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The Introduction Thread...


Darren Jeffries

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Yeah lurking is the way on ebay! I get some great things just being patient and doing search emails and some extra searching late at night while watching tv! Just got a beautiful iPad/iPhone swing arm holder to take videos while doing stuff or have the iPad over the workbench for $11. Really nice $40 one! I also collect Pacific Northwest native masks and Inuit carvings and every few months I strike gold! 
 

happy hunting!

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Hi 251fan nice of you to join us! Thanks for the tip on the Densha de go thread!  🙂

 

There are a couple of online stores that have excellent customer service too, you might like to check them out... 

 

Cheers and looking forward to the growth of your train collection, which really shouldnt take too long here!  🤣

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Thank you i'm glad i helped. I'll look on the suppliers topic for more store, so far i know plazajapan.com (where i bought the E235 starter set) and they have a great customer service and for the things i'm seeing on ebay i think you are right it shouldn't take too long!!!

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I think most of us are using four different shops: Hobby Search (their website is very useful as a data base); amiami (for its prices); as well as Model Train Plus and Rail Gallery Rokko (Japenese / English) for their amazing customer service. The last two are small shops that are run by very friendly people, they are easy to talk to. It's possible to ask them for things that are not necessarily available on their websites, like parts or other items. 

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The great thing is all these stores are really great service. HS and amiami are large businesses, good service but a bit impersonal. MTP and Rokko are small shops and very personal service and will do special orders once you are a customer. HS has the encyclopedic website that keeps all the oop stuff up so it’s great for research. Rokko has more stuff than on their English site so you can ask if they have something not there. MTP can find odd stuff and also does personal shopping from other Japanese shops when needed (and if he has the time) for a small fee.

 

we are very fortunate with Japanese trains as they are a good value with price and quality and excellent exporters available. Even shipping costs are very reasonable from japan. Only rub in some places is duty and custom fees when you are importing stuff like this.

 

you will hear us grumble when small hiccups only because we have been lulled into a very soft spot being well served in our train buying!

 

jeff

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Also note that import taxes sometimes hit, and sometime miss. I don't know in details about the portuguese situation, but in my case (Italy), custom fees generally range between €5.50 and €40, and they're generally proportioned to the package's declared value.

 

It's actually often cheaper to order stuff directly from japan and pay the custom fees, rather than ordering stuff on ebay, especially if you look for specific trains. I use the latter often for old-school Lima trains, but i would never buy Japanese model trains from it as they're often grossly overpriced, compared to their actual value. (for example, on ebay an average 6-car basic EMU set costs 150-200€, with some getting up to 250€; while bought new on HobbySearch, the same thing costs 20€-30€ or maybe even €50 less).

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With import taxes  (which are usually VAT) and handling fees, a 20€-30€ markup might actually be about equivalent than importing from Japan. For ebay, I avoid shops as their pricing is unrealistic, private sellers price their items much more realistically.

Edited by disturbman
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Hello there!

I've been reading the forum for some time and finally decided to post an introduction as well 🙂
 

I'm Kate from the Czech Republic, EU. Few months ago I got into Japanese N scale models, got some trains from my model region and some Tomix tracks. They just lay on the floor, sometimes I rebuild it from scratch, running the trains in a very simple way, in the spirit of Japanese N 🙂 In the future I might aim for a more permanent layout, but not in the current home. My "model region" is eastern, southeastern of Iwate prefecture and its diesel tracks, mainly Rias, Kamaishi, Yamada, Ofunato lines. My stock is quite limited, but few more 36-700s are on the way from Japan now and I'm desperately looking for some standard-livery JR KiHa 100 trains. 

 

I really love this forum, so many pieces of interesting and important info on one place. I do not read or speak Japanese very much so it's great all the info is in English. I'm glad to be here!

 

DSC_2728.JPG

DSC_2730.JPG

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Welcome to the other side! 🙂

 

15 minutes ago, katem said:

I'm desperately looking for some standard-livery JR KiHa 100 trains. 


