Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sankei Good Old Diorama Series : Buffet B




I had a little hobby and movies time this past weekend. I had the house to myself and I was sick, so the choice to actually sit and build the paper kit I was sitting on came a bit easier. There were no major tasks I was going to take on in the house and a bike ride was out of the question. :)

The kit was the Sankei Buffet B kit. I hated it and cursed at it all the way through the building process! heheheheh







I've built these kits before and I have my systems down for sure. I know I need to take my time, use the right glue, and "measure twice and cut once" when it comes to the process - especially with this ROKET CARD GLUE I use. There's no turning back once you put the pieces together. But, for some reason, this kit was a real bear to get right.

I think some of it was me being sick - I definitely wasn't 100%.  The building's angles were an issue, as well. The instructions - usually spot on - were a bit off and hard to fathom in spots. Basically a perfect storm for things to go wrong!


I was plugging away and things started to not fit and line up like they usually do. I was starting to get frustrated, so I walked away for a minute after remembering that I tell my daughter to do that when she's starting to get angry at her projects. It worked and I was able to calm down a bit...ALL FOUR TIMES that I walked away from this sucker. heh

I even managed to squish a wall as I tried to get something to fit. That's something I had not done since my first few times building these kits - I've learned that you can't apply as much pressure as you can with plastic kits. Not at all.

I resorted to a pair of snips at one point - removing some tabs that were not syncing up.

The upside was that I've gotten FAR better working with the smaller card pieces. Again, systems. Like using the knife to snag and apply smaller items.


I finally started cutting some additional corners, aiming to have the front look good and sacrificing items on the back side of the building that would be less visible. The result was FAR better than I expected. I thought this was going to be dumped in the far....FAR back of the layout....behind some trees, maybe. hehehe  Turned out ok.


Again, the back has the most issues. The roof doesn't hit the wall on the one side, there's glue showing on the wood slat parts, and things just look so dern sloppy. :(  I need to address the edges of the paper that makes up the roof as well. They are always so thick that you need to dull the edges a bit to avoid that bright white line at the edges.


Large, open gap between the wall corners and rooftop

But, again, this is N scale and the three foot rule applies!  It looks better from a distance. Especially since the back isn't visible. I'm going to build a base foundation for it as well. That will help to lock it into the scene.




I was going to quit Sankei kits, but after seeing the result of a BAD build, I think I might get a few more to fill in the new pink foam sections at the back of the layout space.  I do like the details and the overall looks of the Sankei kits.

 I might get these guys - a ramen house and warehouse space.






I need to play around with weathering these kits. I might look into weathering powders or pastels. It'll give me another level of details to play with later.

I like keeping little items in the back of my mind - like paper kit weathering or little things I'd like to tackle like adding more water to the layout space somewhere at some point. A pond of little pool of water. As I'm working with the space, I can keep an eye out for places and details where things like this might fit.

A MODEL RAIL RADIO Facebook page member suggested that I might drop a THUNDERBIRD 2 (from the TV show THUNDERBIRDS) scene into the mix somewhere. It just might happen now that my kaiju monster idea has been back-burnered for a moment!


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Monday, May 16, 2016

May Planning iPhone Quickie Video




Well, I'm doing more plotting and planning on this side. I have a day off planned this week - or, at least half a day. Then I have a large set of hours this weekend set from sometime Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, so I hope to get some good work done during the time allotted! Leaving time for some house cleaning and movies in there as well because I'm driven like that. :)

I've worked on some signage and planning for my time off.


VIDEO -


ONWARD!

The little building I have for my Dad on the layout got new signs

I added additional signs on several buildings including some posters for CIVIL WAR...which I have yet to see. :(

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Japanese Modules by K Ryouichi




Just a few in house Japanese modules set up by someone I follow on YouTube. ((K Ryouichi))  I thought I'd share.

These complex lovelies are just placed together on a temporary basis, I believe, but look at all the action available! I thought it might be inspiration for someone who might not have a lot of space, but who would enjoy running trains all the same. Maybe a modular setup that could be put up and stripped down with ease would be the way to go!

From the YouTube post:
"Course of the double loop by connecting the modular layout of the N-Gage in the apartment of the living tried to create. Since the double track of a 2-track, but running unfazed 4 train so they are running 2 organized into one track has. Model railroad blog iron also of room N gauge of self-made layout, railway facilities, such as the state of the diorama Exhibition http://tetsumonoheya.seesaa.net/ "



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tomytec Mini Train Operation Set

Ok...this is just cute. :)

For roughly $85 plus shipping (( http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10368166 )), you can have a little train to run your Japanese small scale figures around on! hehehehe  I think it's super cute and, yes, I have figures that I could use this with. ::grin:::

No, I won't be buying this, but I think it warrants a post for the cute factor. 

Though...I may pick up the train car itself as a little stand alone fun thing. :)
http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10368167


The little figure is cute too.....hmmmm....
http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10328332

Then I really should get the $250 light up train display for her as well....   :)
http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10377958





Yeah...none of that is going to happen. :)










Thunderbird 2 in N scale

Oh no.....

