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The Unnamed Layout


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So, here we have it, my as yet, unnamed layout.


It's 9 ft by 3 ft and as you'll be able to gather from the pictures, it's still looking rather British. I'm hoping to change this over the next few months. I'll be using some of the existing buildings on the layout ( repainting them etc ) and removing others, in particular the line of terraced houses will be replaced by high rises / shops, I've not quite decided how I want this area yet.


I've got lots of plans / ideas for this layout, please feel free to contribute :)


Before I waffle on here are some pictures...


( Click to enlarge )

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Edited by gr-ex
  • Like 6
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You have an interesting set up here, with a lot of potential. The photos suggest you have the two yards; one of which is crying out for a container terminal of sorts. It looks like the lower level is a circuit, whilst the upper is a terminus line...lots of operational interest.


I'm sure you have a whole list of changes; obviously the buildings will need to change, and I would change the brick arches on the embankment support to concrete. Also, the platforms need some minor modifications...lose the end ramps for example. The addition of Japanese-style canopies make a vast difference, as well as the addition of overhead catenary. 


I look forward to seeing this develop...

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It's such a nice British layout, that i find it absolutely sad that you want to change it. The row houses are especially beautiful, so i really hope you can remove them as a whole block. (someome might want to buy them...) A trackplan or at least a few pictures from the left side and the underground sections would be nice too. The control layout is also interesting, it has a huge amount of switches.

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For those interested, I've attached a track plan that I made using scarm, it's not to scale and not 100% accurate but it gives you a good idea of the layout in general.


@ozman2009 thank you and yes it's n gauge.


@Claude thank you for the great ideas Claude. I'd not even thought about removing the platform slopes. That's now been added to my list of things to do.


I'm currently experimenting with various styles of catenary that I've made myself, however I'll probably end up getting some of the kato / tomix  ones, although having said that I do have a box full of the Dapol MK3 single catenary masts that I could use although how similar these are to Japanese single masts I don't know.


May I ask how you made the concrete retaining wall on Yamanouchi? In particular how you got the colour / effect?


@kvp I just think it's a new direction for the layout, it's been through a lot of changes throughout its lifespan ( I'm not the original owner ). It was originally set in the 30's / 40's ( hence the branch line on the lower level ), was then modernized to around the 90's early 2000's and as of now is being taken in a completely different direction. I've always wanted a Japanese layout and I think now is the time to really get stuck in and see what happens. I'll see if I can get a good picture of the underside of the layout, in particular the hidden crossover. Oh yes, the switches, I've got switches for the points, track feeds, isolations and electromagnetic uncouplers.


Edited by gr-ex
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Ah, the reverse loop explains the number of switches. It is an interesting design, with lots of flexibility. Those two sidings at the station throat look to be for stabling a station pilot - a throwback the layout's original time period. You may or may not want to keep them...don't be afraid to change the track design to suit your purpose.


The concrete walling I used was from Scalescenes - TX42



Edited by Claude_Dreyfus
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It's a nice looking layout! Can see your rolling stocks are ready for action! That E1, together with the blue Sonic, is kinda rare!  


Can I suggest with the layout you already have, with foliage and all, it would be nicer to have a rural landscape? Looks kinda weird having high rise buildings in that settings IMHO... The tracks and ballast and bed looks very nice for a rural setting Japanese layout. Besides, that E3 Tsubasa you have runs through rural landscape too ~

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You have a gold mine there. I would invest a little time to expand what you already have.

Although I cannot see everything you got bar any other factor.


I would do this to maximize your proposed layout with this roll away cart.

Tunnel portal lower level. Temp track to connect upper level to lower.






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Thank you for the link Claude, I've already put the concrete texture to good use as well as purchasing a couple of other things.


@JR500 thank you! I'm going to try and strike a balance between city scape and rural, not sure how I'm going to do this at the moment but some of the greenery is definitely going to be disappearing.


@inobu love the thought of having a similar cart underneath, I've got a couple of storage boxes on wheels underneath it at the moment, makes life easier if I need to fiddle around with wiring. I'll get a picture of the upper > lower level connection the next time I'm fiddling around with the layout.


@railsquid I thought it'd be a great addition to the layout :)


Right, on with the layout...


I had the chance to fiddle around with the layout this weekend, here's a short list of what I've been up to:


Extended, relayed and re ballasted part of the yard ( west yard - east sidings as yet unchanged ), as it was looking a little worse for wear

Removed the main station building

Sanded down, dremeled and completely repainted the station, ready for platform extension and Kato canopies, still lots to do on the station

Repainted the tunnels on the lower level

Removed the backdrop

Added and painted new backdrop

Started scratch building potential retaining walls

Removed brown fences

Painted two of the existing buildings, this is temporary until I can source a similar Japanese counterpart


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Couldn't resist having a run of the L.N.E.R B12


Next on my to do list is, remove the engine shed and fuel depot on the lower level, connecting these two sidings up and creating an island platform which should fit up to 6 cars.


