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Martijn Meerts

H0e forest railways with H0 branch line

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Martijn Meerts

So, since I travel to and from work by train every day (approximately 1 hour each direction), I spend a lot of time thinking about generally useless things, sometimes giving myself a headache (although, that might also be because of the heavy metal ..))

 

Anyway, this whole Japanese H0 and H0e forest railways topic refuses to leave me in peace, so the past days/weeks it's been busy setting up camp in my brain. It started way in the back, but slowly it's creeping forward a bit. The fact that I can't move forward much with my hidden yard also doesn't help much to keep Mr. H0(e) at bay .. To continue with my yard, I need several digital components, which just so happen to not be in stock, and haven't been for quite a while.

 

If I do go ahead with the whole project (and, knowing myself there's a good chance I will ... ) I want it to be a fairly realistic representation of a forest railway in Japan. I don't want to model a specific prototype though, because I don't want to be THAT limited with regards to rolling stock. The general idea would be to have a simple, single track branch line (just a fairly simple oval really, with a few hidden storage tracks) and either a single track or dual track small station. The station would also need at least 1 standard gauge freight track and 1 narrow gauge track. The narrow gauge track will at some point merge with the standard gauge track to get past a cliff wall (river on 1 side, tall cliff on the other, so there was no room for multiple track, hence having a combination of standard and narrow... And it looks interesting :)) Once past the cliff, the 2 gauges will split again and at that point the main focus will be the forest railway.

 

I have no track plans, just a few ideas in my head, nor any real idea of what kinda rolling stock I'm looking at. The time period is somewhere around the early to mid 60s I guess, so there's room for steam, diesel and electric. I really want to be able to run things like EF57 and EF58 (I know they're not exactly branch line locomotives, but they can make guest appearances) as well as something like a C11 or C12. For the narrow gauge line I'm thinking mainly steam, and there really should be a passenger train as well to transport people from the train station to the various works sites in the forest.

 

For a name, I'm thinking something like Shinden, which would be short for shinrin dentetsu, or forest railway. Shinden is also the term for the main building of a heian period mansion, as well as the name for the core of a shinto temple, which means it could be fun trying to fit (bits of) either one of those in there somewhere.

 

So, yeah.. Those are the early ideas, any and all feedback would be much appreciated, especially with regards to rolling stock and layout of a forest railway :)

 

These pictures are very inspiring btw: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Anbō_Forest_Railway ..

 

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Nick_Burman

Martijn,

 

Funny, I've been nurturing the "#16 gauge" (can't call it HO!) bug of lately too. I have a Tenshodo Toshiba electric which is an orphan and I have been mulling assembling a train for it. Of course, if one has a train one needs somewhere for it to run...

 

I don't know what your budget is like, but given the cost of Japanese steam and JNR locomotives in general I would suggest going down the free-lanced private railway lane instead (at least for starters) - think Oigawa, or even better, the (now long-defunct) Kita-Ena Railway (which once was a prolific log-hauler). Then you could use the whole of the Arumodel (http://www.arumo.com) #16 gauge range - one can equip a complete railway with their stuff. The prices are accessible, the kits are very easy to assemble (I bought an N scale centercab loco, the model went up in 15 minutes - no solder, just ACC!) and the prototypes are very funky indeed. The same goes for the NG stuff, they have a very good choice. I bought one of their 2-axle coach kits which is at home, waiting for holidays to arrive so I can source the missing screws to assemble it. I have nothing to do with Arumodel, other than being a very happy customer - who is preparing to buy one of their #16 gauge Kintetsu-lookalike GE boxcabs (I'm just waiting for my Tokyo contact to reply, he's a pro rally driver - is the Dakar on by any chance?).

 

Another choice of NG stuff is Minitrains (http://www.minitrains.eu), they make replicas of the former Egger-Bahn and AHM Minitrains ranges. The Koppel looks like nothing on earth, but at least it can be readily used in a Japanese context; the same applies to their Krauss, once you cut down that chimney and get rid of the vacuum brake ejector. Also several of their freight cars are derived directly from Kiso practice - including the famed 2-axle cabooses. Tsugawa makes the Kato Works/Sakai diesels used on Japanese logging lines (many logging lines in Japan never saw a steam locomotive in their lifetime - they went straight from animal power - with a bit of help from gravity as in the case of the Yakushima lines - to I/C locomotives), but so does Arumodel, and the Arumo loco is much better-looking...

 

For inspiration, check this page here http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/index.html - there are sections about Kiso and Yakushima, plus Kita-Ena. You'll be driven mad with ideas... :D

 

Cheers NB

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Martijn Meerts

#16 gauge isn't exactly what I had in mind though.. At least, as far as I understand, #16 gauge is slightly bigger than H0 and running on standard H0 track (16.5mm) .. What I'm looking at is having a standard H0 (16.5mm) branch line combined with a H0e (9mm) narrow gauge forest line. I have to say though, that #16 gauge does look interesting as well, but might start getting a bit too big again. I might also be reading it wrong considering Google doesn't translate Japanese to English all that well ...

