Recent Arrivals

I decided to keep a record of recently bought trains (mostly because I was trying to remember when I’d bought one that I’d removed from the “Reservations” page, and couldn’t). All of these show up on the Collection roster now if they’re trains. I’m also going to list trains bought directly, rather than via a reservation.

Deliveries in May 2014:

Kato “Special Vehicle” (4935-1) - Arrived
Kato has made available a model of the Emperor’s Car for their Nagomi (10-1125) train. The train is used without this car as a charter train, often for diplomatic guests of the government. But the car is added if the Emperor or a member of his household is traveling by train.

Deliveries in April 2014:

Tomix Limited Edition 12-car JR Series E7 Hokuriku Shinkansen (98926) - Arrived
Tomix is selling this as a limited edition full-car train and three sets (basic with motor car and two cabs, three-car add-on and six-car add-on). I’m not sure if there’s any difference (the cost of the limited edition is equal to the sum of the three sets). I’ve only seen one photo of the prototype of this train, so I’m taking a gamble. But I like the paint scheme, and the shape looks good. It’s a lower-speed train and doesn’t have the “duck nose” of the faster modern ones. Like some other Tomix Shinkansen models, it actually contains two motor cars for higher speed running (on in the basic set, one in the six-car add-on).

Deliveries in December 2013

Tomytec Car Collection Basic Set L1 (253068) - 1975 commercial vehicles - Arrived
Despite the title this contains a Shell fuel truck and a small box truck that wouldn’t look out of place on a modern layout, which is why I bought it.

Deliveries in October 2013

Tomytec Toyama Light Rail TLR601 (red) and TLR606 (blue) with Tetsudou Musume wrapping, plus 2 motor units - arrived
This is a part of Tomytec’s Portram shells with the separate motor unit (which is often the hard part to find). The Tetsudou Musume (literally “railway girls” or “railway daughters”) is an advertising wrap based on a popular product line centered around young women in various railway occupations. This is my first Tomytec tram, although I’ve been meaning to get one for a while just to see how they work. The timing of this release coupled with my work on the One Point Five Meter Line layout seemed a natural.

Tomytec Bus Collection Ibaraki Kotsu Girls und Panzer Bus - Scheduled earlier, Arrived October
This is a single bus, in a typical urban bus style with an advertising picture on the side showing the characters of a current Anime series. The bus is compatible with the BM-02 motor for the Moving Bus System (not included, and I don’t have one; at least initially this will be a static model at a bus stop somewhere).

Deliveries in August 2013

Tomytec Bus Collection 18 (251224) - Arrived, due July delayed to August
This is a set of twelve bus models, six of which are of prototypes operating in the greater Tōkyō metropolitan area.

Deliveries in July 2013

Tomytec Building Collection 010-2 Shinto Temple - Arrived
This is a pre-painted kit model of a Shinto Temple with several buildings and a base.

Water Bus Himiko, (Fujimi 910062) - Arrived
A model of Water Bus Himiko, a very distinctive tour boat / water shuttle that works on the lower Sumida River is on order. This is nearly a foot long, so it may really be too large a model for my river, but I thought I’d get it anyway. Even if it doesn’t fit the current layout, perhaps someday I’ll have an around-the-wall layout with more room for a realistically-sized river. This is a kit, with a lot of assembly and painting required, but it looks like it would be worth the effort. The model also includes a few structures to make a model of Sensōji Temple (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple), a Buddhist temple in the Asakusa section of Tōkyō.

Deliveries in June 2013

The All Japan Bus Collection Tokyu Bus (JB005) - Qty 2 - Delayed, Arrived late June
This is a bus used for airport and late-night express and commuter services. It will look more at home on my highway than at a city bus stop, but should provide an interesting variation.

Deliveries in May 2013

Kato Roundhouse Yamanote Line “Green Wrapping” E231-500 (11 cars, set 10-933) - Arrived
This is a model of the standard Yamanote Line E231 done in a green color scheme reminiscent of the JNR-era 103 Series trains used on the Yamanote line prior to the 1985 introduction of the 205 series. A real E231 on the line was wrapped in green in January 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the long-lived 103 series (introduced in 1963 and still in use on some lines in Japan). It was also in 1963 that this shade of green started being used to designate this line. It is expected to remain in this color through December. As a fan of the E231, and particularly the Yamanote version of it, I couldn’t pass this up.

