Sunday, July 19, 2020

Module "Rice Fields"

In the middle of 2016 I decided to stop building my ambitious L shaped layout and try to complete a small module which I called "Rice Fields".

Building a layout is an exhausting work, it lasts for years and you can never see it completed. Each phase is tiring long in time. I spent one year making the perfect plan for the space I had, trying to fit as much tracks as possible. Then I needed another year just for the woodwork. Same time just to lay tracks... and you are forced to finish a phase to be to enjoy the next one.

I was able to complete the module in a couple of months and a short time after I completely disassembled the layout to focus my time just on building modules. It is much more satisfying to complete a job in a short time and to be able to work repeatedly in the different type of works you realize in this hobby (woodwork, electricity, tracks, decoration, electronics, ...).

About this first module, I was inspired by a photo I took in 2015 when travelling by train through Ôu Main Line from Aomori to Hirosaki at this point:

I was very surprised to see a graveyard between the rice fields, so I tried to reproduce this rural ambient in the module. There were also magnificent views of Mount Iwaki behind the rice fields:

I started with a standard two track straight module:

After laying and ballasting the tracks I used a 1mm PVC foam sheet to make the slopes and relief of the rice fields and the places to fit some Tomix farm houses:

I covered everything with earth colour grout, that type of mortar used to fill the space between floor tiles. On top of the grout I added static grass, and painted the bottom of the flooded rice fields. Water was simulated with a two component resin, the same used in jewelry and easy to find in hobby stores.  

I wanted to add more detail with a small freight platform. To illuminate the shelter I used a cooper strip and soldered SMD warm white leds:

Some more illumination, like street lamps:

There was no Toori in the original photo, but I wanted to try the possibilities of a 3D printer and I liked it:

And finally just small details as farmers, some tractors and different crops:

Here you can see the final result using one of my photos as backdrop: