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Will Vale

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Everything posted by Will Vale

  1. Thanks Stew & Cheese I wouldn't like to offer any predictions. I'm between contracts at the moment so in theory have lots of free time but stuff keeps filling it. W
  2. I know there was a bit of an emphasis on UK outline above, but there are some beautiful loco kits from Aoshima in Japan, to 1/45 scale. http://www.aoshima-bk.co.jp/en/product/4905083009987/ I have the DD51 and it's huge, detailed, full interior and underframe etc. In every way a proper modern plastic kit. They do an EF66 which is very handsome as well: http://www.aoshima-bk.co.jp/en/product/4905083054079/ I believe there are also older models in that scale (also from Aoshima?) which are slightly less refined but still very impressive if you don't mind a bit of work. [edit: Yes there are - search their site for 1/50 scale.] Cheers, Will
  3. Cheers Andy, I think they look a bit heavy in the picture but they'll improve dramatically when painted and ballasted. the Hakone ballast is pretty much flush with the tops of the sleepers which will help disguise the rather unsubtle code 55 track. W
  4. I did the other half of the crossover, and have been removing some of the "Peco cruft" from around the tie bars. I need to add some replacement sleepers between the rails where I've removed the Peco locking spring housings - these are moulded in a sort of mechanical box which doesn't have much relationship to reality. When you remove the spring you can clip it away, but there's not a sleeper moulded there so it looks a bit weird otherwise. At the same time I cut away about a cm from the toes of the facing points, which gives six sleepers between the facing tie bars. This seems to match the prototype (see above) but it might be possible to shorten by another sleeper? It's hard to count them as all the pictures I've found are from low angles. There's a bit more to do on the cleaning up - like filling in the notches in the timbers on either side of the tiebar - and then I can look at wiring/soldering up the complete crossover unit. Because I've removed the springs I'll need to use turnout motors or some other locking mechanism to replace them. The plan at the moment is some kind of micro-servo system so I can automate things. I've used Tortoise motors before and they're excellent, but they're really too big for this layout. Cheers, Will
  5. Neither have I (apart from a stopover in an airport hotel twenty years ago!) and it's definitely on my bucket list too. No. 1 daughter has started learning Japanese at school so we may have a handy translator in a year or two Follow away, I would be insane to mind! Hopefully I can keep progress going (I've been trimming the ugly bits off the points, but I need to make some replacement timbers.) W
  6. Hi all, I've built a few model railways over the years but haven't touched any of them for quite a while. One that I started but never finished was a model of the Enoden so I have a bit of history with Japanese N gauge and the bug appears to have bitten again. I'm in the planning/experimentation stage for a model of the Hakone Tozan Mountain Climbing Railway. It's extraordinarily pretty: Link to photo on Flickr by rainbow_bread It also has several interesting switchbacks and a very close distance between adjacent tracks. I don't know exactly what I'm doing plan-wise but I'm pretty keen to have one of the switchbacks (and maybe just that?) So the first thing was to figure out how that would work. None of the commercial track systems have pointwork that fits together so closely, but Peco's small radius turnouts are about right in curvature. I thought I'd see if I could modify them as the idea of laying my own track is way too scary. I cut the rail with an etched saw, which was very neat but quite hard on the saw teeth. I had to re-cut them with a file after each turnout! With the rail out of the way it was easy to saw and clip away the sleeper web, although a bit mind-mangling thinking about how the mirror image cuts would fit together. Then repeat all the steps and use a file to true up the edges so the turnouts fit together into a crossover. Makes quite a big difference compared to the unmodified crossover! and my Tomix EMU negotiates it happily enough I've made up both crossovers now, so have enough for one switchback. But I'll need to trim them back at the other ends when I figure out how long they actually need to be Hopefully some more interesting/less technical stuff to come, i.e. scenics, but I've got a fair bit to do first. Track plan is probably the big one, I need to decide between a single module, potential future modules, or something that captures more features of the real thing but is a bit more caricatured? Cheers, Will
  7. Cheers Andy! It's was handy that there were nine of them! W