Micro-Ace Series E926 East-i Shinkansen Inspection Train (A8470) - Arrived
This is the JR East inspection train used on standard-gauge lines. It’s based on the E3 mini-Shinkansen so it can inspect the converted narrow-gauge lines used by mini-Shinkansen, as well as the major routes. It’s a companion to the E491 East-i E narrow gauge inspection train I already have (also by Micro Ace). I wasn’t really planning to get trains three months in a row, but there’s no way I’m passing this one up.

Deliveries in March 2013

Tomix Series E1 (Shuku Toki no Hina Tanjo) (Basic 6-Car Set) (98903)
J.R. Series E1 Joetsu Shinkansen `Max` (New Color) (Add-On 6-Car Set) (92835) - Arrived
This is, unless I’m misreading it, a new basic train set with the addition of the special logo used on the “farewell” train(s) before service was discontinued, coupled with a reissue of the expansion set they issued last year. The result is a 12-car train with two motors. This is my first Tomix Shinkansen, and it will likely be an interesting learning experience. I’ve been wanting an E1 for a long time, but for various reasons I didn’t get the Tomix E1 when it was released last spring. Now I’m going to rectify that error.

Tomytec Bus Collection Toei Transportation (JB001) - Four Individual Buses - Arrived
This is the Toei version of the Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star bus that is a common sight in Tōkyō. This is a body only, but it is compatible with the BM-01 motor for the Moving Bus System. I need a number of these as static models at bus stops and in similar places (I already have three bought with the Moving Bus Systems a couple of years ago).

Deliveries in February 2013

Tokyo Metro Series 02 Marunouchi Line (6-Car Set) (10-1126) - Qty 2 - Arrived
This is the other third-rail subway line (I already have one train from the first, which Kato released last year). It’s particularly important, since the Marunouchi line is the one that crosses the Kanda river at Ochanomizu station, the inspiration for my Riverside Station line. Like the previous one, it’s probably not compatible with the EM13 DCC motor decoder, but will support the Cab light decoders (update: marked for support for the cab decoders but is clearly not capable of holding the motor decoder). And it supports the v2 interior lighting kits, which I’ll be sure to install.

Deliveries in December 2012

Kato E655 Nagomi Joyful Train (10-1123) - Arrived
This is the five-car version of the six-car dual-voltage EMU known as the Emperor’s Train. With the sixth car it would be use by the Emperor (or his immediate family) for travel, although the current Emperor more commonly uses a Shinkansen if he travels by train at all. Without that sixth car, it’s used for entertaining state visitors, or chartered for business use as a “Joyful Train”. Apparently there’s some reason not to reproduce the Imperial train (I don’t think there were models of the old loco-hauled version until it was no longer in use). When not in use, the train is kept at Oku Depot in Tōkyō, which makes it fair game under my “old Tōkyō trains” rule (not that I haven’t violated that in the past). Particularly cool about this train is the iridescent paint finish.

Deliveries in August 2012

Kato 10-1114, 1115, 1116 E233-3000 Tōkaidō Line Commuter Train (10+5 Car Set) - Arrived
This is the commuter version of the E233, one of the few modern Tokyo-area trains I don’t have a model of. The model is described as supporting the new-style interior “version 2” LED lights, and is also “DCC Friendly” (supports Kato’s decoders), but as usual that isn’t mentioned. The model represents the “late production” series that was delivered after 2011 with minor changes (most visibly the pantograph is on a different car) for use out of the Tamachi depot as a replacement for the 211 series trains.

Deliveries in January 2012

Kato Unitrack Grade Crossing (20-652/653/654) - Arrived
Kato finally announced this for January. This is an update of their older grade crossing, with four working gates (in Japanese style, yellow/black) and sound. Unlike the older ones, this uses IR sensors and is DCC-compatible. I’ve reserved one with a expansion set to make it a double-track crossing (and some of the cable extensions as well, which apparently differ from those used in the older set).

