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Mini Diorama Contest Exhibition


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Today I visited the Model Railway Contest in JR Kyushu Hall in Hakata station. The event was a Kato only run event and even got a glimpse of Mr. Kato himself looking very traditional in his hakama.7E731729-234E-4521-8135-7E0F0FEB83D9.thumb.jpeg.e54f6c7ed12876ca390ad02ec21fee6f.jpeg


It wasn’t an enormous event but well worth the ¥500 admission to look at the individual entries. Some had really gone to town and created some very unique scenes on such a small area. 182F68D9-B43E-42FA-B0DF-12BAC76A7870.thumb.jpeg.30dd6ffcdae2e6851c4e0ebe04dccf68.jpeg3D4D0171-35BB-4696-BB20-FA86A888B11E.thumb.jpeg.236f097447991864dc55ad6e1b5b973b.jpegF4089E07-F57A-4778-98B6-6DE3095453DD.thumb.jpeg.72128989e3bb310b3047a8d24488c9af.jpeg5C6A1C12-78F0-413A-93CA-CE908C580B10.thumb.jpeg.38b9c2f2c311ac33a82be0f01dd7ffa9.jpeg03FBA93D-5019-41FF-B2CF-D6E49969FB42.thumb.jpeg.f56ae99eeb7fb095abe6564ad72be596.jpeg72F099F5-DE5B-4086-B871-13C2747CCFD1.thumb.jpeg.a2d53b40e639381c940abd874e1f5454.jpeg


There were also some of the High school T Trak entries as well as the Kato show layout. 



2482440C-3B32-408E-B753-BAFA9DFA3E38.thumb.jpeg.5c6a20846db1443b18c8e9eda559872d.jpegThe Kato stand showcased some of the model samples of upcoming releases, IGR 7000, Mc250 SRC, HOT 7000 as well as a full unpainted consist of the N700S alongside the N700A showing how the model differs. (for the doubters perhaps)1742B4A7-C02E-484C-BC09-CBD43AE26767.thumb.jpeg.714eb647a669da3ee20c83c63fdca831.jpeg9E8299AC-13D1-42B5-A247-EBB8A52B250A.thumb.jpeg.533aa02c155fcd43b45e31570b2ba6e0.jpeg


There was a small stand selling Kato products at the full SRP. Some venue or Kato Hobby Center exclusives were on sale including some dual gauge HO/N unit rack but ¥6600 for 4 straights it was a bit pricey and un-required.


There were a few interesting card and metal etched kits for a narrow gauge diesel and wagons. The card body of the diesel fits on to one of Kato’s 4 wheel motor chassis. They had small workshop stands showing how these went together using Rocket card glue as well as the metal etched wagons, by KTM, being soldered together. 2 final workshop stands were showing how to put together electrical pylon kits and the Keikyu train from the front of the Hobby Center.



There was a contest exclusive Kiha 58/28 2 car JR set in JNR colours with some extra printed kanji in white on the outside. Also 2 white lines running the length of the body.

This was also being sold in the Poppondetta store for the same ¥10,000. Looks like they will also produce a JR Kyushu version in November product number 10-952 for ¥12,100.


Finally, the Kato stand were showing a 3D printed controller prototype that looks to combine with the soundbox. AA514751-620B-45FB-BBBE-794163A4F12F.thumb.jpeg.4ae98a5766a4df5cee594e118f17ed75.jpegC7DD95B0-DF18-4A2B-AC98-1761D18DF0CE.thumb.jpeg.331cac95978ab2db5eed1a9c990b0180.jpeg

Edited by Kamome
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This is cool to see. Thanks for posting these pictures from the event. Those mini dioramas and T-trak modules by the high schoolers are particularly cool. Seeing that prototype controller has got me excited, as well. I've been eyeing the Tomix N-DU101-CL specifically because of the simulated one-handled style. This Kato one could be cool depending on the price if it comes out.

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Looks like Shigemon was there sometime later. Due to the heavy rain, the Shinkansen was heavily delayed and the Kagoshima line was cancelled south of Fukuoka and stopped at 4pm North East.