 

Budget isn't really an issue as such. I also won't be buying many RTR trains, but rather various kits from World Kougei and others. I also know Kiso used steam, although likely well before the early-mid 60s I'm looking at .. Of course, like I said, it's not going to be prototypical at all, I just want a nice mix of things that could've been used together at some point in time :)

 

(that link for inspiration is dangerous btw ;o)

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Nick_Burman
#16 gauge isn't exactly what I had in mind though.. At least, as far as I understand, #16 gauge is slightly bigger than H0 and running on standard H0 track (16.5mm) .. What I'm looking at is having a standard H0 (16.5mm) branch line combined with a H0e (9mm) narrow gauge forest line. I have to say though, that #16 gauge does look interesting as well, but might start getting a bit too big again. I might also be reading it wrong considering Google doesn't translate Japanese to English all that well ...

 

Budget isn't really an issue as such. I also won't be buying many RTR trains, but rather various kits from World Kougei and others. I also know Kiso used steam, although likely well before the early-mid 60s I'm looking at .. Of course, like I said, it's not going to be prototypical at all, I just want a nice mix of things that could've been used together at some point in time :)

 

(that link for inspiration is dangerous btw ;o)

 

Martijn, #16 gauge and Japanese HO are the same thing, 1:80 scale on 16.5mm gauge (alternatively 13mm if you want to go "finescale"). True HO scale would mean a 12mm track gauge and an even steeper ticket as very little RTR non-brass stuff is available. A couple of years ago a friend of mine went to Japan and bought some Japanese "true" HO at Models Imon - if I remember well he left something like US$800 on the counter for a small RTR World Kougei electric and half-a-dozen RTR Imon cars.

 

Also check this post here http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/6984-yanagase-forestry-railway/?hl=yanagase for images of the Yanagase Forestry Railway near Kochi. This one was steam-powered, with one Shay and at least one H.K.Porter 0-4-2T.

 

Cheers NB

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Martijn Meerts

Oh right, goes to show how little I know about Japanese H0 :)

 

I've considered doing the true H0 thing, and using TT scale track (which are 12mm), but that's either be very costly to get rolling stock, or very time consuming (and scary) modifying existing 16.5mm rolling stock. Also, the difference between standard 16.5mm track and 9mm track is quite big, which makes it a lot more obvious you're running a mix of standard gauge and narrow gauge, which is what I'm really after.

 

The pre-build World Kougei stuff is very expensive, but it looks amazing. I have several of their kits (N-scale) partially built/waiting to be built. The soldering isn't quite working out like I want it too just yet, but with a little more practice I'll get there.

 

I remember the Yanagase thread, lovely stuff. I think a layout based on that would get quite a bit of attention.

 

In the end I think I just need to buy some Tillig H0/H0e track and 1 or 2 World Kougei narrow gauge kits and get going. I'm also going full DCC with it, and preferably with sound, so it'll be interesting fitting speakers into the loco's.. Might nog be any space for it at all actually...

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Martijn Meerts

... .... .......

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10231050

 

H0j scale .. 1/87 on 12mm track .. They're really not making things any easier =)

 

 

Then again, seeing the price on this http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10175977 .. Maybe H0j is not for me ;)

 

On the other hand.. Most World Kougei H0 kits are the same price as H0j ... 

 

 

(excuse me while my brain explodes ...)

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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Densha

I know the Japanese N gauge AND H0 gauge have both a different scale than the European (namely 1/150 and 1/80), but even though there's a scale difference the gauge is still relatively too wide compared to the prototype.

I had no idea there were actual 1/80 models with the correct gauge, but I actually doubt if there are any readily available track. (and as you already mention THE PRICE!!)

In N gauge some people converted their 1/150 models to Z gauge which is very close to the prototype for 1/150 models.

However this is only for the 1067mm prototype, for other gauges it's yet a whole new story which I may not want to investigate in. :P ;)

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Martijn Meerts

H0j runs on 12mm, which is standard TT scale, so there's plenty track available. However, if you want to combine H0j with H0e (as in, narrow gauge forest railway), you'll run into some issues considering there's no dual gauge 12mm + 9mm track as far as I know. You'd have to basically hand lay the dual gauge sections. Of course, that's only really a problem if you want to have sections on a layout that have dual gauge track.

