Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trainscape Blog

Some amazing work here from Spain.


YouTube Channel

NOTE: There are small flags under the banner linked to GOOGLE TRANSLATE, so you can view the blog in the language you work with the best. :)

He has a great eye for details and covers a wide range of scales and subjects. I need to do some digging to find out more about him. His weathering is amazing.

His blog seems to be a mix of his work and other people's work as well. All in all, it's a fun place to wander through. VERY easy to get lost in the pages. Great work abounds! Check it out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vehicle Weathering

More Photos Here

I was over on N SCALE LIMITED and saw a discussion about weathering vehicles. I think this topic is a great one.
If you are at your local chain market and look around the parking lot, you'll see vehicles that range from the new to the held together with tape and prayers. :)  Many of the cars in N are somewhat plain and blank feeling. A little weathering or a new paint up can really help.

This can add a lot of detail to your scenes and overall layout without being a huge time hit, as it were. You can sit down and weather a car in a half an hour time span or weather several cars if time allows.

These small projects are FANTASTIC to have in your pocket as a busy modeler. You can jump into them if 30 minutes of time opens up, then jump out again when time is up to scramble back into your life and day to day tasks. This has made a huge difference for me. With family and work taking center stage, I have a range of projects going at all times so I can fit the project to the time I have to work on things. That way, I always have SOMETHING to do if hobby time opens up.

Many of the train weathering techniques can be used to weather cars and trucks.

This is a simple little tutorial example that might be worth checking out:

And for those with a little more time and power, MONSTER RAILROADER has some skills to learn from.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If I could save time in a bottle...

"If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do...."

This line from the classic Jim Croce song drifted into my head today when I was working and thinking about all the stuff I have to do over the next month or so - none of which is hobby related. Of sure, I have stuff I want to do, but when I really think about it, none of the items that are top of mind right now have ANYTHING to do with the hobby.

I'm sure a lot of people have this feeling. (I'm sure there are people that also WISH they had that kind of problem, too. "Man, I'm so busy with work and family things, I don't have time to play.")

At any rate, this goes out to those folks out there who are spending more time thinking about the model rail hobby than actually DOING the model rail hobby! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More cool Shibuya reference images

The most awesome DANNY CHOO has some great Shibuya images up. More awesome detail, building styles and items I MUST include when building out my downtown Shizuka layout! 
If you're a Japan-fan like me, you have to visit Danny Choo's site Culture Japan. It's amazing and packed with information.

I'd like to build up some custom buildings using buildings as bases. Looking at what is available from Japan, there are some simple changes I can make to the building designs to create whole new structures like some of the ones pictured in this Shibuya photo series. I also have my eye on the advertisements. The buildings are PLASTERED with ads and signage that will be a fun addition as well.
Now...I just need a space to set it all up. :(   The loss of my office at work is indeed a sad thing because it means the loss of my train table. However, I have not given up hope. I might be able to fit the layout into a corner of my desk space. Once I see the new space, I'll see what I can manage. In a way, it will add a little excitement and change while I wait to see what next year brings in the way of a living space that might support the Shizuka (downtown) and Soyokaze (old town) sections in ONE SPACE! :)

Troels Kirk

Some amazing work by Troels Kirk - a danish artist painter, living in southern Sweden and doing some fantastic railroad modeling. His work is detailed and realistic and his buildings are made mostly of paper. His painting, weathering and detail work is top notch. His work has a three dimensional painting quality to it that I absolutely love.  

He also has a wonderful look to his water which plays a key part of many of his scenes. The addition of layered, ambient sound piped through a hidden speaker system really makes this a complete work of art.

He recently appeared on MODEL RAIL RADIO:
Model Rail Radio #52: Europe Slightly Censored [February 11, 2012]
In the interview, he talks about his style, workflow and goes over some of his processes. WELL worth checking out.

He also has a DVD for sale. I have it noted and I'm currently squirreling money away for it! :)
60 minutes NTSC
Price US$ 30 plus $5 shipping

Trailer for the DVD

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Omocha Express Charity

 This seems like a fantastic way to send a little love to the people of Japan. 

