Thursday, April 27, 2017

The climbing tower crane

Cranes like the ones shown in this photo are a common sight in Tokyo.  Because this type of crane does not have the range of the larger ones with horizontal beams there are often several on larger construction sites.

I saw this kit in a hobby shop on one of our trips to Japan and knew immediately this was what I wanted for the subway construction scene.

Now that the work on that construction scene has started I can finally put this kit together.  It was not clear to me from looking at the package but when I opened it I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are 2 crane kits included plus some great little construction scene details.

Before purchasing this crane kit I had not heard of this company, Studio Mid.  Turns out that they have several other N scale kits for modeling construction scenes.  I have not seen anything from them on ebay but here is a LINK to the store with all the Studio Mid N scale products. 

The crane kits come in red or yellow. I would have preferred the red but when I bought it they only had yellow so I painted my cranes reefer orange.

I made some substantial looking support bases from styrene tile with another layer of .040 styrene under it.  Then the crane bases were attached to this with ACC glue.

To highlight the relief in sections of the tower, I brushed on some Testors black weathering wash and then wiped it off before it had completely set.

In the lead photo of the prototype the crane on the right is seen adding or removing a section from it's own tower.  Each crane in this kit comes with two towers, one longer and one shorter.  Both represent several actual sections attached together.  I used the longer towers and then cut the shorter ones into their individual sections and set them in the support area.

These are now completed with the exception of stringing the thread through, that might prove to be the most difficult part.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Protecting the details

Yesterday was the last day of our 8 day long exhibit at the Hiller Aviation Museum.   Everything worked well including the passing siding on the Musashi-Koyama modules after the rework I had done on the controls.

Sometimes the space provided for our layouts is too small to set up rope barriers.  Almost all adult visitors know not to touch anything on the layout but it's another story with small kids.  Up to now I had held back on the details I want to have near the front edge of the Musashi-Koyama module set.  Prior to this exhibit I decided it was time to have some sort of clear screen in front of the modules.

On an old home layout I had made some shields from clear plastic material to keep my cats off the layout and thought it would be a good solution for this.

I have had some success making small control panels from plastic sheet but for these I decided to have them made for by TAP Plastics.   One shield is 36 inches wide and is mounted to the module on the left and the other shield is 42.75 inches wide and is attach to the middle module and to the small extension.  Both are 9 inches tall.

I should have had the shields made just a bit smaller than the width of the modules.  I had not considered that the front of Paul's adjoining modules might not be flush with mine.  So my shields ended up being just slightly too wide.

We got things to fit by overlapping the shields where they meet in the middle.  I can remove the small amount of material with my belt sander and be ready for the next time with set up.

Each shield is attached with a pair of  knurled head thumb screws.  Holes were drilled on the front frame of the modules and tee nuts were installed from the inside.

Once installed, the shields worked out great.  This was a very busy 8 day show and nothing was taken, moved, or touched on the modules.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Hiller Trains and Planes exhibit

The 2017 Trains and Plane exhibit is being held at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California between Saturday April 8th, and Saturday April 15th.

Peninsula Ntrak has a 24ft X 18ft layout shown here with the AsiaNrail layout branching off from my junction module in the foreground of this photo.  The AsiaNrail layout has a reasonable sized loop plus two branches, one to the Ntrak layout and another shown in the lower right of this photo.

The lighting in the Museum was just right.  Things were well lighted but still dark enough for the lighting details on the layouts to show up well.

Shown here are my row of Tomix shops with a couple of the shop interiors lighted.

The main line was single track with a staging yard on one side of the layout and Musashi-Koyama station being a passing siding on the other side.

I had done some work on the wiring and controls since the setup last September and this time the operation worked as planned.

In this photo shows shortened versions of my Yamanote 205 series and 485 series trains at the station platform.

Paul has been adding some new scenery to his modules.  Shown here is the new parking area for visitors to the Phoenix Temple.  The main line is passing behind those cherry trees and the train at the station is Paul's Tomix track cleaning train.
We like our shorter passenger trains on the AsiaNrail layout.  Here are Paul's pair of Sanriku Railway type 36 rail diesel cars at the station on my Hot Springs Junction Ntrak module.  The models are from Tomix.  The Sanriku Railway runs in Iwate prefecture, Japan.
Peninsula Ntrak's Japanese corner module was next the the hot springs junction.

I will conclude this post with this shot of a 6 car formation of one of Paul's Taiwan passenger DMU's winding it's way through his Shifen module.