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Old 2006.06.18, 10:19 PM   #1
steiner9
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To build a track, or to buy RCP

Ok, got my first mini-z MR-01 today WOOHOOO! Now to decide weather or not to build a costom track or to buy an RCP track...

I love the idea of building somthing from the ground up, but worry that it wont be up to par with RCP standards as far as grip and durability standards.

Can anyone fill me in on building your own track VS rcp? I was thinking of getting 3 1/2 inch sheets of plywood and evening them out, then using a paint/sand mix for the base surface, then using pvc to make walls.
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Old 2006.06.18, 10:23 PM   #2
builthatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiner9
Ok, got my first mini-z MR-01 today WOOHOOO! Now to decide weather or not to build a costom track or to buy an RCP track...

I love the idea of building somthing from the ground up, but worry that it wont be up to par with RCP standards as far as grip and durability standards.

Can anyone fill me in on building your own track VS rcp? I was thinking of getting 3 1/2 inch sheets of plywood and evening them out, then using a paint/sand mix for the base surface, then using pvc to make walls.
RCP is hands down the best option, with the only disadvantage vs. a setup like what you suggest being cost.

RCP is consistent in every way, easy to rearrange, lightweight, easy on the cars (foam walls), durable and pretty.

I'll be honest man, i never have had as much fun with RC as i have had with RCP and Mini-Z. it's just so neat to have a professional quality track at home.
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Old 2006.06.18, 10:32 PM   #3
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I am going to highly recommend RCP here. For $200 (and minimal effort) you can have a track to run on right in your house. If you have enough space and several drivers you can get the expansion for another $100.

I definitely respect the motivation to do it yourself but RCP is really really nice to have. I can get my entire Mini-96 in the back seats of my Honda and take it anywhere I want...it usually stays in my basement though

After the time you would put into building a track I really think you should just step up to RCP right away.

EDIT: I also wanted to add, that I did build a layout in my basement on carpet with PVC rails. PVC is pretty cheap and easy to work with but the cars will know it around if you don't secure it pretty well. In your case you might secure it to the plywood. Also, if you get an F1, the open wheel design will run right up 1/2" pvc.

Either way, good luck.

One More EDIT: Where are you located, there may be someone near you with a track.

Last edited by Spoon; 2006.06.18 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 2006.06.18, 11:15 PM   #4
steiner9
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I am located in vancouver washington, just north of portland oregon.

I do think I am leaning more twords the RCP, the price just seems high, but maybe it isnt really, I could look at it as part of my mini Z experiance.
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Old 2006.06.18, 11:18 PM   #5
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if you use PVC, and you want a car that still has paint, expect to buy a new body every few days . Even the occational hit will knock paint off... in one race I trashed my viper body on a pvc track.

Go RCP...
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Old 2006.06.19, 12:56 AM   #6
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RCP hands down if you are thinking about racing Mini-Zís. The amount of room you have available does play into the choice, if you have the space two wide-Lís will be much more satisfying than a Mini-96, even then it doesnít take long to want more track. The problem with a single wide L or 45 is that it can be a bit, well, boring. For other types of driving, i.e. drifting and smaller cars a home built does have some advantages, however the RCP can always be broken down and moved aside, or if it turns out not to be what you wanted at least has some resale value.

There is also always the smooth side of the RCP too, last year for my Epochs I was using a track made of chalkboard painted foam tiles with some hazard corners unpainted or lightly sanded back to smooth, have been seriously thinking about doing the same with the smooth side of the RCP, which if it works out could be the best of both worlds.

Although custom built tracks can be true works of art and a blast to drive on, especially if you have the right space, some of the ones that have been showing up in videos lately make me want to rush off to the hardware store and pull a Builder Bob, but unless you plan on putting a good deal of time, effort, and money into the build they will rarely be as satisfying as an RCP.
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Old 2006.06.19, 01:01 AM   #7
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I started out making custom tiles from WalMart mats. While it would have worked, it was going to cost at least as much as RCP and wouldnít have been the same quality. One of our members bought a Wide L kit and we tried it out. We were instantly sold on it, and the next day we set about buying more of them.

The quality is excellent, its designed and sized perfectly for 1:28, the standardization allows participation in HFAY/OLPS, and RCPís customer service is absolutely top notch.

Check out my gallery at Mini-AZ for pictures of the WalMart Experiment (under ĎTrack Constructioní) and the RCP tracks we ended up making.
http://www.mini-az.com/cm/index.php?cat=10005

Thereís also lots of RCP pictures and video here at MZR.
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Old 2006.06.19, 11:06 AM   #8
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Spent about $100 building my own... resale value... $0

It was fun, but it was also a necessity. (RCP didn't have the Wide system when I started with these) Carpet racing was interesting for the "drift" aspect, but RCP just takes your driving to a whole new level.

Also, RCP always has value though, you could always re-sell it real easy if it's not what you wanted... but I doubt you will want to sell it !

