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Conington Park
#1

   
This is my home track, Conington Park. The decoration is intended to be loosely (very loosely!) based on Donington Park circa 2007 and before the disastrous makeover, hence the play on words. This is because I like the colour scheme of blue and white and there are some iconic scenery items, such as the Dunlop bridge and Spitfire, which should be relatively easy for an incompetent like me to replicate. Also there are hardly any trees in the place which removes another source of potential embarrassment as there is zero chance of my making any realistic ones.

I turned this:          
                                                                           
into this:
                                                                           
       

However, it has taken 12 years to get this far and it is still not finished! The full story of this track has already been told elsewhere but future updates will be posted on here so this a summary of the progress, or lack of it, so far. If you want to see the latest updates then skip through the first few posts.

It is the long, sorry tale of a track which was started in 2007 and is still a long way from being finished. Laziness, procrastination, a preference for sitting on the river bank fishing and sheer incompetence delayed things.

The following really didn't help:
My DIY skills are limited to assembling an IKEA flatpack.

The last bit of modelling I did was to make an Airfix Spitfire in 1962 and that was fairly rubbish!

Any attempt at soldering results in burnt fingers and blobs of solder all over the carpet.

Redecorating the bedroom involves getting more paint on my clothes than on the wall.

Electronics expertise is virtually zero although I am fairly competent at normal electrical wiring.

So, if you are expecting high end scenery stuff look away now! On the other hand, If you want reassurance that your own efforts are nowhere near as bad as mine then read on.

Timeline

2007 - cleared out garage, blocked off door and paid my tame carpenter to construct the track. Pay It Yourself is my preferred method of DIY!

2008 - track painted, taped, powered up and timing installed.
   

2009 through 2017 - nothing achieved for various reasons but a lot of test laps completed. TIP: if you want scenery on your track then don't power it up before you add it and definitely don't instal the timing. I did!

Christmas 2017 - finally made some progress. I tidied up the existing bird's nest of wiring and installed a heater and separate monitor for the laptop. I also fitted some coving, wallpapered the former garage door and hung some pictures to liven up the bare walls and generally make the place look more like a track room than a derelict lock-up.   
           
Also fitted back scene, outer barriers and white lined it.
       

January 2018 - first bit of scenery completed, roughly equivalent to Craner curves on the real circuit. 'The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town.'
       

February 2018 - By my standards this was moving along at the speed of light. Bearing in mind that the track is very loosely based on Donington Park here is a picture of the Melbourne loop circa 2007:
                                                                  
And here is my interpretation of it, not really a loop and in the wrong place if this was the real circuit. All the right corners Mr Preview, but not necessarily in the right order!
       

April 2018 - Completed the next bit, it roughly equates to Starkey's straight on the real circuit.
Here is the real thing:
           

Here is my attempt:
                           

January 2019 - After some further delays for various reasons, including drifting well off task, I progressed to the next bit round the flyover. Obviously the real circuit is not a figure of eight so had to make this bit up. Eventually decided on a small spectator area plus a tunnel entrance and road for circuit vehicles. 
                   

So there we are, half the scenery done in just 12 months. The other half is the pit lane so just some pit walls and garages to do and should be finished in no time at all! Rofl
                                                                            
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#2

Construction details so far.
Basics
Baseboard is 15mm mdf, sealed and painted with Homebase Weathercote, dark grey as used on the excellent 'Forester's Dream' track. LINK

The chequered skirting is actually large (5ft x 3ft) flags and not continuous material. Forget who I bought them from but there are loads on eBay. LINK

Tape used was Venture 6.35mm wide by 1mm thick LINK which has been perfect ever since with not a single breakage or any lifting off the track. Zero connectivity problems in many years of use.

The back-scene is 'long village' by Art Printers LINK. Available at most railway modeller's shops. I used the deluxe version which is a bit dearer but printed on polypropylene which is waterproof and scratch and tear resistant. It is meant for OO gauge railways but it's just a matter of perspective and fits in quite well.

I made the barriers from 3mm Correx sheet LINK which is the stuff estate agents use for their sale boards. It cuts to size easily with a craft knife and has a honeycomb structure, with a tough outer layer so can take a whack from slot cars without disintegrating as foamboard does. Painting took a fair while though, roughed it up with sandpaper, primer, two coats of emulsion and matt varnish on top. The barriers have good scratch resistance but you can scrape the paint off if you try hard enough so, in places where it might take a real beating, I resorted to the Blue Peter option, clear sticky back plastic on top! The colour is near perfect Donington Blue courtesy of the nice man at B&Q. I liberated a genuine paint sample from the circuit some time ago and he scanned it into his clever mixing machine which produced a very close match. They are held in place with pop rivets which are slotted into 3mm diameter holes.

