Rail Wars! Episode 11 Review
Episode 11 continues the story from episode 10 with the K4 unit defending Prince Bernina from a nefarious kidnap threat - at least, it would been nefarious if the director could somehow convey it.
The action in this episode is equally hollow and forced. It’s a shame as the plot gives potential for some exciting scenes but poor animation and staging let it down.
Koumi’s defensiveness from the previous episode seems to have been just a fluke as there is no connection in this episode and every other character’s development is near non-existent.
Given that we’re nearly at the end of the series, it’s pretty disappointing that we haven’t been built up to a more dramatic conclusion. There’s just a couple of episodes left now and Rail Wars! really has to make a big jump in terms of plot and delivery in order to up it’s game.
Finally, quote of the episode goes to Sakurai for “You’re such a limp noodle, Takayama”.
Previous Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 10 Review | Next Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 12 Review
Controlling Multiple Locomotive Consists with the Roco LokMaus II and MultiMaus DCC Controllers
Can you control multiple unit consists using the Roco LokMaus II and Roco MultiMaus?
If your consists are set up using Advanced Consisting (programming of CV19), yes. On the LokMaus II you can only control consist addresses up to 99, as the LokMaus II only supports two-digit addressing. The MultiMaus however can control the full range of possible consist addresses.
Can you set-up and disband multiple unit consists using the Roco LokMaus II and Roco MultiMaus?
If your decoders support programming of CV19 (Advanced Consist Address), absolutely. You are constrained though by what is possible with Advanced Consisting and the limitations of the Roco controllers.
On the LokMaus II you can only program values from 0 to 99. This means that you can’t program consist addresses between 100 and 127. This also means that you can’t change a locomotive’s normal direction of travel with CV19, so you’ll need to make sure the consist locomotives will all travel in the right direction when placed on the track. Finally, when programming you will need to program each locomotive one at a time on their own.
These issues don’t apply to the MultiMaus, which can program the full range of possible values. The MultiMaus also supports Programming On the Main (POM) so you can set up and disband your consists without having to remove other locomotives from the track.
Can you control a locomotive’s speed and direction using it’s normal decoder address if it has also had it’s Advanced Consist Address (CV19) set?
No. At least, not with my Digitrax decoders. I’m assuming that this is by design and that all decoders will behave in the same way. If you need to control a locomotive individually then you’ll need to clear it’s CV19 value to 0.
What does the inside of a model railway locomotive look like? Like this.
I’ve stripped down a Kato EF210-100 locomotive (from their 10-010 starter set) for a thorough service and thought I’d lay out all the parts for you to see. It’s not a complete dis-assembly as some very delicate detailing and the motor have been left as they are but it’s unlikely that you’ll need to disassemble your own locomotive to this extent.
Rail Wars! Episode 10 Review
If Rail Wars has been leaving you feeling like there hasn’t been enough locomotives featured then episode 10 makes up for this by featuring a whole swath of them in one go - whilst some of the characters are gushing their enthusiasm of trains, of course.
With that said, let’s move onto what actually happens. The K4 unit has been assigned to guard Prince Bernina, of a completely fictional country because of course you can’t use a real country, as he visits Japan and rides the Hokutesukei sleeper train from Ueno to Sapporo. The Prince himself is a railfan and spends a fair amount of time gushing about trains or being gushed to about trains - helped by an amazing fluency in Japanese, despite never having studied in Japan…
As the K4 unit is guarding the Prince there is naturally something to guard him against and there is some action in the episode, as well as your normal dose of service. It’s a pretty average episode with a reasonable balance of all elements, which given the quality of the series is actually good in relative terms.
There is a tiny amount of character development as we get to see Koumi being a lot more defensive than she normally is. It appears to be not to hard to suss out but then again this episode is the first of a two-parter, so there is potential to find out more about why Koumi is being as cagey as she is.
Judging by the next episode preview, the best might have passed of the two-parter but it would be unfair to totally judge it before it’s out there.
Previous Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 9 Review | Next Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 11 Review
Thanks to chinbeard on the JNS Forums, I’ve discovered a wonderful Japanese website for the Tokkou Yarou B-Team. They appear to be a team of model railway enthusiasts that specialise in modelling with Bandai’s B-Train Shorty range. Their modelling philosophy extends to a fascinating variety of micro dioramas, layouts and original creations. There’s some great ideas in there and I hope to draw some inspiration for my own efforts!
Our cat, Mo, enjoys watching the model trains going round when I have my track out on the floor. Normally he’s well behaved but today he’s forgotten that his tail is on the track and holding up passengers on the E6 Super Komachi Shinkansen.
After a long time avoiding DCC (Digital Command Control) and sticking with analogue model train control, I’ve dipped my toes into the DCC water and bought a Roco LokMaus 2 controller to experiment with.
