Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Update: Crawling forward through the Fall

Still have a ton of stuff going on this week, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet!

Firstly, a video of the latest iteration:

I realized that I've been taking things really...REALLY slow (GOOD! Last time I rushed things and made some mistakes)   but now I'm going so slow that I'm actually stopped for the most part. I plan on fixing this in the coming weeks once things chill out a bit. I need to get things back to a point where I can start adding my buildings back into the mix. I miss them a lot! That's the part I really enjoyed - moving the buildings around and city planning. I want to get there before 2018 hits....which is like...what? Two days away now? hehehehe   The "HOLLOWDAZE". Always so crazy. Why do we do it? Anyway.....

I have a weathering plan for this guy....

90 to 95% done with my friend Tom Barbalet's gift. :::grin::: Hope to get it to him in December for the holidays. He does so much for the model rail community with MODEL RAIL RADIO that I just wanted to give a little back.

I moved the shipping area over to where I had a train house previously. The train house will go away to make room for some more interesting, double rail switching in the shipping arena. I'm not a big operations guy, so this will be just fine for me and my small aspirations towards switching. :)

Not sure WHAT the old shipping area will be at the moment. Another station? Another industry? The latter sounds more interesting.

I'm still sorting out where I'm going to put a tunnel in. I know I want one, but it's just a matter of where. I was thinking that it might run by Soyokaze Temple, but I'm exploring options.

Lastly, I've added another tram to the mix. A TOMYTEC offering I dug. I popped their engine system in and the whole procedure took less than eight minutes!

The Railway Collection Kumamoto City Transportation Bureau Type 5000 (Final Painting) A (#5015) (Model Train)

TM-TR03 N-Gauge Power Unit For Railway Collection, for Road Surface 2 Articulated Car (Model Train)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

MOKUSEI DENSHA & KIKANSHA wooden train kits

Woody Joe is putting out some fun items. I love this wood kits. They come flat and you build them up. They run about $18 for the kit and another $18 for the power.

Can be found here on HOBBY SEARCH

They have a fun look! I might have to add a set to my layout at some point in the near future.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Small update for October

Busy? YUP! 

I have way too many hobbies, North Bay fire smoke messing with my already cold addled brain, and a small case of analysis paralysis I'm trying to deal with on three fronts.  So....I'll keep this quick. :)

Firstly, I did manage to spend 30 minutes on the track to make sure my EVA500 could make it around without derailing...before my new doggie escaped from the back yard (....maybe via a motorcycle and complex action plan...) and phone calls and fence repairs started. :::grin:::

But, I really have not done much more than that. I've dabbled in getting things running. I've plotted out some things here and there. Cleaned the track a few times. But...yeah, not much more. I was supposed to be working on a gift for a friend, but I got to the point where I was trying to work on it at night and just couldn't manage to get past getting all the supplies out! hehehe

Many factors there. Moving on.

I have been planning out some items on the layout that seem like they are transferring from paper to layout well. One of the areas is the massive elevator that will take harbor shipments up to the railroad section - the area on the right side of the photo on the left.

However, I want to get my backgrounds designed before doing much more. I figure that if I can get the backgrounds up BEFORE plastering and the like, I'll have more table space to navigate to get the background up.

Another paralysis point - background production and printing. Whew. I found a great site with all the HOW TO stuff called out (  Sumida Crossing ), which is a big help. I actually do motion graphics and design for a living, so I should be able to cobble something together. I just have to check printing costs.

I'm also playing around with the idea of another station on the layout. (photo on right)  It would make sense where it is. We'll see what shakes out from me sitting with it a while.

In Other News
I was recently shown the work of Shunichi Matsuba and I was blown away. Great stuff! He's a true artist. His details are amazing. He's definitely being added to my HOBBY HERO list!

Some fantastic detail work!!!   Look at this comparison!

Ok...that's all I can muster at the moment. :)

Happy Modeling!


Monday, September 18, 2017

The slow burn of layout creation continues

The busy Dad got a little time to play around with the layout this weekend. This time I focused on the Harbor and Temple hillsides and the tram loop. Yes, the tram loop finally got some love! :)


So, I wanted a little more height to the temple hill. Nothing TOO crazy, but a little more. I wanted to get some more area for trees and the like, so I'm going to do away with the parking area and have the whole hill be the temple space. There will be a parking area at the base and people will be able to walk up a ramp or switchback path to get to the temple.

The overall height is where I want it now. I just need to get things level and even before I lock it down and plaster.  I also want to make sure my little elevator idea is going to work in the space. (Mentioned at the bottom of this post... )

I'm also not 100% on the water area in the harbor. I might break out my boats to make sure that there is room if I make the water portion smaller. I don't want things to be cluttered and I liked the way the fishing boats looked in the previous version. We'll see.

