38 years old today. Great weekend to celebrate it, wandered round the Steampunk exhibition in town, then a nice walk around Oxford, followed by a cracking meal at Shanghai 30s. Scalextric was my main pressie, a fitting addition to a growing collection for a man of my advanced age.
Not really pondered too much the passing of time, tend to do that at New Year. This was more just mellow progression, like a smooth chord change, rather than the bells and whistles the change of year brings. If I’m looking for one thing though, did get thinking about getting out on the bike again, both for traveling to work, and for some trips further afield to take photos out in the countryside. Sounds like a plan.
Another day, another diversion. Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted a Scalextric layout set up in a loft. I was very kindly bought a set for my last birthday, so I’ve taken the first step towards this (the loft will have to come at a later date). This evening I was idly looking around Youtube, and happened upon a clip of a great layout:
What I like about this is that it isn’t the largest of tracks by any means, but it’s set up for racing and overtaking, it looks like a racers track. This clip shows an experiment they made to see just how many cars they could run on this setup at once. A lot, is the simple answer.
Now this led me onwards elsewhere, and I noticed a Japanese equivalent to this, where they race battery-powered cars around much larger tracks:
I think I had one or two of the Tamiya models when I was young, but I’d never seen them raced before, without the track they will chug along a carpet in a straight line. This looks a lot more exciting. I also suspect that you find a difference between the British and the Japanese approach to model car racing here, where with Scalextric it’s mainly about the racing itself, the interaction of the driver with the car. With these Tamiya cars, I suspect with the racing it’s more about the tuning and the engineering, I can instantly picture a whole culture of tuning and building of the larger models that dwarfs the tuning possible with Scalextric (I do know that does go on, but you’ve got less to work with I think).
To further this theory, the next clip I watched was of a three-wheel car being raced on a similar track in China, at something approaching an insane speed:
Now I think my loft of the future may need the space for both…