1:76 scale RC FPV car racing with custom racetrack and shells1:76 scale RC FPV car racing with custom racetrack and shells
Nov 02 2021
If you've followed previous projects you'll know I've built several micro RC FPV projects but never 1:76 scale. I've followed these tiny little cars for a little while now and had ideas on maybe setting up the smallest FPV racing track possible! Indoor racing fun means the weather doesn't matter, it's warm and easy to charge so it's a trifecta of wins.

So not only do I need to cram FPV kit on this tiny little car but also design and build a track that has dozens of possible configurations at a life like scale.

Where to buy the cars and camera:

All the design files for this project (shells, bonnets, track sections) You can find here on my Thingiverse page.
/theme/1-76 rc/00-1-76-scale-rc-full-proportional
These tiny 1:76 scale RC cars are third generation. They measure in at 50mm long by 20mm wide. They boast full proportional control, meaning its not just full left right and either on off power but moving as much or little as you give steering / power.

The sets vary but the one linked here is for the controller, not 1 but 2 cars so you can charge and run and a spare blank shell to paint up as you like.
/theme/1-76 rc/00-2-out-of-the-box
I also ordered 2 spare shells as the original plan was to mount the camera on an original shell but at this scale that didn't happen. The shells come off by lifting the rear which clips on the rear lights away from the body. It can then lift up, that's all that holds the shell in place.

Custom Shell and universal FPV shell mods

/theme/1-76 rc/01 1-76 fpv shell v3-design
I always like truck shells for this scale FPV as its much easier to conceal the camera PCB. I rattled up a design in Rhino after measuring the size and light placements of the chassis. As the shell clips on the lights then its really the only place that has to be super accurate. Everything else above.. not so much.
/theme/1-76 rc/02-tpu-material-3d-printed
So my initial design I've printed in TPU so its easy to slip on the chassis but also has impact durability. Camera fits well as does the chassis itelf.
/theme/1-76 rc/03-testing-v3-shell
So while this looks pretty cool other drivers on FPV would only see a blur ball of lights going around at 600TVL camera quality (equiv of above 480p..).
/theme/1-76 rc/04-truck-first-paint
So time to paint this bad boy up with a solid gloss black base coat.
/theme/1-76 rc/05-blue-stripes-red-spoiler-fpv-truck
Followed by metallic blue striping and a red spoiler.
/theme/1-76 rc/06-fpv-camera-transmitter-front
So far so good but.. the camera / video transmitter need power and I can't tap the 75mAh car lipo else run times would be degraded hugely.
/theme/1-76 rc/07-fpv-camera-transmitter-back
The Camera sits on a shelf inside the hood and just clips itself into place. No screws or glue required.
/theme/1-76 rc/08-shell-size-comparison-to-stock
Scale wise against an original shell its all in all not too bad at all. Given we now have a camera / transmitter bundled in there.
/theme/1-76 rc/09-back-shell-cabin
So the FPV power, a lipo has to go somewhere. So ripped the spoiler back off and designed a shell back that slot wedges into place. Super easy to take off and put on.
/theme/1-76 rc/10-cabin-painted
A solid blue metallic look for the rear hood only.
/theme/1-76 rc/11-rear-cabin-complete
Now the spoiler goes back on the removable hood as it's done.
/theme/1-76 rc/12-first-fpv-test-all-working
Quick FPV camera test to make sure it's all working. New lipos on the way at this point. 100mAh 1s packs.
/theme/1-76 rc/13-universal example view point
While the Lorry is nice what I don't want to do is sit and design new shells for all the types of views I want. So instead I designed this blank chassis which holds the camera further back and slightly raised with a slot for the FPV 1S 100mAh pack to slide in below it.
/theme/1-76 rc/14-universal-shell-print-configuration
The universal chassis is printed in solid TPU and in one go without supports or a raft. Just super glue the stack at the back of the chassis bottom.
/theme/1-76 rc/15-sports car front end
Now on to the clever bit of this design. From the cameras point of view we now see the bonnet in frame. So instead of designing different shells .. we design bonnets instead!
/theme/1-76 rc/16-universal-shell-printed
The blank chassis all glued together with a temp 1s test fitted (same thickness as new lipos arriving)
/theme/1-76 rc/18-100mah-lipos-red-sports-bonnet
So finally new lipos arrived. Unsoldered.. yay.
/theme/1-76 rc/19-100mah-lipo-soldered-charging
So after a bit of soldering with mini JST plugs can now charge these new packs!
/theme/1-76 rc/20-red-sports-bonnet-test
So here is the camera view on the universal chassis with a red sports car bonnet :)

Obviously other drivers would see the white stack driving around but who cares.
/theme/1-76 rc/21-8-bonnet-types
These bonnets are 1 gram of TPU each and take a minute to print each. Also got an AE86 (bottom right) bonnet with pop up effect headlights lol. A bit of double sided tape and you can change what you're driving on camera in seconds.

