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Claude_Dreyfus

Kanjiyama - An N gauge Japanese Terminus Layout

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beakaboy

That South Bohemia layout looks wonderful! Good to see a strong presence of TT.

Claude. That snowplow set on your layout  is so tempting. I haven't got a snow plow in my collection and I might have to succumb.

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railsquid

Avoid the Microace one, other than as a static display.

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Densha

It is a Dutch themed layout though: http://www.csmrc.co.uk/layoutpageZevendaal.html ;)

Let's say it like this: the creator intended for it to be a Dutch layout. To me it looks more like 60s North American yard. Maybe it's just like modelling Japanese as an outsider. That also tends to end up differently than how Japanese modellers would do it, because it's difficult to grasp the feeling of a place you're not that familiar with, even if you try to do so.

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Kabutoni

Let's say it like this: the creator intended for it to be a Dutch layout. To me it looks more like 60s North American yard. Maybe it's just like modelling Japanese as an outsider. That also tends to end up differently than how Japanese modellers would do it, because it's difficult to grasp the feeling of a place you're not that familiar with, even if you try to do so.

 

That's exactly what's going on. When I see European layouts here in Japan, it looks more like a more realistic approach from a Ghibli movie point of view, rather than an interpretation (or even replication) of a particular location. It's more symbolism than realism, which I think is plenty fine.

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Claude_Dreyfus

Yes, perhaps I did not pick the most representative photograph of the layout to post on here... There was some NS stuff running on the layout.

 

I would say though, my initial reaction when I first glanced at the layout was 'ah, that'll be the American layout then'!

Edited by Claude_Dreyfus
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Claude_Dreyfus

That South Bohemia layout looks wonderful! Good to see a strong presence of TT.

Claude. That snowplow set on your layout is so tempting. I haven't got a snow plow in my collection and I might have to succumb.

South Bohemia was opposite me, and is a very attractive layout.

 

You may have guessed that the snow plough is the Kato model. I like it as it is a small self-contained train, which draws a lot of interest. It is an attractive set, and very reliable under exhibition conditions.

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kvp

The dutch layout was built from what is available. The buildings are mostly american kits, the trains are mostly german, even east german (including the shunter) and there are some old french freight cars there too with the modern outline general european ones. It's the same trick like trying to pass off an 1970ies german building as an 1970ies japanese one. It may work, but too much of it concentrated and you would get a german layout with japanese signs.

 

The german ep6 themed layout (Wolpertinger hbf.) uses british show layout design patterns with a german theme and there are a few problems with that, including the station building construction and having an active turntable with through access on a modern german layout. You could just replace the buildings and get a british layout, but it was probably done this way because of space limitations. The catenary is very impressive though.

 

The south bohemian layout looks great and even fully correct as both the trains and the station is real. ( http://pxtr.de/dr-wagen/jhmd/img/intro.jpg ) I'm still trying to find more photos of this layout...

 

ps: Imho the best way to get the feeling of a station or any location if you can't go there physically is to just use streetview and take a look around. Walking around stations, especially ones that are visible from the nearby streets and crossings are great way to look around the same way as you would do if you were there. Finding platform and aerial photos is also a good way to see both the details and the overall look. Then after you've seen lots of locations, you can get a feeling and maybe even start generalizing (just be careful not to mix different styles). Looking at layouts made by people who live there could also show the local customs for layout construction. Also a good idea is to forget your local railway traditions when it comes to a different country and culture so your layout wouldn't look like a relabeled one from your home country.

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Claude_Dreyfus

Kanjiyama went out to play for the first time in a few months at a local show. One or two issues with the points cropped up, but in general the layout behaved well. I suspect things are starting to show their age - particularly the track - and next year is likely to be its last year on the circuit.

 

Another snap of the town, with a DD51 lurking behind the trees.

 

Kanjiyama%20Town_zpslxlno8xk.jpg

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Densha

Does track really agree ages that fast? The layout isn't that old, is it?

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beakaboy

biggest issue I have is with Peco points, if the layout isn't run very often. The contacts under the moving point blades seem to corrode or lose electrical contact. I have used a spray of contact cleaner or auto electronic cleaner or degreaser on them (Plastic compatible) and even had success with a tiny amount of isopropyl alcohol dispensed between the point blades and rail and then cleaning the blades where they contact the inner rail with a cloth wrapped around a small screwdriver or similar. sometimes a smear of wahls clipper oil after this can help, but being a very light oil,it can collect deposits of grit and dirt,dust in my shed, so I no longer use it on points. I have had flexi track plastic ties crumble and come away from the rail, but this has occurred over many years and I suspect there was sun exposure through a partially shaded window. There was no ballast to hold the track in place either. just my thoughts!

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Claude_Dreyfus

All of which is true.

 

For the most part, the track is fine, but two points can be troublesome. Admittedly, these are the two most heavily used points on the layout. Swapping them is possible, but in general you get the wear and tear of frequently moving a layout, which takes its toll.

