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  1. Temptation got the better of me. The Kato EF510s are ridiculously cheap for an HO loco, so I just couldn’t resist adding another loco to my JRF fleet. (¥9600 including tax) I bought the ex-Hokutosei blue. Loving the switchable shunting and tail lights. There are some details that have been omitted compared the the equilavalent Tomix versions but I bought a Roundhouse grade up set (28-170) which will add the hoses and other details as well as some head marks. There’s another set I need to acquire to add photo-etched wipers etc.. This is probably a good marketing example as it makes Japanese HO far more accessible than it had been previously. For those who want more accurate detail, the parts are available but low cost locos with the usual Kato quality, seems a good way to attract more to the scale. One slight disappointment, the Kato HO catenary seems way too over-cautious in terms of clearance. There’s a 12.5mm gap between the top of pantagraphs and the bottom of the hanger for the wire. That’s a scale distance of 1 metre. I wonder why such a gap. Perhaps Kato did this as their track is marketed outside of Japan but true HO is 1:87 scale so this would look even worse. Shame as I think it’s nicely molded. Not sure I want to cut down every single pole to make it more realistic so will look at alternatives. I have been eyeing up the Peco catenary as it looks nice but the masts look un-Japanese.
  2. Indoctrinating children

    Kamome Junior went to Hyōgo prefecture with his grandparents today on the Shinkansen. The most annoying part of this was which Shinkansen they took, especially as they’re not interested in trains. At least one of them is!!
  3. Indoctrinating children

    It’s a nice museum with a lot of beautiful models. I had a drool in the Tenshodo shop afterwards. My boy loved the Thomas models from the early TV production. There was a Thomas event there back in August. That was until he saw a small Tomix promotional layout by the exit. It had the Tomix Thomas and Percy in N gauge running around it and then everything else was irrelevant.
  4. What did you order or the post deliver?

    The sleeper cars are detachable and both the front and rear lounge cars have tail lights and marks. According to the info sheet Kato do an Assy part to change the coupler mount if you want a standard Arnold or Kato knuckle. The one included is the flat snap connect knuckle coupler that’s on all of their blue train sets.
  5. Thanks to Suica for the info about Stage.1 in Kokura. It’s always nice visiting these independent stores but unfortunately I’m usually too weak to resist a souvenir from my visit. Found some nice 31ft Zentsu HO containers from Tomix. Not sure if these are new or old as they’re not in any of the Tomix catalogues I have. Also got some more 12ft JRF 19Gs to try and fill my bare Kokis. More Kadees too, as the couplers on the Tomix Kokis as so long, they look ridiculous. Then I stopped in at Fukaya Hobby shop in Yahata as I had ¥3000 of loyalty points burning a hole in my pocket. This shop is a real Aladdin’s cave of hobby stuff, with boxes piled high in narrow passages and cabinets filled to bursting. It’s just nice to look around. I extended my container train a bit more with some Kato Koki 104s. I saw some used, unboxed ones in Hobbyland Pochi some months ago and wasn’t that impressed. Seeing these new ones, I now realize lots of the detailing parts were missing from the used ones. They are very nicely molded and detailed but not sure if the other manufacturers containers will be interchangeable, as the connecting clip is a bit different. Couplers too are a bit ugly in grey plastic so I’ll need more kadees at some point. Included are dry transfers for wagon numbers and stickers to update the containers with the Eco marks and such so I’ll wait for a wet Sunday to do that.
  6. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Hey Kiha Yes they have the standard Kato blue train body mount couplers which snap together. Each end has body mounted Arnold couplers with the option to change to a Kato knuckle. There’s also a nice selection of car ends and jumper plug details. Destination and car number details are already printed but there’s a decal sheet if you want to change anything. I was was never a big fan of the 14 series coaches but this set has certainly changed my mind.
  7. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Just taken delivery of the Kato 14 series Noto sleeper train. (10-1438) I didn’t quite have enough for my fleet of EF63s to do and this gives an alternative to the EMU and DMUs. I already had an EF62 assigned to freight as I had no relevant coaches for it. I’m a bit of a sucker for the blue trains and noticed the first page of Kato’s 2018 catalogue had a nice display. Looking forward to Kato’s new release Seto/Asakaze with the SuHa 25 300 power unit. Ami Ami prices can be way too attractive for both N and HO which makes it difficult to resist.
  8. What did you order or the post deliver?

    I still haven’t made it to Stage. 1 despite living in the vicinity of Kokura. Is it worth a visit?
  9. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Expanded my fleet of Kato DD54s thanks to a local hobby shop. I know these were a bit of a failed experiment for the JNR but I do like the slightly top heavy appearance and those tiny Bo-1-Bo wheels. I first saw an OJ gauge model of one in the Ginza branch of Panorama Bar (n gauge layout all around the bar) and loved the look of it. I bought the Imperial train and a Royal duty DD54 from the Tokyo Kato shop the next day. It’s only taken about 5 years for Kato to release some more.
  10. Kato Yamanote Line 205 and 231 Series sets?

    The Kato Yamanote E231-500 sets with the 6-door Sahas were 10-578 (4 car) and 10-580 (3 car) with the middle 10-579 ( 4 car) not containing these Sahas. They ran an additional 10-577 (2 car) set which contained the replacement 4 door versions for those wanting to update their models. This is the version I have of the E231 and I missed the boat on the 2 car set to have the option of modernizing it.
  11. While the Kamome household wasn’t expecting a Shiki-shima delivery, like many on the forum, a Koki-Shunter arrived which was a welcome sight on the last day of the year.
  12. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Thanks Das Steinkopf. Might be a little too late to get my request to Santa this year but they do look nice.
  13. What did you order or the post deliver?

    I was interested to see what these looked like for a little HO set up for my Kato EF65. I think imaginary overhead wires is passable for N gauge but after receiving these, I’m not convinced that you could get away with it in HO. I wonder whether the Marklin wires would fit as the molding is nice on these.
  14. What did you order or the post deliver?

    My first loco was an EF63 courtesy of eBay and I was impressed that it had head and tail lights. I was actually slightly disappointed that my next loco, an EF65 didn’t have tail lights. They have switches under the roof panels to allow you to turn lights on and off easily and they lack traction tyres so they run on the front or back of an EMU without issue. I have a 189, 115, 185, Kiha 82 and EF62 which i run with them. Thanks. I have weathered both the original JNR EF63s as all the photos of them in use showed them looking pretty shabby. In this case I used Tamiya enamel paint XF-1 Black and XF-10 Brown diluted with Tamiya enamel thinners. Using thinned enamel paint means if you go wrong, it’ll wipe off without effecting the original paintwork as long as you don’t wait too long. The only other colour I used was some Railmatch brake dust which is an orangey rust colour. I used this on the treadplates of the front which gives a slight variation in the rust and dirt deposits. I still need to do the roof once I’ve invested in an airbrush. I’ve seen examples using a khaki colour which looks very effective.
  15. What did you order or the post deliver?

    Haven’t got round to fitting the details on the brown versions yet but here’s all my helpers.