Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Its nearly there

Most of the floors are in now apart from the top two.  I have managed to pick up some working lights from a club mate, so I can lose the plastic ones.

The finished build is just around the corner, honestly....

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Back in the attic.

It has been a few months since I posted and nothing has been done really.  I have been looking over track plans and looking over the web for some ideas.  But the House and Christmas took over.

I have been looking into Automating the layout using Rocrail or JMRI, I am not sure which one to go for, so I will need to read up more about each.



I don't believe you can do much shunting in N Gauge, so watching long passenger and freight trains will be the way forward, and being able to run the layout from a PC appeals to me.  So I am moving back into the attic for the time being.

With a revised track plan, the Ground Level below will be the only part of the layout with buildings and details on it.  The Upper level will be large yards for loco storage and sidings.

The picture shows the mainline station at the bottom which can hold an 11 car train (there is an 8 car N700 on show to make sure I have the size correct).  I am going to use the Kato road plates to create my city streets. As you come out the Station you will pass the carpark I am building on the right which will be attached to a shopping mall via a bridge over the road.  As you pass through the city you come across the Football Stadium, opposite the mainline Station.  From there you will pass into a smaller station.  When into a tunnel, where the scenery will end onto the Helix to take you up to the Upper level staging.
As you come up the Helix you will head Left passing the siding which can hold a 16 car Shinkansen, the down into the first of the staging area's.  Loop down the bottom an back up to the top of the Helix, I will be using this siding mainly for freight and the few odd ball locos I have, such as the Snow blower.  Heading around the Helix and down into the High level Sidings where I plan to keep my passenger stock.  The full layout has be designed as a dog bone allow continuous running, and all the sidings can be passed as there is a loop around each.

As I am looking to run the layout automatically using Rocrail or JMRI this should give me enough sidings to store loco's and a huge mainline to run loco's.

Its good to get back into design and building this layout again, it will be good to blow the dust off my loco boxes and give them a run.

Merry Xmas all and have a Merry new year when it come to you.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Bo'ness Chainsaw Massacre. (Carpark Update)

Tree Huggers look away now.......
Having finished the lower section of the garden, I made a surprise attack on the top level where my railway shed will be located.   With the weather changing the billion sparrows that use the trees at the top of the garden as a Launchpad, to get the thousand or so bird feeders in my next door neighbour's garden, it was time to move out. 
At the back of the garden I have 6.5m by 6.5m space to locate the shed.  I also found a telegraph pole in there, which I need to leave access for.
Having cleared the rubble, and bought a big saw, myself and the misses attacked the tree's.  After been bitten to death by Midges the tree were down. 

I now have 7 big stumps to be dug out.  And a large pile of trees and branch's to be removed.  And a huge space to be filled by a railway shed.
With the telegraph pole at the top right of the garden and the support wire coming along the back fence line. I am losing about half a meter off from the back fence and to the right for access.  So I have about 6 meters square to put the shed on.  I will draw the back garden up in AutoCAD to scale and design the layout so I can get as much shed and a less grief as poss.
The next stage here once the trees are away, is to get the hut moved forward and the walls built along the sides and the back, and a nice concrete floor.

Carpark build update.

I have 3 more levels built with lights and cars added.  It has been slow progress on this but time has been against me.  I think I am going to have to pick up more cars as I have close to 100 on already.
I am hoping to get more of this built on Wednesday night, at least get a few floors put in place.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Wee Update

The  modelling has completely stopped, so I am re-modelling the back garden instead.
8 ton of soil later and I have a big hole.

Walls now built to take the slope out the garden and make it level.

Steps started will need to build an extra 3 to take them to the new level

8 ton of soil almost put back to back fill the ground, for the new level

We had new Windows & Doors put in at the same time, managed to save the best window and door for the railway shed that will be built up the back of the garden. 

Top half of the Steps complete and all soil levels correct.  The ground cover is now down, ready for the bark.

Fence all finished bark all down, and misses new washing line in.

Well that's the bottom end of the garden finished, apart from 2 ton of stone.  Weeman has his gang hut and shoot and even a paddling pool if you can believe it for Scotland...
Stage 2.....
Now that the I have completed this part I have permission to move to the back of the garden and the railway shed...   I have started to draw up plans of the building, and once I have a confirmed internal size I can start designing the layout to go with in.
So this is what I have been all through the summer,  I hope to get back to building my Carpark soon also.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Well its all for the change...

