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So I have a few folks outside this build journal asking me how I am wiring my lights. So today's update will go more in detail. Up front, I am not soldering the wires together. The wires from the street lights are so super thin, and soldering so many joints is just too tedious for me. I do agree that soldering does make a stronger connection, but I am just keeping it simple since soldering can be intimidating for novices.
First, I connect the same color wires between two street lights. White to white, and black to black. I simple exposure approx. 3/4-inch of wire and twist them thoroughly around one another.
Then I take additional 30awg wire and twist tie it to the appropriate lead ensuring there is enough excess to make it to my light hub. Then secure it with shrink tube. For example, I take white 30awg gauge wire and twist tie it to the white wires of the street lights. Then heat shrink tube over the connection to help hold it in place.
Next, I run the other end of the 30awg lead wires to my light hub and attach the connectors that came with the light hub. White lead to black wire from the connector, and black lead to red wire from the connector.
Finally, I plug the connector into the center row of the light hub. I typically chain 4-6 street lights together into one connector entering the light hub. So on the image below, you will see 4 connectors attached to the light hub. This is currently powering 21 street lights. You can also see where my jeweler's screwdriver is pointing to the voltage switch, and it is set to 3V.
As you can see, this hub is powering 21 of the 32 lights without a problem. I have 11 more street lights to connect to the light hub using the last two center slots on the hub.
Looks amazing with all the lights off! The brightness on the light hub is turned all the way up. 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!
So I caved to the peer pressure and started my YouTube channel and Facebook group. I blame a long list of people for the peer pressure! Hahahaha
I wanted to wait longer, but waiting only prolongs the inevitable. So I hope you all enjoy the video. I hope it adds to the build journal experience. Everyone is welcome to join the Facebook group and if you like the video, please give it a thumbs up, comment, and share. I just want to help give back to this awesome community!
Behind the Scenes - Pacific Rim Speedway Street Light Test
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!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. The temps have dropped here in Colorado and it started to snow today. Good thing I have a portable propane heater in the garage. After the garage was warm, I turned off the heater and started sorting all the foam I have purchased over the past few days. After I got it all laid out and a plan in my mind, I grabbed my hot knife and started cutting away.
First, I grabbed a couple 24" x 24" x 1" sheets of project foam and created the main wall.
Next, I went around behind the track and created a raised platform to help reduce the amount of foam I needed. Plus, it would allow me to still access wiring for the street lights.
I then cut out a portion of the large retaining wall so I could still access the light hub from the back. The light hub cannot be accessed from the front because it will be closed in with a second retaining wall in the front.
As you can now see, Pacific Rim Speedway is starting to gain some real shape. Everything has been cut in "general," and nothing has been glued down yet. I still need more foam for the area within turns 1 thru 3, the front retaining wall, the area above the tunnel entrances, the area behind turn 4, and the area below and surrounding the start gate. It's still quite a bit, but I feel very accomplished with today's progress.
I will most likely continue assembling the power substation this week. I also have another demolished building and the emergency vehicle garage arriving soon. The flat area between turns 3 and 4 will be where the EMS garage and the police station will go. Also a couple help pads within the inside of turn 4. And if you were curious, that small building next to the demolished building in that last photo is a Fish n' Chips restaurant.
Today's update is a short, but sweet one! I received in the mail several metal signs from Custom Diecast Metal Signs by Meekin, and I am totally geeking out about them. These highway signs are only a few of the signs I received, but it amazes me just how much a small $5 metal sign improves the immersion. Just waiting for billboards from Slanman Customs so I can figure out where the billboards will go!
The weekend is almost here and I have a new update! This week in the mail, I received three of the War World Scenics Iron Girder MDF Bridge Kits from the UK. I ordered them through Amazon where you can find here: War World Scenics Double Track Hi-Detail Grey Girder Bridge 560mm – OO/HO Model Railway Diorama
So normally I would have some detailed photos to share with you, but that is nowhere near as fun as sharing a new video series I just started called Rubber Tow Rundowns. This series covers accessories, or techniques, that go into the Pacific Rim Speedway. So in my first rundown, I show you how to assemble these MDF bridges, and you get to see what it looks like completely finished! Give it a watch and let me know what you think.