There is a similar event in Tokyo next weekend. 

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Thank you for posting this video. I so wish I could understand Japanese. Some of those modules are way 'out of the box' inspiering. Really refreshing to see non tradtional modeling. There are so many unexplored areas of our hobby just waiting to be dicovered. The underwater one @ 0.54 is a great example and look at all those lanterns on the inn @ 2.58 Is this in N ? Did you get to see them all ? I would die to see an exabition like this come to the South of France 👍


The foot bridge cut flush with the front of the module @ 3.38

All those steps @ 4.21

The cliffs @ 5.43

The whole concept of Mini dioramas @ 5.56 - 6.18

And of course Prince @ 11.21 My daughter, 7 years old, is a member of the FFestiniog railway and loves Prince. Hmm, will have to see how much it will cost ? 😉


The list goes on. All good stuff that shows the healthy state of our hobby 🙂


Thank you again.






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5 hours ago, Tom C said:

Did you get to see them all

Yes I had a good look around. The little individual kits Kato have been selling are a great way to get started and building confidence in creating scenery. (28-888 and 28-889) There were some very good compositions whereby modellers had taken advantage of the raised profile of the track. 


I was talking to one of the Kato staff members who writes a lot of the published copy that Kato produces. Thankfully his English was excellent and way better than my Japanese.

He was saying that the business wants to engage more with schools and was explaining their idea of STEAM. Like STEM education but with Art added for the A.

As the hobby requires electronic, wood-working, mathematics, engineering and observation and artistic ideas among others, it’s a great way for kids to apply a range of skills and to see a project through to completion. 

Edited by Kamome
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On 8/15/2021 at 12:28 PM, Kamome said:

Looks like Shigemon was there sometime later. Due to the heavy rain, the Shinkansen was heavily delayed and the Kagoshima line was cancelled south of Fukuoka and stopped at 4pm North East.




There is a similar event in Tokyo next weekend. 


I am also really impressed by their new motor (GM-3?). Really smooth! Check 15:25.

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The Tokyo show has now been covered by Shigemon.



There is also an app available with live streams and other extended information but Japanese only I’m afraid.





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Sounds like things are starting to get organised again although sounds like Warley wont return anytime soon. My father went to one in Farnham in Surrey last weekend, plus there’s been a few videos of the Great Electric Train Show on Youtube. 


This was not really an exhibition as we would know it but an event to display the entries to a mini diorama competition run by Kato. It was a reasonable event, only ¥500 entry, with some new product demos as well as an opportunity to purchase some HC Kato exclusives. It was obviously successful and they have decided to organise next years event with a lot more notice. Surprised there’s not an Osaka event added for next year. 


The only other exhibition i’ve been to in Japan is JAM and the mentality to operating a layout is running  trains round and round through the various scenes rather than more realistic operations of a railway. 

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The Birmingham train spotter

Yeah the model railway club I'm apart of is planning some events to get more money and I'm going to ask if the club can build a N Gauge Japanese layout to show off Japanese N Gauge products and Japanese culture in model form.The process is slow but talks are being made

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  • Kamome changed the title to Model Rail Contest Exhibition

Off to the 2022 Kyushu show, this year in Tenjin.


Photos to follow later but there are also live streams on the designated app.

Edited by Kamome
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Sounds interesting, I can't wait to see the photos from the event.  If it's anything like last time, I'm sure there'll be a lot of inspiring work on display.

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A good event again with some upcoming Kato releases on show. There were a good number of entrants in the mini diorama contest although I felt the number of standout dioramas was slightly less this year. There were some very good ones. There were some well executed  T-Track entries but some of the better modelling came from the junior high school entrants. One school had crafted the spiralling expressway roads along with elevated shinkansen line and fly under road. 


