Racer Ferrari 412P

Racer Ferrari 412P

Postby wixwacing » Sun 20 Jul, 2008 10:08 pm

Racer
Ferrari 412P



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By Phil Wicks


It seems that the gods must be smiling on me somewhat as not only did I get a chance to review the Racer Ferrari 250 LM ‘Vesty Racing’ model, I have the golden opportunity to review and test their Ferrari 412P Piper / Attwood model!! The planets must have aligned! So, with no less enthusiasm than was demonstrated with the 250 LM I have set about a constructive assessment of another stunning model from thew Italian ‘Racer’ stable. On top of that, I recently invested in a new camera so hopefully, although I will be learning with it on this model, I will be able to do the pictures more justice.

This model is equally as good as the 250 LM and whereas the 250 has that deep, rich blue that endears you to it immediately, this model is finished in a less striking mid green as were a lot of the Piper Racing cars to follow. It is hard to realise that this model is a resin body. Being a scratchbuilder, I have successfully completed several resin models over recent years from several manufacturers, all of varying quality and detail. To all intents and purposes this model outwardly looks like any ABS body from any one of the top manufacturers. The casting detail leaves nothing to the imagination and at times I wonder if the detail is just a little too fine for the track? But there, I’ve said it again, As if these are going to be adorning tracks all over the world? Or are they!



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What do I mean by too fine a detail? Well, exactly this! The model has some great features, one being the depiction of gaffer tape holding the headlamp covers in. That’s a nice touch, but the model should have a bit of dirt on it if it’s got to the stage of taping the lights in?! And, under the front lights are two beautifully model aero spoilers made of a very thin metal material. The right one is loose to start with but both of these spoilers are the first reason you might not want to race it. Next, on the drivers window is a beautifully modelled convoluted hose. Before the advent of thermally controlled racing suits, this would have supplied cool air to the driver during the heat of the day. This modelled hose is glued to the very flimsy vacuum formed side screen at its rear end and to the ‘A’ post at the front. It feels quite firm but then I am only touching it lightly!



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At the rear of the model there is an aerofoil trim made of what looks to be stainless or similar metal. This shows no sign of being anything other than glued in place. Anyone with one of the Scaley GT40’s with the similar tail end will know exactly what I’m getting at and its presence will need to be confirmed at the end of each and any track outing! Lastly there are some very nice exhaust tail pipes sticking out of the rear and no doubt these would have a ‘use by’ date too! But this is all superfluous. If you intend to run your model, Make sure it is on the centre lanes of a four lane track or better and make sure there are no track fences or barriers.

I won’t dwell on these things as I don’t think they would ever become an issue with most people’s models and it is nit picking on my behalf in an attempt to find fault. The plusses on the modelling side are plenty. The finish is another gleaming model. The colour is well applied and even in distribution. It must have two or three clear coats as there is real depth to the finish. Close inspection does reveal blemishes in places but these are minor and not blatantly visible. It is hard to determine if the markings are decals or tampo and I would be inclined to say the former as they show height in the clear coat. But if they are, they are well applied and even better printed!



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Another photo etched grille resides in the cooling duct outlet in the centre of the bonnet and just behind that is a finely modelled trammel arm wiper blade and a wiper that shows the rubber and blade separately !! Amazing!! Moving back there is another nice touch with the side windows. In real life these would have been acrylic windows sitting in alloy frames and Racer have gone to lengths to impart that feel to these. Again, another photo etched part with the smallest of screw heads in the detail. Still moving back, on the left side is the dinkiest of fuel filler caps. Another photo etched part of the minutest detail which adds nothing to performance but is there solely for the delectation of the admirer!



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Eventually we come to the rear end and apart from pieces already named, there are a pair of rear lights which I feel could have had a little more imagination and effort put into them. Along the side of the model we have the same wheels and tyres we drooled over on the 250LM and on this model too, the knock off’s are dramatically off centre. This does detract from the model as it is blatant with the model static and even more blatant when the model is cruising at low speed! On this model the driver’s tray is not fixed into the shell. It is a snug fit on rails on the chassis and is a bit fiddley to keep in place when refitting the body. The secret is to get the driver’s hands lined up with the steering wheel as the body goes on and you’re home and hosed!! The two attachments in the body are the well detailed dash assembly with its mini replica steering wheel complete with prancing horse, and the more mundane engine cover behind the driver.



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The driver’s tray is fairly spartan except for that man in the driver’s seat. The same fellow who was driving the 250 LM except this time he is sporting the tiniest of plastic seat belts with the then once dominant ‘Britax’ logo on the shoulder straps, and to top this, there is a tiny photo etched buckle at his waist. For a driver who is particularly hard to see with the car body on, this is sheer indulgence! Once again there is a gear lever complete with gate and two seats that look decidedly uncomfortable!! The same problem is apparent with this driver. His arms and legs haven’t been fettled well and this makes him look a bit tatty.