THUNDERBIRD 2 in 1/144 scale!!!!!   I...I think I need to purchase it.....

Think about the photo potential on my layout! :)

It's put out in magazine issue form. There are 80 issues - each with a piece of the kit.  Each issue is about $4.25, so to do the whole kit, it would be about $340! Yowch! hehehehe  PLUS shipping!

OH WAIT! I was wrong. Most of the mags are around $16 bringing the total up to around $1280! Yikes. The saving grace is that you're buying in $16 to $20 pieces. 

http://deagostini.jp/tbk/

Hobby Link Japan has them as of the time of this posting -
http://hlj.com/scripts/hljlist?GenreCode2=all&Word=deagostini+thunderbird&x=0&y=0









Friday, May 6, 2016

Soyokazi Stories: Lost, Found, and Indifferent

MUSIC
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Yuko Komiyama watched as the tram slipped past her window. Jet black and glistening, it glided past smoothly and quietly. She tried to scan the rider's faces, but the angle made it difficult. She wasn't sure what she had hoped to see. Maybe someone familiar?


She narrowed her eyes and let her mind drift as she watched the people scurry in the street outside the small office space she occupied. All those people, yet she still felt so alone. So…uncared for.
She adjusted her position on her seat when she heard footsteps coming towards her and felt the cushion press into the backs of her legs uncomfortably. 
Ohayou! How is Kowai Neko today?” The loud woman peeked around the corner of the cube wall and beamed at Yuko brightly, handing her a cup of tea in a small cup in the shape of a cat face.  Her hair was short and her face round and friendly.

“Please – I don’t like that nickname. I’m not a scared cat.” Yuko accepted the tea with a small bow of her head and glanced out the window. The tram was gone.

“Oh – “ the woman said with a wave of her hand. “Just playing. You know.” She saw that Yuko wasn’t smiling and said, “I’ll stop, Yuko.” She smiled again and sat in the empty chair across from Yuko’s.  “Are we still going out tonight?”

“I suppose.” Yuko turned to face her coworker. June was her only real friend in the office. They had worked together for over a year and seemed to be the only ones that carried on non-work related conversations. This made Yuko happy, but sad at the same time. Were they outcasts? To horrid to speak to?

Ohayou gozaimasu,” came a curt and rough voice.

June and Yuko smelled cigarette smoke and knew who it was before seeing him. They both stood and smiled saying,  “Ohayou gozaimasu,” in unison. Their boss raised a hand in greeting and smiled without slowing his step. They watched him enter his office. Yuko sat back down. June remained standing.

“I’ll talk to you later.” June nodded and Yuko returned the nod before turning to face her screen again.

Her email program – open and too bright – stared back at her blankly. Yuko cursed it in her mind and adjusted the computer’s brightness.  She read the first line of the new set of emails in the inbox, but the words swam and she didn’t really think about their meaning.

Another sing song chime whispered from the computer and another email came in, this time from her boss. She sighed and moved the mouse to click, but swept past the email and around it with the curser. She moved the mouse back and forth over the email list absently with no intent on clicking a single one. Not yet.

Another chime. Another email. Again, from her boss.

She lifted her hand off her mouse and rubbed her right wrist as she turned to stare out her window again.

She eyed the sweet shop below with longing. What must it be like to work there, she wondered. The lovely little pink uniforms they wore. The friendly greetings they got to call out as each customer entered and left the store. She smiled at the thought. It must be lovely.

“Excuse me, Ms. Komiyama?”

Yuko gasped and crossed her arms before her as she jumped up from her chair. She gulped in a breath and smiled as the wave of red flushed over her face. She bowed her head and choked out, “I’m sorry, Mr. Matsueda. Can I help you?”

The man smiled politely. “Did you see my email?”

Yuko glanced at her screen. “Oh…yes. My wrist was sore. I was just about to open it.”

Matsueda looked at her wrist and made note of the redness where Yuko had been rubbing it. He frowned. “Are you alright?”

“Yes. Yes, Sir. Just a sore wrist. I’ll review your email right now.”

A voice in Yuko’s head growled, “You walking grotesque. Horrid slave driver with no skills. Let me drop everything and serve your precious needs.”  She blushed again.

“Thank you. I just needed a few pieces of information for the board member meeting.” He smiled. “Take care of that wrist.” He nodded and walked back to his office.

Yuko fell into her chair and rubbed her forehead. She clamped her eyes closed tight. When she opened them, she looked into the corner of her cube space towards the Kiki’s Delivery Service “JIJI” clock sat. The little black cat’s paws framed 8:30am. It was only 8:30?

“I should just pull the fire alarm. Make a few hours go away while they sort out the mess.” She drew in a deep breath and turned back to her screen – ignoring the mean spirited voice in her head.

The two emails from Mr. Matsueda seemed to swim on the screen. She read them and composed a reply after attaching two emails.

“Dear Mr. Monster. I’m attaching the information you requested – two emails I’ve already sent you several times before. If I were to be so absentminded, you would have fired me for sure. Sad that your superiors don’t know just how incompetent you are. Yours, Y.”