The Track Build

/theme/1-76 rc/39-race-track-design-many-configurations
I wanted a track that was fun, complex and not just top speed everywhere. Places where throttles have to be feathered else you'll plough into a barrier or such. To achieve this layout means a mix of fixed barriers and removable barriers that can be moved around easily but also don't come off when hit.
/theme/1-76 rc/40 building track framework
The track base is 3 board of 80 x 41cm x 9mm plywood on two brace supports. Creating a total size of 80 x 123cm.
/theme/1-76 rc/41 plywood panels 120cm by 83cm size
Now given the scale of the cars any bumps are going to be translated as launching of ramps on camera lol. So wood filler time on all bumps, holes and joins.
/theme/1-76 rc/42 vinyl back race track
I used black vinyl for the entire back of the track. It'll give good traction and is easy to patch and repair.
/theme/1-76 rc/43 race-track-layout-printed-stuck-on
Now I stuck the track print out - cut out onto the vinyl using pritt stick because its easy to clean off.
/theme/1-76 rc/43 model-railway-grass-outline
Only model railway type materials would be suitable for this scale and there is plenty to choose from. So for the none track areas I used modelling grass stuck down.
/theme/1-76 rc/44-tippex-white-line-outline
Now white line markings was a bit of testing and learning. Paint could have worked but on vinyl it can and will scratch off over time. So after lots of masking tape marking out I broke out the Tippex!
/theme/1-76 rc/45-model-railway-gravel-trap-run-off
Back to the railway supplies and this time I wanted gravel run offs.. yes actual gravel!
/theme/1-76 rc/46-gravel-traps-finished-internal-line-marking-yellow
All "internal" line markings for areas that change for different layouts are marked yellow.
/theme/1-76 rc/47-sausage-curb-imiatation
I wanted Sausage curbs on major bends. So masking tape again.
/theme/1-76 rc/48-sausage-curb-red-marker
This time because the white lines are Tippex means I can now use marker pens for the red areas.
/theme/1-76 rc/49-base-of-track-complete
That is the base of the track completed.
/theme/1-76 rc/50-3d-printed-outside-barriers
Because its on a board and we'll be on FPV means running off the side would result in taking of goggles and such... hmm no thanks. First I designed some 100mm long by 10mm high (with 5mm posts below) barriers. These are to stick on the very outside perimeter of the track.
/theme/1-76 rc/51-outside-barriers-fitted
With the outside barriers in place it's now impossible to drive entirely off the board. These little cars have some kick for the size, driving over the grass etc isn't an issue for them.
/theme/1-76 rc/52-flex-internal-barrier-design
Now for internal barriers on the track itself. First I need barriers that can shape to any corner so I designed these with 45 degree angle feet every 5mm meaning they can make fairly tight bends. Printed in TPU again.
/theme/1-76 rc/53-fixing-internal-fixed-barriers
First fixed internal barriers in place and they work out perfectly and really look the part.
/theme/1-76 rc/54-all-internal-barriers-fitted
All the internal barriers in place. These being glued obviously means fixed and never move.
/theme/1-76 rc/55-clip-on-removable-barriers-flexible
Now the last barrier type I designed clips over the fixed ones around the track. These are 150mm long to gap distance's and can clip onto each other to make longer segments. So the track can now be configured to anything at all for short tracks, long tracks, complex fast/slow configurations etc.
/theme/1-76 rc/56-fitting-christmas-tree-led-lights
Of course I want lights! Night time FPV racing is just as fun. So I grabbed some Christmas tree decoration lights that run on 3 AA batteries.
/theme/1-76 rc/57-bottom-side-lighting-wiring-setup
On the back of the track all the wiring is ran with the control box next to the start / finish area.
/theme/1-76 rc/58-night-time-fpv-racing-preview
I didn't want to over do the lights otherwise the camera white balance would be all over the place. But this little preview shows it looks 100% spot on.
/theme/1-76 rc/59-barrier-advert-banners-friends
Time for some banners on them barriers! Adverts for friends keeps me out of trouble lol. These banners are 98mm by 9mm in size!
/theme/1-76 rc/60-barrier-banners-preview
I used pritt stick to glue them on and it seems to have worked fine. None have fallen off even after being rammed into.
/theme/1-76 rc/61-banners-night-time-mode
Of course need to see how these look in night mode and I have to say .. it's damn nice.
/theme/1-76 rc/62-3d-printed-distance-markers
Even though I know ahead of time you're going so fast a lot is a blur.. so distance markers? yep I want them. Again TPU design printed super simple with raised numbers painted red.
/theme/1-76 rc/63-distance-markers-preview-at-scaled-points
A preview of the back straight. With the sausage curbs, barriers, banners, tree's, bushes and now distance markers this looks sweet AF.
/theme/1-76 rc/64-model-railway-trees-bushes
A completed top-down preview. The benefit of this track is its height including base. A mere 45mm means it can stand against the wall or go under the bed etc.
/theme/1-76 rc/65-start-finish-line-fpv-preview
A little preview from FPV perspective of a starting line up.

Wrap Up

/theme/1-76 rc/66-completed-race-track-fpv-racing-1-76-scale
There is much more I can do here but this project has grown way over size as it stands already. But future plans include track timer / lap counter, LCD display visible on FPV and more!
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