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ChibiNippon

Chibi-Den / Boku No Machi (Z-Shorty / Z-Scale)

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ChibiNippon

It Begins.

 

 

IMG_20190331_120059.jpg

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ChibiNippon
Posted (edited)

So, yesterday was mostly spent running about town gathering supplies - various glues and paints, some foam insulation, grout that hopefully works for ballast, and those 4 boxes from Ikea, which we'll get to later.

 

I'm going to put both layouts in one build log - they're being done far more concurrently than sequentially like I expected. I'm simultaneously too impatient to wait when I'm planning something, and too lazy to get it done.

 

A quick summary:

Chibi-Den:

- Z-Shorty Shelf layout, about 8' by 1'

- DCC

- Designed to experiment with electronics (automation, train sensing, arduinos and DCC stuff, etc)

- Rokuhan Sectional Track/Switches

- Single track line with sidings, loosely based on Enoden

 

Boku No Machi / BnM (My Town)

- Z-Scale layout, about 9' by 2.5'

- DC

- Designed to experiment with track and scenery

- Rokuhan Sectional Track and Atlas Code 55 Flex Track

- Basic 3 track roundy-roundy layout to entertain my Nieces

- 4 main scenic areas based on my Japan trip (Ginkakuji/Silver Pavilion in Kyoto, Himeji Castle, Akihabara, and the residential area where I was staying)

 

These are both starter layouts so that I have some experience before I bite into my "real" full-sized N-Scale layout in my basement.

 

I have both FDM and SLA 3d printers, as well as a 5w laser thing, so I intend to try and DIY as much of the scenery and buildings as possible.

Edited by ChibiNippon
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ChibiNippon

I forgot to mention, but this isn't likely to be a fast build. I don't have a lot of free time these days, and I've got a lot of work to do around house and yard renovations. I also can't actually use my 3d printers at the moment, because I need to finish off the Lab first, such as adding ventilation and a fume hood.

 

That being said, one concrete step forward has been taken.

 

Chibi-Den:

 

The developers have been through, and the land on which the Chibi-Den will be built has been cleared:

 

 

 

chibiden-shelf.thumb.jpg.acc0fa409f0372a0cd118e33d35d1232.jpg

 

Giant Lego Spaceman for scale

chibiden-shelf2.thumb.jpg.e92effa6de179ec2d49b833de2d76336.jpg

 

Not helpful, you say? Moving on then...

 

 

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MichiK

Can't be Lego - the chin piece ain't broken!

 

I'm looking forward to the progress you'll make!

Michi

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ChibiNippon

Chibi-Den:

 

Some small progress. I've never tried testing an xtrkcad layout build, so I've hooked up what I can of the pieces to see how well it comes together.

 

Here's the plan

chibiden-finallayout.thumb.jpg.82268b246202fc3c30ac8cc95e8d4839.jpg

 

And an older file on roughly I want to layout the scenery, the blue line being a canal, grey for roads, green for stations.

chibiden-struct1.thumb.jpg.f6f55b88343ece3a3e0451259aa55bbc.jpg

 

And here's the actual result

trackoverview.thumb.jpg.bf508e9433f0ac5a5acda1e5c89b64e3.jpg

 

Left side. These are old style turnouts, so I have to manually notch the straight track between them.

 

trackleft.thumb.jpg.98ffc52fadc8c6eb9d0b30acc24db357.jpg

 

Middle. The piece at the back will need to be cut to size. I also have regular track in here instead of the 330mm flex track, which I didn't strictly need, but wanted to try. I'll build that "kit" and sub it in later.

 

trackmiddle.thumb.jpg.7da17867fdc8478d58fa1393a9531f65.jpg

 

The weird flextrack kit:

flextrack-kit.jpg.033b595e323b385a33976cccb0b1d2cc.jpg

 

And the right hand side.

trackright.thumb.jpg.f9a689a503c2cf8a72c06b7db618daca.jpg

 

I'll run it DC for now. I have two point switches on the Rokuhan controller, and various splitter and extension cables. 

 

Next steps are to cut the track and to test running on it. After that I have to figure out how I will do dcc, run wiring, and how I'll deal with scenery - I want to light buildings and make some attempts at animation. I suspect this one will be running on pink foam for quite a while as I work out the electronics, etc.

 

Boku no Machi is a lot more straightforward, but relies on getting my 3d printers working, which means getting the lab set up.

 

Q: Why am I playing around with this instead of getting the lab set up?

A: Excellent question! Moving on...

 

 

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ChibiNippon

Both:

 

I received my ATTiny85s from DigiKey. It's an 8 pin, essentially self contained arduino that I plan to leverage for dynamic lighting in buildings. At ~$2 Ca they aren't cheap (Well, they ARE, but it's essentially 1/building), but the animation opportunities seem like it's worth it.

