3D Racing

The neverending story of my quest to play Formula D in 3D. Updated on occasion.

Archive for Niels Kjær

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Staying in Low Revs

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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Since the last post I have thought hard about which track surface I wanted.
As I have chosen to cut up several 1cm styropor sheets for the area, the surface will be jagged, possible mainly caused by my lack of skills with my styropor tools...

I have chosen to use filler, since that can be worked with sand paper to give an even surface, and I will then have to live with the added weight.

(Pic 1: Bruxelles corner area- I really hope I got the length right...)

By now, I have done two layers of filler and expect to have to do a third for patching up holes, which I hope will be the last.
I have also learned that I need sand papir with a lower number, since the one I have takes to long to get rid of any filler.
With any luck, the surface has been decided following my tests with different types of finishing, so I am now only expecting to have to redo about 20% of the track because the road part has not been scaled big enough, but let’s see.

(Pic 2: Surface tests. One with sand as surface, another with varnish only.)

I have cut out for eau rouge and tested different water materials, and I think I have found an acceptable solution there.
As the final picture, an overview of the track after the filler has been applied for the first time.

(It will get better - in a few years.)

Next stop, better sand paper
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Fri May 30, 2014 1:17 pm
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Going from Neutral to First Gear

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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It has been a while since I have done anything on the 3D front, basically because of the added workload of our second daughter.
Not that she is anything but normal, but a normal kid of less than two years is a lot to handle when we are already jugging two full time jobs and her bigger sister - at least to us.

So, the other day, I restarted an old project that has been lying dormant for a few years - I want to make another 3D track, but this time it will be an official track.
I also want to try something new, so this time I will do these new things.

1) This time, i want one of the official tracks - will make it easier to have the qualifying.

2) I will draw the track on the board instead of cutting out individual spaces. It took too long last time.

3) I want more elevation, and I will have it. The terrain without vegetation has a height difference of 11 cm.

4) I want to play around with water, so I have chosen a track I know have a bit of water running through it.

I have made the first half in rough terms and have cut out the pieces for the second half (but not glued, yet). They still need to be smoothed at the elevation changes, though.
Today i talked to the local games shop about water effects, and they had just the thing, only not in stock...
Luckily, one of their other chain shops have it, and they will send it over on the next delivery, so I can have a look. I could buy it outright from their web shop, but then i have to pay the freight, and my arms suddenly got very short devil

Anyhow, here is the current state of the track:

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Wed Apr 9, 2014 9:01 pm
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Signing Time

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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Before starting on the trees, I have decided I want to make the track playable, and one of the last things I needed was the track signs.

As an inspiration I took a look at the pictures of other 3D tracks: Valencia, Barcelona and Zolder, that can be found in the images sections of Formula D/Dè. Two of them has the track signs printed on the board (Valencia, Zolder) while the last (Barcelona) had them raised.
The raised Barcelone signs can only be read if you are on hte right side of them, though, if you lok at them from 'behind', you cannot see them or will have to read them bottom up in the best case.

Considering that I have a thermocutter at my disposal, I decided to make the signs 3D and opted for signs printed on paper and then wrapped around a triangular styrofoam piece.
In that way, you can see the corner sign from either direction (but not sideways, I know)
After experimenting a bit with sign size, I decided on 9 mm height for the signs, which allowed me to use the 10 mm styrofoam boards, I have lying around. If I chose the size of the signs on the base board, they would be too big and obscure the view too much, I think.

Here is a view of the signs up close:


I think the signs are nice. The major track sign will be one I have cut from a printed base track, so it will be exactly the same size as the base track, raised on a 10mm styrofoam board to clearly separate it from the vegetation.
I have not glued it on yet, I am considering to do that after I spray varnish on the track. The tests I made showed that it will be ok to spray varnish on the sign, too, though, while varnish will do nothing good on the corner signs, them being printed by an ink jet.

It should be obvius I need to clean flock out between the track spaces, lesson learned from previous 'airing': do not do this indoors

Here is the current state of affairs: with the signs the track is now playable, although the full playability will come when I get around to marking distances on the straights.

Trees and corrections of the fields will give the atmosphere that it still lacks.





Thank you for reading.
As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.
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Fri Jun 8, 2012 7:42 pm
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Milestone reached, shifting gear

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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After much work, I have now finished doing the first pass of the landscape.
It will be a good idea to wait for canned air to get rid of the free leaves, before I take up further gluing/painting, as the flock is everywhere and in all cracks.
After claning it up, my plan is to go over the small spots that need a second touch, and then varnish it with a spray before I start putting on trees.

