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Ibaraki Shorty Construction


Cat

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The building formerly known as the Toa-Bussan has now been more properly identified as the Eddy Family Corporation's Fuji Festival funeral parlour.  The plastic modelling on it is completed and we are now proceeding with painting.  We had selected this building as a prominent landmark on the outskirts of Mito where the KRT curves along a large bridge coming in to the city.  Now that we know it is a funeral building, we will scrap plans for modelling the Ceremonia building as we don't need two funeral homes for the final ride in our transportation systems of Ibaraki, one will do.

 

Google maps only identified the location as Toa-Bussan.  Closer investigation while trying to sort the signage revealed that Toa-Bussan appears to rent the ground floor, and onlly in recent years, their logo doesn't appear in earlier streetviews.  Also of note, this is not the Toa-Bussan company that imports worldwide dried fruits and nuts, this is the logo of a local transportation company.  But the websites of both of those Toa-Bussan companies had no kanji to be found that are on the very large billboard atop the building which is there through all the years of the streetviews.  I was able to transcribe the katakana on a vertical signboard on the front of the building though and that led me to the Eddy Family, エディファミリー.  On their website was found the billboard kanji of the Fuji Festival part of their business, 富士祭典.  Levelling up my linguistic sleuthing skills here!

 

The model itself is a kitbash of an Outlands kit that had a number of evocative features.  It was originally an L-shaped kit 10cm on the long sides and 5cm on the short sides.  Initial plan was to unfold it into a 10cm x 5cm rectangle.  Decided to cut it down to 7.5cm x 5cm to allow room on the footprint for a bright blue fire escape on the back of the building.  While the Outlands kit, and the actual building, have some inset balconies, I decided to omit those as they didn't quite look right with the small footprint and overall proportions of our model.  The size of the top roof level maintenance floor was determined by the footprint of the cut-down Tomix billboard which will sit atop it.

Here are all the modified pieces prior to painting.  The white bits are added styrene modifications.  Windows that needed to be blocked in were filled with .015 styrene.  For doorways to the fire escape, cutting out a series of 5 matching holes seemed like more time than I wanted to spend, so instead they are raised slightly.  The doors themselves were cut from .010 x .250 styrene and glued in place.  I then cut the framing strips in place, cutting and gluing one at a time from .015 x .040; this gave a nice precise fit without having to spend a lot of fiddly measuring time.  The fire escape itself is a brass kit from Gold Medal Models, this will be assembled after the main building is completed.  I used one platform piece as a measuring guide to mark and drill all the supporting holes where each level will fit in and glue to the wall.
 

Interior floors have walls for blocking line of sight through the building and a few blocks for shapes inside the larger windows.  The ground floor has a drive-through passageway.  I made sure this was large enough to accommodate a small Hetzer tank for Girls und Panzer gaming.
: 3

Actual streetview here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.3680647,140.4983139,3a,90y,44.79h,112.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-Fpb5uvd4pg0xuWi5zEtmQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

FujiFestInnards.jpeg

FujiFestWalls.jpeg

Edited by Cat
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Thanks!  And thanks be to Iba Lucky, we have struck upon a number of buildings in Mito and Katsuta with nice Outlands matches to work from.

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Some of the odder Outland buildings I will look at and think that looks odd, then roaming google streets I find close matches for various parts!

 

jeff

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Low flying satellite recon at a slight angle so you can see the shapes and sizes of buildings, with a pass from different directions so you see both sides of the street is amazingly helpful.  As Squid mentioned, sometimes it can feel like living in a diorama.  The other night I went on a scouting mission for a likely candidate to replace the Ceremonia building.  That was going to be more of a complex kitbash anyway, so it was an easy decision to look for a replacement now that we have a funeral parlour.