 

If you go with regular H0 and H0e, there's a whole lot of good stuff available from Tillig, including dual gauge turnouts and crossings. The H0 kits from World Kougei are pretty much the same price as their H0j counterparts, they're all equally expensive ;)

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Martijn Meerts

Well... I asked Keitaro to inform at World Kougei about the H0e Kiso Forest Baldwin kit (http://world-kougei.com/SHOP/6024154.html) which is being re-released. So I may end up getting my first H0e model soon-ish.

 

Now to figure out how detailed I want to go .. I'm tempted to try and add sound and possibly smoke, but I'm a bit on the fence there. While I do think they will add to the general feel, smoke never looks unless you have the insanely expensive large scale stuff with dynamic smoke such as:

 

 

And sound is always a bit iffy.. There are some locomotives in H0 with incredible sound, but many of them are pretty bad, and I won't even go into N-scale sound ;)

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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Densha

Not to forget that (many) smoke generators are toxic.

 

But Martijn, do you seriously think you'll ever finish this project? :P

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Martijn Meerts
But Martijn, do you seriously think you'll ever finish this project? :P

 

No ;)

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cteno4

awww cumon martijn, i want those wheels marked to get the right chuff n clank in the right place on each rotation on your n scale stuff!

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts
awww cumon martijn, i want those wheels marked to get the right chuff n clank in the right place on each rotation on your n scale stuff!

 

jeff

 

If I did that at least I'd be 100% certain I'd never get any layout finished ;)

 

Once the Kiso loco arrives I'll know a bit more about the sizes and whether or not I can fit in a smoke generator and speaker. The Loksound Micro decoders are plenty small, so that shouldn't be an issue, but the speaker box needs to be placed well so the sound is at least decent..

 

So, once it arrives, it's only a matter of building it, fitting a smoke generator, fitting a head light LED, possibly fitting tail light LEDs, fitting a firebox LED, maybe an LED or 2 in the cab itself, speaker box and decoder .. That should be interesting :)

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cteno4

just a tad more work to the marks on the inside of the driver wheels and the sensor to give wheel/rod position to the decoder!

 

jeff

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Nick_Burman
Oh right, goes to show how little I know about Japanese H0 :)

 

I've considered doing the true H0 thing, and using TT scale track (which are 12mm), but that's either be very costly to get rolling stock, or very time consuming (and scary) modifying existing 16.5mm rolling stock. Also, the difference between standard 16.5mm track and 9mm track is quite big, which makes it a lot more obvious you're running a mix of standard gauge and narrow gauge, which is what I'm really after.

 

The pre-build World Kougei stuff is very expensive, but it looks amazing. I have several of their kits (N-scale) partially built/waiting to be built. The soldering isn't quite working out like I want it too just yet, but with a little more practice I'll get there.

 

I remember the Yanagase thread, lovely stuff. I think a layout based on that would get quite a bit of attention.

 

In the end I think I just need to buy some Tillig H0/H0e track and 1 or 2 World Kougei narrow gauge kits and get going. I'm also going full DCC with it, and preferably with sound, so it'll be interesting fitting speakers into the loco's.. Might nog be any space for it at all actually...

 

Martijn,

 

Now you've pre-empted me, I was going to say to start easy with Minitrains and Arumodel stuff, them move up to World Kougei and Modellwagen stuff.

 

 

Cheers NB

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Martijn Meerts

I'm not really one to start easy, as evidenced by my storage yard ;)

 

I also have some experience with World Kougei kits, and their excellent service, so figured I'd just go for it.

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Martijn Meerts

So, the Kiso Forest Baldwin kit arrived today. Did a quick check and scanned the manual, looks like an interesting kit :)

 

 

Image 001 - 004:

Manual page 1 to 4 (not the world's greatest scans, I guess that's what I get for doing automatic scan area selection :)) Page 4 has a couple of pictures showing how the dual motors are installed. It also shows very clearly that the additional motor is very visible inside the cab. While I don't mind this for N-scale, for H0 (even H0e) I really want to avoid it. Could just leave out 1 motor, but the question is whether or not it'll run decent if I do. 

 

 

Image 005:

All the parts. There's not that many of them compared to for example the EF53, and obviously most things are a bit bigger. It's fun how completely out of proportion the can and boiler look. The bags contain screws, gears, white metal detail bits and pieces etc.

 

Interesting detail is that the smoke stack seems to be brass rather than white metal, and it also has a hole right down the middle, sort of like it was meant to have a smoke unit. Of course, the smoke units available in Europe don't fit without modification, but it should be possible to fit one without too much modifications.

 

Sound should be possible as well, although likely only when leaving out the additional motor. Firebox LED should be easy enough, although the regular motor is sort of taking up the space where the firebox would be. Obviously, there are also no details inside the cab, so I may need to scratch build something for that.

 

wrldkg-baldwin_001-manual_page_1.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_002-manual_page_2.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_003-manual_page_3.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_004-manual_page_4.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_005-parts_overview.jpg

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Mr Frosty

Thats a scary looking kit.

