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Secret side project ;)
#1
Hi all!

Anyone who's seen my main layout thread will know I have a rather ambitious switchback loop for my Plarail/Tomica World layout planned, as one level of a multi-storey storage unit i'm planning to build. However, it's one of only 3 levels for this unit, so the question obviously is;

What about the other 2?

Well  Big Grin

Admittedly the top level is likely to be more Plarail as well, since it'll be the open-top level, so my Plarail circular storage tower is likely to migrate there from one corner of my layout, so as to free up more space for layout features, but that still leaves a middle level and several other sections to consider, right?

That's where my newest idea for a, shall we say sub-section of my modelling hobby, has come into play, and as part of a very busy day of playing video games at the arcade and hanging around London serious hobby product shopping [ Wink ] I have what, for now, is the basis for the contents of part of the middle and top levels of this new unit, with the next stage being to go to the hardware store and load up on the nessecary tools and materials.

But hey, wouldn't be fun if I just went all-in and told you straight-up exactly what I was doing, right? So, watch this space for updates as I build the unit, and see if you can guess what I might be building alongside my major Plarail expansion [details of that in the regular thread]  Big Grin

[Hint, it actually serves as the combination of several of my hobbies and interests into one neat package, and while not exactly conventional, it would be fair to say I never really went for conventional anyway  Cool ]


[Image: image.png]

Another [possible] clue; There's a lot of measuring for this one  Wink
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#2
Slot car track?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#3
Well, I used to own one, but no  Wink
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#4
Lego?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#5
Something I like a lot, but no - I already have my Lego dioramas set in a different place  Wink

In truth, I think the result will be quite the surprise for people to see, but going over my plans, i'm pretty excited to get building and see how I do with what is kind of my first large-scale DIY project  Cool  

That said, some of the parts for this project are in the same consignment from China as the Plarail 'Auto Turn Out' points, so the switchback will probably get built around the same time, hopefully Smile
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#6
Geo Tracks?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#7
They look interesting, although I can't say I recall them being avaliable here in the UK, so no  Cool
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#8
[Image: DSC-0365.jpg]

Alright chaps, a day of building later, and here's the first section (middle level) of my new unit...

Can anyone guess what this section is going to be now?

(hint, the L-shaped section in the middle is an unfinished lift/elevator, placed for measurement purposes)
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#9
This has something to do with your other hobbies?
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#10
Yep, those being cosplay/fashion and action figure collecting, 2 of my many other hobbies aside from Plarail of course Wink
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#11
With those hobbies I have no idea of how you would incorporate them into your Layout and with that said no ideas of what you are constructing with the elevator but I am interested to see more. Big Grin
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#12
Alright then, since it's now 2/3 finished, I think I can give away what the top two levels will be Wink

So, a friend of mine (also into fairly similar interests) got me into, of all things, doll collecting, specifically, 1/6 scale (Barbie sized) fashion dolls!

Their suggestion came from my interests in cosplay and fashion, and figurine collecting, and they suggested trying the Japanese 'Jenny' line since these are similar to Barbie but with a much more Japanese emphasis, and consequently are more anime-like in some regards.

Well, aside from a couple of those on the way from the East, there were a couple of mainstream fashion dolls that caught my eye here in the UK, matching my preference for goth/punk style fashion; Moonlight B.B from the LOL Surprise 'OMG' line, and Emi Vanda from the Rainbow High line.

However, there was one glaring issue; I could display these on a shelf, but that would be tricky in a room with limited shelf space, so I turned to creating a shelf unit above my stairs (as previously noted) to fit them, and other things.

In the end though, I was tempted to buy one of the various pre-made 1/6 scale dollhouses, figuring I should have a dollhouse for them of some sort, as opposed to a shelf, in order to do the hobby properly, so to speak.

Big issue was (almost unsurprisingly), most pre-made doll houses tend to lean towards pink colours (which I didn't want), and none were of the right size to fit the space I had, so I decided to do the next best thing, and make 2 levels of the proposed shelf unit into a doll apartment, hand-built and furnished by yours truly Wink

As such, I retooled the middle and top levels of the unit to be partly taken by the rooms for this apartment, retaining space for storage too, and of course a dedicated level at the bottom, in line with my Plarail bridge, for a reversing loop to be added.

So, my project was to create a totally bespoke storage unit/doll house, and if I do say so myself, it's going rather well Big Grin


[Image: 20211122-183546.jpg]

[Image: 20211122-183642.jpg]

[Image: 20211122-183740.jpg]

[Image: 20211122-183810.jpg]

[Image: 20211122-183931.jpg]

[Big thanks to Rainbow High's Emi Vanda for being the model in this photoshoot, helping to demonstrate the lift Wink ]

As you can see, it's unfurnished at present but I have furniture and decorations on the way, and obviously the top level needs the rest of its walls added, but it's definitely taking shape. The plan is to furnish it in a contemporary, realistic style, with electric lighting and other features.

I admit I'm rather proud of the lift, as it was designed to engineer past several problems I noted with the Barbie and competition equivalents, those being a lack of motorisation potential (my lift will be motorised, connected to the lighting circuit of the apartment on a 12v supply), and in the case of several, not compatible with the Barbie wheelchair - A small detail, but as someone with very strong feelings about inclusive design, it was an absolute must that the lift be able to accommodate the wheelchair (and occupant) as easily as a standing occupant.

In addition, it uses a metal drawer runner (mounted vertically) as a guidance system, giving it a very smooth and level motion compared to the simple friction systems on commercial houses.

Tl:dr, Barbie Dreamhouse, eat your heart out, because I knew I could engineer better Big Grin

For the record, this whole build, including tool costs, was still about £100 less overall than a Barbie Dreamhouse currently costs in the UK, although that is before decorating, but that's worth thinking about especially when considering how this bespoke solution is much better and fits the surroundings much better, IMHO Wink
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#13
LOL...I would have never guessed this. I had thought that the hobby would have something to do with trains Undecided
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#14
Well, in fairness, I do have plans to try and get the 'Jenny' brand Bullet Train Stewardess uniform, as a little shout-out to the train hobby lol Big Grin

Apparently that's been a thing for several years, Takara/Tomy releasing packs containing scale-accurate bullet train stewardess uniforms, including the ones used in the 700 Series Shinkansen Smile
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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#15
This project is getting pretty extensive. Anxious to see more.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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