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JanW

Hot Springs on a mountain slope

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JanW

Just received the 3D prints for my new project: an Onsen on a mountain slope. It will be integrated with my lay-out under construction however as a sort of diorama on its own. 

The basis of the diorama are the two Tomytec buildings that, together with a base and a few other structures, form the Tomytec Hot Springs diorama. However the base is no longer available and I would have trouble fitting it in my lay-out. So I decided to start from scratch. 
To keep it easy I designed the base of the diorama in 3D (SketchUp) and had it printed. Same for the wall and bridge over a small stream. The whole thing will be situated on a mountain slope besides a road winding up the slope, hence the heavy embankment walls. IMG_4452.thumb.JPG.8ff7f6344529c6e9ebe472ea37dcae6e.JPGIMG_4453.thumb.JPG.ab16689db21abf8517c6d8de780228c6.JPGIMG_4454.thumb.JPG.b65ef5e6e7ff3ec0a0ca8a101f47d7aa.JPG

I'll keep you posted as things progress.

Jan

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cteno4

Beautiful Jan! You did a great job in sketchup.

 

jeff

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JanW

Here an update. A Sunday afternoon painting and a bit of weathering made it a lot better. I also started with outside and internal lighting. I spend a couple of hours fitting a small LED in the lampoon in front of the Ryokan building. A rather fiddly job but worth the effort. The photo shows the lampoon more reddish than reality. How to add text on the lampoon?

IMG_4461.thumb.JPG.f95e2987547b90ea9ab9f911b20cc77b.JPGIMG_4462.thumb.JPG.c4a35e839e6c4303ad7fe757491a97d2.JPGIMG_4464.thumb.jpg.2dc78a67b6f7ade2aada23fbf95f1fdf.jpg IMG_4460.thumb.jpg.82f87e2d0fc8245afae18e94a7d7c23a.jpg

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nscalestation

That's going to be really nice scene Jan.  I used one of the same TomyTec buildings for a similar but smaller scene on one of my Ntrak modules.  I also have a winding road between the local station and the Hot Springs and made some road mirrors for my road.  That may be something you could also do with 3D printing as I have never seen any available commercially.   A couple of links below show some of my project.   I will look forward to seeing how your project comes progresses.

 

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/11/finishing-hot-springs-hotel.html

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2015/06/hot-springs-junction-wrap-up.html

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JanW
11 hours ago, nscalestation said:

That's going to be really nice scene Jan.  I used one of the same TomyTec buildings for a similar but smaller scene on one of my Ntrak modules.  I also have a winding road between the local station and the Hot Springs and made some road mirrors for my road.  That may be something you could also do with 3D printing as I have never seen any available commercially.   A couple of links below show some of my project.   I will look forward to seeing how your project comes progresses.

 

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/11/finishing-hot-springs-hotel.html

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2015/06/hot-springs-junction-wrap-up.html

Hi Brad,
A very nice looking module you made. Impressive and inspiring! You nicely replaced the base plate by your own. I am still puzzling on the best way to make the road. How did you made your winding road? Did you fit lighting in your hot spring? 

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nscalestation
11 hours ago, JanW said:

Hi Brad,
A very nice looking module you made. Impressive and inspiring! You nicely replaced the base plate by your own. I am still puzzling on the best way to make the road. How did you made your winding road? Did you fit lighting in your hot spring? 

 

As much as I like the TomyTec structure kits, I find that many of them have bases that are too tall.  On the Hot Springs Hotel building I simply did not use the base and set the building into a .040 deep pit.

 

On the Sake shop I did use the base but set it into a deeper pit.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/09/building-tomytec-sake-shop.html

 

For building lights I use LED boards that I have removed from American prototype Atlas and Kato locomotives.  This post show that the best.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/12/details-lighting-inside-sake-shop.html

 

The winding road was cut from a piece of .030 styrene sheet.  Attached to the already cut out hill side with liquid nails, then gaps filled in the drywall mud which is something I use a lot for scenery.   I was wondering is that 3D printed base all one piece ?

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JanW
9 hours ago, nscalestation said:

 

As much as I like the TomyTec structure kits, I find that many of them have bases that are too tall.  On the Hot Springs Hotel building I simply did not use the base and set the building into a .040 deep pit.

 

On the Sake shop I did use the base but set it into a deeper pit.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/09/building-tomytec-sake-shop.html

 

For building lights I use LED boards that I have removed from American prototype Atlas and Kato locomotives.  This post show that the best.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/12/details-lighting-inside-sake-shop.html

 

The winding road was cut from a piece of .030 styrene sheet.  Attached to the already cut out hill side with liquid nails, then gaps filled in the drywall mud which is something I use a lot for scenery.   I was wondering is that 3D printed base all one piece ?

