Not quite a build journal, I intend to use this thread for ongoing shares, feedback and opinions. This contraption is similar to what some users build and refer to as a motor plex or raceway as it will eventually contain various separate tracks but will be connected scenically in a single geographic location. I have one course planned that shares part (and the finish line) of another longer track and a monster truck track for my son that jumps over a section of the main downhill open track straight of the first initial track.
When thought up the track was a generic realistic mountain road design where tracks would weave around declining cliff faces and I avoided any unrealistic corners above 180 degrees or places where the track would need to tunnel through a cliff to cross under track above it; shape S but not shape 8 for example. With those constraints and a preference for symmetrical track length and alternative car speeds with varied declining track areas along with a preference for seeing close races across a variety of car types, I know I am in for a long build. Each section goes through an extensive but fun cardboard box period with me and my 5 year old in the living room where we can easily see the effects of angles and height changes before I transfer it out to the track room and fabricate semi permanent structure for it.
The Room, is a common feature of homes in my area and is referred to as an Arizona Room. Like a covered porch/patio it runs the length of the house and has glass window walls other than a door on each end and 18" of block from the expoxied concrete floors to the metal roof. This is a shared room and is used mainly for sitting, reading or crafting. My track area is 5' by 20' though the tighter I can keep most of the track running along the walls, the better.
The Structure, as I mentioned is semi-permanent, rigid but adjustable and made from the lightest materials possible. 1x4 is the most common track support bed material held up with vertical 1x2 or 2x2 with adjustable X feet. Where plywood is used horizonatally to support complex curves 2x3 legs and support frames are used to secure it. The deadman's curve just after the start is one such large section and another will be necessary at the other end 15' down where my wall boundary is. Polystyrene sheets may be used in final detailing phases or depending on the fate of the track my be finished with just glue coated kraft paper to give the impression of mountainous features the track is following.
Track A will be the longest and first to be built. It has 2 main levels and is 50/50 roughly between dual lane orange track and crash racers open track. The upper level is the start with the starting drop, a deadman's curve (180+) followed by a straight track "freeway bridge" to another mountain cliff and several Tracer Racer curves before switching to Crash Racers track and following the same cliff features heading back towards the starting area. Functionality goals are to have the main action portion of the track at or below eye level for my 5 year old AND to have cars finish near the starting line. Anyone with young kids knows how quick walking back and forth to get cars and lifting a kid up to place cars on the starting line gets old.
Track B will start at the far end just before the switch from dual orange to crash racers track and will enter onto Track A to use its finish line. If I ever get around to scenic detailing I love the idea of a dirt road race at dusk ending up onto a professional road course by use of Y track!
C, D, or other track ideas exist but require expanding the track further along the longest wall and using the starting point elevation only rolling down on their own tracks in the opposite direction.
Photos to follow.