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> Hakuho part 1, Rural Hokkaido in Z
kevsmith
post 9 Jun 2019, 18:56
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I've been wanting to do a Japanese Z scale layout for a while now. I can run Republic Steel in JNR Steam era with the Tenshodo and Rokuhan locos I have acquired and also in the later diesel-electric period but I wanted to model a side of Japan that many people are unaware of. We are all familiar enough with the mega cities like Tokyo with its intense suburban rail network and Shinkansen 'Bullet trains' but I have become enamoured with the wilderness of Hokkaido which is a lot more similar to the Pacific northwest, sparsely populated, and with mountains covered in millions of trees.




Now space at my house is becoming a problem with the Cuyahoga, Shasta and Republic Steel layouts fighting for space in the layout shed and the forthcoming 'Tapton Junction' British layout under development so a hard decision had to be made.

The 4 foot extension board for Shasta that has the Dunsmuir depot on it has always been a pain to take the shows as I have to borrow one of the call-out vans from work to get it all in. In addition, although I have lots of bookings for Shasta, none of them are for it in its long form so it is pretty redundant.



So the decision was taken to strip the board, recover the track and points and use it as a donor board for 'Hakuho' as the new layout will be called. This has the advantage that the wiring loom can easily be adapted and most importantly it already has a flight case and lighting rig. All of the trees were recovered (you will see these again!)



So I have 4 foot by 2 foot 6 inch to play with. The original centre divider would be retained. The front of the layout would be Hakuho station itself nestled in the hills and forest and I decided that the layout will be built as four scenes separated by scenic dividers so the front scene would be framed by a road overbridge at one end and an abandoned forestry line on an embankment at the other. Time period will be the early 1970s before Steam in Japan finished forever in the mid 70's

Although it looks to be double track the inner line is the local line, still steam hauled and with lower quadrant semaphore signals. The outer line will be electrified with colour light signals as the main line.

So a start was made on track laying with my usual Marklin points and Peco flex track laid on 1/16th cork sheet with crossovers at either end of the platforms. The platform on the main line is no longer in passenger use but is retained for the block section tablet catchers.

Once the footprint of the track was determined I could then rough out the road overbridge and start adding the 'Kingspan' mountains (Kingspan is the trade name of the most common insulating foam used in construction in the U.K and I'm always rescuing off-cuts from skips as I pass them!) Being Urethane it is quite solid and holds the trees well but does have the disadvantage of making a lot of annoying dust when you cut it and it is best to do that outside.



more soon

Kev
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kevsmith
post 22 Apr 2020, 18:58
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I took all the Japanese stock I had even though there is not enough room on the layout for it this show was to test and test again to see what worked and what didn't



So Friday night during set-up was testing the track sections and points. No repetition of the wierd electrical faults that occured a few weeks earlier thank god.

Saturday, despite what the show guide said, I ran it all diesel with the DD51s and DE10s with a wide variety of stock. There were some random uncouplings on the outer track under the Forestry line which were traced to a bit of solder sticking up from a feed.

Sunday saw the steam locos out in force with the two Rokuhan locos running faultlessly



video at

Hakuho debut

So with all the shows cancelled and being on lockdown and working from home I've taken a pause from Z and am taking the opportunity to finish some very long standing, unfinished projects in different scales.

Once I've cleared them I've got three MK II coaches, Two Class 37s and test coach Iris to paint to run on Republic Steel.

Kev
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