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Densha

Tomytec Building Collection

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Densha

Feel free to post anything related to the Tomytec Building Collection here. Otherwise all information just gets lost in the depths of the database.

 

Here is a nice page that features reviews of many Tomytec buildings: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kryhp497/folder/520742.html

I found it interesting because you know exactly what to expect what's in the package.

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Keikyu

I love the Tomytec buildings. For how cheap they are they sure look good. And with such little effort.

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macdon

I love building them as well! No paint or glue needed - instant gratification!

 

Mardon

 

IMG_1017_zps71140ffb.jpg

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JR 500系

The new Tomytec Buildings up for pre-order and scheduled to release on Jan 2014 are just beautiful!

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10245596

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10245595

 

Initally, i thought they were just an extension of the old machi collection: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10079587

 

Until i saw the interior and i saw like, WOW! I need to get these! 

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cteno4

The old machi collection buildings have the first floor shop interior details like this too. One of the reasons I got hooked on the tomytec long ago with collection 1!

 

Jeff

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kyoto

The products are good but I have found a fair amount of glueing does improve matters. Although as to quality, compared to Tomix buildings which are made in Japan rather than China, then when it comes to precision, the Tomix ones although limited in variety, are in a different league.

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Mudkip Orange
The products are good but I have found a fair amount of glueing does improve matters. Although as to quality, compared to Tomix buildings which are made in Japan rather than China, then when it comes to precision, the Tomix ones although limited in variety, are in a different league.

 

Yes indeed. My first Tomytec building was the gray modern house, I snapped it together and after 2 or 3 moves it had collapsed into more pieces than originally came in the box.

 

Also, some of the smaller items rest free. For instance, if you buy the bus stops, the benches don't tab in anywhere. You really want to glue these down otherwise the first time you bump the table you'll end up with wonky bus benches.

 

My final complaint with Tomytec is that the bases sometimes arrive noticeably warped. I haven't installed the bases in all of mine for this reason. But even without the bases Tomytec still gets you a higher level of detail and a lower price than other pre-assembled structures e.g. Kato. So I will continue to buy them I think.

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JR 500系

Agree with Mudkip on the Tomytec bases issue. My main issue is with the bases being so thick... Almost all the bases of Tomytec structures, like houses or buildings or even roads like in the instance of the bus terminal are very thick. I know the rationale of them being so thick is so that they can easily be integrated with Tomytec's diorama road plate or pavement plate, but it is very weird when used on normal plane without the building looking like it stands out and needs a staircase to climb up the thick plate to the front door... 

 

Nonetheless, the details on these small structures for the small price that you'll pay is astonishing...  ?Doesn't get better than this! 

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cteno4

Usually you want to build up your roads some anyway, so meeting the base height is not too hard to do. The bases also need to be thick to try to stiffen the cheaper abs used. If it were stryene it would make the kits more expensive. Just setting the bases in some hot water for a bit will make them malleable enough to flatten them out well.

 

They do need a bit of glue if you are banging them around and to stay in good alignment on the long term. I have collection 1 buildings (like 8yrs old) that I simply glued with clamps and they have survived 8 years of banging around on and off the JRM layout and in not so great transport boxes. They are all still straight and true.

 

One trick to hold your tomytec structures done is to use little 2mm x1mm rare earth magnets. There is usually about 2mm on the underside of the bases. I just glue 4 magnets in the corner areas to the underside of the base. Once dry plop another magnet on each and a drop of glue then on the bottom of each and plop on place. Once dry you can easily pry up the structure but its still held well in place. Helps keep things flat as well. Works well for transport then just glue magnets on a piece of cardboard that fits in a box.

 

Still amazed at the bang for the buck many of the tomytec buildings are with their details and finish. While tomix and kato blogs are nice stryene and a bit cleaner finish, they need some work to finish them off and detail is lost always lacking.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Mudkip Orange
Just setting the bases in some hot water for a bit will make them malleable enough to flatten them out well.

 

See, I tried putting mine in the oven, and the plastic actually *bubbled*, so that the base became basically unusable.

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Kabutoni

Jeff, that magnet idea is really amazing! I need to do that for future projects. You can also have the magnets transfer electric current to power a light bulb inside the building, right? I don't think that would influence the magnetic properties negatively.

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JR 500系
Usually you want to build up your roads some anyway, so meeting the base height is not too hard to do. The bases also need to be thick to try to stiffen the cheaper abs used. If it were stryene it would make the kits more expensive. Just setting the bases in some hot water for a bit will make them malleable enough to flatten them out well.

 

Still amazed at the bang for the buck many of the tomytec buildings are with their details and finish. While tomix and kato blogs are nice stryene and a bit cleaner finish, they need some work to finish them off and detail is lost always lacking.

