Jump to content
Densha

Tomytec Building Collection

Recommended Posts

Welshbloke

What are the Tomytec buildings like for keeping the light in?

 

I've had more than a few gorgeous buildings from other brands over the years which looked daft with a light fitted inside, as the walls started glowing! Obviously a coat of black paint on the inside would help, but I'm just wondering whether I'm likely to need to do that.

 

Looking at that neat little office building with the cylindrical glazed tower on the end for the terminus/depot layout I'm planning, as I'll have a space in the front corner of the board and that plus some landscaping should fill it nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

Most Tomytec buildings are painted on the outside, so they are not transparent. On the other hand, you might see light leakage at the joints, but gluing them together and then painting these areas helps. Be warned that a select few buildings have solid windows, painted on, so they can not be lighted at all. Tomix buildings on the other hand are built better and mostly support the standard Tomix building internal lights off the shelf, but without a dull cover and some weathering, they are more plastic than the Tomytec ones which often come pre weathered. Many buildings lack the internal details, so if you plan to add lights to a big windowed building, you'll have to add at least some minimal internal details too. (like walls with patterns or some furniture)

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

In my experience with Tomytec buildings, it's fairly hit-and-miss. The thicker the walls and the darker the colouring, the better they keep the light in, which is why Tomytec supplies reflective tape patches to put on the inside if required.

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

This one definitely needs treatment before someone calls the fire brigade:

 

gallery_1206_166_14899.jpg

 

The two light-sources behind are a bus garage and loco shed, both of which are painted on the inside too and don't really need modification.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

One tip: it helps a lot if you mount the light upside down on the ceiling as the socket usually blocks out any light upwards and then you only have to deal with the walls. Glue+black paint+white paint or decals works nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Welshbloke

Sounds like another see-what-happens job. I'll order one next month with some other bits I need, and have a play with it.

 

I'm not overly worried about the thick baseplate as I plan to fix that to the board and blend it in, which will avoid the common problem of buildings which look like they've been plonked down on the layout rather than being a fixed part of it. Real buildings bed into the landscape to at least some extent.

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

One tip: it helps a lot if you mount the light upside down on the ceiling as the socket usually blocks out any light upwards and then you only have to deal with the walls. Glue+black paint+white paint or decals works nicely.

 

Not really... still "leaks" on both sides of the roof. It's an all-or-nothing job with this one. In general I prefer to have the buildings easily removable so in general the light will be floor-mounted, with the light source appropriately disguised.

 

gallery_1206_166_1131.jpg

 

The reflective stickers supplied by Tomytec are quite good at distributing the light indirectly, e.g. with one of the station buildings, where the bulb is actually inside the internal partition.

gallery_1206_166_5069.jpg

 

Here's another way of lighting that building: http://gonta96s.web.fc2.com/railtop/mokei06.html

 

 

Sounds like another see-what-happens job. I'll order one next month with some other bits I need, and have a play with it.

 

I'm not overly worried about the thick baseplate as I plan to fix that to the board and blend it in, which will avoid the common problem of buildings which look like they've been plonked down on the layout rather than being a fixed part of it. Real buildings bed into the landscape to at least some extent.

 

I've ended up covering my layout in foamboard, usually 3mm, to "embed" the Tomix track, which also makes it easier to cut out space for the building baseplates. I'm not planning on fixing any buildings down for the forseeable future but they blend in quite well unless you're looking for the gaps. The brown building here (same one that looks like it's on fire above) is just plonked in place (though I keep wanting to dip it in my tea ;) ).

 

gallery_1206_165_64829.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Squid,

 

I a a huge fan of turning down the lights and adding a few more to get rid of the nuclear glow. LEDs are usually run at full blast in most kits and way way way too intense, and thus the light bleed and having the streets lit by light pouring out windows. If you look around at night it has to be a really brightly lit place to throw anything but a bit of soft glow out onto the surrounding darkness. Using more LEDs in a building turned way down gives a more real look than the whole thing glowing. Even walking off one part of the structure so it has no lights makes things feel more real or one bright room and a dim room.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-1K-5K-Potentiometer-Assorted-Variable-Resistor-Resistive-3296-W-DX-/261666671814?var=&hash=item3cec8c8cc6:m:mX9S75Qhik5W-aP04239U4A

 

