Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27th Report

Things are moving along in the hobby. The weather is getting colder and the hobby momentum is moving along.

I recently build a building from scratch from styrene and it was fun to get something together so quickly. I wasn't meaning to complete an N scale structure. I was chatting with my wife and mother-in-law and meant to crank out a prototype building. However, next thing you know,  I'm holding a a small, modern structure. Sure, why not?! :)

It was meant to stand up vertical, but after looking at it, I thought a horizontal building would work better with the design and design flaws within it. :::grin:::  Not bad for a first pass. and doors need to be added.  ((My signature whiskey is present as well, of course.))  :)

I also built another building from scratch. It was rather basic and boxy, but I did what I set out to do. I've been finding bits of plastic and saving parts from other buildings and kits and saying things like, "Hey...this could be some widget on a building or something...," and brainstorming things up for the saved bits of plastic and the like. It's been working well. A part I didn't use became the roof for this building for my harbor area.

I was doing some planning and saw that I needed to flesh out my town area a bit - the transition between Old Town Soyokaze and and the Shizuka City. I was placing an order and was checking prices and saw that I could get one building for $22 or six Greenmax, unfinished buildings for half the cost. Building and painting the structure kits seemed like something I should be progressing to, so I got the Greenmax 2136 Shops Assemble Set. I'm looking forward to applying some of the techniques used by the great Akihiro Morohoshi (

Sure, it's more work, but that's what I want now. More work and more time to spend on my hobby! 
It's going to be a challenge, but it will be worth it. I'll take the building I like the least and do that first as practice, then I'll fine tune the process and - in theory - I'll get better and better with each round. 

It's great to be getting some hobby time in these days! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rios Tam Interview

Hong Kong resident and model railroader Rios Tam was nice enough to meet with me via WebEx to talk trains. I was meeting very early and Rios was meeting late in the day, so please forgive my sleepy tone at times. I really needed to be on my second cup of coffee instead of my first. :)

Rios has been into the hobby for a relatively short time, but he and his girlfriend have made some major progress on their main layout - the third for them.

I've put together some supporting graphics to go along with the audio portion, but I've also included a simple version of the audio file in case you would like to listen via iPhone, iPod or other MP3 players.    The MP3 can be found here.

There are also additional links that Rios provided below.


Little Display Layout

First Mini Layout with KATO CV1 + Tomix Bus Running system

Second Mini Layout with Tomix R150 + Tomix Bus Running system

Z Scale Display layout

My Main Layout Track Plan

DIY Optical Fiber Railroad Cross

DIY Wooden Bridge

Layout Overhead Lighting System

Layout Cover System

Buildings LED lighting System

Layout Backdrop

DIY Optical Fiber Signal Light

Modular Layout 1

Modular Layout 2

Method on Storing the Modular Layout

Display CD Rack Layout

Dust preventing system for the CD Rack

Using Transparent Plastic sheet and fixed with a Strong Magnet.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Raymond Loewy

GOOGLE's awesome Loewy doodle for today

GOOGLE let me know that Raymond Loewy celebrates a birthday today. Besides the little things this industrial designer did like the design of the bottle for Coca-Cola, the Lucky Strike cigarette packets and the logos for Exxon and Shell - you know, small things like that - he designed some BEAUTIFUL trains for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Now, I'm not going to cut and paste a bunch of facts here from the internet. You can search for more information yourselves I'm sure. But, when I saw these trains I just had to pop a few photos up. I love the deco, streamline look of these machines. They represent an era I love when it comes to design. Things had a style and grace that can be lacking in some of the items produced today.