Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting ready for the next show

The show coming up in one week will be the first time that I will have both of my AsiaNrail modules in a layout.  I decided to set up all three of the modules into a small layout to give everything a good testing.  The overall view of this setup is shown in the photo below.  Everything proved to be working correctly so I have been adding trees, people, and other details to the Hot Springs Junction module.

In this photo, none of the removable buildings are in place on the Musashi-Koyama modules.  And no, that Santa Fe GP7 parked at the Hot Springs station does not belong there but it's a great test engine.

In the actual setup next weekend, there will be several of Paul Ingraham's AsiaNrail modules including a junction module between my two modules.  The Musashi-Koyama modules will form the end of one of the two branches.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Building a TomyTec Sake shop

Resort areas will most often have eating and drinking establishments so I wanted to include something like that on the module.  Places that serve or sell sake will sometimes have a large ball of dried cedar needles hanging above the door. Here is a photo I found on the Internet of such a place.

TomyTec kit number 89 has a building like this.  I am using only one building from this kit, the one that has the ball of cedar needles hanging over the door.

No. 89 is part of a mulit-kit diorama offered by TomyTec to represent a entire Sake brewery and store complex as shown here.

This building kit has all pre-painted parts with some extra details parts and goes together quite easily. I decided to use the base that came with this kit even though it was quite thick. So I made a pit from styrene that the base for this building will fit snugly into.  For now I don't have any plans to attach the building to the module and will remove it for transport.  I put the hole in the base in case I want to light the inside later.

Here is the structure after the surrounding area is blended in with scenic materials.  It's across the road from the station and set sideways.  This is because it I plan to use this module with or without a sky board and I wanted the front of the shop to be visible either way.

Here is a lower angled view of this structure. There are lots of details that can be added to this scene later but for now I'll move on as I am trying to complete all the basic scenery on this module for the show coming up in less than two weeks.

Friday, September 5, 2014

AsiaNrail returning to Los Altos

The next exhibit of the AsiaNrail layout will be at the Los Altos Train Days event to be held at the Los Altos History Museum on September 20th and 21st, 2014.  As it is planned right now, both the Musashi-Koyama and Hot Springs Junction modules will be included as part of a combined Peninsula Ntrak / AsiaNrail layout.

Either Peninsula Ntrak or AsiaNrail has had a layout at this event for the last 4 years and this year it will be a combined layout with the AsiaNrail layout lowered to the height of Ntrak mountain division.  Each year we try to have something a little different and this year the Ntrak part of the layout will have mostly modules that have not been to this show before.

This was a photo I recently found on the Internet that someone took of the Musashi-Koyama station at last years show.  This module set will return this year along with the nearly completed Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module.

Dates: September 20 & 21st
Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Location: 51 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos, California
Admission:  $5.00

Link to the Los Altos History Museum Flyer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finishing the 1st type of retaining wall

In the post last March titled Japanese style retaining walls, I showed prototype photos of two different types of retaining walls I have seen along side the rail lines.  In that post, I also showed the beginnings of the walls I was building from styrene plastic.

For reference, I again show the prototype photo here.  Most of these that I've seen are not quite this bent up.

Recall from that previous post, the wall sections were made from .080 square styrene rod attached to .020 styrene sheet.

When this was fully assembled, it was air brushed with Model Master acrylic aged concrete color.

Then the spaces between the rods were hand painted with a grimy black color.

After the black paint had dried over night, a bit of scenic cement was applied to each section then fine turf color ground foam was sprinkled on top of that.

The retaining wall was attached to the module with Liquid Nails for projects and held in place with home made spring clamps as shown in this photo.

When the wall structure is blended in with the surrounding scenery it begins to look like this.  A bit of the ground foam has fallen out of a few of the spaces.  The reason I painted those areas was to help hide this.

Next I used a bamboo skewer to apply small amounts of diluted white glue to those bare areas where the turf ground foam had fallen off.  Then sprinkled on some fine green ground foam and that tended to settle near the bottom of the sections.  I also added coarse green ground foam in some of the sections to simulate foliage that might grow out between the columns.

The photo above shows the completed retaining wall section.  While I am quite happy with the way this came out, it was a lot of work !  This is only about 9 inches at one end of the module out of almost 60 inches of retaining walls needed.  At this point the rest of the retaining walls are going to be the second type which go together much quicker.  In the near future I will post about finishing those.