Over the past month I have been working hard in the back garden, trying to get it into a better state so my boy has somewhere to play, so all modelling has completely stopped.  We have also seen temp's up in the high 20's and its to get hotter.  The attic has been a no go area, as soon as I go near it I start sweating.

We have a 10 foot by 12 foot shed in the garden at the top corner.  So while I have been working away I have been checking to see if there is room to build a bigger shed in blockwork along the back. 

After taking a few sizes the Area at the back of the garden is 6.5m wide, and 6m from the back fence to the edge of where I have built the play area for Lewis.

So lots of room for a block shed/Railway room.  With a small shed attached to the side for the garden tools and bikes.  After a little gentle persuasion with the misses I got full permission, (as long as I change the attic into a storage room).

So the attic train room is no more.

I am sticking to N Gauge, and I should be able to build a room about 5m by 4m to take my layout. with a smaller shed on the side of it.  I have just had new windows and door installed, and managed to save a door and a window, which can bee used in the shed.

This will be about 3 feet shorter than the attic, but will be double the width.

I will still be building my kits at the clubrooms, and collecting more buildings, track and scenic's.  As I now have a bigger area to fill.  I will update the build as I go along.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Car Park Part 2 - More progress

When at the club last night I managed to get a bit more done on the car park.  With the ground floor complete and two of the side walls on, it was time to start putting together the upper floor together.

The instructions are very well laid out, and so are the spur's.  You don't have little bits left here and there, as you complete each part of the instructions you empty each spur.  Which is magic for me, as I have a habit of losing bits.

Every Building on the layout will be lit,  one to show off the detail inside, and two am basing this layout in the evening about 8pm (I know, pretty precise).  The reason for this, is the football stadium, will have a match just about to start.  That way it would be normal to have fans still coming into the Stadium, so it can be nearly full inside and have fans outside.  As all the loco's and most of the coach comes with lights this will also show of them as well.

 The car park will be in the city near the station, I have decided it will be late night shopping night in the centre, so it is going to be full, as there are 200 spaces, its a lot of cars, and lots of people about.

A friend of mine Ross, has shown me his way of lighting N-Scale Buildings.  So this is how I will do it here.  Each level of the car park is split with an upper and lower floor per level, but both sides connect to the stair column at one end.  In the top picture above you can see I have drilled some holes to take the wires from the lighting out under the base.

I have started with the floor straight above the entrance to the car park and felt this would have the most light, as this is where you enter and pay to leave.  I first cut away part of the ceiling ribs to allow the LED light strip to be fixing to the roof as flat as possible.  The lighting strip is in Sets of three lights with each set already having a resistor attached.  The back of the strip is self adhesive, but Ross informed me that when the strip gets hot it has a habit of un-attaching itself, so I added a little super glue to help keep it in place. 

I cut away a small area to allow the wires to come from the lighting strip to the stairwell without being seen.  The lighting strip his two points marked to show you were to attach the wires.  As I had not soldered in a while I was hoping not to blow any of the lights by adding too much heat, but I am very pleased to say that all went ok.

 The LED lighting strips can be bought on E-bay for about £10 for 300 LED's in lots of different colours, the one I have used here is warm white.  If you require the lighting to be a bit more duller, you can add a resistor in the size you require to achieve the affect you want.  As the above photo shows I didn't kill the LED's and I think they look pretty good.

The next step was to add the barriers and cars to the level.  I will be adding people to this building, but as I am still moving this around and nothing is attached I will add them when I come to fix the levels in place, so they are less likely to be damaged.  

I then did the same for the level above, but I used less lighting strips, only 2 sets of 3, instead of 4 sets of 3, so there will be a little less light on the floors above.

While I was flying along, putting the barriers in and cars I forgot to add the arrow decals on the floor, so I will have to add these in before I get to carried away.

I am very pleased with my progress so far on this build, and look forward to completing the rest of the floors.

More will follow as the build moves on, until then I wonder if its possible to built a car park like this on the layout?????

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Been a while

Been ages since I posted. 

