SCRATCH BUILDING

(Click on pics to enlarge)



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Beyond simply relivering vintage Scaleys, a further step for the enthusiast is scratch building, building slot cars of his choice, picking up on the market and matching the various parts needed : body shells, drivers, chassis, wheels, tyres, motors, axles, gears, etc and … decals. Finding proper decals on the market may become problematic as soon as you choose to stray from the beaten track and consider a specific unusual model.
(photos EDO's workbench)

This is when custom made decals come to play.
I had several opportunities to make one-off custom decals for scratch builders remotely, i.e. without having myself the car in hand. This of course requires some contribution from the interested party in the form of a firstly a few measurement photos and blank testings with plain paper images to size them to scale and ensure the decals will best fit the body shell.

Below are examples of decal sets I could make, working this way, for a Danish enthusiast - and eminent SlotForum International member - thirty or so 1/32 slot cars in total.




danish-flag-temporary-tattoo Holger Thor Nielsen (Denmark)

As many slot-car enthusiasts, Holger has a very deep and encyclopedic knowledge of car racing, his favorites being the 50's, 60´s and 70´s Formula One and Sport Cars. He also loves passionately to build up his own cars, always giving a great attention to details and authenticity. Liveries must be quite conform to original 1:1 cars, with no one sticker missing. But what most strikes me is his determination to tackle his projects and the astonishing pace at which he produces his slot cars. He always has multiple projects going on simultaneously, in order to avoid being stopped by having to wait for delivery of paint cans, wheels, tyres or:... decals. He loves challenges, and sets himself ambitious targets, that many of us might judge as unreachable, and never gives up !

As examples, he decided a few years ago that he would model the entire grid of the 1955 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours race. No less than 60 cars ! He has got now 58 cars completed, With no doubt, the turn of the two ones still missing (although they are somewhat confidential and completely out of memory...) will come !

In parallel, Holger has also created entire grids of several F1 Grand Prix, including the 1954 French GP at Reims (22 cars) and most of the 1955 Grand Prix, if not all !! More recently, he set himself the challenge to reproduce the whole starting grid of the 1973 Belgian F1 Grand Prix at Zolder, as it was the first Grand Prix he attended live. 23 F1 cars ! This project is actively being pursued, 20 cars are already in Holger's showcases.

In the same vein, having had the opportunity to see the movie RUSH, this flash back gave him a kick concerning his youth and the unforgettable 1976 F1 season, and made him want to reproduce the grid of the 1976 Swedish GP at Anderstorp, the only GP he attended live that year. One more on going project, in parallel with others... This is the way Holger works.

I let you imagine, how huge is his collection of 1/32 slot cars.
His garage is also occupied by a permanent four lane Classic Scalextric private race track, among others, on which he can test and race his little bolides.

A secret of Holger's efficiency is the friendly relationships he has established with a core of specialized slot car shells and accessories producers and distributors, mostly UK-based, with whom he can work with confidence (their names appear in the legends of the pics below). This privileged relationships and certainly his persuasiveness allow him to get some uncommon historic car shells done, such as the 1955 Panhard Le Mans shells provided by AA Bodies (see lower). He likes to say that his car models are the result of a team work, and always makes all contributors explicit when presenting his cars on SlotForum. A really sound team spirit, which makes it a real pleasure to work with him.

To discover more on his scratch builds, click on the SlotForum banner below, and search topics started by
circuittaps, Holger's name on SlotForum. As you will see, all his cars are always displayed on his famous chequered shelf, known worldwide by the SlotForum members.

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All the car models presented below have been painted and decaled by Holger, using REISSORG® decals. A few of them are vintage mass-produced cars - Scalextric models are the main example - nicely repainted and decaled to make them really resemble real world 1:1 racing cars. Although "simple repaints", they are presented here because most often they have been rebuilt with new, more performant components : chassis, wheels / rubbers, motors, gears, etc.



1973 BELGIAN GP (ZOLDER)

The two Yardley McLaren M23 (D. Hulme and P. Revson), Scalextric shells and Penelope Pitlane chassis and wheels.
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The Brabham BT37 Ceramica Pagnossin entered by the MRD Team, in the hands of Andrea de Adamich. The resin shell as well as most of the pilot heads have been moulded in resin by DNQ (Simon).
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The two Brabham BT42 of the MRD Team (C. Reutemann and W. Fittipaldi). Shells produced by DNQ.
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Idem for the two March Ford 731G entered by STP-March (J.P. Jarier) and Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie-Durlacher (M. Beuttler).
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A nice trio : the three "full width nose* BRM P160E V12 entered by the Marlboro BRM Team. in the hands of C. Reggazoni (#19), J.P. Beltoise (#20) and N. Lauda (#21). The pilot heads drying on their sticks (middle photo) have an air of the French Revolution... Shells are by AC.M.E. (Tony).
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The
Ferrari 312 B3 of J. Ickx, also from a resin body shell moulded by DNQ. Not a common model.
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The two Superb Surtees TS 14A entered respectively by Brooke Bond Oxo - Team Surtees for C. Pace (#24) and Brooke Bond Oxo - Rob Walker - Team Surtees.for M. Hailwood. Bodies and driver heads by DNQ, usual stuff from Penelope Pitlane and Scalextric supplied by Pendle Slot Racing for the running gear.
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The last pair of sister cars for this 1973 Belgian GP is maybe the most beautiful : the two ISO-Rivolta Marlboro of the Frank Williams Racing team, also fitted with Ford V8 Cosworth engines. Drivers were Howden Ganley (#25) and Nanni Galli (#26). DNQ shell kits, PP chassis and running gears, tyres by Loud Bloke. For more details on these builds, watch here.
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22 cars down out of 23, 1 to go to meet the Zolder 1973 grid challenge ! The last to come will be the Martini Tecno PA123 (Chris Amon). Keep Watching this space, I'm pretty sure it will arrive soon !

And yes, it did arrive ! In quite timely manner, BSB (British Slot Bodies) has just released a complete resin body kit of the 1973 Tecno PA123/6,
including driver's head, rear wing, windscreen and inlet trumpets and Intended for a Penelope Pitlane SM1m chassis.
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The final one for Holger to meet his ambitious Zolder 1973 challenge !

And now, for our pleasure, the complete
.starting grid of this 1973 Belgian GP. Really well done Holger !!

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A FEW OTHER F1 CARS

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These are the two March Ford 711 / 721 entered in the 1972 South African GP by the Frank Williams team for Carlos Pace (#21) and Henri Pescarolo (#22). Dark blue and white livery, the Williams traditional colours .








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A 100% French team : the two Matra Simca MS120 of the Equipe Matra Elf which raced the 1970 Dutch GP, in the hands of Jean-Pierre Beltoise (#23) and Henri Pescarolo (#24). Built up from Penelope Pitlane kits.








The Ligier JS5 is the Teapot version, such as used by Jacques Laffite during the first part of the 1976 F1 season, from Brazil to US West GP at Long Beach. Afterwards, such high air boxes were banned by new regulations. It uses an A.C.M.E. resin moulded shell. The decal set consists of two distinct sheets, printed on clear and white backgrounded decal papers respectively (see pics).
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After the three first Grands Prix of the 1976 season, such high air chimneys were banned by the FIA, and from the Spanish GP and onwards the JS5 received a more conventional lower airbox. Holger wanted to have both versions and built the second version from a BSB (British Slot Bodies) body shell.The righthand photo shows the Penelope Pitlane SM1m chassis.
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A typical "simple repaint" project , the two Ferrari 312 T2 entered in the 1977 Spanish GP (Jarama) for Niki Lauda (#11) and Carlos Reutemann (#12). Looking at the starting point (the two fantasy Scalextric C59 on the lefthand photo), the final result is really worth the effort ! . The small air intake on the nose and the two air vents on each side of the cockpit are represented with decals.
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Another nice pair : the two Ferrari 312 B2 that participated in the 1971 French GP, raced for the first time on the Paul Ricard circuit. Drivers were Jacky Ickx (#4) and Clay Reggazzoni (#5) and the two cars shared the front row of the grid with Jacky Stewart's Tyrrell.
Pure Scalextric C.29 stuff, except DNQ driver heads and replacement urethane tyres.
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These two handsome Ensign cars are part of Holger's 1976 Swedish GP project as both raced that GP.
The Valvoline red one is the Ensign N176 entered by the Ensign Team for Chris Amon (note the nicely painted helmet). The decal sheet includes additional F&S PROPERTIES stickers not yet on Holger's photo.
Resin body shell body from BSB, chassis and wheels from PP, while motors and tyres are Scalextric, without forgetting driver heads from DNQ.
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This white one, with a quite distinctive HB Bewaking livery, is an Ensign N175 that the Netherlander BORO Team used during the 1976 season. At Anderstorp, it was in the hands of Larry Perkins (righthand photo). Same parts and build as the Ensign 176 above.
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1976 Swedish GP again, the Two Surtees TS19 Ford entered for Alan Jones (#19, sponsored by Durex) and Brett Lunger (#18, sponsored by Chesterfield). Betta and Classic vac form shells, PP chassis and wheels, Scalextric motors, Slotcarstyres tyres.
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1955 LE MANS 24 HOURS

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When I got to know Holger, he had already created most of the starting grid. I was happy to work out for him the decals for the four "barquettes" to fly the Panhard flag in this Le Mans edition : the two 850 cc Panhard VM5 developed by the Panhard works specifically for that race (#50 and #51) and two 775 cc Monopole Panhard X88 (#52 and #53). The two Monopole and the VM5 #50 can be seen on the lefthand photo showing the cars aligned a few seconds before the start. Photos of the epoch such as this as well as documentation fare quite rare and difficult to find. This is problematic when dealing with cars now largely forgotten, the more so as none of them could finish the race. Be sure however that the registration numbers are exact.

The resin bodies come from AA Bodies (Dave). Holger has well taken into account in his paint work the different shades of Blue French used by the Panhard works team and the Equipe Monopole. On the righthand photo, you can see that the two VM5 sister cars are looking quite similar except that the car #50 has a central headrest while the other one has no headrest. This oddity is confirmed by the left-hand shot taken at the start of the race, showing the two VM5 and the Monopole #52 (thanks Andy).
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The two
Monopole X88 had a left-hand drive/cockpit and a higher profile than the VM5 works Panhard, with an inverted airplane wing shape.
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===> Know more on
MONOPOLE PANHARD cars.


The Nardi 750 LM #61, driven by Mario Damonte and Roger Crovetto, was certainly the tiniest car of the race. And without any doubt these two guys were rather courageous to take its wheel on the Le Mans track ! The car retired after only 5 laps along the circuit (a Nardi staff member was reported as saying the car was blown off the road by a passing Jaguar (see righthand photo), without human injuries fortunately).
As for the model, it is very tiny as well (wheelbase is 65 mm and width 30 mm), AA Bodies shells again, PCS32 chassis, Scalex motor, Cartrix wheels and tyres and custom-made decals.

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And now ? There are only two cars remaining to be done, out of 60 :
the Peugeot Constantin barquette #69 driven by Jacques Poch and Jacques Savoye and the Salmson 2300 Spyder #27 driven by Jean-Paul Colas and Jacques Dewez, Based on documentation we have put together, Holger is looking for shell moulding opportunsities. No doubt he will get the entire grid.