25 november 2011

Ventus - K'nex coaster

This is my new coaster, Ventus. The Ventus were the Gods of winds. Now K'nex-man are able to experience that wind! When they rage along the twisty track, over paths and though tunnels, they will know what real wind is. Featuring one 97* drop, 3 inversions and 5 spots of airtime, this twisty eurofighter has it all. It took 3 months to build this beast, with much help from sscoasters.com. 

I made a summary of each update I posted at sscoasters.com. I included pictures, what I did

Update 1 - Lift hill, expected layout and base
This was the first update for the coaster. After one day of building, the lift and drop were done (without motor). The base that is shown in the picture were changed completely. The curve was pushed two rods further away from the lift, many other base parts were added later. The lift didn't change afterwards, though. 
Here you see the initially planned layout. It was a very basic layout, because I wanted to enter it in a contest on sscoasters, called the 'Summer Heat'. That would require me to build it in 2 weeks, so I decided to do a simple, but cool layout. The layout has changed a lot, but in the basics it's pretty much the same.

Update 2 - Dog tongue
In this update I build the Dog Tongue. This was instead of the Overbank, since I thought this was cooler. Later I've had a lot of troubles with this element, because there is a lot of stress on the spine, so it snaps sometimes.
The train did just make this element by then. It was an old, much used car which I replaced with another one later in the construction. The layout was still basically the same, only the overbank was replaced with a Dog Tongue, and the downwards airhill would be replaced with a high-speed overbank.

Update 3: High-speed overbank
Next up was the planned high-speed overbank. For this element, to switch from the metal to plastic style track, I made a special track part from that, which you can see here.
The train flew through this element with an amazing speed, but I didn't like the look of it. Somehow it looked bumpy and not clean. It also got deformed a lot, because of huge stress on the spine.
The layout had also to be changed a bit: Instead of the ejector hill I had to make it a intimidator305-style turn, because the end of the immelman (before a dive loop) aimed in the direction of the overbank.

Update 4: Hill and inclined dive loop
The high-speed overbank was killing my speed. After that overbank I could go only 10 cm up - way too low to finish my layout. That's why I decided to remove it, and change it for a hill, followed by a 'inclined dive loop' or 'inverted turnaround', just like you want to call it. The supports for this part were far from final.
I was very happy with the speed this update. It came through everything with a decent speed, and I expected it to go way slower.
The layout changed again a bit, but the intimidator305-style turn and the other parts of the ride would stay the same, according to what I wanted. 
This was also the first update to use the name Venti, which is a modernized version of the name Ventus.

Update 5:  Turn, new layout and better supports
This update was the name changed to Ventus. With a poll on sscoasters the most people chose Ventus over Venti, so the name changed. 
This update showed the improved supports, and the first part from the turn. The layout had changed again: Now I wanted an airhill over the valley between the Dog Tongue and the first airhill, a turn after that through the Dog Tongue, hearth-line roll parallel to the drop and brakes over the turn. A layout which is close to the final one.
With this update I exceeded the time limit for the Summer Heat. The next contest I wanted to have finished it was the SSC awards.

Update 6: Airhill
I added the airhill over the valley this time, and I loved the look of it. It reminded me of waves, how the two airhills crossed eachother on the picture. The preparations for the turn through the Dog tongue were also made. 
This was also the point were I started to have problems with the speed. Sometimes the car maked the airhill, sometimes it didn't make it. From here, the speed problems would get bigger and bigger.

Update 7: Turn, Hearth-line roll and brakes
After this update I was really close to finishing. I added the turn, hearth-line roll and brakes (without catwalk). The train often didn't make it, or it stalled at the hearth-line roll. I also was not really happy with this layout, so I made up plans to improve the layout. First thing I tried was to add another hearth-line roll, but that didn't work out. Side-friction is stopping the car, since the car has no side-wheels. The second option was to leave this brake as MCBR, and add a twisty part with corkscrew into the final brakes. 
Both options didn't work out, so I made a new plan: a turn over the valley between the dive loop and small airhill, and a small twisty section afterwards.

Update 8: Theming, motor, final layout
Finally, the ride had a final layout. A dive under a bridge and an airhill to the final brakes. This update I also added the first part of the scenery, a path and a bridge. The chain was also working for the first time, which was quite hard to get running. 
Still, the trains did not make the layout yet. They stalled on the hearthline roll or on the turn. I tried a lot of things by then, and all didn't work out. 
There was one speed improvement at this point: I got a new car, and even un-weighted it did go faster than the previous ones! Sadly, the speed was still not enough to clear the turn after the hearth-line roll, but it got through the hearth-line roll easily.

Update 9:  Complete circuit!
Finally, the trackwork was done. I improved the turn already, and it just didn't make it yet. When I pushed the car through it, it came through the track until the last turn.
I was really happy with this layout. Compact, twisty, gets all speed out of my cars. I really couldn't add even one more hill to the layout. 
Now I just needed to do all the theming work. At this picture, you see already all white rods on the paths, making them look much cleaner. I wanted to add a queue, station, shop and some plants.

Update 10: Theming
This was the first theming update. At this point the paths were done, the shop was made, and some plants. The plants were added around the supports. At this picture, you see one on the left, and some parts of plants on the right-bottom.
I also added the walls to the paths. That made the structure look very clean, much better than before. 
Everything that was left to do now were the queue and station, and getting the train over that stupid turn.

Update 11:  Station, Queue
Now the coaster was finished! I added two bridges, some lines and a tunnel for the queue, and an exit. All other details on the coaster were finished too. 
I finally found a solution for the speed problem: I washed my cars with water. At first the cars got slower, and I got very frustrated. I had cars that came almost through the layout, and now they didn't complete even half the layout. I decided to wait. After a whole day, the cars did make it finally! 

Thanks for reading!

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