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    Since April 2nd, 2003

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    Thunder Road Wooden Coaster
    Thunder Road is a "Coaster Dynamix HO Scale Comet Wooden Coaster"; the base measures out to 27.5 inches long and 12 inches wide and the entire model is roughly 8 inches tall. In real life Thunder Road would only stand about 32 feet tall which would anywhere from a Kiddy to Family coaster, it features three drops in a paperclip shaped layout.

    Lets take a look at the box and it's contents! By the way, all photos can be enlarged!

    Of course the first thing that needs to be done is to glue the two pieces of the base together followed by adding two hatches(covers for holes) to the base and the steps up to the station. Following this the instructions say to landscape now or forever hold your peace! Originally I was going to ballast(gravel) the area where the bents will go but I backed down because I was worried I would fill the holes where the bents connect to the base so instead I taped off the area where the holes are in addition to the stairs and the area where the motor house goes. I also painted concrete walkways leading up to the coaster and directly infront of the motor house.

    As seen above once the landscaping was dry and the tape was pulled up, I started erection of the bents! Finally vertical construction of the roller coaster had begun! The first five(#00-04) bents went up easily using "Testors Cement for Plastic Models(blue tube)", the sixth bent is where it stared getting challenging. Bents #05 and onward are part of the lift hill so they were getting taller and some of them were warpped, the blue tube of glue was simplying not drying quick enough(hold for 20 seconds, max strength in 4 hours) and allowed the bents to slump over and come loose. A quick trip to my Local Hobby Shop(here on out shorten to "LHS") found a red tube of Testors cement that worked much better(5 seconds hold, max strength in 2 hours.), this also allowed me to place more bents in the same timespan making the kit much more fun to build!

    Once all of the bents(#3-11) were placed and the decal was Peel & Sticked to the signboard at the crest of the lift hill, it was time to place the first section of track in place after sliding the lift channel into it. The track snaps on to most of the bents is ease, a few of them required a gentle wiggle, a couple need a drop of cement to hold them in place and actually required some gentle pressure.

    Once the lift hill was topped out, it was then time to glue the motor house together and install the motor inside of it. After which, I simply slid the "chain" down from the top of the lift hill to the bottom and glued it to the motor shaft. The "chain" is actually a spring that rotates around like a corkscrew. The next ten bents form turn 2(turn one being the station and s-curve, all of the curves are angled slightly down hill.

    Once I started within a few bents of having all but the bents over the s-curve, I started gluing the first three track sections together. Make sure you use fast setting super glue for this! The last three bents will be added later after the above track installed, as you can see above I started gluing bents in 2 at a time by working from both sides of turn 3(and 4) once I got to that bag.

    The track was glued to the track and I started snapping the track to the bents as per the directions, at the bottom of the first drop things got interesting. Three of the bents in the valley came unglued from the base, thankfully no damage was done but it presented an interesting problem, without holding the track and bents down the bents were too short to connect to the base. By trial and error I finally got the bents glued basically on top of a glue hill to stay in part of the holes.

    After completing the first half of the track I went to glue the second half together, only to find that "Track Section IJ" has damaged and had breaks in two of the cross ties. They were broke but not mishaped, I ordered a replacement piece from Coaster Dynamix and when it arrived one of the same cross ties was misshaped. Rather than call and wait again, I repaired the original section. While I was waiting for the replacement section, I started adding the walkways and working on the station. The walkways took quite a bit of thought as they slide in place through tiny slots, problem was some were more problematic about getting to slide.

    Painting and gluing the trains was another task I did while waiting on the replacement part, they looked good but due to nearly never-ending derailments, they didn't stay looking that good. Upon completing the track I started testing the coaster, it took a week of sanding, regluing the train cars, and cleaning the track to get the cars to complete the ride....SOMETIMES. The hand rails were simple, they snapped into the slots with no problems.

    Finishing up, I have not and will not glue the station walls(and roof) to the floor. The train sometimes stalls in the station and I think it is best to leave it as is for this reason. Coaster Dynamix left some track without handrails and catwalks on parts of the coaster, mainly around the station. My problem with this is it is prototypically incorrect, so I made two extra supports and made the catwalks and handrails go all the way to the station. I do not recommend anyone buying this model if you want a working model, the train seldoms stays on the track and seldom completes the ride; I only recommend this model if you want a nice looking STATIC model.




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