Improving Driver Figures by David Lawson

There was a time not long ago when I would just paint a bit of card black and stick it in a slot car body as a makeshift interior, it covered up the chassis and motor and stopped oil and dust getting thrown up onto the models windscreen.

Probably because of the influence of Fly and their highly detailed slot cars and perhaps because of my interest in model-making I have found recently that my slot car interiors are getting a bit more complex, particularly with important cars, I won't consider the model complete unless the driver figure looks the part and attempts to capture the look and character of the original real life driver.


The commercially available figures are OK, the full length Fly and MRRC drivers come in handy for conversions and the Ninco half figure is also useful.

Fly figures are great for 1970 onwards with the full face Bell helmet but their open face crash helmet is very inaccurate and by the simple matter of replacing it with a MRRC driver's head you instantly have a 1960s Grand Prix or Le Mans driver


Using the MRRC set  #MC-5090 Drivers & Pitcrew Figures as "donors" will provides you with three different 1960s heads, all with the classic open face type helmet. There is the helmeted and goggle wearing head for open top and Grand Prix cars, and two heads with goggles either pushed up on top of the helmet or worn around the neck for closed saloon and sports car drivers.
The remaining figures in this set are mechanics and their bare heads are ideal for using as drivers of road going cars. There are other MRRC spectator and trackside official sets which provide further donor heads and bodies ripe for conversion into drivers of road going cars.



With some conversions the standard figures arms are not positioned in the correctly to hold the steering wheel or you need to adjust the stance to fit the model's interior.There are two ways of doing this:

1/ You can either cut the arms off the figure at the shoulder and at the elbow trim to the right length and angle and glue back in place so that the driver is holding the steering wheel. Once hardened fill any gaps in between the shoulder and elbow of the figure.

2/ Or, cut the arms off at the shoulder, cut the hands off at the wrist (as per picture on the right) make thin wire armatures, insert into holes drilled at both ends. The figure can then be posed in it's seat holding the steering wheel at the correct angle, before gluing. Once the adhesive has cured build up the arms with putty, shape and then repaint the figure.

None of these figures cost too much to produce but obviously great savings can be made by casting the finished results and producing resin replicas.