  8. In the second image on Hobby Search it says 430mm long/266mm diameter, so I think it'll be quite impressive without being impossible to shelve. It also says "multimedia parts providing excellent strength and details" so maybe we can hope for a big sheet of etch? It's a nice "airy" design, for want of a better word. One the engines would make a great tiny-scale diorama [edit] I found a higher-res image of the truck on a Malaysian site and combining that with the English-language image on Hobby Search it looks like it says: "pre coloured snap-fit design, 390mm long, audio module included, two 1/100 <something> included, transport truck and mining truck options" or words to that effect. I think the somethings are the funky APCs so you can do the convoy scene. So not a *huge* model to justify the price, but not tiny either and has some goodies. Will be interesting to see if the sound thing is any good or just a gimmick. It's also in scale with MG Gundam kits! W
  9. I think they look excellent! Lovely to see all together like that too. W
  10. Hi all, Bit late as we've hit 2020 in the antipodes, but here are my doings for last year. I tend to put off making these posts as long as possible in the hope that I'll pull out of the seasonal rut and complete something before New Year, but it rarely (never?) happens! Too much food, drink and outdoors to blame. I started the year with Adeptus Titanicus Knights in ~1/200 scale - these are Questoris Knights on 32mm bases: (click for bigger/more pics of everything) and these are the larger Cerastus Knights on (I think) 40mm bases: I had a really good time making the bases, out of old sprue and other junk: They make a nice group and I really should paint some more - I have one of the larger yet Acastus Knights built, and various Titans in various stages of assembly. After these I started on a group of Warhammer Underworlds Goblins, which had to be painted ASAP as they were cast in a horrible yellow plastic. Zarbag's Gitz, they're called. The plainer ones took a day or two to paint apiece, the character models were a bit more involved. They're probably my favourite thing from the year and completely failed to succeed at the annual club competition, which was a bit of a shame. They're very characterful and full of neat thing to paint, like the chunks in the potion, Drizgit's brandin' iron, and Zarbag's big mad eye. About this time (June?) GW released their new paint line and I really enjoyed playing with that. This was a half-hour test model which I painted in the shop standing up without my seeing teeth and then finished up at home: and these are more of the same done at home with magnification. Very quick and satisfying, maybe a bit over-contrasty? They fit quite well with my earlier Death Guard models painted with more traditional paints. I painted some scenery using the same process, again very quick and pleasant work: and another Plague Marine who was the usual combination of fun (all those details!) and incredibly tiring (all those details...) I had lots of help with colour choice from BM members, thanks all! These aircraft are from Aeronautica Imperialis and are the same scale as the robots at the top of the page. They might be my other most favourite thing this year? Lovely to build, and fun to paint, in this case using Alclad, a lot of brush painting as they were too lumpy to mask, and a mix of kit and found decals. I then switched back to "proper" kits and built an interestingly-shaped space-fighter from Kotobukiya. It's from a PS1 videogame I never played called RayStorm. It fit very well and if I'd trusted that and the instructions a bit more it would've been quite pleasant, but I ended up having to pin and otherwise repair the nacelle connections and then dropped it and had to do that all over again. Still, it's pretty cool. Also by Kotobukiya is this Zoid, which is a much more detailed kit of one of my favourite toys as an '80s kid, the Tomy Slitherzoid (aka Molga). This time I didn't follow the instructions and it worked out beautifully, so you never know! (I did various assembly and filling of the armour pieces separate to the skeleton rather than around it, and by cutting down various pegs and opening some slots I could slide them into place after painting.) The Zoid and R-GRAY got Photoshop treatments which was fun. The ship one was just graphics, for the Zoid I had to extend the very small base by cloning bits from a pic of the other side... And that's the lot! I was given the new Sisters of Battle set for Christmas so they might make an appearance soon, and I'm working on a big yellow dumper truck. I also made my first model railway purchase for almost a decade so that might be a big time-sink this year. We shall see! If you want to see more pics of my doings they're all on Flickr and I've started using Instagram. Which makes me feel rather old, but is quite fun I also need to update my forum sig as the links are a bit out of date. Cheers and all the best for 2020! Will
  11. Great work, I love the furies and the F-15. Although the in-flight Hunter with the pilot looking at the camera aircraft (and hence right at the viewer) is a brilliant artistic trick. The scheme you picked is very attractive too. Will