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Great looking layout! Do you have a video of it?


Im imagining the clickety sound of a slow moving train running along the arched wall..........


Im also amazed at the list of what you can accomplish in one weekend - how I wish I could do that.



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Thanks Mardon!


I don't at the moment but I'll take one when I've completed the station area and retaining wall.


It's how I multitask I guess, whilst the paint is drying on one model I'm off doing another one.


-- -- -- -- -- --


Whilst I wait for the kato canopies to arrive, I thought I'd sketch out a few ideas for low relief buildings, had no plans to start building them and then this happened...


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It's not complete yet, I want to add some advertising to the roof along with a telephone mast or something similar.

It definitely needs some detail adding to it, but overall, not bad considering I was only sketching up some ideas.

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Thanks for those links Mardon! Those paper structures are fantastic, going to get some of those for sure.


So, lots of activity on the layout this weekend. Apologies for the quality of the pictures and the state of the layout, it's definitely not looking polished at the moment...


Unfortunately had a major problem with the scissor points today, one of the metal contact feeds on the point motors had corroded meaning the point motor ( 'PM' ) had to be removed and fixed. A relatively hassle free task I thought to myself... famous last words. After fixing the PM and battling to get it back in, it still wasn't functioning correctly, it was only opening about halfway, so naturally I thought something might have been stuck in the point, you might be able to guess what's coming next. The spring disconnected itself from the point and got lodged underneath the track, took another 2 hours to release the spring and get it connected back up underneath the metal plate.


Anyway on to some actual progress ( N.B. this is still work in progress )


The row of houses has now gone, still to be replaced at some point in the future ( you can also see the start of the electrification on the top level )




A new retaining wall has been added ( still to be finished )




New track work on the lower level to allow for a 5 car island platform has been put in place






The start of the electrification





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The Next Station Is...

Fascinating to see a layout not just being built but actually being re-purposed... Thanks for sharing the photos!

Edited by The Next Station Is...
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Good progress here...it is amazing what a difference these changes have made. I found when working on Yamanouchi that adding the catenary makes an enormous difference. Certainly worth seeing how this develops...

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@The Next Station Is... no problem :)


Thanks Claude. Couldn't agree more, I've had to hold off on adding more catenary at the moment as once it's all soldered up and done it's going to be hard to change parts of the layout.


On to some progess... ( Caution: lots of images )


The area around the station, in particular the car park and road has had a complete overhaul ( cars are a mix of Tomytec, Kato and unbranded from China ).


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For those of you that wanted to see behind the scenes so to speak.


( Added a link as I reached the image post limit ) ---> http://www.imagebam.com/image/f85040355761128


I've scratch built the ends to the platforms and they are now glued down and painted ready to be populated with various station related items i.e. people, kiosks etc...


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I've added to the retaining wall ( these aren't currently stuck down ) and added a corrugated iron roof to the shed / hut / railway related building.




A new addition to the collection, EF81 with Yumekukan in tow.


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Here's a quick birds eye view of the layout so far




Other various bits have been done on the layout but didn't really warrant a picture, ballasting of the new line on the lower level, painted the red tomix office building, various greenery additions etc.


Also if anyone has any name suggestions for the layout I'd love to hear them!

  • Like 3
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I like the way you've painted that Tomix building - being originally red brick it doesn't really fit in a lot of reasonably contemporary layouts.

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Thanks railsquid. The Tomix building was just a bit shiny for my liking and didn't really fit in with the rest of the layout.


I've also added a matte varnish over the top which finishes the look of the building nicely.


My led signals arrived from China today. From the research I've done they should look something like this:




Black light surround with black base and white pole? Is this typical of most signals in Japan?

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Some updates for all of those interested.


So, where to start...


-- You're now looking at the newly named 'Atarashī ōkurando', I've got a few other names in the running but this is the one I liked the most. ( I'll change the title of the thread once I've made up my mind. )


-- Whilst I was happy with one end of the layout, namely the terminus station, I was not happy with the other.


I decided to reballast two of the yard sidings ( again :hmh: ) - whilst reballasting, I decided the sharp exposed corners could do with a bit of TLC. This came in the form of a retaining wall on both sides.


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Eureka -- After some helpful advice from members on here I've got the LSE running smooth again.




Buildings -- I bought one of the bulk packs from paperstructures and got to work building them, some easier than others. Then a matte spray varnish to finish.




Lighting -- The terminus station, signal box and track ends now feature LED lighting ( still lots to do here - I ran out of wire :hmh: )


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Signals -- Atarashī ōkurando now features 12 signals, with two five aspect signals on the main line.




Lots more work to do, but just wanted to give this thread a quick update.

Edited by gr-ex
  • Like 6
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Agree...it is amazing what a difference these changes have made. Is the catenary ready-made, or is this your home-made? 

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