'Hakuho' Scene 1

kevsmith Jun 9, 2019

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    I've been wanting to do a Japanese Z scale layout for a while now. I can run Republic Steel in JNR Steam era with the Tenshodo and Rokuhan locos I have acquired and also in the later diesel-electric period but I wanted to model a side of Japan that many people are unaware of. We are all familiar enough with the mega cities like Tokyo with its intense suburban rail network and Shinkansen 'Bullet trains' but I have become enamoured with the wilderness of Hokkaido which is a lot more similar to the Pacific northwest, sparsely populated, and with mountains covered in millions of trees.



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    Now space at my house is becoming a problem with the Cuyahoga, Shasta and Republic Steel layouts fighting for space in the layout shed and the forthcoming 'Tapton Junction' British layout under development so a hard decision had to be made.

    The 4 foot extension board for Shasta that has the Dunsmuir depot on it has always been a pain to take the shows as I have to borrow one of the call-out vans from work to get it all in. In addition, although I have lots of bookings for Shasta, none of them are for it in its long form so it is pretty redundant.

    Before the bulldozers came in!

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    So the decision was taken to strip the board, recover the track and points and use it as a donor board for 'Hakuho' as the new layout will be called. This has the advantage that the wiring loom can easily be adapted and most importantly it already has a flight case and lighting rig. All of the trees were recovered (you will see these again!)


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    So I have 4 foot by 2 foot 6 inch to play with. The original centre divider would be retained. The front of the layout would be Hakuho station itself nestled in the hills and forest and I decided that the layout will be built as four scenes separated by scenic dividers so the front scene would be framed by a road overbridge at one end and an abandoned forestry line on an embankment at the other. Time period will be the early 1970s before Steam in Japan finished forever in the mid 70's

    Although it looks to be double track the inner line is the local line, still steam hauled and with lower quadrant semaphore signals. The outer line will be electrified with colour light signals as the main line.

    So a start was made on track laying with my usual Marklin points and Peco flex track laid on 1/16th cork sheet with crossovers at either end of the platforms. The platform on the main line is no longer in passenger use but is retained for the block section tablet catchers. Once the footprint of the track was determined I could then rough out the road overbridge and start adding the 'Kingspan' mountains (Kingspan is the trade name of the most common insulating foam used in construction in the U.K and I'm always rescuing off-cuts from skips as I pass them!) Being Urethane it is quite solid and holds the trees well but does have the disadvantage of making a lot of annoying dust when you cut it and it is best to do that outside.

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    more soon

    Kev
     
  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    A hard shell of newspaper strips and interior powder type filler mixed with combination of Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and black ready mixed poster paint was built up layer by layer. The filler is coloured this way so that should it get damaged it doesn't show up as a white gouge.



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    Extensive track testing was then done before the railsides were painted rusty and Woodland scenics fine brown ballast added.


    The original turntable pit on Dunsmuir was left with a filler piece under the baseboard for the waterfall and lake which are part of the plan. The embankment for the Forest line was made curved to add a bit of interest. with a thin plywood top so there is something for the trackpins to go into. Once the hardshell was set the more vertical faces are textured up with tinted filler and one that is dry the rock strata lines are drybrushed in.

    The whole workshop then had a major cleaning blitz to get as much dust out as possible before I started to put the waterfalls, lake and river in with Rowneys Gloss Acrylic medium. This is built up layer by layer over a period of a few days and then the white foam added before a couple of final layers.

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    The area where the trees were to go was painted in a mix of Burnt Umber posterpaint and PVA glue and Noch 'Forest Floor' scatter applied. More open areas had Woodland Scenics fine turf. Boulders were added at the base of the waterfalls and some cliff bottoms and then I started planting trees after first painting the dividers to represent the forest background.

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    More soon
     
  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    The railway buildings are laser-cut papercraft kits from Sankei in Japan and are absolutely exquisite. There is the station building itself, the platforms and a large signalbox (too large actually but it will do for now) and a goods shed. The two gravel tracks leading from the main road split, with one going up into the woods and the other leading down to the station. On the hillside is a shrine and cemetery buried in the trees. These were scratchbuilt based on pictures found on the web. There is a covered wooden footbridge that goes between the platforms. This is injection moulded and came with a resin cast collectable C57 but it occurred to me that the cardstock platforms may not be robust enough to hold it so I've taken it off and am going to through-bolt it down to the baseboard with some M4 studding. And that's about it for buildings up to now


    Telegraph poles were simply soldered up from brass.

    A D51 2-8-2 comes down the local line with a short freight train as a C62 4-6-4 is still in charge of the Express passenger working. Both locos by Tenshodo

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    A Rokuhan C11 2-6-4T shunts the goods siding. Principal traffic out of Hakuho is timber in open wagons

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    So although it looks alright now there is still a long way to go. I'm going to have to get the signals etched as they are lower quadrant with tapered arms. Still got figures to add. Station signs, general clutter etc but I am struggling to find Japanese cars and trucks in Z.


    The other three scenes are pretty much worked out and I'll report on them later


    Video part 1 at



    cheers

    kev
     
  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, wow!! I still have the issue of Z Track Magazine this layout was in! This reincarnation is gonna be neat, not many Japanese layouts out there.

    Lookin' good Kev!!(y)
     
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  5. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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  6. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    So, I've been a bit busy with full size railways of late but have tried to keep momentum going on the layout in between.

    I've concentrated on the photo extension boards over the last couple of weeks. It was an idea I first used on Republic Steel to give more foreground to the layout when it is at home. It makes the composition of picture much easier as you have a foreground AND magazine editors like it as it lets them mess about with picture crops to fit text and pages (take note Rob, coming to a magazine near you soon!)

    So far there are three boards, cantilevering off the layout using existing bolt holes with ordinary domestic angle brackets. and comprising 6mm mDF tops with thin stripwood frames. These are not structural, just cosmetic, so won't be going to shows.

    The front board is farmland with some rice paddies and a vineyard, need to get a farmhouse for the left hand front corner

    A general view showing the three boards in development[​IMG]

    Straight away you can see how the vista opens up. You'll have to forgive the 'Picador' aluminium black seen in some of the shots. It was holding up a tree while the glue set!

    Looking back towards the workshop door the Vineyard is prominent

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    The goods yard has been developed with a Randy Brown fork truck and plenty of logs. the logs are last years Fuschia twigs leftover when the plants died back and are quite 'Woody'

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    In the first scene you'll see how I continued the river across to the right hand photo board. having said that this would be the last corner of the layout to be developed seems to have grown a life of its own. I've added the Rip-rap to the river bed just before I finished tonight and flooded it with clear acrylic so I've locked up and left it to keep the dust down overnight

    I've gone a bit mad with the ripples on the rice paddies but subsequent layers of gloss acrylic should calm them down a bit.

    A C11 2-6-4T on a local mixed runs through Hakuho

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  7. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    You'll see this picture in my next thread but my new Rokuhan C57 4-6-2 trundles through Hakuho on an express

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    Coaches are Tenshodo

    The local seen again from the left hand corner

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    No video as yet. My plan is to make 'Hakuho part 2' on youtube an overview of the layout ifirstly n show form with the lighting rig erected, then how it sits in the flight case and finally it sets up in the workshop with the scenic boards. Obviously I'll post the link here

    Kev
     
  8. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice, Kev!!

    It's refreshing to see a foreign railroad layout like this, nicely done Sir!!
    (y)(y)(y)
     
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  9. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Today has been a testing and filming day

    The iconic double headed Hokkaido C62s on an overnight train

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    A D51 on the 'Fish' train passes a KIHA 42 railcar
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    Another pair of D51s on a loaded coal train passes a mixed freight

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    Part 2 odd the how-to video features lighting rig, flight case and photo-extension boards



    Next up will be a look at downloadable building PDFs which the lads on JNS forum have found. Principally N scale they shrink down quite nicely to Z scale and I'm working out how to stiffen them up and make them robust enough to survive the rigours of the show circuit. They should be a nice inexpensive means of modelling the more urban scene. In the background of these pictures you'll see the Himeji castle sticking up. I'm still debating whether to put this on the layout or not

    kev
     
  10. southernnscale

    southernnscale TrainBoard Supporter

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    Outstanding! like watching your progress with the layout! great video! some nice photo also!
     
