Friday, December 30, 2011

Downtown: Version 02

I keep switching my work layout around, moving buildings around like puzzle pieces to try to get more of the look I want. I've recently been trolling Japan with the help of Google Street View and it's obvious that my Japanese layout will have to be more congested if I REALLY want to get a Japanese look to it.

Tokyo is just packed with buildings, streets and alleys. On top of that, there are bike racks, vending machines and MANY small details all over the place. I've been trying to keep the layout open so every building can be seen from the front, but I might have to bite the bullet and "get crowded".

At any rate, here are the latest and greatest shots. Comments welcome!

More on my FLICKR:

Thursday, December 29, 2011


A fantastic layout from the East Ham and District Model Rail Club!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from N-RAIL!

Monster Railroad

Big Al Mayo is awesome. He's a model railroader who features his HO layout and detailing skills on his YouTube channel. He's from Connecticut and is currently starting a new career as a fire fighter. Very cool.

As of October 31, 2011, Al has 4800 Subscribers! Not shabby!

He is back in the loop after some time in fire fighter academy, so we're starting to see more videos coming through again. He has a fun and interesting style - playing rap as a music bed in his videos and walking through steps in detail to show what his processes are for his amazing, detailed engines - many based on real engines and graffiti he's taken photos of. Side by side comparisons are fantastic and really show off his skills.

~ Click to Enlarge ~

I have to say that, as a "person of color" myself (light as it may be :::grin:::) it's cool seeing another person of color in the hobby. I have not seen many folks doing this, but maybe I just have not run into them yet. :)

Check out Al's YouTube Channel!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Parking Lot Payment Office

My parking lot payment office turned out to be a fun little project. I used the Blair Scale House Kit (Laser Cut - Part #BLS-084 Based on a C&O Railway prototype scale house in Lynchburg, Virginia.) and built the kit base out of styrene.  The rock sculpture is a real rock my 15 month old brought me when i was working on the project. (So sweet!) I used KATO decals to detail it up and weathered it to work with the Old Town setup. There is no "Asian feel" to it, but I think it will still work with the Old Town area.

The kit went together well and was a lot of fun to work with. I had worked with laser cut metals before, but never wood. It was a fun experience, but I think I still prefer something a little more rugged when I'm working due to my big, dumb fingers. :)

I still need to work out the actual lot itself. Right now it's just too white. I plan to dull it down with a darker tan color and some details.

More photos here:


Friday, December 2, 2011

Hiroshima Electric Railway Green Mover

Dear Santa,
Can I please have the Hiroshima Electric Railway Green Mover for Christmas?
I've been a good kid. 
Respectfully Yours,
Malcolm Johnson Jr. 

I love this! It has some great detail and the overall design is a lot of fun. It's snake-like and awesome tram goodness. Currently, things would be a little boring for this tram on my office layout. It would just loop dreamily around in an oval and stop from time to time at stations. however, in the bright and glorious future when I connect Old Town and the City in some larger house space if and when we get it, the Green Mover would have a lot of little curves and things to snake around. Then it would be a worthwhile addition to the set as a whole, not just another detail to sit idle on the tracks like my current tram does, poor thing.

I want to hunt down videos of this model running to see if it does the slow, realistic run I like. I have the Portram unit and loved how it ran....when it was running :(...and the fact that I could do slow pull ins to station areas, then slow pull outs before ramping up to speed. The Portram seemed to have an issue with a break in the middle that took the wheels off and broke the connection. I think that if I fix that, then add some weight to the unit, it will run better. (Yet another project)

I was concerned with the first image above for the same reason. It looks like the tram is pitching up in the front and back and I thought that I might run into the same issue with it that I had with the Portram. If anyone has experience with this, drop me a comment and let me know - I'd love feedback on that.

All in all, the detail and look of this unit has me drooling. Two would be fantastic, but at $150 each, that might be a stretch. No need to rush it of course. This is just going on the WISH LIST for sure.

Available at HOBBY SEARCH:

And here's the real deal running in Japan!