Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Emperor's Train

Another friend from Peninsula Ntrak who collects Japanese trains is Richard Porter.

Here is Richard running his Kato model of the Japanese Emperor's special train on the AsiaNrail layout.


The train is shown here passing Paul's model of the Byodoin Temple Phoenix Hall.

He built this from a Fujimi kit.  The real one is in Kyoto and there is also a full sized replica in Hawaii.

Perhaps the Temple looks familiar even if you've never been there.  That's because the replica on Oahu's north shore is a favorite filming location and has been featured in the TV shows Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, PI, and Lost, and in the movie Pearl Harbor.

In this last view of the train the E58 locomotive is disappearing behind the banana trees on one of the more tropical areas of the AsiaNrail layout.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First Exhibition

July 8th, 9th, and 10th the Musashi-Koyama modules were part of the AsiaNrail layout at the 2011 NMRA National Train Show in Sacramento, California.  Over the 3 days the show was attended by more than 20,000 people.

Besides my 2 modules, all of the other modules were done by Paul Ingraham.  We were assisted with the setup of the layout and at various times the operation of it by Tom VanHorn, Phillip Cook, Richard Porter, and Mike Sheridan.

The layout consisted of several of Paul's junction and curved modules forming a irregular circle and 4 peninsulas going off from this covering an overall area of 20 x 20 feet. 

The 4 peninsulas represented Tokyo (my modules), Taiwan, South Korea, and a undecorated staging yard.

Here is a view of one of Paul's trains leaving Musashi-Koyama station.  Hopefully before the next showing of these modules I will get the grade crossings installed !

Independent from the main line operation we had a point to point passenger operation between the Tokyo and South Korea peninsulas using a wide variety of trains.  Here is a Super Ozora 283 train at the Musashi-Koyama platform.
We were joined by Phillip Cook of the Japan Rail Modelers of Washington DC.  He brought with him a nice selection of short passenger trains to run. Here he is operating the yard on the South Korea module which served as the other end of the point to point operation.
Everything worked well on the Musashi-Koyama modules and the trains ran smoothly.  A point did come loose on one of the Micro Engineering turnouts but I was quickly able to repair it.  I do consider this first outing for these modules to have been a great success and will be continuing to build the scenery for them and look forward to future exhibitions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ready to go !

The months of preparation leading up to the National Train Show have passed and it's time to actually display the Musashi-Koyama modules and run some trains !

Here is the module set assembled in my garage just prior to loading it for the trip to Sacramento.

There is still so much that I still want to do with buildings and details, and work on the modules will continue after this show prehaps at a somewhat slower pace.

If you are going to the show, look for the AsiaN Rail layout in area 813 which is right in the middle. 

Hours:  12:00pm to 6:00pm Friday, July 8th
            10:00am to 6:00pm Saturday, July 9th
            10:00am to 5:00pm Sunday, July 10th

Location:  2011 NMRA National Train Show
                Sacramento Convention Center
                1400 J Street
                Sacramento, California

Monday, July 4, 2011

Movable track bumpers

June came and went with only one post to this blog.  Part of the month Nona and I drove to the Dallas, Texas area to pick up a travel trailer that we had purchased.

Over this 4th of July weekend I have been making final preparations to take these modules for their first exhibition in Sacramento as part of the AsiaNrail layout. On Friday, I took the modules over the Paul Ingrahams place as he had most of the rest of the layout set up in his garage and we wanted to work out any bugs with getting the Musashi-Koyama modules into the layout ahead of time.  I am happy to say that any problems were small and have already been solved.

The modules can be used in a number of different ways and for this layout this is going to be an end of line terminal station.  The last thing one wants to the have a train overshoot the end of the line and fall several hundred scale feet to the floor !  So I needed to come up with some track bumpers.

What I came up with was to shape scrapes of 1/2 inch plywood and painting them a concrete color.  Then I drilled a pair of 1/8 inch holes and inserted 1/8 inch styrene tubes with Walthers Goo to secure secure them.
From the same pattern used to drill the holes in the bumpers, Holes are drilled on the center line of the roadbeds at each end of the module.  When this end of the module connects to another part of the AsiaNrail layout, the holes will be covered by connecting tracks.

Styrene strip was painted black, and then attached to the flat side of the bumpers.  Then some safety striping was cut from a sticker set and applied to the styrene.  These can now be moved to wherever they are needed depending on the use of the modules in a layout.