Friday August 19, 2005

 

Tipping the Scales?

The New 1/24th Scale

 Auto Art Lamborghini Gallardo

 

 

If one line of models has really took a different direction, the recent line of 1/24th scale models from Auto Art is near the top of the list. It has been quite awhile since we have seen new models in this scale and I really looked forward in seeing just how well Auto Art could begin in this scale.

 

If you didnít know already, 1/24th scale home racing is not as popular as our smaller 1/32nd scale cousins. Most of this is simply due to a very limited selection of models. Carrera has pretty much been the only car maker bringing us models in 1/24th, and although they are releasing more every year, the selection is still very limited compared to 1/32.

 

 

 

 

However, it looks like times are changing. The Auto Art model here is nicely done in scale and represents the prototype well enough for most enthusiasts. The overall fit and finish of the model is right along with other AA releases and we now even see driver figures coming in the interiors. I have to say that after looking at prototype photos, they really have done an excellent job.

 

 

If nothing else catches your eye on this model, the wheels certainly should. I felt they did an excellent job on these and so did many racers here who helped test this beast. If anything could be changed, it might be the compound of the tires. The tread design is another that hard core racers will want to change, but I doubt that AA will stray from the scale appearance they are trying to accomplish. (Then again, you never know!)

 

 

Underneath you soon discover that this model is 4 wheel drive and does have a small bar magnet near the rear. You can also get a glimpse of the larger Mabuchi-style motor used. After removing the 4 screws that mount the body to the chassis, we can start to get a better look at things. Up front the guide is self-centering and did have a pretty snug spring to it. Some of you do not like the spring-loaded guides, and if so you can always just remove it.

 

 

Inside you can see the wiring for the lighting system and that there is plenty of room in here to tune this model any way you want. The 4WD system employs shaft drives equipped with 10 tooth pinions turning 28 tooth crown gears. I found this gearing to be very smooth right out of the box, and a little break-in makes them even better.

 

 

I will say that although the rear bushings were snug and did not spin under load during testing, I would still use a small drop of adhesive on them as a preventive maintenance measure. Sometimes during hard racing these bushings can work loose, so it couldn't hurt to take the time to perform this modification.

 

 

The bar magnet is located directly to the rear of the motor and is held in place with adhesive similar to high temp hot glue. It took a little work prying it out from the inside, but it eventually came out. I then placed it in one of the 2 pockets up front to see how it would fit and effect operation. This really makes this car a slippery one in the corners as not only is the magnet in the center, but slightly raised from the rails compared to the rear position.

 

 

Once you snap the magnet in one of these pockets, removing it can be a chore. Using a very small flat tip screwdriver, I had to pry a little of the plastic away before I could get under it for removal. This is no real issue as it didn't harm the pocket enough to prevent adding a magnet there. When or if you return the magnet back to the original rear pocket, you will need to secure it again with some adhesive.

 

 

Operation of this model is where things surprised me, and in a good way. Even with our power supply set at 12 volts, this model has plenty of power. Lap times were in the 4.9 second range, and for this car that was more than acceptable for us. Braking and acceleration are both crisp and more pronounced than I expected. Although some might compare it to 1/32nd scale and say it needs improvement, I canít say I would agree. This car is larger and will have certain characteristics that the smaller cars do not. So for what it is, and the scale it is in, I think overall control is very good. Changing the gear ratio to a more standard set-up such as 9 to 27 might just make things better for some of you.

 

For the record, I just have to say that I am just happy Auto Art decided to enter this scale in the first place. Given the large amount of enthusiasts who either already have Carrera track or routed tracks with the space required, providing new models to this scale can only be better for all of us in the hobby.

 

And with that said, if you do have the track it takes to run one I would suggest taking a closer look at a pair of these models. Although they are exotic Supercars, this doesnít mean you cannot have fun racing them and you might even find yourself wanting more. I look forward to more of these releases in the future and hope Auto Art succeeds in expanding this scale...it has been a long time in coming.

 

- Harry

 

 

Thanks Go To SLOTCARPLACE For Providing Us With This Sample Model

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