These are rare. It's much easier to find a Kato or a Greenmaxキハ110 or キハ111-112. For a キハ100, the easiest is to wait for February and the release of the model of the prototype.

Edited by disturbman
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Just now, disturbman said:


These are rare. It's much easier to find a Kato or a Greenmaxキハ110 or キハ111-112. For a キハ100, the easiest is to wait for February and the release of the model of the prototype.

Thanks for info! I'd like to stay in the Tomix world, but 110 is also on my want list so I'll apparently need to look somewhere else than Tomix. I know about the prototype cars but I already have two of the four prototypes in their current livery and I'm still not sure if I allow myself to deviate from my rule of "all trains in their current livery" 🙂 

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52 minutes ago, Socimi said:

Also note that import taxes sometimes hit, and sometime miss. I don't know in details about the portuguese situation, but in my case (Italy), custom fees generally range between €5.50 and €40, and they're generally proportioned to the package's declared value.

 

It's actually often cheaper to order stuff directly from japan and pay the custom fees, rather than ordering stuff on ebay, especially if you look for specific trains. I use the latter often for old-school Lima trains, but i would never buy Japanese model trains from it as they're often grossly overpriced, compared to their actual value. (for example, on ebay an average 6-car basic EMU set costs 150-200€, with some getting up to 250€; while bought new on HobbySearch, the same thing costs 20€-30€ or maybe even €50 less).

 

In Portugal it really depends (order from the stores):

- If it is below 22€ you don't pay anything.

-Between 22€ and 150€ only pay the VAT rate (23%).

-Above 150€ is value of goods + transport expenses + insurance + other expenses + customs presentation service + service expenses x VAT rate (23%).

- Plus if you want to get your package from customs right away that's an additional 6€ ! (emergency tax).  

 

The starter set that i bought at plazajapan was in total 174€ with shipping, that meant it classified for the last category.I end up paying 61€ extra. But some packages does not pass through customs so you have to be really lucky.  

 

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17 minutes ago, katem said:

Thanks for info! I'd like to stay in the Tomix world, but 110 is also on my want list so I'll apparently need to look somewhere else than Tomix. I know about the prototype cars but I already have two of the four prototypes in their current livery and I'm still not sure if I allow myself to deviate from my rule of "all trains in their current livery" 🙂 


Kato and Greenmax produce very good models, there are no reasons to only limit yourself to Tomix for train sets.

I'm very much in love with Greenmax coreless motor, it's an amazing motor.

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Well luckily 251 you should be able to get most stuff under the 150€ mark! Just some nicer sets or large sets go over that price point. Starter sets can be expensive to ship due to total weight and size of some of them.

 

dont know how good the post is in Portugal, but to the us SAL works great. Takes about 2 weeks (pre and hopefully post covid) and is very economical for a few model bits and such or even a single set. Bit SAL is not tracked and no insurance. Add 400¥ For registered SAL and you get some tracking and i think 750¥ insurance. Epacket is in between SAL and EMS express/DHL/fedex.

 

amazon.co.jp is another option as they have pretty cheap DHL shipping, but spotty on what they have at time and what will ship overseas. Is feeding the 800 lb gorilla instead of the local shops though. I only usually buy stuff at amazon I can’t find else where or they are selling at just a stupid low price (this happens now and then for some reason). Preorders there want like 35€ shipping though.

 

jeff

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Just now, disturbman said:


Kato and Greenmax produce very good models, there are no reasons to only limit yourself to Tomix for train sets.

I'm very much in love with Greenmax coreless motor, it's an amazing motor.

Good to know, thanks! Do the other manufactures have something similar to Tomix Constant lightning function? I love how it lights in the dark 🙂 I'm gonna fit all my 36-700s with interior lightning as well.

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I believe that CL is a function of the power pack rather than anything else, but somebody will correct me if I'm wrong.

In my experience, CL works with Micro Ace and Greenmax trains as well, somehow my last Kato train starts moving before the lights fully come up. I also have a few Micro Ace trains that do the same.