With all this nice weather we have been having the garden has taken a beating, and the layout has been put to the side for the moment.

I am still building the Multi Story Car Park at the clubrooms, Each floor has to have lighting added and cars before I can install them onto the kit, So I will post some pictures of this as it progresses.

I have been watching a lot of YouTube to get ideas for the city and how buildings fit around the railway system.

This is the Seibu Ikebukuro line  Got to love the sound when the doors are closing and the train is ready to move off.
This has given me a lot of ideas for signalling, and station detailing.  I am just wondering how I can add in the sound, before each train departs.......
I am back to building the car park Wednesday, so pictures will follow with an Update.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Track Planning



Track Planning

I have managed to pick-up Kato raised track sections from a fellow club member Ross S, which is enough to cover from the station to the south (Kokutetsu Station) of the stadium to the station (???) to the east of the stadium.  I decided to use the road plates after I picked up the Dio-town road system for the front of the Kok station. They are very well laid out and detailed, and I am happy with the overall look.  I was planning to see if I could put the faller road system into it, but I am just going to detail up the road, with the huge amount to cars, trucks, and buses I have.

This is the far end of Kok station where the track starts to curve around into the city.  The Carpark will sit on the corner to the front of the layout, as you can see from my track layout above.  Having the AutoCAD drawing of the layout is proving very handy.  It lets me know exactly how many sections are needed to complete the track layout and how the road section and track fit together.  And also an idea how much it will cost me.  I now also have an idea of the spaces left for the city buildings.  So I have been trawling through the Internet to find some nice city buildings
 to put into place, and once I have them bought, I will draw them up an place them in the track plan.

Here we have a view from half way down the attic.  The football stadium will be on the right and Kokutetsu Station on the left, Kokutetsu Station will be almost the full length of this side of the layout, but will these Japanese trains being so long, it needs to be so all the people can get off the train.  The attic is starting to look a bit like a Kato shop, but with the way it all fits together and the detail, I can see past them just now.

The Kato Viaduct station is a nice piece of kit, it comes fully detailed inside, only needing a little colour and some people.  The set comes with the entrance, two shops and two extensions.  To complete the station I will need a further 15 extension sets to make it a four track station.  There will also need to be a hole load of road plates bought.  So I can see myself getting a list together and chipping away at it. 

There has been a wee design change to the side of the stadium, I was looking to build an industrial area, but have changed it out to be another station with some more of the city over here.  When I was drawing out the road system, I felt it just ended and as there was a few roads that disappeared into the walk way.  I wanted to find a way to connect both sides, so I have continued the road on the other side.  On a plus side it would be another access road into the stadium for football traffic. 
I have added another station here for a few reasons first I felt there would be one for football fans to be able to get to the stadium.  another was for running sessions, it would give another stop on the way around when operating, and the last would be that I really really like the Kato viaduct station.   I will need to paint the foam black, and sort something for the walls not sure on that front yet.  Still at least I now have some track to work with. and a list to make up.

Nice wee video of a 500 in a Japanese City.

Finally Building Kits - Carpark

Thank god,  After weeks of woodwork, cutting, nailing and sticking Insulation down, I have finally started building some kits.  I don't have a drop of track down but I hope that will change over the next few weeks.

So I have started to build the multi-Story car park.  I will be taking my time and detailing the inside with cars, people and lights.  I am also looking to add a shopping centre cross from the car park, with a high level walkway linking to two buildings, and the road network passing below.  I just need to find a kit for a shopping centre now.   I was thinking of putting this beside the football stadium at first, but I have decided to put it in the city.

This E-bay shop below sells, N Scale - People, Cars, Buses, Fencing, Lights and lots of neat stuff,  I can vouch for the cars and the people being of good quality as I have bought a few, but not sure about anything else.


 I bought 500 people and 150 Cars, delivery was very fast from Japan and very well packaged.  I am planning to have two rows of lights on each level on the car park, with the wires hidden down the stairwell. 

After opening up the box I was pleased to see the Instructions are also in English and very well laid out.  There is a full transfer sheet with all the road markings and signs needed to complete the kit.  The signs outside I am going to try replace with Neon signs if I can find something suitable, or make something myself.  I will be building this Kit at my clubrooms on Wednesdays nights, so it might take a while, but at least when I am there I will have something to keep me busy. 