 

There's one catch - It's no problem to stuff one of these into a N-Scale building and hide it, but Z is small enough for the size of the chip to be a problem. For that, I found a possible alternative, which I dub the ATSuperTiny85 - An ATTiny85 in a 5.3mm SOIC package. I picked up a few to see if I can manage to actually program and use them productively. I promise nothing.

 

atSUPERtiny85-1.thumb.jpg.ce69c0fc5c098e50765f38db435ef17c.jpg

atSUPERtiny85-2.thumb.jpg.3409aa90db5af4dcf4d7cee16ca7ab28.jpg

 

1/144 Maids for scale. Still not useful, you say? I'll figure it out eventually.

 

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cteno4

They sell various litttle pad boards for these as well as a programming socket board.

 

not bad at $1.70 with usb plug, io pads, and power regulator.

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digispark-kickstarter-miniature-minimal-development-board-ATTINY85-module-for-Arduino-usb/32983430143.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.71.749125cfO6qjPP&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_5_10065_10130_10068_10890_10547_319_10546_317_10548_10545_10696_453_10084_454_10083_10618_10307_537_536_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103,searchweb201603_70,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=d4999ebb-7a2b-4c10-90e5-0e660ae62546-13&algo_pvid=d4999ebb-7a2b-4c10-90e5-0e660ae62546&transAbTest=ae803_4

 

really interested to see what comes of this! It’s been on my list for a number of years now with the nano board, but the tiny seres is sooo much smaller.

 

I keep groaning going back to c... 

 

jeff

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ChibiNippon
35 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

They sell various litttle pad boards for these as well as a programming socket board.

 

not bad at $1.70 with usb plug, io pads, and power regulator.

....

really interested to see what comes of this! It’s been on my list for a number of years now with the nano board, but the tiny seres is sooo much smaller.

 

I keep groaning going back to c... 

 

jeff

 

I've got the Sparkfun USB board - it's the red thing in the background of the 2nd photo. I probably could have waited for an aliexpress delivery and got that dev board, but this was a snap purchase without much thought to it.

 

What I'd like to do is set these up as i2c devices and string them off of a base arduino or pi. I don't know how many pins will be left over after that, though. LIke I said - snap purchase, will figure out as I go along.

 

And these things aren't very powerful, but they're very, very small for what they can do. I can't wait to get into playing with them!

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ChibiNippon

Chibi-Den:

 

In my free hour today I went ahead and did some of the track modifications needed to actually assemble the full plan. (I feel like I need a superhero team now - Z-Shorties, Assemble!)

 

First, the Rokuhan Flex track "Kit". You have to remove all the bits from the sprues, slide them down one side of the rail, then insert the other rail.

Bendytrack-1.thumb.jpg.221902bb3b25796e85e09530cf8e5f86.jpg 

Bendytrack-2.thumb.jpg.50ff40ef085053c29bb71a41dbb7e520.jpg

 

I was slightly confused at first, because there isn't enough track bits to run the length of the rail. It wasn't until I measured it that I realized that the rails are 7cm too long, to allow for bending. I, of course, bought this to replace a 220 and 110mm straight section just to see what it was like. No bending required 😛

Bendytrack-3.thumb.jpg.39de82c1a300988cf6185f21e931c16c.jpg

 

Bendy-track, assembled.

Bendytrack-4.thumb.jpg.f395bbc35a1acbc32fd853884cdeb0b5.jpgBendytrack-5.thumb.jpg.18983b658dedfdee698668faf6fa7d67.jpg

 

I also did the nip and tuck on the pieces to fit into the switches. I was a little too enthusiastic so a couple of them aren't exactly up to code...

Switches-1.thumb.jpg.57e1b6d9d3019baf6113f6ae54f07cf0.jpg

 

And, in a surprise round, when I was looking for my razor saw blades I came across a package of Micro Trains z-scale flex track. A whole extra 10 feet of it.

MicroFlex-1.thumb.jpg.b3e4b76a436a27cca114ff230999526b.jpg

MicroFlex-2.thumb.jpg.64c41f972306553290f026a14054c69d.jpg

Tie spacing is different, and the size of the rails is ever so slightly smaller. It'll be interesting if I can find a use for it, especially considering that I already have 20 feet of atlas flex coming.

 

Q. Why are you working on the dining room table?

A. Next question please.

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ChibiNippon

Chibi-Den:

 

I need to get this stuff off my dining room table this week, so I got the foam base cut in half. I had purchased a 2' by 8' x 1" piece of pink foam insulation for this. The shelves are already 8ft long, and the shelf it's replacing is 11", so 1' by 8' is perfect. Also, since I'm completely replacing the shelf and will be putting the foam directly on the brackets AND I've got a big trench down the middle, doubling up to 2" thickness is good. I then layed out the track so I can pin it down and get the measurement for the piece I need to cut. (If I'd realized just how that flex track of Rokuhan's worked, I'd have ordered an extra 110 and 220mm, and used the flex track for the cut piece)

 

Foam-1.thumb.jpg.0cba46a3e6b20708fdd06a5563970976.jpg

 

Once it was mocked up, I need to check clearances and see just how the scenery was going to work out, as some of the curves are pretty close to the edge.

