JMTN blog

(Japanese Model Train Newsletter)

‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report

Here is the details of the planning of the diorama, and it’s construction …


With the arrival of the Tomytec shrine complex, I planned a small diorama to enter in my club’s modelling contest that is held on Friday 31st at the AGM & Xmas party. I have two tentative designs, and are not sure which one is ‘best’. The size is 30 x 60cm.

Because of their standard size, I decided to exclusively use only items from the Tomytec ‘Collection’ Series, so except for the trains (Modemo), and some of the people (Kato), nearly everything on the diorama will come from Tomy.


This one will have the rail line (with Enoden train) along the LH edge. The base to the left of the rail line is to be cut off. The open areas will be streets, and the area behind the shrine will be for bus parking. On the street alongside the shrine will be the 12 festival stalls.


This one has the rail line in the middle, and again the base to the left of the picture is to be cut off, and the open areas will be streets.

I posed the question to several Japanese model railway discussion groups, and the general consensus was that option #2 better fitted the image of the Enoden running in places very close to the surrounding buildings.

pb245796.jpgFirst, I cut the board to the required size, painted the edges black, and marked where all the buildings would be placed. pb245797.jpg

Then I painted the areas that would be streets with Woodland Scenics ‘Ashpalt’, and the areas along the rail line with Woodland Scenics ‘Earth Undercoat’.


Next the Tomix Finetrack rail was fixed in place, the level crossings added, and then the outside of the track was track ballasted with Tomix’s ‘Finetrack’ colour ballast.



Today the inside of the track was ballasted, as well as the dirt and grass area added along the line sides. Then a fence (Greenmax) was added on the shrine side of the tracks to make a small pathway, and the overhead wire pole were put next to the tracks. I also fitted the bases of the shrine together, filled in the gaps between them, and then tried to paint over it to match the base colour (very close to Floquil Polly S ‘Earth’).Other jobs done were to paint all the bases of the Tomytec buildings the same colour, so that they would line up looking like one continuous footpath.



As I am doing night shifts at the moment (5pm-2am), I have had more time during the day to do work on the diorama. I have now added footpaths, road markings and other details, and basically all that is left is to add a little vegetation here and there, a few more details on the streets (vending machines, phone boxes etc), and then all the people. I can tell you it took hours to assemble the Tomix and Kato mikoshi figure sets 😦


With another fairly free day (no work tonight as we are going to see Sir Elton John’s Solo Tour), I have added all the details that I can fit in, and now it is just a matter of sticking everything down, and adding vehicles & figures. Here are overall photos of the module from all 4 sides. I will not be taking any more photos until it is finished, and then they will be close-up detail shots only ( I have made them 2x larger than the previous ones).

pb285804.jpg pb285806.jpg pb285808.jpg pb285805.jpg  


Added a couple of trees (including one of the new Tomytec LARGE Japanese Cedars) and some bushes along the railway line to hide the back edge of the building bases. Couldn’t fit all the festival stalls along the street in front of the shrine, so some of them are inside the shrine entrance. Finally all the people arrived, but of course there should be 4-5 times more than I actually used :-)I concentrated on mini-scenes rather than just an overall diorama, and have included stuff like …

  • street band (like at Harajuku) playing to admiring school-age audience (and a policeman checking if they comply with the local ordinances)
  • 1 TV crew filming procession of mikoshi
  • another TV crew giving news interview
  • yakuza arguing about a parking incident
  • drunks staggering out of a bar
  • off-duty bus drivers buying from a vending machine
  • young children on shrine tour & feeding the deer
  • railfan waiting to take photo of approaching train
  • couple in traditional costume meeting and bowing to a freind

BTW, the trains both have drivers/conductors/passengers, and also a bus being parked has a driver and tour guide. All of this takes time (especially when the figures don’t stick down the first time !!!), so as i said before, I would have liked to add more figures to give an even MORE crowded appearance 🙄


Here is the results from the judging …


The scoring system was as follows …

26/30 for construction
17/20 for detail
8/10 for conformity
15/20 for finish & lettering
6/20 for scratchbuilding
TOTAL – 72/100

It has been a bone of contention for a while that so many points are allocated to the category of scratchbuilding, when many of the items entered are built from kits etc. What it means is that an item that is not scratchbuilt will never win the overall ‘Best in Show’ award. Somehow I don’t know how I even managed to get SIX points 😆


Finally managed to take some close-up photos, so you can see exactly what was used on the diorama … starting on the shopping street side, we will move anti-clockwise around the module.  Sorry if some of them are a little fuzzy, but even though I used a tripod and light stand, it is sometimes very hard to focus on small items so close to the camera.pc155824.jpg

Here you can see some traditional Japanese shops (fish shop on the corner), and some off-duty bus drivers buying from a vending machine. One has actually had too much already and fallen over 🙄 


This is a view down the narrow street. The Honda ‘Z’ is crossing the railway line just after the train has passed.pc155823.jpg

This is the other corner of the street, with one rather more modern building.


Some more traditional wooden shops.


Next to those is the next street corner with more vending machines, and a crowd of young people gathering to watch a band playing in the street.

pc155825.jpg pc155827.jpg

Behind them is a policeman checking if they comply with the local noise level ordinances 😆

You can also see the train approaching the crossing, and you can tell it is heading THIS way because you can see the driver in the cab.

pc155834.jpg pc155835.jpg

On the other side of the railway line, the street is closed and is full of festival stalls.


