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Pimp my layout 1#

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So here's the story. Before the COVID fracas I was juggling a heck of a lot of time in the lab. I'm testing the effects of electromagnetic radiation to the cognitive abilities of white rats while managing the national medical journal and prepping for rotations. Needless to say, I had a low tolerance, time and capability of making a layout. I wanted to hire a guy to make one. 


Now this guy, who's my friend. Made this layout using a KATO 248 curve with 124 straights. He also soldered in some wires and had a controller he made himself. At the time, he was a bit too busy making my layout design but offered this one instead. He had glass on it and a wooden base, along with trees, cars and a tomytec bus. He offered the entire Layout to me around 300 dollars, and it included everything plus the KATO Series 103 3-car train set. I was interested, but noting the shipping method he proposed as well as the size of the diorama, I opted out. Even after we negotiated the price to be 150 dollars, the covid situation said that getting this diorama was the last thing I needed. 



Now a couple of days prior, I had a call from him when I inquired about his manmade controller (I wanted to make and sell them). He then offered the layout once more, citing that he wanted to move on to another layout, and he'll be taking the trees and the tomytec bus. He gave me the bridge, the station and the N scale cars along with the diorama. I was a bit hesitant, and we negotiated (Plus a manmade controller) for 66 dollars with free shipping.


Now it was damaged in shipping, the top portion had a bit of scuff from being jiggled about in a wooden box. It appears he made a base using expanded polysterene foam (Which in Indonesia, we call it simply Styrofoam even if it isn't). He covered it the cut polysterene foam using a hot cable cutter or a hot knife, and plastered it with thin gypsum. As you can see, the shipping cracked it. 


Now my plan is to sell dioramas and introduce people who don't have the time nor skill to create a layout, model railroading. You'd be surprised on the amount of people who just want to play the train without making a super detailed layout like most in the community. The thing I like about this diorama I acquired is the size, it's really small and would fit in a dormroom setting or an office setting. I reckon that I could sell it to my peers in medicine, if selling it to the community wont help. 


Now I had reinforced the cracks with wall putty, once thin using a wall scraper, the other for detailing using a brush. It's now dried. Now my plan would be to revitalize and make this diorama better. Indonesians would prefer a much more detailed diorama with more complex tracks and more details, one that have larger play value for the price. So, I'm thinking of "pimping" this diorama. 



My idea would be to add a turnover outside of the mountain. I had thought of putting the turnover near the station, but I decided to put it away from it. Because if one were to add a T-track or an expansion to the diorama, they would have a proper platform to expand it, and if they do, it'll be great to have the train arrive at the station. Easiest way would be to put a KATO turnover and link the tracks. But in Indonesia, KATO turnovers is the epitome of what one would call, expensive. Moreover, the digitized solenoid would mean I would have to somehow link it to the manmade controller (Which, due to the unique way the wires are soldered to the track) is the only controller (unless I wanna pay a hefty amount to buy one) that could work the track, and the digitized turnover, simply would not benefit from it. 




I had however a trix turnover, which solenoid I've wired and made a switch of. I would still need to figure out how to wire this to the controller, but I'd save cash instead of buying a kato controller and a kato turnover. I'd have to augment the rails a bit, and start ballasting to equalize the grades. But I'm planning to ballast the track anyway, I don't like the brown color from the watercolor. 



Now other than detailing the mountain color and adding some trees. I need some advice on how to make this layout better. An idea popped as I wrote this to create a waterfall close to the bridge and have a bit of colour in the diorama. I'd have to scrape off some of the turfing and begin forming a waterfall.



I'd also add a building near the station, much like a souvenir shop for hikers. What do you guys think? Help me pimp this diorama. 






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Martijn Meerts

If you want it to be a Japanese diorama, I'd definitely look into getting one of the smaller temples / shrines to place somewhere. Tomytec should have some small ones, or otherwise a Sankei kit. I'd probably also replace the station, it looks a bit strange to me for some reason, although maybe just painting it would already give it a different look.


Other than that, again if you want it to be Japanese, plenty more trees, Japan has a ton of those. And that shrine would look great in a forest, with a small, partially paved path leading up to it from the station. 

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34 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:



Shrine! That's actually a brilliant idea. I remember when I was hiking in Nara. Those shrines of the Buddha etched in stone or hidden in parts of the way. 


Update: went back a bit mellow I'm afraid. 


https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10580086 this is the only set ready from tomytec, unfortunately they are too large to be placed in the diorama. 


https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10344146 this would fit, but it's Z scale. Not sure if it would translate well or not. 


https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10126412 This is the best option at the moment. The red roofing would certainly make it pop.


Anyone got a suggestion? Or maybe another idea. 


UPDATE again


I got this from a local store of mine. 






One is a Shinto shrine made of wood, the other is a Buddha resin statue. Which one would be better?

Edited by AhmadKane

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