This foray into DCC has been prompted primarily by a purchase of a Tomix EF210 locomotive, that had been converted to DCC, for a price that I just couldn’t decline. As such I needed something to control it with but as with the locomotive I wanted to get a controller for a good price too.
Even at the budget end of the DCC spectrum there is a reasonable amount of choice but as I wanted something simple yet satisfying and with some room for expansion if I catch the DCC bug.
After a few months of erring I’ve eventually managed to pick up Roco’s LokMaus 2 controller. This was bundled in with many Roco’s DCC starter sets but has been superseded by the MultiMaus.
The main features of the LokMaus 2 are:
- Control of up to 99 locomotive addresses
- Function buttons for lighting (F0) and functions F1 to F4
- Easy programming mode for CV1 to CV5
- Advanced programming mode for CV1 to CV99 from values 0 to 99
- Emergency stop
- Protected operating mode which can disable programming and emergency stop
- Expandable with additional handsets and boosters
So, what are the limitations?
- No dedicated programming track; programming only at full voltage on the main track
- No auxiliary power output for accessories
- No read back of decoder CV values without an additional booster
- Unable to control DCC accessories, such as turnout drives, unless they can be programmed as locomotive addresses
- Locomotives with addresses above 99 can’t be controlled (two digit addressing)
- CVs above 99 can’t be programmed
- CVs cannot be programmed with a value above 99
The MultiMaus system overcomes some of the latter issues but I felt that the extra cost over the LokMaus 2 brought it closer to the likes of Gaugemaster’s Prodigy Express which has many more features for the money but I hadn’t quite got to the point of being happy to spend over £100 on my first DCC controller.
So, who is the LokMaus 2 best for? I think that those of you just starting out with DCC and with modest layouts, such as my temporary on-the-floor layouts, would benefit the most. I know that it will take me a long time to convert even a small portion of my rolling stock so I won’t be using more advanced features that aren’t available on the LokMaus 2 for quite some time but I don’t have to worry about the addressing limitations as I definitely don’t have that many locomotives and trains.
In my opinion, I feel that the LokMaus 2 is worth the money and I hope that I continue to feel that way after I’ve spent some more time with it and built my collection of DCC-converted trains.
Rail Wars! Episode 9 Review
Episode 9 of Rail Wars! has landed, after much falling about, turning about and flying about. In fact, I’ve pretty much summed up the majority of the episode but if you’ve watched the last two episodes then you’ll have pretty much guessed that this episode was going to end up like this. There’s just the smallest amount of romantic interest but really this obligatory episode is about tying up loose ends rather than developing the situation too much.
In fact, that’s where this review is going to end as there isn’t much at all that can be said without spoiling what little of the story there is to enjoy. What I’m really intrigued by is the next episode, which looks like it’s going to feature the Hokutosei sleeper train and a pretty-boy foreigner. Stay tuned!
Previous Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 8 Review | Next Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 10 Review
Just arrived in the post, thanks to Nariichi-san at ModelTrainPlus.
In this order are Tsugawa concrete fences, Tomytec ‘under construction’ building, Tomix containers, Tomix container wagons and Kato platform ends. They’re all fairly small additions to the collection but they will keep me ticking over - for this month, at least!
Rail Wars! Episode 8 Review
Episode 7 of Rail Wars! was an improvement on previous episodes and left us on a bit of a cliffhanger, so does episode 8 live up to expectations? I’m going to say that it does, although the story takes a slightly different direction to what might have been expected with the situation that episode 7 ended with.
A different situation arises and it’s up to the members of the K4 team to find a solution. As the situation is set up fairly early in the episode, it’s quite difficult to say anything that doesn’t give too much away but one thing I can say is that it allows everybody to play a part - even Iwaizumi, who has been somewhat neglected over most of the episodes.
This episode sees a welcome increase to the action and drama, and I was even impressed by a particular scene where Koumi speaks out strongly against a number of other characters who are failing to take action. With the boost to the drama, there is also a noticeable reduction in the fan service. It’s still there but it definitely feels toned down compared to the standard set in the majority of episodes.
Although last episode’s situation isn’t properly resolved, it’s interesting to see that this episode also ends on a cliffhanger. I’d been beginning to think before episode 7 that Rail Wars! wasn’t capable of cliffhangers or any meaningful link between episodes but the last episode and this episode have made a decent effort to address that.
I’m glad to say that, again, I’m looking forward to the next episode. Whilst there is always plenty of room for improvement, I think the last two episodes have been a lot more relevant to the core concept of the Rail Wars! scenario and I’m hoping to see it continue in this direction.
Finishing up, I would definitely recommend episode 7 and 8 to anyone that originally picked Rail Wars! up to watch but abandoned it when it lost it’s way a little as it approached the mid-season point. And my final observation… I’d really like one of those JNR mugs, and I know where to get them.
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