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Earwicker

New Japanese layout

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My wife and I recently traveled to Japan and rode the rails on a JR pass. While there I absolutely fell in love with the Japanese rail scene and also saw its immense potential for a layout. I also bought some locos and rolling stock (at Poppondetta at Shinjuku Station and also in the Aeon Mall at Kyoto near the station there: both awesome stores who didn't seem to mind my complete lack of Japanese!). So I have decided to build a layout and I've begun planning for it. It will be n scale and set in a somewhat fictitious spot on the coast of central Japan south of Tokyo. My two most recent layouts are here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/118161-apple-springs-canyon/&do=findComment&comment=2547730 and http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/94537-ho-layout-canyon-diablo/#entry1733527 so this is obviously going to be something quite different. I'm hoping to build something that is self-contained and has a bit of scope for artistic expression. More to come!

Edited by Earwicker
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I occasionally watch the Japanese but English-language, NHK channel on FreeSat, which has a monthly railway programme, Japan Railway Journal, showing the current and preserved scene. You may find that an additional source of info and inspiration. It is rarely less than fascinating.

 

The next programme appears to be aired this Thurs and Fri. See https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/japanrailway/

 

 

EDIT - having read through the schedule, it seems to be twice a month, not monthly as stated, so I have missed a few! But old episodes can be streamed.

Edited by Mike Storey
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I like a bit of Japanese action. Looking at your other thread, you have a nice selection of stock there (a class 185 EMU and what looks to be an EF81 electric). I look forward to seeing this develop.

 

Another vote for Japan Railway Journal.

Edited by Claude_Dreyfus
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My wife and I recently traveled to Japan and rode the rails on a JR pass. While there I absolutely fell in love with the Japanese rail scene and also saw its immense potential for a layout. I also bought some locos and rolling stock (at Poppondetta at Shinjuku Station and also in the Aeon Mall at Kyoto near the station there: both awesome stores who didn't seem to mind my complete lack of Japanese!). So I have decided to build a layout and I've begun planning for it. It will be n scale and set in a somewhat fictitious spot on the coast of central Japan south of Tokyo. My two most recent layouts are here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/118161-apple-springs-canyon/&do=findComment&comment=2547730 and http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/94537-ho-layout-canyon-diablo/#entry1733527 so this is obviously going to be something quite different. I'm hoping to build something that is self-contained and has a bit of scope for artistic expression. More to come!

 

Mrs bubbles and myself spent a couple of weeks in Japan in November visiting our son Luke who is working in Kyoto, we found it a lovely country with the Japanese people being both helpful and extremely respectful a great country to visit and model. I have put many of our railway related pictures on my Flickr stream, see below, many more still to add.

 

Looking forward to up dates  Earwicker.

Edited by bubbles2
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I occasionally watch the Japanese but English-language, NHK channel on FreeSat, which has a monthly railway programme, Japan Railway Journal, showing the current and preserved scene. You may find that an additional source of info and inspiration. It is rarely less than fascinating.

 

Thanks, I've watched a few episodes on Youtube. It's great. One of the striking things about Japan for me was how prevalent rail is in Japanese culture.

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Mrs bubbles and myself spent a couple of weeks in Japan in November visiting our son Luke who is working in Kyoto, we found it a lovely country with the Japanese people being both helpful and extremely respectful a great country to visit and model. I have put many of our railway related pictures on my Flickr stream, see below, many more still to add.

 

Looking forward to up dates  Earwicker.

 

Great pictures. Are a number of those from the Kyoto museum? We visited Kyoto but for some reason never made it to the museum. 

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Japan is the only country I've ever visited where I'd rate the railway system as being really better than ours, it makes all others I've used feel very ordinary. They have some wonderful trains, from very prosaic suburban trains through to some outlandish limited express type stock. And of course there are the shinkansen trains. And it is all very modellable, the quality of Japanese models is superb, with a huge range of models (primarily N but with increasing availability of Japanese HO). Terrific country to visit too with some lovely country, great food and nice people. And very safe.

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Great pictures. Are a number of those from the Kyoto museum? We visited Kyoto but for some reason never made it to the museum. 

 

Thank's Earwicker. Yes some are Kyoto museum, we visited there twice we also went to the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Nagoya, click on the pictures for description and locations.

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I've never been to Japan but I really went for an N gauge setup in recent years after firstly seeing an N gauge layout at an Edinburgh show some years ago and then watching it all on YouTube.(nothing moves without being filmed it seems!)