 

Jeff

Thanks for the tip Jeff! Need to try that out sometimes! Would the plastic melt? The base plate on the Bus terminal looks good by the way, because it actually has tyre tracks painted on to signify the amount of buses that travelled over them... It would be great to retain these as it's hard to mimic them on normal plain paper which i intend to use eventually for my bus terminal... 

 

Have to agree Tomytec buildings is really a good bang for the buck for the insane amount of details gone in. Looking at the walls sometimes you can even see brick patterns, rough texture on the exterior walls of the buildings, mini staircases leading to the upper floors, small little steps to the front & side doors etc. The Kato buildings have them too, especially on the larger buildings, but i feel the buildings tend to look a little too plastic... 

 

Only complain is perhaps the walls being too thin and letting light shine through, but that can be easily solved as discussed in several topics before; either painting the interior wall black or gluing aluminium foil on the inside, which i particularly like the latter method as i feel it tends to make the building even brighter, perhaps though reflection? 

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cteno4

mudkip

 

yes oven is way too hot and easy to do a meltdown. i have used boiling hot water ive let cool a little. depending on your tap hot water temp that can also work. even boiling water is not going to be to the temp to totally melt down the plastic! melting point of the plastic is a bit over 100c. 90-100c or so is great for getting the plastic to bend easily. 

 

i actually get most little warps out by just bending them by hand, but then ive done a lot of metal work and such of bending by touch like that.

 

 

tony,

 

well the magnets have no resistance to speak of so thats not an issue. you would probably need to use conductive glue to attach the wires as i doubt the neodymium will solder well. ill have to play with this. current thru the magnet i dont think will effect it much, but it could. ill have to play with that, could be a very cool way to reduce connectors! for lighting connectors i use the really cheap JST connectors. you can get them for 10 cents for a M/F 2 conductor pair with 9" leads on each. but they take room and really need to get fed under the layout and then keeping the lead from slipping back in when not plugged in is a pain.

 

another easy way would just be to use the copper tape to make little pads on the bottom of the structure and on the top of the  layout. could use that 1mm squishy foam tape to give it a little give so it would press together well. but if gluing the wires to the edge of the magnets worked well it would be much simpler! then just come back and glue the leads down well so on stress on the magnet to wire joint. i have some conductive paint/glue here that is starting to get mucky and just ordered a small cheap syringe of conductive glue off ebay last week to play with.

 

the little magnets are fun, i have a range of them now ive gotten very cheap on auctions on ebay (like less than a buck for 20-100 depending on the magnet size). finding them useful to make little jigs that you can use for the sankei kits to hold stuff together. also work well to hold fine point tweezers together to hold tiny bits more gently than cross action tweezers.

 

 

jr500

 

i agree the kato and tomix have that plastic feel. that can be gotten rid of some with some dull coat in places and also at times just some weathering powder in places to dull things up here and there.

 

most all plastic buildings will tend to glow with plastic walls without some work. best is probably foil to really block the light. heavy tempera paint layer inside can help block it as well. i find the tomytec do pretty well as they have a pretty thick coat of paint on the outside that helps block light at low levels pretty well.

 

to help with all this the best thing is to put more smaller and lower powered lights into a structure rather than one big led. im getting into using little smd leds and then putting tiny pots (1 or 2k usually give a nice range on 3-5v input) on them to power them down a lot. its gives more realistic lighting in a structure with the light only spread in a few places. putting in some internal walls is good to block off some windows so you dont have all the structure lit. rarely all windows are lit up in any structure. with the small leds and turning them down can also give you the mix you want of some areas bright and others dim. 

 

 

ive been fiddling with a little pc board setup with pots to glue inside structures and then just drill 2mm holes in the wall or roof to poke in a screwdriver to tune the lighting as needed. then just feed it 5v (easy and cheap 5v power supplies). ill do a write up here sometime soon on this.

 

using a 3mm white led in a small structure is sort of like putting a single 50000w bulb in the middle of the house. there is just way too much light coming from one place and also just makes the walls glow! if you look at most smaller structures from a distance (like 300' away thats looking at your models at 2' away) you will see little light shining out from widows and lighting up much around the grounds. but look at most lit models and they light up the streets around them with all the light streaming out. 

 

lighting does not scale linearly. it follows the inverse square law where the intensity is function of the inverse square of the distance traveled from the source. so on models you need a lot less intensity to go the small distance needed to give the intensity needed at a window or just outside a structure.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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KenS
Only complain is perhaps the walls being too thin and letting light shine through, but that can be easily solved as discussed in several topics before; either painting the interior wall black or gluing aluminium foil on the inside, which i particularly like the latter method as i feel it tends to make the building even brighter, perhaps though reflection? 