Here we have the ground floor, Once cleaned up from removing off the spur the white road markings are required to be put on.  Thankfully the parking space's already have there white lines done, and its just the arrows that are needed to be added on the road.  There are a lot of decals on this kit, but they are very marked and are shown clearly when they are needed.  I have drilled two holes in the base of the stairwell to take the wires for the lighting.

Last night I completed the ground floor of the Carpark, I have all the holes drilled to take the wire from the lights, and cars are glued in place, some of the cars are a bit rough, so they have been placed in the middle, and not so easily seen.

The next step is to take two sides of the spur, clean them up and add the decals, ready to install on the ground floor.


I will update as the build continues.......

Monday, 29 April 2013

Layout Construction

I have progressed a bit further with the layout construction.  The end wall had a chimney breast sticking out of it, so I have now framed it out and boarded it, to give it a better finish.

I have no altered the high level shelf to take my staging area.  But as you can see I am keeping all my Stock and Buildings here just now, until I have finished the workshop at the end.  I am no master joinery, but I have managed to put a 6 inch (150mm) facer board around the edges of the layout, it sits about 10mm about the insulation.  When the road plates are added these should just sit below the top of the wood.  Way down the line I will add a curtain of sorts below to hide all the framing below and give it a more finished look.  I plan to have switches around the edge of the layout for turning building lights on and off.  These will be set back so as not to get damaged when moving around.
I have a habit of keep lengths of timber, that might be useful but I am going to have to break this and clear out all the scrap wood.  I only have the Shelves at the end to build in the Workshop and also the helix and all the woodwork will be finish.  I have the weekend off and my boy is at his granny and granddads so I should be able to make a little time to do this. 
I am going to have to start a to do list. as I don't seem to be getting any closer to putting any track down.  To save a little money I am going to design High level track platforms to take my track around the layout, as I might need to re-mortgage the house is I am to do it in Kato Track.  The laser cutter at the club rooms will help here. 
My Layout plan is coming along well in AutoCAD I now have track and the road plates in position, and I have drawn up a few buildings to see how they can fit into things.  Also now the LED's are here I can start to put buildings together with lights, I am just going have to pick up some detail parts to make them look interesting inside and out.
Again you will have to click on this to see it better.  the road system is now in with a few buildings put in to see how they would fit.  the dashed line is where I might build a bridge to join the road system up here.  I have drawn an 8 Car Bullet train in the station to make sure this fits,  10 car trains should fit on each siding ok.  I will bee to buy a few extension pieces to lengthen the station.  Some times you can over plan things, but once I start to build stuff it will be a good reference tool, and can be altered to suit the build.

My stock level is growing fast, I have made another new addition.

About the Loco :-
The E2 series (E2系?) is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on the Tohoku and Nagano Shinkansen high-speed lines in Japan since 1997. They are formed in 8- and 10-car sets. The 8-car sets are used on the Nagano Shinkansen, and the 10-car sets on Tōhoku Shinkansen services. The 10-car sets can be coupled to E3 series Komachi sets using couplers hidden behind retracting nose doors.
They operate at a maximum speed of 275 km/h (170 mph) on the Tohoku Shinkansen and 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Nagano Shinkansen.
As of 1 April 2012, there are 53 E2 series sets (14 8-car "N" sets and 39 10-car "J" sets) in service
E2+E3kei0bandai omiya.JPG

E2 series Shinkansen at Ōmiya Station, February 2011
In service1997–Present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Number built502 vehicles (53 sets) (as of April 2012)
Number in service502 vehicles (53 sets) (as of April 2012)
Formation8/10 cars per trainset
Capacity10-car J sets: 815 (51 Green + 764 Standard)
8-car N sets: 630 (51 Green + 579 Standard)
OperatorJR East
Depot(s)Sendai, Nagano
Line(s) servedTōhoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen
Car body constructionAluminium
Car length25,700 mm (84 ft 4 in)
(end cars),
25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in) (intermediate cars)
Width3,380 mm (11 ft 1 in)
Doors2 per side
Maximum speed275 km/h (170 mph) (Tōhoku Shinkansen), 260 km/h (160 mph) (Nagano Shinkansen)
Traction system(AC) MT205 (24 x 300 kW (400 hp) per 8-car train, 32 x 300 kW (400 hp) per 10-car train)
Power output7.2 MW (9,700 hp) (for 8-car train), 9.6 MW (12,900 hp) (for 10-car train)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC, 50/60 Hz overhead catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
Safety system(s)ATC-2, DS-ATC
Multiple working400/E3 series
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).
I will be looking to add the 4 car add on set to the train at some point.  but I have a few like that just now, so this will join the queue like the rest.  I pick this up for £60 and £3 postage, so all good.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