Doing a low fly-by of the streets in Mito between the O-Hara and Fuji Festival, lucked onto a traditional tea shop.  We have a winner — and the Tomytec kit in the stash at hand.  Never thought we would have found architecture like this in our cities!  Tomytec 057 is a little larger than the Wakashiko Tea Stall, but fits nicely in the allocated real estate on the module.  Roxanne is thrilled to have a traditional building, and so much fun weathering to do on it:
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.364994,140.4916039,3a,60y,336.41h,97.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6ganSgKySriEa2BzrTtymw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10106554

Edited by Cat
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Thanks, floors and a few walls really break up the staring through a giant canyon look.  A few simple blocks give shapes that show the building is inhabited.  Sometimes they don't even show up much when the building is fully assembled; but they are quick and easy to put in at this stage just in case their absence would be noteworthy in the end.

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After a bit of a hiatus, we're back working on buildings for the railroad.  Several bits in progress, and just put the finishing touches on the O-Hara Academy, Mito campus — roof greeblies are an essential part of the model-viewing experience from our high vantage points:

OHaraL.JPG

OHaraF.JPG

OHraRT.JPG

OHaraFT.JPG

OHaraT.JPG

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Nice work. It looks great. And thanks for the new word, 'Greeblie'. I love it. What's the roof design? Is that a patio? For exercising and such? Where did you get those awesome greeblies btw?

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3 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Nice work. It looks great. And thanks for the new word, 'Greeblie'. I love it. What's the roof design? Is that a patio? For exercising and such? Where did you get those awesome greeblies btw?


Thanks! 

Best guess from a discussion in an earlier thread on the roof pattern is likely a drone landing pad.  Possibly emergency helipad, but the actual roof looks a bit small for that.
 
The airconditioning units were kit-bashed down from a Walthers kit to more closely resemble the Japanese image than the older American units they started as.  The small electrical box is also from a box of Walthers rooftop accessories.  The rest was scratchbuilt from strip styrene: square bar with thin strip joint wrapping for the conduit, and half-round strip and bits for what I presume are floodlights on the landing pad.
 
We can thank the props crew for the film formally (and formerly) known as Star Wars for coining the word 'greeblie'!

 

**edit**
Ah, bottom of page 1, there are photos of the aforementioned greeblies under construction.

Edited by Cat
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My design partner use to get odd jobs while in design school in so cal that we’re basically a few weeks of working 12 hr night shifts on movie props. They were tedious jobs that required a bit of design sense to cobble together and were able to get around some union rules being farmed out and very short term and students. One was to detail out the large spaceship biopod model bottoms in Silent Running. The art director went thru a bunch of things at hand to use and determined that the surface details on tank model shells were the look they wanted so like 4 guys sat there chopping up a few thousand tank models and pasting chunks of details on. Mind numbing and grueling but one of the best space ship models of its time! He said it was a great learning lesson in texturing he would never have gotten in school.
 

I still love the movie, holds up really well and perfect character for dern. Gotta love Huey, Dewey and Louie! More lovable than r2d2. I carved a little model of Dewey when I was a kid I liked the character so much.

 

jeff

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I completely in awe of the work of the dedicated geeks on the Replica Props Forum who sleuth out just what the heck thingies were cannibalised to make original props so they can be replicated.  Once they identified that some Star Wars greeblies had come from Revell's Invisible Engine model kit, they then knew to check that parts listing against other bits and ferreted out how nearly all the parts from that kit were used across many props!

Edited by Cat
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We've got several days coming up where we're both at home and getting back into some more work on the railroad.  Tonight, pretty well finished up the pre-assembly painting and weathering on the Fuji Festival building.  The sub-assemblies had all been spray-painted in their base colours some time ago.

FujiFestTOASubPtd.JPG

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The Fuji Festival building is verclampt!
 
When I had glued the floor supports to the inner walls, I hadn't thought through the smoothest operating steps for final assembly.  Lining up the inner walls for the driveway tunnel complicated procedures.  It was a mad dash to glue and fit everything at once.  Plastic Weld is a relatively fast setting solvent, but I like the strength of its bonding.  Whew.
 