 

Worry not though, it still has time.

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kvp

My club uses peco points on the hungarian modules and the general solution for them was to add feeders to every piece of track, including points. This means each blade has 3 feed points (tip, frog, wire). The oldest modules are around a decade old and the biggest issues are with the trees loosing their sponges and how to get the dust out of the static grass before each exhibition.

 

ps: Please don't retire Kanjiyama as there are only a few good japanese layouts in the side of the world... (or perhaps you are building a bigger and/or better one?)

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Claude_Dreyfus

Thanks. There are plans for something a little different. Still a lot to decide, but rest assured, you'll all be the first to know!

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Ken Ford

One thing I've noticed over the years is how different the hobby is between the UK and US - in the UK layouts have a life cycle, while here owners tend to keep them around forever. And selling a complete layout in the US is uncommon.

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Claude_Dreyfus

Kanjiyama makes its final exhibition appearance, at the Abingdon MRC show in Oxfordshire, this Saturday. There will be two other Japanese layouts present, another N and a a Z gauge offering. Looks like it will be a good show.

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Kiha66

Sad to hear its the end of the line (heh) for Kanjiyama!  Its kinda like many of JR Hokkaido's lines, where ageing infrastructure vs cost of repair have doomed so many routes recently.  It's just art imitating life!   Will there be a special sayonara trip for the 1/150 railfans?  Hope to see some pictures, and I look forward to what you come up with next!

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velotrain

One thing I've noticed over the years is how different the hobby is between the UK and US - in the UK layouts have a life cycle, while here owners tend to keep them around forever. And selling a complete layout in the US is uncommon.

 

I suspect that's largely layout size and how they're used.  UK layouts are often designed for the exhibition circuit, which means a smaller layout (except perhaps for clubs) and a portable format, which lends itself to selling.  US layouts tend to be large and meant for permanent installation in a basement, and are meant as a life-long project - or at least until the owner moves.  I would think the UK life cycle is related to the owner wanting to do something new, and perhaps the layout getting long in the tooth on the circuit.

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Carlos Filipe

That is so true velotrain.

I've tried both approach, the US style and the British style and always "smashed against the wall" with the projects American style. Now I prefer the British style in spite of the often exaggerated compression of scale.

There is a medium term developed in France (at least I read it in Loco Revue). the "expandable concept".

Let's imagine a basic layout representing a small station in the country, just 2 modules (dimensions variable according to scale and rolling stock) plus a staging yard (or not). This will be the core of the so called "expandable layout".

The 2 modules will be fast to build and with a reasonable budget one can stage a very well detailed scene. Phase 2 of the project could be either to insert a module between the existing, thus increasing the length of the tracks to allow more "!prototypical combines. Another option for phase 2 should be to add a landscape module, so the trains can  travel a little before disappearing in the staging yard.

The most important is that the layout is always finished after the conclusion of Phase 1, the 2 initial modules.

Then you can dream on and add as much modules as you want, so the ratio between "man made scape", the station and surrounding buildings, or in a pompous language the anthropomorphise portion  of the landscape.

Keeping it modular allows to correct mistakes. A module with bad track laying that stubbornly keeps on derailing stock, a scenery that annoys us for being dumb or to insert a new focal element that didn't occurred  as in the planning stage. 

Doesn't mean one intend to take to exhibitions. It increases it's survivability. I still remember with pain when I had to tear down a 95% finished H0 layout because of a pipe rupture. The backdrop and the bench work where fastened to the wall. Tried to salvage some track, but time was short for the repair to begin  and I wasn't that successful removing the track, especially the turnouts, the most expensive items. After removing the buildings  I just used a sledgehammer with anger.

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Claude_Dreyfus

When Kanjiyama is retired this weekend it won't be scrapped. The plan is for a fellow club member to take it over and convert it to a German layout, so a new lease of life beckons.

 

My rationale for retirement is varied. Exhibition life is hard for a layout, and a few minor issues are starting to crop up. Also, whilst surprisingly varied to operate at shows, given the simple track plan, it can be hard graft at the end of two days. In addition, a terminus layout of this nature requires a lot of concentration to operate...you cannot just leave a train running if you distracted by a question.

 

Lessons have been learned, but I fancy doing something with my longer trains next...I have far more full-length freight, suburban and Bullet trains than small DMUs, plus a raft of buildings from my old layout Yamanouchi Oshika, which need a use. I also was something continuous run.

 

I have ideas, but I fancy trying something different. I want some wow factor if I can!

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velotrain

Carlos - sorry to hear of the loss of your HO layout.  Was there no possibility to cut the top into sections for future reassembly?  I know some guys with large permanent layouts will build them with sub-surface "fault lines", so they can save reasonably sized sections if a move is ever necessary.  There's also a well-known modeler who built his large Sante Fe layout using 2' X 4' "dominos" to facilitate a possible future move.