White lines done by hand with 3mm car pinstriping tape, cheap as chips on ebay LINK. Not a perfect job by any means but about as good as I am ever likely to achieve.

Lap timing is by simple light-bridge with photosensors in the track, connected to an ancient laptop running Race Coordinator software.

Craner curves area
Grass is a Noch Static Grass Flowered Mat #N00270. This is an upmarket mat with static grass fibres already applied so no messing about with an expensive applicator. Much better appearance than cheapo mats and doesn't shed bits everywhere. Available from most rail modeller shops.
 
Figures are Micro Icons Bikers which are out of production. They pop up occasionally on ebay but mostly at very silly prices. A bit on the small side (about 5ft 2" scale) but I wouldn't pick a fight with them. They have the advantage of no unsightly bases attached to their legs and have a tiny magnet in their feet so I put a metallic sheet under the grass and they stay put without any glue. I wish other figures on the market would follow suit.
 
Bikes are Jesse James West Coast Choppers by Muscle Machines, again out of production but often appear on ebay at reasonable prices.
 
Burger van is scratchbuilt but not by me! It was made by Tel Martin (Savage GT) for his Hunter Valley track LINK. Instructions for making one can be found HERE. When Tel dismantled his track he kindly gave it to me plus several other bits and pieces from the layout. It was a bit the worse for wear with the signage faded so I replaced that and added the aluminium diamond plate to spruce it up. The serving staff are some of the slightly less weird homies.
 
Litter bin is scratchbuilt (if you can call it that) by me. LINK
 
Chairs came out of the box of 'bits which might come in handy one day.' No idea where I got them.
 
Safety fencing is Slot Track Scenics stuff. As supplied the mesh is a peculiar green colour so I sprayed it with Plasticote aluminium enamel. I originally tried to make the top wires from real aluminium wire but that was a disaster. I eventually used silver sewing thread which works a lot better.
 
The tyre barriers are by Racing Line and very good they are too. You can find them in the Traders section of the forum.LINK

Melbourne Loop
Gravel trap is standard model railway sheet.

Tyre barrier and cover is STS repainted.

Superchips advertising thing is sort of scratchbuilt, I used the cardboard tube that the grass mat came in and a piece of 9mm wooden dowel. The advertising itself was photoshopped from the original and printed on sticky back plastic. I am not that great at manipulating stuff in Photoshop and it took umpty attempts and a lot of swearing to get it to the right size.
 
The kerbing perplexed me for a while. Painting it on was out of the question so I eventually went for the rail modellers' lunatic solution of individual overlapping tiles cut from card. How they do hundreds of them on an 00 scale house roof is beyond me, It took three days to do about 50 of the things!
 
Marshals are from Slot Track Scenics. Photographer and fire extingushers are obsolete Tarn Foundry items. Needless to say that painting them was beyond my talents so I called on the services of the lady of the house who is into dolls house stuff and really good at painting miniature things. Mind you, there was a price to be paid for her help as she insisted that we really needed a rabbit family to complete the scene! I trust they will have the sense to go down their burrow when racing is taking place. For anybody in dire need of some rabbits for their track they can be bought from HLT Miniatures LINK. This is primarily a supplier of model farm items but they have a lot of useful 1/32 scale stuff in amongst the tractors and hay balers. Excellent service too.

Starkey's Straight
Loudspeakers from STS.
 
Grandstand is the old Airfix/MRRC kit which I bought long ago. Silly money these days though, perhaps I should have put it on eBay instead!
 
The figures are from various sources, Scalextric, MRRC, Revell, Carrera, Dylcom models, STS, cheapo Chinese and a few of the less weird homies. Painting courtesy of my good lady. The Stig originally lived on a novelty key ring.

Quad bike is a readily available New Ray item.
 
JCB is a Britains Farm item.
 
Marshals' broom, shovel and bucket by S&D Models. LINK
The blue box for their equipment is a repainted Scalextric one from the old pit stops.
This is the real life one:
[Image: post-629-0-18694700-1525268305.jpg]
 
Ice cream van is from Wilkos - £4 if they still have them or you can pay four times as much from a well known ebay seller. Yes, it does play a tune and light up!
 
Spark plug was carved by Gordon Steadman and I added the glazing and commentator (chopped the legs off a Scalextric one from the old TV tower).
The Conington Park signage was modified from my original photos by Leo (Scuderia Turini) and printed on the ubiquitous sticky back plastic. Many thanks to both of them for their invaluable help.

Flyover area
Safety fencing, litter bins, extinguishers, loud speakers, signage and tyre barriers as previously.
 
Portaloo is a cheap resin copy of a Verlinden model. Bought it on eBay a long time ago. Yes it is detailed inside and occupied but we don't want to go there do we?
 
Portacabin and marshal's post were scratchbuilt from balsa and card by my good friend Fluff.
 
