Hello, I'm Ken Hartlen (aka Coaster),
I'm currently living in Toronto, Ontario Canada. and earning a living as a
View looking at south east Toronto over the
Don Valley Parkway towards the Lake Ontario shoreline from my
I was given this nickname when we were putting together a company
softball team and we needed unique uniform names. Coaster, because I'm
originally from the east coast of Canada and that I'm a roller coaster
nut and spend a lot of time riding the roller coasters at
Canada's Wonderland. An excellent site dedicated to Paramount
Wonderland (PCW) is PCW
Junkies that has statistics, photos, and some videos of the park's
Although I am very interested in motorcycles, I do not ride one. But I
an Honda All Terrain Vehicle
seeing the K'NEX Screamin'
commercial back in 2001-2002, I was quick to get a set since I like
roller coasters so much.
huge when built, at 183cm (72") x 61cm (24") x 91.5cm (36") and
has 1280 pieces and a 140pg (8.5"x11") instruction book. The sound
effects box is incredibly cool. Hear the click...click... of the lift
then the riders' screams as they plunge done the hill. The sound
uses a light sensor to detect the passing train and then starts
The next K'NEX offering was the Rippin' Rocket. Rather than a
light chain, this set used to motors with spinning wheels to launch the
cars. I never did get my hands on one of these as I was out of
work at the time and avoided such unnecessary temptations.
The K'NEX Shark Run uses the same coaster
parts as the Screamin' Serpent
and Rippin' Rocket, but this set is a modest
size in comparison. Much less work to set up and take up less space.
Unfortunately, also a short ride around the track. The car is a surfer
figure riding the track 'waves'.
The most recent (2005) K'NEX offering is the Vertical Vengeance. This set
uses new "Micro Parts" that are about 40% smaller than the standard
K'NEX parts. The advantage of this is that a much more complex coaster
can be set up in a smaller space. The Screamin'
Serpent has 23ft of track compared to the 33ft with the Vertical Vengeance. This makes for
a longer ride to watch .
The next K'NEX coaster will be called the Renegade Run. This set will also
use the "Micro Parts", but will only include 19ft of track.
So, like the Shark Run, a smaller set for quick set up and with minimal
Realistic Working Roller Coaster Models!!
While the K'NEX coaster sets are fun, they don't look realistic. If
you want a working roller coaster that looks like the real thing, then
you'll want to check out the sets available from CoasterDynamix. The models
you simply have to watch the videos
to see them in operation. Then you'll want one!
About The Site
developed this site on my own. Originally it started as a learning tool
how to build a website and create HTML documents. My site has gone
several major revisions over the last couple of years. Each time trying
the site more user friendly and informative.
The current look and feel of the site was influenced by two books
recommend to any aspiring web designers. They are:
And to make page maintenance easier, I developed a program that will
template and content files and build the final HTML pages. This makes
'look & feel' changes to the site very easy and less laborious.
Some Reader Feedback
I just had to drop a note and say "Wow, I'm truly impressed!"
Both with your modeling skill AND the web page.
Great website, I've added it to my 'favorites' on my PC. - Glenn
Congratulations great site in motorcycles!!!!! - Marco
I truly enjoyed your website. It is by far, for me, one of the
informative sites I've ever been on. Outstanding job. - Paul
Very nice work Ken. Every so often you see a picture of a model
you ask "is it real or is it Memorex"? Thanks for the pics and
I came across your web-site more by accident than design, but
having done so I must congratulate you on a truly professional site. It
really is an excellent source of information on all things motorcycle
kit construction related.
- Keith Bristow
OMG !!! man your website is, I must say it LOUD !!! , the best
thing I've seen in a long time!
Great infos, techniques and much much more...too much for me ! -
My name is Adam. I, like many others it seems, found your site by
I have to say, you have done a phenomenal job. - Adam Watson
Thanks to Ken's help, I took second place in a contest a couple
of years with my first MC kit.
- Jarvis Offield