Saturday, September 21, 2013

Street side exhaust fans

I had noticed them before on previous trips to Tokyo but I had never given them much thought.  During this last summer's trip it was different, I learned to hate them.  They assaulted my wife and I every time we walked between our hotel and the subway station.  We would try different routes but it seemed around every corner there would be at least one more waiting for us.

I'm talking about the air conditioning exhaust units that are commonly seen on the streets of Tokyo. Millions of these things blow a stream of hot air across the streets of the city I'm sure making it a little hotter than it already is.  Any pedestrians walking past get the full brunt of the hot blast.

The largest and most modern of buildings have central units on the roof top.  But depending on the building layout when air conditioning was added to an older shop or apartment, there may have been no where else to put the exhaust unit execpt right out in front of the place.

A detail we can model

I had remembered seeing something like this in one of the kits I had built but had not used.  When I got home I was able to determine that the part I was thinking of was from Green Max modular building kits 2101 and 2103.

I felt that the unit was too deep so I cut the back off with a hobby razor saw indicated by the blue line in this photo.

After painting and weathering I decided to place this one in front of the Izakaya.

I'll want more of these so I'll keep an eye out for what is available.  Otherwise I might make a rubber mold from the one I have left so I can make some cast resin copies or perhaps even try to make my own masters of some similar units.

Monday, September 16, 2013

2nd Exhibition - Los Altos Train Days

Over this past weekend the Musashi-Koyama modules were part of the AsiaNrail layout setup at the Los Altos History Museum for their annual Train Days event.  This was the 4th Train Days that I have been involved with, the first 3 being part of the Ntrak layout and this year with the AsiaNrail layout.  Being only about 3 miles from my house, it's my closest train show.  This was only the 2nd exhibition for the Musashi-Koyama modules.

Besides the AsiaNrail layout, they also had Tom Knapp's Nn3 layout in the museum exhibit room with us, plus outside in their large patio there were G scale electric and live steam layouts, an O scale layout, and a static display of 7-1/2" gauge steam locomotive and rolling stock from the nearby Portola Valley & Alpine Railroad.

Our layout consisted of a single track central loop with through staging yard and three junctions that connected stub ends.  Here is a view of the central loop part of the layout.  Besides the continous running of the loop, we also ran point to point operations between the stubs.

My Musashi-Koyama module set was part of one of the three stub ends.  Single track entry into the modules from the left with a crossover to access either of the station tracks.

My E257 Azusa-Kaiji was one of 5 Japanese trains that I ran on the layout.  We had many different trains running on the layout, even a 100 Series Shinkansen and a Caltrain because so many visitors requested those.

Here is a view from the far end of my stub line.  Before the next show, I will be installing some plexiglass screens along the front edge as some of the details on the front seem too tempting for small hands.

My Tomix model of an 8800 set and Paul's new Kato model of a JR DD13  parked at one of the other stub end yards.  This module has several stub end yard tracks and also has a passenger platform seen in the background.

Paul's Treat Street module was at the end of the third stub.  This module is based on scenes in Korea and features a model of the Sungnyemun Gate.

As the sun was going down, the last few pieces of the layout were being loaded into Pauls van.  The whole layout easily fit into this van and my pickup.

As we were taking down the layout the museum's staff gathered all the layout exhibitors together to a drink and a little celebration and thanked us for taking part in their event.  They announced that they had nearly 3000 visitors to the exhibit over the weekend.  That was more then had attended the Great Train Expo in San Jose the weekend before.  I was at that show with the Ntrak group and had noticed the attendance was very light.

The Los Altos History Museum is a community based free admission museum and they depend on donations and fundraising events like Train Days for their funding.  They were quite happy with the results of Train Days 2013.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quick Construction fencing

It seems there is always lots of construction going on in Tokyo and the N Scale Musashi-Koyama modules are no different.   I needed some fencing that looked like things I had seen in Japan on construction sites.

I had seen this product on ebay but was not sure how good it was.  After checking it out first hand at a hobby shop in Akihabara during our recent trip, I picked up a package.  I don't remember exactly how much it was but I think is was in the area of 500 - 600 yen.  There was a choice of several colors and I went with the orange which is Casco part number YP-301.

This is what the package of fence looks like.  There are actually 2 sheets with 6 sections of fence each in the package.  Each section is 72 scale feet long so you get a total of 864 scale feet.

The sheets are about .010 thick and are printed on one side.  Because the material is clear the fence part shows on both sides but the writing only on the printed side.

Here is some of the fence sections after I used a ruler and sharp razor blade to cut them apart.  I found it helpful to leave the clear ends on in case I needed to splice the sections together.  Even after being cut into the strips the material seems rather sturdy.

So here's some of this fencing installed on part of the module.  I used the Tap Plastics product E6000 that I mentioned in the May 2012 post My new favorite adhesive to attach the material to the module.

I found this fencing product to be a quick and easy way to put up construction fencing around the job sites on the module.