I think it's the best set up I've ever owned.Its only assembled when I'm using it,the rest of the tie it's kept in its boxes.

There is a world wide Group of modellers on the internet who go under Jns forum and they cover all aspects of Japanese railways

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?..the quality of Japanese models is superb, with a huge range of models (primarily N but with increasing availability of Japanese HO)...

There's always been a lot of Japanese HO models in 1/80th and 1/87th scale available. Apart from Tenshodo RTR brass you also had similar RTR products from manufacturers like Endo, Imon, KTM, Toby & Miyazawa, plastic/diecast models from Kato, MicroAce and Tomix, and kits from Adachi, EchoModel, Endo, HobbyModel, Modemo, World Kogei and others. But until the internet became commonplace not much of it was seen or sold outside of Japan.

 

Not only has online shopping made buying Japanese models easy, there have been many additions to existing ranges, and new manufacturers have entered the market. Kato, MA and Tomix have all added new models to their range as well as reissuing older items. New entrants such as Aclass, Dentetsu Workshop, Neko Publishing, and Tramway offer both RTR and kits. Even Bachmann have made models for the Japanese market through their affiliate Kairyu.

 

For anyone thinking of modelling the late Showa/transition era of the JNR in HO, now is a great time to get started.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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There's always been a lot of Japanese HO models in 1/80th and 1/87th scale available. Apart from Tenshodo RTR brass you also had similar RTR products from manufacturers like Endo, Imon, KTM, Toby & Miyazawa, plastic/diecast models from Kato, MicroAce and Tomix, and kits from Adachi, EchoModel, Endo, HobbyModel, Modemo, World Kogei and others. But until the internet became commonplace not much of it was seen or sold outside of Japan.

 

Not only has online shopping made buying Japanese models easy, there have been many additions to existing ranges, and new manufacturers have entered the market. Kato, MA and Tomix have all added new models to their range as well as reissuing older items. New entrants such as Aclass, Dentetsu Workshop, Neko Publishing, and Tramway offer both RTR and kits. Even Bachmann have made models for the Japanese market through their affiliate Kairyu.

 

For anyone thinking of modelling the late Showa/transition era of the JNR in HO, now is a great time to get started.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

Hi Mark, I know next to nothing about the Japanese model rail scene at this stage (other than I find it appealing) but the HO stuff seemed very expensive (but very nice). We went to a number of stores and the gap in pricing between HO and N seemed completely out of step with prices in NZ and the US. I've settled on N, though HO has been my preferred scale for a few years now (I did build a large US layout with Kato N scale gear about 6 years ago). N suits the space and intentions I currently have. More on this soon once I get my thoughts in order.

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Whatever you choose to do I'll be interested, regardless of scale. As mentioned, there's a huge range of J-trains, structures, vehicles and accessories available in N scale, so you shouldn't have much difficulty finding something that appeals to you.

 

If I was starting out modelling now, and wanted to model a big chunk of railway with an emphasis on running lots of trains, I'd definitely be working in N scale. Likewise if my main interest was the colourful trains of the modern/contemporary railway scene, or the Shinkansen network.

 

But HO is what I'm used to, and I prefer to model a small portion of a railway in obsessive detail, and focus on the operations of a single location. HO lends itself well to that style of modelling. I'm also interested in the so-called transition era, which was just as interesting in Japan as it was in the US, though much later. It's a time when there was a fascinating mix of steam, diesel, electric locos, and old and new multiple units. There was also carload freight, interchange with private railways, and brake/guards vans on freight trains.

 

As for cost, I don't personally regard Japanese HO as expensive, but then again I didn't plan on having a huge fleet either*. I've found that the price of Japanese models compare favourably with models of Australian prototype, and the quality is always as good if not better.

 

Anway, welcome to the Japanese modelling fraternity, and good luck with your new project!

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

* I didn't plan on having a big collection of Japanese trains, but various manufacturers insist on producing models that I just can't resist... :)

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Hi all, I've made a little progress in the past couple of weeks. First up, I freed up the space in the hobby room by selling the previous layout. I've also been making preliminary plans. I did a mock up of the dimensions of the layout to give me an idea of the space I have, but more importantly, to establish whether the layout will make it down the hallway when I want to move it. The whole layout will be on castors. You can sort of see the track plan: it is intentionally very simple because I want to concentrate on scenery and also keep it manageable. The setting is vaguely based on the Gono Line between Fukaura and Todoroki station, so it will involve a rocky foreshore, a single line of track and some small simple buildings. Next up is buying the timber for the benchwork which will probably be a few weeks at the earliest.

