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Nippon Bali


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1 hour ago, AhmadKane said:

I looked at basics. and basics dictate that DC model railway is a simple electrical circuit. So instead I came with a compromise. I think that the WD-40 had some problems with some people because of the silicone and the petroleum. I therefore used the WD-40 Fast Drying Contact Cleaner. No silicone, no petroleum. Sprayed and rubbed using some cloth.

if you go for a contact cleaner then make sure it’s a plastics safe one, many are not.



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I've just tweaked a bit with the incoming of some new KATO turnouts. 


2663.thumb.jpg.c8091b26958783f715b572a86fcb57ab.jpgTo get an access from the inner track unto the outer track, I took the turnouts I got out below the viaduct before and matched it with an Atlas Cross. The leeway under the tracks would be suitable for the cables as well. The radius of the turnout is so tight however, I don't think I'll be running an ICE-4 at full speed towards it. 



Apart from changing the R248 with an atlas tight curve and the turnout unto the inner track. I've moved the viaduct a bit so that I got clearance. I also shifted the pillar away from the S joiner to increase strength 



I also got an old Faller platform for nothing, and my station is complete. I had thought of placing the Plarail Advance Platforms on the right side. But there isn't enough space.

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So I had met a senior creator that could make an N Scale Bus System from an old Tomytec engine, he normally does 1/87 moving cars. I also met another creator that made a turntable, and asked him to create a moving turntable with a motor.


As soon as I got these items. I looked at my layout while I was thinking of fixing the tracks. I realized I had no space for these! There was so much empty space, so I decided "F it" and ripped up the foundations of the outer and inner track. This was the result





So the old setup with the outer track had gone right unto the double truss. While this made a good parade track, the incline caused a lot of problems. Namely trains tilting and falling upon passing the track. So I took off the viaduct setup from the inner track to the outer track, effectively making a loop around using the viaduct. 




This would also make room for the viaduct. The old system had the gray truss passing over the middle track. Causing such a low clearance. The gray truss is now passing the new station, where it is made a bit shorter and curving unto the river to get as much room as possible for the bus system to turn. 




I had a faller bridge set that had some plastic molting off the bridge set. Making the product completely unsellable. I decided to use it instead, and it hit me, I thought of using a bridge and waterfall setup similar to Marklinofsweden. This would be a great place to shoot trains passing over the waterfall. There was a challenge in cutting the tunnel mouth, as I made the tunnel mouth using plaster, insulator foam and chicken wire. Cutting it with gundam clippers has been a hassle. 




Moving along I noticed that upon exit from the viaduct, I would need another platform to lay the track. This in turn gave me some sort of a British feel of the layout, similar from Pokemon Sword and Shield. The parade track above would be divided from the track coming out of the viaduct. The division would be made using Faller Profi Wall, which I think I'd fit with building facades to have a shop in a wall feel. I used toiler paper and tissue to fixate it together, unfortunately I saw the profi wall being pushed a bit, tilting over. I would need to rid the tissue and brainstorm on the best method to place these walls. 




Another reason why I did this is that when I look at the station, I continue to be pissed that the station is so small, and wouldn't fit a fully fledged train. So the idea now is that every loop has a purpose. The inner loop is the main station and "the old route". The middle loop serves as a passover and the link to the turntable. The outer loop is the long route, spanning from the station through the viaduct and looking over the waterfall. So after a couple of measuring. I decided to create a platform on the outer loop, directly bordering with the edge of the layout. The long platform would use some wood or styrofoam since normal kato/tomix platforms are a tad bit expensive and too wide for purpose.


I also got another double cross. I jokingly asked an online local seller whether or not he's willing to sell a NEW WX310 double cross for 3500 yen. He said yes! And I was like, take it!


So I have two double crossovers now 😄

Edited by disturbman
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Careful with your nice gundam shippers on the chicken wire, it can ruin them fast for use on trimming sprues cleanly. Plain old pair of wire cutters is great for chicken wire. Yeah plaster and chicken wire can make uber strong landscaping but it’s pretty much a rock then and almost takes jackhammering to modify later. You’ve seen the light now on doing lighter scenery you can mod fast and easy later! 

a train layout is never done, you see that new thing (ie moving bus system) and have to add then that trips a very long series of things that have to happen! But It’s what makes the hobby so much fun!


you going to use wire in your own roads for the bus? Is your friend going to adapt a 1/87 faller mech to an n scale bus?