Rubber Tow Rundowns - War World Scenics Iron Girder Bridge
Hello everybody! Hope every is staying safe and enjoying their cars and tracks. Today's update is a DIY tutorial. When I first saw Flat Rabbits track and that time he actually used pyro, I was totally geeking out. However, he has more moxy than me. lol
So I set out on the interwebs to find an easy and fast way to create a similar feel. I came across a couple videos from tabletop miniatures channels that were making realistic flames for their dioramas. I was surprised how easy they were that I decided to make my own, and make a video from it!
So hear is my video that I made in real time. I did not do any cutaways on purpose just to show how easy and fast this cool addition can make to your diorama or track. If you don't have demolished scenery like I do, they also make for great fires during replays of crashes too.
Rubber Tow Rundowns - DIY Flames & Explosions
Hello everyone! I've been knee deep in cutting foam this week. This is probably one of the most tedious tasks that I have encountered so far regarding the build. Also, foam is just as expensive as lumber! I use smooth craft foam that I buy locally from Hobby Lobby. It's noticeably softer and easier to cut and form. I found that other stores like Michael's, Wal-mart, etc. have very coarse and denser foam. I really don't like this "scratchy" like foam. It takes longer to cut and rubs off easily making a fine dust everywhere.
You can actually see the two type of different foam in the photo below. The base layer that rests on the green walls is the more coarse and denser foam. It looks very "hole-y" if that makes sense. The smooth foam I prefer is on top. This area of the track will actually have a nuclear power station with a 9" high smoke stack. It will be set back a little so it will not impede any view of the track. However, it makes great concealment for the replay camera that overlooks this turn.
I know there are some DIY foam cutting ideas out there with batteries and wire, but I just bought a normal electric hot knife that I use. I really like it because it come with 3 different tips: Long rod, wire, and chisel. You can find it on Amazon here: Hot Knife Foam Cutter Hot Wire Styrofoam Engraving Tip 3 in 1 Tools Kit by Calcor
It is very easy to hold, and the long rod allows me to do some cuts where a DIY or wire attachment wouldn't be able to do. One of the reasons this part of the build is tedious is not because of cutting the foam itself. It is tedious because of the cuts and carvings you need to do to get it to fit in the area you need, or the look you want it to have. After making any cut or carving, I sand it down with a sanding sponge. The hot knife leaves this little fibrous strands of polystyrene hanging from the block of foam. So I use a sanding block to remove them and smooth out the surface.
So it's measure the area needed... cut out the foam... place the foam over the area to roughly determine the exact shape... shave the foam down... try fitment again... repeat as necessary... once it fits then carve out the terrain shape I want it to have. Sometimes I will go back and forth 2-3 times just to get it carved out correctly. Here is the area between turns 1, 2, & 3 that I have built up with foam for the terrain.
Once I get a bit more foam work done, I will do a build journal video that shows more close-up details of the foam landscape. 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!
Hey everyone! Have you ever got into that groove while building your track where you just lose track of time? Well, I did Friday night! I worked on the track from 6pm Friday night to 2:30am Saturday morning.
First, I leveled out the iron girder bridges. They were leaning inward a bit, so I used some of the spare wood from its sprues to shim it up. I also mounted and wired lights onto the bridge. So the track is fully illuminated with 34 street lights!
Next, I plugged in my electric hot knife to cut some more foam. Normally, it heats up in about 10 seconds, but it wasn't heating up at all. Changed tips, as well as a different power supply, and still nothing. It was 7:30pm and Hobby Lobby closes at 8pm. So I jumped in the car and got a new electric hot knife. Plus, I had a 40% off coupon so it only came to $16.00 USD!
Then, this is where I lost track of time. I was listening to Disney+ and got carried away. I was a foam cutting fool! Finished up the area around and below the start gate. Also, some paving trucks arrived at the Rim and laid some nice fresh concrete.
Next, I took some 1/16th braided wire and ran a line from the start gate, behind and under the track to the front, and installed a small PVC handle. Then as it got dark, I came inside and started building another add-on while listening to NCIS in the background. Can you guess what it is?
It's going to be a crane for a MagLev depot! So it's now off to bed. I didn't get to sleep in after staying up late, because I had to take my son to Physicalk Therapy. But while I was waiting, I did swing by the Dollar store and picked up some new stuff!
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!
Hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend! Today, my two friends, Nate and Aaron, came over to run more cars down my track. The more runs the better. We noticed that the back row would creep to the start line then go. It was discovered that when I tightened down the track behind the start gate, that these rearward tracks were a tad lower than the gate. So I went and fixed it. Start gate is more at an angle, and rearward track pieces are definitely raised higher than the gate now.
