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My Layout so far


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I was pretty happy to find these boards at the 100 yen shop, though there is some added expense in getting brackets and screws to hold it all together. The main benefit though is that it will make it very easy (well, relatively easy) to disassemble when I move.


Another useful shop is Tokyu Hands if they have one in your city.


Well I'm in Tokyo so I'm sure there'll be the odd store or two ;)


Anyway I popped into my local DIY store on the way home just now and lo-and-behold, in the cheap offcuts section they had a piece of plywood board exactly the same dimensions as I needed for a small extension to my main board for a whole 80 yen.

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This week has been another productive one in terms of Najima Stadium construction.



I finally got around to building some stadium lighting so that the home team (the Dragons) can play night games.  The lights themselves are made out of the outer shells that came with a big bag of buttons that I bought at the 100 yen shop, I think they work pretty well.  The supporting structure is just made out of bamboo swizzle sticks (same thing that the foul poles and roof supports are made of, also a 100 yen shop purchase).  I think they look pretty good and add a bit of vertical interest to the overall setup.


I also finished about half of the first base side bleachers.  To add some interest to the exterior, rather than just plain grey walls I am trying to punctuate them with various things.  The most recent section gets a pub with patio called Murphy's (a friend owns a pub by the same name that he runs near Kobe).  I will extend the patio into a walkway that will wrap around part of the stadium to give it a bit of interest. 




I have re-arranged some of the buildings on the layout, basically putting some taller ones facing the stadium.



The idea is for the trains to kind of snake their way between the stadium and the tall buildings, which I think makes for some interesting (and realistic) scenery



The main thing remaining now is the section behind home plate, which will have the upper deck wrap around it.  Getting the angle of the bleachers right back there is proving challenging so this will be the hardest part, but once that is done then the stadium is more or less finished.  I've been picking up hte construction pace a little since we're having a baby next month and I won't have any time for stuff like this after he arrives, hopefully it will be finished soon!  After which I'll eventually have to get back to finishing the rest of the layout, which has been totally neglected for the past few months!


A view from the Goodyear Blimp:



Some more pics




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Nice. My wife was impressed too. I like the pub :)


Does the big train (581? 583?) chase the little one around the loop as entertainment during the breaks? ;)

Edited by railsquid
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I forgot that I had two trains on the same track (I was just putting them on there to take photos, the track isn`t live yet)!  I really need to get a second line in there, otherwise it is just an accident waiting to happen

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Another little update.  This time not related to the Stadium (which is now almost complete and I`ll add some pics of it soon).  I have been working on some other stuff in the meantime.


I added one of those Greenmax sets of shops under the elevated railway (this kit here http://shopping.hobidas.com/shop/g/g020468/) to the line running around the stadium, just visible on the left side of this pic here:



Shops located under train tracks are one of my favorite bits of railway scenery in Japan, I will take some more pics of that when I have the rest of the area complete.


I also did some work on `paving` the streets in my city.  I really don`t like the plastic streets that KATO and other makers put out.  I think they look too artificial and they don`t offer you any flexibility in the layout since they come in fixed lengths, widths, etc.


I decided to use sheets of sandpaper which I buy in packs of 5 at the 100 yen shop and paint them grey (they come in black which is a bit too dark) and do the lines, etc by hand.  I think they look OK.  The grain of the sandpaper does a good job of replicating the slightly rough look of asphalt, provided you get a relatively fine one.


My hand isn`t the surest so the lines are a bit rough, particularly on the crosswalks, but since real lines on streets tend to get worn out it actually might look more realistic this way than buying the perfectly painted KATO sets.  Plus the cost of sandpaper plus paint is so cheap that for about $3-4 I can have more street pavement than I could possibly need.




Edited by Sean
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Looks good. I like the viaduct scene.


I bought some sheets of stick-on street markings a while back, I'll experiment with sticking them to sandpaper some time (I'm not the best when it comes to drawing freehand lines). I found some A4-sized very fine-grained sheets in Tokyu Hands for around 100 yen each, which look like they'll do the job

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Stick-on street markings are probably a better way to do it than hand painting.  Actually, I`m terrible at applying stickers evenly which is one reason I didn`t go that route (the other being that I had a little bottle of white paint at hand and was a bit impatient).

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Yeah I know the feeling :)


I actually always thought I was bad at that kind of detail stuff, but having spend some time with some proper tools (a pair of very sharp craft scissors which I've had for years, a scalpell, a couple of tweezers, and one of these craft mats so I feel all competent) I'm getting quite good at applying stickers to buildings, even when some of them are something like 2mm x 2mm (the stickers, not the buildings). Still need to work on the whole "not getting glue smeared everywhere" thing though.


