The Bookcase Diorama Project

One of the ideas I've been thinking about for a while is a way to better display some of my train collection in my 'Billy' bookcases (from IKEA) as well as try out some different modelling techniques or ideas - without haveing to build a whole new layout to accomplish this!

The top photo shows the diorama 'insert' that I've been working on. This will fill an entire shelf. The bottom base is some 1/2" foam core material that was leftover from signs from my workplace and was going to be trashed!  1/2" foamcore is like the normal 1/4" except really solid (and I can't even find it at normal outlets).  The background section is made of Sintra (a standby favorite material of mine!).  It will be primed, and then I'll start adding various diorama elements.  I have a vague plan in my head of what I want and will play with a lot of different ideas before I settle on what do.

Below you can see the empty shelf (I used to have some of my locomotives lined up next to each other on the glass).
As you can see, I also use some LED strips to add light to my bookcase shelving (this is way more cost effective and - I think - better quality than some of the kits you can buy at furniture stores).  One of the features of this diorama is that it will tap into the 12v DC power supply currently powering these LED strips so that lighting effects can be used on the diorama.

Below is rough sketch of what I am thinking....three levels for the trains, and then some urban backdrop.

This seems like a fun little project that should be a nice way to keep up on modelling during the long winter nights!  


Modernization Plans for E.D.O.

As we all know, Earth is vulnerable to all sorts of evil and calamity.  That's why the Earth Defense Organization exists (read here for more details).  If you're not familiar with the E.D.O.,  you can see the first (and only, so far!) adventures of the E.D.O here!).

Clearly, you can tell from that old movie that the E.D.O was heavily dependent on primarily the German Leopard I (from Arnold 4970), Leopard II (e.g. Roco 25595 or Herpa 741880),  and even the M109 mechanized artillery (Roco 25596) seen below with their standard transport vehicle, the E.D.O. Class 47 (Minitrix!)  While these machines were able to successfully fend off threats in the old days, they have begun to show their age and its time to modernize E.D.O. and prepare for new threats our planet will face!
I had previously added three APC's from Pendraken, which are in the 10mm scale as well (site lists this as 1:150)! But as you can tell, when placed alongside a typical N Scale car, the scale looks about right!
The below photo shows a little better the prototype color scheme of these new vehicles.
Below is the Reaper Wolverine  (07091) which is part of the "CAV" war-gaming universe and is in fact referred to as N Scale.  The Wolverine, shown below next to a Porsche, very much appears to be a heavy battle tank!
Some more shots.  The APC's will likely get a new livery before they are approved by the appropriate leaders at E.D.O.
Now in the works are a couple of new vehicles: a "Ballista" rocket launching vehicle from Dream Pod 9's Heavy Gear Blitz line (which is in the 'close enough' 1:144 scale) in addition to the Hawk WarGames model of a "Kodiak ACV" from the Dropzone Commander war-gaming line (these are 10mm scale models, which seem pretty close to 1:160).
Part of the fun of working with these machines is the relatively low cost per piece, so you try out some new things.  In fact, I am attempting to install lighting with some fiber optic cable in both of the above vehicles, which will be a first for me (and if successfully, could open up whole new worlds of interesting applications!).


New Locomotives Added to the Roster!

Hi again! Yes, its been over a month since my last post and (as some of you have noticed!) my frequency of posting has slowed down a bit since the Summer.  As I've mentioned in some previous posts, I am reconsidering new layout options and have been taking a slight break from the hobby while I seek inspiration.

Today was part of that inspiration! I attended the Great Train Expo in Puyallup Washington (about 20 miles south of Seattle) and did some casual browsing of both dealer sales and layouts (I've posted overviews of these train shows in the past if you are interested in what you would typically see).
I made a great find!  After watching eBay for a chance to capture one of the rare occurrence of a Lima D.341 in decent condition, I happened to find one sitting on a dealer's table with other older N gauge material!  Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to pick this up for $25 USD!

Its certainly NOT a locomotive that I would convert to DCC or even consider operating (I haven't tested it yet, but it does seem nearly unused!), but rather I like the older styling of these first generation Italian diesels (I think some of these models were built by Fiat, which is pretty cool!).  The brown and green livery with the red highlights are really interesting too!

This is actually a little bit of some of the 'sidetracks' I've been taking with the hobby in the past several months.  A couple of months back I picked up a brand new, mint, Bachmann E60.
What a brute this model is! Yes, its the odd American locomotive in my fleet, but the fact that its probably the last American attempt at building a mainline, electric locomotive, has signifiant heft and raw power in its looks (it was designed to replace the GG1 after all), and was also something of a commercial failure (giving it a sort of romantic industrial tragedy) made me interested in this locomotive.
Besides acquiring the 'odd locomotive' here and there, I do have some other mini-projects in the works:

  • I am working on a modernization scheme for the Earth Defense Organization (remember them? No, its still not safe and Earth still needs them!).
  • I was inspired by some of the 4dNtrak clubs Ntrack modular system - after watching what they have done, I am getting more ideas for "Quinntopia 5" - or whatever I call it!
  • I have some other projects that are a bit, well, crazy.  More to come!I still update my Flickr account with new photos here and there....please feel free to visit my Flickr site to see photos of my layout and other stuff....here's a sample!

That's it for now! Hopefully it won't be ANOTHER month before my next post, but don't worry, I'm still here! Just 'regrouping' as they say!