Slot Cars Rule !!!

Artin 1/43 Indy cars

Artin recently came out with a lot of new cars in the 1/43 scale. Among the most noticeable new cars are the new Indy IRL cars. These are available in both PowerPasser and standard configurations and pack a lot of new features for Artin 1/43 cars.

• Along with the release of the new PowerPasser sets in Artin 1/43 came a lot of new cars. These new IRL racers come in the Indianapolis 500 PowerPasser set but are also available individually for only US $6.00 to $7.00.

• The first surprise about these cars, once you unpack them, is that they are BIG: 120 mm long (from the front to the back of the rear wing), 69 mm wheel base, 49 mm wide at the rear wheels, and 47 at the front wheels, much closer to actual 1/43 scale dimensions.


• The second surprise is the quality of the details. These cars have water slide decals and even though it is still far from the astounding quality of some of their bigger 1/32 sisters, they are actually very nice to look at. I am no specialist in painting but the colors are nicely done and there seems to be a layer of clear coat finish that really enhances the cars appearance. With a little bit of detailing added to the driver helmet, the mirrors, and some of the cars natural lines, they could be made to look very sharp.

• Other good tidbits on the body include the removable rear wing and air intake behind the driver's head, as well as the very sturdy side mirrors (also removable), which should be close to unbreakable even in the worse crash. With a little cutting work the driver's head can also be removed. All of this should come very handy if someone decided to do a repaint.



• According to Artin, the cars carry authentic IRL liveries but for now seem to be limited to only two of them: a Hatworld-Lids car and an MBNA car.

• A noticeable improvement with these cars compared to previous Artin 1/43 cars is the ride height, which in my opinion, is very nicely done on these cars.


• The wheels (no inserts, just molded plastic wheels) are also new and offer an improved level of details to the cars.

• Not only are the wheels new, but so are the tires, much bigger than anything seen before on an Artin 1/43 car: They are not treaded and seem to be made of a different rubber than previous tires from Artin 1/43.
o Front tires: 16 mm diameter (0.64 inches); 7.5 mm wide (0.3 inches)
o Rear tires: 21 mm diameter (0.82 inches); 11.5 mm wide (0.45 inches)
o The tires did need a fair mount of truing but came out really round and have very decent grip.

• But the surprises do not stop at the car appearance and looks. Once you open them up (very easily done through 3 screws) and take a look inside, you realize how much of a departure from the standard Artin design they are.

• First, the front axle is part of the car body and suspension bars and rods can also be found there. Unfortunately, the front axle diameter is still the same very non-standard 2.18 mm (0.086 inches) diameter, halfway between the 2mm and 3/32 standard values found in other scales.

• Second, the chassis actually integrates the cars side pods and a long tab can be found at the front supporting the hole for the front screw. No letter/number combination could be found on this chassis, only the Artin brand name and the traditional "Made in China".

• Looking at the underside of the body shows that these cars are indeed PowerPasser ready as the receptacle for the guide spring can be seen there even though these cars were fitted for a standard set-up.



• The rear axle is the same as in all other Artin 1/43 cars. It has the same diameter as the front axle (2.18 mm or 0.086 inches) and is fitted with a 28-tooth crown. The pinion on the motor is a 10-tooth, 64 pitch pinion providing a relatively low 2.8 gear ratio. This is somewhat compensated by the large tire diameter, giving these cars a very nice top speed. A little play was observed on the rear axles but nothing outrageous that would require any fixing.

• The motor is the standard Artin 1/43 motor (2 mm axle) with good top end speed but relatively poor braking performance (This is why dynamic braking is so important in Artin 1/43). The motor is mounted in a new way, with two wires connecting from the motor to the braid contacts. This enables the same car to be configured easily for PowerPasser, where additional electronic components are added (diode, capacitors, and resistors). As opposed to older cars, the motor is also mounted flat (level with the chassis) instead of at small angle.

• The motor mounting is really wrong on that car. The motor is held in pace by two plastic tabs at the endbell, and a plastic tab on the body is supposed to push down on it when the car is closed. Although this makes removing the motor even easier than usually, there was a lot of play in the motor: the plastic tabs do not clamp the motor very well and the top plastic tab did not push well enough on the top of the motor once the car was closed. I would strongly recommend hot-gluing that motor in place for better performance.


• Looking at the bottom at the chassis brings yet another surprise, as Artin has done away with the single large magnet and instead, opted for two small bar magnets: one right behind the braids and one just in between the motor and the crown near the rear. These are not too powerful but provide enough magnetic down-force to still make these cars easy to drive while letting them slide easily around the corners.

• Finally, the braids are the same as all other Artin cars. The simple pin guide is also identical to the older cars or the longer spring mounted PowerPasser guide could be fitted there.

• Taking these cars on the track was fun. They slide a little more than most other Artin 1/43 cars due to the reduced magnetic down-force. They are very smooth and quiet (a traditional Artin 1/43 trademark) and the only thing to do to improve performance was to reduce the front tire diameter to reduce drag. At 50 grams even, they are the heaviest cars in the Artin 1/43 line-up but not by much, thus they are also not the fastest ones, but I was still able to clock a very respectable 10 sec with these cars on my track.

In conclusion, a great car for a very small price with greatly improved looks and appearance for Artin 1/43.