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Yeah I shouldve used wire cutters, but I do not own some. Maybe I should. Luckily gundam nippers here are very cheap, like a dollar a piece. So ruining one isnt really the end of the world.


I suppose it is. Theres always something to add and something to revise as time goes. Foundationally however, I hope this is the last.


I think so... Im not super sure of his process. He has a faller/tomytec bus chassis and ask me to get a large truck of a bus. Not sure if the 1/87 mech is used, since the mech seemed too big for regular usage in n scale. But yeah, Im gonna wire my own roads. I think ill take a hot knife to slice thru the cardboard surface and implant the wire, although I need to test the minimum radius in the layout first.


Speaking of which, Im looking at the possibility on whether or not the bus system could cross over kato rail crossings, and what should I use to make it happen.

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Cool, I thought you were using nice sprew nippers that can be expensive! Then just get a new pair for your plastic stuff and keep the old ones for wire!


an ho car mech might be cut up for an n scale bus. Wheels would be close. Then use a tomytec shell.


yep you can make a trough and fit the wire in like that. Just need to make sure you keep the wire depth uniform for good steering.


you can test radiuses and curves and such by taping the wire to the back of some thin styrene or chipboard (Like 1mm) and run the bus on top. Let’s you play a lot before designing streets and paths.


yes it can go over track crossings. You just need to have thin styrene or chipboard to run up just flush with the rail head and then a strip down the center of the track with just enough room for the flanges to fit thru on the rails. Then run your wire right up to the track and a short bit in the center section. Works well, little thumping around but works.



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Update, and lots of it. Great to be back


I've created a platform using Used Triplex wood, drilled and bolted unto the layout table. Then I've covered it with Faller profi wall to create a stone pattern, washed with black and brown wash and white highlights. A yellow tape to create the safety lines.


I've also drilled some holes for lamps too. I'll be placing further details when the rest are done, since I've been moving this thing multiple places. It now resides on top of my bed frame.





The idea before was to have a turntable on the right side of the layout. A turnout on the middle line would branch out to the turntable. But I believe it'll be too crowded for the city, and the guy making the custom turntable is taking an unbelievably long time. So after getting two new KATO turnouts, I switched the newer unitrack to the center station, and the older ones to the city area so that it'll blend in a bit more, or at least becoming something like a dirt track. This allowed me to switch between middle and inner loop easier, as well as link out shinkansen and other EMU from this righthand cross instead. I've also merged two wires together so that the switch could move them at once. 



The main reason being that I've added a fourth line from the inner route using tight minitrix turnouts, Less than 249mm I believe, the solenoids are also protruding out and very annoying for locos with low chassis. By rerouting the middle track to the inner track after the righthand cross, I could run longer body trains now. I've also ballasted this track and wired it from below. 



Now this turnout was, at the first plan, to route the inner line to the middle line after before the bridge. Instead, I've made a single route to an industrial site, and a place where I could store locos and wagons. It's not exactly a shunting area, but it is rather nice. I envision that it'll be a harbor where goods are shipped to and from ships going there. I'm still thinking of building the pier later, it's not exactly a shunting module but It'll do for now. The concept would be that the green truss bridge will either pull up to let boats across, or spin, as I've seen some designs that has the truss bridge spin from a middle column. But making another bridge could be done later once everything is done. I've also gotten some tomix platforms to make a smaller 3rd station here. 




Seeing that the outer line elevation has been rather messy from the unsticky ballast. I decided to use whatever cheap ballast I had left to create a quarry of sorts. I will admit that a quarry next to a rice field is anything but ordinary, I might change the concept to fixing groundwork for tracks instead. But it is a nice decorative piece I think. I'm looking for a quarry building for this, or maybe a silo or two. 




 I'm still waiting for my custom faller car system to be done, and I saw that my local KATO stockist had the Hiroshima-Hannover tram, I love it, and I am really interested in including a tram in the layout. Although I was rather disheartened by the small city  space,  I have enough length and righthand width, but the left side of the layout has less than 40cm, not to mention I'd be sharing with the bus. 


I had a brainwave. An idea would be to use an autoreverse module and have a single line run back and forth, that should be enough to create a small tram line from the city to the mountains, the idea would be that it would transport hikers to the top of the waterfall. 



