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Pacific Rim Speedway Build Journal

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dope progress! i cant wait to send cars to you for racing!!!

  • Thanks! The Rim is a beast and will be taking cars in 2021. — Kaiju_Colorado
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Kaiju_Colorado 11/24/20

So I had another busy weekend at the Rim! I worked a lot on the brick reatining walls. They are made of foam, but with a good paint job, they look very realistic!

I used Make it Fun! Project Bricks that I purchased from Hobby Lobby, but you can also find it on Amazon here: FloraCraft Foam 285 Piece Project Bricks 0.6 Inch x 0.6 Inch x 1.4 Inch Tan 

I also uploaded another Rubber Tow Rundown showing how I made these realistic retaining walls for the Rim.

Rubber Tow Rundowns - DIY Retaining Walls 

Hopefully, I should be able to finish the remaining walls in the turn 5 cavern, and start the hill terrain between turns 1, 2, and 3. So thanks for checking out today's update! Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

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Kaiju_Colorado 11/26/20

I hope everyone is having a great week! Today's update is about the small things. Little things that can make big impacts on your track or diorama. I have added a bunch of billboards from Slanman Customs and metal highway & traffic signs from Custom Diecast Metal Signs by Meekins.

I also added signage to promote other tracks participating in DIRS 2021...

Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

  • Really enjoying the bridge for your opening straight - good idea! — SpyDude
  • Thanks, SpyDude! — Kaiju_Colorado
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Kaiju_Colorado 11/28/20

So I'm super excited to reveal some things that give my track its name! I've really been working a lot on the lower section of the track between turn4 and the finish line. So I won't bore you all with details. I'd rather allow you to get lost in the photos...

Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

  • That's a lot of those tiny bricks! The Russian tri-jaeger was one of my favorites...was sad to seen it not get much screen time. — redlinederby
  • Yes! A lot of tiny bricks! I will be adding Cherno Alpha soon. — Kaiju_Colorado
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Chaos_Canyon 11/29/20

Looking great man.

Great job with the track. I'd like to get some cars on it. Will you be doing tournaments?

  • Absolutely! DIRS 2021 will be the premiere for my track in February. However, I will be doing a mail-in modded tournament right after that. So before the new year, I will be posting a race with all the info to give time for folks to make cars. As of right now, 50g or less work best on my track. This weekend, I will be testing up to 65g to see if the track can handle it. I love your work, and would be humbled to have any BLR cars run the Rim! I am also looking to do team tournaments with a 48 car field where YouTube channels sponsor 4 cars each and then driver sign ups from the public for 3 of those 4 cars. The 4th car is driven by the channel that sponsors them. I plan to do that for both modded cars sent it, as well as stock cars that I provide. I have already collected enough cars to do four 48-car tournaments in the stock division under 4 different classes: street, rally, exotic, and classic muscle. I will only only run real (or realistic) cars on my track. Plus, I will be doing the production for my races in a format that has not been done before in diecast racing (at least I haven't seen anyone do it yet). lol — Kaiju_Colorado

That's great, good luck and I look forward to racing there someday soon.

So it's about time for another update! I'm still doing the bulk of the terrain, but as I wait for glue or paint to dry with those larger items, I've been tightening up some details.

For example, there was a 2" gap of exposed wood on the side of the straightaway between turns 4 and 5. Due to camera placement, one or two replay cams will see the exposed wood. You can see it in the image below between the lower retaining wall and the straightaway.

So I have been sitting on rolls of grass, small stones, gravel, and ballast that has been waiting to be used. The larger stones also double as support for the sides of the straightaways providing more stability and keeping cars in the track rather than hopping out from hitting a soft sideway. Here is the result...

I also started laying the low loft batting in the cavern of turn 5. This technique I learned from a YouTube video, which can be found here: How to Make Easy Hills & Mountains for Model Train Layouts and Dioramas 

Here is a picture of the batting that I cut out as I was waiting for the glue to dry...

Next, I noticed a lot of dead spots in areas that could be captured by cameras; especially my chase cam. These dead spots are what I consider small areas that a camera may capture during filming that take you out of the immersion/experience of the race. For example, I have two tunnels that make a loop. However, they are just facades. There are no inner side walls to the tunnel. So at the right angle you could look in and see supports or bare wood. So I just took 1" insulation foam, scored them with a dull pencil, and spray painted them grey.

Then I updated some small things like the crosswalk. The first markings were literally me hand cutting white electrical tape without a straight edge or ruler. Here is a picture of the old markings for the crosswalk... 

And here is the updated version...

