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19 hours ago, shiniji said:

I can't find words for it, that's perfectionism that you practice. my respect for this work.

I  follow this topic with pleasure. thats so inspiring ☺️


Hey Shinji, thank you for the support and welcome to the forum. There are definitely times when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have taken on but reading positive comments likes yours really helps me feel it is going to be worth it in the end. 

Visible progress has been slow lately but hang tight there are a couple of milestones coming soon 😊

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I feel for you. I know that too well, in all the years I've been building model railroad layouts, I've often had my motivation and inspiration lost.

It usually helped me to continue on another project (which is good that I am currently building four model railroad layouts) or to look around in forums what others are doing and then, like in your Theard, the inspiration for me comes. I'm looking forward to how it goes on with your layout :D

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On 8/11/2021 at 2:19 PM, Kamome442 said:

Visible progress has been slow lately but hang tight there are a couple of milestones coming soon 😊


Hangin' tight and enjoying the progress. I think it's plenty fast. Quality like this shouldn't be rushed.

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On 8/13/2021 at 12:26 AM, gavino200 said:

Hangin' tight and enjoying the progress. I think it's plenty fast. Quality like this shouldn't be rushed.


Thanks gavino, glad you are enjoying the journey.


I haven't posted for a while however that is not to say there has not been any progress. Most of the things I have been working on such as finishing the bridges and the pavement have already been talked about. I have been doing a lot of sanding to get the boards joined and flush but even I could not bring myself to write about a sheet of sand paper. 


I do now have all 4 boards sanded and 3 of those have magnets and metal dowels fixed. I have a few more bits to tidy up this week on the board with track such as reinforcing the rails at the ends. Once this done it is time for some paint. I have picked out colours (with the help of people who can see colours properly) for the bricks, track, road, concrete etc. As long as it doesn't rain I will be able to get the primer done at the weekend. 


Pavement will be going down on the next two boards, once down and painted I can fix the bridges down and start laying more track.


I have also been working on the fiddle yard. The main problem has been the Keihin–Tōhoku Line tracks running either side of the Yamanote Lines. I don't want to have to build a flyover at each end of the fiddle yard. This is the current plan:



I need to allow for trains entering and leaving the fiddle-yard simultaneously on the Yamanote Line so I tried to factor in alternate routes. I haven't decided on the number of tracks for each line yet I just wanted to get a feel for how to lay everything out. 


I am also going to test 3D printed points (switches), it was an idea suggested to me some years ago to move the rails similar to a maglev or monorail off scene. It seemed like an interesting idea and would certainly reduce the complexity of wiring frogs. I was going to see if I could make one like a cassette with the motor built into the unit. That way it could be quickly swapped out at an exhibition if a point failed. It would mean having a standard turnout radius but I could work with that if the tests are successful.





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I can't believe I forgot to mention one thing I made, considering how stupidly proud I was of myself, when it worked.

I have a working street light, a massive thank you jeff for the recommended wire strippers that are very easy to use and work perfectly. Also a huge thank you to mailhama for suggesting using the brass tube as part of the circuit, I was able to keep the 0.5mm diameter pole which looks so much closer in scale than the ready made version.

Here is the first attempt, a little scruffy but I am working on a version two:



And what it looks like with the light on:


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Drawing the first Building


I started work on the first building, an office called the X-PRESS Yurakucho Building, that sits just behind the tracks.


Source: Apple maps


With a little searching I was able to find the websites for the Architect that made the building and then the Company that leases the workspace. Between the two I was able to get floor plans for several floors with measurements. This included the ground floor giving an accurate spacing from the office to the tracks. 

Here is one of the completed floor plans:



I wasn't able to find any elevation drawings so I have has to work this out from scratch. So far I have completed a rough sketch of the south elevation. It still needs a few more passes checking against reference pictures but I am pretty happy with how this coming is together.



A View of the actual building taken from the expressway:


Source: Google Streetview


Once all the sides are done I can print it out and mock up a scale paper model to check the fit. The finished model will need to be split with the upper floors detached when transporting the layout. Once the mock up is done I will ba able to work out the best place to put the join.