If you are wiring in resistors the instead wire in a small variable resistor (pot) like a 2k. This will let you turn down the light a lot! You can run an appropriate minimum current limiting resistor in series so that if you turn the pot all the way down the led is still protected. If there is a resistor already in place you can wire a pot in series anywhere in the circuit to dim it down. Using a bit of heavy white tape or just a layer of foil and white paper in the roof and the using smaller smd LEDs (like 1210 that are small but still easy to solder) can help focus the light down into the room and take up little space. You don't want the interior shiny aluminum or black, but white as most interiors are mostly and most lighting is downward or if upward tends to be more reflected. You can also put a little dab of paint on the back and sides of the wired led to insulate it and the back it with a little hunk of aluminum foil and that will block any light leaks.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-100pcs-1210-3528-White-SMD-High-Light-LED-Light-Emitting-Diode-Hot-IS-/271470378249?hash=item3f34e53d09:g:zIcAAOxyhXRTLOov

 

Wrapping wire works great for the LEDs as its about as small as you can get insulated wire (short of magnet wire) and it's tou and very cheap, plus the core is pretinned so it solders super easily.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-0-25mm-Wire-Wrapping-Wire-30AWG-Cable-305m-10-Colors-/131605891841?var=&hash=item1ea4528b01:m:mI1DcUWLI7Gl-ev7nPILg2Q

 

Lastly you might think of using the little disc magnets to hold your structures in place and also be your power connectors. You can solder wires onto the edges if you do it fast with low temp solder (if you get them too hot they demagnetize, but with a few practice it's easy) and then the current is carried by the nickel silver coating on the magnet. Simple way to attach the building and do the electrical connection all in one! Even the smallest connectors take up space and are a mess to feed down the hole to get out of the way when putting th structure down. Just make sure to get the shiny coated disc magnets.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200x-Super-Strong-Rare-Earth-Magnet-Neodymium-Disc-D3x1mm-SHO-/261918769124?hash=item3cfb933fe4:g:jpgAAOSwv0tVc-dQ

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

Thanks, I'll bookmark this for future reference.

 

I should point out that the lights look brighter in the photos than they appear to the naked eye; they're all from Tomytec lighting kits running off 6v batteries and if anything look a bit on the dim side. Unfortunately, not being blessed much by the Time Fairy at this juncture, they're a more practical solution than getting fancy with electrical bits, which are a teensy bit outside of my zone of experience at the moment.

 

Anyway, with the exception of more modern office buildings and modern retail establishments you can't usually see very well inside Japanese buildings, especially the kind I have, so I'm not going to worry too much about the interiors, apart from adding curtains/blinds/shoji to hide the insides, though for some I will add appropriate walls/partitions. Main thing is I get simple solutions in place with the time and ready-to-use resources available, I can always come back and revisit at a later date.

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Fair enough. Im trying to get a nice tutorial about how to make these little lighting circuits for some miniature dollhouse folks. hey if those (mostly gals who think a resistor is something you use not to do something) can do it you can! really pretty easy and fast and i think you will enjoy what you can do. controlling lighting levels is even more when you are limiting light with blinds and such. it really can make the buildings and scene pop!

 

soldering really is the only challenge and thats just a little practice and a few simple tools. gobs of youtube videos out there to learn from easily!

 

great thing now is parts are cheap and you can run it with 5v as those transformers are super cheap and you probably have a dozen from cell phones in your drawer!

 

woodland scenics just came out with a system just like this and they want $15 per lighting circuit averaged out, for something that you can make a couple dozen circuits your self for maybe 25 cents per circuit and put them inside your buildings to simplify your writing on the layout immensely by just running power to the structure.

 

cheers

 

jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

Soldering isn't the problem, not so long ago I managed to unsolder a headlight bulb and thingy-which-makes-current-flow-in-one-direction-only from a Kato spare and solder them onto a Tomix board to repair the lighting unit in an older junk train, all just a question of finding the time and mental energy to a) acquire the bits and b) sit down and work out how to put them together, and c) start all over again after the inevitable thinko / whoops-blob-of-solder-on-the-led, so for now the Tomytec packs (which I mainly acquired cheap) will do fine :)

 

Advice much appreciated and I will be sure to come back to it at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Kyle Chen

my little Tomytec world 

post-4901-0-56131400-1486105366_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
JR 500系

Those small little trains are so cute! Charge Q?

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Do the capsule wind up trains run in the inside of n gauge track? Never tried that, bit bumpy on the ties! I've always used the capsule rail (mini plarail basically)

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
medusa

Pug dog trains... :D

Edited by medusa

Share this post


Link to post
gavino200

These buildings are mostly Tomytec. A few are Tomix and Kato. I'm very happy with them all.....except.....when I bought them first I didn't count on our train enterprise going even this far. I put them all together with a decent  amount of superglue. Now I'd really like to put lights in them.

