SCX Ford Escort Mk11 "Roger Clarke"

SCX Ford Escort Mk11 "Roger Clarke"

Postby wixwacing » Sun 13 Jul, 2008 4:24 pm

SCX Ford Escort MK2 RS 1800


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By Phil Wicks



It would be quite easy for me to go on a long eulogy extolling the virtues of Rally craft in the seventies and drivers in particular. Not only would I possibly bore uninterested parties rigid, I would also be preaching to the converted, many of whom know far more than me of this period of motorsport and this driver / car combination in particular. But for those who may still be at school or who have found a new faith in Classic Rally I will just say that the name Roger Clark was and is synonymous with Escorts and he spent almost all his entire Rally career driving Fords, Escorts making up the vast majority. His success has prompted the establishment of a Classic Rally series bearing his name in the UK. The RAC (Roger Albert Clark) Classic Rally


ROGER CLARKE


The model is the culmination of behind the scenes negotiation between UK SCX importers AEC and Scalextric (SCX) Spain. The end result is possibly a first for the marque as SCX have not previously been known to accept commissions. It is also said that this is the first right hand drive model SCX have made but I’m not too sure of that one!

Out of the box the model looks good and it is a good rendition of the original car. Shape and proportions seem good and SCX have taken the trouble to finish the model with more care than some of their other current models. Firstly the model has a very nice gloss to it. The finish appears to be a natural red plastic with a good coat of clear on it. No problem here but the plastic finish is quite obvious and may well have been better finished as a red painted model. The clear parts like the screens, too, are good. Visual defects are almost non existent and inside the model Roger and Stuart are clearly and distinctly visible. Also another plus is that there are no sweaty finger marks on the inside of the glasswork as has become commonplace with other SCX models. I suspected they may have issued white gloves at the factory!!



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The tampo is good for the most part but there is the odd stray black or silver spot about the model. Smaller detail like the wipers is good but the very vulnerable mirrors appear to have been applied very haphazardly. The front lights, too, are good to see but these would have to be the poorest part of the detail. The lamps themselves look quite sturdy and I would expect them to take a bit of injury but here also is a poor tampo application. The lamps are skew and the tampo on them is also a bit hit and miss.



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Front lights carry the distinctive 70’s Freznel lens common on vehicles of the period and the lights are well illuminating, staying on almost across the whole controller bandwidth when driving. When driving without brakes, the lights stay on continuously whilst the model is moving, even during slowing for bends etc. Speed clips holding bonnet and boot have been portrayed and whether by design or accident, the roof aerial is removable!!?? This will be the first model I have come across where the most vulnerable part of the model is detachable!! Another nice touch is the tiniest of indicator lenses mounted in the front quarter bumpers. The rear lenses have good colour too and contain the rear illuminating lights.


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Wheels and tyres are VERY good, being both concentric and runout free. Tyre rubber has a similar feel to the Vintage McLaren and BRM models so I fully expect heaps of grip from this car in a non magnet situation. Underneath the model all is very familiar. It has a floating motor pod as opposed to the swivelling type on earlier models. The familiar adjustable traction magnet is present and there is a modicum of detail which includes a rear muffler and rear mudflaps.



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Inside the body, detail is fair. SCX’s version of the Smothers brothers reside in the front seats. Here also the driver and navigators’ plastic heads are just that. Bare plastic and devoid of paint or clear enamel. With such good clear glasswork it is very obvious. The dash and wheel, as mentioned before, are on the right but there is no dash detail to speak of. The finishing touch for the interior is a full roll cage. One observation is the presence of body ‘creak’ when handling the body. This could well manifest itself in the form of a noisy model on the track. The first solution would be to apply some small drops of superglue to all the heat welds inside the body, holding the driver’s tray in.



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Taking the model apart I was expecting to find one or two changes. SCX have obviously been doing some soul searching these last couple of years and have conclude that to stand still (design wise) is to go backwards. Most of their recent releases have had some improvements. This model is no exception. They have modified the guide and pick up. This particular area has been the source of many complaints.



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One of the main problems was that the old style sprung contacts which ran on the back of the guide would tend to get stuck the wrong side of the braid and erratic running would then ensue. On this model they have retained the spring loaded contacts but have changed them for a couple of ‘blades’ which run against the top of the braids. The return spring has changed and is now more compact and the movement limiter is part of this mechanism.



