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Bandai B shorty mini portable layout.


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And this is why i limit my time on the JNS forum and on Hobby Search....... There is always something new that I find that I want to buy :sad1:


See if they still have reservations open when my pay comes in. For $45 i think i may have to get one!

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It looks like the curve radius is around R110, so anything that runs on Tomix R103 should work. However they only sell the base and the cover plates, so you have to build the terrain yourself and imho that's the harder part, especially when you look at the example station's specially cut platform and roof. Maybe in the future Bandai will release plate kits in the future. I would add that using batteries is not really convenient for a stationary layout on a shelf, so maybe if they added a 9V power jack and a selector switch it would be easier to plug in a 3rd party power supply. At least the 9V and ~R110 of this board matches the specifications of the Tomytec diorama collection, so it's possible to use slightly longer trains too.


There is a short article about the set:


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This layout base makes me interested in creating such a small layout. Maybe I'll get a Unitrack CV1 (http://www.katomodels.com/n/unitrack_compact/) and a base board from leftover wood and you're already almost done! The advantage of the Bandai one is that it has power regulation though, something that I'll have to look into if I want to make it myself.

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The advantage of the Bandai one is that it has power regulation though, something that I'll have to look into if I want to make it myself.

You can always use an external controller. Like a small Tomytec train collection one, that is small enough to be mounted on the layout or held in one hand. Imho the real possibilities of this mini layout could only show if Bandai releases snap together scenery items that are pre cut for the narrow side plates. Like a drop in ocean or a presliced station platform.

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Ever since Nick Yee did his articles for the jrm website I've wanted to do a mini Btrain layout crammed with tight track, lots of curves and scenery. The btrains really shine in this venue. It's all about the curves as they look best there coming and going from view when the shorter cars look longer in perspective and the fact that even on tight curves they don't hang way way over the rails like regular trains can even on moderate model radiuses. Trick is not to see them side on much, unless at a steep angle as that's where the shortness ends up screaming at you. Also keeping the scenery bits more diminutive helps keep the shortness of the trains looking too odd and also lets you pack a lot more mini scenes into the layout. The nyc jrm layout really showed how effective packing a lot of smaller scenes into a layout had a huge impact on the viewer vs fewer big scenes.


They look fun on single viaduct as well, so you could do a simplified Shinkansen viaduct in a smaller space with a small station with a passing siding for one going the other direction and have an automation to alternate running every other loop. Would get enough action going to be fun, but still in a small space (doing even home made tight radius double viaduct quickly gets large and bulky and the btrains look tiny on the regular double viaduct). Found level tracks could use pretty tight radius curves where needed to get a fun track plan like a folded figure eight and even do grades for up and over designs.








I'll post nick's video again here, it's one of the best produced model rr videos out there -- kudos to nick again!


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I would like to build something similar to this layout as a working display for some of my B-trains (well, one at a time anyway).


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I did wonder if Bandai will make the scenery packs for this layout later on, the removable baseplate sections and pre-drilled holes in them suggest to me that they're planning to add to the model. The self-contained aspect is neat but it's very limited compared to buying, say, Kato CV1 which can be expanded.


I recently built a hand-held controller for a similar micro layout.


I used an industrial motor controller from ebay, along with a DPDT switch, DC power input socket and a Kato wiring adapter (the one which allows you to use 3rd party controllers with Unitrack without cutting wires). Built these into a project box about the size of a large box of matches. The controller has a PWM output so I wouldn't advise it for DCC-fitted locos, but it runs a B Train Shorty or two quite happily for hours without overheating. I'm using a spare 230v AC-12v DC transformer I had hanging about with a 500ma output, it doesn't seem to be over-stressed. My original intention was to end up with a layout which can run from a 12v car battery, although I've not tried that yet.

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This controller is simpler,

Yes, although the backemf would light up both the head and tail lights (if any) and the PWM from the ebay chopper circuit is better for slow speed running and could also power constant lighting circuits.

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In terms of building it, the ebay PCB was much simpler!


All you need to do is wire the DPDT switch with the track feed wire and the crossed wires to change the polarity on the track, then connect it to the output terminals on the board. After that you just need to connect the input socket to the input terminals on the control board.


One warning: Be certain to get the polarity right on the input side. I didn't the first time, luckily I was using an old railway controller as a power supply and it tripped its overload protection rather than doing any harm. Swapped the wires, pressed reset, and all was well.


Total cost? Probably about £15 plus a bit more if you need to buy a transformer (I pinched one from a redundant Internet router which happened to have a 12V DC output and the right size plug). The DPDT switch, project box and Kato track feed wire cost more individually than the control board.

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