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First Japan Rail Layout


yakumo381

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Well, hang in there. The exchange rate sucks, but getting your eyesight back is a great thing, even if another procedure is required. And I can tell you from experence that taking time to get deeply into stuff you enjoy is a good antidote to depression.

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Brief update: added an additional siding and switch by reshaping the line around Niihama Station so it more closely follows the platform - gives a place for my D10 shunter to wait in. Also added more containers to the depot along with shunting staff which HS provided along with additional tanks for my RedBear to pull along and a stock of tree kits to spend time on. Niihama has also gained some school children in winter uniform to fit in with the layout being at cherry blossom time plus got some people in kimono/yukata to add.

 

Had a problem with my Kato D51 stopping for no obvious reason although lights still worked - traced it to poor contacts to the motor possibly some caused by damp or a bit of fretting corrossion.

 

Got a business trip to Japan next week - going to Mishima (via Shinkansen) then Iida (via Iida line) with a spare day on the way back to hopefully be gainfully employed photographing trains around the Osaka area. May also fit in a quick visit to the Osaka Kato shop. Hopefully no earthquake as last time or getting stranded in Dubai by a volcano cloud as on the trip before.  :grin

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I really like the look of that station.  It avoids the linear appearance of so many stations (all of mine) with the curve at one end, and the extra tracks help give it a busy look.

 

Hopefully no earthquake as last time or getting stranded in Dubai by a volcano cloud as on the trip before.  :grin

 

You do seem to pick your travel times badly. If there's a plague of locusts, we'll know who to blame.  :grin

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disturbman

Great layout and I agree with Ken, your station looks pretty neat with this curve. I'd love to see a complete track plan.

 

And I never went to Osaka's Kato shop but I'm pretty sure DenDen Town carry better hobby shops than this one to visit. Already Popondetta there is quite cool and there is more shops than that.

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Disturbman - If I gave you the track plan you would hit on Niihama's secret - this is one of the most simple layouts out but, cunningly, just happens to look complicated and, hopefully, realistic.  :grin

 

Hitting the model shop in Osaka is a triumph of timing for me as I would blow it going somewhere else - get just enough time to get back from backwoods Japan to Shin-Osaka, on the metro to Esaka, leg it to the Kato shop then back to Esaka and then back to Shin-Osaka in time to get a few freight run throughs and hopefully a limited express or two - especially loco hauled - then jump on the Haruka to KIX hopefully in time for my flight! The joys of trying to get a few hours on company business time (that is any time you are awake on a trip) to yourself in these recession hit times of min cost/max effort.  ???

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Does anyone know the name of the JR Depot next to the Kyoto line out of Shin-Osaka and visible from the train between Kishibe and Suita stations? Been photographing locos there today.

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No, I'm sure I won't get disapointed by the simpleness of Niihama. This is actually what I´m looking forward too, how to create a simple but enjoyable layout.

 

Too bad for you, you could have taken the Midosuji-Sen to Namba and then change to the Sennichimae-Sen, went off at Tannimachi-9-Chome and walk south for 5 minutes (or even took the Midosuji to Tennoji and then walk north for 5 to 10 minutes). The KIX treck could have been done using the Nankai Rapi:t. Well, I hope you'll find enough interesting things to buy at the Kato shop. :)

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Didn't get to the Kato shop as ended up spending the time photographing trains on the Kyoto-ShinOsaka line. Got some pics of locos at the Saito(?) loco shed and at Shimamoto, Kishibe & Shin-Osaka stations. Ran into two groups of "tecchan" - first group pointed out the best vantage points at Saito whilst the second were at Kishibe and told me "do not go yet, special train coming". Turned out to be a DD51 being moved down the line as part of a freight consist but no idea what makes it special - see attached, any ideas?

 

Got a Kato office building on order which is going to become the Niihama Station Hotel plus a replacment Kato engine shed - decided the one on Niihama is the wrong era so looks out of place. Plus also got a couple of Kato petrol tankers off ebay for a song although have to admit it was my wife's bidding technique that won them for me.

 

Will post new layout pics when installed. May also have a go at coming up with a track diagram....