The other idea would be to drill a hole through the faller profi wall and through the foundations. I used heaps of used styrofoam and beadboards covered in glue and tissue, with the proper saw or a hot knife, I should be able to penetrate the walls and the groundwork to create a tunnel.



The taped styrofoam would be propped up, and the hole in the wall would be made an accessible tunnel. Tunnel details would be made, and once done, it could be opened or closed with transparent PVC or acrylic, it'll be rather interesting to have a module like this, and definitely would solve the tram and bus radius solution. It'll also create a presentation as if the town is larger, and would give more attention to the backside of the layout. I would need to wait for the faller bus system and test the minimum radius till I could make my decision.




On a sidenote, I decided to add not only a ricefield, but a teafield as well. These are very common in Indonesia, these pics are in Sumatra. 



These would be really excellent to decorate the mountain areas and bald spots to increase the Indonesian village look apart from having too much rainforests. 


I'm still trying to figure out how to do these, the idea would be to get some foam strips to create the pattern, and then slather them with light turfing. Another idea would be to get hedge modules or maybe some sponges. Any ideas?



Anyway, that's my update for Nippon Bali, it's become rather Nippon Sumatra and Nippon Java too lol. So I hope you guys enjoy my update.


Edited by AhmadKane
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Das Steinkopf

Those photos remind me very much of trips to Puncak I did with my wife and family friends in 2001 and 2008.

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Folks have done tea hedge rows with yarn or thin pipe cleaners glued down along the contours then putting ground foam on top. Gives those pretty even hedge rows but they can conform to the hillside well and have an organic feel.



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Posted (edited)

it is with sadness and sorrow, to inform you regarding the progress.


I have recently taken up an offer to continue my study abroad, specifically Biomedical Imaging at the University of Turku, Finland. The layout, in Bandar Lampung, is going to be dismantled.


Some parts sold off to help my uni fund, some will be refurbished or given away. Its such a shame after recollecting the efforts I made for this. Ive already sold off most of my H0 and N scale collection, and most purchases will be strictly for resell to help my uni fund.


But I think this is the correct decision, since no one will be managing and maintaining this layout while I'm on my studies, and I do need the cash to prove my income for the visa.


So it's sad that the project ended like this. But here's to a new beginning!



Edited by AhmadKane
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While it’s sad that you need to dismantle the layout, there is no shame in it at all. It’s all for very good reasons and money will be needed and others can use the parts so new lives in others’ endeavors. This is part of the hobby that I think everyone goes thru, layouts are rarely forever. It had a good life and you learned gobs from doing it and had very enjoyable times. Those will all enrich your next layout down the road if you stay with the hobby and even if you don’t it’s doen good for you and probably helped your mental health while on school to have a fun and creative outlet/hobby. Taught you having a hobby is good. I would bet it also gives you a little edge over your peers without any hobbies as hobbies makes your brain workin different ways and think creatively out of the box when needed, a very good skill to have as a doctor!


it was very fun to watch you get into the hobby and go at it with gusto and also encourage others in your area about the hobby. Always so great to see!


pay the layout back by trying to get as much of it into other’s hands to have fun with! Maybe keep a favorite train or two and a little track to set up in Finland to just run around your desk to pick you up now and then. I did that in grad school with a few train cars on my desk, wish I had done a loop of track, but I found many other fun outlets with pet lizards, fish, frogs, salamanders all over my desk and lab bench as well as building all sorts of, err how shall we say, obnoxious (to those on the receiving end, but hilarious and creative to those on the giving end) devices and substances with all the stuff the lab had to offer…


best of luck in the next round of education here, sounds like a great challenge! Keep us posted on your progress, JNS has become kind of like a large extended family over the years, always wonderful to see folks pop back up on the forum with updates to life.





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Martijn Meerts

I've never actually finished a layout. With each layout you build (or partially build), you learn new skills, and learn which techniques you prefer to achieve certain results. All of this can be used for a new layout, which will then turn out better than the previous. But there will always be things you think you can improve on, and the 2nd layout will then become a bit of a learning playground again, which causes the 3rd layout to be once again better.


Even the large layouts like MIniatur Wunderland regularly get parts of the layout re-built when they come up with better ways of doing things.

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maihama eki

Best wishes on your next chapter.


I think a lot of us have gone in and out of the hobby over the years due to various circumstances.

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