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The chassis is similar to the 250 LM and is unmistakably Slot.it even though it is marked ‘Racer’! Again there is a rigid load bearing front axle and once again, there is a useful but slightly stiff guide. This will play havoc with the marshalls! The orange bell end to the motor tells me (along with several readers) that this is the 21,500 rpm motor! Lo and behold. The motor shafts are contacting the tyres on this model too, but this time I have permission to cut off the offending shafts with my Dremel!! Tyres are well modelled but the whole rear end is unlubricated!! This is going to need the oil bottle before anything else and certainly before it hits the track. Alloy gears have a very short life span in dry conditions!! And once again, there is no end float in the rear axle! We are going to need the smallest of movement here jus to let us know nothing is binding!! One last thing that surprises me is that the body mounting posts look like the thread is tapped into the resin unlike the 250 LM?? I can’t see any plastic inserts here to save the day!! One thing to watch when replacing the body is that the long screws go in the front holes and the shorter ones in the rear. You will be at risk of stripping the front mounting post threads if you attempt to fit the short screws here!! Lastly, the body mounting screws pass through elongated holes in the chassis. If you don’t get the chassis in exactly the right spot, the front tyres may well rub against the insides of the front wheel arches causing unnecessary drag at the front end.



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N.B. Slot.it motor colours to me seem a bit confusing. Listed as ‘orange’ or ‘red’ I think they are more light and dark orange??




Track Test


So it’s on to the track and cast fate to the wind! (well, almost. After all, it isn’t mine!) With everything lubed up and the motor shaft trimmed and nothing fouling or binding, I have slackened off the pod screws a tad just to get the body to float a little. The screw threads still catch a little in the chassis holes and ideally these holes could be opened up slightly by inserting a small round modeller’s file in them and turning it anti clockwise whilst applying a light end pressure. This will controllably broach out minimal material to allow the pod mounting screws a little more clearance. This model has plenty of clearance under the wheel arches and it will take a little pod movement.

There is a lengthy guide on this model and braids too are graceful and flowing. I’m not a lover of long braids, why, well the laws of physics dictate that the more braid in contact with the conductor rails, the less pressure there is at the point of contact and the poorer the conductivity. You might well think I’m joking but it was demonstrated to me a long while ago that soft copper braids can contribute to a loss of top end and acceleration. It’s not a fairy tail either. Before I went to tinned braids I was constantly harassed by Ninco and SCX cars losing a little bit of top end as the braids got older and contaminated. Whilst messing with some braids one day I pinched both braids together so that they ran on their outer edges. The transformation was startling. I regained acceleration and top speed simply because I had reduced the contact area and increased the pressure at the point of contact, thereby increasing the amount of current that could be conducted by a moving model.

I had always found that Scalextric cars with their tinned braids never suffered from this and it was conclusive that tinned braids remain conductive for longer than soft copper braids and need less attention. Another observation was that cars fitted with the OFC type audio braid also enjoyed a more reliable conductivity!! I kid you not.

As it is, the model will be run as it comes. Whilst the braids are new it shouldn’t present that much of a problem and so they were the choice on the day. Once again the Racer tyres and rims were first class and the model would be run directly on the treaded tyres. No sanding and no treatment. The track was the glorious ‘Eggdome’ board track (featured elsewhere on the forum) and had been run extensively before hand for a Q32 racing event and was well rubbered up by some earlier racing.



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Having already had the pleasure of running a Racer model I was half expecting it to be similar. The body weight was close and the running gear was the same. All that was left was to get the impression of the model without going over the top. Placing it on a centre lane I pushed of at a steady pace. Right from the start the model showed a tendency to ‘snow plough’, that is, it seemed to have trouble pushing the front along. Removing the model and re inspecting it, I could only conclude that the front tyres, in contrast to what I had expected, where touching the inner bodywork. This caused the model to stress when pushing on. I persevered for a few laps and it eased a bit and eventually the model was back to a good straight line speed. Whispering quiet, too. Lap after lap the front end drag eased and eventually the model was running with a degree of respectability. The rear treaded tyres were a little slippery on the track (painted board) and taking this in to account I was almost happy with it’s overall performance. Again, another special model and a joy to behold in action.

Model owner and fellow Q32ist Glen took the reigns and after a few minutes we concluded that the model was up to spec and the track session was only marred by the (decreasing) drag to the front ends, causing the model to baulk slightly into bends and a slightly greater than necessary throttle to navigate them. As the time was approaching midnight I left Glen to remedy the tyre fault at his leisure another day. I wasn’t disappointed and the model does feel similar to the 250LM but not the same. I suspect that the 250 was still demonstrating a little bit of motor shaft to tyre drag even by the end of the test. With its freshly trimmed motor shaft, this model was a touch more snappy in a straight line even with the tyres not fully working. Glen afforded me the opportunity of revisiting the 250 LM this night and with a few more k’s on the clock than when I handed it back, the tyres were more worn and the model was a peach to drive on the highly technical Eggdome.




Statistics


Wheelbase 78.5 m.m.
Front axle width 60.00
Rear axle width 63.50 m.m.
Overall weight 104 grams
Body weight 47 grams
Front axle load 40 grams
Rear axle load 64 grams
Spur gear 36z
Pinion 11z
Final drive ratio 3.27 : 1
Rear wheel diameter 22.0 m.m.
Motor Slot.it SIM 06
Motor speed 21,500 rpm @ 12v
Progress 21.12 mm per motor rev.
Guide length 20.5 mm
Guide depth 7.2 m.m


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Once again a very pleasurable experience and whereas it may well be a little off the pace on plastic compared to some of the more affordable and lighter mainstream models, it is set up well to run non magnet type races and should be as competitive as most in this class. Another great model from Racer and not a show pony either! If you haven’t put yours on the track yet, then you have only enjoyed 50% of the Racer experience.


Many Thanks to fellow Queensland racer Glen Perrin for the opportunity to review this model.
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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