Last updated on April 28th, 2019 at 06:17 pm
Open 7zip file.
Navigate through MODSRussell-Alexis_Mk14, extract content + system folder to AC root folder.
Does not overwrite stock files.
Stereo – 3d model, textures, physics
Ryno917 – skins
mclarenf1papa – physics polish
Gary Paterson – driver animations
Kunos – audio from the Alfa Romeo GTA
hhh316 – sand detail image
What is a Russell-Alexis Mk.14?
Alex Francis and Bill Harris formed the original Alexis brand in the 1950s to produce small open-wheel vehicles for Formula Junior. In 1967, the Formula Ford spec series was finalized, and Jim Russell worked in concert with Alexis to manufacture one of the first series-specific chassis, the Russell-Alexis Mk.14, which were used at Russell’s racing school.
Their primary competitor in 1967 was the Lotus type 51, which was a modified Formula Junior chassis. The main difference in the two was the Renault transmission used in the Lotus, which frequently failed, until the 51b replaced it with the same Hewland transaxle that the Russell-Alexis Mk.14 used. In 1967 and 1968 the Mk.14 won multiple national championships in Formula Ford.
The series proved popular and by the end of the 60s there were a half-dozen manufacturers producing quite similar vehicles, including the Alexis Mk.15. However, Alex Francis was no longer interested in the mass production of small-profit chassis and sold the business to Allan Taylor, who produced several more Formula Junior, Formula Three, and Formula Ford chassis in small numbers before closing the business in around 1972.
It’s a 50 year old car, of which originally less than a hundred were hand built. The mod represents one of these as it would run in current vintage Formula Ford series. This means that some aspects of the physics are arbitrarily decided; for example, the tires and dampers are wear items and something plausible was provided, since users could replace them anyway. The two tire compounds are labelled North and East because they would be running in different series; North is a 90s Formula specific radial with a stiffer sidewall, East is a 60s generally available car tire – in the 60s road cars would actually run on 165/55s, by the 90s no new cars were using such a small tire. Both are a fairly hard long-wearing compound.
The default spring settings match period setups for the car, which are quite soft, but a wide range of spring settings are available.
The brake bias and antirollbars default to a fairly safe setup; even so on cold tires the car is happy to wander around the road.
The engine is a healthy 1.6L Ford “Kent” stock block and pushrod 8 valve head, as specified in the series rules. It probably has been fine tuned to more power than it had in 1967, generating over 100 horsepower, but to be fair, safety regulation changes have made the car heavier.
Gearsets are a fairly thorough catalogue of available parts for the Hewland mark 7 and 8 transmissions.
The Mod Itself
It’s been a long time coming. I threw the first few pieces together in late 2015, after deciding that AC lacked a straightforward, lightweight no-downforce single-seater. Over the next year I built a fairly complete model, and at the beginning of 2017 I went into what I thought was the final push. Get everything unwrapped, textured, a few final missing objects, done.
Obviously that effort never finished, I had other work to do. It sat untouched for a bit more than a year while I made the Ford F350, Dodge Monaco, played with custom shaders, and worked on another unannounced project. I am not especially good at working on more than one mod at a time. This November I finally made room in my schedule and banged out the final 70-80 object unwraps. (as it stands it has a slightly terrifying 149 separate objects, many of which are animated)
Bringing onboard one of the new shaders allowed a never-before-seen level of graphical accuracy. The brass bolts look like brass. Skins have gloss paint and metallic sheens living in harmony. It’s finally looking how I want it.
The long timeline has led to a somewhat uneven quality – the model overall is 130,000 triangles, half what more recent official cars for AC have. Just the nature of hobby projects I suppose. I don’t feel like it’s lacking, but there are certainly signs of age on the model. Well, 3 years. It happens.
Wireframe and body AO are provided in the car’s folder, along with more detailed instructions on what textures to use.
Custom shader is only fully compatible with the original showroom, not the CM one.
With the Shader Lights Patch active, one of the hoses does something weird, and dashboard can get odd shadows. The easiest solution is disable Shader patch entirely. But to be particular, Particles FX and Fake Shadows FX cause problems and can be disabled individually.
Some AI parameters are a mystery to me, I haven’t seen them crashing so I haven’t tweaked them. I just don’t drive with AI enough to find out their issues.
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