Thursday, December 24, 2015


I just can't say it enough - Happy Holidays! :)

Some holiday music for you! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

NRAIL Progress Report Video - December 2015

I put together another progress report video for December 2015. These have proven to be interesting to look over later - seeing where things are to date compared to months back.

I'm pleased with the way things are going at the moment. I also enjoy the fact that I'm starting to set down roots on the layout so I can get moving on more of the scenic side of things.

I have three sections now for the most part:

SHIZUKA - the City section

SOYOKAZE which is broken into a few areas - Soyokaze Harbor, Soyokaze Temple, Soyokaze Village and Soyokaze Hill.

And the new section, KIWAMURA.

View the video here:

NRAIL Progress Report December 2015 from Malcolm Johnson on Vimeo.

I'm aiming to just work on as much as I can work on when I can work on it. Could be 4 hours (rare) or a few minutes of puttering during a work break, which is far more common.

I've been doing a little city planning in Kiwamura - an area name I'm still making an effort to remember! I'm trying to get the flow right before locking too much down. I did the same thing in the Shizuka section and there were many great things that came out of the process. It's an interesting section to work through. I wanted it to be more modern and a little more boring in certain ways while more interesting in others. The main town area is rather straight forward while the factory area has potential for fun and whimsy. I gave thought to making my Kaiju monster area over in this spot rather than in the subway section. I'm going to scale the monster down and plant it out of direct sight with the military mounting and offensive close to the factory.  I want to make the view work for a monster sighting! :)

Smaller details are starting to roll into the Soyokaze and Shizuka sections. I want more signs, tourists and plan on making a go at street markings soon as well.

Thanks for reading!

Wagakki Band

【和楽器バンド】天樂 【Wagakki Band】Tengaku

This is just a musical select that fits well with my NRAIL world. :) It think it's a cool blend of Japanese pop and traditional Japanese music.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kiwamura Hill, military, and more

I managed to get some down time in here and there during this week. I was trying to stay sane. :)

I had to come up with a way to deal with the back corner of Kiwamura. When I built it, I didn't have the same back space to crawl up into, so reaching the back of the layout was difficult. I had to lean over - leaving a space to place a hand for balance. Not easy. It's hard to lean over five feet on one hand.

I had a few suggestions on how to address the space. The best backed up my own thought - build something to drop into the back space instead of trying to build in the back space itself.

I carved and built up a hillside with foam and then covered it with plaster gauze. It worked like a charm

Foam covered with plaster....

A little paint and some Woodland Scenics....

A little walking view spot....

 Not bad.

I'm pretty happy with the results.  When I get the additional trees in, we'll be golden.

I also started to work on additional details. Like the hillside apartment complex area. 

I also checked out the plastic fencing I purchased a while back. I wasn't sure it was going to be as good as the laser cut metal fence I had, but it's not bad. It doesn't read as plastic. And, it's FAR less expensive than the laser cut metal fencing. It's worth being a little more cleaver about using the plastic - I can get three packs of the plastic for the same cost as one metal laser fence pack.


The military is also snooping around the factory. I think there may be something wrong there.  :)

I wanted to make the corner of the Kiwamura Station curve a little more....realistic. It needed something to look like a bridge. I thought I'd try another styrene build.

The first round of painting is done. I just need to go back in and add some weathering and additional details. Maybe some additional supports under as well.

Overall, I'm happy with the progress. These are the little details that I love working on. I want to make sure that I don't go too fast. That I'm thinking through the building of these details properly so that I don't get ahead of myself.

I'd love to get additional trains to run - something basic. I wanted to get the N•EX train, but I don't think it will run on my curves. I might still get it and hope it works. I can always resell it on eBay if need be.

Other trains in question....

And...more to come....