I was hoping to do some painting this weekend but that is looking unlikely at the moment. There is still tomorrow to get things finished however I have decided to cut the expressway off and make it a detachable part. I remember being more than a little liberal with the wood glue when I fixed it in place. I have to be very careful when cutting it free not to accidentally cut through any wires, I have about 2cm clearance to the back of the arches. My dad does have a Japanese saw so I will have a practice using that and if I get on with I will very slowly a carefully cut the road free. I will then use magnets at the corners to make it a removable part.


The reason for the change has really been the addition of lights, I have lots more wires than I originally planned for and this will make a great hiding place for cable runs. Also since putting in the streetlights I have been looking at all the windows along the back of the expressway, each time I do I can't help thinking wouldn't it be good if they lit up too!


Source: Apple maps


Hopefully it will give a nice effect having light pollution coming up from the gap between the track and the road. Backlit Shinkansen anyone!?


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Just a quick update, I have printed out one side of the X-Press Building just to get a sense of how it will look so I thought I would share it here.

This not the side that backs onto the tracks and it is not in its actual location but it does give good illustration of what back drop will look like.


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Thank you maihama, I definitely got lucky. I have spent 3 days now trying to find any information on surrounding buildings and so far I have only found a floor plan on a bars website located on one floor of a building and that is not to scale. It feels great when you find the right combination of words to translate and search for, a lot more annoying when you can't. Still at least I know where go to get a drink!

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I have finished very rough sketches of each side of the X-Press building. This is the side that will face the tracks. The windows on the right are at the half way point on the stairwell hence the different level. Sadly the only other windows on this side are for the toilets, there is also small outside section on each floor where the bars are in the middle. I am not entirely sure what these are for.



I have decided the make the split between the 3rd and 4th floors. I was able to find details about the internal floor heights so I have reduced each floor by 0.6mm. This will be added to the top of the building. If you look at the image above you can clearly see the plant floor at the top is not high enough if the windows on the left are half way between floors. I had wrongly assumed the main office windows were started at floor hight but they don't.


I have started to refine the designs now I have added a decorative lip along the lower edge of the windows, moved the panel lines for the external facade into the correct position and added the louvres to the vents that line bottom edge of each floor. I will most likely get the window frames and vents etch in nickel silver.



The next building to work on will be just next door, I am yet to find any useful information about its dimensions.


Source: Google StreetView


I figure my best bet is to look up dimensions for doors, windows or even the beer crates as I guess these will be standard sizes and try to work out the overall dimensions from there. If anyone knows a better way I would very much appreciate the help.



Edited by Kamome442
Missing source info
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Great work. I would say the beer crates are your best bet or the hight of the traffic sign ? But, as you know the dimentions of the building you have just created and it is right next door ! Could you not find a photo of the two together ? 

All the best with this



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Thanks Tom, I just found the dimensions for the beer crates they are using. Initially the internet was determined to sell me the beer in the crate but I eventually found a site that sells old crates with dimensions listed. I may use the traffic sign to double check as I have already drawn these up to scale.


I did look for photos of the two together, the only pictures I could find had some funky perspectives.

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54 minutes ago, Kamome442 said:

Initially the internet was determined to sell me the beer in the crate but I eventually found a site that sells old crates with dimensions listed

I wouldn't have been so persistent and would have settled for the first offering, after that the dimentions wouldn't have mattered any more 🤣

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On 9/24/2021 at 9:46 PM, Kamome442 said:

I have finished very roug


I figure my best bet is to look up dimensions for doors, windows or even the beer crates as I guess these will be standard sizes and try to work out the overall dimensions from there. If anyone knows a better way I would very much appreciate the help.



Option 1 - Diameter of roadsigns

Option 2 - orange plastic box, it's standardized size



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Thanks JM, I have the dimensions for both now, roadsigns diameter is D:600mm and the orange boxes are L:450mm W:360mm H:320mm

Hopefully that should give me enough information to get everything drawn up. I just finished the final drawing for the first building so I will be making a start on this one tonight.


Finished drawings for the first building:



I will get a 3D paper model of at least this one done in the week. If I can finish drawing up the next one I will try to get a model of that made up too.


