Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Extension operations

Music for this posting:   :)


I'm not a huge operations guy, but I could see the appeal now that I've seen some videos of operating sessions and played around with some operation items myself. My layout is still mostly scene based, but I wanted to have some operation potential on a small scale in my new section. So, the planning began.

My original idea was a simple spur that would head out to function as the fueling area for the factory that I wanted to purchase. However, after thinking it through a bit, I saw that having a few more switching options would be better for the space.

I added a few more options in and, while more entertaining, it still wasn't right.

So, I added a few more switches into the mix.....and broke everything. hehehehe  The track wasn't running correctly anymore and the switches would kill power when the train ran over them. All simple fixes, but frustrating at the time for sure.

Shaking my angry fist at the track. :)
After a few tries and fixes, I managed to get things working again.

The idea was to have options for getting passenger trains into the mix with the service trains, being able to switch between running passenger trains and the service trains, and having some fun little switching items to deal with as well.

I was going to use the long run I had from the subway section to the back room as a staging area, but the space...or lack of space....made it a pain. I couldn't get into the space easily and it was not making me happy.

The following photos show the main option I came up with.

This was good overall, but it was still strange. Why would the passenger train be off on that one spur like that? What is it doing out there? hehehehe  While it let me get it up and out of the way, it didn't make a whole lot of sense in my mind. So, I did some more playing.

This option made more sense. The passenger train can hang out at the station or the subway station over on the other side, then I can run "operation" stuff (basically switching tank cars around and the like) on these three sections, which is actually proving to be a fun, slow little detail I'm digging.

The passenger side stayed the same for the most part. I was going to run a little staging spur out behind the other side of the station, but It ended up being strange as well, so I did away with it. I'm going to take a look at some parking, though that's not a super exciting visual for me, so the parking area may be "out of the scene" as it were.

I like the idea of this area being REALLY different than the lovely, tourist look of my other area. This will be a more "real world", working and living sort of area. When I go into deeper planning, I'll be thinking about areas I've seen in my GOOGLE EARTH exploration and will really get into the small, somewhat boring details I've seen in some of these locations. It's going to provide a nice departure from the other sections I have going.


Tomytec Factory

Music for today's posting:

I finally got my factory in the post from HOBBY JAPAN. I'm still impressed with Hobby Japan and their services. It took a while to get the factory together for shipping - evidently back-ordered from the company. So, I never got a request for payment. I wrote them to make sure all was well and got the back-order information. When it was ready, it all went super smooth as usual and the item arrived rather quickly. I love them.

That aside, I love the kit itself. It's impressive!

The way Tomytec does it is that they have the items available for purchase separately, or you can purchase them all in this giant box version with multiple parts sent together. It ended up including all the items I was interested in, so I went that route.

Tomytec's offerings are grand. They have nice detail, the instructions are easy to follow and the product goes together well and never seems to fail me. As "The Professor" says, "The product does exactly what it says it does on the tin!" The box photography is exactly what you are going to see when you open the box.Very helpful.

The plastic kit option is still a huge difference from the paper kits I've been building of late. I realized this fact when I was pressing some parts into place with FAR more force than I'd ever be able to apply to a paper kit. Of course, I've also never been faced with feeling like I NEED to apply that much force to a paper kit, either, so....

This kit requires glue. Many of the Tomytec offerings don't. They function more like a "snap-tight" model. I was fine with this. I have the tools needed. :)

There is a CRAZY AMOUNT OF PIPE included with this kit! hehehehehe  All the pipe based items come with additional pipe, then they also included a whole other box willed with pipe and pipe supports. It's very cool, but a little overwhelming at first. "I have to build out all this pipe stuff?!"'s there to provide options for your scene, which is perfect. You can connect the various items with pipe as needed. A huge help, actually. You just need to plan it out before slapping things together and bolting them down into place.

The most difficult part of this kit are these struts. They are simple X looking items that are set onto these poles to get a round fence looking part that you slip into the hole located on the base of the bottom half of the container sphere. It's all fine and good for the most part, but I had moments where some of the little X parts were popping free of the poles while I was trying to set them into place. They you need to do it all again to get them into the base of the container as well. Not horrid, but it was a challenge at times for sure.

So now, more planning. I need to sort out where I want the factory to live, what parts are going to go where and how the whole of it will work with the track for loading and the operations side of things. I had a few ideas for placement, but I need to think through certain things before setting things in stone.

• How does the placement affect the overall view?
• How does the placement affect the view of the small bit of operations I have? 
• Does the placement make sense? Meaning, it's not too close to the tracks, hills or drop offs. 

It's a fun little puzzle, really. Someone one show 100 of the MODEL RAIL RADIO PODCAST mentioned something that I happened to hear again before a scheduled train work day. He stated that you want to drop things into place, then play around with it for a long while before committing it to the space so that you can see it in action for a while before locking it down.