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Another change to the guide system is the increased spacing of the braids. Up til now the braids have sat close up against the guide blade. On this model the braids are spaced further apart. I know this is beneficial when racing board tracks but has this mod been made to improve the models drivability on wider slot tracks like Carrera? Mmmmm?


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Unfortunately, the guide and the collar it sits in are still well below par. The old system was poor at best because of too much slack in too many moving parts and this model has inherited the same problem. The guide blade has excessive front to rear and side to side play. Not a big problem for the home racer as they may well be using a short track and the problem may not manifest itself. But for anyone wanting to run this model on a faster club circuit, it may well manifest itself as an understeer deslot on some of the quicker bends.



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The model has a fixed front axle which is good to see as these narrower models are notoriously unstable in the ‘tripod’ configuration. If anyone remembers the Scalextric Sierras and Escorts from the eighties you will know what I mean. These cars were the worst to keep on!! Once the front axles had been fixed at track height, corner speed was doubled in an instant.


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The motor is the 19,000 rpm RX42b and I am glad these are working well. They are competitive against other Mabuchi ‘S’ cans rated at the same amount. The plus is that these motors thrive on volts. If you can pump that little bit extra into them, because of their longer armature, they can make more use of it.


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Under the body we see the light circuit assemblies. These have become a source of complaint too for SCX but I haven’t had too much trouble with them. I wonder if models are being run on too high a voltage?? That would be the only thing that I see could affect them. Both circuit boards are quite compact and SCX continue to use 3mm clear LED’s to the front. I like these as I race night stages sometimes and the model throws a good forward beam. Unfortunately, this comes at a price with this model. It has an all pervading light bleed through the body both front and rear. The front is a lot worse as the LED’s sit in a clear collar which is the rest of the front lamp body. At the rear the tiny board mounted LED’s sit well in the rear light assembly and bleed is at a minimum.



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So, all up this is a very nice model if you don’t get too close with a magnifying lens. Even with one there is more pleasure than pain and we can all be picky about most models. Even my ‘Racer’ reviews are ‘warts ‘n’ all’! I bought this because of its heritage. And as I am undeniably and unashamedly a collector, this model fits then genre of my collection and my collection would be incomplete if this model were not to be in it.

So, what does it run like, well I’ll tell you now, this we won’t know until SCX bring out another version because this will get a few steady laps at my local track and will then be confined to the display cabinet for lengthy periods. This model is a limited edition with only 4000 ‘clean’ copies and 1000 ‘muddy’ copies being made. It is not conceivable that SCX will not bring out another variant of this model. The Altaya company may well commission another model with some famous continental driver in it. This car competed in too many events and classes to be overlooked in the future. Teamslot have already released several resin versions and I’m sure SCX will be only too eager to extend their range with a couple more variations.



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Looking at its construction and make up, I would place this model alongside a lot of SCX’s current offering as far as performance and handling goes. It will be ready to rumble with its adjustable magnet on most plastic tracks and on board the only mod may well be the addition of some well placed ballast to keep the front in the slot and the car upright. The only other mods I would make before competing it would be to open up the motor pod rear mounts. I like to see a bit more movement in the rear compared to what it has. The chassis is screwed into the body by five screws. I wouldn’t change this if the pod had been freed up. I’d keep the chassis screws tight.


Statistics

Wheelbase 75.mm
Front Axle width 49.5 mm
Rear Axle width 49.5 mm
Body weight 26.0 grams
Overall weight 78.0 grams
Front Axle load 34.0 grams
Rear Axle load 44.0 grams
Front / Rear Weight dist 43.5% / 56.5%
Pinion 9z
Crownwheel 27z
Final drive 3 : 1
Rear wheels diameter 19.00 mm
Rear tread width 7.00 mm (ribbed)
Progress 19.9 mm per motor rev
Guide depth 6.0 mm
Guide length 20.0 mm
Guide thickness 1.3 mm
Motor SCX RX42b, 19,000rpm



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So come on Mr SCX, let’s have the next version soon and I’ll have something to play with!!
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