The Paddock – Why?
Scratch32 is a site dedicated to sharing hobby related ideas, information, photographs, videos, links – anything – that might be considered useful to others that share our passion for miniatures – and here in the paddock – scale model slot cars. While our shared focus is on scratch building 1:32 scale models, other scales, modified, vintage and ready to run models must be included.
At the Core
At the core of scratch32 are a group of hobbyists located within the Golden Horseshoe – a geographic area around the western portion of Lake Ontario including among others the cities of Toronto & Hamilton – who meet regularly to enjoy this pastime. Table talk on any given day may include anything to do with the racing world or slot cars, racing movies, local hobby retailers in and out of business, new products and of course tips and suggestions from proven sources. Questions never go unanswered. And then there is the racing…
Our groups meet trackside at any number of privately owned miniature circuits all located within the Golden Horseshoe. Every model racecourse on our calendar is a custom routed wood racetrack hand crafted by our title sponsor DArt. For each race we run our models with our own controllers but ‘loaners’ may be available at some tracks.
Racing on a landscaped circuit provides the perfect context for our models. As a monopoly or chess player moves their token or pieces around a game board we race our models through ‘one of a kind’ dioramas – each personalized by their owners. While no two circuits are the same they all share common features: all are custom routed 2, 3 or 4 lane wood tracks without gimmicks or quirks; all use copper tape fixed to a flat latex finish and restrict tires to the same compound/brand of urethane keeping grip levels consistent and predictable; all are wired positive and accept controller leads with alligator clips (all but one accept convenient banana plugs too); all use reliable and adjustable power supplies set between 10 to 11v; and all use proven Trackmate timing hardware run by free SlotTrak timing software.
The Ring is Scratch32’s home circuit.
It is important that our ‘circle of circuits’ share common features and provide consistent (or fair) performance. Unlike a real race where participants race all at once we in our hobby must take turns (in separate heats). For this reason evolving or changing grip levels (caused by the use of different tire compounds either during a race or prior to a race), voltage fluctuations/changes, a deteriorating track (peeling/broken tape, damaged slot/track joint) or debris will all have unwanted effects. Fortunately those of us who race together and especially our hosts share this common goal. The parts, tips and techniques recommended in our forums area will improve the performance of your models on all of our tracks and help ensure consistency through every race. Our title sponsor, DArts, offers a wide selection of urethane control tires to fit almost every model – made using the same urethane compound – and mandatory for all R32 races and Scratch32 events.
S32, S24 & R32 Explained
All Scratch32 events, runabouts or races are private venues only open to those with a Scratch32 user account and by invitation. If you are interested and don’t yet have an account please email me.
Scratch32 (or S32) events are for scratch built 1:32 scale models. Models that compete in any S32 event are eligible to be entered in our Scratch32 model database and they will have their own picture gallery. S32 events include the Coppa D’oro, La Carrera Panamericana, Targa Florio, American Thunder, Ringwood, Internationale Meisterschaft and the Players’ 200. Every model must be registered prior to each event using the online registration form located within the calendar. Class criterium are also included within the event posting. All models must use DArt Club Series urethane tires. On race day each model is piloted by their builder or if they cannot attend by proxy. Models are scored separately and a comprehensive race recap including results and photographs are included in every S32 event report, usually posted within a week or two of the event. S32 events are usually held at The Ring on a Saturday morning.
S24 runabouts are for 1:24 scale models, whether scratch built, vintage, or modern. At present they are informal meets casually lapping in an unstructured practice session. All models must use DArt Club Series urethane tires. S24 runabouts are held at the Nova Ridge Motorsports Park. Check our calendar for the next one.
R32 races are for any model (including ‘ready to run’) that meet the R32 criterium for its class. Class criterium are listed within the race posting in our calendar. They are also found in our R32 member’s subforum. All models must use DArt Club Series urethane tires. Post race recaps typically include results and a modest number of pictures taken and posted by the host. R32 races are held on Saturday mornings at various circuits typically within the western portion of the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga/Oakville).
What Series or Groups Are Best for Me?
If you are a novice to the hobby and prefer nut and bolt chassis tuning, a wide selection of exceptional quality upgrade parts and the biggest range of model kits then the large scale 1:24/1:25 is for you. There are currently two tracks in the GTA that I am aware of:
- Scale Racing Center Toronto – a public old school style track in the west end of Toronto run by Ernie Mossetti owner of Mr. Slotcar. Check their hours of operation before heading over; and
- S24 @ Nova Ridge Motorsports Park – a private track in south Mississauga hosted by Art for owner Mike. Check our calendar for the next Saturday morning runabout.
If you prefer working on smaller models that have the largest selection of tracks in the GTA (and surrounding area) and don’t mind getting some super glue, hot glue and resin on your fingers then 1:32 might be your scale. For a novice your choices in or near the GTA are:
- Scale Racing Center Toronto – a public old school style track and plastic Policar track run by Ernie Mossetti. Again, check their hours;
- R32 – Our very own Scratch32 private group for RTR (Ready to Run) and scratch built models based in the west end of the GTA (Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Toronto) and all racing Saturday mornings on DArt built tracks ranging in length from 73′ to 166′. Check our calendar for the next R32 race.;
- SOS – A private group loosely located in southern Ontario (Barrie, Vaughn, Mississauga, Acton, Guelph, Picton) organized by Johnnyslots and racing Sunday mornings on a wide variety of wood tracks ranging in length up to 93′;
- A private group located in south western Ontario organized by Joe; and
- A private group located in Toronto (Toronto, Vaughn) organized by JMSracer racing twice monthly on a Thursday evening;
If you prefer building your own racing models (or learning how to) then S32 is for you. Check our calendar for upcoming S32 events, workshops & shows.
For 1:87 HO scale racing feel free to contact F1nutz.
Of course nothing precludes you from participating in every scale and multiple series…
Scratch32 Member Forums:
The forums are full of tried and tested tips, tricks & very useful hobby related information, ‘how to’s & ideas and include a wide variety of topics presented by our members for our members. You’ll also find useful links to any supplier, websites, videos, etc.
- S32 – a comprehensive list of all of our scratch32 forums including general info, workshop academy, new bits & pieces, KRZ custom chassis, useful workbench supplies/tools, historical information & pilot profiles, slot car reference material, scratch built and modified model details, vintage model restoration, track advertising, model decal files, photography tips in Photodoug’s ‘Darkroom’, articles in ‘Motorsport Musings’ by MiA with original historical photographs explained and more!;
- S24 – subforum for our 1:24 runabout topics; and
- R32 – subforum for our 1:32 racing series including class criterium.
Most Recent Scratch32 Event Reports:
Our 1:32 Scratch32 Model Database includes particulars (as provided by the builder) about every scratch built model that has competed in a Scratch32 event.