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Hosoigawa Station, Hankai Line - B Train 12x24" Layout

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nickhp

I will go ahead and start a thread for my B Train layout in 12x24".  If this becomes a "challenge" I will move it to the appropriate area.

 

So, a few days ago I mentioned the main reason to do B Trains is for their small size and talked about possibility of doing something in just 12x24".  While thinking about this I came across a photo that gave me inspiration...

 

More to follow.

 

Nick

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nickhp

So I have been looking for an acrylic display case cover to go over my layout idea.  Unfortunately, largest size I could find at a somewhat reasonable price (read under $200!!) is a maximum length of 24" - ON THE OUTSIDE ☹️  With the acrylic being 1/4" thick, that means I am losing 1/2" from the layout length and width.  On top of that, being obsessive as I am, I want to leave 1/4" around all the edges so nothing gets damaged if i remove the acrylic cover and then have to reinstall it.

 

So, looks like the layout "proper" dimensions will actually be 11x23".

 

There's nothing quite as fun as a challenge (I don't see an emoji for someone in a strait jacket)...

 

Nick

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nickhp

So this is the photo that has inspired my layout plan:

 

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And to once again complicate my layout plan, instead of building a nice straight ditch I have decided to curve it.  The layout is going to use this scene as a basis but everything else is fantasy.  I am planning a double track oval with flex track bent using a rail bending tool to get a seriously sharp radius (2.9" or 73mm) for the inside line.

 

I marked up a piece of Gatorfoam on Friday evening and yesterday I got busy on cutting it into two pieces and started working on the ditch area.  For the sake of access and detailing, I am going to finish the ditch before I do anything else.  Once that area is ready, I will assemble the two halves together and start working the rest of the layout, including track laying.

 

Photos later.

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Bubule

It looks like an interesting project, i will follow that !  😃 I'm looking forward see to that built. The cars looks like a cute engine.

 

Negative levels are always great scene to made and are gaving some very nice volumes to a layout. It's also an awesome spot for photography. Bottom view shots usually done great images.

You have made a the best joice and with some weathering you will be able to get a fantastic atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

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nickhp

One week on I have the base marked up and ready to start assembling. 

 

On the base, I have constructed ditch walls.  The ditch was originally made using 1" pink foam but this looked too tall, so I reduced it to a second piece of gatorfoam under the main board and cut the walls by simply holding the knife blade at a slight angle.  Photo 1 through 4.

 

I then added a piece of 3/16" gatorfoam to make the intermediate step of the ditch with the angle step cut into it too.  I faced this with a thin strip of styrene.  Photo 5.

 

Finally, I added a strip to the front bottom edge of the 3/16" gatorfoam below which will be the corrugated walling.  Photo 6 and 7 show the result.  Photo 8 and 9 show this piece added to the ditch for evaluation.

 

More to follow.
 

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Bubule

Wow, what a great scene !! 😲 Your trench is very nicely done. I love the angle you have done. It's gaving a beautifull perspertive. I cant wait to see more ! Awesome project !👍

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nickhp

Yesterday I routed out black gatorfoam for my side fascias.  Photo 1 shows the result.

 

I insert the main layout parts and check for overall look.  Photo 2.

 

Next I made the 4 bridge abutments using sheet and strip styrene.  2 were simple boxes, 2 are angled and a bit more difficult.  The inside is reinforced with rod styrene.  Photo 3 and 4.

 

I cut vertical slits in the main board using an old hacksaw blade.  This allows the bridge abutments to merge into the ditch wall.  I then take 15 thou styrene sheet and install it over the ditch wall.  Being so thin it bends easily into shape.  Once the glue dried, I trimmed top and bottom edges flush.  I then carefully cut back the edges until the bridge abutments fit snugly.  Finally, I glue the ditch ledge onto the bottom of the ditch wall, then glue the bridge abutments in place.  Photo 5.

 

The walls at the top of the ditch are a couple of strips of styrene laminated to make a taller wall.  On this side the wall is set back slightly from the ditch wall.  Photo 6.

