Friday, May 17, 2013

Shizuka Building Build Out: Interiors

Well, the interior of this building proved to be a little challenging. Again, I wish I took more time with it, but I really needed to cram some hobby time in and get something complete. This is my hobby life at the moment. This project was going to drag on for months if I didn't push through. And, in the long run, it was a lot of fun.

The hardest part about working with this Kato building was dealing with these internal floors and actually getting them OUT of the building. It was rather interesting - they had a light bar rolling up through the center of the floors. To get them out, you pull the light bar down after fighting with the clips at the base of the building. :) The floors are in tight and come out like pulling the cork from a bottle of wine. I knew the real challenge was going to be getting them back in and I was right.

I numbered the floors as I took them out of the building (...though later I'd blow off the numbering entirely...) and thought about what I'd like to have on each. Offices were a must, but my 2.5 year old wanted a floor for herself as well. heh

I thought that another way around having to fill each floor 100% was to do some offices in the front of the floor. This worked really well. The offices were in the front and only a small portion of the floor was visible through the door. I was able to pop some images on the back wall and it was all good.

Making desks was fun. Info on that can be found in my other update earlier this month. Again, more time and more attention to the process would give me better results. I have that as a goal for later this year - taking more time and effort with these projects. That being said, the desks are messy, but barely visible inside the building, so they are working well.

I used some of the more rough looking figures inside, saving my new, beautiful Kato and Tomytec figures for some other "hero" locations later.

And the best part about this project was the final look of the building. To quote my wife, "It looks like there's actually stuff going on in there, not just some hollow shell."  Much better than floor after empty floor. Once I get lighting handled, it will take another step up as well.

I believe that I'm getting the balance of detail and interest for these internal scenes. I want to show that things are going on in the building, but the detail that I put in on earlier revs just was not visible without lighting inside the buildings. for this first round offering, I've gone with enough detail to make things active without making tings too built out. It's almost like building stages for plays - you want there to be enough information to understand what's going on, but you don't need "movie" levels of details. Especially in N scale. :) I've also left many of the internal details styrene white so that they show up better in the darker building interiors.

Putting these floors back in proved to be the biggest pain. The lightbar spine of the buildings was horrid. Taking them out was easy, but putting them back with the bar in place was a royal pain. I ended up leaving the lightbar out. I'm not lighting them right now anyway. I also left off a floor that didn't have much going on in it because when I built out the lobby section, I mis-measured and the horse in it was too high to support the bottom floor. I think it's better with a little more lobby headroom anyway. It gives it more space.

You can find more shots here:

My daughter's hand in the shot. :)

A very active space.

My next Shizuka Building Project will be another kitbash, giving me one of the largest buildings in Shizuka!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

N•RAIL update - May 2013

Hello there!

Well, I'm still fighting the good fight at work - doing two jobs...getting time for projects and paid for one. Good stuff for sure. I'm also dealing with some "real life" stuff that may be fantastic for my hobby time in the near future, but something that will be eating up a LOT of time for the next few months. However, I still have been managing to slip projects in. The pace is incredibly slow, but at least I still get some hobby time in here and there.

I made a bunch of tables for my latest building project. I'm trying to fill up some floors with offices and shops, so I took a page from Quinntopia's book and started to build my own N Scale office furniture. A grand, mindless task to take on while watching TV with my wife. :)  I still need to paint and clean up the edges, but I think they will be more than fine for the inside of the building. I'm also going to build out some displays and shop counters once I settle on the types of shops that will be inside the building.

High level planning has started on my "Bright and Glorious Future Layout®" which is exciting. I've started looking at elements from my current layout modules that I'd like to carry over into a new layout and additional elements that don't exist yet that I want to see happen.

I'll have Soyokaze and Shizuka, but they will be in the same place finally instead of the real,  1:1 spacing they have now with one at work and one at the office! Between the two, I'll have a bridge section over water. That water will be part of the current little vendor section I have going now. The bridge that I've built will cross over the pond area. Another trestle spot might come into play between mountain areas, but I'm still thinking that through.

Another item I want to try to pull off is a subway section. I'll have a light rail or trolly track running through one part of Soyokaze and it may hit a small station like I have now, then roll out of sight. Then the larger commute-style train would run above ground through Shizuka, then dive down after the bridge to run under Soyokaze. A small subway platform would be seen under Soyokaze with subtle subway station entrance visible above ground. Something like the HO image seen here:

Part of the thing I'm struggling with is the benchwork and track planning involved in this. However, seeing Vera Sepulveda's work recently has filled me with new hope for pulling this off. I just need to sort out the details and get in contact with some folks that are a little more craftsman oriented than I am so I don't accidentally saw off an arm or leg. :::grin:::

I'll also make the fishing area scene larger. It will have the same overall feel to it, but I want to add one or two additional buildings, more work elements and maybe some trackage leading out to it with a scene with a small train being loaded with a delivery of fish for Shizuka.

As usual, it's more about the scenes than the actual trains running. While I like the trains running around, my main focus across the board will be the scenes, people and scenics on the layout.

I did manage to add a few more buildings to the mix. Some nice TOMYTEC models. I really like their stuff. I plan to add about 15 more buildings to Soyokaze and about 10 more to Shizuka as time goes on. 

ONWARD!   :)