Deliveries in December 2011

Placed an order for a bunch of miscellaneous small stuff, but included a set of street lights I wanted to check out (Kobaru MA-11WL Street light LED Set) and a Japanese-spec traffic light (Sakatsu Gallery 2601 Shining! Traffic Signal B), which is pricy but looks like something I could use to spice up the village area, where I’m starting to plan the final building/street arrangement. The latter went “sold out” after my order was confirmed, so it looks like I got the last one. There’s an “A” version I didn’t order still in stock, which has high-visibility stripes on the light surround, a detail I haven’t seen in images from Tōkyō. Note: the Kobaru lights look a lot like some I’ve seen on side streets for lights placed where utility-pole ones didn’t reach, like alleyways and parking areas. - Arrived, note that the traffic light set is only two poles, which both show the same color, and there’s no provision to sync with a second pair to make a full intersection. I have some ideas for future exploration related to that, but for now it’s a bit suboptimal.

Greenmax 4217, 4218, 4219 Tōkyō Metro Tozai Line Series 05 (10 car set) - changed from “after Nov” to “early Dec” - Arrived
And yet another Tōzai line train has been announced for the fall, this one the fairly modern Series 05 (the text says “05” but the photos are of the newer “05N” design and the translated text on HSs website called it the “System 05 13 Next car”), apparently of the type introduced in 2004. As with the E231-800, this set is used for run-through service between JR’s Chūō-Sōbu line and the Tōkyō Metro Tōzai line. I’d love to have two of these, but given Greenmax’s prices, there’s just no way. There’s a typo on the Hobby Search page: the basic set is a 4-car set, not six cars as described. You can see this on the diagram they published, but it also had to be the case as the prototype was ten cars long, not twelve.

Reservations for delivery December 2011

Kato 10-866, 10-867 Tokyo Metro Yurakucho/Fukutoshin Line Series 10000 (6+4 sets) - arrived
This is Kato’s version of the train Greenmax produced last year, at a significantly smaller cost. Kato’s model is of the standard 10-car version rather than the 8-car variant (Greenmax produces both versions). It appears to have pre-attached signage and a flywheel drive (the later implies it’s also DCC-ready, but they don’t actually say). It may not be compatible with Kato’s standard interior lighting (there’s an odd comment in the translated Japanese description, and there have been indications Kato is planning a modified light set for their subway trains, which often have narrower and lower bodies than commuter trains). It is compatible with the new “version 2” lighting kits, as described on my Kato Car Lighting page.

Reservations for delivery November 2011

MicroAce A8460/A8461 Tōkyō Metro Tozai E231-800 Basic 6-car set and 4-car add-on set - overdue, date changed to “Mid December” - arrived
I’ve wanted an E231-800 since I first found out they existed. This is the version of the E231 built with a slightly narrower body (2.8m vs 2.95m) and end-door emergency exist for run-through service between JR’s Chūō-Sōbu line and the Tōkyō Metro Tōzai line.

Deliveries in October 2011

Greenmax 4210 Tōkyū Series 6000 6-car train - arrived
- rescheduled to “after September” in June and to “October” in late August (website says “Mid-October”)
This is a model of the train introduced in 2008 on the Tōkyū Ōimachi line for express service.

Kato 10-862/10-863 JR East Keiyō Line E233-5000 10-car train (6-car basic set plus 4-car add-on) - arrived
This is a model of the E233-5000 version introduced in 2010 on the Keiyō line, although Kato hasn’t posted photos yet, this is probably striped in the cherry red color emblematic of the line. From the description this appears to be a powered 6-car set and an unpowered four-car set (the price seems to low for it to also be powered) that can be coupled to it. The train is described as being equipped with flywheels, which means it’s one of their “DCC Friendly” models that take Kato’s specialized DCC decoders. As usual, Kato doesn’t note this anywhere in the description.

DDF Car Collection (Qty 2) - Ordered October 2010. Rescheduled from Nov 2010 to Dec 2010 (and way overdue) - Finally received Oct 2011
This is a set of 100 cheaply made generic modern automobiles (they do have windows, but the wheels don’t move), suitable for background use. I ordered two sets, which is probably much more than I can use on the current layout, but I’ll have them for future expansion.