 

On the other side the top wall is part of the ditch wall so on that side I install the wall before adding the 15 thou ditch wall liner and the thin styrene goes all the way to the top of that wall.  Photo 7.

 

State of play at dinner time last night.  Photo 8 and 9.

 

Last night I did some painting and worked on the lower ditch channel.  Photos later.

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gavino200

Great work! It's fun to watch your progress and see how you're putting this thing together. Giving me lot's of ideas!

 

A few questions:

1. What's gator foam

2. I hear lot's of people talking about styrene. Is that something that you buy by the sheet, like foamboard? Is it any particular kind of styrene or is all styrene the same? 

3. What kinds of adhesives are you using for the various materials.

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nickhp

Hi Gavin,

 

Gatorfoam is like regular foamboard except that instead of card on each side, it has very thin styrene.  This makes it very rigid but light at the same time.  It is used primarily for photo print mounting as it doesn't curl like regular foamboard.  The other nice thing about it is that I can bond regular styrene to it using plastic cement or superglue.  Gatorfoam comes in 1/2" or 3/16" thickness sheets in white or black (the white is slightly better as it seems the black stuff I bought has more of a card like surface than the white).  This stuff is not cheap, a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" Gatorfoam is about $90.

 

Styrene is white plastic you can buy at almost any hobby store.  It comes in sheets from 10 thou thick through to .1" thick.  You can also buy strips in square/rectangle shape as well as in round rods or tubes, I, H and C channels, etc.. I use Evergreen styrene just because that is what HobbyTown USA in town sells.  Here is a link to their site https://evergreenscalemodels.com/

 

I think Evergreen is good since the sheets are cut straight and strips are accurately cut.

 

Adhesives - primarily superglue and regular Testors liquid cement.  The superglue is HobbyTown USA Maxi-Cure since I can get it in big bottles.  Testors plastic cement because it has a precision applicator and because Hobby Lobby sell it and with a 40% off coupon it is cheap!

 

Cheers!

 

Nick

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cteno4

Gatorboard is actually a epoxy resin/wood pulp mix for the facing material. It makes for a pretty tough shell that is very water resistant but cuts a little more like chipboard than styrene. Also as nick notes has some texture to the surface from the wood fiber, not super smooth of stryene. Ultra board is the styrene faced form board. It’s, as it’s name, ultra tough, it’s really hard to put dings in the sudface. Totally water resistant, it’s used for a lot of interior sinage as if it falls won’t kill you and also for a lot of those standup store marketing thingies. But the stryene face makes it very hard to cut with a knife, but cuts great with acrylic blades on circular saws or on scroll or band saws.

 

you can usually find ultraboard (or other non brand name styrene faced foam board) at most commercial plastic supply places and signmakers will sometimes sell it. About the same price as gator board $50-100 for a 4x8 sheet, but well worth it if you want something light but strong and rigid. Many online places sell smaller cut up sheets but usually goes up in price/sqft with shipping.

 

gatorboard is a little spottier to source sometimes locally, it’s popped in and out of plastic places here, but art stores also carry it now and then whereas they don’t carry ultraboard usually. Just have to call around.

 

I love both Gatorboard and ultraboard.

 

there is a third foam sheet called Syntra that is like ultraboard just made out of pvc. It’s a bit flexible and can be thermoformed with some heat (ie heat gun). It’s used to make outside signs a lot as it’s very up stable and a bit flexible to get into sign casing. Local plastic shops have it and also non name brands of pvc faced pvc foamboard.

 

if you need larger bits of just plain sheet stryene (no foam) you can usually pick them up very cheap at a plastics supply shop. Last time I got 040 stryene 4x8 sheet at the plastics shop I think it was like $13, a supply that will last a long time and like 1/6 the cost of buying evergreen or plastruct. 

 

Evergreen strip stryene material rocks. While yes you can cut your own strip material, doing it cleanly and accurately is really hard. Great to build up a selection so you can just grab a strip and test fit for your project and then lop of the chunk needed. Evergreen strips are one way I try to keep our local hobby shop in business (they don’t have much in the way of train stuff sadly.)