 

The duration of a layout is also related to a modeler's life, and I've thought of suggesting to NMRA that they consider some sort of "house with layout" program to perhaps recycle large / famous layouts to a new owner.  Of course, you'd need a modeler who wanted to live in that area, but I should think the possibility of getting a ready-built layout might be strong incentive - so long as it modeled something the new owner also liked ;-)

 

French must be one of your five languages - I get the English version of Voie Libre ;-)

 

It sounds like the "expandable concept" presumes a linear approach, starting with a terminus (very British, but maybe continental as well?) and a staging / fiddle module.  I see a T-Trak like approach as offering both linear and loop operations, although the standard curve radius will not work for everyone.  One benefit for a home layout is that it eliminates the need for a heavy and robust dedicated support structure, although the table-based layout height is much too low for my preferences.  I prefer something like 48" - and think Fremo is even higher, so might consider foot-long leg extensions.

 

Also, unless you want to join with other modelers, I find it generally more interesting to watch trains passing through a landscape, vs. having consistently straight tracks at the front edge of the modules and all the scenery behind them.  One of the factors fighting this is the need / benefit of having straight tracks at stations and yards, so there are very few purely scenic modules with meandering tracks.

 

However, this "new" French approach sounds more like a sectional vs. modular layout, so this would work for a solo modeler or a small group of friends having common ideas.  Actually, this latter situation is what I often see for medium-sized European exhibition layouts, although usually linear with careful representation of a particular prototype and very high quality scenery and custom-made structures.

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Carlos Filipe

I'm familiar with the domino concept, it appeared in a series of articles in Model Railroader in early 90s.

This French proposal actually wrapped around the walls of a not so big room. It featured some nice wide curves on specific areas to give a good impact. I made a pdf about model railway planning where I used images from this concept, but the file is corrupted cannot open it. It is written in Portuguese, but tried to use as many image as I could. If I ever manage to restore the file, I'll gladly share it. Maybe not publicly for copyright issues, but privately. 

I had a modular N scale layout that never completed entirely and offered it to two fellow modellers. 

If you lost interest or for some reason don't go on wit it, I think the best is to give it so others can enjoy the hobby.  

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kvp

Imho if you build a layout, maintenance always have to be planned for. Constructing it to be modular helps with extendability, while making it at least sectional makes it movable if there is a need. (modular: standardized connections allowing variable setup, sectional: assemblable only one way)

 

Personally, i would keep the layout around even if it's not exhibited, considering the amount of work that went into it. Also keeping it at least until the new one is ready is always a good idea. Personally, i would even try find a way to connect the new and the old into a larger setup.

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tossedman

South%20Bohemia_zps3pnm0xuf.jpg

South Bohemia - TTe Czech; very nice landscape.

I love the vista here. Hardly a straight line anywhere. Looks like lots more info here.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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velotrain

Quite agree - very few modelers are willing to give up potential space for train stuff and turn it over to pure landscape. I tend to see it more on Fremo modules than other types of layouts. I also very much like that the fields aren't absolutely flat, but lightly rolling - very rarely seen on layouts. I do realize this won't work with rice paddies ;-) The unpaved farm road at the end of asphalt is also quite effective.

 

In terms of curved vs. straight track, I see that as one of the built-in problems of most modular systems such as N-Trak and T-Trak - having fixed track end points on each module and a limited depth, most folks stay with the easiest solution, which is straight tracks at the module joint offset.

 

I had belonged to a HOn30 module group that had the single track at a 17" offset from the front, with only 7" behind the track on the 2' deep modules. Most of the US HOn30 modeling - certainly here in New England, focused on the Maine two footers, so this standard allowed interesting Maine landscapes (and structures) on both sides of the track.

 

TTe - now there's a minority scale

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Claude_Dreyfus

Today was Kanjiyama's final show, at Abingdon. It's next adventure will be a conversion from Japanese to German, so it will live on. It was a sad day, but we all move on, and a new layout thread will be started in due course when I get going.

 

Here are a few pictures of the final day.

 

 

Farewell%20Special_zpspurkanbn.jpg

 

The 'Sayonara Kanjiyama' special, behind a preserved DF50 awaits departure. The Kanjiyama line's own DD13 brings up the rear.

 

E131_zpsqsbyj7ew.jpg

 

An E131 forms an afternoon service on the final day.

 

 

Local_zpsllpb8ix0.jpg

 

All quiet on the final day...

 

 

Stabling%20Point_zps7yqutnhb.jpg

 

Yard - typical railway operations - they send a tamper up the line on its final day!

 

 

Final%20Meeting_zpsgfjzxlvn.jpg

 

The final connection

 

 

Last%20Train_zpslfzpov8e.jpg

 

The last train

 

 

Sayonara_zpsi869it5n.jpg

 

The final departure - the last train from Kanjiyama. Sayonara.

 

 

The%20End_zps3tds59dk.jpg

 

Yard_zpsrtmly86i.jpg

 

The End

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