K'Nex have released a model coaster kit which, due to consultations with the industry, is a very realistic representation of a model steel coaster. And it's extendable too! At the moment, I have two kits and have created my own custom layout. When I can find the room and the cash, I would like to obtain a further kit to make it even bigger.

The model currently consists of a lift hill five feet high (in scale terms, this would equate to about 90 feet), and then a vertical drop. There is then a rise into a swooping left hand drop before a vertical loop which is followed quickly by a heartline twist. Yes, I managed to concoct a heartline! There isn't quite enough energy left to make it back to the main lift hill, so I've put in a further small lift hill which takes the train into a 640° helix before the main lift.

I would eventually like to take the lift hill up to the ceiling (about 7 feet high) which should give me enough energy for: a vertical drop, a diving loop, an airtime hill, swooping drop, vertical loop, and heartline. I'd also like to include a high-G helix and an S-curve section, but I'm not sure how much energy there will be left. I could always use the second lift hill trick again...


Pictures - click for larger, higher quality images

First half of course

Vertical drop

Vertical drop with train

Looking down the swooping drop

Swooping drop and vertical loop

Vertical loop

Entering the Heartline

Looking down the Heartline

Second lift hill and helix

Hints & Tips

Some tips for those of you who might be contemplating building a model from the K'Nex kits:

The way the track is constructed, it's also perfectly possible to make the coaster a suspended model. I'd love to build my own Nemesis clone! However, it would be necessary to detach the wheel mechanism from the trains (easy enough, they're simply screwed on) and then somehow make your own trains and attach them to the wheels, as of course the original trains would be upside-down! Also, I'm not quite sure how to construct the lift hill - the rod underneath the train that engages with the chain needs gravity to operate - and the layout would also need more scaffolding as the track would have to be supported from above and not below.

The next thing to think about is what to call my coaster. It needs a name, but I'm having a hard time trying to come up with something decent. Should I take inspiration from the great names dreamed up for existing coasters?

Maybe not.

Also take a look at Chris Brewer's amazing Model Coasters.

I have set up a WebRing to link together Screamin' Serpent sites: