Jump to content

Bandai B-Train Shorty


Recommended Posts

Hey guys!


Thanks for the warm welcome!  I promise to have some pictures up ASAP.  The hold-up is the always-standard reason of trying to get a bunch of projects done before breaking out all the photo gear (I currently have a tank, a bunch of sci-fi stuff, some figures, and some Shortys on the photo docket- yikes!).


disturbman, the pantographs I use are from Tomix and I buy them from Hobby World Japan, which is Aoshima's hobby site (I prefer them as they give you the option of SAL and not just EMS).  Buying Tomix and Bandai stuff there works out nicely as they have a 20% discount off all yen prices, which helps to cover the shipping nicely.  While they don't carry all pantographs, they carry a nice selection of common systems (eg. PS-22, PG-16, PS-16).


A decent amount of them can be found amongst the listings here (including some by Green Max):



Note that these are essentially the pantographs that Tomix puts on their true-scale stuff, so they really dress up the Shortys.  Also, they come in packs of two, so depending on what you're building, one set may actually take care of two trains. :grin  A tiny bit of surgery is required to remove the pantograph mounting clamps to fit on to the Shortys, but nothing a couple of quick snips can't solve.


BTW, my way of getting into collecting them is kind of weird and circuitous.  My big "claim to fame" is as a builder of Imperial Japanese Navy battleships ( http://homepage.mac.com/karybdis/reviews.html ) and Japanese stuff in general.  During one of my almost daily forays on to Hobby Link Japan and Hobby World Japan, I saw an add for these Super Deformed (SD) models of some Japanese trains.  Up until that time, I was mostly an HO collector (not enough room to actually run), but seeing these, and seeing that they could negotiate a 103mm radius, really switched on something in my head.  Suddenly my two bedroom condo wasn't so tiny and maybe I could actually build some kind of layout!  So at that point, I switched gears to N-Gauge and combined my love of Japanese mechanics to really get into B Train Shortys.  Of course, being a former organizer of anime conventions, where weirdo mechanical stuff is the norm didn't hurt either...


I bought the 113 and the 205 on a lark and was happy with what I saw, but what really locked me in was the Shorty article in the first issue of Hobby Japan's Train Modeling Manual #1 which had a nice article on just what could be done with Shortys.  That's when the pantographs and bogeys started getting ordered...  :grin



I also recommend this series of books if you can find them:



Okay, that's enough outta me for now.  Again, I'm just so happy to find other folks who speak English who are interested in these things.  I'm already kind of an odd duck at most rail shows from being into Japanese rail anyway-- but Shortys *really* get me some odd looks!


Back to work so I can get some photos loaded up!


EDIT:  Woops, looks like some of my info is a repetition of what was posted above while I was making my post!  Sorry for any annoyance!  However, there's something I forgot to mention:  while Tomix pantographs have to be altered slightly to fit, Kato's pantographs will actually plug in with no modification.  It really comes down to whose product you prefer as the Tomix modification isn't hard....


Anyway, here's Kato's stuff from Hobby Search:


Link to comment

Howdy guys!


Whew, I'm sorry for the huge delay-- I've been swamped!


I spent the last few days assembling everything, getting on the washes, and decals.  I'm still not done-- I have to attach some motors and bogeys on some, order some motors and bogeys for others.  And in the case of the 10000, I need to find a PS-33B pantograph (Hobby Search has the PS-33, but on back order).  Anyway, here's what I have so far.


The whole gang...



After adding the wash to bring out the detail I airbrush on a layer of dull coat to seal in the wash and decals (technically, they're stickers).



Here's the 3000 Romance Car (First Generation) (Odakyu).  I like the joint system on this.  I have the bogeys and pantograph but haven't attached them.  I need to order the motor...



Here's the 205 (Saikyo), ready to go.  This was my first "full" Shorty with bogeys, motor, and Tomix pantograph.  The detail of the base kit can be seen with the wash and the bogeys and "real" pantograph make this look like an actual train, and not an SD item.  I think the pantograph is what really brings it all together...



Here's the 165, with full upgrades...




I'll have more (and better) pictures in a few days as I get more trains done/ parts arrive.  I just wanted to get something posted in the mean time. 

Link to comment
Concept Model Trains

I’ve put together a small layout for my Bandai B-Train Shorty trains.  It’s quite simple with two overlapping ovals.  One oval is elevated and the dimensions of the board is 32” x 40”.  I’ve attached a simple track diagram to illustrate the track position.  The board is painted with a few recycled Tomix buildings from an old layout.









