Jump to content
BenjiKiHa

Custom KiHa 47 shell - how to go about it?

Recommended Posts

BenjiKiHa

Hi I'm a new user looking for some advice. 

 

In the Spring of 2017, I was given the chance to travel to Japan with another twenty or so people ranging from Japanese level one to four in the high school I attended. I had a total blast, and was happy to have ridden a Shinkansen in real life for the first time along with a couple of local trains as well. It was a week-long trip and stayed in the remote moutain town of Kawasaki, nestled in Fukuoka as a home stay experience. I absolutely adored the place and became even more excited when I found out there was a train station around the middle of town. Sadly, I never got the chance to see it with my own eyes, but it didn't stop me from researching once I returned to the US. I'm a college freshman who's been on and off about creating a diorama of the station using HO scale tracks (Admittedly, Bachmann's EZ-connecting track; I traveled to JP when I was a HS junior). I've seemed to have run into a problem: I'm not able to find any KiHa locomotives in HO scale. So I'm thinking I could make my own using an old chassis off an American diesel locomotive. (Pic below) and creating a custom shell. The problem I have with that is I can't figure out what material I should use, cardstock or a thin sort of cardboard? Would appreciate if I were to receive some input regarding my dilemma. I should mind you that this is my first time modelling as well. 

 

Best, 

 

Ben    

P.S. Here's a pc of what I'm trying to make + the aforementioned recycled chassis

 

 

KIHA.jpg

IMG_4596.JPG

Edited by BenjiKiHa

Share this post


Link to post
bill937ca

I would look to N scale.  N scale offerings make up most of the hobby in Japan.  Kato offers the 10-854 Kiha47 `Aqua Liner` 2 car set for under $50 US.

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10147356

 

To build a body you would need to find a plan first.  This could take time.

Share this post


Link to post
Kiha66

Welcome to the forum benji!  You'll find that N scale is far more popular in Japan than HO, and the trains you want to make are actually available in N already.  If you do chose to go for HO scale trains you will most likely have to purchase one of the few HO models available (which are usually far more expensive and american HO) and then modify them yourself to match the prototype.  If you do want to make this car yourself using the chassis you have, I would recommend learning CAD and designing it in a 3d modeling program, then try getting it 3d printed.  I would recommend trying out Fusion 360 as it is professional software that is free for students and relatively easy to learn.  If you do wish to get the N scale model then tomix released one just this year, which is still fairly easy to find and not to expensive.  
https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10495806

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw
3 hours ago, bill937ca said:

 

Only $254! He's a student.

Maybe he should do n scale then and save 60%...

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton

Even though I model JNR in HO scale, I’d offer the same advice as the others have - go with N scale. Not just because of cost, though. If you’re not an experienced modeller, scratchbuilding a Kiha47 with all its subtle curves and details isn’t a good choice for a first attempt. 

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
BenjiKiHa
18 hours ago, bill937ca said:

I would look to N scale.  N scale offerings make up most of the hobby in Japan.  Kato offers the 10-854 Kiha47 `Aqua Liner` 2 car set for under $50 US.

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10147356

 

To build a body you would need to find a plan first.  This could take time.

 

11 hours ago, marknewton said:

Even though I model JNR in HO scale, I’d offer the same advice as the others have - go with N scale. Not just because of cost, though. If you’re not an experienced modeller, scratchbuilding a Kiha47 with all its subtle curves and details isn’t a good choice for a first attempt. 

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

17 hours ago, katoftw said:

 

14 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

Welcome to the forum benji!  You'll find that N scale is far more popular in Japan than HO, and the trains you want to make are actually available in N already.  If you do chose to go for HO scale trains you will most likely have to purchase one of the few HO models available (which are usually far more expensive and american HO) and then modify them yourself to match the prototype.  If you do want to make this car yourself using the chassis you have, I would recommend learning CAD and designing it in a 3d modeling program, then try getting it 3d printed.  I would recommend trying out Fusion 360 as it is professional software that is free for students and relatively easy to learn.  If you do wish to get the N scale model then tomix released one just this year, which is still fairly easy to find and not to expensive.  
https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10495806

Thank you all for your input (I'm sorry if I become spontaneously obnoxious for quoting all of you, not too sure how else I can reply directly (other than @-ing you)...this is my first time using a forum). I'm now thinking N scale is the way to go. Would this specific KiHa class be available in the B-Train Shorty line, or anything similar?  Also Christmas is coming up and my mom is asking if there's any books that peak my interest (other than manga). I'm wondering if anyone were to know of any English book regarding Japanese railways? I've tried looking on Amazon and haven't found much - just a couple of novels which happen to take place in Japan and mention a train. 

