Is there any interest among you enthusiasts for a realistic working model of a coaster that is infinitely expandable, easy to assemble, and is actually scale? This would not be a Knex "toy", but a more hobby grade- model. Let me hear some feedback on this.
I dont think I would really, but don't listen to me, because I only tried the Knex thing once but never made something good so i got pissed and quit :( Oh well...maybe someone else would be interested!
Holy frijole, YES. I've always wanted something of this nature. Something that actually looks like a real coaster, unlike the Knex model or that Six Flags coaster toy that was popular for about a week. I've had ideas floating around my head for years...
It could be made of hard molded plastic or (better yet) metal. It could consist of several different track pieces (a la RCT-style) that somehow snap or lock together. Supports could be numerous sizes and styles, and snap or lock to the track spine. Trains could be realistic and have upstop and side-friction wheels, and perhaps even working restraints. I really could go on for hours...
Uh...why do you ask?
------------------ -Mike B. Son of Hulk ------------------
I have always thought it would be pretty fun. Espicially if you could expand on the coaster.
It could be like a wooden train set. When I was young I used to have this Brio Train Set. There were track pieces of all shapes and sizes. Then you could have different types of tains. I had tons of fun, I used to try to build a coaster-like drop with it, but it wasn't really made for that. ------------------ ROYALS!!! *** This post was edited by CoasterBill 8/7/2003 1:17:21 AM ***
I like the idea of a more realistic model coaster, but I doubt any scale model you build will perform realistically. The acceleration will be off.
Let's say you scale it down one tenth--which would give us a model of monstrous size, but bear with me for the sake of simplicity. If you scale it down so that one decimeter of model represents one meter in real life, the earth will not scale down its pull of approximately 9.8 m/s/s to suit your model. I believe this means the replica will perform the way a full-sized version would if gravity were ten times stronger than it is on earth. The higher g-forces would in turn increase friction and dissipate kinetic energy sooner, causing rollbacks in areas where the full-sized version would clear the hills.
------------------ “Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd.” -Annie Besant
I ask because we are currently very close to releasing such a product. We are looking to produce a limited number (say 500 kits) and introduce it to the enthusiast market first. If it is a success we may take it mainstream, but the enthusiast market will be our toughest customers. To those not interested...think of an on-board mini camera mounted on the train...think of the endless possibilities for layouts and unbelievable scale heights you could build. Imagine a train so scale you would have to look twice at pictures to tell if it is real or just a model. Again, this is not a toy and it would thus be priced as such. We don't have a firm price yet, but I would guess around $500. This is real. No teasing.
I am very interested! If you could get a mini cam on the train that would be very cool! Do you have any pics of this or anything because you sure got my attention in this and I am obsessed with the knex roller coasters!
------------------ My top 3 Coasters! 1. Millennium Force 2. Raging Bull 3. Magnum
You cannot scale gravity. Thus there is no more gravitational pull on a model than on the real thing. This is why a model looks like it is going much faster. It has the same gravitational forces acting on it, but on a much smaller scale, ie only a height of a few feet vs. hundreds of feet. It still falls at the same actual speeds. Our model has no problem negotiating any number of elements and we've found that the most important key to efficiency is minimizing rotational friction.
Wouldn't it be cool if Faller or ESCL or someone came out with a limited edition 1:44 scale model of a roller coaster train. They could offer, Arrow 4d, B&M Flyer, B&M Floorless, Arrow Suspended, ect ect. I think that would be pretty aweseome if they did that for a limited time. I bet they would make a killing among the enthusiasts and that would be the ultimate coaster enthusiast collectors item (if they build it right).
Sir Isaac Newton would not be on your side with this idea. I think its a great idea, don't get me wrong. The scale of the model would never work. You'd always end up with a huge 1st hill followed by mediocre/small hills after, ala Screamin' Searpant. Not too mention the momentum dies shortly after the 1st drop. Adding weight to the train might help there. The most practical idea if you are considering actually doing this is the wild mouse coaster, there isn't much uphill in them, therefore the momentum wouldn't die so easily.
------------------ "You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."
That $500 price tag might be out of the price range of most people here. It's a good idea if you can find a way to have it manufactured cheaply, but that may mean you have to produce many more of them. I would love to see what you have sometime, it sounds really cool!
Jack R is correct that mechanical friction losses are the biggest problem in getting a reasonably scale rollercoaster model to work. Problem is the mass. Cut the size of a coaster to 1/20 the actual size, ( 100 foot lift hill becomes a 5 foot lift hill ) and the volume/mass of the train drops to 1/8000 the mass of the of the actual train for the same denisty. You can make it heavier by casting it in lead, but you still have to get the friction real low or it's not going to work. Because of the gravity effects others have mentioned the motion will never scale, but it should get around if the friction is low enough.
Personally, it is more important to me to have a realistic-looking coaster than a realistic-working one. I would be satisfied if it was a static model, to be quite honest, but the working aspect (whether or not the friction can be reduced enough for it to be effective) would be a bonus.
I wouldn't necessarily pay 500 bucks for a static model, but for one that worked and looked 100% authentic, I think $500 would be very reasonable.
I'm very interested to hear more about this product.
------------------ -Mike B. Son of Hulk ------------------
I like what Mike was saying earlier about having the pieces be modular, almost like Roller Coaster Tycoon track. Maybe even have a few types of track like the Intamin style box track or the B&M styled spined track. The K'nex are fun, but I am ready for the next level...
------------------ Bob Hansen Resident Airtime Whore