Monday, November 24, 2014

Hot Springs as an Ntrak only module

This past weekend the Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module was used in Peninsula Ntrak's layout at the annual Thanksgiving train show held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California.  This was the first time I had this module in the layout without the AsiaNrail layout also attached to it.

Here is a view of the front of the module as it appeared in the layout.  In this layout, the module was much more visible to the visiting public than in the junction configuration with the AisaNrail modules in front of it.

Here is a view looking down the length of the module.  My JR 115 type train can be seen at the station platform.  The line that would go the the AsiaNrail track is long enough to switch this 3 car train into the station stub track.

In this layout fellow Peninsula Ntrak member Joe Giacomini's American prototype 8 ft module set which also as the mountain division was next to the Hot Springs Junction giving us a total of 12 feet of mountain division track to run the 115 on.

For this layout, I mounted the control panel on the back of the module and this worked out just as planned.  Between Joe and I we have a total of 18 feet of Ntrak modules with the mountain division track but no way to complete a turn around.  We are discussing the possibility of using a portable automatic point to point system in the future.  Perfect for double ended Japanese passenger trains.

Passing through the Hot Springs Junction module on the Ntrak red line is one of Paul Ingraham's Australian freight trains.

One of the details I added recently is a fisherman on the bank of the river.   He can been seen in this photo between the tree and the bridge.

One of Peninsula Ntrak's original club corners was re-built several years ago by members Earl and Julia Jackson as a Japanese village on the inner side of the curve and an agricultural scene on the outer side of the curve.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another type of movable track bumper

Back in the summer of 2011 when I was getting the Musashi-Koyama module set ready for it's first exhibition I posted about making Movable track bumpers.  These were designed to be placed on the road bed where the track ended to prevent a train from going off the end of the module.  These have worked out well but I was going to need more for the 2014 Los Altos Train Days layout because both modules were going to be used.

Here is a photo from the original post. The original bumpers had used 1/8 inch styrene tube that fit into hole drilled through the cork and into the sub-roadbed.

The additional bumpers I have made are done the same way but instead of styrene tube I embedded track nails with the pointed end pointing down as shown in this photo.

The advantage of doing it this was is that no pre-drilled holes are needed so they can be used on any module.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Overhead wires for Hot Springs Jct.

One of the things I've been working on for the past several days was to get all of the poles installed that would simulate overhead electric wires.  In theory, my free lanced Hot Springs Junction module could be one of those places in Japan that uses Diesel rail cars as those are more common in the more remote mountainous areas.  But the trains that will be run on the mountain division and AsiaNrail lines will include electrics so I wanted to include the wire structures.  Kato, Tomix, and TomyTec all offer versions of this type of model in N scale.

For most of the line I used TomyTec kit No. 020 shown here.  I picked this up on one of my trips to Japan and it looks like I paid 690 yen for each set of 3 double track structures.

I needed single track structures so I cut out the middle section to get two structures from each as shown in this photo.

After removing the model from the spue and cutting out the middle section, I touched up the paint.  The brown of the pole was close to Floquil rail brown and the green of the cross arm was close to an old bottle of Polly Scale paint I had around.

To mount these type of poles I drilled out the inside of a 1/8 inch styrene tube to give the pole a snug fit.  Then drilled a hole in the scenery and glued the tube into the hole.  The tube was then painted a concrete color.

This is a very similar method I used on the Musashi-Koyama modules and that has worked out well.

As with any other track side details it is important to maintain the proper clearances from the tracks, particularly on the inside of a curve.

It's also not that hard to scratch build overhead wire structures for those places where needed.  Here is one of 4 identical ones I made to use between the platforms at the station.

The pole was painted a gray color with the colors of the cross arm, braces, and insulators being a close match to the TomyTec pole structures.

Here is one of the four installed at the station.  For these I drilled a smaller hole and glued the exposed wire on the bottom of the pole without using the plastic tube sleeve the way I did on the TomyTec poles.

Here is the over all view of the station area with all of the poles installed.  I used 13 of the single track poles plus the 4 scratch built double track poles.

Eventually I would also like to have overhead wire structures on the Ntrak lines as well.  The 3 track type of the style from Tomix that I used on the Musashi-Koyama modules line up just right with the Ntrak track spacing as shown here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Finishing the Hot Springs hotel

In February 2013 I made a post titled "Building the TomyTec Hot Springs Hotel".   The building kit itself was quite simple and so much detail was already done that there was not much more to do on it.  In this post, it will install the building on the module and finish the surrounding scene.

I did not like the base that came with the kit, so did not use it and instead made a shallow pit for the building to fit into.  The pit is bordered by .040 styrene strip and styrene tiles for landings at the doorways.  The scenery will be built up to the top of the borders.

Here is the building installed in the pit base after the scenery is blended in around it as viewed from the front of the module.  Of course, there are still some details to add to the scene but now all the base scenery on the module is done.

A few vehicles and signs make the scene look more complete.  The snow plow is parked here for the summer but will be busy again next winter in the mountainous area.

Here is another shot of the front of the hotel without the green van so some of the details that came with the kit can be seen better.

The table and benches that came with the food vendor cart set are used here at the rear of the hotel building.

The road from the station up to Hot Springs hotel crosses the river on a narrow bridge.

The banner on the lamp post on the station platform reads "Welcome to Hot Springs".