Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

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Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby downtowndeco » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:23 pm

The first movie I ever got to go see all by myself when I was a kid was "Le Mans", the classic McQueen picture. All of these years later I still enjoy the movie & have always wanted to build a track that featured some of the scenic elements from the film. When I recently sold my HO Scale "AFX Speedway" layout and when it turned out that the buyer just wanted the scenic items from the layout (grandstands/pits etc) I stripped the layout down & found myself with a bare bones benchwork I could do something new with.

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Before you say anything, yes, I know. The track plan is nothing like Le Mans. The space I had to work with was only 12' x 6', so even if I tried to stuff any sort of Le mans configuration into the space all I would have ended up with is a lumpy oval, especially since this is 1/32 instead of HO. The actual circuit is 8+ miles around, so baring having a gymnasium to work with there were always going to be compromises. I decided on this plan, added a shelf extension of about 10" so I could create a version of the grandstands & pits. I think if I add the correct scenic elements & cars that 9 out of 10 people are going to walk in and go , "Oh, hey, it's Le mans!". Hope so anyway. : ) This layout will definitely be a lesson in selective compression.

I'm going to walk you guys through the entire build as it unfolds, and I'll try & explain my techniques as I go along. If you have any questions please feel free to ask away.

I used Scale Sport track, and custom cut the borders out of white .040 Evergreen Styrene. I get it in 12" x 24" sheets directly from Evergreen. I used this instead of masonite because it is just so much easier to work with. You don't have to saw all of the way through it, just score it w/a utility knife & snap clean. I used the outside edge of the track as a template to cut one side of the borders, and made a simple cutting jig out of scrap styrene & a laser blade to cut the outside edges.

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I used model railroad homasote roadbed as the base for the borders. It's about 1/4" thick, so when topped by .040 styrene it's just about perfect. Any places where it inexplicably stuck up a hair I just have it a swipe or two with a foam sanding block. I didn't glue or screw the track down in any way. It is held in place by the homasote roadbed on the corners. This way I can simply pop a piece of track out if I have an electric issue & repair it.

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After I thought the borders were pretty good I popped out the track so I could paint them.

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Questions?
Last edited by downtowndeco on Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby mattb » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:01 pm

That will be fun to build and to race on.
pix of a few...old slot cars and tracks
http://s229.photobucket.com/user/matts65/library/
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby ourwayband » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:03 pm

This will be a cool build to follow along with..

Rusty
Last edited by ourwayband on Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby TuscoTodd » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:21 am

WOW! That is looking great already! Looking forward to seeing the updates and details like the styrene / homasote laminate for the boarders - that is a slick idea! :)
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby RV Racing » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:28 am

Yet another great track build and tutorial from Downtown Deco! As a life-long fan of Le Mans, McQueen, and slot cars, I will be following this thread with great interest. I've longed to build a Le Mans-inspired track, but was always stymied by the immense size and scale of the real thing, which doesn't translate well to toy cars, so I am intrigued by your use of "selective compression." Onward!

Thanks,
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby downtowndeco » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:52 pm

A couple of updates. Painting the track, or not. I decided to not paint this track because while it usually comes out pretty good, if you ever want to reuse the track you end up with a bunch of oddball track that doesn't look right when you reassemble it in a different configuration, especially if you aged, weathered it & added racing lines. Also, pitch stock black the joints are less noticeable than when the track is gray IMO. I will be adding road marking similar to those seen in the Le Mans movie however.

In almost every scene in the movie the track is striped by white on the sides & yellow dashes/stripes in the middle. I used vinyl Track Tape. As you can see, I made a simple jig that slides into the two slots to help me center the yellow line. The tape sticks so well to the roll that it sort of stretches when you peel it off to apply it. Let that "stretch" recoil and relax before you stick the tape to the track, otherwise it will pull off later because of the tension.

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The stripes just looked too new to me, so I painted on a little Asphalt colored acrylic paint to each bit & then wiped it off with a paper towel. I think it brings down the brightness considerably & will look pretty good when all of the rest of the scenery is done. I just did this small section & then will test run it for a few days to make sure it all holds up before I do teh whole layout.

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Temporary fencing. Until I have up guardrails and a "real" border on this layout I'm using simple catch fencing made out of cardboard scraps & hot glue. I stapled it in place. It's not pretty but it will keep my Porches from hitting the floor for now. : )

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Questions?
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:54 pm

Just an excellent project and great information along the way. What a keeper.
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby TuscoTodd » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:21 am

Two thumbs up on the update pics and progress sir!
:handgestures-thumbup: :handgestures-thumbup:
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby downtowndeco » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:21 pm

Some progress on the pit lane complex. This is all built out of white foamcore & Evergreen Styrene. The actual pit lane building is much longer obviously, and I kind of had to make some guesstimates as far as how the thing was all actually laid out in real life but I think I'm starting to capture the essence of it anyway. This is the bare bones, unfinished look of it as of today. It still needs to be painted & to have all of the signs, flags & many more spectators added. The doors and windows are not glued in place yet (hence the haphazard way some of them look) & I also want to detail the luxury suites & the garages. As you see it today I'd say it's about 25% completed.

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Since I want to detail the interior & add lights I made it so all of the roofs are removable. The building also breaks into 3 separate modules in case I would ever need to ship it.

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I got all of the road striping added & weathered a bit. Everything on this layout will have an organic, natural look to it (weathering/imperfections) except the track. Once you start going down that road it's hard to stop but mainly in the end, plastic, sectional track will always be just that, plastic, sectional track & I've decided on this layout just to accept that & do the best I can with all of the rest of the scenery.

See the big stack of reference books? I'm thinking about doing one of the tall scoring tower complexes there.

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Any questions?
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby bigman » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:58 pm

:text-bravo: WOW :text-bravo: :text-goodpost: :text-coolphotos: :auto-checkeredflag: :auto-driving: :auto-driving:
Now that's a great looking track and your pit road is outstanding also :text-coolphotos:
Your hard work has really paid off, hours and hours of fun in your future. :text-bravo:

bigman :flags-waveusa:
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby downtowndeco » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:51 pm

I added LED lighting to the pits & luxury suites. Looks good, now that means I have to completely detail them because you can really see inside them both!

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I also added the flag poles. They are removable for maintenance or shipping. I used Evergreen Styrene tubing, with the pole telescoping into a large diameter bit of tubing on the bottom.

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Any questions?
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby Lou E » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:15 am

Nice work!!!
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby indybob009 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:52 am

Lights look great. Excellent work.
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby FC47 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:17 am

Like it!!
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Re: Steve McQueen Le Mans Tribute Track.

Postby downtowndeco » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:18 pm

Now I need to fill the pits stalls with something. I'm starting by building some rolling tool boxes out of Evergreen Styrene. The first batch I built came out too skinny looking for my taste, I'll build some more later in the week that are wider & some other variations. They don't look like much now but I think after I paint them, add some team graphics and printed out "faux" tools for the open drawers I think they'll pass the 5' test anyway.

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