While you would expect the "Little Plastic People" of Quinntopia to be quite satisfied with all the recent developments on the layout (a new tram line, a scenic viaduct, more apartments and offices for living and working) there is unrest in the city.
The other day there was a significant protest in downtown Quinntopia. While the protester's messages varied, they all seemed generally displeased with the fact that this list of projects never ceases to end, and in the meantime no trains are running!
A man wearing a blue thing demanded more prototypical correctness. "Its bad enough you have trains from Japan and Europe together, but you have trains from different countries operating on the same lines! Who would believe that! We must put a stop to this prototypical heresy!"
Others were less concerned with these issues. A man in front of the "Electronics Rip Off" store commented "Look, we're made of plastic, we should be happy just to be here. Someday I know I'll be CA'd to some nice piece of styrene sidewalk, but I know I need to be patient. Hey, I'm made of plastic, its not like I'm going to age or anything".
An onlooker outside the "Super 24 Market" wanted us to know that he was just getting some groceries and doesn't want to get involved in "all the political stuff". He also added "and something else, looks like there's some monster attacking the city over there!"
It turns out that not only were no trains running (still), a full-on protest, but even monsters were attacking. Fortunately the Quinntopia Xenomorph Self-Defense Force was on alert and ready to do battle.
With some minor detailing and touch-ups, I was able to finish my Heljan Grand Hotel kit(s). I was fortunate to get one, but a trade with a friend scored me a second one allowing me to double it up to get some more 'city height'! And its quite tall! My tallest building yet! Yikes! When will it stop!
I didn't make any major changes to the kit, but a lot of smaller things were done to it, or added to it.
As is always a good idea, even if you like the color it comes in, I repainted the entire building. This includes a coat of black paint on the interior walls to impede translucency, and a light grey-ish color for the building exterior work (Model Masters Camouflage Grey), and a buff tan and metallic bronze for the windows and window frames (both of the later from conventional hardware store spray paints).
I liked the kit's exterior elevator with the glass walls detail, but felt like a second elevator was necessary (and yet, on my 20 story Aoshima apartment building, its all stairs! Go figure!), so I created my own 'glass' elevator shaft by painting the back wall for the shaft a dark grey (with some wires and other random strips of material to simulate the inner workings of an elevator) and using the metallic bronze paint on a strip of clear acrylic for the window trim on the glass face.
I also added an elevator, with an SMD LED in the elevator roof, to the left-hand elevator 'shaft'. I think this is my favorite feature.
At the top of this new elevator shaft is a backlit "Hilton" logo. This was fairly simple; used my ink jet printer on some decent paper (e.g. somewhat thin paper for photo printing), sandwiched between the same logo printed on my ink jet on transparency sheets to create the sign, and then backlit with three LED's.
On the rooftop, 3 Miniatronics flashing red LED's were added, with the center one sitting on a Plastruct girder-created 'antenna' tower.
On the ground floor, I wanted to do something to make the entrance less tall (and loose as much of the remaining legacy of HO this kit may have) so I added a backlit sign for the "Hilton Grand Hotel" using the same method as described above.
Lighting the interior was the easiest part. I used a flexible strip of 30 SMD LED's from trainaidsa called the FX 12 Volt Flexible Lighitng strip.
This was simply wrapped around a piece of styrene (actually, sintra) that goes up the interior of the building and was soldered to the leads for the other LED arrays in the building. Wallah! The lights are on, but still nobodies home!
My idea was to use a couple of spare 'ground' floor units from a
Dissassebly of the kits wasn't too bad, and nothing broke in the process. I decided I wanted this building to be somewhat colorful in a contemporary way. Although the base building would have 'earth tones', I originally went with a light blue for the balconies. Well, the family voted and they weren't thrilled with the color, so I went back and used Tamiya's 'gray-green' instead...still colorful, but a bit more muted than the below.
Fast forward past what seems like many hours of adjusting, sanding, gluing, soldering, and touch ups to the below! This is actually the 'back side' of the building (the front is shown in the photo at top). All of the balconies face towards the 'back' (not sure why, that's the way the kit was set up). I also added in a 'parking garage' entrance....which is sort of a joke as it really doesn't go anywhere (but that's okay as my little plastic people don't really drive...and if we run out of parking space on the layout, and I can take cars off and shove them in a box. How's that for solving urban congestion!).
On the ground floor, we have an "Elprice" (electronics store from Norway) with Mos Burger...which is something of a hit in Japan and other places in East Asia...and now with a franchise in Quinntopia!
Electrique feat. Solex - Train Grande Vitesse
Uploaded by NextBuzz. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.
Not sure how I came across this little video, but-despite the low quality-its a great little video of the French TGV accompanied by a cool little electronic ditty by a band named Electrique (whom I believe are defunct) name... "Train Grande Vitesse". The song, by the way, explicitly features the distinctive audio notes played in SNCF stations for TGV announcements. That's pretty cool.
Terrific editing on this video, and great staging for a model train layout on video. Very inspirational!
Its stuff like this that makes trains cool and fun. Not sure who was behind this, certainly a huge difference from the 'banjo-backed' music you find accompanying most train videos!