Thursday, April 28, 2016

Slow Journey Through the Layout

It's about that time again. Time to ramp up the production levels and do another little music video style tour of the layout. I wanted to take it slower and really drift around a bit. I have a lot planned in the next few months (when time allows, of course) and I wanted to get a State of the Union overview for posterity. They are fun to look back on after some time goes by.

"Oh, look...that's when you could still see the bare wood there."   :)

Hope you enjoy the video.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Toy Town and Sweet's Shoppe progress

And, the music selection for this post....  :)

I've been making locations for my kids and wife. I think it's a fun little touch. I plan on spots for my parents as well, including one for my Father who passed away back in 2011. (( Whew...that was a while back now. :(   ))

However, I noticed that I had not made anything for my youngest as of yet. She's three and hasn't noticed (hehehe) , but I did and wanted to get something in place for her. After a few questions, we decided that her place would be a little sweets shop.

I had a small building, but wanted to make something that was a little cooler and more interesting. So, I decided to kitbash something up. I had two main pieces - the little building and a small PRINGLES can I had sprayed a while ago.

I started planning and wanted to keep things simple - easy to do, really. Things came together rather well. A piece of styrene as a base for the can, that on top of the small building, then thinking through some elements like an ice cream cone that had been requested for the front. :)

I wanted to add some flair, so I worked up some more styrene elements - two poles for the front and a wavy element for the top to add to the whimsy of the structure.

I popped the top off and was planning to paint it the requested pink when I remembered that I had a can of pink spray paint for a project my other daughter had requested. ( No airbrush as of yet ) So, the task was super easy.

The perfect, candy pink!

With the building coming along, I decided to work on the ice cream element. ( I write this now I want ice cream....)  I went with a painterly style.

The requested "rainbow" look.

While I was in painting mode, I added the other request - pink accents for my five year old's TALIA'S TOY TOWN.

I added some stripes to the little door area on the roof to make it look like a piece of candy.


They both need more elements that I still need to create. The SWEETS SHOPPE will have a large "window" in the front - a printed, Photoshop candy shop look with two levels. A blue plastic will go over the top of it. I wanted to see if it will work - we'll see. (After I get a printer cartridge or two for our color printer!) It will also have a SENECA'S SWEETS SHOPPE sign, of course - in English and Japanese if I can work it out.

TOY TOWN needed a better sign. I made the original a few years back and between rushing it and not having the skills I have now, it was very...."bush league" and too simple.

Some detail shots.
With ice cream

SPACE RUNAWAY IDEON photo op!!!!  :)

Action inside

I've popped the buildings back onto the layout for now. I'll go in for ROUND TWO of details and signage in a bit. Stay tuned for updates! :)

Of course, now my son Drake needs a larger space. Originally, I placed his restaurant location in his sister's Hotel location. Now it seems like he should have his OWN location, too. Yeah, that's only right. :) I think this spot will change soon.....   :)


Thursday, April 21, 2016

N•EX / Narita Express Train Ride

From the  鈴川絢子/Suzukawa Ayako  YouTube Channel

Suzukawa Ayako takes her son for a ride on the Narita Express! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Roaring Camp Dixiana Shay

We had a fun trip to ROARING CAMP this year. The kids had a lot of fun. 

More videos and images here:



Dixiana Shay
The Dixiana, Roaring Camp Engine #1, is one of three engines designated a National Mechanical Engineering Historical Landmark.
The Dixiana has an historic and varied past. The "Dixie," as she is affectionately called, was built by Lima Locomotive Works, Shop No. 2593, on October 12, 1912. She served on six different short line railroads before coming west to California. Although she saw service on the famous Smokey Mountain Railroad in Tennessee, it was a little narrow-gauge mining railroad (now abandoned) in Dixiana, Virginia, that gave her the name "Dixiana."
A two-truck engine, the Dixie weighs 42 tons with a tractive effort of 17,330 lbs. and has 29 ½" drivers. Three 10 x 12 inch cylinders can maintain 180 pounds working pressure.
The beloved Dixie was dubbed Roaring Camp Engine #1 because it was the first locomotive acquired by founder, F. Norman Clark, who inaugurated steam train service from Roaring Camp on April 6,1963.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Scatch Built Loading Dock - BUILT!

I was prowling around looking for a Japanese loading dock for my shipping area and could not find one. Then, I looked for source images of Japanese loading docks and...I'm not sure they exist! hehehe
However, I wanted one, so I just built it out of styrene! I believe it worked out well.


I snapped some iPhone photos of the build. I think I'm getting better with my styrene builds. It's encouraging. I'm going to make another bridge now that I have a bit more patience, skill, and my magnification headset with lights! SO MUCH BETTER working with it, especially on the smaller details.

Here are the basic build shots.

After I got the main section built, I gave it a spray. Sadly, with just a rattle can - I still don't have an airbrush. The grey with a chalk finish went on like a dream, however when I tried to layer in a black, it sputtered and messed the whole thing up.

But...the milk was spilled already, so I just wiped it to blend it, then hit it with another coat of grey and it worked like a charm for some grime. 

Wipe portion towards the top

Annnnd...some additional details and I was good to go.

It's really working well in place, too.

No...the helicopter isn't going to stay on the roof. :)

So, about $6 of styrene got me the little loading area I wanted. Not a bad bit of saving there. Can't wait to try my hand at the bridge soon!