Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Crushing Weight of N Scale Time Management

I've been playing around with blog posts titles. "The Crushing Weight of N Scale Time Management" is an attempt at being a little more interesting with my titles. :)

I still snag items from HOBBY SEARCH. I grabbed a lot this round due to a recent freelance project I took on. The perk - adding to my monthly allowance for hobby supplies!

I've been adding to the population of the layout slowly but surely. I add a few people here and there and it's slowly getting up to fun levels in certain sections.

Recently, it was the little shopping spot in Soyokaze. I added some additional stalls and some more shoppers. I plan on adding much more here in the future. I want it to be fairly crowded.

I also added some farmer folks to the back scene. Mostly more resting folks at the moment. Taking a little break from work to chat and enjoy the breeze.

More people - sitting on the ground and chatting towards the middle of the photo

Folks are still wandering around the Soyokaze Temple as well.

I picked up a small market. I still need to weather it, however. It's going to see a LOT of business - it's right by the factory and I'm sure they'll make several runs a day to pick up sodas and food. :)

I moved the little medical building over to the other end of the layout as well.

I was out with my daughters and past these signs at a sushi place. I snapped some photos and will be sizing and printing them so they can appear on my layout in the near future! I like the look. I may have to go back when there is less glare on the window, though it will work well if it's supposed to look like it's behind glass.

This one was on the other side of the shop. It had far less glare, so maybe going back in the morning to shoot the other side when the sun is in a different spot would make since. We'll see. Another fun design.

As of the date of this post, I have not made plans to change up the track arrangements. I'm leaving things as is, but will have to address the one section of track - the switch, really - over by the harbor area that's causing derailments. Not sure what's going on there.

I'm still enjoying running trains around from time to time. I'm trying to clean the track more often so that I'm able to run freely without worrying about the track being clean or not. A nice way to relax during the day and post work day to relieve the stress.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Soyokaze River Module, Farewell

I said goodbye to my Soyokaze River Module recently.  I had looked at it and I saw that it was dusty, covered with webs, and forgotten. It was time to look at folding it into the main layout.

It's hard - I really did love that little shelf for a long while.
Shots here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/malcojojo/albums/72157635552874482

However, I got sad seeing it up in our guest room - alone. Dusty.

I had an idea - re-build a back module of my layout and fold the buildings from the river module into the rebuild. It wouldn't be the same, but I might have been able to retain some of the flavor of the Soyokaze River shelf. 

I talked to my wife about the project and she mentioned the fact that she really liked the module I was thinking about rebuilding. She liked the mountain and the nature presented. Then she said, "Why don't you just...add the river buildings into that section?"

I looked at the section and it seemed to make sense. Just remove the industrial stuff and add in the more village looking buildings.  When I was looking at what that meant, it really became clear. It was a great flow from Soyokaze Village towards the back of the layout.

It's not as charming as the little shelf layout. That's a bit of a drag. However, I hope to get some of the more charming nature of the shelf into the main layout here and there.

And, we move on. :)


Friday, March 24, 2017

March Hobby Weekend - Heaven!

My wife took the kids on a little three day weekend journey, so I toughed it out at home....with my layout! I'm a rather active participant in the Family Life and have both regular work and freelance work going, so a whole weekend to focus on hobby stuff is like...well...a unicorn. :) I had Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday to get stuff done and get some relaxation in.

I have my TO DO list going for my layout which makes it a little easier to focus, but after I took them to the airport and came back home on Friday, I was a bit of a muddy mess. I had so much time and tons to do and I think it was a bit overwhelming. It was obvious that I needed to gain a little focus. So, I hopped up and went to see KING KONG. (Fun film, by the way) When I got home, I was able to grab a bite to eat and dive in - clear and focused.

Shizuka Ramp

The first task on my list was continuing to doll up the front part of Shizuka. There was an area right in front that was really bugging me every time I saw it. I had already dropped in a bit of pink foam to form a flat area to work in, but now it was time to build the actual ramp for the front road area that, up to now, was this awkward drop off. 

