…long, long overdue!
Finally, I got the chance to sort through and upload a bunch of the photos I took during the TA71S Koenigsegg CCGT prototype build.
The build itself wasn’t overly complicated, and everything came together without problem or incident. However, it was done in quite a rush (two identical cars in three days!) in order to be ready in time for the Suzuka 2000 race at SRC-Eindhoven – as a result, it’s definitely not my best work! But, I learnt a lot from dealing with things on such a tight schedule, and the next two that I build will be much cleaner and more detailed.
First, a quick look at the bare shells as delivered from The Area71 Slotcars – above, you can see the improvements to the post-production finishing – from the original CCX (left), to the first prototype in grey primer (centre), and the later production car in white primer (right). The amount of surface preparation required was very small – it’s the smaller details, shut-lines and so on that need attention prior to priming and spraying.
Next up is a shot of the XP2-S Slot.it EVO6 chassis ready to run on oXigen digital for a test session at Eindhoven. My first digital chassis – purely for testing, so those wires wires obviously needed to be shortened and neatened before race day! Everything worked as it needed to, and the only modification necessary was to melt a small hole through the chassis for the chip LED to shine through.
Chassis here is set up with a 0.5mm offset pod. It worked pretty well in testing, but it was clear that there was enough ground clearance to allow a 1.0mm offset pod and get the motor a little closer to the rails.
Here’s a great photo – many of the competitors of the Suzuka 2000 lined up in formation with their team cars, and our own development Koenigsegg CCX, a couple of weeks prior to the race.
…time for some paint
Back in the workshop and it was time for some nice coats of gloss white for the body and some semi-matte black for the two chassis. A very simple paint job requiring no masking!
…and now the decals and details
Big thanks to Fola and the Slotfabrik team for helping me find some of the smaller sponsor decals that were completely foreign to me, and (again!) Colin of C&C Designs for getting them printed and over to me in double-quick time! Because the ‘livery’ is essentially little more than a few small logos, it was actually quite a quick and easy job.
One detail that I’m rather proud of are the brake discs. These were repurposed from an old Scalextric model and backed onto thin lexan so that I could add the (correct!) AP Racing caliper decals. Photo in the gallery above shows the almost-finished product; requiring just a little more trimming before being fitted to the inside face of the wheel inserts.
The final touches really gave the car a much more realistic look – first, I masked off the paintwork and quickly blacked-out the window surrounds and headlight areas with a permanent marker. Fitting the windows was tricky, but not as difficult as I had initially feared. The front screen is pre-cut, but always wants to spring flat – so, holding it in a curve and heating it gently with a hair-drier, I was able to bend it permanently into a shape that sat more snugly against the leading edge of the roof. It was secured with a combination of special double-sided tape (the stuff used in mobile phone screen repairs) and clear canope glue. Next time I do a screen, I will first mask off the areas that I need to keep clean… easier than removing gluey fingerprints after having done the fitting!
Tiny laser-cut discs of mirror-finish plastic are provided to detail the headlights and rear lights. These were very easy to fit into the shaped recesses, a little canope glue secured them neatly before the headlight covers were fitted. The larger centre headlights were not fitted, as the recesses needed to be drilled through to mount the light kit LEDs.
Last up were the Michelin tyre decals. They lend a more authentic, race-car look – but, without being varnished over, I’m not confident about how long these will actually stay put during race conditions. Time will tell!
Finally, my favourite photo showing my favourite detail on the finished car – recessed wheel inserts, brake discs and tyre decals. If the clothes make the man, then the wheels make the car! Given a little more time, I’d have done a bit of extra work to sharpen up the inserts – but, considering the short time I had to get everything ready, I’m chuffed with the result. I learned a lot and will definitely be able to make an ever better job of the next two builds.
So, it comes as quite a disappointment to report that, like the original Koenigsegg CCGT, this 1:32 version never got to race in anger – albeit for a different reason. I fell ill in the final week before the race and, on doctors orders, was signed off of work for a few days and told “not to do any driving… scale or otherwise!”. Hugely frustrating. But, as I was reminded at the time by racers more experienced than myself, there are certain things that should always be given to take priority over a slot race.
Anyway, that’s the story of the first TA71S Koenigsegg CCGT build – comments welcome!
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