Thursday, February 26, 2015

Helicopters in Soyokaze

Some new helicopter acquisitions. These are most likely going to live off the layout in mini-scenes, but it was fun shooting them in the layout space for a minute. :)

These are from the HELIBORNE gashpon collection from F•Toys. The "candy toy" selections that have numerous possible items in boxes - making the buyer buy and buy until they get what they want! heheheh  

They have some fantastic detail and seem to work well with the N scale items I have seeing as they are 1/144 scale. Not too shabby. I found a spot that has them, but it's a toy story primarily, so the boxes sit there gathering dust - tucked away with models in the back. They run about $8 each there which is a bargain seeing as they can cost up to $14 each in some areas.

I love this gray, EH-101 MERLIN! A great, big 'ole copter that I'll have to build a little special scene for. Here it is flying over Soyokaze. :)

Then there's the German ADAC BK117 copter. A cool style, but it'll live on another module somewhere seeing as it's a German medical style copter.

 The DOCTOR-HELI was my first purchase a while back. $13 on eBay plus shipping. But, I knew what it was when I purchased it instead of having to buy till I got it. It's a EC145. Pretty close to the BK117, I guess.

 The KV-107 is another big guy. Unfortunately, I got two of the same one when I made a purchase from my spot. The hazard of this gashpon situation. It's a fun game...sometimes. Sometimes it's a drag. hehehe   However, one will live in the air above the layout and one will be on the ground in a little module/scene of some sort later. Fun stuff.

I can't recall whick copter this is, but it's currently living on my little helipad building on the new Farm Hill scene. 

I've always loved copters. It's fun having several on the layout. :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Plaza Japan on eBay

I just had to say that I had yet another awesome interaction with Plaza Japan on eBay. They are one of my go-to Sellers there. A grand selection of items and fantastic service.

This time, I ordered some items (Freelance perk to offset the pain of working all the time) and there was an issue with the order. An eBay glitch split my one order into to. I had received a confirmation of one part shipping, but not the other. It showed that I purchased a loco, but it wasn't shown as sent.

I voiced my concern and they replied withing the hour stating that they could put both orders together and refund some of the shipping fee. Boom boom boom - shipped and done.

They also gave me some info engine I wanted before I purchased it. Again, super quick and helpful.

Japan modelers who need to order from overseas - Plaza Japan is a good way to go. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Soyokaze Hill Build

The as yet to be re-named Soyokaze Hill is in full effect. :)

The section is toward the back of the layout, filling in a small section of the space between the layout and the wall. The suggestion was made and I gave it some thought, then started to see some upsides to the whole of it.

I could continue my Harbor Road and my farm area if I did it. Two rather major items in that section. And, doing it wouldn't mean that access would be cut off - I can still get behind the layout.

I used foam for the base and hill and sandpaper for the road instead of Smooth-it. I thought this would cut down on weight. I marked off where the farm and road hit and started planning.

I covered the foam with plaster - very rough and simple.

I mixed up a batch of paint with Elmer's Glue in it. This allowed me to lay down a base color and a layer of light green to work as a base for additional layers of scenery later.

A quick check showed that the location and alignment was working.

Another few layers of foliage and greenery were applied.

I fired in my roads and the location of the farm space.

I added a few more plant details.

Things were working rather well, so I tossed in my buildings to take a look at how they were working in the scene. Some fun stuff. :)  I was going to use artificial turf for my farm area, but I went with a simple foam dusting in layers to get a planted look. I'm not sure what the plants are, but I'll see if I can find something that has a similar look and feel in Japan.

Once the glue is dry and faded back, I'll see if I need to do an additional pass here.

The scenes line up well and once the workers are in and more equipment is in place, I think it will look good and busy with a lot of action going on! :)

I still have a lot of work to do on the harbor side of things. Road signs, line painting and more details to follow.

I also need to work the bridge into the scene with stairs and people and some additional supports. It was used on my old, old Soyokaze layout and needs to be retooled.

Thanks again to Tom Barbalet and the Model Rail Radio Crew for the awesome suggestions!


Shizuka goings on

Shizuka is being worked on as well. Some small items, but ones that really get things moving in the right direction.

Sankei vending machines built. They have a nice level of detail for sure.

I finally put my little Shizuka Walk in place with people. It needs a few more rounds of detailing, but it's a good start.

I did a "rough sketch" of the tower building/Pringles can idea and it almost worked, but I don't think it's going to make the cut. The amount of work needed to get it up to snuff just isn't something I want to tackle right now. I might come back to it later, but as it stands now, I'm really not happy with the execution.

A little Sankei bike rack. This will actually move over to Soyokaze. I'm going to build a modern, underground bike rack system for Shizuka and the older style rack will roll over to Soyokaze - the older section. I have Sankei, card stock bikes for it as well.

I'm happy with the Shizuka building changes as well. They are creating some interesting views.

The Shizuka Hill area is working well. I need to dial in the shopping area towards the back where the double stacked buildings are now. :)

Lots lots lots more to do detail wise. That's really the fun stuff for me.


Go go going on the layout - Soyokaze

Some Soyokaze building going on.

Another Sankei card stock building went up. Each one of these seems to present another set of challenges. I just built a Greenmax plastic kit and I have to say...I liked it. The paper has a lot of give and things don't line up 100%. The detail is grand and they look great when they are done, but there's a level of frustration that goes along with them as well.

This kit was a nice build. I was excited about the look and feel and tossed in some figures just to make sure it looked like something was going on if you got a peek into a window. I've been using the tacky, crazy painted people for internals. No need wasting really good figs inside. These figures are hilarious. Garish pinks, yellows and greens. I'll be able to use them other places, but only after some repainting.

The front piece was really nice on here. It's going to look great on the layout. Tossing some of the crazy pink figures into the window will give some story potential for sure.

Again, things lined up rather well overall, but you can still see some edges that didn't line up here and there. From a distance, it's looking better for sure. Some nice details.

I stuck some of the oddly colored plastic figs in the window. :)

The Soyokaze landscape is looking pretty good. It has the look I've wanted.

I took the one paper kit and dropped it in with two plastic kits to form a sort of "food and gifts" area. Sake, keepsakes and fresh fish! :)

I built up stairs with painted styrene. They work well with the foam core.

Adding some figures really made a difference as well.

"The View from the Other Side" is looking pretty good as well. This is the view one I'm smashed between the layout and wall. :)  Some nice scenes.

Soyokaze Farm - soon to be renamed and added to

The busy Soyokaze Station.

Temple Hill

I started building a little section in the back of the layout and it was rather amusing. I started doing it with magnets - thinking I could use them for support.The process got super complex and they I realized that I really didn't need the magnets at all. Gravity was already holding the section in place if I put supports under it. A head slapper for sure. :)

Since these photos were taken, I've made much more progress on this section. Photos to follow.

Now, I need to refocus after this section is in place and the bridge that goes from Temple Hill over is set and get back the the subway section! I started getting into analysis paralysis mode and hit some stumbling blocks. I'll get rolling on it again.

All in all, it's fun being able to add some more detail elements now that some of the larger layout items are in place. SO much to work on now. It's a bit overwhelming, but fun. It's great to get more people onto the layout.