Hello dear reader,
When we talk about slot cars, the first thing that comes to mind is the image of a scalextric car, without paying attention to many more details. Some car that we were excited about when we were kids, or one that we own and that still makes us smile. And the most common thing in this hobby is to think in a 1:32 scale, as if there were no other sizes.
Nothing could be further from the truth. there is a higher scale (in strictly metric terms), and due to its very particular dynamics it is the delight of drivers and spectators in slot club competitions. We are talking about the 1/24 scale.
I am going to tell you about my experience with the 1/24 scale in Spain for two disciplines: speed and rally. And always, with my vision of enthusiast, fan and self-taught hobbyist.
How is the dynamics of a 1/24? How does it perform on the track?
From my experience, I can tell you that the dynamics of a 1/24 is perhaps more predictable due to its size, lending itself more to playing with inertia when tackling twisty sections, both at the entrance and exit of curves. In my view, a 1/32 requires almost surgical precision if you want to be one of the fastest in a competition. Instead, the «dialogue» with a 1/24 is more progressive.
Do you think that a 1/24 can be too big or clumsy? Watch this video with a 911 on a rallyeslot stage.
Once opened to dedicate ourselves to its maintenance, are they complex?
Due to the scales and size of the screws used, it is more accessible and therefore a little easier to operate than a 1/32. Normally the tasks of maintenance, adjustment, and replacement of components do not require a microscope or loosing more diotries during the process.
Again, we compare one and the other in a photo to see the differences in terms of the arrangement of mechanical elements.
Special attention must be paid to the adjustment of the engine cradle, and therefore the pinion -crown interaction. The correct adjustment is indicated by the sound of the engine turning. A soft, almost imperceptible sound from the transmission will indicate that the gear is correct. Otherwise, any buzz or squeal will indicate that it is necessary to readjust until the correct position is found. Otherwise, we will end up with premature wear of the transmission.
We will usually find the same engines as in a 1/32: both Mabuchi-type short can and long cans as well. Here, each one’s preferences as well as the discipline in which you compete determine the type of engine to use as well as the gearing ratio.
What is usually adjusted in a 1/24? How sensitive are these cars to changes in these settings?
There are a number of settings that are easy to understand even for the newcomer to this scale, and that have an immediate effect as soon as you try it on the track.
- Guide height: Through a supplement in the front part with a screw that will allow us to regulate the depth with which the guide «attacks» the rail, and prevents the front apron from «tripping» with any track/lane change
- Wheelbase: In those chassis that allow it, by relocating the front axle we can lengthen the wheelbase (provided that the wheel arches of the body allow it, of course).
- Tilting: With the lateral fastening screws of the bodywork. Depending on the length of the screw caps as well as the springs in certain cases, we will improve the tilting and therefore the maneuverability of the car.
Here you have the mechanics «in the air» both for the 1/24 on the left and for 1/32 on the right; Do not be fooled by the sizes in the photos, the cars as you have seen in the previous photos are not the same; it is due to the scaling of the photo for .
Are they more expensive than 1/32’s?
The acquisition cost of a 1/24 is inevitably more expensive than that of a 1/32, but if you choose the right components from the beginning, you have a very durable machine to compete in clubs for a long time. The tires/foams in 1/24 are also more durable than the rubbers of 1/32.
The best-known slot companies in Spain offer this scale in two lines:
- In the case of a general manufacturer, Scaleauto, its economic line (HS) offers plastic chassis and at a price that is not crazy; It is not much more expensive than a high end 1/32.
- And then for a higher performance level, the metal sheet chassis. Within this range we can find both chassis made by general firms (Scaleauto for example), as well as by other rally-focused firms from what I have known so far: JT, Plafit…..
For those who want to investigate to acquire a 1/24 you will discover that it is «another world» especially in rally; at this level it lends itself well to artisan intervention or specialized hands.
The issue of costs is the subject of not a few conversations in a club when comparing one scale or another. In the end it depends on the way in which we amortize said «investment» and the use that we give it. Another issue is the relationship «cost/satisfaction degree»….
As a newbie to the hobby, I found it easier to adjust to 1/24 than 1/32. They are not as critical as 1/32 when you push them to the limit, the inertia is more visible, the car communicates something more to you, by virtue of its larger size, and I find it very rewarding every time there is a track event with this scale.
I personally recommend it with no hesitation.
To close the article, I leave you with illustrative photographs of 1/24’s for the speed and rally disciplines.
See you in the next article!