Sunday, May 24, 2015

Finishing the 2nd type of retaining wall

Last fall, I finished the first of two different types of retaining walls that I have been working on for the Hot Springs Junction module.  That post can be viewed HERE. Now it's time to finish the second type of retaining wall which is a more simple design but there is a lot of it.  For the background on both types of walls see the post Japanese Style Retaining Walls.

Again as I did when finishing the first type of wall, I show here the reference photo I started with for this type of wall and pick up where I left off on the original post.

After the Evergreen tile styrene sheet is assembled to fit the shape of the hillside were it will be installed, the edges are covered with .100 x .100 L channel strip.

On the front facing and top edge of the L channel, I cut a groove as shown in this photo about every 10 scale feet with a razor saw to simulate expansion joints.

When doing the front facing surface I set a thin sheet of scrap over the tile surface to protect it from being scratched by the saw.

Each assembled section of retaining wall was air brushed with Testors acrylic concrete color.

The next step before installing the wall is to give it some basic weathering.  I like to highlight the grooves between the tiles by using diluted India Ink.

A few drops of ink into a Dixie cup filled to the level shown in this photo.  This solution is spread evenly across the wall assembly.  With the wall laying flat it settles into the grooves and that's why I did this before installation.  Brush strokes should be up and down the wall so it will look like natural streaks.

The completed wall sections are attached to the foam land forms with Liquid Nails adhesive.  After the adhesive has set, the scenery is built up as desired to the walls edge and as shown in this photo sometimes over the edge.  This 4 foot module has about 6 feet of large retaining walls of both type presented here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hot Springs Jct. at the N Scale Convention

My Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module will be part of Peninsula Ntrak's layout during the 2015 National N Scale Convention being held in Sacramento.

Over the next few weeks I will be working on completely finishing the module and will be posting on some of those projects.

The location of the convention is the Double Tree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, California.   Besides our layout there will also be other layouts from around California representing the Ntrak, FreemoN, and Bend Track modular standards.  The layouts will be available for public showing on Friday, June 26th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and on Saturday, June 27th from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

For more information about the 2015 National N Scale convention click HERE.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Smart Sushi Train

Nona and I have always enjoyed eating Sushi together and I especially like the restaurants where it is delivered on some sort of conveyor belt or boats.   This last March we were out walking around near Meguro station in Tokyo and happened across this place called "Smart Sushi"

It's a fairly large place with the kitchen behind a wall so not visible.  The "Train" is more like a monorail, with the guide way made of wood that goes around the counter and through the wall into the kitchen.  There is an electronic beeper and a lighted push button is at each seat.  There is also a touch screen display terminal at each seat for the customers to enter their orders.  The orders arrive on a two car train of sorts.  It's really two trays that ride on the wooden guide ways and are connected together.  A total of 4 dishes of Sushi can be delivered with each trip.  When your order arrives the push button flashes and the beeper sounds.  When you have removed your order you press the button the send the train back to the kitchen.

I have put labels on this photo to point out the features of the sushi train mentioned above.  No, the beer is not delivered by the train.

This was a fun place and the Sushi was also quite good.

Here's a short YouTube video showing the delivery of an order.  This was my first video with my new camera and I'm quite happy with the results but I just need to hold it more steady.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Adding to my Tokyo taxi fleet

While in Hong Kong, I spotted a tiny shop at the Kowloon Star Ferry Terminal called 80M Bus Model Shop.  They had all kinds of bus and vehicle models in several scales.  I picked out a couple of 1:160 Hong Kong taxi cabs.  The cabs in Hong Kong are basically the same model cars that are used in Tokyo so I thought they would make be a good stand in.

The 80M Bus Model Shop has several locations around Hong Kong and this English web site.
Having seen this new TomyTec set out on ebay before we left on this trip, I thought I would look for it while in Tokyo and found it at TamTam in Akiharaba.

I had always thought that Tomytec would come out with a big set of taxis the way they have with other vehicles but so far just these small sets.  This new set like the one before it, has two Crown models and two Prius models.  I hope they do the green one next.

At another Akihabara hobby shop I was also able to find this set of Showa era taxis that I was looking for to use on the Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module.

I took these first three photos while packing to come home.  Our luggage situation was such that I had to take all of these out of their packages to consolidate things.

The 80M Bus model actually a tiny bit larger than the TomyTec model. This would not be noticeable unless they are side by side.   It also has rear view mirrors and a bit more painted detail. Overall it's a very nice model.

Friday, May 1, 2015

While I was away.....

While I was in Asia, the annual Trains and Planes exhibit took place at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.  This year it was an 8 day long event with up to 7 operating layouts in N, HO, O, and G scales represented.  Last year, using my Hot Springs Junction module we did a combined Peninsula Ntrak / AsiaNrail layout.  But this year with my module and myself not being available, two separate layouts were set up.

Here's Paul Ingraham with the AsiaNrail layout at the Hiller exhibit.  The Peninsula Ntrak layout is in the background.  We have often run point to point operations on the AsiaNrail layouts but with Paul having to run this layout by himself this time he went with an oval.

Here are a couple of YouTube videos of the AsiaNrail layout done by Julia Jackson of Peninsula Ntrak.  Paul explains the concept of his modular design and the scenery on some of the modules.