 

Cheers,

 

jeff

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nickhp

Painted the ditch in primer grey.  Cut and joined the corrugated lower wall section.  Photo 1 and 2.

 

Made the ditch base and added gluing strips to attach the lower edge of the corrugated wall in place.  Photo 3.

 

Ditch base just posed in place with one side of the ditch wall.  Close up of the lower ditch area and bridge abutment showing the weathering I have added and a little bit of vegetation too.  Photo 4 and 5.

 

Bit of vegetation added along the edge of the ditch.  Will be mostly underwater.  Photo 6.

 

And here is where things went awry.  With the second lower piece glued in place and the two layout halves just rested in place, it became apparent that the ditch was a little too tight for my liking...  Photos 7 and 8.

 

No point "making do".  I cut the ditch in half and widened it by adding a piece of styrene on top.  Photo 9.

 

In the meantime I glued the 2 halves of the lower ditch in place.  This is the only time this area will be quite this visible.  Photo 10.

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gavino200

Very nice! Airbrush or bristles? Also, what's the stuff you're using as vegetation?

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nickhp

Nothing as fancy as airbrush.  Just adding many layers using a dryish brush with very little paint added each time.

 

Vegetation is just Woodland Scenics fine turf in medium green.  I may try and add some grass or a bit more vegetation, it looks a little too uniform for my liking at the moment.

 

Regards,

 

Nick

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nickhp

Here is the streetview of this bridge showing the rust running down the abutments as well as the ditch wall weathering.

Proto 1.jpg

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Bubule

WOW ! Fantastic concrete  !!! Great choice of colours and awesome weathering. It's a great interpretation of the real scene. Love your work guy ! I'm impatient to see your bridges ... Scratch or Kit?

 

Will you put resin in the trench to figure the dirty water ? I use personnaly "Magic Water" bi-components resin. It is not smelling, dont yellows and dont cracks. It's easy to use and gave great results. It's aslo very easy to dye it  with some acrilics paints.

 

Here is a view of the river on my US layout, made with that resin : ( you need no leaks, the resin is very fluid and will go in every little holes )

 

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bill937ca
8 hours ago, nickhp said:

Here is the streetview of this bridge showing the rust running down the abutments as well as the ditch wall weathering.

 

 

Tomix offers a bridge exactly like this now.  Tomix 3247 Trough Girder Bridge  https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10483601

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nickhp

Thanks Bill, that bridge would make a great shortcut.  However, apart from the time and cost of ordering from Hobby Search, I think the bridge would get quite damaged removing the rails.  Since I already have the I beams, and given how small these bridges are (each is just over 2" long), I think I will go ahead and scratchbuild them.

 

Jef, I am using Realistic Water from Woodland Scenics.  I have sealed the base of the ditch carefully and will build a small dam at each end before pouring a small amount of Realistic Water to make sure everything is sealed before adding further layers.

 

I am glad I didn't accept the narrow ditch.  While the strip down the middle of the base is ugly right now, it will be hidden once the water is added and the slightly wider ditch is absolutely worth the time it took to complete.  Photos of the wider ditch attached.

 

Cheers,

 

Nick

B Tram 029.jpg

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Bubule

Wou're true, it's beter widder. It would be verry nice with the resin !

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nickhp

Progress slows during the week given work commitments, but I also had a few decisions to make before moving forward.  Those decisions have been made and yesterday I poured the first layer of realistic water into the ditch.  While this is drying I decided to work on the track... 

 

I simply glued flex at the center of the inside track at the top of the curve and worked my way round bending and supergluing the track down.  Photo 1 and 2.

 

Almost finished, I decided to try a tram round the curve and disaster.  The tram couldn't go round the curve.  I was gutted.  Then I remembered I had tried something this small and so dug out the test piece and sure enough, the tram ran round the curve no problem.

 

So...  I dug out the rail bender and after a couple of attempts had the rail bent to the proper radius.  I slipped the sleepers back on and tested it and sure enough, the tram ran round it okay.  I then went and glued the end of a few sleeper in place and tried the tram again, and again, no problem.  I thought the issue was the sharp radius, but it appears it may have been a combination of radius and track gauge thinning that caused the issue?  Anyway, panic over and work proceeds. 