Go 2 Wide "Ls"!...
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Old 2006.06.19, 08:30 PM   #9
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ALLRIGHT, just found a sweet deal on ebay, here is the link to there website.
Floor Mats

These look to be almost identical to the RCP mats, I just need to figure out the rail system. For $100 I got enough mats to cover my whole garage floor!!!
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Old 2006.06.20, 12:02 AM   #10
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Not quite the same, are you sure there isnít a LHS or someone near by with an RCP track you could check out before making a final decision? Because it sounds like youíre into your Mini-Z and in the long run especially for racing the RCP if at all possible is worth serious consideration.

That is the same type of tile I used for my last track, you would/will need to treat the surface for any sort of traction, I used chalkboard paint. The foam compound is just a little stiffer than the RCP so the edges kept creeping up making little lips in the end I had to glue and/or tape them together, I also had to tack the track down to keep the whole thing flat. By the time the track was finished it was still marginally cheaper than an equivalent sized RCP unless you factor in a labor cost that is, and I did like the finished chalkboard painted surface especially for the Epochs, but ...?... I donít know itís just that since I put a 2 wide-L RCP up at the house I (LoL and half the county) am enjoying the hobby more than with some of my other tracks.

Track surface examples:
Original Lakeshore track surface,
http://lbspd.com/v-web/gallery/album...McLaren_06.jpg
suitable for ZipZap monstor trucks and thatís about it, however since no one else liked it either I got most of the track and tiles for $1 + shipping.

Phoenix; rising from the ashes of the Lakeshore tiles,
http://lbspd.com/v-web/gallery/albums/album60/t2.jpg
the surface did look very much like real pavement with good traction, for racing there is one big drawback though if you tune your car for this surface itís no good on anyone elseís track, unless theyíve have exactly the same thing.
Funny story sort of:
I was completely duped by the first Lakeshore track I had seen, a group of sailors had modified and essentially completely rebuilt one to take with them on deployment, and it wasnít until they returned that I found out what they had done. The primary owner was a chief in charge of an aviation corrosion control shop they had sanded the surface and side walls down then painted the driving surface with chalkboard paint and the sidewalls with who knows what. The finished track was a work of art, although I only got a quick look and drive since they had to pack it up and I was just dropping off some cars Iíd modified (FET stacks) for their trip. Problem was that no one told me it had been modified so here I was all impressed with LS, imagine my surprise when I saw the origional LS surface for the first time. The above Phoenix photo was my version, not quite in their league, but not bad, made form the 2x2 foam mats and pieces of nearly identical Lakeshore tiles, the surface was sanded then painted with chalkboard paint, with Teflon strips to cover the rails. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this track Mother Nature decided that it and the Costco garage tent it resided in needed to sail away, quite literally, 70 mile wind gusts coming directly off the San Juan straights arenít exactly a hurricane but distructive enough. Reasonably good homeowners insurance is a wonderful thing though so my only regret is not getting around to taking a good night photo, the blue line above the rail is el-wire lighting, with red on the corners.

RCP
http://lbspd.com/v-web/gallery/album...03/b.sized.jpg
http://lbspd.com/v-web/gallery/album...03/d.sized.jpg
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Old 2006.06.20, 12:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiner9
ALLRIGHT, just found a sweet deal on ebay, here is the link to there website.
Floor Mats

These look to be almost identical to the RCP mats, I just need to figure out the rail system. For $100 I got enough mats to cover my whole garage floor!!!

most of us started out using these types of tiles. Save yourself the time and just invest in the right product. There is nothing better than the RCP tracks.

could you make this with those tiles? this is an extreme example but you get the point.

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Old 2006.06.20, 12:09 AM   #12
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More is better love that, would give much for the space.
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Last edited by LBRC; 2006.06.20 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 2006.06.20, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiner9
ALLRIGHT, just found a sweet deal on ebay, here is the link to there website.
Floor Mats

These look to be almost identical to the RCP mats, I just need to figure out the rail system. For $100 I got enough mats to cover my whole garage floor!!!
I bought a lot of these tiles from walmart. I cut corners and made rails with these. Then I tried RCP and bought it. There reallly is a different and RCP is much better and very easy to setup in lots of different configurations with two or more wide L's.

I wish I would have got the RCP to start with. It would have saved me lots of time and money.
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Old 2006.06.20, 01:27 PM   #14
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Either way, glad you're getting serious about Zs... homemade tracks can be very cool, but if you ever decide to go to a regional or some other GTG, be prepared to spend a day finding and getting used to an RCP surface.

If you are planning to ever race seriously against most of the clubs in the States... better get an RCP.

But I cant deny how much fun a homebuilt can be... but then again, I could probably make up some gear to have an RCP look just like this...
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Old 2006.06.20, 02:06 PM   #15
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I had the same delima when I started out, but chose RCP for it's flexibility and reputation. It's turned out to be an excellent track.

But I also agree with imxlr8ed- I've raced on some very nice home-made tracks (check my sig for pics). Some of the hobbiest type home tracks look incredible, and are designed to mimick a more true-to-life track layout...giving the track a lot more character. If I had space to dedicate to a permenent track (instead of my garage floor, which I park on during the week), I would definitley build something like this.

But yeah, you can't beat RCP for surface quality and flexibility....it's really easy to tear down and set up, and change out the configuration. And like imxlr8ed stated, if you plan on racing at organized events, you'll likely be running on RCP, and having one at home means you get a lot of practice.

Also RCP's customer service is top-notch.
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