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私の町 (My Town) Z scale layout

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So, yes, this is a 2nd layout in planning already. The first layout - Chibiden - is a Z-Shorty shelf layout mainly intended for experimenting with electronics and DCC, on the theory that blowing up a $20 shorty chassis trying to install a DCC decoder is better than blowing up one of my actual Z scale trains.


Unfortunately, that leaves me with some actual Z scale trains that have no hope of running on the shelf layout, on which I've spent a considerable amount of money. Two nice trains and one mediocre one to be exact. 


Nice Train, which I rode a lot when I was in Japan



Nice Train, which I saw a lot of when I was in Japan



and a mediocre train, which I presumably bought because it was cheap? (Haha, yes. 5160yen, came out in 2007 😮 )






Three trains, two of which held special significance to my trip to Japan. I also have two z gauge DC controllers - a Rokuhan and a Pro-z. Given that my "full sized" layout is going to be N scale, there's quite a lot of investment going to waste. I also don't want to go straight in to building the full sized N layout - I need to do some practice layouts first. 


So, I've scouted out a location for a 2nd Z layout - the top of my 2' by 8' tv stand. 


The goals for this project, are:


1) This is a medium term project. 

        - This layout is larger and more complicated, both scenery and track wise, to give me some practice before I dive into a 11'x20' N scale project, which is the long term goal.

2) It's going to be a DC instead of a DCC project

3) It will be made out of mixed track types - I have a box of Z gauge flex track on the way, as well as Rokuhan sectional track

        - For mostly financial reasons, the N scale project will be largely flex track mixed with Kato, so I want to both learn how to lay track and how to mix the types

4) I want it to be a straight up roundy-round track layout

        - Switches are expensive, and I'll be doing my learning on dealing with them on the shelf layout

        - Its only ever going to have 3 trains on it. If the cheapo train dies, I'll probably replace it with a Shinkansen, but otherwise I don't see a lot of further investment in Z

        - I want something that looks cool to entertain the nieces, and I'm much less interested in operations than I am in miniatures and animation, so a set and forget run is best

5) Since the nice trains are both related to my trip to Japan, AND I have a Sankei kit for Himeji Castle - a major attraction I visited while in Japan, I want to relate the layout to my trip - Hence the name of "Watashi No Machi" - My Town

        - There will be 4 major locations modeled, with varying degrees of accuracy - Ginkakuji - the silver temple in Kyoto, Himeji Castle, Akihabara Station/Akihabara, and the apartment complex where I stayed in Minami Kusatsu.


The proposed layout:




The double track is ground level:




The 113 and E231 will run on those tracks


The single track will be elevated viaduct:



The doubled up section in the middle where the two levels cross eachother will be "Akihabara Station". The empty area inside the viaduct on the right will be Himeji. The left side will have a hill with Ginkakuji at the base, and the residential zone will be at the left front. The front of the layout where the viewers will stand will be at the bottom.

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So, as I mentioned on my ChibiDen post, I've placed my order for track with Hobby Search. As I also mentioned, that was just track and trains, and the rest was an exploration of electronics and 3d printing.


The 3d printing portion goes double for this layout. Here, I'm combining Flex track and Rokuhan sectional track, with a long section of viaduct and a combined overhead/ground level station.


Except that I don't have, and didn't order, any Rokuhan viaduct, nor do I have anything that looks remotely like an overhead station in Z. I'll be designing both from scratch and 3d printing them. That's a big ask, and the layout is essentially nothing without them. 


That's what's planned, anyway. My 3d printers are down, atm, and I need to get my lab ready before I can do anything with them. Its going to be a long slog to get to the point where the real fun begins, but at least I've put my money down and said "Let's do this".

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