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The Model Cyclone Racer

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Hi everyone! This week I will be launching my Hatchfund campaign to raise funds for my next project, the model Cyclone Racer! The finished model will be 1:48 (or 1/4" = 1') and will be glamorous! When the campaign is launched, basically, you make a tax deductible donation and get a perk (to be listed when campaign is launched).


The non-profit Hatchfund is REALLY awesome and they give one-on-one help to maximize my reach potential over the course of the six-week campaign. They have a 75% success rate!


In the unlikely event I am able to reach my minimum goal of 3600, and I am out of time and options, your money gets dispersed to other art projects.

I set my minimum really low so that I will get at least enough to make really good headway on the project.

Here is my pitch video!


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This weekend is Maker Faire in Balboa Park. I will have the Airplane model there as well as a 1' section of the Cyclone Racer Sampler model.


I participated last year (see The Rye Airplane - The Model - The Diary pg 41).


Here are some new business cards I am having made to hand out at the event to promote my work and roller coaster appreciation.


My Hatchfund account is now taking tax-deductible donations to help fund my next project of the Cyclone Racer.


Who out there wants that 1' section described above. Just donate $1500!


Check it out!! http://www.hatchfund.org/project/the_cyclone_racer_a_long_lost_long_beach_icon


Since I donate the models to the national roller coaster museum, in essence you'll be donating to the museum



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I can't wait. I'm trying to make a 1' long sample section of a coaster resembling the CRacer to make in time but...the hobby store was all out of the plastic I needed. First time they didn't restock between my visits and it's too late to order them through Evergreen.


Gonna try to hit up another art store after work...Hopefully they'll have what I need there.


Below see a photo of the quick design I did for the profile as well as a photo of a bent. Along with glue, I'm sticking pins in all the joints so they'll look like bolts! I need to find out how to make those RUST so they look more authentic.




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While I was at the Maker Faire...If I had a dollar for everyone who asked me "Does your model run?" I would have my next project funded!


I did find an eloquent way though to explain why my models don't run. I ell them the focus of my models should really be on the detail, craftsmen ship and overall beauty of the roller coaster as it exists as a sculpture and more than just a ride. If it ran all people would see is a train racing around.


BUT! I hope to one day make an operating model of a coaster and I thought I might start doing some experimenting.


So I'm going to make a 4 - 6' long test section of the Cyclone Racer - just a replica of Church style track draped over cardboard cut outs.


I made a diagram of my theory on how to go about it. ANY RECOMMENDATIONS would be greatly appreciated. Wouldn't it be fantastic to have an operating model of the Cyclone Racer?


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From my experience with coaster models, having rigid and strong track is just as important as reducing friction. In your case both the track itself should be strong to retain is shape as well as its width.


Also, over time and test runs, if the track is super strong, it will begin to lose its shape and therefor further reduce its efficiency. Being able to balance strength and flexibility is quite tough on its own, not to mention building the rest of the model itself.

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^^ Thanks for the info GForce!


Ooo neat. This is a proto type of a bent. I sanded the tops of some of the straight pins and soaked the bent in a mixture of vinegar and bleach for an hour. The ones I sanded rusted for an authentic look! My next coaster won't be abandoned, but will be portrayed around its half-life.


The concept of making something with your hands might be foreign to most of you. Don't let all your talent stay inside of a computer just so only a few people can go ooo and aahhh.


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Fred Church was a genius. His patented track design enabled him to design twisty curvy track to accommodate bobs style cars.


The top photo shows the first layer of - what I call - sub track on San Diego's Giant Dipper. Just laminated of 2x2's that were really handy in bending around curving drops. The ties went on next and then another layer of 2x2 laminates, staggered in the opposite direction. This track was built as one giant spring. Rumor had it most of the track was not nailed down to the ledgers.


I duplicated this track work on the Airplane, but for this next round I'm studying ways I can keep by laminates tighter than before, without using glue.


Staggered laminates of 2x2 make up the first layer of Fred Church track.




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After making the prototype I decided that 1:48 (or 1"=4') was too large. The lumber dimensions were too small. I made two more low budget prototypes. One (L)was 85% of 1:48, the one where all the pieces for perfectly ® turns out is 90% of 1:48. So the official scale is..

1:54. The lumber proportions are as close as I can get them.


What does everyone think of the nautical colors?



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What does everyone think of the nautical colors?


Maybe it's just me, but I am not a huge fan of the colors. They do look good, but just not my cup of tea.


That being said, the work you have shown us so far looks amazing!! Your previous project was great, and I am really looking forward to following this one. The amount of time, and energy you put into these models is amazing! I don't have the patience to do what you're doing. . . But I sure like following along!


Keep up the good work!

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Call to action! As of now I have 555 views on my Hatchfund page and 15% funded. My councilor says that's pretty healthy. But I want that to go up to 600 views by the end of today! Check it out yourself or copy and paste the following message to your Facebook friends. Forgive me if I shed a little modesty, that's part of going out of my comfort zone (blush).


This guy I know is a big fan of designing and building roller coaster models. He's very talented and his last project, the Airplane was AMAZING. He's trying to raise funds through tax-deductible contributions so he can have this finished in two years. Check it out!!




This sub track template will also serve as the track TIE template. The laminates are not glued until the track ties are glued on. I'm going to probably keep the tape on the top so I don't get split ends.

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I sure hope everyone enjoyed the diary of the making of the Airplane roller coaster. I want to, and know I can do, much better. I’m so looking forward to making it that I’m finding myself becoming more critical of the Airplane.