Toden Arakawa 7000 (not a reservation) - Received
Ordered one of these along with a bunch of scenery and other items for the Urban Tram layout. Realized later that this was the earlier (c. 2005) model and that Modemo has a second one in very similar paint made in 2010 that represents the 2009 paint scheme. I’ll probably order one of those soon.

Deliveries in September 2011

Kato 10-864 Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line Series 01 6-car train (Qty 2): release moved to “late Sep” - Received
This is a model of the current Ginza line train, first introduced in 1984. These are due to be phased out beginning in 2012. Although most of the Tōkyō Metro is narrow gauge (1067mm) using overhead power, the Ginza is one of two lines with Standard gauge (1435mm) track and third-rail power, more like conventional western subways. It was also the first subway in Asia, which began operation in 1927. And this appears to be Kato’s first model of a subway train. I’m getting two of these trains so I can run them on both tracks of the subway as the default train there.

Greenmax JR West 125 Series EMU (4165 Motor Car and 4166 Trailer) - Received
This is pretty far outside my usual modeling scope since it’s not used anywhere near Tōkyō, but the appearance is striking and I’ve been looking for a two-car EMU I could use on my Urban Tram layout. Since that’s not tied to any specific prototype, using this won’t be a problem. These cars apparently operate alone, as well as in sets of up to five cars.

Deliveries in August 2011

Kawai HoKi 10000 Coal Cars (2 sets of 10 cars each) - Received
These cars are used in Japan’s last remaining mainline coal train, that runs from a dock in Tōkyō to a cement plant inland. Pulled by an EF65 most of the way, this will make for an interesting freight.

Tomytec Bus Collection, Basukore Travel System Basic A Set (Qty 2) - Received
(Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation)
This is Tomytec’s self-propelled bus, somewhat similar to the Faller system except that it uses disposable batteries rather than rechargeable ones and has two speeds that can be controlled by magnets under the street.
I already have two of these, but I’ve ordered two more for the Urban Tram Layout.

Deliveries in June 2011

Tomytec The Car Collection, Vol. 14 (Qty 2) - arrived
Tomytec’s collections of vehicles are a good way to get fairly highly detailed cars (and sometimes trucks) at a relatively low cost. You typically get 24 vehicles for about US$70 (many are duplicates, however, and for some reason a lot of them are police cars and ambulances, which aren’t the most useful thing to have a lot of). Each set typically has about four different models in several colors each, for 12-16 variations.

Tomytec Bus Collection - Two-car Set Toei Bus A (Qty 4) - arrived
This is an “anniversary” set of one old-style bus (from the year Tomytec was founded?) and one very modern Compressed Natural Gas version of the typical “7E” modern Tōkyō bus. I need more Tōkyō buses badly, and this will provide some variation (I may use one of the old ones somewhere if I can come up with an excuse, but I’m really buying this for the new one, as most people probably will). It appears from the translated description that the new bus shell fits the power unit of the “Basukore” powered bus system.

Kato 10-177 Series 251 Super View Odoriko Basic Set (original color) - arrived
One of these turned up on Hobby Search, so I ordered it. It’s always a bit of a gamble that someone else doesn’t put in an order at the same time and get it (it went out-of-stock by the time my order was complete, which probably means I got it, but might not). Unfortunately the four-car expansion set has been sold out for years, but perhaps I’ll turn one up.

Kato 3037-1 EH500 3rd Edition - arrived
A heavy-duty (4,000 kW, 5,364 hp), 110 kph (68 mph), dual-mode (AC/DC) electric freight locomotive, cousin to the EH200 DC loco I already have. These handle freights, mostly container trains, north out of Tōkyō to Hokkaidō on the Tōhoku Main Line. Most of the locos delivered were the “3rd Edition” design (64 of 73 as of 2010).

