Friday, March 27, 2015

Summertime Blues

Mood music for today's post....

I made a N-RAIL SPOTIFY playlist

 It's one of these down periods of time where a bunch of items are taking me away from the hobby, which is a real drag. I actually use the hobby as a sort of therapy, so not partaking actually sends me into a flat spin of just trudging through life with a grumpy attitude.

Sure, there are things the bring me up - wife, kids... , but it's tough at times. It's nothing major - just the usual work and the need to do some freelance to get a little more cash flowing through the house. (Work doesn't know that the cost of living actually goes up EVERY year. Did you know that?) The added stress adds to bouts of insomnia, which leads to sleepy days, which leads to more difficult work flows.....repeat.
Fun sunlight on Soyokaze Harbor

The summer adds to the fun as well. We're starting work on a major garden re-org (No....this doesn't include a G scale layout running through it, sadly! heheheh) which is going to suck up a fair amount of time for a few weeks.

However, I've got time here and there once things calm down a bit, so I'll work in some hobby time in the near future with luck. I still manage to slip taking shots of the layout into my work day.

I've been looking into a few items here and there during family outings and errands. I'm looking to have my lights in in the next month or so, so I've started looking into various systems that might work.  My primary want is "daylight" light. I love how the change from "orange" light to daylight bulbs really brought things together on the layout and added a level of realism to the whole of it.  More on that process later.

One of the first modifications  - a hotel for my oldest daughter

 My usual RETAIL THERAPY® methods are difficult these days. :)  I'm not making time to do hobby stuff, so I'm not buying more hobby stuff at the moment - figures, trains, buildings and the like. I still have Sankei kits from Santa-san to build. Time to make it out to retail shops isn't something I want to mess with either, so I'm banking some freelance work "fun money" for later when I get around to buying lights.

So, I make an effort to keep my eyes on my computer screen instead of turning to face my layout until things chill a bit. However, the ideas are still flowing and Soyokaze and Shizuka will ramp up again in the near future. :)

Soyokaze River Village sits higher up in the hills

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bladerunner Model Shop images


Some fantastic shots from the Bladerunner Model Shop from back in the day. The level of detailing is wondrous. The modeling is very cool as well. It's grand to see the vision go from concept art to physical model.

I've done some 1/6th scale figure work in the past (My Sixth Scale Blog - )  with another project coming up in the near future. The level of detail represented is really getting me fired up for more 1/6th scale projects. My usual N scale items, too!

People always say, "Man! N scale is so small." Seeing this, however, fills me with hope to hit somewhere along this level with some areas of the layout as well. Things like this can provide some sweet scenescapes - hidden nuggets within the layout for people to find. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Japan's Micro Apartments

A friend of mine posted something about a small apartment here in the US with hidden storage, closet space and loft bed among other items to make the small space livable.

I love these little spaces with cool space-saving designs. I also love the buildings themselves - modern and interesting. I might have to scratch build some for Shizuka. I made an effort at one point, but just didn't put the time in on it that was needed to make it work properly. I'll give it a go again now that I have a little more patience with the build process.

Friday, March 6, 2015

General layout update - no additional track right now

After doing a little audit of my layout, I've decided to hold off on additional track for the layout - neither on the main line or the subway section. I just have too many areas I'd rather focus my efforts on. Those little details that I've been so interested in taking on are finally coming to a point where I can start in on them. I have a LOT of those details planned, so I am choosing to focus on getting into some of them rather than building more track and dealing with everything that goes along with that process.

More work on the station area:

Getting my track work around the bridge working better and getting buildings more set into the scenes. 

Sorting out my backdrop drama.

I have many little areas that I have not even thought about. This back street area is something I rarely even think about. seeing it from the back really makes the need to address it apparent. :)

Shizuka needs a LOT of attention. Don't even get me started taking about lighting.

The Soyokaze Farm area is coming along, but there are other parts to the area that need to be addressed. Road markings are a must for the whole layout. 

The Village area of the layout is moving forward.

The Town is ALMOST to my liking. I need to take the streets in a bit still - make them smaller. 

I still dig this section. :)   I just need to get some people working in the bus station area.

So, in short, there is so much to do on my layout as it stands, there's no real need to do more track at the moment. Granted, a longer run for my Kato subway train would be nice, but the finances behind getting more track and the like just doesn't make sense at this point. I have options for the future, but I'll deal with that in the future. hehehehe


Kato 3078 JNR Electric Locomotive Type ED19

Part of my birthday order this year was this new engine - the Kato 3078 JNR Electric Locomotive Type ED19.  I wrote Plaza Japan and asked if the 3078 could take tight curves. They said that it shouldn't have any problem with them, so i ordered it up. I wanted another "workhorse" engine and the Kato items seem to run well on my layout and this one didn't disappoint.

This is a smooth running little engine. Not too loud. Great details. I'm super happy with the purchase!

I'm doing some SUPER LIGHT operations now - just juggling between the Portram and the 3078. I can move the Portram off the main track, run the 3078 around with some refrigerator cars, then run it back to the harbor area and get the Portram back into action. It's not major, but it's fun. :)

I want to build out the harbor area with a loading dock area with more action in there. It'll be a fun little detail.

I'm so happy with this engine. I love how the KATO selections run. Happy camper.

Pola N210 - Lokschuppen - scenery update

A while back, I did a Pola kit build and weathered it. At the time, I was happy with the outcome.

Over three years later, I have a whole new outlook on scenic materials and working with them. Seeing what I had done originally didn't really it with the way I do things now, so I thought I'd re-do the scenery a bit to update it.  I thought it would make a new spot to showcase the lovely Micro-Trains piece I got during MODEL RAIL RADIO Show 100

The orange ballast look had to go.

The new pass is working for me, though I think it could use another detail pass to pep it up a bit. 

The Canadian National needs to be weathered up, but I like the look on this piece.

Now I want to write a little story about just why that police car is parked out in front! :)