I had a brief chat with Shigemon, although possibly either confused or a little star struck as much of my Japanese escaped for a moment, but a nice chap none the less. Also had a relatively sizeable chat with Mr Kato himself and did the usual ceremony of exchanging business cards. He who spoke very good English. Very nice guy and I mentioned the forum so I hope I can push some of our requests his way. 😅


As for models, no big new announcements although Kato will release the Kyushu Aso 1962 colour of the Kiha 58 to mark the occasion. There were also a 3 pack collection of containers on sale which if I heard correctly, were the containers the exhibition was moved in.


The SL Hitoyoshi sample looked very good so I’m looking forward to its release. The 300 and E127 also look very nice and I’ll definitely be getting the Kumoha 52 Iida line set. 






















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Thanks nice video.


what exactly is the larger modular format they are using? Some seemed like single and double Ttrak, but others seemed to be deeper than usual modules and track set like 1/3 way in and many being a freemo style with tracks running down the center of larger modules. As lon as it goes with the 33mm spaced track and you have the table room you really can do just about anything, just have to make it all line up and fit on the tables. Here it’s always the plain loop back to back modules on the same table. Nice to see the Japanese variety!

One of our club members just did a module that needed a bit more space in front of the tracks so I cantilevered the front out an extra inch, I’m sure it will draw comments at the first train show! It’s all kosher by standards, it’s just hardly anyone does any of these variations here.





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I believe all of the larger dioramas were part of the T-Trak contest but as I’m no expert in this area, not sure what the regulations were on sizing. Perhaps only length had to conform to standards but the width was up to entrants. Many of these were produced by junior high schools and high schools, with a focus on civil or structural engineering as well as some advertising for their school programs.



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My girlfriend and I were voting on some entries for the T-Trak and mini-diorama entries through the app and were very surprised this one didn't win anything: https://moraco-app.web.app/diorama2022/2022_t_trak_kyushu_general/1494/detail_jp


Seems like some brilliant work and lot of detail put into it! Plus, there's Pokemon! What's not to love? Haha. 

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It also played Christmas chimes. Some of the mini dioramas I saw that were beautifully modelled, weren’t getting a lot of interest yet others with relatively simple modelling were getting lots. 

Edited by Kamome
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Yeah I’ve never seen public voting on this sort of stuff really hilight the items that were well done from craftsmanship and scene design. Usually cute, popular, or I got all my friends and family to vote wins…



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20 hours ago, Kamome said:

Some of the mini dioramas I saw that were beautifully modelled, weren’t getting a lot of interest yet others with relatively simple modelling were getting lots.

Could be that people looked more at the ones they thought they would be able to do themselves, whereas the too beautifully modelled felt to them too impossible to achieve.

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  • Kamome changed the title to Mini Diorama Contest Exhibition

Today, I and my kids took a trip to Tenjin, Fukuoka for the annual Kato Mini Diorama and T Trak exhibition. It was a nice event again and the Junior High and high school modules were a lot more impressive than i’ve seen in previous years. 


Again spoke briefly to Mr Kato, although he was very busy speaking a number of reporters and other business people, and it seems he off to Chicago for the NMRA and then going to the UK for some significant time at some upcoming shows. 


I did have a good long chat with Mr Wada who was in charge of new projects and pitched some of the forum members ideas. You never know. 


Shigemon was there also but seemed very busy creating video content so didn’t want to interrupt as he was working. 


Some great models on the Kato display, EF55 looks great as does the JRF EF81-300 and the MCLC containers on the Koki 200. They were very happy for people to handle stuff. Not an avid collector of JR West but the Ocean Arrow is looking very tasty. May have inadvertently found out in Feb we could be seeing another run of Panda Kuroshio, but I got slightly overwhelmed by his fast Japanese so he may have said announcing in Feb. 


I was also impressed with the new 211-0. I was hoping to update my old 10-441 set but the newest release is quite a step up in terms of details. Also got hands on with the 165-800 in HO gauge. The low slanted roof looks very nice with the pantograph sitting a little lower than the previous version. 


One great feature of the show this year was a small production line activity to scenic a small wooden plinth using all of Kato’s joint venture scenic materials from Woodland Scenics, Noch and Deluxe Materials. A simple stream, tree and static grass scene. 



























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