And yes, I have been adding actual paved streets and sidewalks to the lower city. Even it's first tree and park area! The streets, sidewalks, and parking lot are from a large sticker sheet that are laser cut. I purchased one sheet from ebay, which you can find here: 1/64 S Scale Real Roads Model Train Scenery Layout Diorama Fits Lionel Trains 

I was asked to try and take a picture of the entire track as a whole as it looks right now, so here ya go!

The last two buildings have arrived, and I have removed the buildings, cars, and accessories from the upper city between turns 3 & 4. So I will be finalizing that the rest of this week. Plan is to be fully finished and start working on backdrops and lighting by Christmas.

Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

  • Looking good. For your fixed cams, are you planning to hide them as well? I've hidden all mine in rock enclosures or behind rocks etc to try and hide them as much as possible. — Chaos_Canyon
  • Yes, all my cams will be hidden. — Kaiju_Colorado
  • Lining the inner tunnel walls is an old model railroader's trick to make it look like there is something "beyond the portal." It was used a great deal for when trains were running between "onstage" (visible) and "offstage" (behind the scenery). Good job on the walls. — SpyDude
  • Thanks for the info SpyDude! Great stuff! — Kaiju_Colorado

Hey Pacific Rim fans! So I am getting closer and closer to completion. I'm over the hump and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The last two buildings that I ordered finally arrives, which are a 3-Bay Garage and a Ranger Watch Tower. The tower is early warning for those monster attacks! Here they are...

And here is a wide shot showing how the track looks now...

I also mailed in my DIRS 2021 car entry to JT over at Transport Diecast Racing. I chose a Jaguar XJ220. I like the low center of gravity and the body style. Since I will probably be sending more modded cars around the world, I decided to maintain a signature interior, as well as a signature paint job. I can apply them to any casting of course.I just love the basketball color leather interior and the metallic pink to blue exterior.

I also did a fun little YouTube video showcasing my custom mod. Even though I am not running full races yet, doing weekly videos of my build/projects gives me more opportunities to work on my video production. This video I focused on frame hold, and shooting at higher shutter speeds with a low ISO setting. You can find the link to the YouTube video here: DIRS 2021 | Monster Motorsports | Car Submission | Diecast Racing 

Next up is finishing the platform/outcropping surrounding the start gate, and laying more low loft batting in the area between turns 1 & 3. Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

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Kaiju_Colorado 12/16/20

Hey everyone! Sorry for being quiet for about a week. I've been posting updates in my Facebook group and have forgotten to continue sharing here. My bad. So this update will cover a few things.

I ordered a few 1:87 scale trash dumpsters to spread around the rim. They are 3D printed in two pieces: bin and lid. They make both large and residential trash bins. 2 large bins were only $3 so I bought 4 of them for $6. I found them on etsy here: Residential & Commercial Dumpsters 1/87th scale 

I also started basing up the area around the start gate. Building up the foam terrain and adding brick walls. I will have a static action camera behind the start gate so I needed to build a good base up there. The pics below just show the unpainted bricks in place, but not glued down. I like to lay things out before making them somewhat permanent.

Then I started messing around with the studio lighting and camera positions. I use hooded studio lights with diffusers. Each light stand has either 4 or 5 CFL bulbs. My lighting has to be super bright in order to get a dusk like effect in my cameras. I am shooting at 1080p at 120fps so in order to have clearer slow motion replays, I need to set the shutter speeds at 1/250. However, in digital cameras, the software wants to jack up the ISO to compensate to allow more light in at that shutter speed. So I have to manually lock the ISO at a very low setting. So for the amount of light I want to set the scene, I have to make the ISO at 200. When you look through the lens the image is super dark. But once I flip all the lights on, it is perfect. 

I highly recommend studio lights with CFL bulbs for a couple reasons. First, I don't have to worry about LED light frequency causing a flicker in my slow motion shots. Second, having multiple bulbs inside one hood gives me a ton of options for how much light I want to cast. This is one of the 4-bulb light stands I picked up from Amazon: StudioFX 800 Watt Large Photography Softbox Continuous Photo Lighting Kit 16" x 24" by Kaezi H9004S-1 

I should also add that you should always, always, always have sandbags to support studio light stands. Otherwise ther will tip over easy and the bulbs will shatter on impact.

So I debated over a long time whether to have a static action camera in turn 5. Biggest reason is that it is very difficult to hide a camera in the cavern of turn 5 that provides a good angle. I also discovered that I wasn't having too many crashes in turn 5 too since it was the last turn. Most of the time when cars stop in turn 5, it is because they just enter that turn too slow and roll over. Nothing very spectacular. So I decided to move that camera after studying several channels to become a long finish cam, which you can see below...

I also finalized the finish line camera placement as well for photo finishes. I elected from the side because top down would require a rigging and zoom. Zooming in too far can make an image grainy. So I elected to go from the side. Here is the picture from that angle...