I do love narrow gauge though and look forward to seeing this completed.

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Martijn Meerts

It actually looks relatively easy to me, at least, compared to the EF53 kit ;)

 

I've done some research and I'm fairly certain it's going to be very hard installing a smoke unit, so I'll probably skip that idea altogether. There's basically 2 versions of smoke units by Seuthe (which are known to have good smoke units, and easily available here), 1 has a constant diameter of 5mm, and 1 that is 3.5mm at the top and halfway expands to 7mm. Neither will fit considering the smoke stack at it's smallest point is around 3mm. I can think of ways to still install it (by basically cutting the 3mm part off the smoke stack and drilling a 3.5mm hole in it, and use the smoke unit itself as part of the smoke stack), however, I do wonder if it's worth the effort. Smoke looks pretty terrible in N-scale, and the oil used leaves a lot of residue on the track which means regular cleaning of track. Also, you'll be refilling the smoke unit about every minute because they're so small ;)

 

I might just order a smoke unit for testing and see what can be done.

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Nick_Burman

Hmmm, speaking of kits, I discovered that Imon has one of their ToRa wagons in HOj available in kit format. Price around US$20.00, but I don't know if at this price the kit is complete (wheelsets and couplers). However, this is very handy to populate a siding at the (future) sawmill.

 

Cheers NB

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Martijn Meerts
Hmmm, speaking of kits, I discovered that Imon has one of their ToRa wagons in HOj available in kit format. Price around US$20.00, but I don't know if at this price the kit is complete (wheelsets and couplers). However, this is very handy to populate a siding at the (future) sawmill.

 

Cheers NB

 

For that price, I doubt a lot is included to be honest.. Got a link to them?

 

 

 

Started building the kit today. It's nice having built a couple other kits considering you get a much better idea of what needs to be done, and how to do it. Soldering keeps becoming easier as well, I've actually used the small 40Watt iron (which I also use for SMD LEDs) to solder the frame bits, didn't use flux either.

 

Unfortunately, World Kougei made a little error on the included screws. They only included 1 screw of which there should be 3, but that can happen considering they package and count most things by hand. It's not the first time I've had parts missing, and they're usually really easy going with sending out replacement parts. Now, usually getting screws isn't an issue, but these are M1.4 x 4mm screws, which aren't very common. They're often used in RC helicopters, a hobby that's not exactly common in the Netherlands :)

 

 

Image 006:

Gears, axles, screws, etc. On the left are the screws, and whoever has a good eye can see there's 1 5mm screw, 1 4mm screw, 2 3mm screws, and some 15 2mm screws. Interestingly, there's supposed to be only 13 2mm screws, so I guess that's where things went wrong ;)

 

Image 007:

Wheels and some more screws. These are M1.2 x 2mm, M1.4 x 2.5mm and 7 M1.4 x 3.5mm (should be 6 according to the parts list)

 

Image 008:

The 2 frame halves, folded and soldered.

 

Image 009:

Frame halves and the parts required to assemble them.

 

Image 010:

Assembled frame.

wrldkg-baldwin_006-parts_detail.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_007-parts_wheels.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_008-frame_halves.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_009-frame_assembly.jpg

wrldkg-baldwin_010-frame_assembled.jpg

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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Nick_Burman
Martijn Meerts
Densha
I still wonder why they're so cheap though :)

Just some reasoning: it says プラキット in the description which I think is an acronym for plastic kit, just like プラモデル is for plastic model.

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, it does look like they're plastic kits, but even so, they're rather cheap considering they're H0j .. 

 

 

Anyway, spent a little more time on the Baldwin. Been building it so it's possible to install the 2nd motor. Still not sure if I'm going to install it or not, I'll need to do some test running with both options. Due to the fact that 2 screws are missing, I can't actually combine the 2 frame parts (front and rear), so test running is going to take a little while. I have started bending and test fitting some of the cab and boiler pieces. The thing looks quite silly considering the cab is H0 scale, while the boiler is more or less N-scale. Especially without the large chimney and bells on the boiler, it looks really out of place :) I'll likely take a few pictures tomorrow and post them.

 

In preparation of installing sound decoders I've also ordered an ESU LokProgrammer (it's really nice for non-sound decoders as well actually) There are a ton of options of adding sounds, including uploading custom sounds and changing sounds depending on what situation the loco is in. I've looked through some of the samples that come on the CD, and it's going to take a while figuring everything out. Another thing I found out is that with some of the newer firmware, it's possible for an ESU Lokpilot/Loksound to drive 2 servos, which should be interesting for turntable control. Using a Loksound decoder it should be possible to drive a fairly simple turntable using a servo motor, and have fitting sounds effects. I'm going to have to order a sound decoder soon for some testing =)

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