 

I think that's pretty much true of any plastic structure, styrene or the more ABS-like stuff used in some of the Tomix buildings.  Unless it's made of resin or plaster, you need to do light-blocking on the inside.

 

I use two coats of flat black on the inside, followed by at least one coat of flat white.  The black provides a solid block (two coats ensures I didn't miss any spots), and the white provides the same kind of reflection you'd get with foil, but without any tendency to create bright spots if the foil were to get wrinkled. Also, if it's visible through a window, flat white looks like a reasonable wall color. Although I usually try to treat visible walls with paint or a glued-on photo, rather than just leaving them white.

 

My biggest problem, oddly, is that my lighting is usually too bright. I used LED strips, and three SMD LEDs in a normal building is just too much light.  I probably need to add a resistor to the ones that come on the strip to tone the light down, although I haven't done that yet.

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cteno4

So I've experimented with the magnets and they pass current fine for LEDs. I just got some conductive cement that I'm going to try to glue the wires onto the magnets. Doubt solder would work, but ill give it a whirl.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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dottney

Cool idea using the magnets as "terminals" for lighting wiring. Attempting to solder to a magnet (rare earth or not) is pretty futile and if you do heat it up enough to get the wires/solder to "stick" you're liable to wreck the magnet.  The conductive cement sounds interesting.  Waiting to hear how it works as I've never used it.

Dave

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cteno4

dave,

 

the magnets are tiny (1x2mm) so they might get hot enough to solder and they do have a metal coating it looks like. ill play with some fluxes and different solders i have. 

 

the conductive paint i have is very good for stuff like this, its suspended silver particles. but its expensive but you dont need much for these things.

 

ill get on this next week, we have a show this weekend and japanese tv program will be filming it and may be back here at the house to film the collection so i have to clean up the disaster of an office/train room fast!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Darklighter

I'm no big fan of Tomytec structures as I don't like the visible gaps between walls, the coarse window frames, the warped bases, etc.

 

Some of the newer kits, however, look promising. But do they really look like this: 

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kryhp497/16538925.html

Or do they really look like this:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10185190b/30/1

Edited by Darklighter

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bill937ca
I'm no big fan of Tomytec structures as I don't like the visible gaps between walls, the coarse window frames, the warped bases, etc.

 

Some of the newer kits, however, look promising. But do they really look like this: 

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kryhp497/16538925.html

Or do they really look like this:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10185190b/30/1

I think the first photo is a hand painted  pre-production sample at a hobby show.

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Kabutoni
I'm no big fan of Tomytec structures as I don't like the visible gaps between walls, the coarse window frames, the warped bases, etc.

 

A bit of superglue and/or plastic glue and some patience can do wonders ;)

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kvp
ould be a very cool way to reduce connectors! for lighting connectors i use the really cheap JST connectors. you can get them for 10 cents for a M/F 2 conductor pair with 9" leads on each. but they take room and really need to get fed under the layout and then keeping the lead from slipping back in when not plugged in is a pain.

Some JST connectors (for example tomix power and turnout plugs) are compatible with standard pcb pins found in most computers. You can drill a hole, glue a socket with soldered on wires into the hole and glue the other one into the building. This is the same method used by Tomix to mount their railway signals. Once connected it conducts electricity and keeps the signal fixed, but it can be removed for transporting or storing the layout, so it won't be snapped off by some loose item. If you use a solderable connector inside the house, then you can solder everything to a small raster pcb with the connector and any pots/switches looking down through the hole in the base. The leds can be mounted on the other side looking up or routed to everywhere with wires. Just make sure that the connectors are aligned correctly before gluing them. It's also possible to mount both of them on small circuit boards and then just screw them on, so they can be removed later.

 

ps: With a raster pcb and a few connector pins/sockets you can easily solder together splitters, distribution strips, ribbon cable breakout boards, tomix connector/screw terminal converters, etc. and they will be compatible with the Tomix power/tunout connectors so they don't have to be modified. Also an easy way to bring together several wires into a ribbon cable, which gets rid of the usual mess under a layout.

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Densha
I'm no big fan of Tomytec structures as I don't like the visible gaps between walls, the coarse window frames, the warped bases, etc.

 

Some of the newer kits, however, look promising. But do they really look like this: 

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kryhp497/16538925.html

Or do they really look like this:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10185190b/30/1

I have exactly the same kit and they're just like on the yahoo blog, with real windows and all. The HS photo is just a pre-production sample as Bill said.

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katoftw

Thanks for the link.  Interesting use of double sided tape.

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tossedman

Cool, I too like the tape trick. Might try that on the Totoro layout. My nine year old showed me how to turn on translated subtitles in YouTube. Very interesting results. Made no sense whatsoever. But my wife found it amusing,

Edited by tossedman

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