Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

The Model Cyclone Racer

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 171
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I am really happy. I recently discovered a couple of short cuts I can use to lay the Cyclone Racers sub track composite. Note that the model reflects the actual laminated on the bias boards. ESPECIALLY with the Airplane and all its spirals, this was no easy task.


But the Cyclone Racer is not quite so compact. My new process in making sub track cuts 70% off the time it used to, and does a much cleaner job. It also cut the time it takes to make the straight sub track by a little more than half!


I’m already out of little sticks for the track so I’ll just…have to work on something else.


Placing headers to help hold the structure up once the station goes underneath.


I started cutting through the center of the base of the turn around. This is where the station house will go.


Photo shows one almost-finished run of sub track spliced on to the extension.


I now make the sub track off the structure. My fingers go from one end to the other making sharp little twists to give it that arc. Each run is 14” long and I can splice them together.


On the left run, the next layer of laminated 2x2’s (with the bias in the opposite direction as the bottom) have been added.


I was really NOT looking forward to sub tracking these two lower runs because it’s about 42” around. BUT since I have my track making short cut, it won’t be bad at all. In fact…


Another layer of boards are added on to the track and the catwalk boards are going in too.



Glam shot 1


Glam shot 2


I did all this in one day! Swiiiiish!




See the sub track sitting in the little troughs I made to keep them equally spaced while I put on the ties.


I make what I call, The Spine of Ties. They are set up 3’ apart on center, so I simply just lay and glue the ties on to the curved sub track, and remove the spine. That way, the ties are 3’ apart on center.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The coaster is coming along well enough now so I’m feeling like I can sort of ramp up the promotion for my project and raise some more money. I’m working on a little brochure I can hand out to people too afraid to come up and ask me directly while I’m working.


At this point I’m making a little progress every day but at the end of each day it doesn’t look too different than it did in the morning.


I ran out of track material so while I was waiting a week for a shipment, I started making bents and section for what will be the exit from the north u-turn and the lower midcourse brake run.


In a post from about a year ago, I mentioned I would be placing pins in the plastic to look like bolts in all the joints. After I did that with the prototype section and found it compromised rather than strengthened the structural integrity of the plastic.


So instead, I’m using a dremel to dot a tiny hole that I rub over with paint for this result. But I will still put pins in where the ledgers attach.


A new photo I found of this angle. I need all the help I can get to get this lower sweep of track just right.


New track material finally arrived. I started laying layer #3 on the left side while the track on the right inspires.


Racing track. Catwalks too. I wonder if workmen ever challenged each other on foot over the catwalks?


Lining up new sub track for the mid brakes and the dip after.


A POV shot, testing to see if I need more ‘dirt and grease’ added.


I think I got that lower sweep of track right on!


More racing track


All this built since mid-July!


What it looks like in my work space at home


Glam shot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello fans


Thanks for the large viewings of this thread and its photos.


I’m still trying to fund this project and I’m wondering if I can do that by selling a few.


Does anyone think some of the more artsy photos will be sellable to anyone, such as a poster, specifically coaster fans of course?


Maybe I’ll post a few and people can vote so I can get an idea of what people like?


I’ve been mostly working on track. It’s a good thing I shortened the process because…it’s sure time consuming.


Good news is this section took only two months in its entirety. The turn-around on the opposite end is a little larger and probably not as complicated as this end in spite of their being SIX runs of track and the switch rack.


I will probably work on that part during next summer’s vacation.


That gives be 8 months to do the in-between. That is mostly just tangent runs and those are a snap!


Tonight I begin attempting to fit it over the station. Wish me luck.


Twice as hard and twice as fun.


Racing trains would be heading towards you.


This is an example of what I was talking about ‘artsy’


Another glam shot. I really like this effect of placing this on a mirror and shining a bright light into it.


The tracking is complete on this end.


Last night I cut off all the posts that would be in the way of the station house. That is a strong suspension, I was a little worried about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In commemoration for today, the 49th anniversary of the Cyclone Racer's last day of operation.


