Friday, March 6, 2009

I ordered some Kato N-scale super elevated track recently. It is the V11 set, which forms a complete 'squeezed' loop when assembled as they show it. It would cover almost 4'x'8. Since it arrived, I have been thinking of ideas to use it in a TTrak-N module set.

Since the track has larger radii curves (99mm larger.) new, larger corner modules are required. I have seen what some others have done, and I reached the same conclusion. The large corners will need to be 18” square.

The last few days, I have pretty well settled on a cityscape theme. So, with some time on my hands in conference periods while I sub-teach, I began making some drawings. After that, I ordered a few (ha! – thanks, tax refund!) building kits to populate the modules. It was a guess as to just how many would be needed, but I think I may have guesses very close.

The large corners require two tables side-by-side for setup. Looking at that, I settled on an arrangement that uses two corners and a double length straight between them. These will fit across the two tables perfectly. The straight is a normal-sized TTrak-N item.

Fresh drawings were made on graph paper at a scale of 20mm per square. After that, I proceeded to construct a mockup of the planned model. The next two pictures show the overview of the idea. The tall buildings, outlined in orange, are 9-story Tomix 4018’s. Yes, I splurged a bit when I found a really good buy and ordered three of them.

The middle height buildings (in green) are 3-story. The two longer ones are apartment buildings (Greenmax 44, two in a kit) and the others are Greenmax 46-4, four per kit.)

There are six two-story buildings outlined in blue. All six are in one Greenmax 33 store set kit. Four are shown on the back of the center straight. And finally, there’s a pair of pedestrian bridges from one Greenmax 46-3 kit.

From what I've seen in pictures, all the structures are generic enough to pass as 'Western."

The left corner will have a plaza in between the buildings, and maybe parking behind them. The parking area should seem to “extend” beyond the module.
I've been told by other modelers that the buildings snap apart by floors, and can be recombined to create shorter and taller ones. This could be fun!
The heavy curve lines (all pictures) are the track centerlines. Light lines just outside of them mark the roadbed edges.

In the center, on the straight module, I’m looking into using a depressed area with shops under the tracks. The Tomix 4103 Dual Track Underpass Shops and Tomix 4106 Dual Track Underpass Car Park have been ordered for this space. I will have to play a little game with the tracks, as Tomix uses 37mm and Kato uses 33mm spacing between the centerlines, but I think it can be worked out okay. Interfacing the two brands is not a problem, as I already have the adaptors for it.
The right corner has apartments and numerous stores on it, with maybe a small playground just inside the tracks. Both corners will get grassy ‘parks’ on the outside of the tracks.
Probably, there will be no parking visible here.
A theme for the other two corners needed to complete the loop hasn’t even been considered just yet. Anyway, once the big show at the Lubbock Arts Festival on May 1&2 is over, it’ll be time to make sawdust and spread glue.
There’s still a lot of details to be worked out. All the buildings (except the 9-story ones) have been confirmed as having been shipped. So, soon it’ll be time to start building the modules and fitting everything together. To make the big corners a little lighter and simpler to fill with scenery, I think that I will cut off the outside corner when I build them.

A couple of final comments. These new corners will not replace my existing ones, just add to the collection. And, now that there is another TTrak-N modeler in the Lubbock area (Allen), we have begun connecting our modules together in a larger layout. This is done by using junction modules. The larger corners will require a larger junction to match. No problem, already designed. It was a piece of cake.

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