More Design, and Road Plates

I have been busy designing my layout in AutoCAD, to see how everything fit's together and how things will look next to each other.

There will be a Road and a Rail bridge between my football stadium and city section on the back wall.  As the club has its laser cutter up and running I thought I would have a go at designing one to fit the gap.  I had a look through Google images to get some inspiration and came across the Story Bridge in Australia.

So I based my design on this and got to sketching.  About 8 Hours later (over a few nights) I had my design finished and to the size to fit the opening in my layout.  I had managed to break it down into a kit I could cut from thin plywood and had made myself a set of instructions.  As I had drawn a section of the Football Stadium I thought I would put both in there correct locations in the section of the Attic to see how it looked.  Well it looked stupid, the Stadium dwarfed the Bridge and it just didn't look good at all, so it was scrapped.

It got me thinking about the football stadium and its size,  as I am building it in the middle of my city I wondered how other buildings would look around it.  So I draw up three buildings to scale that I own and put them into the section to see how it would look.

You may have to click on the picture to see it properly
From left to right, Football Stadium, Aoshima Carpark, and Two Kato High Level Buildings. 
Looking how the towers and car park size up against the stadium, and once I scratch build some high towers I think it will all look ok.  I will just have to sort something out for the bridge that does not look out of place.
After buying the High level viaduct station, I have decided to use the Dio Town Road plates in front of it for the road surface.  I really like how they look and give a nice road finish, yes it might look to clean, but I think when I fully detail them, with people, cars and buildings I am hoping they won't look to bad.  I have drawn a plan of my attic, again using AutoCAD, to see how the plates would fit in with my base board size, and it seems they were meant for it as the fit perfect.
You will have to click on the picture to see it properly, It shows the location of the football stadium and the station across from it, with the track in red running round.  Drawing up the road plates in yellow to scale, I know how many of each type I will need to complete my road network.  The road that will come to the bridge will only be to service the football stadium and will take you into car parks around the stadium.  At the end of the station I have put a road that looks like it is cross the walkway to the other side, where my industrial area will be.  I wanted to create the impression that the road would continue on and join both sides on the layout, I may build a removable bridge for this section at a later date.  With a road plan set I now have a rough idea of building space around the layout, so I can start to build and buy buildings to start make this look like the city I want.

If I can find a way to hide the faller wire in or under these plates I might try and have there road system on the layout.  But I will have to look into that.
Some new stock for the layout.
I bought a Tomix JREF210 Set of loco and two flat car wagons with containers.  I have been after this loco for ages, but I have only seem it for £100 plus, I found this set from an English Seller for just under £60, So happy with that.

About the Loco:-

The Class EF210 (EF210形) is a Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement DC freight locomotive type operated by Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight) in Japan.
The locomotives are built at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory in Kobe. Based at Okayama, Shin-Tsurumi, and Suita (Osaka) depots, they are primarily used on freight on the Tōkaidō Main Line and Sanyō Main Line, replacing class EF66s.
As of 1 April 2009, 74 EF210s were operated by JR Freight. Nine EF210 locomotives are scheduled to be delivered during fiscal 2009, with nine more scheduled for fiscal 2010.

Power typeElectric
BuilderKawasaki Heavy Industries
Build date1996–present
UIC classificationBo-Bo-Bo
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Length18,200 mm
Width2,887 mm
Height3,980 mm
Locomotive weight100.8 t[1]
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC
Traction motorsAC
Top speed110 km/h (70 mph)
Power output3,390 kW[1]
Tractive effort199 kN[1]
CareerJR Freight
Number in class74+
First run1996
DispositionStill in production

Looking forward to giving this a good run in.