It turned out that I did not like the fields too much, they have a 'clunky' feel to them, at least for me.
Next time I will need to find another way that gives me a better feeling.

The arrows make the track look a lot more finished than anything else in this update. With them, and the finishing line, the track is now playable.
I am not sure about the finishing line, perhaps it needs another row of checkers on each side before I am happy with it.
As it is, I do not feel they look 'right' in the outer lanes.
Before I do that, I want to paint white dots in the cracks between the outer spaces, though, to see how that will turn out.

A funny effect of the grass is that the landscape seems to have lost the elevation changes that I put some work into creating.
Apart from the 'valley' in the lower left, I may only be able to see the other changes because I know they are there.
I look forward to seeing how it turns out with trees.

Regarding trees, then I will begin construction of those soon. I have some trees at home, but not enough, and after realising how many I need, I decided to start making them myself.
That will likely be the theme of the next update.

Enough talk, pictures!


A nice side effect of the landscape work is that the glare is now gone from the pictures, yeaij (where is he flagwaving smiley, when I need it?)
Still debating with myself if I want to make a new pit building for this track or go with one of the two I have already.
Perhaps something without a top floor, to mirror the status as a short, regional track.

The barren rectangle in the lower left is for the track name and weather stats. I am not sure how to do it yet, but that is where it is going.



Thanks for reading, comments, as always, are most welcome.
If nothing else, they tell me that somebody has read this far
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Fri May 25, 2012 7:47 pm
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Forks to ploughshares

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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With the spaces finally done, there is room for painting.

I started with painting the white 'sideburns' for the straights.
I intend to keep a small, black line between the track spaces and the white side markings, I think that will look nicer when finished.
The white markings are too wide on purpuse, I hope to get a feeling of the grass spreading everywhere when I glue that in as one of the last things:

It is now time to add the corner bends, and once again, my daughter's modelling putty comes to the rescue, so much that I had to buy new supplies of the stuff

Lesson learned: playdoh shrinks when drying, and gluing it before it is dry can cause cracks surprise

While I was at it, I decided I might as well paint the bends and start farming the land. The fields need some earth topping, but are otherwise done now. At first the spaces between the fork fingers(?) seemed to big until I realised I just needed to angle the fork a bit - doh!

Unused pieces of track as well as country tarmac roads added, as I needed to do some small tarmac repairs. I will need to do some work on the inner ring in the lower right corner, good thing things are correctable with paint when your skills are not better than mine.

Pictures of the current state of affairs (there could be more, but the site does not seem to like them, so you will have to do with these):




As always comments and tips on how to make the pictures bigger in the post are most welcome.

Happy racing
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Sat May 5, 2012 10:55 pm
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Space: Not the Final Frontier

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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In my project to build a Formula D 3D track, I finally got the spaces finished

It has taken a lot of time, as I chose to cut out the spaces individually and then gluing them to the track. Should I do a project like this again, I would probably choose to cut the spaces out of the ground instead, with the problems that introduce.

Here is the track seen from above in its current state as seen from above and from the front:



A pit building has been out in (amazing, it fits perfectly ) and a tree has been added next to it. It is hard to see, it must be all that black

In my next update, I will likely have done lots of the paint work, and it should start to resemble a FD track

Thanks for reading, as usual, comments are welcome; especially if they tell me how to make the images larger in the post. I know it is possible, but I cannot figure out how.
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Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:23 pm
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Grandstanding

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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I needed a small break with the track building, so I tried out an idea I got after seeing the 3D Barcelona track.
They had used something looking like modeling putty to simulate a crowd in the grandstands, naturally, I had to try that out, too

Luckily, we have some modeling putty from our last vacation, so it was easy to find some different colours and start creating a crowd.
Here is the end result:


A possible title for the picture could be "The extended Babapapa family meets Formula D"
The crowd is living in the eighties with lots of bright colours and noone wears black.

I think it loooks acceptable, although the modeling putty did not stick, so I now have en empty grandstand and lots of small Babapapas lying around after I lifted it awaycry

When the modeling putty dries and becomes hard I might try gluing it on to see if it can last.

Thanks for reading, comments are welcome
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:40 pm
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Crawling Forward

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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The past month has not seen a huge amount of progress on the track front, primarily due to a 2-week vacation at the parents-in-law with the traditional planning stress before a large vacation.

