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THE WORKSHOP
 
From the drawing board to the track, here in the Pioneer workshop we detail the planning and processes that go into creating our slot car models, and we discuss our upcoming project - the 1970/71 Plymouth Cuda.

01. THE DRAWING BOARD

Boarding and preliminary concept designs are the first stages to producing any slot car model. Initial ideas are discussed, liveries are finalised, historical research is assembled. As with all of the models in Pioneer's 'Muscle Cars' series we designed the Plymouth Cuda model to be realistic and representative of the real car in its features and details. Because the ‘Cuda’ has iconic status both on and off the track it has been important to capture the true likeness of this car as a street car and also as a racer.

02. THE ARTWORK

- featuring an exclusive foreword from Mick Rimmer, Graphic Designer and Content Creator at Concept60seven

'Jules and I have collaborated on many projects well before he established Pioneer in 2008. Our shared goal has always been to approach things differently, as that's how a brand truly stands out in a competitive market.

Being part of a company's inception is a dream come true for any designer. It offers a blank canvas where no prior designs constrain your creative freedom.

By the time we discuss the sleeve design for a new model, Jules has already conducted extensive visual research. This research equips me with a wealth of historical details specific to each car, which allows me to create a range of design options. Occasionally, we infuse playful elements into the design, particularly for fictional models, so be sure to scrutinise the intricate details in your next purchase!

My focus on attention to detail and capturing the personality and heritage of each model is what sets Pioneer apart from other manufacturers. We've been fortunate to receive numerous compliments over the years, and we hope this trend continues.'

Concept60seven draft, digitalise and render our artwork until final drafts are signed off and sent to a commercial printer. A high quality, gloss finish is the final touch to our industry pioneering, customised artwork, unique to every model.

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03. A FIRST LOOK IN 'CAD'

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is an industry standard technology used to digitalise concept designs in preparation for either prototype production or fully featured design files used in actual manufacture.

Pioneer's CAD designer can use a full-sized vehicle or historical photos to begin building the shapes and lines of the car, trying to capture as many features as possible and scaling them down to the required dimensions. More often than not, the body design is completed first before commencing a chassis design that will enable the model to perform well on a slot car track. 

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04. A CLOSER LOOK IN 'CAD'

Click on the CAD drawing to enlarge and explore.

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05. MOLDING THE MODEL

The majority of parts for our models are injection molded from plastic, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (often abbreviated to ABS) is the preferred material at Pioneer. But before any moulding can be done, tooling must be engineered and cut to enable perfect models to be produced. Every specific model can have a variety of different tools that make an assortment of different components. Some tools may only make a single part, the body shell for example, while others could include a number of smaller parts that can be molded at the same time.

The cavities within each tool that form the shapes of the plastic parts are carved out or ‘cut’ from steel using CNC machinery that follow the data produced by the CAD files. After the shapes are cut by machine there is very often a requirement to hand polish each moulding surface to allow a super smooth finish to the molded part.

It can take many weeks of skilled work to produce a fully working injection molding tool. At various stages of the process, short test runs of the model are produced to check for fit and finish and any problems or inadequacies are sorted out at this stage. Prior to the tooling being ready for a full production process, it is extensively tested at different molding pressures and temperatures in order to achieve the best possible molding speed and accuracy.

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06. IN THE PAINT SHOP

The bare plastic is cleaned and prepared for paintwork, commonly applied with industrial airgun sprayers using modern acrylic paints. Further decorations to the model are mostly applied by ink pad printers that can produce very fine detail, multi colour print graphics onto the paintwork. Test samples of the model are produced at the factory and then approved before the final production run of the model is given the green light.

07. TO THE TRACK

The well-proven elements fitted to all Pioneer chassis have been tried and tested to work across all analogue and digital configurations so that our models can be used on any plastic or wooden slot car tracks.

COMING SOON...

The 1970/1971 Plymouth Cuda

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