Model Railways / Model Railroads

Friday, January 31, 2020   1:20 PM

Akihabara junk haul, January 2020

In clockwise order, starting at the top:

  • A Kato Marunouchi Line 500/300 series bookcase (empty)
  • A Kato 205 Series Musashino Line bookcase (empty)
  • A Tomix ED61
  • A Kato 205 Series Musashino Line end car
  • A Tomix ED75

Akihabara junk haul, January 2020

Monday, December 30, 2019   8:29 AM

MicroAce DD51s

A recent auction find was this pair of MicroAce DD51s - ca. 3,000 yen for the pair, unboxed.

MicroAce DD51-1156 and DD51-1805

DD51-1156 (on the left, catalogue number A8528) in JRF livery is currently a non-runner as it causes some kind of short circuit when placed on the track. The end railings are also somewhat loose and need fixing.

DD51-1805 (on the right, catalogue number A8521) was the last DD51 produced and the model is in as-delivered livery. Runs fine but one set of end steps is missing.

However these issues should be fixable, and at that price it's hard to complain.

Friday, October 25, 2019   2:11 AM

Recent random acquisitions (October 2019)

It's amazing sometimes what random overseas stuff pops up on Yahoo Auctions...


Somewhere I have an identical or similar Farish coach, also acquired via Yahoo Auctions (as part of a job lot, if memory serves correctly).

Sunday, September 22, 2019   6:27 PM

Improving the Tomix train shed

The Tomix modern-style two-road train shed (複線機関庫, catalogue number 4212) is one of Tomix's classic N scale structures which has been in production for decades (note it was originally available under catalogue number 4012). Although it's a little on the chunky side, it is a plausible generic representation of the kind of multiple-road sheds commonly seen in Japanese train depots, and is a good basis for kitbashing.

A couple of links with ideas:


Friday, September 20, 2019  10:41 AM

Akihabara junk haul, September 2019

In anticlockwise order:

  • a pair of intermediate 103 series cars to expand a Tomix 4-car Yamanote line basic set
  • an intermediate E353 car to expand a Kato E353 series 4-car basic set
  • some side destination stickers for the Tomix N gauge JR 209-1000 Series (Chuo Line) set
  • a whole bunch of Revolution Factory detailing accessories


The Nonowa station mall at Musashi-Sakai Station on the Chuo Line has been using these promotional flags featuring the "face" of the classic 101 series commuter train (which was first introduced on the Chuo Line).

Advertising for the

In a previous entry, Improving Tomix "Second Generation" mechanisms, I provided a suggestion to improve the mechanism of these models by applying tape to the worm gear case to stop it vibrating against the chassis.

A year older and wiser, I've since discovered that while this mitigates the underlying issue somewhat, it's not a particularly effective solution.

The underlying issue, it turns out, is the interaction between worm gear and worm gear case - without sufficient lubrication, the worm gear will cause the case to vibrate, and sometimes "stick" slightly, causing the car to stutter, and possibly put more strain on the motor/and or cause a higher current draw than it should do.

The solution is simple, effective and obvious: lubricate the interface between worm gear and worm gear case.

Tomix worm gear box lubrication

Using a toothpick/cocktail stick I applied dabs of grease to the "tunnels" on inside of the case (above right) and to the worm gear itself one either end where it rotates against the case. Excess can be remove with the toothpick, and wiped on the exposed part of the worm gear (though this really doesn't need much lubrication).

Before doing that however, it's worth cleaning both worm gear and the case, to remove any existing grease/oil residue, and in the case of the worm gear, remove any built-up fibre which may have ended up wrapped around it (quite common with second-hand stock, and something I evidently missed last time).

Friday, September 7, 2018  10:53 AM

Overview of JNR ED7x class locomotives


ClassWheel arrangementNo. builtYears in operationRegion of operation
ED70 Bo-Bo 19  1957 ~ 1975  Hokuriku Main Line
ED71 Bo-Bo 55  1959 ~ 1982  Tohoku Main Line
ED72 Bo-2-Bo 22  1961 ~ 1982  Kyushu
ED73 Bo-Bo 22  1962 ~ 1982  Kyushu
ED74 Bo-Bo 6  1962 ~ 1978  Hokuriku Main Line, Kyushu
ED75 Bo-Bo 302  1963 ~ (present)  Kyushu, north-east Japan
ED76 Bo-2-Bo 139  1965 ~ (present)  Kyushu, Hokkaido
ED77 Bo-2-Bo 16  1967 ~ 1993  Ban'etsu-Nishi line
ED78 Bo-2-Bo 14  1967 ~ 2000  Ōu Main Line
ED79 Bo-Bo 34
 1986/87 ~ 2016 [1]
 1989 ~ 2016 [2]
 Seikan Tunnel

[1] date of conversion from ED75

[2] newly constructed batch