Next up is I decided to add another tunnel/pass. So as I was making it, I thought to have a little contest on the Monster Motorsports Diecast Racing Facebook Group. I showed the picture of the tunnel entrance in progress and asked my followers to guess the location of where it will go and a name they would like to call it. All correct location answers would be put into a drawing and the winner would have their name for the tunnel ever bound to the Pacific Rim Speedway.

Several folks answered, but in the end Barry Porter was the winner and now this tunnel entrance and turn 3 above it will be forever known as Kickapoo Pass, which is actually brilliant because turn 3 is the first open track turn where a lot of passing and rubbing occur. A lot of poo flinging and door kicking!

After taking this picture, I felt I needed something more. So I picked up some foliage clusters at Hobby Lobby and went to town adding clusters, balast, and small rocks. I was very happy how this small additions made everything look so much better!

Next, I decided to hide the wooden plank holding up the 6-ft iron girder bridge with bricks. So I spray painted the bricks and hot glued them to the side and underneath the plank. One row on the side didn't hide the wood completely, so I had to glue a second row underneath and just behind the first row. I really like the finished look!

You will also notice above the start gate in the above picture is the garage door track. When I was up there working on the start gate terrain, I wasn't paying attention and hit my head on the edge of that metal. Now I need to go cut up some pool noodles and cover that corner so I don't do it again. lol

Finally, I started gluing down more low loft batting over the foam terrain to give it a more blanket, hill-like effect. Looks kind of like snow right now. Once I get all the batting down, I will go back and paint it brown. Then add other terrain stuff to give it a real good texture and realistic look.

I'm still on track to be finished on/about January 1st. So it's crunch time now! Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

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Kaiju_Colorado 12/27/20

Hello fellow race fans! I hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas despite such an impacting year due to COVID-19. So I want to apologize that the updates have been less frequent here on the forum. Just been very busy due to the holidays and upcoming deadline to have the Rim finished before DIRS 2021 begins in January. I do post more frequent (but raw) updates on our Facebook group, which you can find here: Monster Motorsports Diecast Racing 

So I added another Jaeger to the mix! What's the Pacific Rim Speedway without Kaiju bashing, right? Cherno Alpha joins Crymson Typhoon to help defend the Rime. These are actual NECA licensed figures that I have found on eBay, and have hot glued them to clear NECA bases to help them stand up. These bases really help these posable figures from toppling over due to vibrations caused by the track.

Next up is orange safety fencing that will be used on turn 2 to help keep the cars from flying off the track. The 180-degree dual lane from Slanman Customs is great, and I have it angled and banked for optimum racing. However, if a car is too high, or has a high center of gravity, it can jump the track in turn 2. I don't expect this to happen to heavyweight modded cars, but stock cars with high centers of gravity will want to tip out. So this orange safety fencing will help keep the cars on the track, and also from plowing into my trees (and trees are not cheap).

So I found this fencing on eBay and it is called 1/50 Orange Construction Fencing made by 3D to scale. I cannot find any current listings at the moment, but just search "1:50 orange construction fencing" and you should find it. They come with 4 sections that measure 6-inches wide by 1-inch tall. Even though there are a few 3D printed retaining fences from other accessory companies, I needed longer segments than a single section of fence while offering a more seemless look when multiple sections are connected.

Here you can see that I just super glued orange toothpicks to the fencing so I can push them into my foam based terrain fairly easily. And if they take a super hard hit, it's okay if the fencing pops off the toothpick, because I can always replace the toothpick. This allows the stronger fencing to break away from the toothpicks without damaging the track or the cars.

I mentioned earlier that the orange fencing will also protect the trees. There are a total of 5 trees in turn 2 to hide the static action camera for replays. There are 2 tall trees and 3 smaller trees with lower hanging branches. I picked these trees up from Hobby Lobby. The trees are of the same "tree family," but varied colors so it looks like the trees belong. The first image shows the chase cam's viewable angle as cars race thru turn 2. The following images show the static camer's position in relation to the trees, as well as what the camera sees.

Next up is the final two 3D printed buildings that make up the nuclear power plant. I had a few suggestions to make this area into a drive-in movie theater with parking area, but I needed something larger to hide the static camera covering the area between turns 3 thru 5. So this static camera has a much higher stand that the static camera in turn 2. 

An electric power plant was always planned for the Rim. It was originally planned for the flat area inside turn 3, but in the end that area was way too small to add anything significant. Plus, placing anything inside turn 3 would have to be very short in height. Otherwise it would impeed the view of cars racing thru turn 3.