  12. Brilliant set of models, you've had a productive year. Dunno if I can pick a favourite although both red ones do stand out! I love that you can't tell the FT17 is 1/72 until you read the text, it sits really well alongside the larger scale models. All the best for 2020! Will
  13. I'd be more confident of the truck (cute and 1/100 versions) as there are pics on eBay of the box contents. Although they're all the same pics, so probably not of a kit in hand. The others seem further away. It'd be easy enough to light but I don't think I could make it go! You did! I went in with eyes open, and I'll probably still watch the other half as it was still pretty fun. It was also interesting having the basically racist portrayal of pretty much any Asian character in pre-'90s Hollywood films flipped around. The Aussie-Chinese guy they pick up from the prison was brutally stereotyped. W
  14. I watched half of it last night, it was mad. If they'd used all the interiors and props for a small scale movie it could've been pretty cool, the larger scale stuff felt a bit cheap. But the story... wow. Ignoring all the bad science, why did everyone have to go into cryo just at the point of crisis?? W
  15. Hi all, I spotted these in Hobby Search's pre-order page and thought they were pretty interesting: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10667064/10/1 https://www.scalemates.com/topics/topic.php?id=151237 They're kits from Meng (moulded in colour) of machines from The Wandering Earth, a Chinese sci-fi film from which I remember seeing quite a cool trailer. I haven't seen the film though. AFAICS the 1/100 truck is available - there are several listings from Chinese eBay vendors with pics of the box contents. I'm not sure any of the others are though, although they're all listed as 2019 releases. The truck must be pretty big even in 1/100 scale, as it's 80 quid. I don't know if it's the *most* coherent design - it looks like slightly generic spec concept art. But it is nice and brutish, particularly the tractor, and appears to make up into a nice model - see pics here: https://toylandhobbymodelingmagazine.press/2019/03/19/meng-model-wandering-earth-1-of-the-kits-update/ Will be interesting to see if they go ahead with the rest of the range. Cheers, Will
  16. Very nice, although I think you need to display it on a mirror to reveal all that work in the chassis! Will
  17. Excellent detail work! The combinations of materials and textures are very effective. I was surprised to see that you made parts from Lego, normally those stand out as looking just like Lego but I think they're really effective here. Will
  18. Looking good, that scenic base came out really well and connects visually with the smaller marine bases too. W
  19. Found the saws, they were on my desk right under my nose! So I was able to slit through those parts and do a bit of carving to make them look a bit more separate. I also filled in behind the engine mounts and then filed them into shape, I think they look OK now and I'm going to get some details into the engine and hopefully move on to something else. Apologies for all the tiny changes, normally I don't document enough but I think the pendulum may have swung too far the other way. Will
  20. Thanks! It's not my genre either really - I usually build sci-fi models and figures - but the real things are awesome machines. I didn't have much time this weekend - lots on, plus I spent Saturday night playing videogames - but I did get a couple of hours last night. Most of which I spent trying to cut down a couple of cleats from the Tamiya T-55 to make the tow hooks and variously dropping and picking them up again. I didn't get them entirely even but I was worried I'd end up trimming them away to nothing if I kept going! I've installed one very slightly at an angle so they line up and I'll run a little CA in there to form a fillet later. I also added some basic detail/texture to the suspension mounts and started the front engine bearer. It's a bit of a caricature at the moment, the real thing is an inverted U of thinner steel flush with the frame sides, with a cranked U beam across the mounts supporting the engine in a cradle shape. I might fill in the backs of my profiles with CA and file it all to shape so they're solid, I think trying to do the correct solution is too hard. Likewise the cross-piece I added to support the uprights may stay rather than getting cut away as it's not very visible. I really need to find my misplaced etched saws since there are several things they could help with. In particular, slitting the suspension mounts either side of the A arm would make them look more like an arm in a yoke and less like the one-piece moulding they are. Cheers, Will
  21. Another friend suggested the same thing, I'm pretty sure you're right as it definitely has hydraulic steering. In which case the back ends of the cables would probably run up over/into the frame just forward of the oil tank since the hydraulic pumps are on the transmission in that general area. So what I've got is probably OK in lieu of better pictures Phew. Will
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