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Growing prosperity has come to the Niihama area of Hokkaido with the opening of the "Niihama Station Hotel" and the routing of the Series 283 "Super Ozora" down the line.  :grin

 

The next expected event is the redevelopment of the old Niihama engine shed into a modern JR local Depot.

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disturbman

I'm really impressed by all the gradual changes you have made to your layout since you started to post here. Everything is quite neat and well thought out. I've also noticed that you had "recently" added a single tunnel portal which was not here at the beginning. Where does it lead? To a hidden yard or does it link to the main oval?

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The second portal is just a hidden siding for the Super Ozora as I do not want to risk damaging it taking it on and off the track. The siding runs back alongside the main line loop but is limited by the overhang from the stairs under which the "hidden" half of the layout goes.

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Redevelopment of the old Niihama engine shed has taken place with the old steam era shed being pulled down and a modern depot erected in its place. Also gone from a single road into a dual road depot. Waiting now just for a delivery of chain link fencing to complete the boundary and the redevelopment is virtually complete. Unfortunately my Series 40 DMU appear to have stripped a gear so is going to be a "hanger queen" for a time being pending tracking down a suitable replacement. Running the D51 with a rake of pre-JR coaches gives an interesting contrast to the Super Ozora.

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Hey Yakumo,

 

That first pic is a chart topper with those sweeping curved parallel tracks in the background above the new depot! 

 

Very nice!  :cheesy

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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A brief update on progress over the past few weeks. I have added a traditional farmhouse and out buildings by filling in one side of the largest paddy field which has improved proportions and, by being at a lower level, given more contour to the area. Also added a traditional cemetery which adds to the Japanese character of Niihama. A visit to the N Gauge International Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre produced the usual wallet emptying in return for various items such as trees, cars, people, containers, wagons, etc. that, again, just seem to dissappear into the layout.  ???  This seems to be a trait of N gauge that lots of literally small additions do not individually stand out but gradually improve the overall ambience by stealth. No japanese layouts at the exhibition this year but several trade standards were stocking usefull items especially Modellbahn Union who had come over from Germany with a stand virtually dedicated to Japanese items.

 

I have given up trying to create a track diagram as previously requested so hope the attached "cut & shut" panorama gives an idea of what the visible area of Niihama looks like as a whole.

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Wow. The overview photo really brings the complexity of the area around the station out.  There's a lot going on in a small area, but it all makes sense. I really like it.

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Got a business trip to AsiaPacific region later this month but unfortunately to China rather than Japan as previously.  :sad:

 

However I will get some time in Hong Kong so does anyone know of any shops - say around the Nathan Road - that sell Japanese N gauge?

 

Having been away on a business trip to Poland, not a great deal has changed on Niihama apart from one of the rice fields being changed over to green houses.

 

Has anyone come across any banners that would fit in with a japanese market garden business as I think this farmer needs to advertise his produce?  :grin

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Yes - Tomytec greenhouses but I do not use the bases that come with any of the Tomytec kits as I set them directly into the layout. When I first built Niihama, I covered the entire baseboard with a plaster like material "polyfilla" to set the ground levels. For any new buildings I then excavate into the polyfilla and edge the excavation with thin balsa strips. This way you do not get the building unrealistically "floating" above the ground surface but it can be still be easily lifted out for cleaning or adding detail. I also used fine ground stone to give the impression of a gravel floor inside the greenhouses whilst using the "plants" that came with the kit.

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Mudkip Orange

Yes - Tomytec greenhouses but I do not use the bases that come with any of the Tomytec kits as I set them directly into the layout. When I first built Niihama, I covered the entire baseboard with a plaster like material "polyfilla" to set the ground levels. For any new buildings I then excavate into the polyfilla and edge the excavation with thin balsa strips. This way you do not get the building unrealistically "floating" above the ground surface but it can be still be easily lifted out for cleaning or adding detail. I also used fine ground stone to give the impression of a gravel floor inside the greenhouses whilst using the "plants" that came with the kit.

 

That's actually a pretty swank idea.

 

I assume polyfilla is roughly equivalent to the lightweight drywall compound sold here...

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