After painting the final buildings for the nuke plant, I decided to use the fencing from the original power plant to surround the concrete pads to give it more of a "restricted access" feel. I used a large 2-inch sewing needle to pre-punch holes into the concrete pads in 1-inch increments along the edge. After clipping the fence posts from their sprues, I super glued them into the base and allowed them to dry over night. Then I cut a 1-inch tall strip of mesh fabric to a length that matched the fence line. It's not a perfect job, but I really like how it came out looking to match the level of detail to other buildings in the Rim.

Another immersive addition to the Rim was my idea on how to better mask the DIY digital timer kit I purchased from Slanman Customs. I wanted something to blend in better with the environment I am creating. So I came up with the idea of having a lottery billboard, because I have seen many lottery billboards that display a huge US dollar sign next to a box of changing numbers based on the increasing jackpot. I instantly saw the numbers of my digital timer. So I went to photoshop and blended several elements to create a composite that I was happy with. I think I also inadvertantly created a new character as well... "President Grant is just floored with that amazingly fast (or slow) run time!"

The billboard itself was from a 2D file that my friend, Stuart, printed for me. I gave him the measurements of the LED screen and he manually created the cutout. It also came with a different base, but I accidently dropped the base and broke it. So I took a spare, unused gate truss from Slanman Customs and used it as the base for now.

Now it was time to finally build the final rock wall for the Rim. This would be a daunting 2-ft high by 4-ft wide rock wall made of styrofoam and expanding insulation foam. After measuring and cutting the green project boards, I cut out some jagged edges of styrofoam to glue to the wall backing. This would help break up the rounded look of the expanding foam. This section actually took 2 full cans of expanding foam. The second image doesn't show it, but I also took a steak knife and cut up the expandable foam to create edges giving the appearence of rock breaking off. I also sealed it with sprayable mod podge to seal the foam so the aerosol spray paint woulnd't eat the foam. So all that is left now is painting the rock wall with a flat grey primer and then a huge dry brush job to match the other rock formations in the Rim.

My final addition in today's update is a 1/64 scale diorama garage. I wanted a completely seperate garage that I could set on my studio table to take very good b roll of the cars to servce as car & driver introductions at the beginning of my videos. So I wanted something that was not just a papercraft garage that also had LED lighting pre-installed in the ceiling. So when I found this Geechan diorama, I was geeking out! I picked this up on eBay from a seller in Hong Kong, which you can find here: GEECHAN 1:64 Assembly Diorama Led lighting Garage RWB/HONDA/Nismo/Rocket Bunny

I was very impressed with this kit upon its arrival. The garage walls were actual wood with hi-res stickers affixed to the walls and floor. There were no air bubbles and everything press fit together nicely. So much in fact that no additional gluing was needed. It also came with 23 garage accessories! I will paint these accessories more so they don't look as fake. This entire kit was $46 USD with free standard shipping from Hong Kong, which arrived in 15 days to the US. I couldn't be more pleased with everything it included. We've all seen the Greenlight and American Diorama products, and I am happy to say that I am satisfied beyond expectations.

So thanks for checking out today's update! I am very close to finishing the Rim! DIRS 2021 begins mid January with Transport Diecast Racing as the first host track, and then the cars will be shipped to me for round 2. I did build in 4 weeks of fudge time in the event of a setback or snafu. This will give me time to finalize my studio for the most part. I have a lot of rehearsals to to conduct to ensure I work out all the kinks. My production will be a lot more involved because races at the Rim will be broadcasted LIVE on our Facebook page and later uploaded to YouTube the same night. Yes, you read that correctly, and you read it here first on Redline Derby. All of the races at the Pacific Rim Speedway will be LIVE with commentary, replays, everything! 

One final side note is that I will be posting a race here on Redline Derby within the next week for my first mail-in, modded tournament to be ran right after round 2 of DIRS 2021. I want to give at least 60 day notice of each race to also allow for international participants. I lived in Europe for 6 years and it is important to me to have global participation. So stay subscribed and check the race section of Redline Derby often. Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

  • Great stuff! Good work on the track so far, and that is a REALLY nice garage! — SpyDude
  • Thanks, SpyDude! — Kaiju_Colorado
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Kaiju_Colorado 12/31/20

Hey everyone! I am in the final stages of terrain painting, and it has been going faster than expected. I've been following the same technique that 3dbotmaker used for his Mountain Raceway to create terrain with low loft quilt batting. I've posted the YouTube link a few times throughout this journal, so I won't post it here again. So let's get straight to the images!

Each section needs a full 2 days to dry before I can remove the masking tape. I have 4 more smaller areas to paint. So I want to get those done on Thursday and Friday so the last section has time to dry through the weekend. Then I can focus on the studio. Hope you enjoy following my build journal. Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!

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