Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tempoary Ghost Buildings

With only 5 weeks before the first exhibit of the Musashi-Koyama modules it's time to focus on making them presentable for that show in their not yet finished state.  Most of the scenes towards the front of the modules are completed and its the large number of structures in the back half that still need so much work. Its those areas where temporary finishes will have to do for now.

This area at the left end of the module set had a styrene box that hid two switch machines.  Eventually I want to build a nice complex of buildings here but for now I created some paper buildings using Microsoft Visio and pasted them onto the box.

I don't want to have any white styrene showing. This is the entrance to the Palm Arcade as it is now.  All parts that were not already painted got a coat of Floquil CN gray.

Kato and Tomix built up buildings will be temporarily set in the spots where there are no permanent buildings and of course the addition of vehicles and people will help.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finishing the Aoshima Apartments

Here is the Aoshima Apartment Building at an almost completed state and mounted on the left module.  Looks a little lonely right now but more buildings are coming.

Oops !, looks like I have lost one of the brown colored rail pieces on the lower right.  Hope it turns up or I'll have to make one. 

The base that comes with this kit seems way too thick.  I was able to compensate for this by cutting out part of the 1/8 inch cork that I have on top of the module then setting the building in as shown in this photo.

This is a view down a typically narrow street that parallels the railroad track with a wall between  the tracks and the street.

With all of it's balconies and exposed stairwells, this building is great for creating those moment frozen in time mini-scenes.  It's a part of model building that I enjoy and I've created a few of those.

In this photo a woman is seen carrying a bag of groceries up the stairs.  There is no elevator at the Aoshima Apartments and  maybe shes thinking the next apartment she rents will have to have one.

Here's someone exiting the building talking on a cell phone.  The item seen hanging over the rail of the 2nd floor on the left hand side is a futon.  Several of these come with this kit.      

In each entry there is a set of mail boxes that I am looking for just the right figure to place in front of.

This is really a great kit and it's been fun to build.  While I built this one very much straight out of the box I've got plans for another building using two of these kits that will be very much a kit bash.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lighting the Aoshima Apartments

Quinntopia is one of the N Scale blogs I follow and has some great tutorial posts on LED lighting for buildings including this model and is worth taking a look at if you are considering some building lighting.

I decided on my building to fully light the stairwells and just a few of the apartments.  There was a small indent on each floor that seemed perfect for a porch light. I drilled a small hole to one side of each of those and pushed the wires of pre-wired surface mount (SMD) LED's through with a bit of Walthers Goo on the backside of the LED to hold it in place.

In the past I have not had too much experience or luck working with the small wires that are attached to these small LEDs.  I thought the best way would be to land them on a PC board so I cut out a small section that would fit into one of the apartment sections.  I wired  2.2K ohm resistors on the board for each LED for a total of 10.

To light the apartments I used bright white LED boards that came from Atlas engines that I installed had DCC decoders in.  These boards already have a current limiting resistor.  After experimenting  I got the best results by attaching the board to the ceiling and bending the LED down as shown in this photo.

This photo shows an overall view of all the wiring and other electronic parts that are now inside the building before the walls go on. 

Styrene view blocks were added so the wiring won't be seen from the other side of the building which is going to face outward on the module.

Here is this building with the sides and roof added and the lights on.  The porch lights are partly blocked by the stairs but the stairs are illuminated which is the effect I was after.  5 apartments are lights with LEDs of various shades.