I just ended up building out the area with some styrene. I built up the ramp and walls, cutting them into the area and bending them to fit with an elevation hat seemed to make sense.  I blocked off the parking area with another bit of styrene and it seemed to make sense flow-wise.

Ahhhh....so much better!!!  No more road to nowhere.

Power to the People!

I snagged those people from the Chinese company and they were as expected - fine looking overall with an overall 50% ok paint job. I've been going back in and hitting them with paint markers to fix the paint that was missing and tame the paint that was too loud. Working out well. A perfect TV viewing activity.

Said people are being used to people my new sidewalks. I have two sidewalk styles going, but I'm only really happy with my styrene passes. First, the styrene....

I really like how they turned out. They seem like they are the right height and I like the texture. 

My other attempt was cardstock, but it's just a bit too thick for my liking. So, I won't be using this batch anymore. I am going to keep this section - just saying it's a higher sidewalk block.


 I also got some other people in place around the layout. The "Peopleing" has begun!

Station folks propped up with vehicles while the glue sets. :)



Dad's Spot Entry Fix

I spent a little time adding to the place I built in memory of my Dad. I boosted it up a bit with styrene so the loading area in the back can be accessed from the street back there. Then, I built in some stairs and a ramp for access.

Still needs some details and paint touch ups

Road Out of Kiwamura

I had this little back section that I filled out with pink foam and I saw that there was an opportunity to build out a little scene that I've been looking at for a while now.

The scene was not exactly the same, but the idea was there - a little road section heading down. 

So, the process was somewhat simple. Basically, I carved the pink foam and made the road out of styrene. Pretty happy with the way it's turning out. Still needs some work. 

Road Paint Ups Started

It...has...begun....   :)

I finally started my roadway painting. I'm trying to get things rolling on the roads and come up with processes for detailing and getting items like lines and postings in place so they don't look like they've been drawn with a large crayon.

The roadways in Soyokaze could use some detailing and weathering, but I think the basic coloring is good for the area.

I mixed up some paint up and started to move some buildings around. And...of course...one of the rooftop signs fell RIGHT into the middle of things....

Direct hit. :::sigh:::
I hit this ramp area with some paint finally.

I filled in large pockets of blank uniplate areas with foam core, then painted the back deck area and spots between. I now has a spot for a crossing and more small areas for additional buildings.

I then set to work on defining the road areas between Kiwamura and Shizuka. They are coming along.

I also touched up this area and got rid of some of the large hump I had between the two section areas.


New little Sankei paper kit building
It was nice being able to really focus for three days. By Saturday night, I was a well oiled machine that was rolling through things like mad while still having fun.  Keeping the fun in the equation was the key. I didn't want this to turn into a panic fire drill. I had my music going, good lines on what I was doing and what I wanted to do next, and even came up with projects that I could take on at night upstairs in the house (Like the Sankei kit above)  so that I could get my movie viewing in as well! 

It's all a blur now. Like a happy dream. But my week was far better for it, that's for sure. 

I plan to take a few more Staycations in the future. Time off of work where I can get some good hobby time in during daylight hours. 



Video - Bits and Bobs

Just some progress shots and a video.

I put another Greenmax kit together - still love them. This particular kit comes with two buildings and parts so you can make variants. Between the variant parts and different paint schemes, I think they look different enough to play well on my layout.

I still don't have an airbrush, but I like the grain the brushes put into the paint.

I still need to put people in these. Make them look alive with life inside.

I'm pretty happy with the results.

And, in place....

As a horror fan, I needed to have another horror scene on the layout. :)

I'm going to cut the plexi base back on the scene below to make it look a bit more organic. Curve the edges. Ditch the straight edges. I think it will help take away the distracting plastic there.

Thanks for watching!