Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trains running N•RAIL video - January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Ok...that's the last time I'm going to say that this year.
It's over. Let's move on! :)



I broke out the REAL camera and shot some footage of my trains running the other night after work. Not that the iPhone camera is bad - not at all. It's a great camera, but doesn't compare to the big and beautiful footage I get from the Sony. :)

I made an effort to have a little narrative going this round we well. Not quick, music video cuts, but longer cinematic cuts so the view can take in the scene a bit more. It also shows the trains moving along the routes a bit more this way. Let me know if it's working for you folks!




I'm still amazed when I see these videos, to be honest. When I look at the start of my hobby time and see where I am now, I'm happy and thankful for what I have here.

Cheers!



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Fantastic Gift from my Boss


I was pleasantly surprised when a box from my boss arrived this vacation. I opened it and found a wrapped gift. Within that, a....cigar box.



"Did he buy me cigars?"

Then I saw the cord. I opened it up and found a little treasure within. This fun little Christmas train!



 It turns out that my boss knows someone that creates the inner workings for these. (Luis - correct me if I'm wrong in the comments!) Luis - my boss - worked up this piece for me. I watched it go round with a huge smile on my face. I wasn't sure what it was about it besides the obvious - it being a great gift. But, then it dawned on me. I reminded me of the old Lionel rain I had as a kid.


It was grand. It had a chuff that was a wheel found in the tender. The little train here reminded me of it for some reason.




It's a wonderful gift that I'll keep out all year and will highlight at Christmas time. I love it! :)





The simple look of it is grand. A sparkling paper, the candy canes, and a small tree in the center of it all. So grand.


The train itself runs with magnets. I still need to pry it up and take a look at the internal workings.







Thanks again, Luis! :)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Too busy to actually blog at the moment. :)

So....here are some photos!




New walking path between Kiwamura and Shizuka


 
Tank addition








Car and truck weathering











HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 23, 2016

More little projects...and another VIDEO!


I'm keeping my mantra of "Any work is good work" for my hobby stuff.I made a real effort to drag myself through work projects this week and didn't sneak over to my layout except for a few times, but the work efforts were so bad that I should have just abandoned work and done a week of hobby stuff! hehehe  Oh well...at least I tried. 

With that said, I did a video on Tuesday after doing a few hobby sessions to dial some items in on my list. I'm happy that I keep moving forward and detailing. SO MUCH detailing to do.

The video in question:



I want to do another video with my good camera this holiday break. Clean the tracks and have some trains running and the like. We'll see if that happens. :) 



Two major dental visits this week and looming work didn't stop me from chipping away at hobby items. A few minutes here and there really does make a difference. Especially if you fold some night work in as well. 

One of the items I dialed in this round was the end of the Uniplate section towards the front of Shizuka. My solution for now was just a simple styrene setup to continue the roadway out. You can see the section in the center of the photo below. I still have a track that runs nowhere, but I might hid it a bit with some sort of detail. We'll see. The pedestrian overpass will branch off a walkway from the station and will lead up to the sidewalk section and plaza area.


I just used a bit of foam core for the plaza area.



In one of my night sessions, I added a few people, edge pieces for the foam core, and a few other details. I want more people about, but I'll add them later.




And, as I pointed out in my video, I had placed a building in front of this little stairway section and forgot to move it. I peeked around it the other day and had a laugh. "Well, I totally forgot about that." I moved the building and sprayed the stairs and wall section. I'll go back in and detail them a bit in a future session.



I've also been playing around with the arrangement of Shizuka - moving buildings around when on meetings and in-between tasks. I looked it over and said, "I need to do one more major mix-up here," and started shifting buildings off and around. One was removed - a small store that was basically a small, flat box that wasn't really buying me anything. That's going to move over to my daughters' layout that I'm hoping to spend some time on this break.

The new arrangement of Shizuka is working well. I added a new Uniplate, switched a lot around, and I'm digging it more than I have in a long while now.





It's actually changed a little bit since I took this photo. hehehe  Little shifts here and there. I'll take additional photos at some point.


I did a little more work on the small walkway that leads up and through the building section on the right side of Shizuka. I added a fence and some car boundary bumpers (cut sprue pieces I saved because of their awesome color and rounded edges.) and I dig how it's shaping up. Another round of detailing and people additions and I think it'll be good.



So, Shizuka is shaping up!