Link to comment

Concept, what do you run on your elevated track? Your N700 still seems to be equiped with the original, non functioning, boggies.


Back on the pantograph topic. I was wondering how I could find the right pantograph for my B-trains. I just received a fresh package of them (I've got a 380 Series, a 223-2000 Series and a 521 Series). And I'm at a loss here to identify and order pantographs. I'm thinking I should look at Kato's and Tomix's versions of those trains and write down the number of the parts but... I've no idea how I could do that.

Link to comment

Hey great fun! interesting what you can do with all the japanese stuff as it can blend so well for any kind of a layout like this! This is the biggest point i think that japanese train modeling has over other places is that there is such a variety of prototypes and products that it makes it so versatile to do a huge range of kinds and approaches to layouts!


keep the pictures coming this is a great example of modeling to show new comers as some might never think of this direction!


i have not been really into the btrains much, but after seeing one of jrm's member's 12 car 700 (that was given him when he left japan from his local train shop there -- now thats treating your customers well!) and your romance car train, now im thinking i may end up collecting some of these and figuring out a fun little portable layout with them and tomix tight radius track!





Link to comment

You got the bug too... :grin


Jeff, if you want or can, you can also take part to the Project Party. One of the possibility was indeed to figure "out a fun little portable layout with them and tomix tight radius track!"


As for myself, I'll try to have runable 6 to 9 cars prototypical (B-)trains in the near future.

Link to comment

Would love to , but i have way to many irons in the fire right now with JRM and my own stuff! I need to start to limit extracurricular train activities so i can get to work on my own stuff as its falling way way behind!


i think im going to grab a couple of b-trains now and make them runable as i have a small box of tomix tight radius track im not using right now so i can fiddle with it some!





Link to comment



which bogie, motor and pantograph did you get for your romance 3000?


think im catching a bug here, wheres the b-train shorty immunization before i buy any...





Link to comment

srry for being so silent, but i had a bad fall, broken arm, and surgery and am still recovering.  :sad:  no modeling of any kind for me!  jeff, i'll dig out my stuff when able and give you the 3000's info hopefully within a couple weeks.

Link to comment



Ouch! sorry to hear about that, best wishes for a speedy recovery!


no worries on this at all, hope you can get back to your modeling soon!





Link to comment

Jeff, Kato manufactures only three types of bogies and motors for B-trains. One is for express trains (11-098 and 11-106) , another one for commuter trains (11-097 and 11-107) and the last one is for locs and trailers (11-099 and 11-105).


The Romance car seems to be the of the express type.


And as for the pantograph, I'm still looking to find infos for my own.

Link to comment
Concept Model Trains

The train on the elevated track is a special version of a Bandai B Train Shorty.  It's a comes with a Shinkansen N700 Starter Set that I bought it from Plaza Japan. It fully runs on the layout elevated track and uses batteries for power.  A wireless remote is used to control it.  Really cool to play it.  You can check it out at: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Shinkansen-N700-Starter-Set-Bandai-B-Train-Shorty_W0QQitemZ360181604859QQcmdZViewItemQQptZModel_RR_Trains?hash=item53dc7f21fb&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Link to comment

At one time Bandai had its own narrow radius track which was introduced in April 2004. It didn't last long and Tomix Mini Fine Track appeared on the market about a year later in August 2005






There was a tram track also.






Bandai still offers train sets with track. Plaza Japan usually stocks this set which may be designed as competition for Tomy's Pla-rail model trains.



Link to comment

Discovered today that Ginga Modell makes underfloor machinery parts to glue on B Trains model to make them look even more accurate.




oooh good find! my first btrain shorties are waiting me when i get home from a business trip this weekend! looking forward to seeing what can be done with these. starting to think of a small portable layout that we can use at train shows for the kids to run.





Link to comment

i ordered


Series 381Super Yakumo 4-cars set

Series 683Thunderbird 4-cars set A



but the thunderbird turned out to be a long backorder so i just went with the 381 and the romance. they looked like fun ones to start with.





Link to comment

Yeah, the 381 are great. I've myself a 6 cars consist of the Super Kuroshio. It look just great. I love the asymmetry of the train.


Hum, the Thunderbird. I'm waiting for mine, I'm guessing it should arrive soon since I orderded the last ones HW had three weeks ago.