Deliveries in April/May 2011

(originally scheduled for March)

Kato 28-146 Roundhouse Detail Parts - Green Insulator for EF510-500 (due June, arrived May)
The EF510-500 used for the Hokutosei passenger train was issued with white rooftop insulators, which were prototypical for the as-delivered appearance. However, JR applied a grease to them which turned them green. This set replaces the models white insulators with green ones for a more prototypical appearance.

Micro Ace A2270 Hana 485 Series Joyful Train - arrived
Micro Ace A2271 Yamanami 485 Series Joyful Train - arrived
Micro Ace A2272 Seseragi 485 Series Joyful Train - arrived

A “Joyful Train” is a trainset designed for charter use, often reserved for corporate trips. These three sets were in use by JR East in the 2000 - 2010 period, although Seseragi is being rebuilt into a new Resort Yamadori train. These are all built from converted 485 series rolling stock, electric trains that can operate on both 1,500 V DC and 20,000 V AC (the latter at either 50 or 60 Hz), making them compatible with nearly all of the electrified narrow-gauge tracks in Japan, except for some tram/subway lines and the standard-gauge Shinkansen lines (which use 25,000 V AC). Originally announced for March, rescheduled to May.

Kato 10-306JR Series 14-700 Super Express Rainbow Passenger Train - arrived
This is a locomotive-hauled passenger train used for charters and other special uses from 1987 to 2000.

Reservations for delivery March 2011

Tomytec Bus Collection, Basukore Travel System Basic A Set (Qty 2) - arrived April
(Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation)
This is Tomytec’s self-propelled bus, somewhat similar to the Faller system except that it uses disposable batteries rather than rechargeable ones and has two speeds that can be controlled by magnets under the street. Each set comes with one bus stop, some street segments, and two one propulsion unit, along with two body shells, one of a Tokyo bus, and the other unpainted. The motor unit can also be used with appropriate “non-step” busses from their Bus Collection vol. 5, 7 and 9. The set includes two radius of curves to mave an asymmetric oval, and the instructions note that with two sets you can make a two-lane road.

Kato Series E5 Shinkansen (basic set and both expansions, 10-857, 10-858, 10-859) - arrived April
This is JR East’s newest Bullet Train, operating north out of Tōkyō starting in March. The set is being released to coincide with the start of service. The three sets provide cars for one standard 10-car train. The E5 will eventually be used with the E6 mini-Shinkansen, and Kato apparently plans to allow the two to be coupled if I’m reading the notes correctly. However, an E6 model has not yet been announced. The set is “DCC Friendly” (compatible with Kato’s decoders), although none of the online descriptions note that.

Kato 20-874 V15 Double-track Station-yard Set (Qty 2) - arrived April
This is a set of track that divides Kato’s usual concrete-tie double-track to go around a square-ended station platform. In the past the only way to do this was to use a R482 reverse curve and the curve-ended platform section (for the older platforms) that was intended for use with #4 switches. This set allows the square-ended new-style (tiled) platforms to be used. Because the parts aren’t sold separately, and my track layout is asymmetric (track on one end enters to the left of the platform, at the other it exits to the right) meaning I need two of the same kind of end, I have to buy two sets to use this with my Urban Station’s Express Line platform.

Deliveries in February 2011

Tomytec Car Collection Vol. 13 (Qty 2) - Arrived
I can always use more cars, and this one includes the flatbed trucks so commonly used for delivery and as general utility vehicles. No industrial area would be complete without a number of these.

Kato E259 Narita Express (10-847, 10-848) - Arrived
This is the second train set of the new version of the Narita Express. When combined with the original 10-821 six-car train it provides the 6+6 train typically seen in Tōkyō. I’d wanted to order one of these back in November, but the reservation had closed by then, and it was sold out for a time after being released in January.

Micro Ace A8570 Shiki 600 Schnabel Car Set - Arrived
A Schnabel car is a specialized car used for transporting very large and heavy objects, typically electrical transformers or large boilers. The “car” is really two half-cars, and the object being carried is clamped between them forming the connection, often with the bottom just inches above the rails. This set consists of two YO 8000 cabooses (with switchable tail lights on both ends) and the two end-units of the Schnabel car, plus a transformer to clamp between them.