Added to the fact that I am still learning and that takes time, too, makes it enjoyable to notice that the track project *has* progressed at all.
I have made wooden edges for the two halves, primed everything in black and begun looking at the spaces.
One of the things to note is that although the first two spray paints you have used from a specific brand have proved to be 'foam-safe' it does not imply that the third is, too.
Unluckily, the third paint was the one where I felt safe enough to spray on directly without testing first. The result was a few extra days of work to repair the damage cry

I am not sure how it will turn out with spaces cut out of foamboard and glued to the track, so for now, I am just using stickytack so I get an idea.
Hopefully it will turn out ok, although the corners may be bit hard.
Luckily, I have foamboard in the right width for the straights, so those are possible to do without too much fuss.

Here is a picture of how it looks currently, I have finished the first straight and begun working on the first corner:
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Sun Feb 5, 2012 3:00 pm
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Landscape Architect

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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After receiving my thermo cutter I could not wait to try it out in action. Geodaesic maps were found of the track area (in DK they are publicly available) and I decided on a height scale.

Since the cars are in 1:250 scale and the landscape has been scaled to approximately 1:800 to fit the board, I needed to make a decision on what I wanted to use for height. I settled on 1:500, because I could then use 1 foam board (1 cm high) per 5m height line and it would still give a bit of height difference on the track, although not much, as I also decided to cut the boards in half on some parts, giving the track an elevation difference of 5mm - corresponding to 1,25m in the cars scale.

A flat track

Enough talk - pictures!


I took a picture before I started gluing stuff together.
It amazed me how easy it was to cut the boards and how fast everything went.
Change is nice


Now everything is glued and I have applied model paste to the slopes.
After the paste dried, I sanded it to make it smooth.
A very thin paste was used on those flat areas that needed smoothing due to my (lack of) ability to cut foam boards in half in a smooth manner.


I cut out the track from a spare poster I had lying around, and I think it looks promising - but I may be biased laugh
The lower left part of the picture will be covered in trees while the upper right will be farmland.
I am still trying to get ideas about how to do farmland convincingly.


The next steps for me is to start preparing the track itself. I have made a paint sample with my spray paints that shows that I should do the white perimeter first and then the black grounding afterwards, as the white does not seem to be able to adequately cover the black.
I will be trying to paint white again over the black in the sample, as I would much prefer to it in the opposite sequence, since black is the 'inner' paint.

Thanks for reading.
As usual, comments and ideas are more than welcome
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Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:53 pm
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The Ground's The Limit!

Niels Kjær
Denmark
Malling
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I have been thinking about 3D tracks for a long time now: how to make them, store them and transport them, and which scale would be fitting.

I decided that if I am to make more than one, then 1:43 would probably not be good idea, as those circuits would be too big to store - nevermind the price of the cars.
1:87 seems better, but again, more than one and it starts to become a very large amount of circuit to store. The cars are less expensive (and owuld also be usable for das motorsportspiel), but if I want formula cars, it does not seem to be easy.
1:250 it is, which means I can use the FD cars and scenery that I have already made.

Unfortunately for this idea I have for a long time lacked the drive to start on it, and combined with the inability to get the right ideas it prompted me to work on the buildings and scenery instead.

I now have a tiny bit of sparetime in the evenings again, so I decided to give the circuit another go - inspired by watching the movie "Cars 2" - the Italian track in that movie looks stunning!
Last week I went to the local store and got some wood for the base and 10mm foamcore (or is it called styrofoam or something else?) for the landscape.
Given that I am new at this stuff, I decided on an almost completely flat track with no scenery but woods - I can add complications on the next one if I am happy with the first.
I chose Jyllandsringen for the first track:

It a basic track with almost nothing but track and woods.

While the landscape seems to be possible to do fairly nicely (I have a map of the landscape), I have had many thoughts about the track itself, and even put brackets on a piece of wood in order to fix 4 pens so that they could do the lines for hte three lanes as a draft. With my drawing abilities the result would never go beoynd "draft - paint over before playing"-stage.

I have found a thermocutter on hte net for the foamcore, and I am a bit excited about the possibilities in it. With luck, I can use it to cut the spaces manually and glue them to the board, that would be way cooler than painting the spaces (and likely also more time consuming).

My main worry currently is the weight of the wood.
If anybody have a good idea about what wood can be used for the base (not too thick or heavy, but very stiff), I would love to hear it.

In the meantime, I am off, holding my breath in anticipation of my new toy playth tool

Thanks for reading!
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:22 pm
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