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My first train on my first layout - a little piece of rural Japan in the summer


MeTheSwede

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MeTheSwede

When the Corona Crises prevented me from travelling to Japan last summer I started watching cab view videos taken from diesel cars travelling through the lush summer landscapes of rural Japan. I don't remember the details, but one day I realised I had space enough for a little layout and that what was supposed to be my travel budget was more than enough to buy some stuff.

 

I've never considered starting with model trains before. I used to do lego modelling, but that was a few years ago. I've never done any other modelling stuff. Doing permanent changes through glueing and painting was a bit scary at first. I'm used to be able to just take pieces apart and try again when I do mistakes. 😅

 

 

Anyway, it's time to show my layout. It's not really finished (they never do get finished, do they?) but I added some more trees yesterday and now I think it's good enough to take a look at.

 

 

 

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 This line doesn't have a lot of trafik. A bit of bad luck for the ladies who has to wait at the railway crossing.

(Yes, many normal people consider it a nuissance when a train crosses the road.😮

 

 

 

 

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From another angle.  My train is a Kiha 85 from Rokuhan.

 

 

 

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There are cars waiting too. I bet that doesn't happen to often here as there are not many places to go to on the other side.

This place is so rural noone has even bothered to paint road markings yet. The responsible official is probably a lazy modeller.

 

 

 

 

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The train has reached the unmanned station. Unlike when I was at Shinjuku, I'd have no problems with finding the station exits here.

 

 

 

 

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Time for the Kiha train to leave for the village in the next valley. Looks like someone come by car to visit the little shrine situated on the mountain side.

 

 

 

 

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Japan is really green this time of the year. Still, there are some patches of concrete around the tunnel entrance that hasn't been fully overgrown yet. Perhaps the train company had to clean some hanging bushes away from there?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MeTheSwede
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MeTheSwede

 

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The shrine can be a bit hard to photograph among all trees surrounding it.

 

 

 

 

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It looks like the world ends next to the shrine, but that can of course not be the case. It's probably just the bounday between the Eurasian and Pacific tectonic plates.

 

The whole mountain section with the shrine on is possible to lift off, as I was originally planing for the possibility a multimodular layout. That won't happen now, but replacing the curve under the mountain with straight tracks to continue to another module would be easy if I ever want to do so.

 

 

 

 

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A view from the other side.

 

 

 

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I wonder what that couple is up to up there in the woods.

 

 

 

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A view from up the mountain side.

I've been making quite a few trees for this layout...

 

 

 

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And even more trees...

That path up to the shrine looks like it might urn into a muddy torrent during heavy rains.

 

 

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I guess making trees is the only part of layout making I can now claim to be reasonably experienced with. 😅

 

And I think I know ballasting too. I've yet to understand what some people find hard and tedious about it. Okay, doing the points were a bit nerve wracking, but they turned out fine too. The ballast comes from a children's playground nearby.

 

 

 

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It's time to say good bye to the train before it disappears among the trees.

 

(I've learned now that having trees over your track doesn't make track cleaning easier.)

 

 

 

 

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Time to put the layout back indoors.

 

Who said there's not enough room for a loop on a shelf layout? This 74 x 36 cm z-scale loop layout lives inside an IKEA Billy bookcase with doors. No dust or cats allowed inside!

 

 

That's all for now. Now I'll focus on that big n-scale stuff!  😀

 

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disturbman

Beautiful! It's rare to see such lush, Japanese layouts. Layouts are usually more urban focused. Somehow I can't help but think you might have been influenced by Swedish landscapes. 🙂

This is Z-scale? I never realized there was so many buildings available in that scale.

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gavino200
51 minutes ago, MeTheSwede said:

 

 

Aj5Z08x.jpg

 

And even more trees...

That path up to the shrine looks like it might urn into a muddy torrent during heavy rains.

 

 

K1Stj04.jpg

 

I guess making trees is the only part of layout making I can now claim to be reasonably experienced with. 😅

 

 

 

 

These trees look really good. Is there any chance you would make a shore technique thread, showing how you make them?

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MeTheSwede
On 2/22/2021 at 5:09 PM, disturbman said:

Beautiful! It's rare to see such lush, Japanese layouts. Layouts are usually more urban focused. Somehow I can't help but think you might have been influenced by Swedish landscapes. 🙂


This is Z-scale? I never realized there was so many buildings available in that scale.

 

At times I was quite concerned that I would unconsiously end up modelling something Swedish looking.  I wished I had spent more times studying trees and bushes when visiting Japan. 🙂

 

This is z-scale. Sankei has very good building kits for z-scale just as they have for n-scale. Rokuhan has a bunch of buildings, all of them in multiple colour varieties. In total that's about a hundred buildings to chose from.

 

And if there's anyone who doesn't have room for a shelf layout, he could go for Rokuhan's z-scale shortys... With the 45mm radius curves it's possible to fit a layout inside a bento lunch box and drive a Helly Kitty shorty shinkansen at work during lunch break. 😄

 

What does not exist are Japanese road vehicles. There is absolutely nothing as far as I'm aware of and I find i quite odd that Rokuhan hasn't made any since they have pretty much everything else needed for a layout covered.

 



 

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MeTheSwede
On 2/22/2021 at 5:40 PM, gavino200 said:

 

These trees look really good. Is there any chance you would make a shore technique thread, showing how you make them?

 

Whenever I feel like making some more trees again, I'll try to remember to take som pictures to illustrate a write up. I've been using some quite simple methods really. It's mostly about having good materials.

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tossedman

Nice! Love the look of your trees and vegetation. Train looks pretty good too. Hard to believe that's in a Billy bookcase. You've packed a lot into a small space.

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:09 AM, disturbman said:

Beautiful! It's rare to see such lush, Japanese layouts. Layouts are usually more urban focused. Somehow I can't help but think you might have been influenced by Swedish landscapes. 🙂

I agree with @disturbman and @tossedmanYour layout looks great with the extra foliage. Japanese summer gets very overgrown, even urban areas where waste ground is left to its own devices for some time. Where i live, it’s usually left until the humidity starts drying out a little, unless things are encroaching on rails. 

 

I often find layouts that look good but don’t quite imitate the look of Japanese summer quite as well as yours. I can almost hear the cicadas chirping. Great work.

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