Saturday, April 26, 2014

Food trucks in Japan

On the Wednesday of the week of the Trains and Planes exhibit, several food trucks parked in front of the Hiller Aviation Museum during lunch time.  This was the one day I got Nona to go with me to the show.   Seeing the food trucks reminded me of some we saw last year in Sapporo, Japan.

Yes, they do have these type of food trucks in Japan and here's a couple photos.  While a bit smaller than their American counterpart, they are rather large compared to most vehicles in Japan.

I thought these might be something interesting to model sometime so took these photos for future reference. I'll need to keep an eye out for a suitable vehicle to start with.

Another milestone

The Tokyo in N Scale blog recently passed 40,000 page views.  Again, thanks to everyone for your interest and encouragement.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Train's N Planes exhibition

Between April 12th and 19th, 2014 Hot Springs Junction module was used for the first time in a joint Ntrak / AsiaNrail layout.  As an 8 day long exhibition this was a real good test of the track work and of the concepts of using the junction.  Besides Paul and myself running our Asia trains, we had several other friends and members of Peninsula Ntrak stop by to help run the layout and also brought trains to run so we had quite a variety of equipment represented.

The AsiaNrail part of the layout had three branches that connected with a wye junction in the middle.  The branch going to the Hot Springs Junction module was the shortest branch.  On the last day of running before the crowds came, I got this overhead view from the 2nd floor.

Prior the this layout Paul had rebuilt all of the track work on his wye module which was over 30 years old.  The scenery on this module is on removable plates so it's position can be changed from show to show.

Scenery on the Hot Springs Junction module is far from being completed and some things were done in a temporary fashion for this show.  Now that the module has been tested I feel I can enjoy finishing the scenery.

Including the station on the Hot Springs Junction module, there were a total of 5 passenger stations on the AsiaNrail layout.   One at the end of each branch line plus another in the middle of each of the longer branches.

The Hot Springs hotel building was set in the general area that it goes for this show.  With the other members of Peninsula Ntrak seeing the module for a week, I received lots of good ideas on how to finish some of the scenes on the module.

All of the track work both on the AsiaNrail / Mountain Division line and the temporary main Ntrak lines preformed perfectly.

Here my 485 type train is seen leaving Hot Springs Junction and passing over the Ntrak lines on the girder bridge.

Hopefully the next time this module is shown, the scenery will be completed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Applying printed scene to the skyboard

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to have someone in the Ntrak club give me a left over section of scenic background from Backdrop Warehouse that was a good match for the what I wanted on the Hot Springs Junction module.

The sky board itself I had already built and painted and posted on in September of 2012.

The rolled up background scene was laid out on a large flat surface and the ends held down with some wood scraps.

The background scene was just over 72 inches long and I only needed 48 inches .  Also only about 8 of the 11 inches of height would be visible.

In the above photo I show Photoshop lines where I cut the scene.  I left it about 1 inch longer as I could trim any excess after it was on the sky board.

After looking at several sources on the internet about what adhesive and technique to use to apply these background scenes I decided to try 3M Super 77 spray adhesive.

Here is a youtube video showing this adhesive product being used in this application.

As I was going to have some extra material, I cut off a small section at one end of the roll and applied it to a painted scrap of plywood as a test to familiarize myself with working with this adhesive.

I placed newspaper on the work surface to protect it from any over spray.  I lightly sanded the primed sky board surface to remove any odd bits and get it really smooth and then cleaned it with a vacuum and damp paper towel.

Using a hobby knife I cut around the areas shown in this photo and was able to cleanly peel off the background material from those areas while the adhesive was still tacky.

I am really happy with the way this came out.  I'm sure that installing this product to a module sky board that can be laid flat is easier than working with it on a vertical surface so I'm glad I got to try it this way first.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

100th post - a progress report

Well, about 3-1/2 years after starting the Tokyo in N Scale blog I have reached the 100th post.  Posting has been sometimes often and at other times infrequent depending on if I am working on any of my Japanese related model railroad projects.  I do appreciate everyone who has followed along and your supportive comments.

What started out as a blog about one particular module set (Musashi-Koyama modules), has evolved into something that also is about the rebuilding of one of my old Ntrak modules (Hot Springs Junction), and some of our travels in Japan, especially when it relates to trains.

The original Musashi-Koyama modules, while far from being finished, have been in 2 AsiaNrail layouts so far and seen by thousands of people.  At each of these exhibits, there has been at least one person (from Japan) who recognized the area after seeing the module which is very satisfying when you are trying to model a prototype scene.

The rebuilding of the old Ntrak module into the Hot Springs Junction module has taken longer than expected as I have had some distractions like building a new train room last year.  With the train room now finished and a chance to try out the module in a combined Ntrak / AsiaNrail layout later this month, activity has greatly picked up.  Some of the necessary things that I've been working on to get the module ready for this show but not had time to post on are:

  • Laying of code 55 and 80 track and turnouts.
  • Installation of Totoise switch motors.
  • Installation of all track feeders and all the electrical wiring, there's a lot !
  • Painting the module frame.
  • Applying a printed background to the sky board.

I'll be posting on some of these in more detail in the near future.  As it was with the Musashi-Koyama modules, the scenery on the Hot Springs Junction module will not be fully finished for it's first exhibition.  

However I did get some basic scenery done on the small Interface module that goes between Hot Springs Jct and the AsiaNrail layout.  I took this module outdoors for some photos and here is one of them.

This first showing of the Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module will be at the Hiller Aviation Museum as part of their Trains and Planes event running between April 12th and 19th.  The module will be part of the layout presented by Peninsula Ntrak and will connect a small AsiaNrail layout to the Ntrak mountain division.   

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Installing the grider bridge

Now that the abutments are ready it's time to actually install the bridge.  I have noticed that most girder bridges and through truss bridges don't rest directly on their abutments.  They often have a footing of some sort but this is almost always left off on models.

I modeled this look by attaching an I beam across and under the the girders at each end of the bridge and painted them to match the bridge.

Then the completed bridge with it's footings was attached to abutments with the E6000 adhesive that I've been using for many things now.

Here is the completed installation with the track installed.  While I use white glue to attach track to road bed, on the bridge deck I used the E6000.

Because the bridge is close to the end of the module, the Ntrak tracks end right under it.

This will require just a bit more care when installing the connecting tracks during layout setup.