 

THAT's when the mental disconnect happened.

 

I'm sorry if this is a little too obvious, but z-scale is damn tiny. You get used to seeing trains as these little things running around on it's little track, and, if you're a bit thick like me, you forget that trains are actually Very Big Things.

 

Here's the Z-shorty Kiha52.

 

Foam-2.thumb.jpg.ee52ea21793b8113ffb816580d06f4b5.jpg

 

Here's a Z-scale car of questionable parentage:

 

Foam-3.thumb.jpg.6c6887db1c8e1a6a97fb0b5e8327b2fc.jpg

 

Aaaand here they are together.

 

Foam-4.thumb.jpg.98f44664d3fce321003ac3d8a573e198.jpg

 

Despite it's questionable parentage, the car is actually pretty close to bang on in size - it's a scale 16ft long, with sedans averaging 14-16ft. It was actually labelled 1:200, so it could be a touch oversized.

 

Nevertheless, it's teeny. Which led to a couple of other realizations. This 8ft layout is around half a kilometer long, and I've got over a scale kilometer of track. That, and the Rokuhan track is laughably oversized.

 

Foam-5.thumb.jpg.797470f284d93fe837a5fb6ca986214e.jpg

 

And again, with another fellow from the same place as the car.

 

Foam-6.thumb.jpg.a833fb36bf230c54654cab8b3c4d6d5b.jpg

 

I realize that none of this is news, yet somehow I keep forgetting it.

 

Another view, this time of what kind of space a rail crossing would take. This is going to be alongside the canal, next to one of the bridges (Played by a 55mm track piece with no base - HS was out of stock of the short bridges, so I'll be doing them up on a 3d printer instead)

 

Foam-7.thumb.jpg.9533f5cfb7f46aa9f8a44de8e4da2919.jpg

 

And again, this time from above, with the whole width of the layout.

 

Foam-8.thumb.jpg.202eb0ad94054864c69d8af9a72f434d.jpg

 

And back to the where I started, figuring out clearances. The track seems pretty close to the edges.

 

Foam-9.thumb.jpg.d4dd2791c7ecc2aca0f1bdedc39cb5a9.jpg

 

But, in reality, there's still almost enough room to fit an alleyway down the front of the layout.

 

Foam-10.thumb.jpg.9d310c1309c16d6d4142ebaefacae0ed.jpg

 

It has occurred to me that I have a street running section of track. The scenery is going to have to be lifted significantly if I'm going to manage that. There's also the fact that, at 1700 scale feet wide, with a Sankei Shop being 25 scale feet wide, I've got room to put 70 shops in a row down the length of this thing. That's... a lot of scenery. Finally, Boku no Machi is more than twice the size of Chibi-den, at 27" by 108", vs 12" x 96".

 

Cool! I'm going to get a lot more mileage out of these little layouts than I thought I was going to. 

 

That being said, I won't get much more done for a couple of weeks. Between hosting a D&D session next week and the realization that Question Guy is absolutely right in that I need to start doing this work in the lab rather than the dining room table, I've got a full plate for a little while.

 

Q. I told you so.

A. Shut up.

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ChibiNippon
Posted (edited)

Chibi-Den:

 

Okay. I lied. One more, just to get this thing out of the way. 

 

First, I did a chop job to fit a 220mm into the off-sized spot beside the rear rail bridge.

  

Shelved-1.thumb.jpg.a4e090ff6fabcd164c7adfc34fa0bbab.jpg

Shelved-2.thumb.jpg.62f3e5847f6398b11c5c2343caaaf746.jpg

 

It fits!

Shelved-3.thumb.jpg.4a28eda6f0adfa03fe17b855c7c67691.jpg

 

And because it fits, we can see if it runs.

https://youtu.be/7NoQn-S9CEc

 

And I need to figure out how to embed that 😕

 

But at least it's up on the shelf out of the way so I can get stuff cleared out for guests next week.

Shelved-Final.thumb.jpg.3d90f2383de9867415238081dc08e376.jpg

 

Q. And you still didn't do anything to the lab.

A. LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALA

Edited by ChibiNippon
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ChibiNippon

A couple of deliveries today. I've gone on an ebay rampage picking up lighting and electrical stuff, most of which won't come for at least 2 months 😞

 

But I did get a set of 0603 leds in RGYW to play with in the meantime.

 

I had forgotten how tiny these things are. I ordered 0402 as well - I hope I didn't waste my money on them.

chibiled1.thumb.jpg.3aa1aebece0260a83582a871582b9246.jpg

 

Wizard for scale.

chibiled2.thumb.jpg.add48d4141f11fbb64503f5b5af54129.jpg

 

Still no good? Nuts.

 

Also, printing is coming:

slc1.thumb.jpg.22ffbd07a2f6dcde0d03674f9999ca99.jpg

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