 

Another layer of water will be added later today, and in the meantime I am working on the track and will probably start working on bridges later today.

 

I will post another update later with some status photos too.

 

Nick

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nickhp

Bridges made and painted.  Photos 1 through 3.

 

I was hoping they would be more like the prototype but the gap between tracks is not there.  Not a big deal.  There is still a nice shadow cast by the bridge.  I added small support pads on the end of each girder and after taking the photo I painted them a rust colour.  Photos 4 and 5.

 

Working on the second end of the inner loop, track is being glued down every few ties, once everything is dry I will test one more time and then glue down all the tie ends.  Photos 6 and 7.

 

You might also notice the ditch has some shine to it, layer 2 of the realistic water was added last night, layer 3 will go on tonight.

 

Nick

 

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Bubule

For the briges it is very dificult to do the things to scale. We have constraints to get the layout working well. The wheels of the japanese model trains are too bigs for the scale and you need to do a choice : Best roll for trains or realism. Like me, you have choiced to have a reliable track that provide great rolling performance. You made the good choice. It's alway better to have nice roll to enjoy a layout in tranquility without worries about derailments. I think your briges are nicely doing the job. It was not easy to get more transparency without loosing some rolling efficiency. With a little bit more weathering it will be perfect.

 

Like you've said the shadows of the bridges in the trench are great.

 

Realy nice job on this project. I love the way you are building this small layout. Looking forward to see the evolution.

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nickhp

Thanks, Jef!

 

Today I got the track complete, have to add ties around the rail joiners but all the joins are soldered and feeders installed, and all track tested with no issues found.  I'm going to pour yet another layer of water and then go to bed!

 

A couple of photos attached.

 

Nick

B Tram 041.jpg

B Tram 042.jpg

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nickhp

BTW, you can see now why I had to get the ditch complete before anything else, trying to build, paint and detail this area after track laying would have been impossible.

 

Next up will be finishing track details (except ballasting) and starting on building and road bases.

Edited by nickhp

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nickhp

Currently waiting for buildings to arrive for what I refer to end 1 (shorter end of the layout).  Had this planned around a couple of structures but changed what I want to use so now waiting for those to arrive.  In the meantime, I started working end 2.  I  created the styrene base for the inside of the loop.  There will be a narrow road next to the wall and on the other side is a row of houses kitbashed from Tomytec house kits.  I built a new roof from styrene and weathered the structure lightly.

 

Next I built up a station platform and built a small shelter using styrene, some metal wire and a hacked piece from a Tomix micro platform kit.  I have also added a couple of businesses that back onto the houses with a narrow alley between them. 

 

There will then be another road running front to back across the layout and on the other side of that a sidewalk.  Between the sidewalk and the curved loop of track is a small semi-circular park area that will have trees around the edge.  Once this has all been roughed in I will turn my attention to the front edge of the layout.

 

This weekend I hope to get the front and rear edge pieces made, other station platform made, then add the structures to the bases.  Once this is done and the bases painted and installed, I will start the ballasting and paint the track and ballast.  Another item will be to make the catenary from brass tube and wire since the Kato catenary is way too wide for this layout and when I tried narrowing it and gluing it back together, the slick plastic prevented me from getting a good bond.

 

Photos to follow soon...

 

Nick

 

 

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nickhp

Photos to catch up progress to last weekend.  Layout is currently having some ballasting done and so difficult to take photos at this time.  I will try and get some photos of the current state of play in the next couple of days.

 

Six photos showing the row of houses kitbashed from Tomytec townhouses.  I built the new roof using board and batten styrene.

 

A couple of photos showing the station shelter made from one side of a Tomix mini station roof, some styrene and a bit of wire.

 

A shot of the proposed set up for end 2 inside the loop.

 

A shot of the middle area base for end 2 (unpainted).

 

A shot of the middle area base painted and installed.

 

Finally, a shot of the station area.  You can see I added people on the interior of the Tomytec corner restaurant kit.  Before finalizing this building I am hoping to add some dim interior lighting.

 

Nick

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