I'll admit right off the hop, I've never really had an affinity for HO besides the first train my parents got me for Christmas when I was like... 4? It was fun until it stopped working right, probably something to do with tiny hands. N is cool. A small detailed model like that is pretty interesting to me. I'm also going to admit that I like Japanese trains. They have a neat utilitarian look and the wider gauge is also pretty cool, just different, as is the widespread use of RDC people movers in rural areas. 'Researching' them, I came across Rokuhan's Zshorty set and just became enamoured right away.
So I started doing papercraft buildings! Just a few to start but once I began, it wasn't long until I had a small village of shops and homes. Then I saw that they had a 'Fastrack' style roadbed track in that same radius. Neat. A few more shipments from Japan later, at honestly really reasonable prices, I had my set! Now I just needed to find a container! I had thought of putting it in the small A1 sized Amazon box because we're transporting and shipping things, right? Well, I didn't think that would honestly hold up very long and after a salesman dropped off this tin full of cookies at the office at work... Well... 1+1, right?
So I held Joe down and force fed him all the cookies, then took this tin home and started planning and wiring the track up.
Man... Thankfully I have steady hands and a great butane iron. On the bottom of each track section there were tiny pinhead pads for each track to connect the drops to. It took a while to get this set up to my satisfaction, along with a new pinpoint tip for my iron.
Then I started building... And scenery stuff. Here's the progression on that!
The world's smallest vending machine. There are 2 of these double wide ones and one single wide one.
I followed Luke Towan's method for securing scenery elements with ModPodge and using the base layer paint to stick the grass texture stuff to it. The notch cut out of the foam is for the switch on the front of the tin. The wiring is stupid simple. 2 AA batteries in series under the foam provides 3v of DC jam. Switch between them and the track. On is go, off is no! I scuffed the inside of the tin and spray painted it, cut some holes in the bottom of it to poke my fingers through so I could remove and change the batteries. Here's the completed mini-layout and I like to think there are lots of cookies for sale in at least one of the shops in the village square.