Last time I think I left us with a photo of a shot of a big hole in the middle of my turn around. I finally got the guts and tried setting it on top of the station house to test how it will fit.


The initial setting was good, the only difficulty was keeping track of all post clearings at one time.


I still need a good break from this section. I need to finish the inside of the station house before I can secure the roof before I can permanently affix the turn around. It sounds like a lot to do, and it might be, but I hope it’s not.


So in the mean time I weaved together more sub track for the exit out of the u turn.


Underside shot of how it’s supposed to look.


Topside shot, obviously.


The midcourse brake area before adding the mechanics


The midcourse brake area after adding all the mechanics


Pictorial update.


The end of the Cyclone Racer. The North end to be more specific lol.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The third annual Maker Faire is coming to Balboa Park 10/7 -8. Of course I’m working on having a certain part of the model Cyclone Racer finished by then. Jeepers, that’s only one week!


Since the last time…


I’ve made a messy stack of bents that will support the remainder of the drop coming off the flat turn around over the Cyclone Racer sign, and the adjacent ramp up to the mid-coarse brake run.


Neating up the pile


Evenly spacing the bents while up on their side gives a nice flat look.


Installing ribbons


The lower left portion (with temporary track on it) is the new section


Putting on the base for the real track.


Layer #5 is the ‘lip’ under which the train’s up-stop plates would fit. Two more layers of track will be applied here. The track next to that is up to the third layer of 2x2s set on the bias.


Thought I’d try a night shot.


Posts are cut for the opposite side of the flat turnaround. You can see the shape of the upper and lower runs of track.


Basically, what you see is what I hope to have finished by Maker Faire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s my birthday today! I thought I’d post early just cuz of that.


This weekend is Maker Faire!


I will also be raising more funds to continue work on the model


Last weekend I tried using mahogany shelving paper to lay on what will be the model’s permanent base. I like the contrast of the darker base and later, can suggest that it’s a pier. I suck at spreading shelving paper, I think I can get that wrinkle out with some heat.



This section is overlaid with the drawing of the station house and both J turns to make sure it will align properly.


Brake sleds installed on the midcourse brake run.



Art shot




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Another recognition honor at my 3rd year at the Annual Maker Faire.


The newest addition is the basic frame for the lead to the U-turn over the station house ® and the beginning of the final lap (l).


Handmade sheets of catwalk and track base.


I was watching 2 Broke Girls the other night (guilty pleasure). One of the characters, Max, was chewing on a candy necklace and that reminded me that I once used a candy necklace for footings on a model I did in 1985 of the Belmont coaster.


So I broke a few necklaces and spray painted them brown.


My blue ribbon and I at the Maker Faire


I thought this was clever. While most people get the joke, very few REALLLLY get the joke.


With the newest portion added




The newest portion being fitted for track.


Designing the profile for the next section to be built, hill #5 that carves under and through the lift hills. This area is going to be cross-over hell madness


The portion of the model that was displayed at the faire.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Track making, and building the flanks entering and exiting the flat turn over the station house.


Ugh. Time to weave some coaster track.


The big hill in the middle is the new track. The adjacent run on the right is about to get some.


Subtrack on the right


A good shot of the under the track


A show and tell section of track that people can handle. I made it for the Maker Faire but lost it until recently.


Okay, here are a couple arty ones



As of Wednesday, three sections before you.


Not pictured: The station house and lift hills


Here are a few shots to fool your friends in a “guess the coaster” quiz




The hill buried way under the lift hill will be the next section to be built. It is REALLY buried inside and under the lift hill so it's hard to 'get in' there for a good view. Stay tuned for how I have figured out how to figure it out.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Trying to dissect the bulky middle portion of the Cyclone Racer, including the lift hills, the slicing hill, over the entrance to the brake run. Footings, some art shots of Airplane:


I’m going to make a mini-test version. So I use plastic sticks to stick into where each vertical posts would touch the ground. The posts that wouldn’t touch the ground (or they would pierce the track) are colored red.


