city

Jul 2016 5

The COBOL building

A slight detour as I build something of a "tribute" to one of my favourite blogs...

Recently while reading 30 Squares of Ontario, JD's FORTRAN building popped up. I've always admired the building; something about its shape and simplicity. Plus I liked the name. So I decided to build my own interpretation of it; helpfully, JD included his drawings and enough dimensions that I could easily make my own in N scale.

After a quiet evening with Inkscape (plus a little Ruby scripting to generate randomly opened window blinds) I came up with my working drawings:

I have my workflow nicely set up now, so that black lines are c...

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Feb 2014 15

A quick workbench update

With the lack of communication you may think nothing is happening in Utrainia, but that isn't quite the case. As usual I have a few pots on the boil.

First of all, a new arrival! A little wee tram recently turned up in a box from Japan, and delightful it sure is. As usual for Utainia, the international theme continues, and this tram is no exception. It is a German tram, gifted to Hiroshima after the war. Now it is running in the vaguely New Zealand setting of Raparapa, passing British and American cars, while French trains scream past on the other track.

I have also been playing with a halogen bulb for photography, which emulates the strong shadows of daylight very nicely.

Meanwhile, a huge truckload of our stuff from Christchurch arrived; amongst it is the best new ...

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Oct 2013 28

Growing legs

Work on the city scene continues. On Friday I soldered the ends of the track to a strip of PCB material that was securely attached to the module. This means the track is now well attached, but the alignments can be subtly tweaked when required. Here you can see the cork base butting up against the 5mm MDF strip across the ends, and the PCB material on top of that.

That means the basic track laying is now complete!

Saturday saw the module relocated to the garage and the dining table rediscovered. On Sunday I put on my worker hat and started building legs for the module. Here you can see them being positioned and attached. I used a slightly different system for these legs, with some large triangles of ply to give it strength and rigidity. Due to the tight confines under the ...

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Oct 2013 24

Station tracks almost completed

Well, at long last, I have the track down on my station entrance module.

I still need to glue it all down and securely attach the track at the end of the module, but the middle part is all done. Underneath there are about 30,000 wires attached to every piece of track; hopefully this means there will be no stalls as trains negotiate the many points.

And here is a short of the Narita Express negotiating the turnouts to move onto the first platform track.

The sheer number of tracks is quite impressive. It starts off as two through tracks and expands out to 10 tracks at the o...

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Oct 2013 16

City scene continues to take shape

A month since my last update on the city scene! Yikes. Progress continues in a haphazard fashion, broken here and there by trips to Christchurch. A while back my wooden sleeper stock arrived, ready for cutting and gluing. After a few misadventures I decided the best way to assemble them was:

Print out a full size template. Coat with spray on adhesive. Place the turnout over the template and mark where the PCB sleepers are. Hopefully they line up with the sleepers on the template! Often I found they didn't which made things interesting. Remove the turnout. Place the stripwood on the template, trim to length, press into the glue. Rinse and repeat. Once all done, stick the turnout to the ties.

St...

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Sep 2013 20

Illuminating my first city building

In between making points, I've been playing with some of my recently acquired buildings. I decided to tackle a small one initially to get the feel for things. First step was to dismantle the building, something Kato have made fairly easy. I dug out some LED strip tape, which unfortunately had green LEDs. It was a simple enough job however to desolder them and solder on some tiny replacement white LEDs.

While at it, I put some blue LEDs into the end spot so that the stairwell would be a different colour. Then I drilled holes and made space for the lights and mounted a row for each floor. Some more holes at the back to run the wires down.

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