She wanted to hit send. She could end all of this and go to find something else. Something she cared about. Something new and interesting.

Something with a brightly colored uniform, perhaps.

“And I wanted to ask you one more thing if you have a moment.”

Yuko yelped loudly, the male voice catching her completely unaware. She dragged her mouse over the email she had composed and hit delete before turning and standing.

Mr. Matsueda laughed. “I’m sorry – I seem to be shocking you with every visit today. Too much coffee?” He held up his hands in mock surrender.

Yuko smiled and shook her head. “No no…sorry. I’m…” She stopped and waved her hand at her forehead. “I’m not sure I’m well. I’m…a bit ill, I believe.”

“Oh no. Well, I just needed the information I wrote you about earlier and the key to the records file, then you can go for the day if you need to.” His voice sounded soft and sincere. “I don’t want you passing out on the floor today.” He tried to smile, but looked more concerned than anything else.

Yuko blinked back at him.

“Ms. Komiyama? Are you ok?”

Yuko twitched herself free from the stare and laughed nervously. “Yes. Ah…excuse me.” She turned, leaned over her keyboard, and typed out, “The information you requested.” She double checked to make sure the first MR MONSTER draft was fully gone, then hit send before turning to face her boss again. “Information sent, Sir. Two letters we drafted last month. That should cover what you asked for.” She smiled.

“Fantastic. Thank you – that was very quick.” Matsueda smiled.

Yuko snatched a small key from a desk drawer and handed it to Matsueda. “And, the file key.” She stammered, “I…have another, so you can keep that one and I’ll have another made. I usually keep this drawer locked when I’m not here, so…” She heard her own voice and it sounded like she was going mad. She stopped herself and smiled.

“We’re fine here. Why don’t you head home, Ms. Komiyama? Ok? Get some rest. You’ve worked very hard this past month. You’ve earned the break.” He smiled, then whispered, “Off the books, hmm? No need to record this. I’m sure you’ve worked the time a few nights in the past month or so.” He nodded and smiled wider when he saw the shocked look on Yuko’s red face. “Thank you, Ms. Komiyama. I’ll see you on Monday. Get some rest.”

Yuko gasped out a thank you as her boss moved towards the records file and waved back at her.

Moments later, she was on the street staring up at the large, multi-colored ice cream sign on Seneca’s Sweet Shoppe. She typed out a message to June on her phone.

Sorry – headed out for the day. I’m not feeling well. Maybe we can meet on Saturday? Y

She looked back over her shoulder to her office window. Was Mr. Matsueda watching her to make sure she went right home? Of course not.

Yuko pushed through the pink doors of the sweets shop. A chorus of greetings came at her.

Irasshaimase!” Several young women in bright, pink uniforms smiled and bowed.

Yuko smiled back and let the sweet smell of the shop fill her.  

http://www.ufunk.net/en/food/marshmallow-cat/
PHOTO: From UFUNK. Click the image to visit and see more cute sweets!


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New Kiwamura Section is GO!

Music for today's post.....



Work was finally started on the new Kiwamura section.  I think I'm liking how it's turning out. :::grin::: I've been rather..."meh" of late - starting things and working on them only to look at them later with regret. hehehe  It's the April Showers, I believe. I'll have to wait for those May Flowers® to arrise!

The section was in flux for a long while. I wasn't sure if it was going to be a large land section with tunnels set for the tram and high speed rail or if it was going to be a bridge. Well, in the process of taking the old bridge out, I thought, "Hey, I do like this bridge. Maybe I'll just use it there." And, it's working out. I dig it.



I did a lot of playing and exploration before making the final commitment on the area. I thought through what it would take to do the tunnels and big hillside, but I didn't want something that large in the front of the layout area. I believe it would really block some of the views I wanted to have there.







Going with the two sections with a bridge between was really going to work, so I blessed it and moved into some additional planning. This was going to be the residential area of the layout, so I plotted the houses out a bit.
 

Then I played with exactly how high I wanted to go....



Added and checked the bridge section....



 
I added a little more to the bottom of the bridge to make it look a bit more substantial.


Then I started in on the roadway section that the new bridge will lead up to. First step, path carving.


The art of zen brick carving :)

Detail check and carving in some details on the sides...

Hmmmph...spray paint eats pink foam. Go figure. hehehe  It worked out, however - it looked like stone or rock.



 A little paint....



And....STUFF! :) Some shops, a small workshop, and a viewing spot for tourists on a walk. :)




When I roll in a few more details and people, I think this section will really pop. The residential area, too. I want to have people walking, bike riding, and playing in the area. Should be a fun addition. More to follow on that.

I saw a little TOMYTEC heavy machinery rental kit and was just about to pull the trigger on it when I stopped myself. "I can just build that. It's mostly a large area of nothing." So, I set out to build it out of styrene.






I still need to go in and weather the vehicles, but I think it's a good addition for sure. And, it's mine - there won't be another one like it for the most part. I've really liked doing things like that. Having unique buildings and spaces on the layout that are just mine. Like my submarine viewing area and some of the buildings I've bashed together. Fun stuff. 

Thanks for reading!

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