Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Exterior stairs finished at long last

Just over two weeks left before the Los Altos Train Days show.  I am making a final push to get some more scenery done and have been focusing on some buildings that have been left half done for quite some time.

Here is the prototype photo of the exterior stairs on the side of what I call the mister Donut building.  I built the model of the building back in 2011 and started the stairs at that time but never finished them until recently.

These types of stairs are common on commercial buildings in Japan and I wanted to have at least one example of this.

The stairs were built as a separate assembly which made them much easier to work on then.  I tried to match the paint color of the original building as best I could and air brushed the stair assembly before gluing it to the side of the building.

Here is the photo of the finished building.  It feels great to finally have this project done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Finishing up some old scenes

There are a few areas on the Musashi-Koyama module set that have remained only partly finished for several years now.   The work to replace some problem turnouts and extend the track to ends of the modules is now done and there is a bit of time left before the next show so I am going back and finally finishing up a couple of those.

The scratch built mister Donut building now has tenants on every floor after I added some signs made from the stickers from various kits.  I am also working to finish the exterior stairway for this building.

The two story building next to the mister Donut building is also now fully occupied by a french restaurant and a deli on the first floor and a 24 hour Internet cafe and a real estate office upstairs.
I have also been adding a few more people and some motor bikes in various places.  I use a tweezers to hold these 2 wheeled vehicles in place while the adhesive sets as shown in this photo.

So, besides hopefully operating better with the new turnouts this module set will have at least some new scenery items in place.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Replacing some problem turnouts

With only a month to go before the next exhibit, both Paul and I have been working on the modifications to the track on our module ends to have the next layout "joiner-less" as explained in last April's post Joinerless joints for a quicker set up.

In past layouts we have had some problems with some equipment getting through the crossover at one end of my Musashi-Koyama module set so I decided to replace those turnouts with new Peco code 55 turnouts at the same time.

Because the Micro-Engineering and Peco turnouts have slightly different angles I had to remove some of the track back to the beginning of the platform to get everything to line up right.  This photo shows the new cross over and track to the edge of the module.

Paul had ordered several Peco double track spacing guides and gave me a couple.  This is what we are using for a standard on all the double track module ends that we are modifying.

The original Micro-Engineering turnouts will be rebuilt and reused on my American prototype home layout.

Monday, August 6, 2018

New trains on the JR Nambu line

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that we had used the JR Nambu line for part of our day trip to Ome in June of last year.  We rode between Musashi-Kosugi and Tachikawa but this line is actually part of an outer loop line around the Tokyo area.  We had used this line a few times before and have noticed newer and newer trains assigned to this line over the years.

I took this photo of a 205 series train when we rode the Nambu line in November of 2011.  At that time this line was one of only a few in the Tokyo area still running these and they were later replaced with the 209 series.

On this latest visit the 209's were gone and in their place were the the E233 series.  This was no surprise to me as I had already read about this change on the Tokyo Railway Labyrinth blog.

I had been wanting to buy a model of the E233 for some time but had not decided yet which line to buy.  After riding the Nambu line with this train type I decided to get this one.  I liked the extra graphics on the sides of the end cars and a 6 car train was just the right size.

So on the last day we were in Tokyo I visited a few of the shops in Akihabra.  Kato had recently released a model of this train and it was in stock in several shops so I was able to shop for the best price.