 I'm also looking forward to trying my Photoshop background project. Before I work with the plaster and all, I'd dial in the background, replacing the blue that I have up now with a planned and finessed Photoshop created background. This background would be tuned to line up with the areas that are currently on my layout. Roads, the ocean, fields and trees would line up with the modules and a nice, faded back view of distant mountains will be seen. I'll do the same thing in the Shizuka city section. Seeing as I do motion graphics and design for a living, I'm hoping that I'll be able to pull things together! hehehehe  The size is going to be interesting at 12 feet, but I am going to see if I can work in sections. I also need to check on printing costs.

And finally, I went back to a longer tram loop that will go through the whole of Soyokaze Old Town and Soyokaze Village. I think this will add a little more visual interest when the buildings are flowed back into the scene - the tram passing between and behind buildings as is makes its way. 

Again, not rushing is both challenging and rewarding. I'm just making sure I continue to more forward. For a minute there, I was going so slow that I was actually stopped. I would stand and stare at the layout and just be baffled about what to do next, so I'd end up just walking away. It seems like things are at a slow and steady pace now.

I need to make sure the track is level and make sure I take the time needed to clean up the mess left from the previous layout before moving ahead. While some areas will be fine, others need to be scraped and cleaned before I can re-work the scenery and track. This is proving to be a pain - the glue I used is REALLY good...and not coming off very well. hehehehe  Live and learn.

Planning where things are going is going to be a biggie as well. I need to see where roads will go, where buildings may be, and how the whole of them interact with the track. All of which I love doing! :) 

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Another layout revamp - again, for the better!

My goofy-ball daughter :)

I went through another round of track organizing and design post-vacation. I came back with a fresh view of what I wanted and what I was aiming for and, again, the slower pace paid off.

Video Update:

So...I was looking at the layout space and saw that I still had some squirrely bits on it that didn't make sense. I also had added a switch before my vacation only to find out that it caused an electrical fail that ruined my setup. 

I addressed the electrics first. It turned out that I just had a feeder in place that was botching the works at one point. I t was grand as well because I solved the issue right before heading out to buy more gear to try and fix the problem. Saved myself some cash. :) 

Then it was on to the bits that didn't work for me. Mainly the lack of space in the harbor area.

It was really congested and  I didn't think it made sense having a high speed rail line zoom past a fishing harbor scene. The line pushed the freight line out and ate up a lot of space. So, I moved the sucker. hehehehe

The original setup:

The new arrangement:

 This also fixed another area I wasn't thrilled with - this switch where the high speed rail had to do a little sweep out. It looked awkward when the high speed trains ran through it. Seeing the freight do it was kinda cool, but the other trains looked odd.


The new arrangement has the high speed line as a straight shot right through while the freight line pops out - it's working for me.

I also get a better auto underpass which checks off another box for me. I might raise the road, then drop it as it goes under the bridge. I'll have to see how it goes as I start in on that side of the planning.

I took the switch from the old arrangement and moved it over to the shipping area which allowed me to make that space longer. Another want checked off.


This is a better setup, but it introduced another issue- the height of the buildings and rails in relation to the water area. I had planned on raising the water level, but saw that it was going to introduce some other issues I honestly didn't want to deal with. hehehehe   But now, the rail area where I wanted to have loading of fish and the like is WAY higher than the building area. The image below is showing the buildings on the pink foam, but they are really going to be on the deck. (where the wood shows in the bottom right corner )  I was wondering how I was going to get fish loaded on the trains at that height. I couldn't take the train down in the space I had to work with - I was already up two inches there.

I was looking a a bunch of options to drive trucks up on little roads and the like, but all that seemed silly. Then I thought, "Why not add a little interest and whimsy in here at this point? Some magical realism."  Like...a funicular lifting system that can be loaded up and then goods elevated up to the train space! 

I looked at a few options like this truck lifter.....

But then I found this nugget and fell in love with the idea.

The Lärchwandschrägaufzug.

So, people will load at the bottom by the harbor buildings in an area like the one pictured below....

Then the items ( of the little load wagons....forklifts....etc....) will be trucked up the hill to the loading staging area by the train. I want to have enough space there for the train to ave a loading space around it where people can work and move things around. Again, another great scene space to flesh out.

I'm going to scratch build the whole thing so it will be all mine, but I'll base the mechanics on the Lärchwandschrägaufzug. I love the look and feel. 

I might incorporate some other bits from other setups. I need to do some cherry picking of elements I see here and there when I Frankenstein my version together.

So....again...taking my time and planning things out is proving to be the wiser thing to do. Now that I've had some time to see what it is I really enjoy, I've been able to fold those elements into play. I highly recommend this approach.

I also need to continue building out the little diorama I'm putting together for a friend. I had to put it on hold due to vacations and family items, but I have it back on deck and hope to complete it in the next week or two so I can schedule a time to deliver it. Photos to follow.

Comments welcome!