 

Once again, thank you. 🙂 

 

Ben

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Ben,

 

n scale is a lot easier and cheaper solution for your project. Also more space efficient! Might also look at Ttrak as maybe you could do this as a Ttrak module and then take it and run it with other folks or eventually make enough modules for a small loop. Ttrak is a small modular rail format with 1 or 2 tracks on it, each being about 1’ square. You can do scenes across modules or make longer modules for a larger scene. Yell if you want more info, there’s a lot of this being done these days around the world. Perfect for a dorm room! 

 

couple of interesting history books in English 

 

old man thunder - about Sogo the JNS president that was the main force in the shinkansens

https://www.amazon.com/Old-Man-Thunder-Father-Bullet/dp/0965958000

 

Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan - lots of the politics and economics of early rail development in japan and nice early photos, very dense book!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/4805312904/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
BenjiKiHa
8 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Ben,

 

n scale is a lot easier and cheaper solution for your project. Also more space efficient! Might also look at Ttrak as maybe you could do this as a Ttrak module and then take it and run it with other folks or eventually make enough modules for a small loop. Ttrak is a small modular rail format with 1 or 2 tracks on it, each being about 1’ square. You can do scenes across modules or make longer modules for a larger scene. Yell if you want more info, there’s a lot of this being done these days around the world. Perfect for a dorm room! 

 

couple of interesting history books in English 

 

old man thunder - about Sogo the JNS president that was the main force in the shinkansens

https://www.amazon.com/Old-Man-Thunder-Father-Bullet/dp/0965958000

 

Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan - lots of the politics and economics of early rail development in japan and nice early photos, very dense book!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/4805312904/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

Thank you Jeff, much appreciated! I'll check out T-Track when I've found the time. 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Kiha66

I can second Early Japanese Railways, that was my Christmas present a few years back an I found it very interesting.  

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton

“Early Japanese Railways” is a superb book, well worth having. Another book worth having is this:

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?q=editions:ISBN4875130899&id=Xh5NAAAACAAJ

 

For some reason the only copies I could find for sale online were ridiculously overpriced, but I imagine if you keep looking you can find one at a sensible price.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Yeah that was a limited run book I think and now very hard to find. I misplaced or loaned out and forgot to who my copy and a few years back looked for a replacement it was like $100, now $250! Good book from what I remeber.

 

might check with your uni library, it’s in a dozen or so university libraries in the US and maybe it can be gotten thru interlibrary loan. Usually uni libraries get good privileges. One place where being a student helps! I just submitted a request thru my local library to see if anything will come back. Sometimes they want $25 to mail you a book other times it just shows up months later in the mail with a free return mailer! I’ve gotten really odd stuff this way in the past from all over the country.

 

http://www.worldcat.org/title/history-of-japanese-railways-1872-1999/oclc/45229896

 

it was published by the East Japan Railway Culture Foundation which also publishes Japanese Rail Transport Review with great technical bullitens on japanese train technology in English in pdf format. I have this memory that they published a few of the book’s chapters as pdfs, I’ll need to dig around on the hard drives. Lots of great articles here in English, check the back issues.

 

http://www.ejrcf.or.jp.e.zm.hp.transer.com/jrtr/index.html

 

Cheers,

 

jeff

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton

Jeff, I didn’t realise it was a limited edition.That explains the extortionate prices people are asking! Makes me glad I got a copy the first time around. It’ll probably remain the best English language book on the overall Japanese railway story.

 

You remember rightly about JRTR publishing material from the book as PDFs. They are at this link:

 

http://www.ejrcf.or.jp.e.zm.hp.transer.com/jrtr/history/index_history.html

 

There’s also Christopher Hood’s book on the Shinkansen story:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Shinkansen-Bullet-Symbol-Routledge-Contemporary/dp/0415320526

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
GDorsett

If you're set on kitbashing a KiHa unit, I'd suggest getting one of Kato's HO models and starting there. If theirs isn't close enough and you want to scratch-build using a readily available NA base, start with a Budd RDC. More specifically, an RDC-1 made by Athearn. They're common, cheap, and easy to modify and work on. The body shape is similar to the later KiHa units and the truck layout is better. The EMD F-Series you have above is a little too "heavy duty" for a KiHa. The Blomburg B trucks are too big and too close for a E/DMU car. The RDC is a bit closer and the layout is much better.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×