Regarding interior lighting, I can get Micro Ace and Popondetta lighting to light up using CL. Popondetta sells interior lighting kits with capacitors to avoid/reduce flickering, they are pretty neat.

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@katem As has been thoroughly discussed in the forum, CL is a PWM feature on a powerpack. KATO also has this in their newest powerpacks (the SX ones).

 

GENERALLY they are compatible with all european trains of any brand, but not all. For example they don't play nice with some DCC trains that can also run analogue. A good example is Minitrix decoders. But it works well with Fleischmann decoders. 

 

If you only have japanese trains, you GENERALLY do not have to worry and most Japanese trains are compatible with CL powerpacks. But some, most notably the GM trains, start running at a very low voltage so you won't really have a benefit with regards to interior lights while standing still, and some, such as the KATO TGV/AVE/Thalys/RhB (when the sound attachment is used) series, do not work correctly and suffer from what I call narcolepsy. Besides that, some TOMIX trains buzz a lot when used with KATO CL powerpacks, and having bulb lighting will cause it to fail/overheat/melt. KATO will however 'happily' sell you a filter for the PWM power pack, which will filter out the CL function for sake of compatibility. 

 

I recommend you do some searching in the forum before you commit on any particular system (if you plan to have an extensive collection). If you have some questions, you can ask them in the appropriate threads, make your own thread, or discuss it at the JNS discord or by PMing. You can also go DCC, when you can determine yourself when the lights turn on, turn off, when the train starts running etc., but good luck since the vast majority of Japanese trains are not DCC ready.

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Thanks a lot, I'll go through all the threads and educate myself, I've ever read about Tomix only before, but it's definitely great that CL on models from most manufacturers will work just fine.

 

Your signature image is great btw 🙂 

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Welcome Kate! Glad you found us. 
 

yep it’s stuck a great way to get started with Kato/Tomix track as it’s works so well to just play! Also really good to do to slowly learn what you like and don’t like in track plans, operation etc before you ever get to designing a layout! We did our first club show layout as setup on the fly for 6 years at train shows and events. Took a lot of time and labor but let us play with what we wanted to do on the next sectional nailed down layout.

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/layout/layout.1.0.html
 

also fun to start playing with scenery islands and learn scenery techniques and make some scenery sections around buildings. Here’s a great article on this

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/tempoary.html

 

have fun and look forward to to seeing more on your adventures!

cheers

 

jeff

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1 hour ago, 251fan said:

 

In Portugal it really depends (order from the stores):

- If it is below 22€ you don't pay anything.

-Between 22€ and 150€ only pay the VAT rate (23%).

-Above 150€ is value of goods + transport expenses + insurance + other expenses + customs presentation service + service expenses x VAT rate (23%).

- Plus if you want to get your package from customs right away that's an additional 6€ ! (emergency tax).  

 

The starter set that i bought at plazajapan was in total 174€ with shipping, that meant it classified for the last category.I end up paying 61€ extra. But some packages does not pass through customs so you have to be really lucky.  

 

 

Ah, as i tought, it's almost exactly like here.

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15 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Welcome Kate! Glad you found us. 
 

yep it’s stuck a great way to get started with Kato/Tomix track as it’s works so well to just play! Also really good to do to slowly learn what you like and don’t like in track plans, operation etc before you ever get to designing a layout! We did our first club show layout as setup on the fly for 6 years at train shows and events. Took a lot of time and labor but let us play with what we wanted to do on the next sectional nailed down layout.

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/layout/layout.1.0.html
 

also fun to start playing with scenery islands and learn scenery techniques and make some scenery sections around buildings. Here’s a great article on this

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/pages/modelingjapan/tempoary.html

 

have fun and look forward to to seeing more on your adventures!

cheers

 

jeff

 

Thanks a lot for the links, surely I will find a lot of experience there. Really love your portable scenery parts, I've never thought about something like that before.

Edited by katem
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