Thanks a lot for the tips. Indeed I use the same technique to have the Tomytec base installed in a shallow pit. I do not have the luxury of having spare Atlas LED boards. Use the KATO (or other light boards is a bit expensive. I use LED's from christmas decoration LED's. They are very cheap, but need a lot of soldering work.


For the 3D printed base: Yes it is printed in one piece. See https://www.shapeways.com/product/KEYNZYW69/onsen-diorama-base?optionId=65079419

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Martijn Meerts

Looks really good. The 3D printing does quickly start adding up cost wise though :)

 

I noticed with the TomyTec buildings I've used, that some of them have warped heavily over time. There's 1 that's so extreme, that there's a 1 cm gap between the walls and roof...

 

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kvp
1 minute ago, Martijn Meerts said:

I noticed with the TomyTec buildings I've used, that some of them have warped heavily over time. There's 1 that's so extreme, that there's a 1 cm gap between the walls and roof...

Many of them seem to be resin cast, not injection molded. This allows good detail without special tools as the casting molds are usually just rubber forms. Heat, sunlight or extreme cold could damage them and the material also tend to warp on its own even on room temperature. Once assembled (and if needed glued), they tend to brace themselves out and don't warp as much. The whole wall sized window glass panels (if they are present) also tend to help keeping the walls in shape as they are acrylic. Also the thicker the walls, the better they hold over time. Tomytec also uses actual rubber parts for small detail bits and shrubbery and these tend to degrade naturally even when painted.

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Pauljag900
12 hours ago, nscalestation said:

 

As much as I like the TomyTec structure kits, I find that many of them have bases that are too tall.  On the Hot Springs Hotel building I simply did not use the base and set the building into a .040 deep pit.

 

On the Sake shop I did use the base but set it into a deeper pit.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/09/building-tomytec-sake-shop.html

 

For building lights I use LED boards that I have removed from American prototype Atlas and Kato locomotives.  This post show that the best.

http://tokyo-in-nscale.blogspot.com/2014/12/details-lighting-inside-sake-shop.html

 

The winding road was cut from a piece of .030 styrene sheet.  Attached to the already cut out hill side with liquid nails, then gaps filled in the drywall mud which is something I use a lot for scenery.   I was wondering is that 3D printed base all one piece ?

I ve used a lot of the tomix/tomytec kits in the past and indeed I still have a few but I just take the bases off now and glue a good quality very stiff grey card to the bottom.I use the cheap 3 mm led lights from China,I cut a hole in the center of the card and hot glue the led to the card.I cut the card oversize and glue it to the building then when it’s compleately dry I just trim the card to the building edges with a craft knife.Not very technical but it works ok for me.😂👍

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JanW

Here another update. Lighting and wiring are done (always a rather fiddly job, especially as I use SMD LEDs with 0,2 mm wiring). Next is the area around the base: the winding road, slopes and the open air hot water tub and shrubs. 
The AliExpress lantern was way too bright, even with 2K ohm resistor instead of the supplied 1K. So I painted the bulb.. 

IMG_4467.thumb.JPG.b9c2b71fb236d2249ee56de2deeda26d.JPGIMG_4468.thumb.JPG.2f2e3f8dcc7c6c03fd5edc91277a9294.JPGIMG_4469.thumb.JPG.b59fea35c3d20fd45040f8a34334e03d.JPGIMG_4471.thumb.JPG.d2373a4636f070d4b6d3962624df4e65.JPG

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JanW
2 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Looks really good. The 3D printing does quickly start adding up cost wise though :)

 

I noticed with the TomyTec buildings I've used, that some of them have warped heavily over time. There's 1 that's so extreme, that there's a 1 cm gap between the walls and roof...

 

Indeed Martijn, the 3D printing by Shapeways isn't cheap. I have seen the 3D prints at a stand in Houten (the train fair 1 weeks ago) and it did not impress me though. So I stick with Shapeways and pay the premium. 
I noted that trying to get the Tomytec base on e-Bay adds a lot of costs as well. 
I have no experience with warping of Tomytec buildings. In my experience, even injection folded models tend to warp. I'll see. 

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, the affordable 3D printers aren't really usable at all for N-scale for the moment. I've seen a couple of them that look very promising though, but are still a bit too expensive for now. I do think the Shapeways printed stuff is worth it, especially for a lot of the smaller detail bits like the gates, fences, bridges etc. The other option would be etched brass detail parts, but those aren't quite as readily available, and etching your own stuff can be quite costly as well initially, especially if you want a safe and somewhat environmentally friendly set up.

 

Most plastics warp eventually, I just hadn't seen it quite as extreme as that 1 particular TomyTec building. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it :)

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kvp
1 hour ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Yeah, the affordable 3D printers aren't really usable at all for N-scale for the moment.

