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Thread: Akita Mountain

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    Icon7 Akita Mountain

    Having spent the last three years building seven Canadian Pacific steamers, I was feeling a little burned out. Other than fairys Do Fairies exist ? and Aliens Life on Mars !, My creative/artistic side has been left a little neglected ! So, I have decided to build a micro layout and realize a long dorment dream of a buddhist monastery on a snowy Japanese mountain side

    Now a photo before you all nod off. (er, your perches that is, not the mountainside!!)

    Over view.jpg

    This is the first time I build a layout that will be taller than it is long ! It mesures 540mm long and 630mm high to the top of the pagoda and 280mm wide.

    Background; Akita prefecture lies in the north of main island Japan. Snowfall is over one hundred inches and temperatures can drop to -30c It is a rimote and sparcely populated part of Japan. The railway was built in 1920 to serve a coal mine and a string of small mountain villages. It was elictified through out with an overhead catenary. Two small electic locos and a handful of freight cars worked the line along with a soltary passanger car. The line closed in 1956 and the rails ripped up a year or so later.

    The model; I really like the 3D effect of soaring cliffs and the high level rope bridge. The landscape will be covered in deep snow and a smell of incence and wood smoke hanging in the still winters air. Tourists and worshipers mill at the station as pesants and monks go about their business.

    Scetches.jpg

    One of the buildings will be an inn and another a saki store. Akita is well known for its high quality saki. The temples and pagoda will be paper kits from Sankei and the rest will be kitbashed/scratchbuilt. All the figures will be heavily modifide Preiser persons. 'Oh look', 'here comes a couple of them now'

    BingWallpap.jpg

    I covered a couple of businessmen with plastic filler and then carved their robes out of it. A fine couple of chaps to oversee the construction

    Insperation; 30% of my school was Japanese so I grew up surounded by their culture and it left a deep fasination with all things Japanese including my beautiful dog (sadly no longer of this world)

    Maisha2.jpg

    She was an Akita inu from Akita !! hence some of the insperation to model that part of the world.

    Back to the model, I recently came across the words of one of our members critisizing Kato unitrack and how it is killing our hobby ? Well, I read and re-read what was said and, though not fully understanding what was spoken, I desided to listen to the wise words of the master and give the stuff a wide birth. So, I have used Tomix track instead

    Track plan.jpg

    Here's a photo of the baseboard. The big hole is to alow access to the inside of the mountain for wiring lighting etc.

    basebord.jpg

    More photos as and when

    I would just like to point out that I am of no 'perticuler' religion and that I hope my buddhist rambalings cause no offence. I just think their architecture is super cool, and some of their quotes too

    Good will to you all
    Last edited by tomcook; 29th Jan 2021 at 01:20 AM. Reason: spelling
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be


  2. #2
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    Guilty as charged, Tom!

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    should be a fun build will be watching
    rich

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    This looks really cool!

    I so look forward to seeing this come to life!

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    We're all excited to see you going after what I am sure will become Akita your heart...

    (see what I did there?)

    My one suggestion: it appears the temple/tower will be right at the extreme corner, as you have drawn it. I would encourage you to give it a little bit of margin and pull it in an inch or so from the extreme edge. This building will obviously be a scenic Focus, creating a strong sense of place, and the more context you can give it the better. You haven't indicated a backdrop, but a removable backdrop panel may do wonders for this pinnacle (assuming it is competently painted, and your sketches give me confidence in that regard). But even if you have a backdrop, getting a half-width of trees to modulate between 3D and 2D worlds can help a ton.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    @tomcook

    Whoa! Now this will be interesting! (Not unlike your previous builds, of course!)

    Mrs Moose wants to know: What putty do you use on the wee people? She's "same day" going to need to do the same for a future diorama she plans on building...
    Last edited by Moose2013; 29th Jan 2021 at 12:15 AM.
    = >

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    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Great intro, @tomcook! I'll be eagerly awaiting updates. While I am a non-believer, I enjoy the magnificence of a great deal of religious architecture.

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    Looks like a solid plan! I can’t wait to see the progression.
    I too would like to know more about the putty for the lil’people modification.
    Cute Akita, I’m sure she was the best.

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    Well thank you all for such kind words of encoragement

    @Moose2013 @Bobbydigits
    Tamiya 87053 putty is the stuff I use but I guess any plastic putty would work. It goes off super quick so you have to work fast and keep the cap on the tube at all times. I squeeze out a bit onto an old lid, put the cap back on and then with a toothpick, I scoop it up and cover the little chaps and chapettes with it. If anyone has a better method please let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbydigits View Post
    Cute Akita, I’m sure she was the best.
    Thank you. She so totally was



    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    (see what I did there?)
    So sorry but I'm not the brightest spark in town, it's over my head

    @WP&P Thanks for your input, I was worried that you might pull me up on the lack of AD track and the length of my run-around loop ??? The pagoda and other buildings in the scetch are very aproximate but there really is not much space to play with 11" x 21" I will do a mock up tonight and post a photo so you can see what's going on a bit better. It's hard not to position things in 'display' mode. I want it to feel a little random and not too 'presented' !!!
    There most certanly will be a backdrop, possibly done in oil. I've never painted in oil but I think this scene needs more drama than what I can capture in my watercolor paintings. There will be trees, buildings and the landscape falling away to help the transition.
    Last edited by tomcook; 29th Jan 2021 at 02:37 AM. Reason: spelling
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Awww, what a beautiful dog. She's still in your heart so will always be with you. If she was cremated and you kept the ashes, maybe put a couple in the model Akita?