 

gw8MwbJ.jpg

 

Is there any good way of getting the bases back off of these without ruining them? Acetone will dissolve the superglue, but I'm guessing it'll dissolve everything, right. I could try using a sharp knife and working the bases free.

 

Ideally I'd coat the walls to make them lightproof, partition into "rooms", and place different shade/intensity bulbs in some rooms and no lights in others. 

 

If I cant get the bases off, I could enlarge the opening in the base. paint the walls, and black out some windows but not others, so there is an illusion of some lights on, some lights off, when they're lit with a single LED.

 

Has anyone had this issue? Any creative solutions that I haven't thought of?

Edited by gavino200

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

You are a bit stuck as you noted acetone will break superglue will soften eh plastic some an dissolve the paints some. You might try with a syringe and needle to apply small amount of acetone right along the glue seam and see if you can start prying it apart.

 

If you want to enlarge the hole in the base then use a dremel and a cutting bit and you can easily cut the whole area out of the base up to the walls easily. Painting walls or making masks is tough once the building are assembled...

 

White "tulip" tee shirt paint works well. It's very thick and helps block light well and also give you white interior which is much more natural for the look thru the Windows and the light reflection than a black paint interior or bright foil.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
gavino200

You are a bit stuck as you noted acetone will break superglue will soften eh plastic some an dissolve the paints some. You might try with a syringe and needle to apply small amount of acetone right along the glue seam and see if you can start prying it apart.

 

If you want to enlarge the hole in the base then use a dremel and a cutting bit and you can easily cut the whole area out of the base up to the walls easily. Painting walls or making masks is tough once the building are assembled...

 

White "tulip" tee shirt paint works well. It's very thick and helps block light well and also give you white interior which is much more natural for the look thru the Windows and the light reflection than a black paint interior or bright foil.

 

Jeff

 

Yeah, I can't imagine it'll be easy, but I like these buildings. I think they're worth saving. Lighting up our little city is a must. The little dude loves to run the trains in 'blackout' conditions.

 

I guess it'll be a bit like Tomytec arthroscopy :)

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Ha yes of anyone you should be able to paint out and trick out a 6 story tomytec thru the 3/4" hole, that's giant from what you are use to!

 

Get yourself a little endoscope and make some angled paint brushes and you will be right at home!

 

Jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
gavino200

Squid,

 

I a a huge fan of turning down the lights and adding a few more to get rid of the nuclear glow. LEDs are usually run at full blast in most kits and way way way too intense, and thus the light bleed and having the streets lit by light pouring out windows. If you look around at night it has to be a really brightly lit place to throw anything but a bit of soft glow out onto the surrounding darkness. Using more LEDs in a building turned way down gives a more real look than the whole thing glowing. Even walking off one part of the structure so it has no lights makes things feel more real or one bright room and a dim room.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-1K-5K-Potentiometer-Assorted-Variable-Resistor-Resistive-3296-W-DX-/261666671814?var=&hash=item3cec8c8cc6:m:mX9S75Qhik5W-aP04239U4A

 

If you are wiring in resistors the instead wire in a small variable resistor (pot) like a 2k. This will let you turn down the light a lot! You can run an appropriate minimum current limiting resistor in series so that if you turn the pot all the way down the led is still protected. If there is a resistor already in place you can wire a pot in series anywhere in the circuit to dim it down. Using a bit of heavy white tape or just a layer of foil and white paper in the roof and the using smaller smd LEDs (like 1210 that are small but still easy to solder) can help focus the light down into the room and take up little space. You don't want the interior shiny aluminum or black, but white as most interiors are mostly and most lighting is downward or if upward tends to be more reflected. You can also put a little dab of paint on the back and sides of the wired led to insulate it and the back it with a little hunk of aluminum foil and that will block any light leaks.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-100pcs-1210-3528-White-SMD-High-Light-LED-Light-Emitting-Diode-Hot-IS-/271470378249?hash=item3f34e53d09:g:zIcAAOxyhXRTLOov

 

Wrapping wire works great for the LEDs as its about as small as you can get insulated wire (short of magnet wire) and it's tou and very cheap, plus the core is pretinned so it solders super easily.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-0-25mm-Wire-Wrapping-Wire-30AWG-Cable-305m-10-Colors-/131605891841?var=&hash=item1ea4528b01:m:mI1DcUWLI7Gl-ev7nPILg2Q

 

Lastly you might think of using the little disc magnets to hold your structures in place and also be your power connectors. You can solder wires onto the edges if you do it fast with low temp solder (if you get them too hot they demagnetize, but with a few practice it's easy) and then the current is carried by the nickel silver coating on the magnet. Simple way to attach the building and do the electrical connection all in one! Even the smallest connectors take up space and are a mess to feed down the hole to get out of the way when putting th structure down. Just make sure to get the shiny coated disc magnets.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200x-Super-Strong-Rare-Earth-Magnet-Neodymium-Disc-D3x1mm-SHO-/261918769124?hash=item3cfb933fe4:g:jpgAAOSwv0tVc-dQ

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

 

I'd like to try this magnet technique. I'm planning to light my station as my first building lighting project. I've got a few questions, if you wouldn't mind.