I am a member of ACE. ACE is heavily involved in promoting the preservation of, especially, the old wood coasters built prior to when technology took hold.


We lost an important part of roller coaster history last month with the demolition of the Big Dipper at Geauga Lake. It doesn’t matter what led up to its demise, the point is is that it HAPPENED because the voices of those who rallied at the last minute for its preservation were not been heard.


My work with the Save the Coaster Committee in the eighties has me feeling now like I need to do something once again. That’s why I’ve turned this project of replicating the Cyclone Racer into a cause to spread the word of preservation. I now have a REASON for doing this.


This weekend I was taking part in a community event where I displayed the Airplane model, advertised my next project. I told everyone about the demise of the Big Dipper, my work saving the Giant Dipper, and how my model could potentially bring attention towards Larry Osterhoudt’s efforts to bring back the Cyclone Racer for real. I was promoting and doing my part to express my outrage of the Dipper’s loss.


People took me seriously, they took my business cards and I am getting donations towards my campaign to build this demonstration of just how beautiful wood coasters are, even just to look at.


Google: ‘Hatchfund Cyclone Racer’ for more on this campaign.


I have only TWO WEEKS left to raise enough money that will enable me to finish this project in two years instead of the almost five years for the Airplane.


That being said, enjoy these photos of ‘the beginning’. The making of parts.


The FIRST CUT piece that will officially be part of the model. This will be the front sign board of the Cyclone Racer station house.


The template for the bents that will make up the lift hill.


Since there are TWIN lift hills, I thought I’d make one pair at the same time.


The first two bents I’ve made will be part of the lift hills


I found pre-drilling the plastic with the sharp end of an Exacto Knife makes sticking the hot pin in much easier.


♪ Did they really get pinned? ♫


Many people at Sunday’s event were drawn to the Airplane.


When I started the Cyclone 17 (!) years ago, the first thing I made was the Cyclone sign, followed by the station house in 1:108 scale. I PROBABLY would have started the Airplane that way, but I didn’t have much to go on then.

Edited by hillflyer
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Hi, I've got 12 dates left in order try have Cyclone Racer done in two years.


Not to be discouraged, I put my Airplane model in my car and parking it wherever there is high foot traffic. Business cards free to take.


I wish I could have this posted to everyone on here.


Below are photos of work progressing, mostly the station house design and a track cut-away.


Ceiling trellis experiment.





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Thanks Zingoman!


I was able to buy some supplies last weekend. So I thought I’d kind of work on a little bit of everything.

Supplies dry up and I’m hoping my Hatchfund campaign is a success so I can buy all the materials at once. Otherwise it might take me longer to build this than it did the Airplane.




I’d like to continue to build these models for the cause of roller coaster preservation. Plus I think they’re inspirational. So enjoy these photos…


I made several copies of my cutaway of the back end of the Cyclone Racer station house.

Each copy I used to make the station bents.


The little slot on the underside of the T is where the transfer table slides under where the passengers disembark.


For all intents and purposes for the model, all these bents can be the same.


Speaking of the transfer table…That’s coming along too.


In the future when I get more supplies, I’m going to color code the tip of each end of plastic by its dimension and cut from the other end. That way I can pick through my scraps and easily find the size I’m looking for.


These are the bents that make up the very beginning of the ride – both sides. I made them a pair at a time so they would be identical. The two sides did not start off that close together though, I will still need to cut them apart.


Things like cutting apart plastic can be left for “the help” to do. Poor Joey, I tired him out.


Above bents aligned up and secured together. This is side B. I’m going to TRY to make an actual working brake system based on Church’s design.


Since I will need trains sooner than later, I thought I’d start on those too.


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In celebration of my Hatchfund campaign being extended and that my goal overnight shot up to 43% funded I thought I'd make a video of my progression on the Cyclone Racer station house. 'Pologies for the speech, I'm not good at talking on the fly.



If you wish do donate to my campaign ($5, $10, etc) to keep it alive makes it more possible I can reach my goal by 12/6.


Just a few easy clicks... https://www.hatchfund.org/projectDonation/new/project_id/6007



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My Cyclone Racer project is 48% funded. Only $65 to go before I’m halfway there! That should be a good math problem if you want to figure out how much my request is.


Another video here of how I’m making the truss and lattice work for the station house.



There are pictures too.


Discoveries made on my own from research…


I made a wall of plastic held together with scotch tape beneath.


I removed every other strip so now I have nice even spaces.


Tracing out roof outline


Simply lay on the header that makes up the shape of the roof.


Make two back to back and voila!


The roof suspended over the twin transfer table.


There is a 40’ suspension span over the station house for all that coaster wood above which required beefing up of the front third. I noticed that the trusses immediately under the structure are thicker than the ones towards the back. And the side support posts for the station house are much thicker than those in the back as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Managed to squeeze in some Cyclone Racer time, but not nearly as much as I wanted to.


Great news! I am 2/3 funded for my Hatchfund campaign so I can build a roller coaster to go along with the model of the station house I’m building for the Cyclone Racer!




It’s tax deductible and it is for roller coaster preservation purposes. JUST CLICK HERE >>




Last Wednesday, I started with these pieces. The frame for the back end of the station house, two lift bents, transfer tables, a few roof trusses and the start gates for each side of the racer.


I added the brake skids. They actually go up and down when I slide the lever!


The start gates start to form the station house floor. The gap in between are where passengers used to exit.


Side view of start gate section. THIS IS what you can have if you donate $100 to my Hatchfund campaign.


The back half of the station was put together in just a few hours.


Front half of the station with the transfer tables in the back ground.

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