Oh yes, the Tokyu Hands sandpaper looks like it's the right shade of grey for roads, I'll try it out sometime soon.

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I  really have to get myself some proper tools.  All I have to work with is a Swiss Army knife that my dad gave me in 1986 and my work space is a small empty cardboard box that serves as a makeshift table.


I have that glue smeared everywhere problem too.  I rationalize it by explaining that the glass company which provides all the windows to the homes and businesses in my layout is run by an avante garde artist whose signature is the inclusion of splotches and giant fingerprints on his work.

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So far I have:


Nipper/clipper tool: 500 yen (useful for removing plastic parts from their frames, and also cutting bits off Kato track ballast)

Tweezers: 500 yen (useful for holding small plastic parts, placing stickers etc.)

Scalpell: 800 yen (I though this would be useful for cutting stickers, but the scissors are better for that and it's more useful for minor adjustments)

Small saw: 800 yen (useful for sawing small things, who'da thunk it; came with two different types of blade)

Small craft mat: 800 yen


Well worth it; I've made the mistake before of skimping on tools, which makes life harder than it needs to be.


What would also be useful is some kind of magnifying stand.


At JAM there was one exhibitor with a bunch of specialist modelling tools, all very nice but also very ¥¥¥¥¥.

Edited by railsquid
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A great product for making road line markings is nail tape for doing fingernail decorations (use to be called pin tape when it was used for architectural drawings pre cad). Great stuff and way cheap




Another option is to print your streets on the computer. You can print various road surface colors and textures along with all your road markings. If you print with an inkjet printer you can also use art papers that have a bit of surface texture as well. Lots possible with a little experimentation. Folks have also even used photoshop to create the tire and oil markings on their road digitally.


Ebay can also be your friend for inexpensive tools. Cuticle nippers work well for cutting off sprues for very little. These work almost as well as the various really nice nippers I own.




Scalpels are also cheap on ebay




Check the tools forum, lots of posts for inexpensive and useful tools there.





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Fantastic work on the stadium and surrounding streets Sean.


If you're hand painting markings I'd suggest the good old trusted masking tape method. I used masking tape when painting yellow lines on my station and once removed I touched up the lines with grey platform paint.


Some great suggestions there Jeff. I was going to use car self adhesive vinyl car pinstripe tape before I decided to paint my lines on.

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Thanks a lot for the suggestions, I will definitely be hitting my local Tokyu Hands up for some new tools!


Good point about the masking tape.  With the crosswalks I was just a bit lazy as it would have taken quite a bit of time to get each line outlined :)  

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I found my tools mainly in Yodobashi Camera's hobby section. I did look in Tokyu Hands but the selection was more orientated to handcrafts than modelling. Great selection of sandpaper though.

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The nice thing about the nail tape is its pretty close to prototypical width and it does not stick up much. Also stays down well and blends in very well with a coat of dull coat.


You can make dashed lines with the pin tape as well by just making a jig to evenly space cuts and pull of extra middle pieces.


For masking, try the tamaya masking tape, the stuff is really nice and not horribly expensive.



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Thanks a lot for the tips.  I will head over to Yodobashi camera (been meaning to check them out anyway).


And thepin tape idea too....way better than my splotchy hand painted ones :)

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Najima Stadium is more or less open for business!!



I worked all through the weekend on getting the rest of the basic structure finished.  There are still a lot of details that need to be added - some more advertising billboards on the first base side, more people in the empty sections of the stands,foul lines painted on the grass, a little section in the corner that hasn`t been painted yet etc.  But basically all the heavy lifting is done.




I added a little makeshift station to the elevated line, it sits just behind the stadium



Here it is from the main station:



The exterior still needs some work.  The side facing the back of the layout is basically just a blank but I`m trying to make the visible side look like a stadium:



This is my overall layout.  Kind of hard to see in the photo since the lighting isn`t so great, sorry!



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I would send in the plans to Tomytec, but I fear they would reply by pointing out how awkwardly everything is put together (looks better at a distance than close up)!


Actually I am really annoyed with Tomytec at the moment.  Last week my local Kids Land had a bunch of new Tomytec releases.  Among the new figures were two complete teams of soccer players that would look great in a soccer stadium.  But no baseball players!!  Argh! 

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I would send in the plans to Tomytec, but I fear they would reply by pointing out how awkwardly everything is put together (looks better at a distance than close up)!


Actually I am really annoyed with Tomytec at the moment.  Last week my local Kids Land had a bunch of new Tomytec releases.  Among the new figures were two complete teams of soccer players that would look great in a soccer stadium.  But no baseball players!!  Argh! 

End of the month.  Dont be angry, get ordering!


Tomytec part number 255079 and 255086, available end of Oct.


edit, JR500 too quick with sniper reply.

Edited by katoftw
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