Visible light sensitive resins and using high resolution LCD/OLED screens would help a lot in this regard and imho it's not too far in the future. One problem is that for 3D printing to work for custom items, you have to turn those into a 3D model first and that's the really hard part. One thing that is good enough for N is 3D cnc milling but designing for that is even harder than 3D printing as you have to think about the tool paths too. For 2D surfaces with a 3D depth layer (similar how photoetching works) it's a bit easier as instead of a full blown 3D model, you only need a 2D depth map.

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Martijn Meerts

3D modelling isn't an issue in my case, used to do a lot of it at my first job. I actually wanted to get into 3D modelling for games at some point, but there were no decent schools in the Netherlands for it, and I couldn't afford going abroad. Of course, it'll still take time making the models, but once you have a good one, you can make it available on Shapeways for others to benefit from it.

 

I've been trying to get back into 3D modelling a bit again lately, but I just don't have the time for it.

 

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Pashina12

Thing with Shapeways though... the stuff you get in Holland/Europe is far better than the stuff they send to North America... or at least that was the case when I experimented some with it.

 

But that scene is looking fantastic! Very inspiring.

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JanW

Spring and spring holidays slowed progress. However here an update of my Onsen and Pagode project.
1) I have added a gate and wall to the Pagode site. This was printed in 3D in one piece. The lampion at the gate is fitted with an LED (not powered yet).

2) Rocks and mountain fields added

3) The road made out of 0.5 mm PE sheet with bus stop at the Pagode. 

4) water stream added passing through the Onsen

5) Added a few trees including 3 reddish Japanese maple trees. I made them by simply air brushing a standard AliExpress tree. 

 

Still to be done:
1) Wire up the Onsen and Pagode gate. For that I need to built a building and street lighting infrastructure. Still puzzling on the most elegant way to deal with street lights avoiding the need for upside down, under the table soldering. 

2) Add road signs

3) Add trees, bushes, 

4) Add foam on the stream

5) Add a bamboo forest next to the Pagode. 

6) Add figurines at the Onsen and Pagode. 

IMG_4815.thumb.JPG.a112a60c3d793b6c0767e7c06f50e000.JPGIMG_4816.thumb.JPG.4c5e143ca0a5372fe0b42132bab7a904.JPGIMG_4818.thumb.JPG.29c401df3254396892e34ab250121ea7.JPGIMG_4819.thumb.JPG.a4dcfb0be1d705c1a355c853af06e7c4.JPGIMG_4820.thumb.JPG.696dde967e5bedef301daa038696a139.JPGIMG_4822.thumb.JPG.6f91fe5b74f6698adc6360fe643792dc.JPG

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cteno4

Nice work Jan! 

 

Je

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JR 500系

Wow! That certainly looks very nice, really like a Japanese landscape! 

 

14 hours ago, JanW said:

 

IMG_4818.thumb.JPG.29c401df3254396892e34ab250121ea7.JPG

 

I'm not so sure about that hot spring bath though... It seems like the guests in the onsen couldn't get much of a nice view while the guests in the opposite Rokan certainly have great views!!  😛

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JanW
11 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

Wow! That certainly looks very nice, really like a Japanese landscape! 

 

 

I'm not so sure about that hot spring bath though... It seems like the guests in the onsen couldn't get much of a nice view while the guests in the opposite Rokan certainly have great views!!  😛

 

Hmm, yeah, I guess you are right. Maybe the bath needs a roof or something! 

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gavino200
On 3/16/2018 at 11:42 AM, JanW said:


To keep it easy I designed the base of the diorama in 3D (SketchUp) and had it printed.

 

Jan, your work is very impressive! Did you have experience with design software before you did this project? How hard is SketchUp to learn? Any tips on the learning curve? Is this software suitable for a beginner? 

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JanW
5 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Did you have experience with design software before you did this project?

In another life I tried to start learning one of the first versions of AutoCad and gave up on it. My PC at the time (An AT) wasn't really suitable either.
When I picked up on my hobby again in 2016, I spend some 9 months in Yokohama with ample free time in the evenings and taught myself to use SketchUp. 

 

5 hours ago, gavino200 said:

How hard is SketchUp to learn? Any tips on the learning curve? Is this software suitable for a beginner? 

I have only some experience with SketchUp, AutoCAD and Inventor. These are really professional tools that cost an arm and a leg. I picked SketchUp because it is free and also runs on my MAC. Since 2018, the free version is only web-based (i.e. runs from your web browser) and is no longer actually installed. So I still use the free 2017 version 'SketchUp Make'. 
I have a mechanical engineering background and hence have knowledge of the basic concepts of technical drawings. Maybe that makes it slightly easier, however the learning curve is still somewhat steep. You will just have to set a good number of hours (say 20-40 hours) aside to go through the tutorials. SketchUp has really good on-line help pages and tutorials on YouTube and lot's of people post their own. So there is an enormous amount of help around.  
So yes, this is about the only proper, free 3D drawing tool that works fine, has a lot of help available, has a lot of 3rd party plug-ins, has an enormous library of pre-drawn objects (like furniture, building components, architectural things etc.) and can export to files that ShapeWays and the likes need. 