Link to comment

Got my 683Kei Thunderbird this morning... and I'm a bit disapointed.


Bandai made some change to the way they produces the sprue, I don't know if it's a general policy or jsut a one time try out, but there is clearly some pros and cons.


- Windows sprue: now you have to break three or four plastic arms to get each windows out of their sprue. Before it was a simpler process, you had just three to cut. That's not dramatic but it's a bit painfull. Bandao also add a little edge at the foot of the window. To scale this edge is big and can be seen through the window when the model is complete. At the end it gives more a plastic toy feeling to the B train than anything else.

- Bogies facias sprue: on this kit the usual bogies fascia are connected to the sprue by the roundy bottom part and, not like before, by the square upper part. This make for unpractical cutting and shapping of the fascias. Not a big issue but still, it's not practical.

- Cars ends: the midle (flat) car ends of have now new extensions so they can be connected to the car sides.. But that's theoretical. Sure it can help, a bit, but the issue of having baddly joint car sides and ends still remains. Worse, these little "arms" make it harder (impossible) to press tightly the car sides agains the window panels. It makes then the first issue even worse than before.

- Paint job: to my surprise the paint job is faulty on both my kits. Panels misses a bit of paint every now on then. Nothing big but with all the previous "problems" it starts to add up.


And last, personal point. The kit is slightly more "complicated" than the 5 other kits I build. I should have paid more attention but I didn't and I missed the uniqueness of the window panels. Each correspond only to a pair of side panels and have, even for the at first glance symetrical midle car, a unique way to be assembled. You can't assembled the side panels and the windows panels the way you want. In fact there is a precise way to do it and if you do it wrong the car you are building can end up into the trash can. That's what happen to my first midle car. I push the side panels in the wrong way and saw my mistake too late. When I tried to take them out of the pin holes, I broke both panels. Hopefully I ordered two kits so I now have a 5 cars set instead of a 6 cars one. I'm disgruntled.


The train in itself is great but the kit is not the best I saw.

Link to comment
Concept Model Trains

It's disappointing that the Bandai Thunderbird is not better model.  There seems to be a difference between the different styles of trains in the range.  I've noticed that my N700 is completely different in construction than the commuter models I have.  Hopefully the B-Train Shorty tram kits aren't a problem in that way.  I've ordered two of the Meitetsu Type MO 510 and Type MO 520 from HW Japan.  I'll let you know how those kits work out.

Link to comment

I was too having better expectation for this model. Today I finished the kits I had, I hadn't built the last head car since I don't really have a use for it. But this morning, cleaning up my desk I saw the sprue sitting there and decided to finish it.


Again, I broke a part. That's now the second time with these thunderbird kits. I was trying to push, not like a beast, one of the pins of the black center piece (the one that maintain the whole structure) when the windows panel gave up. I was abble to finish the model but still, the part is broken. I allready had problem to push these pins in their holes with the 683kei kits but allways manage to push them inside. I'm now a bit bewildered, I really don't think I put so much strengh in the process.


I also looked again at yesterday's broken parts... and don't see where things could have go wrong. The left over pieces do fit together quite nicely.  ???


I guess I'm having a stroke of bad luck with these Thunderbirds.

Link to comment

Ok, I've got a "good" photo of one of my last B Trains. Let me present to you a JR West 381 Series, Limited Express Super Kuroshio. As you can see it's a six cars set, I've yet to motorize and "bogieze" it.


[smg id=686]

Link to comment

interesting, that model really does not look so 'short'! also helps to keep the views at an angle as its the straight on side that makes them look like shorties so much! i keep thinking about the mini layout that would pop apart for quick transport. having the major viewing angles all be at an angle to the train to remove some of the shortness and compress the scene. also then only have side views where you only see bits a time and not the whole train. would be fun to utilize a lot of smaller tunnels to help with this.


my two are still in sal, they were in a bigger package so im sure they are last on the plane. the motor units and bogies showed up this week before them, but they were in a tiny box, so figures...





Link to comment

Yes, this model doesn't look so short at all. It looks really more like an articulated snake. But that's because it doesn't have Kato's bogies installed. Saddly these bogies doubles the space between the cars. I'd like to find a way to reduces the space...


Anyway, I'm very excited to see what layout you are going to make Jeff.

Link to comment
  • Densha pinned this topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...