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11 hours ago, Kamome442 said:

roadsigns diameter is D:600mm and the orange boxes are L:450mm W:360mm H:320mm




As usual, standard is always the same wherever you go. Afterwards, it's simply a matter of 'country standard' but those ones, you have size now. What help me is my habit to have someone or something giving a size when I'm shooting photos.


Happy to help you

Edited by JR East
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14 hours ago, JR East said:

Happy to help you


Much appreciated, JM and Tom you have both been a big help.

First rough draft complete.




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What kind of a 3D printer are you using?   

Have you guys seen the latest issue of this magazine  Architectural Record and the fancy motion picture building?  Pretty spiffy


Edited by Kb4iuj
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10 hours ago, Kb4iuj said:

What kind of a 3D printer are you using?   


Hi Kb4iuj, Thank you for dropping by. I am using a Photon S made by Anycubic, they have come down in price a lot in the last year now that Anycubic have introduced a newer Mono series. It uses an LCD screen to project the image with a UV back light into the resin tank. They are about to introduce the Photon Ultra with Direct Light Projection (DLP) which is meant to produce even finer details. I have been very impressed with the results of my printer, I am still a newbie when it comes to resin printing so I haven't really pushed it to its limits. 


10 hours ago, Kb4iuj said:

Have you guys seen the latest issue of this magazine  Architectural Record and the fancy motion picture building?  Pretty spiffy


I haven't seen the latest copy of Architectural Record, I will check out the motion picture building.




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I got around to working on the bridge supports on the second board this weekend. When I originally designed the layout I mostly used aerial images to get the shape right in plan view. I did use street level pictures to work the height of the arches and their placement. Now that I am looking at each area in more detail and working out how construct individual parts I have found some of the wooden braces are in the wrong place. 


This is the last brace before the bridge, when I drew up the baseboard this area was covered with boards while construction was going on under the tracks.



Now that is complete I can see that the area is much more open than I expected and forms the entrance to the newly opened Hibiya OKUROJI shopping parade. A simple fix, I made the 3D printed bridge support with a lip to sit under the track and replace this end of the brace. Now it needs is a few careful cuts with a saw to fix the problem.



Actually it needed quite a lot of cutting!



Now that this is done I can fix the bridge supports in their final position. the next step is to build the road and pavements between the supports, once painted I will be able to fix the bridges in place.



I had always planned on modelling the arches as they appeared in 2019 while they were constructing the OKUROJI. This was was for two main reasons, firstly that is how it looked when I visited the area and secondly all the arches had tarpaulins over them them so I wouldn't have to model the interiors. Now that is complete the look of the area is slowly growing on me. The design for each arch is pretty uniform and I don't think it would take any longer to model the the site in its current form. Units could push in from the back so I could remove them to work on interiors over time.


I decided to draw up one of the arches. Some have doors in the middle while others just have windows. At the south end there are two recesses either side of the windows with screens covering pipes and AC equipment. There is also a floor light in each recess to illiuminte the arch at night.



I made up a couple paper models to see how it looks on the layout. While it is totally different to how I have the final look planned in my head, I can honestly say don't dislike the look of it.





Arches at the north end have flush screens either side of the windows covering the AC units, they have a light strip that follows the curve of the arch running above the windows and screens. In the centre there are recesses like above but there are additional floor lights in-front of the arches illuminating sections of brickwork. It would take the layout from looking quite shabby and run down to looking quite up market and I am not sure how I feel about that.


Any thoughts are very much welcome.




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A New Look and A Sunken Arch

I have made the decision to go with model the refurbished arches. For one thing it will save me a lot of time, as there is a lot of repetition in the units under each arch. This would certainly not be the case with a construction scene with different covers on each arch. There are really only three designs for the retail units. I have decided to etch walls, it will give really crisp detail and be faster than making them by hand. The base will be 3D printed for the same reasons.

The finished design work for two versions of retail unit:



An image of an actual arch for comparison:


Source: Google Streetview


Not all of the arches have shop fronts, some are open so that you can access the internal corridor. This entrance is at the south end of the arches.