Deliveries in January 2011

Kato 10-843/844/845/846 Series E217 Yokosuka Line & Sōbu Line (New Color) - Arrived
This is a the train used on the Sōbu Rapid line (east from Tōkyō) for suburban commuters, and also on the Yokosuka line south of Tōkyō Station. The four sets provide a complete 11+4 train set. The “Aid Formation” four-car set would appear from the price to be separately motorized (that’s typical of most of Kato’s 10+5 sets also, both trains have motor cars and could be run separately, although coupling/uncoupling requires a “five-fingered crane” to do). I already have Chūō Rapid (orange stripe E233) and Chūō-Sōbu local (yellow stripe E231) trains, so this completes my set of current Chūō and Sōbu line commuter trains. There are some nice pictures on this Japanese-language blog posting.

Kato 3033 EF65 JRF Color - Arrived
JNR built the 3,420 hp EF65 from 1965 to 1979. As of 2009 JRF continued to operate 79 of them, including some from the original series. Three versions were made, the EF65-0, EF65-500 (specific Freight and Passenger variants) and EF65-1000 (distinguished by an end door between the two windshields). The model comes with numbers for either the original or 500 series.

Kato 3047-3 EF66 First Version - Arrived
JNR originally built the 5,230 hp EF66 in 1966. JRF added a second series (EF66-100) in 1989 when they needed more locomotives. This is a representation of the earlier series, and of one of the first 20 of that series, which lacked “eaves” above the windshield. As of 2009, JRF still rostered 63 of these, including many of the original series.

Deliveries in December 2010

Micro Ace Sōbu E231-0 A4012, A4013 (10-car set) - arrived
I decided I wanted a second one of these before they inevitably sell out.

Kato Narita Express E259 (6-car set, original, 10-821) - arrived
This has been wait listed for some time, but recently popped back up for ordering on HS. I ordered it, and it’s back on waiting list status (I guess they found one in the back of the room or something; that happens surprisingly often). Kato also has a second version, sold as two 3-car sets, 10-847 & 10-848, due in January 2011, but the reservation for those is sold out (hopefully there will be some in stock come January). One reason I wanted to get this is that the two trains have different numbers pre-printed on them, so to represent a prototypical 6+6 consist, you need to have both trains, not two of the same.

Deliveries in November 2010

Kato 10-831, 10-832 - arrived
Series 24 Express Train with Sleeping Berths `Hokutosei` Deluxe Organization (Basic 6-Car Set) (Model Train)
Series 24 Express Train with Sleeping Berths `Hokutosei` Deluxe Organization (Add-On 6-Car Set) (Model Train)

These two sets represent the post-2008 version of the 12-car Hokutosei overnight sleeper train that runs from Tōkyō to the northern island of Hokkaido. I already have the EF510-500 locomotive now used at the Tōkyō end of the run.

Micro Ace A0750
Nankai Electric Railway Series 50000 Limited Express `Rapit` (6-Car Set) (Model Train) - arrived

This has nothing to do with Tōkyō. The “Rapi:t” (note the spelling) is a limited express airport shuttle that runs from Osaka to Kansai International Airport, in the western region of Japan. But the train looks like something out of a Jules Verne novel, and I couldn’t pass it up. I’m glad I did, as the advance reservation filled up within weeks of its opening in June, and the model will likely be sold out.

Modemo NT96 Setagaya 300 Series “Cherry Red” tram
Yet another of the Setagaya line articulated two-car trams. Considering that my tram line is about six feet long and at best can hold two of these, I’m a bit overstocked with trams. I am officially addicted.

Micro Ace A0586 189 Nikkō-Go Train - arrived
This is a sister train to the 485 Nikkō/Kinugawa (of which I now have the Kato model). Both are JR East trains used on service from Tōkyō to the Tōbu Railway’s Nikkō line, serving the resort area of the same name.

Unexpectedly, the 189 turned out to be a reservation for this October (which I made in early November and which shipped just before the Thanksgiving holiday). I’d thought it was a really early reservation for October of 2011.

Kato/Roundhouse 10-918 Nikkō/Kinugawa 485 - arrived
This is a train that operates from Shinjuku to resort areas north of Tokyo.