Thursday, July 24, 2014

July NRAIL Update

Hello Rail Folks!  More random thoughts and ramblings here. :::grin:::

Firstly, I'm not sure if I mentioned it previously, but we were going to have some visitors from Australia for a little California layout tour. I was really excited about the visit - these folks are grand modelers with a real passion for the hobby. I was looking forward to another series of Layout Tour videos, too. The last set are still being used as introduction videos for people's layouts.

June 2013 Layout Tour Videos

Sadly...very of the party passed away. While I didn't know her directly, I feel like I got to know her through the wonders of MODEL RAIL RADIO. I had the pleasure of hearing about their updates and going on along with photos and dialogues. I was even able to speak with them through the show. Again, one of the value adds of the internet and technology - being able to meet people from around the world who happen to share common interests.

Perhaps in time, the visit will be rescheduled. I think doing something like that and having dinner and drinks in her honor would be fantastic.


I was looking over my Soyokaze River shots and finally figured out what bothered me about them. No background, just a blank space that was obviously a wall.

So, my next little project will be a test flight for painting a backdrop element to fit behind my Soyokaze River shelf. I'll be testing materials and will see if the style I have planned will work with the N scale items in the foreground. If things work out, I'll use the same process for my layout. I want to paint the background, keeping it a little loose and artistic instead of using photos. I'm excited to see if I still have my old painting chops from back in my art days of The Academy Of Art - not that I was ever really all that great. :)


I snagged a pack of "daylight" bulbs from Home Depot as a test for Lighting Round 01 and...WOW...what a difference! I knew that things were going to be way different, but I didn't understand how different.

Firstly, away with the yellow tint of the light which is HUGE. You can see the difference between the daylight on the left and old yellows on the right.

The daylight bulbs made a difference in the iPhone shot images as well, obviously. While it's still not shooting outside, it's look much clearer, cleaner and brighter. 

The Harbor area is the furthest away from the light, but it's still looking better than it did.

Lights blast on the top left and the screen door window in the top right :)

I'm giving thought to just mounting something like these above the layout with some diffusion paper between them and the layout. I'd like to see what the result was - especially if I can swap out the paper for paper with a blue tint to get a more night time feel or orange for early morning.

My daughters have been playing tag team parent wake up and early to bed early to long as we leave the house good and messy before we go, so my hobby time is limited these days due to general drowsiness. However, I do manage to sneak time in around the edges. I'm going back and adding details to buildings here and there and giving more thought to my Shizuka side of things - planning out streets and walkways a bit more. Always entertaining on boring, company calls. :)

I'm also looking things over and doing some more shifting and additions to Soyokaze Village and the Harbor area. I'm happy for the most part, but they still need a little tweaking before I start really locking things down. 

And, as always, if hobby time is being eaten by chores, I still have MODEL RAIL RADIO to get my hobby fix. I keep going back through the catalog and playing MRRs from a few years back while I wait for new episodes to be released. So much information in there!

I hope you're finding time for your hobby!


  1. Yeah, light it up~~ It is great

    1. I still have your lighting setup in mind, Rios. It's a good plan and something I think I could pull off. You get some fantastic shots with it!

  2. What a huge difference those lights make! You can often find them in quite high wattage too which helps brighten the scene. One thing you can do is bounce the light off walls or the ceiling to get a good level of ambient lighting, rather than shining them straight at the railway. An easy way to get blue lights for simulating night time is to buy a cheap string of blue LED xmas lights and string them above the railway, although you may get more control using coloured gels or paper.

    And then of course there is this:

    1. Major difference. I love it.
      I was giving thought to bouncing as well. I could use a bounce card arrangement as well, switching out colored cards for various times of the day. Better to diffuse the light a bit, too. Less harsh shadows to deal with. We'll see. I have a little time to plan before the father-in-law arrives! :)
      MAN! THAT LINK!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAT?!?!?!? hehehehe Really amazing stuff. That fog..... I have to admit that I laughed with joy at that. So cool. That's some work for sure! Thanks for the pass along.