Source: Google Streetview


Street view recently updated and you can now take a tour underneath the arches, well it would be rude not too! This is the entrance to the same arch viewed from the inside looking out.


Source: Google Streetview


The shot above is beneath the Tokaido Main Line tracks (white columns) with the original brick arches behind (only the front for tracks run on brick arches, the rear four lines run on concrete viaducts added in the 1950's and 60's). As you can there is actually a significant hight difference from the front to the back of the original brick arches. This is in part due to the original arches being built alongside a canal. Seen here in an image from the 1920's



Source: www.oldtokyo.com


The canal was actually part of the outer moat for the Imperial Palace helping to circulate water. It was filled in when the additional tracks were added. Seeing as I have not glued arches on two of the baseboards and the fact that I brought a new saw, I have decided to do a little alteration while I am laying the roads under the bridges. 

I figured that I could cut a hole in the top of the board and make lowered sections for the entrances.


To illustrate the idea I have removed the track bed from this cutaway image. The highlighted area is what will be cut away. I will try to keep some of the arch to help with stability. 



Once cut away, I will add a wall around the edge of the hole and glue in a new lowered floor.



Like the other arches I will add a 3D printed base with the steps and use etches to create the shop. This will need to be shorter than the lowered section so that this section can slide backwards should it need to be removed for cleaning and maintenance.



I am going to add a removable 3D printed ceiling to make it easier to paint and maintain the structure. 



Finally a representation of the Tokaido Main Lines columns will also be 3D printed and help obscure the view to the inside.



This should give a rough idea of how the finished interior will look.



Finally a view from the inside looking out, showing the height difference.



I have completed the drawing work for the etches and I will get them ordered after the weekend. It will usually take around 3-4 weeks until I get the etches back. In that time I will be making the bases for the simple shop fronts. I will also try to get as much work done of the sunken arch as possible. There are a couple of entrances on the middle board however seeing as I have already glued everything in place I cannot see a way to lower the board for these, at least not without some seriously major surgery! I will need to find a way to create the impression of a lower floor.


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Uplighting test, just in time to tell scary stories 🎃



This was made with a 0402 warm white LED, 0.75mm fibre optic and brass tubing.

There is a little light bleeding from the base, once the pavement is in place it should fix that.

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Street Lights...Ready to Go


I don't mind saying that this has been the worst project I have worked on so far. Trying to get all the subtle curves forming correctly to create the shape I want pushed my sanity close to its limit. Maybe I have a new found appreciation for the people who design something most people just walk past? Or maybe not! Either way I have finally finished the design work on the first 4 lights for Yurakucho and I can finally start to putting them all together.


The first two are used along the alley in front of the arches. There is no real pattern they just alternate randomly with style A more common at either end and style B more common in the middle. I had to take some liberties with style B in order to fit an LED inside, curve at the top is a little deeper than it should be and I had to slightly lower where the pole attaches to make the outer shell thick enough to print. (all of the prototype photos are sourced from Google Streetview)



The next two live under the bridges at the south end. They are both attached to the same light pole, style C lighting the pavement and style D lighting the road.



The design process was pretty straight forward, I started out with pencil sketches as a quick way to get an idea of the shape. Then I created scaled 2D drawings to work out accurate dimensions. The final step was to use the dimensions to build the 3D model. At each step I checked my work against the photographs I had collected. 

Below are a couple of my sketches and drawings for style D



They are all now printed so the next job is going to be adding LED's and attaching them to their poles ready for painting. This is what they look like 3D printed with the recesses needed to hold an LED. The 'fishbowl' style lenses for styles B and D will be printed separately in clear resin.







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1 hour ago, Kamome442 said:

curve at the top is a little deeper than it should be

This is rather disapointing to hear. I feel the whole layout is being compromised by this glaring inaccuracy. First it was the crack in brick No.4597 being a few mm too short and now this ! You're on a slippery slope ruin 🤪


Joking aside, Totally fab work. I can't wait to see them installed and lit 👍

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That's a fair point Tom, I guess when you start cutting corners it can be a slippery slope. I will try to keep everything up to the standards we have come to expect going forward 😉


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