My Aoshima Apartments building got a Tomix 7-11 on the ground floor, and a lobby for the apartment complex itself. The lobby section is all scratchbuilt and is generally pretty spartan. However, I did paint some remnant strips of styrene in shades of tan and brown to simulate furniture. On the windows, packing tape is used to simulate window coverings.
3rd skyscraper scratch-build project. This building is still unfinished - and may never be! - but some of the interior work turned out pretty well. The below lobby was created using two remnant pieces of plastic from some kit to make flower boxes. The walls are inkjet printouts.
Faller b-905 and an unidentified German kit) again feature typical 'retail store' interiors. In this case, more of the 'shelving images' output with an inkjet printer and then glued to foam core and/or styrene or plastic scraps.
here for that story).
Hilltown Hotel" kitbash I added a Starburps.....
Burger Konig", which was another one of my very early attempts at back-lit signage and interior detailling, so not without a few learning experiences here....
On my last update on my layout progress, I had just started on adding markings to my streets. For the most part, this project is done, although I still have a few touch ups to make.
I've been preparing for this project for quite some time, so fortunately I was prepared to get in and get this job done! Part of this preparation has been the collection of various street marking products, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my observations about these products and what other things I've learned.
The primary 'stuff' I planned on using for my street markings comes from Faller (#272451):
There is one small sheet inside each of these Faller boxes, and a plastic tool to help with decal application. The sheet of decals is only about 3 1/2 by 5 inches, so you don't get a lot in each box. Unfortunately, each sheet only includes one complete full street crosswalk section, so I needed quite a few of these for my city streets:
I began with the Faller product as that was all I was aware of at first, but then I discovered that Busch also makes some street markings (# 7197). Pretty much the same markings, and another plastic tool to apply the decals:
TGW from Japan was the other supplier I came across. Not surprisingly, being Japanese rather than German, their markings are quite different, but some of them are 'generic' enough to work well with the German markings.
In addition to rub-on decals, I also decided to use 1/32 Chartpak graphic tape which comes in 1/32 width which seems about right for road markings.
Laid out side by side, the differences between the two German brands was pretty remarkable. Either the Faller stuff is more appropriate for Z scale, or the Busch stuff is closer to TT. Either way, the Faller is noticeably smaller than the Busch decals. Annoying, so now I had to plan to use both in areas where a comparison of the two would not be obvious.
The TGW decals are shown on the left, with the Busch decals on the right with the Faller decals behind them. You can get a sense from looking at these three sets of the disproportionate scales involved.
The obvious Japanese style crosswalks were modified to fit in with the Faller and Busch versions by simply trimming off the long lines on the ends. This works pretty well and nearly matches the look of the Faller crosswalks except for the width.
After some initial / test applications of the decals, I found the arrows, crosswalks, and similar markings to be easy to add. The lane markings and parking stalls were much more difficult to get to apply consistently or correctly. For this reason I had the Chartpak tape.
The tape works okay, but it is a noticeable 'lump' on the street, and I was a bit concerned about how well the thin adhesive of this tape would hold up over time (even with an application of a clear coat to seal everything in).
For this reason I ultimately decided to mask out the majority of the lane markings and parking stalls and use an airbrush to get the markings applied. This was a method I first heard of from Don at Akihabara Station and turned out to be easier and more succesful than I expected! Note that the masking tape WILL remove any decals you've already applied, so if you use both, do the airbrush first, then apply decals!
Below is post-airbrush photo of the city:
A natural consequence of lighting buildings is that you also need to put something inside of them so your not just lighting up empty plastic shells. Well, that's not entirely true. You can block out the windows, either by making them opaque (so that light shines through) or use window coverings (that give the look of draperies, which are typically provided with a lot of the German plastic kits), which is a technique I use frequently enough. But I think we all would agree that actually showing some detail is preferable in some cases!
One of the main lessons I've learned about interior lighting is that where you put the light is critical. Its really important for the LED to be as close to the 'window' as possible - in other words - you want the light to shine on the same surface of your interior design and details as you would 'see' it when you look in the window. The reason for this is fairly obvious (at least after you create, light and install an interior); if you put the light 'behind' your subject, you will put all of your detail, figures etc... in shadow, which is not really the effect that you want to achieve.
The detail on the ground floor is made up of two different approaches. On the right side is a "Mos Burger" restaurant. You'll note that it has different color lighting from the store on the left. I used 'warm white' LED's for the restaurant and 'normal' (?) white LED's for lighting the electronics stores. Seems to be right I think. I also color/paint the floors separately to add further differentiation.
Furniture is primarily basic, cheap-o N scale benches while the tables are just bits of styrene glued to small 'cubes' of foam-core, or random bits of thicker plastic. Whatever is handy really. Everything gets a bit of paint to make sure its reasonably appropriate. For the walls, I try to use whatever I already have...usually no one can read the signs on the walls, so the idea is to put something there that might look okay, but doesn't have to be perfect.
I had a lot of fun with the ground and upper floors on this building, but some of this work was wasted. n the ground floor I included both a hobby shop and a pizza parlor. The below image shows the ground floor before installation, and you can get a pretty good idea of the standard techniques I use to create interior furniture, etc....
I'll continue to share some of these, hopefully this is interesting to see! As you can tell, I try for a certain level of detail and then stop...my philosophy is to give the impression of reality, not to try and duplicate it. At some point I would like to try and commit more time and effort when the list of 'to do's' is much shorter than it is now! Hopefully I was able to share something of my work that is at least interesting! Thanks!