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Kato Mini Diorama Kit


tossedman

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If T-Trak modules are too big or too time consuming consider the new Kato Mini Diorama kit. Hopefully this hasn't been posted elsewhere already.

 

 

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interesting.  looks like this has more sets to come.  i screenshotted a frame of the video but this website has low image limits and cannot post..

Edited by katoftw
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13 hours ago, katoftw said:

interesting.  looks like this has more sets to come.  i screenshotted a frame of the video but this website has low image limits and cannot post..


just use image size reduction to upload screen shots that are large in size. iOS can do this on the fly when you upload and I’m pretty sure there is a similar process on android. Or just use an image app to reduce size or compress more.

 

jeff

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roadstar_na6

To resize an image on any phone just create a WhatsApp group with somebody, then throw that person out again and send the images to yourself. Since WA reduces them you can then use them here on the forum. 😉

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On iOS it’s nice as most anywhere you go to place your images or share them you can set the size of the image (small, medium, large, actual). I just did some googling and it appears not part of android os, but Samsung gallery lets you resize images from it upon sharing them. Not sure if that will work into the photo upload though. 
 

I think someday the world will become one gigantic hard drive as we keep storing (and backing up) more and more at higher and higher resolutions!

 

jeff

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lukewang01

It's my first shot at diorama. I think this set is perfect for starters like me, it walks you through the general process of making a diorama.

 

Base.thumb.png.cf0bbc2945d77f88edfaa2cb16839793.png

 

The other reason I bought it is because it looks great with B-trains on it due to it's size.

 

Pic1.thumb.png.1a54b9fdec123f95a09f3390bbeb845b.png

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Welshbloke

I do like the look of these, they're fun and don't take ages to finish. Might also pull some newbies in from other craft hobbies who want to try making something different.

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Welshbloke

I've built two or three tabletop modules with varying success rates now.

 

The double length Kato engine shed on thin ply worked perfectly. The pair of snow scenes with S curves (following one of Shigemon's videos) decided to warp badly for no discernable reason. The Swiss avalanche gallery with 3d printed arches needs finishing, but I've hit something of a block regarding what to do next and how to finish the scenery.

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I’m now tempted to cut a few of these out of ply and try some of these, would be grand to have on our display table as an example of what you can do with the concept. I do think it may attract some from other hobbies and crafters. That crossover is always good.

 

noodling on maybe a couple of other shapes or maybe just a larger or deeper one so there would be enough room for a single small building. Thought of whacking it in half, but I’m afraid on this format that will just look weird. Coming up with shapes will be tough, they did a nice job with the off centered rounded rectangle they did.

 

jeff

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Nozomi329

It seems to be a great idea, and I really wish some other brands around the world could follow. And hopefully one day they could have a R249 version to accommodate most Japanese trains...

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This looks really awesome. It seems like they've since added a "panda" kit though I can't seem to find that anywhere. I also noticed they have a couple of diorama bases that they sell as standalones for you to work on yourself (seen here: https://www.kato-dioramakit.com/size). Does anyone know where to get these? All the searches I've done only turn up the Diorama-kun kit.

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I checked with nariichi San at MTP and Kato seems to be all sold out of the curved and straight kits. Most likely due to the string of contests. He will yell when they come back in stock.
 

I’m still on the fence to just pay up for a pile and go at them or spend time to make my own and simplify the design as I don’t have a laser cutter to cut all the tabs and slots (although I can cut the main ovals on the router table once I have a master). The bases feel a bit heavy to me for their size and I want to experiment with making a top section and putting scenery on it then play with ways to make a foundation to the top plate tha t may feel a bit lighter. Does look like someone spent some time on the bases but still feels a bit heavy, but that may be the tradeoff on modules this size. I found weird things when I experimented on various size and shaped module bases for t scale. Also wondering if there’s an interesting shape to do a larger module for a bit more of a larger structure as these scenes are all super micro, but that may be what this size does the best and larger will just muck it up.
 

Love the concept of just a small box of these plopped on the table with some track bits in between can make a cool little meandering layout and use a Btrain shortie or small tram. Fast and easy.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Thanks for the info. I've found a few listings at some various random shops but the stock definitely seems to be low as I've gotten several cancellations. I have a couple of orders that seem to have gone through though, so I'm hoping they actually do make their way over to me. I have yet to find the Panda kit but I'm not sure I care too much to make that one as I think I'll want to experiment with my own designs after the first one anyway.

Do you feel the weight is a bit too unwieldy for the size? I think I wouldn't mind the weight but I haven't handled one yet so I can't really say much. It would be cool to figure out a way to get the surface area a bit bigger to accommodate larger objects and such. I've seen some people kind of expand to the very edge of the base, at least, as there's a lip around the sides that would be unused normally. But definitely nothing too crazy so far. One thing that I was thinking of is that you can also just connect these to a larger module, potentially, that doesn't have to be in quite the same format. 