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  11. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    So the layout has spent this week stood upright on the trestles to make it easier. Note it is held secured by 'Speed-clamps' whilst it is like this

    The front view allows me to photograph it as if it is an overhead view. the trackplan drawing for the magazines will be taken directly from this

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    the reverse is the underside and you can see the layout wiring is progressing although it still looks like a rat's nest!

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    the powerpack that I use on all my layouts bolted to the rear. This has three Marklin controllers, NCE powercab and LED power supplies to feed the control panel using a good old Scart socket and plug.

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    The carcass for the control panel sits alongside

    With the control panel acrylic top hinged on the trackplan is marked out with fine masking tape on the underside prior to spraying with the basic colour

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    more soon

    kev
     
  12. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    So I sprayed the underside of the control panel in metallic black-green ( A leftover touch up can from Angie's old E class Merc) and then removed the masking tape a section at a time to leave a clear strip. These were then filled in with paint that matches the color of the feed wire the switch will control. If you get a problem you can trace the wire all the way from the section switch right through to the track section if something goes down

    you can see the sections and the prewired 25 pin D plug alongside

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    Kev
     
  13. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Over the last few weeks I've been busy doing shows, first our big rail open day at our Kingmoor depot and then various model rail exhibitions with Republic Steel and Cuyahoga so i've got very little done on the Japanese layout. However I've got a gap before I'm out at Loughborough at the end of the month so did a bit more work on the control panel.

    The section switches are now fitted and the feed from the power pack which uses Scart plugs and sockets is installed

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    As the powerpack is used on all my layouts it was built to be almost bomb proof and the various outputs and pin numbers are identified on an Excel spreadsheet that is printed out on stiff card and lives in the exhibiton toobox for quick reference if I get a problem
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    so with the lid lifted you can see the 50 pin socket on the left that will take the switch machine feeds to the baseboard. the centre 25 pin din socket is the track and section feeds and the right hand Scart socket is where the power feeds come in. The wiring is kept tidy by ordinary domestc cable clips threaded M3 through the nail holes and boletd down to the base of the panel. The Gaugemaster (Ex Relco )track cleaner is held by two clips left over the last kitchen revamp. These are the clips supplied to hold the kickboards on the kitchen units and are just the right tension. The box can be slid out to access the tag strip connections behind.

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    Next thing will be to connect the switches to the centre plug and then 'Bell through' to make sure everything is right. The track cleaner will be switchable out as usual.

    Behind the panel you can see some strange coaching stock. This is a rake of excursion stock converted from air conditioned EMU trailer cars to run behind the C57 4-6-2 and are re-engineered Plus Z. The power car gave up its chassis for a first generation British diesel railcar and the remaining coaches have ben put to good use. Repainted and with the original truck pins replaced with 8BA machine screws, the couplers will be replaced withproper engineed brass ones and the wheelsets replaced with Fox Valley ones.

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    Kev
     
  14. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    So in between shows I managed to crack on with the wiring this weekend

    The layout was stood verticlly on its trestles and clamped to give me 360 degrees access to the railheads, under baseboard wiring and the tag strips in the panel.I could then check continuity all the way from the rails to the panel.

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    wiring up the DPDT section switches

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    Part three of the video looks at wiring and I make a start on pulling together a selection of downloadable buildings to flesh out the townscape. These are free, a great attraction to a Yorkshireman like me! and are primarily N scale from Japanese websites. I'm assembling a few with an idea to use them in the background with the superb Sankei buildings in the foreground. Tree lined boulevards will also hide the plain apppearance of these structures although knowing me I'll probably end up tweaking them a lot!



    more soon

    Kev
     

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