Cheap materials for building an open track

Perrushco Wednesday, 5/8/2024

I was searching on Amazon and eBay for open tracks, but as I'm from South America the shipping price is very expensive. I know that it is possible to make the track with corrugated plastic but I don't know how to make the curves. Is there another way to create tracks like fat track or crash racers but with other cheap materials, especially for the curves?


Check out Gravity Throttle Racing, his curves are all corrugated platic I believe, they just don't have much bank to them but they work great. 

We use a product called Palite which is excellent and can be shaped relatively easily and comes in sheets of 2400x1200 and 3mm thick. You can cut it with a knife and it glues really easily too, with either hot glue or super glue. Signwriters use it a lot for trade stands etc. You can check my behind the scenes video on my channel for a bit more about the product.

Or others have built corners using corrugated cardboard and I know one guy did some using cardboard cores that he cut open and notched to get curves.

You can also apply the same principle they use to built skateboard bowls using plywood, where the sections are cut into triangles and joined together.

  • I believe he used a lot of polystyrene on his track as well — ManiacMotorsports
  • maniacmotorsports I don't think so... When I asked Mark what he used, he said FRP wallboard from Home Depot. Maybe he will see this and chime in. — Stoopid_Fish_Racing — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • ok thanks — ManiacMotorsports

Mark from GTR sent me this when I asked him what he was using... he also mentioned using polywall...

Lowes also sells it...

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dr_dodge 5/9/24

Experiments with the plasitic backed cheap flooring has given good results

won't make corners, but the straights are hard, smooth and straight

like this stuff.

the back is hard plastic

My next experiment is leaving it out in the weather/soak to disolve the fiber board,
so I can harvest a long straight,

I  am planning on building a big track in my shop and all materials must be able to handle water/high humidity, so the fiberboard, and for that matter, real wood are out of play.

If I can "release" the plastic, the idea is something like this, 
a welded tray that I can set the plastic into.

The idea is a series of rigid 6-12' "ladders" that I can then tie together (weld/bolt)
The very last segment into the infield will be a corner and wide flat out of sheetmetal with bead rolled ribs

the plan so far


My pal is a carpenter, and he's taught me some stuff, so I got some lumber, and cut it to shape. If you have the right saws and sanders, it should be just right.

But you have to make sure that you end with a very fine grit of sand paper.

But it also depends on what type of track you're doing.

If you're doing a Baja race, you may want to add in some fiction, to make it look like the real thing. I was thinking, that you can use acrylic paint on top of the original track (If it's a special thing, you may be able to peel it off if it's very smooth like an orange track), or if you want a very rough terrain, you could get some thick grain glitter, put it in some glue (Don't get glitter glue for a very rough terrain, because the glitter is too fine), then paint over it with the color of your choice.

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CanesBart 5/11/24

Foamboard! Remove the outer paper layer.  You can make it slick, rough, or whatever, with paints and additives.   It can bend, and with a PVA/water overcoat, it'll last.  Easily repaired as well.  

Also easily scribed/detailed.

This is a brick street (for a 15mm "Blood Bowl" street bowl stadium, it's a miniature wargame) I scribed with a ball point pen.

  • Very nice work! — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • I use foamboard too, and ti is important to take the paper off, especially when gluing up layers — dr_dodge
  • Oh yeah, take the paper off the foamboard. The easiest to work with is the Dollar Tree stuff. — CanesBart

For a two lane turn I used water line and foam board. The water line is flexible and can be screwed in place. Foam board road works great  for me. Landscaping garden trim is used as well 

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AP3_Diecast 5/15/24

Never under estimate the power of humble  cardboard, it's widely available almost anywhere in the world and can be obtained for free in many cases.  People have built everything from furniture to drum kits with it.  If you hunt around this forum there are lots of people that have used it for tracks.  You can add wood filler or some other type of hardener that can be formed or sanded to handle turns as desired.  There are also lots of creative folks on YouTube that have worked with it as well which might give you some tips and ways to think about working with it if you want to go this route.  Good luck.

  • When using cardboard, foamboard, et al, try a 50/50 mix of lightweight spackle and acrylic craft paint. Then a overcoat of 50/50 pva and water, and you can make a slick, permanent finish — CanesBart
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