Detailing A Viaduct Station I

After a fairly long break, I’m working on a model railroad again. I’ve returned to work on the One Point Five Meter Line, my compact (1’ x 5’, or 30 cm x 150 cm) light-rail line layout for displaying my structure models. See that page for the track plan. See my Display Layout link for other musings about this layout. See my Urban Station page for a detailed construction log for this building.

The first order of business is to get the track down, but to do that, I need to install the station at the “urban” end of the layout that supports the track on a Viaduct. This is a Kato Viaduct Station Entrance building with one of the associated “shops” buildings, supporting two lengths of Viaduct Platform 248 mm (9 3/4”) each in length. While you can buy a large set for this (23-125) it has parts I don’t need, so instead I’m using two smaller sets (set 23-230, the Viaduct Station Entrance, and set 23-231, the Viaduct Station Shops).

These are pre-assembled structures, but I want to detail them, which includes adding lighting, interior details Kato omitted, and paint. I also need to modify them so I can run wires through them up to the track, as well as to the underside of the viaduct they support.

Central Station I - Design

After initially thinking I’d build my own viaduct for the One Point Five Meter Line’s urban station, I’ve decided instead to use Kato’s Viaduct Station Entrance building (I had a spare one), possibly supplemented by one of the Station Shops buildings, as seen above. This will be fine even though I’m using Tomix track and station platforms, since the viaduct station simply creates a flat base for track, and isn’t specific to Kato’s track. The height would be, but I’m not connecting it to Tomix viaduct track, so that doesn’t matter.

Apartment Building Complete

It’s taken quite a bit longer than I expected when I started, but the first Kato Apartment Building is done. This really wasn’t as hard as it sometimes seemed. I probably spent the most time trying to decide what photos would go on the inside. I had the building painted and the interior wall units assembled in late March, then I got distracted by other things. Finally, after doing up most of the Bike Shop work, I decided it was time to start putting the Apartment Buildings together. The other one is less complete, and will likely be procrastinated over for a few more weeks while I work on other things, but getting this one done felt like quite the accomplishment.

Bike Shop II and May 2012 Status

The nice thing about the “Bike Shop” is that it’s a small model, and hence fairly quick work (by my standards a month really is quick). I’d written about this model a couple of weeks ago. At that point I’d finished the structural work, and given it several coats of paint from spray cans, providing a solid flat black layer to make it light-tight, and then a white interior layer for reflectivity, followed by a colored outer coat to give the “stone” a concrete look. Read More...

Customizing Buildings III

I haven’t been making a lot of progress this week, but I thought I’d post a couple of photos and talk a little about what I’m doing. As usual, larger versions of these photos are available in the Village Photos photo album.

I’d mentioned last time my intent to use photographs for interior detail. This uses the same approach I use for sign-making: reduce images found online to scale size, print them on a 4x6 sheet of glossy photo paper on my inkjet, and glue them to a styrene backing. For the flooring I found some patterns for tatami mats, and assembled room floors by tiling appropriate numbers of mats. Downloadable versions of those were included in last week’s post.

But I’m also using that approach for some of the walls. This is a bit harder, as I need actual photos of walls, but not ones taken at a sharp angle (which is, unfortunately, typical of interior photos). Further, while some furniture is okay, it needs to be subtle, otherwise it’s obvious that the “table” is really a part of the rear wall of the room. With the large windows on the river-facing side of these apartments, the rooms are going to be quite visible (as seen in the test picture above). I ultimately found some usable photos (via Google mainly), but unfortunately they’re all copyrighted, so I can’t share them. Google for “Japan Interior Images” and you’ll turn up a lot of them.

Customizing Buildings II

Work on the buildings of the village continued this week, with more painting, some detailing and work on interiors, and the beginning of work on the village scene itself.

One thing I’ve been considering for a while is how to make the very large gas station fit the limited space. It comes with a sidewalk part that can be added to one side, and I was clear that I didn’t want to add that. But it also has a large sidewalk/apron area in front of it, and after much consideration I decided that needed to go. My street here is going to have a much smaller sidewalk, perhaps as little as 5mm, and putting this behind the sidewalk didn’t look good or make any sense. Building a custom sidewalk also means it can match the rest of the street, and have clearly separate entry and exit drives.