"Omocha Express is a public charity organized to raise funds to provide recreational items (such as toys, books, and art supplies) to children in Japan who have lost their homes and belongings in the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It is a partnership between the Japan Rail Modelers of Washington, DC (JRM), Iwate Rail Modelers' Circle (IRC), and the Sanriku Railway Company (Santetsu).

We hope the simple act of giving these items to children hit hard by the disaster will help give them hope for the future and show them that people around the world care. The toys will be purchased in Japan to ensure that they fit easily into these children's lives and to reduce shipping expenses. 

On March 11, 2011, hundreds of thousands of people in northern Japan survived the disasters but found their homes and belongings washed away. With nothing left, families must find ways to start over. Of course, the highest priority is on basic survival - food, shelter, clothing, fuel. It's hard to put a priority on providing playthings for children when all a family's resources are needed just to get by."

More here:


They will use raised funds to:
  • Buy toys and other recreational items for distribution in the effected areas of Japan
  • Pay operating fees required by federal, state, and local laws
  • Pay bank fees, such as transaction fees from PayPal or international wire fees for sending money to Japan

Working on a new N-RAIL logo

If you have an opinion, let me know! Each version has a letter call out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interiors in N

There are many books to choose from
I've been playing around with more interior paste ups and they seem to be working well. What I've found is that the details are really nice to have on the interiors even though the windows may not allow for a full view inside. It looks like SOMETHING is going on in there and that sells it more than an empty shell.  The smaller size also allows for being a bit sloppy with scale. Some items just are not recognizable through the windows, so some of the items are just wall texture over actual items.
WHAT?! Books, books and...meat? :)
This series of buildings will be used for wiring experiments, so the interiors may be more visible than they have been in past models. First I need to figure out HOW to wire something up, then I'll play with the actual lights to get the effect I want. While I like this buildings, I'm not super attached to them, so I'll play with the lighting here and transfer that knowledge to Soyokaze when I wire that up for light.

Soyokaze N Scale Vendors

My vendors list for Soyokaze is growing. As it stands now, I'll have just enough space for them to sell their items. :)  There will be nine vendors in all and the crowds around them will be thrilled to see the items that are available to them. Food, treats and small exhibits will keep the Soyokaze visitors happy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Light, color and speed of the visual feast"

More cool N Scale action from Asia!
The top translation reads: "Light, color and speed of the visual feast"
I agree! :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Time to wire things up

I realized today that I won't be happy with my Old Town Soyokaze layout unless I wire it up with lights. I need to see the soft, orange glow coming from the buildings and light fixtures on the street. 

So...time to bite the bullet and learn about wires and voltage and all that madness. 


Guess I'll start here:

Any and all suggestions are welcome! 

Quinntopia had an awesome lighting overview in his SKYNET building video, but it was over my head for the most part. I'm sure time and study will help in clearing things up. 

If you missed QUINNTOPIA's BUILDING SKYNET video, you can find it here:

He has some great station wiring images up now as well:

~~~ LATER~~~~
Well, I found this tutorial. It should help A LOT.
LED Tutorial -

The Tiny Hobby

I love to glue my n scale figures to bits of plastic so I can move them around from time to time.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

And...the winner is...

"Old Town" has a new name. Who knew it would be so difficult with only four in the running. Two really.

"Old Town" is now named....Soyokaze!

 "Downtown" is now Shizuka.

I think it's safe to say this was a cheat, but the replies were really tight and I liked both, so what better way to deal with the situation?! :) Use both names!

Thank you to all those involved in the process!  It was great to get everyone's input.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Time to name OLD TOWN

Well, it's time to give OLD TOWN a proper name! It's starting to really take shape, so I thought that a proper, Japanese name could now be given to it.
I've written a friend from Japan and I told her what I was looking for in a name and she came up with some awesome ones. (THANKS MICHAL!)

Shizuka (quiet)
Heion (serenity)
Yasuragi (calm)
Soyokaze (gentle wind)

Leave a comment if one of these stands out for you - I'd love feedback!