FANTASTIC advice and something that fits well with my new way of taking on this section. SLOW IT DOWN. It's not a race to get it done. That was a slip I made in my other two sections. While I still love them, I do wish I had slowed the overall process down when I was thinking the whole of it through. I was just far too excited to actually have the space to make it happen! hehehe

So now, I play around with placement - moving items around on company calls, at lunch time or after work before heading back up to the house proper.  :)

Now I have the bug to add MORE items to the factory space. Tomytec has many more kits to add, that's a fact. I'm going to get the tank trucks - that's a must, but I'm also looking at some other large structures to slip into the spot as well. Make it look like there are things going on in this location. They also offer these cool spotlights that I want to add in as well. It's going to add a lot to the overall look of this location.

Now...what is REALLY going on in the location, that's the next question. :)

I plan to create some scenes that might suggest that some dirty dealings and secret operations are happening at this plant. Some toxic looking sludge? A small arrangement of black SUVs and men in black suits keeping some workers back.

Yeah....this will be a fun little spot! :)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Evengelion Shinkansen

Two articles on the Japanese Evengelion based Shinkansen trains.

Article posted by RIOS TAM.

I have to snag one of these if they are making a commemorative version in N scale!  I love the design of it.

((Google Translated))

JR West July 23, "Shinkansen: Evangelion Project" than this autumn has announced it will start.
Shinkansen: Evangelion project
Shinkansen: Evangelion project
This Sanyo Shinkansen 40 anniversary from the whole line opened, "Evangelion" is memorial to those that start-up that it is the 20th anniversary from the TV broadcast start.
Sanyo Shinkansen Evangelion project
Driving during the period, the Sanyo Shinkansen, supervision and supervision of Anno Hideaki who is the of "Evangelion", the 500 Series Shinkansen "500 TYPE EVA" vehicle by going Yamashita is a mechanic designer and Mr. vehicle design.
500 Shinkansen "500 TYPE EVA"
500 Shinkansen "500 TYPE EVA"
In the car, and we enjoy content with the world of Evangelion theme during the ride. Also during the project period, and that it is also planned a variety of events such as the sale of commemorative travel products and memorabilia.
500 Shinkansen "500 TYPE EVA" side
500 Shinkansen "500 TYPE EVA" side
Driving trains "Kodama 730 No." (Hakata 6: 36 → Shin-Osaka 11:14) and "Kodama 741" (Shin-Osaka 11: 32 → Hakata 16:07). Operation date will be announced separately. Travel period is scheduled from 2015 autumn to March 2017.


A Shinkansen high-speed train (aka Bullet Train) is getting a Neon Genesis Evangelion facelift.

Japanese train operator JR West is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular Japanese anime series as well as the 40th anniversary of completion of the Sanyo Shinkansen line by designing the exterior of the bullet train with features from the Evangelion Unit-01.

The interior will also receive an Evangelion makover and special memorabilia from the franchise will be available for passengers to purchase.

It'll run twice each day from Hakata to Shin-Osaka, starting in the fall and ending in March of 2017.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Claremont Diner

A fun little diner here in Oakland. They have a train running around the place. A cute feature.
Address: 6200 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

Shizuka and Soyokaze Stills

I'm not sure if there are reposts in this posting or not. I apologize if there are. I've been so caught up in the extension that I've neglected Shizuka and Soyokaze, honestly. I have so much work to do on these areas that it's mind blowing in a fun way. Details, details, details.

I was actually giving thought to selling my HOT TOYS Dark Knight (Batman) figure to get some additional train funds, but my loving wife talked me out of it and so did a friend of mine who runs a shop that sells these hi end figures. They basically said 1.) I was going to miss it moments after selling and shipping it and 2.) They didn't really want to have to listen to me crying about it when it was gone. LOL   Try on all counts. 

I am selling some other items, however, that have been on the chopping block for a long while now. Some old, collector toys that I might be able to get some good coin for. "Management" still has a budget plan for my train stuff as well.  There's nothing like having a partner who is actually on board with your Hobby Madness®. :)

So, more shots of Shizuka and Soyokaze...just because.

I really enjoy this little section. It looks like a busy and active little spot.

The subway section is almost ready to be started up again now that the extension is in place and almost set. More on that in another post later. I want to do a LOT of detailing in the subway area including signage and more people. Little items that are featured in Japanese subway shots will be flowed into place as time goes on.

People, people and more people....and cars...will have to be acquired for Shizuka. Where the majority of my time and budget will go later in the layout's life span. 

I like the interactions here. Again, it seems like something is really happening. People are talking and doing little things on the layout. Love it.

I've moved this train ovr to the expansion for the moment until my other purchases are made later. I'll bounce it around a bit I'm sure - I really enjoy it and like seeing it run through Soyokaz and Shizuka.

Again...stuff going on. Scenes like this make me happy. More and more of this on the layout.

"I heard something that you may be interested in...."

Another are that will look much better with people is the temple area. And...yes...I've said all this before. hehehehe

STILL KISSING???   Get a room, honeymooners! :)

I still need to work with levels here in Soyokaze. And, stairs up to the sidewalks. It changes things drastically when these details are addressed. Adding people into the mix will help here as well.

This is more like it - street action.