 2D elements which help fill out the scenery and can be built pretty quickly.  These I made myself with found images.


This is the control panel I 3D printed for lighting and eventually a start gate.  You can see part of the new finishline.

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pratman2 11/8/22

Here are just a few more detail shots of the track with cars.  This is part of the reason why the look went more detailed and realistic, it was just too fun to stop.  I'm also hoping to get some video footage up on YouTube at some point.  I may even capture a 4 car tournament to see how it turns out.  I'm also working on a new name for the track now that I've changed the theme.

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dr_dodge 11/9/22

wow, that is amazing
very realistic feel to it, and top notch construction

once scenery starts to come together it is hard to stop,
as each little detail helps to showcase the diorama/model as a whole

the buildings turned out great.  I have done similar with my train layouts, 
and over time pull buildings and either superdetail them,
or build a new building to fit the same footprint

Great Job!!

This looks really cool! Nice work! Thanks for sharing your build progress!

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pratman2 12/3/22

Finally got the garages finished and installed.  I scaled it down a little from my prototype.  I used 1/8" foam core board.  First I printed out the garage interior and exterior patterns on self adhesive label paper, then transferred the wall, floor, and roof patterns to the board then cut them out and glue up the walls. Next is gluing in the front supports and installing the lights.  Last is gluing in the roof and floor.  I used primarily hot glue, but tested some with super glue.  I think hot glue holds the best but dries pretty quick, so trickier to work with.  These just wire into the existing PSU board for the other lights on the track.  

Very nice!

Bro you NEED a YT channel for this track this is gonna be THE SPOT when it opens up.

all you need is a good camera setup/mic and some good editing and your GOLDEN bro, this is gonna be up there!!!

hoping to see some street races out here soon, we may have to roll up to the spot!!!


  • Thanks, I appreciateit. I do have some equipment and am toying with the idea. I'm definitely going to film a test race and see how it goes. The last major component of the track is a lap timer. I just got the equipment for it, so starting on that soon. — pratman2
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pratman2 1/22/23

I've finally worked out an arduino based timing system and start gate and have it installed.  Everything works fairly well, I would call this track substantially complete.  From here I'll continue adding to the scenery and I'm toying with the idea of swapping 3D printed parts in the first turn.  But as is, the track is finally ready to formally race.  I'll be re-branding this thing hopefully soon and try to get some real video footage together, stay tuned. 

Here's a test video of the timing system and start gate.

youtu.be/ujGN1NCMRKM


  • super cool — Numbskull
  • Aight that spots LEGIT bro, it’s got great room for passing too if those stocks are anything to go by. Get some modified street cars out there and the scenes gonna blow up, can’t wait to see it! We’ll be keeping an eye on this spot! — Ne0nCity_Outsiders
  • Thanks. Passing is a little tougher at the moment than I'd like which is why I'm considering starting open track at the first turn. The pass that late model in the video made is what I'd like more of though. — pratman2
  • You do you. Just make sure the track runs the way you want it. — Ne0nCity_Outsiders
  • amazing!! — dr_dodge

Boughhh eyyy... !!!!! really great work!!!! 

from the  frames to the end..!!! 
this was a lot of work!!! 
the french would say: chapeau!!! 
exellent work!


  • I agree very nice work, superb build thread, very informative! look forward to sending you a car or two — dr_dodge
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GT_Diecast 1/23/23

Awesome build love how you progress in the idea fase.

not bad!  the scenery turned out great!


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