 

1. Are you still using this technique. Has it turned out to be as useful as expected. Any unexpected drawbacks?

 

2. What size/make or magnet works best?

 

3. Did you ever try the conductive cement? Or has soldering proven reliable?

 

4. Have you ever made a tread about this, with pictures, etc?

 

5. How do you control your lighting? I think it would be cool to be able to independently control as many lights as possible. What kind of switchboard have you found useful? Can you describe your electrical/wiring setup a bit? Please explain as you would to a five year old :)

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

I have a slightly different system with ribbon cables carrying the power, branching as they spread out from the control box. For connectors, the pin/socket pairs are good. If you glue the connector to the wall of the building and glue the other side into the baseboard standing up, then it could be used to hold the building in place. For control, i use various cheaper on/off switches.

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Yep still using it, not done many lately, but expect maybe on the new club layout as I hope we can get to lighting. I've not glued most all my tomytec buildings together to allow deconstruction later for lighting.

 

The conductive glue works well, but you need to make sure to use the small syringe of glue in one shot as it does not keep well after opening. Soldering works well but you need to be fast about it as if the magnet gets too hot it will loose its dipole.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silver-Conductive-0-2ML-Glue-Wire-Electrically-Paste-Adhesive-Paint-PCB-Repair-/112162689133?hash=item1a1d6ad06d:g:IpkAAOSw8gVX-4LP

 

4 of the 1x3mm work great, even the 1x2 on small structures grip great. These can be found very cheap on ebay

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3mmx1mm-100-200pcs-N50-Strong-Small-Disc-Round-Rare-Earth-Neodymium-Magnets-Hot-/162282798820?var=&hash=item25c8cefee4:m:mf71KTwOLvq-dasEHV73NBA

 

If you don't want to do the power thru the magnets they still work great to secure structures well but make it easy to pull off.

 

JST connectors are small and cheap connectors to use

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Newly-10-Pairs-22AWG-Plug-JST-socket-Connector-Cable-Wire-Line-10cm-Male-Female-/332123912599?hash=item4d5420b997:g:ydQAAOSwa~BYN~Og

 

You can make your own a bit smaller using serial pins (individual serial pins for serial cable connectors) and just wrap them in heat shrink to insulate them. Easy to do but a little work and the serial pins are getting harder to source.

 

Only downside with plugs is they stick out and you need to either snake the connector and estra thru the hole down under the layout or coil it up into the building.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4

Share this post


Link to post
gavino200

 

If you don't want to do the power thru the magnets they still work great to secure structures well but make it easy to pull off.

 

 

 

I definitely want to power through the magnets. I love the simplicity of it. Do you have a preferred supplier?

 

Also, any thoughts on controlling lighting? Computer? Switches? I'd like control, but I'm not sure I want a giant control panel just for lights? Can panel pro or other software help? Btw, are you still using those potentiometers that you mentioned earlier. 

Share this post


Link to post
gavino200

 For control, i use various cheaper on/off switches.

 

Do you end up having a huge switchboard for lighting control? 

Edited by gavino200

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

Do you end up having a huge switchboard for lighting control? 

 

Huge is not the right word. So far the biggest light board for a single station was 4 on/off switches, but the same ribbon cable carries the turnout and signal controls too.

 

The smallest switches i used were 7x7 mm latching tactile switches. They are double pole, double throw, so could also be used for capacitor discharge turnout and signal control and other similar uses. In the space of a single Tomix/Kato switch, you could build a whole control panel with them. (example: http://lomex.hu/hu/webshop/#/search,45-03-17/stype,1 ) They could be mounted on standard raster prototyping printed circuit boards and could have various caps.

 

Other than those mini switches, i also tend to use standard high current through hole metal lever switches. (example: http://lomex.hu/hu/webshop/#/search,45-08-74/stype,1 ) You can buy various on-off, on-on, on-off-on, spring loaded and other variants. For lighting, the single pole on-off variant is enough. Usually you can find smaller and larger ones from this type.

 

Both could be mounted really dense, so a lot of them could fit into a small space. If you really need so many switches is up to you. Most people would be ok to have 2 or 3 groups that are switched together.

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

×