Tutorial - build a 1:24 Retro F1 Chassis

Neckcheese Tutorial: Building a 1:24 Retro F1 chassis


If you are not fond of cutting and drilling a droparm, a piece of 1/16" (1,6mm) 3/4" (19mm) wide brass rod combined with a guide tongue is an easier option

Building jig
is it necessary ? - yes for me at least.
You can actually make one yourself from a piece of old kitchen table, MDF or similar. 
You need to drill holes to fix the axles + rails etc  and jig wheels can be made of old sprockets etc. That's the way most of us started.
But a "professional" jig like my RGEO is nice to have if you build many chassis and is also great for setting up your other chassis. I am on my second RGEO jig and use it nearly every time i work with my slot cars.

Jig wheels are useful to establish the correct axle height. I started out with old Cox sprockets, but are now using some turned in aluminium, which is a nice luxury :-)

To get the right diameter - you take your desired wheel diameter and divide by two and subtract the desired ride height. This number times two gives the jig wheel diameter. Remember to add a little extra for tire wear, so you don't end up with the minimum ride height. For Retro F1 cars a jig wheel size around 19,5 - 20mm would be fine. 

First step 

Here is the jig with the basic chassis components.
We have the chassis rails and the front axle tube.
The rails have already been prepared with 90° bends at the front end and soldered together.
It is important to center the rails etc correctly. I use some brass pieces with the same width as the drop arm and add some paper distances to secure the free movement of the drop arm.

I fix the rails in place with the body pin tube assemblies, which are a square and a round pin tube on top of each other. This is done to raise the body pin tube so the pins are mounted higher on the body which makes a stronger connection.
#1 is a soldering jig made of aluminium tubes and thin piano wire to make it easier to solder the pin tubes to the rails. Before that I solder the two pintubes together on top of each other.

#2 shows the 90° bend on the rail ready to solder to the front axle tube.

#3 shows the front pin tubes already soldered to the chassis. When both pintubes are soldered - the distance between the rails are fixed, so we can proceed :-)

I measure the distance from the jig wheels to the axle tube to center the front axle tube correctly

A fan is mandatory to draw away the toxic fumes from the soldering. I also have and central extraction system on my work table, which draws fumes away when painting, gluing etc.
A good flux and solder is important. I use old type lead solder sn60 type and ultimate flux from AB Slot Sport in UK. Similar types and brands will do :-)

I use wooden sticks (#2) to held the parts when soldering. #1 is a support bracket which make the front end stronger.

Now for the rear end - again I measure the distance from the ig wheels to the bracket sides to ensure that the bracket is centered correctly.

Motor bracket is fixed to the chassis rails

To get the motor assembly vertical, I have inserted a spacer below the motor.

The spacer is a piece of carbon fiber 1,8mm thick

The rear bumper is mounted and the whole rear end is soldered together. I use a 80W Weller soldering iron to ensure that the heat is sufficient to get a solid joint. A 60W will also do the job, but I suffer from ADHD and have little patience, so 80W is fine :-)

I solder the drop arm stop #1 and hinge tube #2 before mounting. #3 are the hingeparts to be soldered to the chassis.

The hinge parts #1 are oiled to avoid solder creeping in the joint

Again a piece of wood are used to secure the parts when soldering

This was the last step, and now its time to check that the chassis is straight. I check that the jig wheels are firmly on the jig and the chassis sits straight on the jig too, before switching off the soldering iron

The chassis right of the jig. Now you can choose to use it right now or clean it up a bit for good looks :-)

I finish the ends of the rails (#1) and the ends of the pin tubes (#2) with the a abrasive disc in the Dremel (#3).

If you want to clean up the chassis further (for cosmetic reasons) there is a variety of tools for the Dremel that makes the job easier for you.

Scouring powder (#1) and preferably the wife's toothbrush (#2) removes traces of the soldering flux

A sand paper block is also a great help to make the chassis shine


A wire brush removes dirt etc. in the corners - but beware of scratches 
- first test on a surplus piece of brass.

Here is the finished Neckcheese Mk.I chassis, using the methods above :-)


Some years ago I bought a vibratory tumbler to clean old and dirty slot car chassis. It uses crushed walnut shell and with a lot of patience it does a good job.
However, having ADHD one always looks for faster solutions and I finally bought a "real" tumbler, normally used for rocks etc. After some experiments I have found two grades of ceramic media, a medium coarse one for the first cleaning, which leaves the chassis with a nice dull finish - and the last last one, which is finer and to which I have added the above mentioned walnut media.
1 hour in the first media and 1½ hour in the fine media gives the chassis a superb, shiny finish :-)

I know this is only cosmetic and that the chassis will NOT perform any better - but it looks great :-)

so now all my "secrets" are revealed and I will be out of work before long - I hope so - as It has always been the plan that people should build their own chassis :-)

Please contact me if you have questions or comments or need parts to build your own 1:24 Retro F1 chassis :-)

Niels Elmholt, August 2016   - https://www.facebook.com/Neckcheese