    The mini-layout plans look great. I especially like the population. Most of all the saki seller!

    Reminds me a bit of the Meteora Monasteries I visited in Greece. A few required traversing narrow bridges like your rope bridge, I couldn't visit those because I'm afraid of heights/falling (couldn't get near the edge of the Grand Canyon either).

    Subscribing to this one, and looking forward to your creative work.

    Dave

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    @56Pontiac Thank you kindly.

    @WP&P As promised, a mock up. As you can see, I'm a truely great architect ! because all great architects make foam board mock ups

    mock up 4.jpg

    A couple of hours with a sheet of foam and the bread knife has helped to get a feel of things. The wood sides are just sellotaped in place. I see streight off that the river would possibly look better as a deep ravine ? Any input is encouraged and gratefully recieved.

    The orange light is the rays of the rising sun and, a bit cheesy, but to set the mood, I give you one of Japan's great composers; Kitaro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhxb...JCHNrQ&index=1
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be


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    Perhaps a waterfall, flowing from the divide eg. to the left of the 5th pine tree in your fantastic mockup, could allow for a small trestle towards the tunnel at the left? It would also provide an option for modelling water e.g. Luke Towans YouTube videos?

    Alternately you could place a small stream to the right with stone bridges for the railway and a wooden bridge for traffic to the village, with a steep pathway to the monastery on the right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    Perhaps a waterfall, flowing from the divide
    Cool and is under cosideration

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    you could place a small stream to the right with stone bridges for the railway and a wooden bridge for traffic to the village, with a steep pathway to the monastery on the right?
    That is my current plan. Though I'm thinking of making the river set in a deep ravine to balence it with the steep drop on the left. Not sure yet ?

    Thanks for the feedback
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
    Thanks for your input, I was worried that you might pull me up on the lack of AD track and the length of my run-around loop ???
    Now that you mention it... how exactly does the staging work on this layout?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
    The pagoda and other buildings in the scetch are very aproximate but there really is not much space to play with 11" x 21"
    In light of this fact, might I suggest a new strategy? Let the wookie win. Er, uh, sorry, I mean: maybe the tallest pagoda sits exactly in the corner, such that you only model 2 of its 4 sides and it sits tight to the backdrop. It becomes like a bas-relief feature of the backdrop that way, rather than its own focal point. Let the "negative space" between pagodas become the scenic focus, as putting baby in the corner may give you a bit more space to fit trees and gardens between the top two buildings.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    Tom,
    Will be watching your progress anxiously.
    A term you don't hear often in our racket, but this is a lovely idea. For lack of a better term. The kind of distraction I can use.

    Had you not already planned as much as you have, I was going to suggest narrow gauge N. But you are on your journey.
    There is quite a bit of narrow gauge forest railroading in Northern Japan. I am following an inspiring Facebook group if you are interested.
    Possible you'll find some interesting ideas?: Shinrin Tetsudo - the Forest Railways (森林鉄道) of Japan & Taiwan
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562095757173674
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    Let the "negative space" between pagodas become the scenic focus,
    Yes yes yes, I like it. Some times I forget to think in my enthusiasm !!! I should have been looking out for that as it's something I play with in one of my other activaties, sculpting wood eg.

    rsz_diane_&_tom.jpg

    Thank you for 're-booting' me. I've been coming at this layout from the wrong angle.

    One small sentence, one BIG help. Thank you
    Last edited by tomcook; 31st Jan 2021 at 05:13 PM.
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    A term you don't hear often in our racket, but this is a lovely idea. For lack of a better term. The kind of distraction I can use.
    Thank you kind sir. Listening to ones inner voice always pays dividendes. It's easy to lose sight of what our motivations are, but when we get them back on track, everything falls together nicely


    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    I was going to suggest narrow gauge N.
    I spent over twenty years modeling narrow gauge from 8mm right down to 1mm gauge !!! . I moved back to n scale standered gauge to get away from the unreliable running of small light locos. The fustrations of getting TINY locos to perform eventually put paid to such endevers After these adventures, the pleasure of just being able to 'plop' a loco on the track (without having had to make the track !), turn the controler, and watch it run, is big enough to keep me from the ever steepening slppery slope of miniturization
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Okay Tom - you are just too talented, sculpting wood, narrow gauge modelling, alien manufacture, steam modification, I expect you are a gourmet cook, sourdough baker etc etc

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    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    I expect you are a gourmet cook
    Vegaterian so not gourmet by most peoples standerds !!! My sername is Cook though, does that count

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    sourdough
    That's just something I get called by my girlfriend
    Thanks, Tom

    Expect nothing except the opposite of what you expect, and then expect it to be something other than that ! Then that's about what it will be

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    Fun reading! Wish I had some useful thoughts for you. Maybe, does saki have a distinct odor? (I've never had any so I don't know.) If so, when complete, put a drop or two of saki by the saki store for ambiance

    Dave

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