The red posts I know have to have some kind of header that will have to support it. Figuring out which posts are used to support other posts looks very challenging.


I added the black horizontal ledgers per the ones that I can see in the photos.


I simplified the plan for the midsection of the Cyclone and colored each path starting with the upper portion dominating over lower paths.


When I link two sections together, splicing the track will be really easy compared to how I was doing it on the Airplane.


Adding footings. Most of my work for the next three weeks will be affixing all three sections on to the station house base. That is one of the lift hills. This section with footings will overlap the lift hill.


When I link two sections together, splicing the track will be really easy compared to how I was doing it on the Airplane.


A little cleanup is necessary but otherwise, very close with the film frame below.



Test fitting the opposite side. In the foreground is the hill that leads up to the turnaround.



A couple of Airplane photos


You can expect to see this shot again once I add the handrails


All the glue I’ve used thus far


I love this one



From "Strike Me Pink."


Here is the area I'm trying to reassemble. You can see two hill tops that seem to appear buried under the lift hill, but it's the one


The best source for this area is a shaky, but nice, POV footage used in the 1964 Cult classic, "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Died and Became Mixed Up Zombies."


For the supports that cannot be discovered in any clear photo of film frame, my best educated guess will have to do. And from someone familiar with Fred Church’s tricks, that will be a real bona fide educated guess.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Station house detail shots, and what I call 'the gear box' actually, the sprocket wheel at the turning point of the lift chain.


The bottom of one of the lift hills. Here is where I need to install some sort of home for the bottom return wheel for the drag chain.


So I started by making a little gear thingy. While the bottom wheel probably had a groove, I think my cog wheel will be just fine.


Then I made a couple of boxes. I tried to make them look like they've been in use for about 10 years


All this trouble and NOBODY is going to see it except for my followers!!


I LOVE my brake handle. The foot catch is an accidental shaving of plastic as is the little hand grasp.


Prior and Church transfer tables always had nicely carved levers.




The train release handles


Handrails down the exit stairway


back to the drawing board.


Much much better. Time to paint.


A little funny photo of me playing inside the station. “Everyone hold on!!”


This photo (if you look way in the back, the red side rails wobble) caused me to rethink how my side rails alongside the station line up. They don’t to my satisfaction so

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Getting recognized for my research into old historic roller coasters and bringing them back so all may see just now beautiful they were and for my contribution of those models to the National Roller Coaster Museum with an ACE honorary membership! Also recognized for guaranteeing the Giant Dipper would not be torn down.


Finally, finally, FINALLY attached the roof on to the station house.


Underside of station house


Approach to lift hill B.


These are random shots that I won’t be able to get once I add the U turn.


The bottom wheel for the chain


Some artsy ones


Some artsy ones


Oh lookie! I think I made the train chassis about a year ago. Finally took them off the shelf.


Approach to the station


These make me think of macaroni shells as they feel just like them.


Cyclone Racer trains were near exactly like the ones that used to run on Playland’s Dragon.


Chug chug


One area I want to be really careful with tracking curves like this – I’ve been a little afraid to start. Laying curved track can affect the structure because of the collective bending of the laminates so I'm using part of a chain off of Ghostrider for a good weight.




Not too bad. I’m satisfied that each side looks the same.


What an honor. Jerry Willard was the presenter. Host John Gerard is the one with the long beard.


I heard ACE has been meaning to give this to me since the spring but I never appear at any cost-prohibitive ACE events. This timing makes it my best Christmas present! Now, on to Cyclone Racer:


Ghost train skidding home.


Not only the banking, but the elevation too. It was tricky getting that subtle little hump going down from around the curve into that low dip.


Fred Church was a genius


I showed this to someone at the party and he thought it was the real thing. I didn't know he thought that until I was showing someone else.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...



Cutting sticks against profile design.