 

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Excellent choice of location! And depending on which era you model you'll have an wide choice of interesting trains to run.

 
Incidentally, I've always thought the station and yard at Fukaura looked remarkably like something designed by a railway modeller. Talk about compact! And with so many features in a small space, and the hillside right behind it as a natural backdrop - almost too good to be true.
 
Some nice steam era photos here:
 
 
 
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All the best,
 
Mark.
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Excellent choice of location! And depending on which era you model you'll have an wide choice of interesting trains to run.

 
Incidentally, I've always thought the station and yard at Fukaura looked remarkably like something designed by a railway modeller. Talk about compact! And with so many features in a small space, and the hillside right behind it as a natural backdrop - almost too good to be true.

 

That is incredible and would make an ideal layout. One of the big appeals of Japan to me is the relatively compactness of some aspects of the prototype; that's an excellent example! Since I'm really only dipping my toes with this layout I'll be aiming for the flavour of the place only, rather than prototypical accuracy. But we'll see if the bug bites. 

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That is incredible and would make an ideal layout. One of the big appeals of Japan to me is the relatively compactness of some aspects of the prototype; that's an excellent example! Since I'm really only dipping my toes with this layout I'll be aiming for the flavour of the place only, rather than prototypical accuracy. But we'll see if the bug bites.

 

Don't worry the bug will surely bite you, I started off by wanting to do a contemporary model of the Keihan Keishin after staying in Otsu for 5 days during our first trip in 2015, since then I have expanded into JRF and JR Tokai (Central) as well as colecting more of the Keihan Keishin stock dating back into the 1980's. Make sure you take a spare suitcase with you on your next trip there as I can guarantee that you will definitely be going back there and will buy a ton of stuff, trust me I know because that's what I did. Japanese N Scale and visiting Japan are both highly addictive, we have been there twice now the first trip for 3 weeks and the second trip last year for 4 weeks. My wife and I will be going back there in the future but will wait until our kids have finished high school, we have done the family trip there twice with the kids but next time it will be just us doing whatever we please. Edited by David Stannard

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dullsteamer's photos are so interesting and require further study. I understand  why you want to model scenes like these.

 

bubbles2 and others, Kyoto I really want to visit there and my son wants to make a pilgrimage to Kyoto Animation, which has a railway line almost outside the head office. Models of the trains used are around I believe.

 

N or HO is the next choice. Can you get a model of a Shinto Shrine in HO?

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i'd love to go see Akihabara one day

 

Shops selling model railway stuff, too many shops selling anime goods, maid cafes ...

 

Why do you want to go again? :angel:  I think I would pass out from shock. :O 

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N or HO is the next choice. Can you get a model of a Shinto Shrine in HO?

Not that I'm aware of. Sankei produce a couple of small Buddhist shrines in HO, but if you want a model of a Shinto shrine you have to go with N scale.

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/search?typ1_c=117&cat=train&state=&sold=0&sortid=0&searchkey=Shrines

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/search?typ1_c=104&cat=rail&state=&sold=0&sortid=0&searchkey=Shrine

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Edited by dullsteamer

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I'm back! I didn't forget about this, rather I had a whole bunch of things to deal with during our winter. My plan is to tackle this in the next six months during my leave from university teaching. I have done a bit of background planning on the materials I will need and when I get a bit of time I will take a trip to Bunnings (the big hardware chain in this part of the globe) and grab what I need. I'll also be getting enough for two American outline HO freemo modules I'll also be building, because I've decided to join in the group that runs here. Really looking forward to getting back into rail modelling because it's been about a year since I last did any. :)

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Ten months later, progress is happening. Today I picked up the timber and installed it in the hobby room. Construction of the base board/frame will happen in the workshop. Bonus Star Wars build also.

 

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Stay tuned for more!

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So I'm doing a little planning. The layout will be 2200 by 600 (the max size that will fit in the hobby room and safely make it out) and have an attached lighting rig. It will be all one piece (no setting up, rail and wiring joins etc.) and sat on castors so it can easily be moved around. This is likely to go to only one yearly show so it only needs to portable enough to fit in a covered trailer on the back of the car to take the short trip to the venue. The rest of the time it will be a piece of furniture in our house. I'm still thinking about the ideal height of the track and the lighting rig (which will hang out over the layout gantry style and have a fascia on the front). Probably quite a high track height for comfortable viewing for me. Still deciding whether it will be a single or double track line.

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