Dunlop bridge is a repainted Scalextric item.
 
Ambulance is an underscale (1/35) Corgi one - so long as the tiny wheels stay hidden behind the fence then it doesn't look too bad. BRSCC logos on it are printed off from a photo of the real thing.
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#3

Very nice track, with some great details. Thumbup

Good to see info on all the track build and scenic items too.
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#4

Looks really good.
As a rallyfan I like both Ford Escorts on your race track.

rallyhub Thumbup
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#5

Very nice indeed Brian!!
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#6

Great Home track...

Alan
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#7

Made some progress with the pit lane during the last couple of months. Here are some photos of the real thing which it is based on:
                   
This is the current state:    
                               

Details:
Pit walls are modified Slot Track Scenics items. I had to cut off the fixing lugs for plastic track, fill in the holes where the fencing posts fitted then paint them and add the signage.
 
The lightbridge is scratch built. The top bit containing the leds was fairly simple to make from a piece of Foamex sheet and milliput came to the rescue to fill in my cutting mistakes!  It took a while to source the upright support trusses but I eventually found something suitable on eBay. A wargames modeller was selling 3D printed tower kits which were too tall for my needs but I asked him nicely and he made a smaller one for me. A bit of paint and signage completed the whole thing for a quarter the cost of any commercial offering.

Pit perches are readily available Avant Slot items. As the track is not meant to replicate a GP circuit I didn't bother with the full on timing stands.

TV tower is restored Scalextric item.

Figures are a mixture of Avant Slot and MRRC/Monogram. I managed to pick up a full set of the obsolete Avant slot figures on eBay for a nearly reasonable price and the MRRC ones were review samples from way back when I edited the NSCC magazine. I knew they would come in handy one day!

Pit boards are from Slot track Scenics.

Marshal flags are made from cocktail sticks and scrap fabric.

Pit exit lights are model railway traffic lights found on eBay. LINK All three colours could light up but they were such a pig to wire in that I only bothered to use the green ones.

Kerbing done as before with individual overlapping card tiles - it takes forever and you can get really sick of the sight of them!

Staggered grid markings done with pinstriping tape. It always strikes me as somewhat silly to put them on an analogue track that can only run two cars at once but it does improve the appearance. Pit Lane markings done similarly but with yellow tape.

Garages are Carrera and the problem with using proprietary stuff is that it is meant to line up with plastic track and sits too high on a wooden one so I discarded the black base and the advert boards on top. I also had to hacksaw the fixing lugs off so the walls would sit flush with the track. Also, real garages are not pristine white so gave it a light spray of grey primer to make it appear more natural. This did not go well as I overdid it on several occasions and had to strip it back and start again. Still not perfect but as good as I am likely to achieve. Sliding doors were painted with grey primer followed by Plasticote aluminium. Next I needed something for the interior walls, used a couple of pictures of real Donington pit interiors and spent several frustrating hours cropping and resizing them. I am not good with Photoshop so much swearing and wasted prints were involved, but eventually managed it and printed them off on sticky back photo paper. Garage floors are from Carrera4fun site, resized and trimmed to fit.

Still a way to go before completion. I need to  add some tools, mechanics and cars to the garages and light them up then finish the control tower and another grandstand. The new fishing season starts in less than a month so work may well grind to a halt for some time.
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#8

Really nice track and layout.
Its great how you are noting the inspiration and the sources for the detail stuff so that peeps can learn from your experience.
Thumbup   Coolphotos   Goodpost Handshake     Cool     :applause:
 
Leo

Forum Precepts:  Don't hijack or divert topics - create a new one.   Don't feed the Troll.    http://www.scuderiaturini.com
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#9

Nearly finished the podium:
       

The Carrera driver figures are a bit peculiar, will probably replace them with some SRA ones I have somewhere. Camera man is currently in the painting queue and will appear in due course. Also need to add some form of barrier round the edges or my little people might come to a sticky end!

Details:
I butchered one of the old Heljan/Marklin pit stop kits for the building. They are are still available from Pendles and a few others. Added a plasticard back-piece with signage created by Leo.
   

Champagne bottles and interviewer by STS. Laurel wreath is the old 60s Scalextric one. The trophy is a doll's house item.
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#10

Next bit done - control tower.

Here is the real thing it is based on:
       

And here is my attempt:
                                                                       

In situ:        

It was resurrected from the sad remains of a Scalextric tower/crosswalk retrieved from the box of bits. Stripped, cleaned, re-glued, painted, missing windows filled in with plasticard, floor made from foam-board and glazing sub contracted out to Fluff. Lighting is installed but not connected up yet. I haven't stuck the roof on as I still have a few detail bits to put inside - tables, chairs, laptop and some more little people, all of which are in the painting queue.
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