 

Few tips if you start using SketchUp (in no particular order):

  • Get the plug in to export to STL files. These are more suitable for exporting complex shapes to Shapeways. 
  • Use 'grouping' a lot. Grouping allows to group lines into objects (like a cylinder, a wall, a roof) that can be hidden, copied, etc.
  • SketchUp (like any other 3D tool) needs some 3D viewing features from your graphic processor. SketchUp will let you know if you can run it. Modern MAC's have no issues.
  • When make a 3D design, remember that you are not creating a plastic kit. You can virtually pre-assemble a lot more, even to the extend to have the whole thing printed in one piece. (like I did with the Pagode gate house)
  • Thin flat objects (like a wall or something) tend to warp after printing depending on the material selected. Design stiffening items into it. 
  • Take your time to design the item. When you completed it, do not immediately send it to the printing company (I use Shapeways) but wait a few days. A print is too expensive to allow for a few trial runs. You will go through your design a few more times in your mind and come up with improvements. E.g. I added the lampion in the gate house after a few days. Again a few days later added a hole to fit an LED in the back of it. 
  • If you plan to add wiring later, pre-print the holes for the wires to go through (e.g. 0,8 mm for LED wiring). Even when the holes are to small for the printer to leave fully open, you can see the imprint and open the hole with a 0,8 mm drill. 
  • SketchUp is predominantly used by architects. It is not very good at complex shapes that are bended in 2 or more directions (like the nose of a Skinkansen). It will take a great deal of inginuity to draw these objects. When you venture in that direction, you will find that SketchUp has some undocumented quirks !.  

Good luck! 3D printing really opens a whole new set of opportunities! 

 

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gavino200
14 hours ago, JanW said:

In another life I tried to start learning one of the first versions of AutoCad and gave up on it. My PC at the time (An AT) wasn't really suitable either.
When I picked up on my hobby again in 2016, I spend some 9 months in Yokohama with ample free time in the evenings and taught myself to use SketchUp. 

 

I have only some experience with SketchUp, AutoCAD and Inventor. These are really professional tools that cost an arm and a leg. I picked SketchUp because it is free and also runs on my MAC. Since 2018, the free version is only web-based (i.e. runs from your web browser) and is no longer actually installed. So I still use the free 2017 version 'SketchUp Make'. 
I have a mechanical engineering background and hence have knowledge of the basic concepts of technical drawings. Maybe that makes it slightly easier, however the learning curve is still somewhat steep. You will just have to set a good number of hours (say 20-40 hours) aside to go through the tutorials. SketchUp has really good on-line help pages and tutorials on YouTube and lot's of people post their own. So there is an enormous amount of help around.  
So yes, this is about the only proper, free 3D drawing tool that works fine, has a lot of help available, has a lot of 3rd party plug-ins, has an enormous library of pre-drawn objects (like furniture, building components, architectural things etc.) and can export to files that ShapeWays and the likes need. 

 

Few tips if you start using SketchUp (in no particular order):

  • Get the plug in to export to STL files. These are more suitable for exporting complex shapes to Shapeways. 
  • Use 'grouping' a lot. Grouping allows to group lines into objects (like a cylinder, a wall, a roof) that can be hidden, copied, etc.
  • SketchUp (like any other 3D tool) needs some 3D viewing features from your graphic processor. SketchUp will let you know if you can run it. Modern MAC's have no issues.
  • When make a 3D design, remember that you are not creating a plastic kit. You can virtually pre-assemble a lot more, even to the extend to have the whole thing printed in one piece. (like I did with the Pagode gate house)
  • Thin flat objects (like a wall or something) tend to warp after printing depending on the material selected. Design stiffening items into it. 
  • Take your time to design the item. When you completed it, do not immediately send it to the printing company (I use Shapeways) but wait a few days. A print is too expensive to allow for a few trial runs. You will go through your design a few more times in your mind and come up with improvements. E.g. I added the lampion in the gate house after a few days. Again a few days later added a hole to fit an LED in the back of it. 
  • If you plan to add wiring later, pre-print the holes for the wires to go through (e.g. 0,8 mm for LED wiring). Even when the holes are to small for the printer to leave fully open, you can see the imprint and open the hole with a 0,8 mm drill. 
  • SketchUp is predominantly used by architects. It is not very good at complex shapes that are bended in 2 or more directions (like the nose of a Skinkansen). It will take a great deal of inginuity to draw these objects. When you venture in that direction, you will find that SketchUp has some undocumented quirks !.  

Good luck! 3D printing really opens a whole new set of opportunities! 

 

 

Thanks for the information and advice!

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