A few issues and items here and there, but nothing that can't be addressed:

• I need to address the backdrop at some point. It needs to be higher to accommodate shots of the city and the taller buildings. I also some some work on the MODEL RAIL RADIO Facebook page that I wanted to try out. Robby Bambino had a cool little process for background buildings that didn't require building out flats. It was simply foam core with buildings printed and pasted to it. Very smart! I think that would work well for my layout with the right selection of building photos.



 • I'm still needing more power to my rails, I think. Sadly, this might require some pulling up of areas and the like. And, more purchases, of course. This is where being able to wire things and the like would come in handy, of course. 


• I'm still looking for a good solution for sticking people down. There are certain glues that work well and fast (like Ducco), but over time the people sort of fall down. I've used Testors liquid cement for some figures going on styrene, but it's still a slow process. I watched a video featuring my hero  Akihiro Morohoshi  where he has something on them that allows him to simply pick them up with a tool and place them without so much as a small shift in their position, but I have no idea what he used. Most likely some cool, Japanese product like MR FIGURE STICK! hehehehe  Oh, how I would love to be able to walk into a hobby store like some of the ones in Japan. :::heavy sigh:::

• I'm looking at using .06" / 60pt cardstock or chipboard for sidewalks. If money wasn't an object, I'd just use styrene or purchase some of the cool sidewalk offerings out there, but money IS an issue! hehehe  I need to come up with a solution that will work long term, be relatively easy to work with, and will be financially doable as well. If anyone has any feedback on that, it'd be grand. I know the Great And Powerful Quinntopia  (another fantastic modeler!) showed some great work he was doing with card for sidewalks. It seems like a viable option with the right weathering and detailing.

• And one issue that's finally here - reaching the back of the Shizuka section for painting and detailing. hehehehe   I knew it was going to be an issue, but put it on the back burner. Now, I'm starting to look at detailing some of the areas back there and I've been presented with a few head scratcher moments. "Hmmmm...how am I gonna get back there....."   :)



With that, I wish you and yours a fantastic Holiday Season!  Maybe I'll have one last video before 2017 jumps into play. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pre-Hollow Daze iPhone Overview Video


Just a little overview video before the full madness of the Hollow Daze hits. I've been battling multiple kid holiday presentations and the like this month, so most of my hobby time has been flying out the window. However, I managed to get some things done.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Taking a look back at my layout


While I have a TON of "real world" things to be thankful for this week, I also have some fun, train related items to be very thankful for. To finally have all my various N scale cities in one location is really an amazing thing for me. I was talking about it for ages and now it's a reality.

The start of the whole of it was a simple Kato Unitram set. I still remember when it came in and I got to set it up. I had two drawers in my bedroom and the set fit on top perfectly.

July 3, 2010 - the first time running the Unitram



I ended up going a bit crazy in the purchasing department. Have a bit of a "go for it" ok from my wife was great, but I started purchasing items without planning it out first and ended up running out of space rapidly.


I ended up splitting my set up, taking the Unitram stuff off to work and keeping my older style Soyokaze stuff at home on my dressers. This worked well - I got to have a trail presence at work which helped when the calls got boring. It was great being able to break up the work day by running trams around at work.

The Soyokaze set at home was fun as well.  We lived in San Francisco in a small, two bedroom apartment and space was tight. I used a hard packed white foam for the base and sculpted it by pressing it and compressing it down into roadway ramps and the like - all on a plywood base I could move upstairs and down to work on.

After the buildings were set in place, I was able to drill through the wood and use the Tomytec sand alone lighting pack to light the buildings. Worked like a charm. A few layers of paint and Woodland Scenics scenery materials and things were looking good.


I used the same plywood base trick for my harbor area. This allowed me to move it around easily if I wanted to be downstairs to hang with my wife while I worked.



The two sections went together and provided a rather seamless experience.



The train station area was done in the same way.



KATO UNITRAM WORK LAYOUT

This was the fun little Unitram layout I moved to work. A ton of fun that kept evolving with each passing day. I'd move stuff around from time to time as a break from work. 
 
Feb 9th, 2012 - Work layout


I'd bring buildings home, detail them and people the insides, then I'd bring he completed building back to work and place them on the layout.  It worked well, but there would be times where I'd have time to work on things suddenly, but I wouldn't have the building home to work on.




Shortly after all of this was coming together, I discovered MODEL RAIL RADIO - a fantastic, interactive model railroad podcast. The show runner - Tom Barbalet - was super friendly and made the experience of being on a live recorded podcast a breeze.

Here's the link to the first show I was on. (Around the 2 hour 49 min mark)
http://www.modelrailradio.com/archive.html#44

And now....this....



I've managed to have a lot of fun in this hobby. For that, I'm eternally thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!