Around the corner, you can see the street blocked off, a TBS TV crew doing an interview, and a crazy couple trying to get in the picture. People are also lined up to see the approaching parade.


Here you can see the parade being led by a police motorcycle.


This is the Kato portable shrine set.


A film crew from Kansi TV is set up to do a documentary on the festival. You can also see a traditional couple meeting in the background.


This is the Tomix portable shrine set.


Behind the shrine area is a tourist bus parking area.


One bus is just arriving, and you can see the driver and tour guide.


On this side of town is the entertainment district, with a bath house, ryokan and cinema.


The 4th side of the module is just the backs of several buildings, so there is really nothing to see except for the view down the rail line of the departing train, complete with conductor. I used un-powered trains, and filled them with passengers, unfortunately there aren’t any photos that show this clearly 😦

Here are some close-up shots of scenes within the shrine grounds …

pc155843.jpg pc155830.jpg pc155836.jpg

A group of school children are a little apprehensive about the hungry, persistent deer.

pc155850.jpg pc155831.jpg

Some of the stalls inside the shrine grounds.

And to finish, so more general shots of the module from the festival side from left to right…

 pc155853.jpg pc155847.jpg pc155854.jpg pc155855.jpg pc155856.jpg

pc155844.jpg (large file)

Well folks – that’s about it -I will decide later if this module will be used as-is on the new layout, or has to be pulled apart …. any questions about what something is, or where it came from, etc ❓

As of early May, I can report that the diorama was indeed dismantled, with everything taken off to be used on the new layout. Unfortunately, I could not find a space big enough to fit it on the layout as it was 😦

November 25, 2007 - Posted by | Kato, Modemo, Tomytec


  1. […] ‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report November 2007 13 comments Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Taj MahalTaj Mahal – A Hindu Shiva Temple-Palace TEJO MAHAL (via Santosh Bhatt’s B…#1 Page and Top 3 Posts In 2009 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « JMTN blog | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] recent average readership per month is over 2,400 and still the most popular post by far is ‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report with 4,533 […]

    Pingback by Second anniversary !!! « JMTN blog | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] readership is still 732 page views (December 22, 2007). The most popular post by far still is ‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report with 1,955 […]

    Pingback by 40,000 pages views !!!!! « JMTN blog | April 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hey, good work. I love it! I’m so far from completing my layout, but am working on my city structures etc.

    If you’d like to see some of my skyscrapers I’ve made as well as some of my other buildings, you can check them out here.

    I’ve not photographed all my buildings yet! 😀

    Keep up the good work!

    I want to set up a website one of these days! 😀

    Comment by Bob Beaumont | February 9, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] day’s readership is still 732 page views (December 22, 2007). The most popular post by far is ‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report with 1,955 […]

    Pingback by 30,000 page views !!! « JMTN blog | January 27, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks Pedro !!! In this case I used non-powered trains, because I wanted to fill them with passengeers, and normally the motor mechanism makes this difficult.

    Comment by redracer | January 20, 2008 | Reply

  7. First off, my compliments on such a fantastic and inspiring job. Here’s my question, and sorry for being such a newbie: the train you use in this diorama, is that a “powered” train? One of the more expensive, you can actually run it on a track, ones? Cause obviously it doesn’t need to be for this diorama… or is that the only option?

    Comment by Pedro | January 20, 2008 | Reply

  8. […] ahead of the pack, after only ONE MONTH, is the ‘Enoden’ Diorama progress report with a HUGE 1,890. Due to this post, my highest daily viewing was 732 on December 22 Following […]

    Pingback by Most popular posts for 2007 « JMTN blog | January 13, 2008 | Reply

  9. Yes Garth, that is what others said afterwards – doing scenery etc can be considered a part of scratchbuilding …

    Comment by redracer | December 23, 2007 | Reply

  10. BD99, the background is a photo of the Tokyo skyline taken by Dick Harris, who you may have seen in the Jtrains group. I extended it a little by duplicating the ends, and then had it printed out. It was used as the background on Setagaya (have a look at the web page), and buildings were put in front to hide the obvious 2 Tokyo Towers etc. If possible, I will try to use it again on the new layout, as it cost too much to get printed to let go to waste 🙂

    Comment by redracer | December 23, 2007 | Reply

  11. You built the base and you decorated the base that is scratch building for a start. What else did you have to make for the finished look.

    Comment by Garth | December 23, 2007 | Reply

  12. Doug,
    wht did you use (and from where) for the Tokyo skyline background?


    Comment by bluedonkey99 | December 23, 2007 | Reply

  13. Thanks Mark !!! it may be the ONLY diorama at the AGM, as it is not a popular category that gets many entries. I know there is an entry in the ‘Novice’ section, but mine is in the ‘Open’ section, so the two are not up against each other.

    However a lone entry still has to get a certain number of points to get a prize – you cannot just win because you were the only entrant in a category 🙂

    Comment by redracer | December 5, 2007 | Reply

  14. Nice work, Doug! I bet your’s will be the most interesting diorama at the AGM.



    Comment by Mark Newton | December 5, 2007 | Reply

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