I do think that a lot of the benefit of this format is the very small space though, requiring you to be creative but also not forcing you to commit very much to the long time it might take to do a similar idea on a larger platform. I also love the amount of space (or lack of, maybe) that these things take up. Just being able to plop a few together on a desk whenever you want is a big plus for me.
 

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It’s not the gravity weight it’s the visual weight, the base is rather ornate and thick. It’s the balance of the frame and the picture. It’s not bad, not like Ttrak boxes which are way huge for what’s needed physically and visually. I found when I went small for the t scale module experiments it was a different world. These are down on that size but house a fraction the scenery of a t scale (1/450) module. Will be fun to experiment, need to get at it with some track and corrugated cardboard!

 

it’s got me thinking though to take a couple of pieces of track to the craft store, art store and Home Despot to see if there is anything out there premade that could be made into a base as having something very available and inexpensive is the key to getting a lot of newbies into the hobby. $15 isn’t horrible to start on a module, but it’s not inexpensive. I’m hoping to try to get a pack together in $5-10 range with module, track and some scenery bits to be able to sell at events at cost for folks to get started with. Or doing events with a kids group. We were looking at Ttrak to do this but these really get down to basics and much more approachable by a beginner than a bigger Ttrak scene in time and cost.
 

jeff

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Aaaah, I misunderstood you. That makes more sense. You're right about the way the base looks. I actually have wondered about what the exact purpose of its specific design was meant to be. It does seem like you could have had something more simply designed to do the same job. I don't make these things for a living, though, so I guess there could be some specific considerations they had in mind. 

I love your idea, though. As someone new to the hobby, the Diorama-kun kit itself is very appealing to me as it cuts down on me having to go look around and find the specific materials I would need. I'm used to researching and looking around for materials from doing model kits but it's still nice to just be able to just pick up a box and get started. And especially for kids I can see the value in something like this. I actually want to get my little cousin who is into arts & crafts one of these diorama kits. Plus, when they are done, they can potentially use it for running trains and it won't just have to sit on a shelf or in a box somewhere collecting dust, never to be thought of again.

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I do see why they did the tab system and box as it’s easy to assemble and you can cut into the box to do a depression scene all the way down to the base. Also looks like a classic base for many small tchotchkes with the two steps.

 

im kind of divided about the raised plate under the track. I like that it allows lower scenery or to act as a bridge, it does require adding stuff if you want things closer to the track height.

 

I really agree it’s a fun way to get folks going and do more arts and craft and diorama stuff but easily run a train and not be something that ends up in a box. I’ve run into a lot of folks at our non train shows that show interest in the diorama and arts and craft element of Ttrak. We just did a Ttrak display at a big Japanese anime convention a couple of weeks ago and we were expecting more interest in all our anime trains, but the big hit was folks being really interested in doing small scenes.

 

ive started looking around for the cheap little scene bits that I could buy in bulk to make some kits up with.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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9 hours ago, cteno4 said:

I’m still on the fence to just pay up for a pile and go at them or spend time to make my own and simplify the design

It's a slippery slope. The big attraction of these little dioramas is that you can create something for very little effort. By creating something better ourselves, we loose the very thing that attracts us to the concept Tricky one !

 

 

As many of these will no doubt end up in the trash, I'm perticually happy to see that they contain minimal plastic. 

 

I think this is a great concept and a wonderful step forward for our hobby. Hats off to Kato.

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After a long hiatus, I am back! Not yet back to active model railroading, but at least taking a serious look into what may be possible in the future! We are currently waiting for the building permit of our new home, which will be quite tiny, not exceeding 600 sqft.. While it will be sufficient to incorporate my wife and myself, there won´t be any space left for a layout, not even my former nini-module layout. So this Kato mini-module kits could come in handy, I shall bewatching thus space for updates!

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Glad you are back madog! Can’t wait to see your take on these. The basic kits still seem to be sold out from the competitions this summer. I just got a loop of r183 track to play with cutting out some of my own and experimenting with shapes and sizes. 
 

jeff

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Welshbloke

I have seen laser cut baseboard kits designed to fit Ikea "Billy" bookcases, which might be a solution if you can spare a shelf.

 

Incidentally, Busch make some natty vac formed tunnels which might work well with this idea. I have one which is a perfect fit with Kato R150 curves and easily accommodates my Rhätische Bahn fleet. It looks a bit Ghibli Hills but I kind of like that, it has gained a 3d printed Porco Rosso standing on a bridge and watching the waterfall as a result! You could easily make it a bit grubbier and bed it into a mini module if desired. My other two fit well with curves in the R183-R282 range, they're a bit less restrictive.

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