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  1. LAYOUT DIARY START I thought I'd slowly document the process of making my first layout. This post contains an overview of the final model. Other sections I've written or plan to write are: Planning Process Hills, Roads and Tracks Buildings Detail Station Lighting I bought my first train last year - a bright yellow n-scale Kato Sobu 101 - and was looking for inspiration for a new layout to build around it. I needed something relatively modest, since this would be the first one I've constructed and I didn't want to set myself up for over-achievers failure, creating more work then I had the time or inclination to put myself to. I've been obsessed with Japan since living in Yokahama as a very young child. Clearly my purchase of the Kato was part of this obsession, and I was keen to build some (probably poor) approximation of a Japanese environment around it. The Sobu train runs on the Seibu Kokunbunji line in Tokyo, so I followed the route on Google Maps looking for an area that I could use as a subject. Eventually, I found a small, pedestrian-feeling street called Takenodai Ekidori in the west of the city, which I've used as the basis for this layout. I've tried to copy the houses quite accurately, and the general layout of the area a bit more freely. The street itself is longer, and Takenodai Station is a bit larger than I planned, so I've created a fictional station of my own. I've been working on this layout for a while now, so I'm late in terms of posting progress here. Sorry. I thought I'd use this first post to show where I am right now with construction, then use a few subsequent posts to go back through some of the process, then show a bit more detail as I finish up. Comments and feedback very welcome, although obviously I'm pretty committed at this point since I'm about 80% of the way through! 🙂 So here's where I am now. This model is a 240cm by 27cm "shelf" layout. I just ended up with those dimensions based on my decisions of what track length to use, and how much of the street I wanted to copy. It's electrified, with one point. The street basically runs along one side, with a small rise on the other. Here's a video of the whole layout, and a bunch of shots. At this end of the layout is a small canal, crossed by the street and the track. The station entrance is scratch made, with stairs that rise up to a Kato Suburban station. A row of small shops and restaurants line the street. These are all scratch made, based on images that I captured through Google Street View (I'll get into the process of this in a later post). Here are some general macro shots of different parts of the layout. I've used LED-based street lighting along the length of the street, and dismantled a few of the lamp posts in order to build lighting into the shops and the station. The various cars and buses also have lights in them, although they need different power to the other LEDs, and I haven't quite figured out how to manage that yet. The LEDs are pretty effective in the station (since I took this shot I've closed off the visible gap at the bottom of the station columns, so they're a little cleaner). The mix of warm and cool LEDs seems to create a realistic effect, although it was a happy accident after buying two seperate batches of street lamps that didn't match. I've lit most of the shops from within, too. Here's a YouTube video of the layout "at night". Anyway, that's where I'm at. I still have a bunch of tidying up to do. More greenery to add, as well as people. The sides need painting, and possibly more road markings and signs. If anyone has suggestions for small details to add I'd love to hear them. As I mentioned above, I'll put together more detail and photos about the process I went through to get to this point in subsequent posts. If anyone has any specific questions please let me know. Next: Planning Process
  2. Seibu Tamagawa Line The Seibu Tamagawa Line is 8 km line running off the JR East Chuo Main line at Musashi-Sakai to Koremasa. This line is single track and does not connect to the rest of the Seibu network. Length 8 km Stations 6 4 car trains Seibu Kokubunji LIne The Kokubunji LIne runs off the JR East Chuo Main Line at Kokubunji Station to Highasi- Murayama. Connections are made with the Seibu Haijima line at Ogawa and the Seibu Shinjuku line at Highasi-Murayama. Length 7.8 km Stations 5 6 car trains http://youtu.be/NZ98eDp_PGc Seibu Tamako Line The shaped Seibu Tamago Line also runs off the JR East Chuo Main Line at Kokubunji Station to Seibu-Yeunchi where it connects with the Seibu Yamaguchi Line (Leo Liner). Length 9.2 km Stations 7 4 car trains http://youtu.be/XB6sxUQ1uyg There are two other short Seibu lines. These are the 1 km Toshima Line which is operated as part of the Ikebukuro Line and 4.2 km Sayama Line which also is operated by through services on the Ikebukuro Line.
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