Thursday, March 28, 2013

The hobby bug is hitting me again

Well, the hobby bug is starting to creep in around the edges again. My new baby girl is getting older and our house routine is starting to get a little less manic, so the idea of actually sitting down and getting some hobby time in....somewhere...makes a little more sense. Well, that, a little bit back in taxes and my Mother-In-Law coming for a visit shortly. :)

And, listening to MODEL RAIL RADIO adds to it as well. So much fun hearing about what everyone is doing. (It's a great podcast if you have not already heard it. Check it out!)

Large Building Boutique and Office (Beige) - Kato 23-438B N scale
On deck for the future!

Thinking long term, I snagged another KATO building for Shizuka, the city portion of my layout. I'll need a few more of these base buildings for the layout to go along with what I already have. I also have some custom, signature buildings in mind to build from scratch later in the game.

Hino Town Bus Poncho 1 - Kato 23-540A (N scale)
I'm continuing the bus madness with the addition of two little KATO buses. I'm still not sure what I love about buses, but I figure I'll just go with it until things get totally out of hand. :) This actually goes along with the lore of Shizuka and Soyokaze - buses being a great way to get from one to another to avoid having to drive yourself. Eventually, there will be a modern bus terminal in Shizuka and a more quaint and quiet terminal in Soyokaze.

Taxi Car Set 1 - Kato 23-519 (N scale)
 I also snagged some KATO Taxis. I'll have to figure out which ones will live in Soyokaze and which will be in Shizuka. I'm trying to replace all the American motor vehicles that are currently on my layout. I might try a repaint on some of the American Taxis that are on the layout now - making them look more Japanese. Maybe "America Taxi Company" for tourists?
Station Square House B - Tomytec (Building Collection 110) 1/150 N scale

And lastly, more houses for Soyokaze, though I'm not sure where they are going to go. :)  I've looked at some small village towns in Japan and they are rather dense. Rows of tightly spaced buildings. So, I thought about fitting in more buildings in Soyokaze. I just need to play around with where to place them. Again, this is a moot point due to the fact that - in the BRIGHT AND GLORIOUS FUTURE® where we've moved to a larger home - this Soyokaze section may in fact be torn up and re-placed depending on what's going on with it then. So, we'll see!

I also have plans to add steps to many of the foundation areas of the Soyokaze buildings. You can see that the "sidewalk" areas are far too high to be manageable as they stand now.

I'm also going to place some gravel in around the foundations to get rid of the gaps there. Makes taking photos a real pain.

Speaking of photos - Curse you, Dust! I can see where having a layout under glass in a table or something would be pretty awesome. Keep the dust off the layout!

Happy Hobbying!




  1. May I ask, who is your supplier of structures? Particularly kits?

    1. Hey there
      I actually don't do a lot of kit building. I do more kitbashing of existing items like the KATO building above. I plan on getting another building (today of time allows) and putting the two of them together.
      My main sources are:

      A great shop. Well organized and supplied. They also have a point system that I recently figured out. You get points on each order based on what you are getting. Those points are collected and each equals 1 yen. So, over time, loyal shoppers can rack up points to help pay for their orders. I wasn't aware of this and was racking up order points without knowing. (Lost MANY, sadly) Once I woke up to the fact, I actually scored a whole order for about 1/3 of the cost.

      Plaza Japan on eBay -
      I stumbled on this shop and love it as well. The stock isn't as rich as Hobby Search, but the service is great.

      Sadly, you end up getting hit on shipping in both cases due to their locations, but it's worth it if you save up and order many things at once.

      Still looking for a good American online source. THE TRAIN SHOP in the San Jose area here in California has a few KATO buildings, but not a lot.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I've seen/heard about the two Japanese companies and they do seem to have a good reputation. And the Train Shop (Pruneyard area, right?) is a neat little store. Patience is the key when you go there.
    I've been looking at Newhall Station, but the general tone out there is that they are more expensive (well, they do do the importing for us...)and they do not seem to have a large and consistant supply.

    Thanks for your input. Keep up the good work!

  3. I'm very much the type of person that sticks with what's working. (Ask my wife when I'm ordering food somewhere! Heh! )

    HOBBY SEARCH and PLAZA JAPAN have worked for me consistently, so they are my go to places. I rarely get to THE TRAIN SHOP these days - our office moved and I'm not down there anymore. (A few blocks from Santana Row) I've stopped by Newhall, but I got a bad vibe for some reason and left it. You seem spot on about it.

    Thanks for the conversation!


  4. Hi Malco, here is my way on preventing dust to my layout at home.

    URL :

    1. HA! That's brilliant!
      I have not run the page through translate yet, but I watched the video and it totally makes sense. Very nice.

      I guess my only issue is wanting to see the layout. :) I saw someone who had a small layout and put the whole of it under plexiglass, but that seems very expensive.

      Love your solution.

    2. Let me do a simple translate to you~
      I just use a curtain track and mount it to the wall. And use some PVC pipe and create a frame to support the curtain.

      Using acrylic to cover the layout is another method, but it is too expensive and too heavy to pick up!!

      For mini layout, I always use a plastic box(Clothes storage box) to hold it. I already made two of them, please refer to the below links for reference.

      1st one, using Kato CV1 track and tomytec running bus system

      2nd one, using Tomix road track and tomytec running bus system