new arrivals

Aug 2015 17

Masterton Model Railway show

This weekend was the biennial model railway show here in town, an eagerly awaited event by yours truly. As master of timekeeping I made sure we were down there right at opening time, lest the trade stands have some bargains that I missed out on!

First up, the trade stands. There were only 3 and a half stands there, and only a handful of N gauge stuff. I snapped up a few second hand British N scale wagons for $9 each. My first British N scale items in a long time, they seem well made and will look right at home in Utrainia. I was a little disappointed there weren't more trade stands, however I guess it is a pretty small show.

On to the railways.

No new layouts that I hadn't already seen, however it was nice to revisit some familiars with a closer eye. "Hexeter" presented a rather interesting scene, with a hexagonally shaped railway of 6 modules forming a circular snapshot of early British railway history. Segments of the scenery was good, but it is the locos that...

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Nov 2014 2

New loco: Kato DD16

I always get excited about new arrivals to the roster. The latest new loco to join Utrainia is Kato 7013, a model of the DD16 diesel locomotive. This was developed by JNR to replace light weight steam locos, and is has an axle loading 12 tons, total weight 48 tons. It has a diesel hydraulic transmission, as is common in Japan, with a maximum speed of 75km/h and length of 11.8m.

In other words, it is a very small loco. I had seen it listed online and it immediately appealed, however I was too slow to buy it and it sold out! So I placed my name on the waiting list at Hobby Search, and a couple of months ago I received an email alerting me that more had come in. I ordered one that night and it arrived a week later in a well padded box from Japan.

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Jun 2014 28

Lets explore Tomytec Train Collection!

One of the greatest things about Japanese railways is the variety. So many liveries! So many companies! So many styles! So. Many. Trains! In fact there is such a plethora of trains in Japan, you could almost say there are too many! Too many? Well, there are so many, that even at the standard release rate of several new models every month from four different manufacturers, it can still take years before a train is turned into a model. Some are never turned into models. Most models are released in a small batch to the market, then the molds are safely stored away until demand is high enough to warrant a re-release. That can easily take half a decade to occur!

There have been a few interesting solutions to this dilemma. The first is Bandai, who have released their "B Train Shorty" series of shortened, stylised trains. Each carriage is about 6cm long, rather than the usual 15cm+. The models are crude and clunky, and far from accurate. The purchaser must assemb...

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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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Dec 2013 21

Here come the Austrians!

A recent arrival in Utrainia is an immigrant from the Austrian Federal Railways, more commonly known as the Ã–BB. The model is produced by Roco, a European model maker based in Salzburg, Austria, and is of a class 1044 "universal" electric loco, suitable for both passenger and freight work. It was the most powerful electric loco in the world when it was introduced in 1976, putting out nearly 7,000 horsepower, and sprinting along at a top speed of 160km/h, hardly sluggish for 1976! It was the pride of the Ã–BB for many years, and now somehow it has found itself in Utrainia, after some astute monitoring of the second hand loco market by their CFO.

Not knowing anything about Salzburg I did a little research and besides being the birthplace of Mozart and the location for parts of the Sound of Music, it also boasts an amazing modern railway station and several other stan...

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Dec 2013 4

Motorising a del Prado NS1100

A new project has landed on my workbench this week. A while ago while idly surfing around I discovered the "del Prado" range of diecast collectable trains. These were produced for a Spanish magazine, one of those ones where every week it comes with a new "limited edition" collectable on the cover and before you get a chance to cancel the subscription the next one is already on your doorstep. Anyway, the del Prado models are quite crude and very cheaply made, but they are mostly to scale and available fairly cheaply on the second hand market. So I did a bit of hunting and ordered a few that I liked the look of.

Today the package arrived and I excitedly opened them up, expecting the worst. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I ordered three models, one each of a German, Swiss, and Dutch electric loco. Sounds like the beginning of a railfan joke. I decided to tackle the Dutch loco first, as it's really quite cute.

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