We also experimented with filming races and cameras. I tried using my DJI Osmo Mobile, but the gimble was just too slow. So I reverted to a selfie stick instead. This next YouTube video uses my Samsung Galaxy S10+ filming at 1080p at 60 fps with stabilization turned on. Also, added more video and audio effects. Always experiementing with different look/feel for the channel and videos.
Behind the Scenes - Chase Cam Test #1
I just received my first action camera from Amazon today that is capable of recording at 1080p at 120 fps. So I will try that one in the next video. 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!
Hey diecast enthusiasts! Today's update is more about accents than terrain itself. I decided to pull out what flair I currently have to lay it out around the track to see how things look. So this is more of a visual update.
So BIG update today since it's been about 5 days since my last update! Where to begin...? Also, make sure you read through until the end since I have a HUGE announcement to share if you didn't know already.
Let's start with the pavement. In my diorama, I am using grey foam core (aka foam board) to use as pavement. It's basically white foam between two sheets of card stock. In order to give it more texture, I just splattered black, dark grey, and light grey paint on it. Just dip the brush in paint and run my finger across the top of the bristles. As the bristles flip back to normal, it "flicks" paint onto the foam board (and the table... and the wall... and the cabinet). It really came out nice. Black looks like asphalt repaired cracks, and dark/light grey just adds to the texture.
Then I added some parking stalls. Just used a pencil to draft the lines, and then went back over with a white paint pen. Then cut small pieces of leftover foam board and painted them yellow for parking bumpers/barriers.
Then I came to the realization that the buildings in the lower city needed to look like they were sitting on raised sidewalks so they would not be on the same level as the street. So I cut additional sheets of foam board and splattered those as well.
Then my buddy, Stuart, came over and dropped off a bunch of 3D printed fencing that he found on Thingiverse. You can find the STL files here: Gaslands - Raceway Fencing
I really like them because they are very sturdy, and have broken sections in the fenceline. They have already taken a few crashes by cars, and not even a scratch. So the fenceline will surround the upper city (Emergency Services) between turns 3 & 4. I also thought using the orange barriers that came with the crash racers made a great addition to place in the broken sections of the fenceline.
So I started taking a few fence sections, and began painting them. First, I primed them with a metallic silver aerosol. Then hand painted the bases a dark grey, and then touched it up with some rust colored dry brushing. I really liked how they came out.
Next up, I decided to work with inflatable/expanding foam to create my rock walls. I haven't really come across anyone trying this yet, so I really didn't have a reference. I was just winging it. It's the regular expanding insulation foam in an aerosol can that you find at any hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot in the USA. So the idea was to spray the green foam boards with the foam in an erratic pattern. Then I took a steak knife and cut into the "bubbly" areas to give them a more rough look.
I do want to add that if you try this, make sure you have all your backgrounds prepped and ready to spray, because you want to go through an entire can before taking a break. The special tube the can comes with will get clogged if you leave it out. Also, have some kind of squirt bottle that you can mist the foam after it is applied. It helps the curing process.
After cutting it up with a steak knife to give it more angled edges, I slathered Mod Podge all over it. I had read that some aerosol spray paints can start dissolving foam on contact. So Mod Podge was suggested to seal it. So this took a while to completely cover these next two sections, and then I had to allow it to dry overnight.
After they dried, I spray painted a grey primer and then dry brushed two colors to bring out the highlights. Once painted, they started looking like rock walls.
So then it was time to see what it would look like between turns 3 & 4. I am very happy with the result.
They're not perfect (and that's coming from me and my Geology degree), but... they are defintely a good fit for the theme of my track.
Here's a teaser of a new structure that will be added to the Rim. It is one of 3 structures that will make up a nuclear power plant! Ignore the colors, it is just the filament color used.
Now for the big news. Monster Motorsports and the Pacific Rim Speedway will be one of seven tracks participating in the Diecast International Race Series (DIRS) hosted by Chaos Canyon!
This is a huge honor to be participating in DIRS 2021, but it also means the Rim will be finished by Christmas next month. But at the pace I have been going, and for those that have been following along, I believe we're all confident to meet that goal easily.
So thanks for checking out today's update! Hope you enjoy following my build journal. If you haven't joined the Monster Motorsports Facebook group, you can do so here: Monster Motorsports Diecast Racing
As well as our YouTube channel, which can be found here: Monster Motorsports - Diecast Racing
Until the next update, stay safe and keep your wheels on the road!
Theming it with the Dai Kaiju is brilliant.