Having a satchel full of clamps is a key part of the modelling arsenal!

FujiFestClamp.JPG

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Because of the interior floors, it took all the clamps to make sure everything pressed together tightly while the solvent set.
 
Everytime I've worked on a project and did not have enough clamps on hand, I would stop at Harbor Freight and buy more.  I might have enough now.  But each time I'm in there, I still get a little twitchy in the clamp aisle and have to speed on past!
 
The building is now ready for the final 'blend it together weathering, signage, fire escape, and other little detail bits.

ClampBag.jpg

FujiFestAssemble1.jpg

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LOL, can never have enough clamps! I too must scurry past many isles on harbor freight!

 

just one of the clamp drawers… there must be more clamps, there must be more clamps!

 

jeff

F64C9476-88CB-460D-96D7-74605BA89110.jpeg

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1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

Ooo! Magnetic corner clamps. Very nice!


Ooh — I should get some of those!!!

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gavino200
25 minutes ago, Cat said:


Ooh — I should get some of those!!!

 

Me too. I actually looked at them recently when shopping for stocking stuffers. They're available at Micromark but there are Cheaper offers on ebay. This one comes all the way from Istanbul but with free shipping. I just bought a set but I couldn't resist also getting the angled version too.

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Embarrassingly there are a few drawers/boxes like this… it’s funny with clamps either you need one or a dozen.

 

The magnetic corner clamps are useful, but a bit too much for sankei kits and generally not needed a lot for them, but very handy when you do need them. There were some very tiny ones a miniaturist friend has that are great for small stuff, but we’ve not been able find them to purchase. There are some on ebay I think from Italy but not tiny. I fiddled with mounting some neodymium magnets in Lego blocks to make some modular magnetic clamps and assembly jigs but nothing spectacular out of it.

 

jeff

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Detailing on the Fuji Festival building is still progressing.  The sheet of signs that I took to Staples to print out also included the signs for the Wakashiko Tea Shop.
 
The Tomytec model is representative enough of the old building style that it didn't call for kitbashing beyond carving the signboard into a rectangular shape.  Otherwise, it would have taken quite extensive work to make it into an actual model of the Mito shop.  The woodwork needed some heavy weathering, and Roxanne has really taken to enjoying doing the weathering  The Google Street View image from 2019 shows a banner advertising New Tea.  Since we're modelling in late autumn for the foliage, I made up a more seasonal banner and poster for akifuyubancha, Autumn/Winter Tea.

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.3649936,140.4916614,3a,75y,308.02h,99.77t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYmdI0UVxkoMLVN6FrtsYfw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
 

WakashikoFront.JPG

WakashikoFrontL.JPG

WakashikoFrontR.JPG

WakashikoRear.JPG

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Felivert???
 
Started adding the signage to the Fuji Festival building and decided to have another good look at one sign that I hadn't made for it because it is very faded and I couldn't figure out what the heck it was supposed to say in the first place.  It's a big billboard type sign up near the top of the building with what is clearly directional information on one side, and a phone number on the bottom.  But the main body of it was undecipherable in the image I had.  Found I had another image for it that wasn't quite as faded nor quite as obstructed by power lines, and I could squint and make out the word "Felivert" in romanji.
 
Popped that into google, and the first hit was Felivert Sunshine in Mito-Shi — bingo!

Also went back to Google street view, and they had an image from 2011 that shows the sign much more clearly and legible than it is in recent years.  So now I can proceed with making the sign.  Could even make out the directions for '2 km ahead on the left '.
 
But umm, Felivert Sunshine, aka フェリヴェールサンシャイン ?

 

Is it even Engrish?  I think it might have derailed before it even left the station it's so hard to figure out where it wound up.
 

https://felivert.jp/

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Felivert does not mean anything afaik, but it really sounds French. That was probably what they were looking for, it’s a wedding hall…

By the way, I really enjoy that process of investigating, looking around, googling… to try to find details about what we model.

The Wakashiko Tea Shop above is really nice!

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