The final dip before leaping up to the brakes. The tall supports are to help support upper structure. The bent with the 3 clothes pins is the bottom part of the tallest lift hill bent.


Did a little paint job on the cars.

Edited by hillflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...



Then I built the next layer of structure above – that hill in the middle of the ride that zig zags under the left hills.


And I took that part and did a test fit over the low part.


Sub track made and ready to lay!


Beautiful fit.




More lift hill bents. The tallest six bents have been built.


And added. This is only the East lift hill. 6 duplicate bents are built, not shown.


This picture is proof, that even on areas that are in the deepest bowels within the wood structure, I spared no attention to detail, even laminating the mid-layer of track that nobody will ever see.


Also while on vacation, I created a little more space in my work corner along with some rearranging of my living room.


The unexpected outcome was a nice roller coaster shadow on my wall!


My handrails are notched around the lateral cross braces. Again, only people seeing this photo will see this deep in the ride.


Track layers creeping up into the final brake section




I set everything where it should set and added the supporting headers. To double check my accuracy, I took this shot to get an initial comparison to the real one. Until after I post this, I haven’t done that comparison. Note that the stacks of structure are not connected and still come apart in three pieces, accounting for some sticks that look like they're leaning.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hi everyone,


First of all I want to dedicate this post to my best friend, Dan Reed, who was crossing a clearly marked intersection and was hit and killed by an errant driver last January right after his 50th birthday. Ironically, while I'm really passionate and eager to educate people to the dangers of distracted driving, so goes the same for distracted walking. He was probably looking at his phone and stoned out of his gourd, the driver was still at fault.


There hasn't been a post on here since then, I guess I was affected beyond what I thought.


Well, below is an update on the building of the model Cyclone Racer. It's coming along fantastic and this may be enough photos to warrant two separate postings.


R.I.P. my best friend Dan Reed whose photo sits on what was his favorite chair when he came to visit. Okay, on to the Cyclone Racer.


Last we left, I had the main northern third including the station house, near completion. Here are the starts of the next main portion including the dip up into the brakes, part of the first drop, the nice round hill buried under the lift hills, two portions of that visible as well.


Buuzzzzzz, tap tap tap, saw saw, hammer hammer. Almost looks like a real construction at first as it begins to piece together.


The next part to figure out and build is the valley of the first drop where it dives under the valley of the second drop. LOTS of mixing it up in this area.


So first thing I did was build a 1/2 scale (from the model scale) rough over the plan so I could get 3D visual so I could better figure out how the bents and headers were designed.


Moving from mock-up to actual model, that area under the first drop is very heavy in terms of timber concentration!


The rise up to the third hill is ready to install. But not yet.


Lift hill tracks made for the crest over the lift and down the first drop.


Slapped that track right on there.


I stopped doing professional style drawings. Notes and sketches are all I really need.


The next few are shots I took this weekend when Gary Kyriazi came to visit me. He wrote, "The Great American Amusement Parks" book in 1976. This book is responsible for dying the coaster fever into my wool.


All the gaps are not filled in yet.








Good night. Until next time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Not too much to update. Had about a week to redo something I did wrong, but check out a rendering of a table and case I'd like to add.


The right pair of track - The mysterious 'split' where trains a and b switch sides


The mysterious 'split' where trains a and b switch sides - using photo above to get all the details.


A little more fudging to do, but otherwise, fairly convincing


Not EVEN Colossus....


December or January?


The case I've designed for the finished model. I'm hoping to find someone who will build it for $500


What it's supposed to look like. Please excuse my notes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

An update on where the model stands in terms of construction. Don't be fooled, the parts I'm saving for last are uber easy. Once I finish that turn....Blue lines are track that exists on the model, the red are bents that are up, just not tracked yet.



Art shot. Would be August in a calendar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Looking excellent! Your models are impressive!


That geometry drawing takes me back the 80s... looking at roller coaster pictures and magazines/books with a protractor, figuring out angles and super-geeky stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/