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Introducing Matsumoto


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Greetings. I was hesitant to introduce my new layout until I was a bit further along, but since this thread is on Layout Building I will introduce the forum to Matsumoto. 

The layout is 58”x 42” and fictional. It imagines an extension of the Yoshino line in Nara Prefecture to the town of Matsumoto on the Eastern border of Yoshino Kumamoto National Park.  Its primary purpose is to bring pilgrims to the temples and shrines amidst the stunning tree covered mountains and rivers.  I imagine an earlier time, so steam will dominate, but I love electric power as well.  

The bench work is open grid. Scenery construction is plaster over cardboard webbing, styrofoam and anything else that gets the job done.  I do subscribe exclusively to any one method.  

this is my first N scale layout. I’ve built many layouts over the years, but love the reliability of the Kato loco’s and track and may linger in this scale for a while.   

I very much enjoy every one’s efforts on this site and welcome any questions or feedback. 



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thanks this is great to see it coming together and how you went about things. Really helps everyone to see this stuff!


love the vertical scenery, usually don’t see much and many times it’s too forced with track plan just requiring a sheer wall. Here it looks like the scenery was done, then track plan was done to allow nice vertical scenes!

how are you doing your color and texturing your plaster rockwork? Zip texturing?





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Thanks Jeff.

I started with a basic Plater of Paris hardshell.  I have a few commercial rubber rock molds I use.  To blend in the rocks and cover the hardshell I use what Lou Sassi called "Ground Goop".  I've used it on my last couple layouts and it's a game-changer.  It's a mix of Celu-clay, latex paint, sand, and water to thin it to the consistency I want.  I use a variety of paint.  The first coat is a combo of cheap Rustoleum nut color, and primer gray.   Then I'll use cheap acrylics to brush on a variety of shades to get the rock colors. 


For the first time ever I used a Woodland Scenics Shaper Sheet to do some of the tall vertical mountain.  See pic showing white crumpled sheet.  It's very simple and effective.  

I hope that answered your question.  

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Here’s a pretty good shot of all the techniques coming together.  There’s probably smarter ways to do all of this but I just do what I do until I’m happy with the outcome.  The reality is that most of what is in this photo will be covered by trees.  


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Thanks! I’ve seen a few modifications to celu-clay to add a bit finer texture to it as celu-clay can be a bit rough. Off to play some!


i hadnt seen the woodlands scenic shaper sheets. I had seen folks using heavy aluminum foil and once side coated foils for this base form. Looks like theirs is a very heavy foil or has a very heavy coating on the one side.


scenery is so personal, I’ve seen folsk do fantastic things with a technique but it utterly fail in someone else’s hands and vise versa for another technique. I’m always preaching experiment with lots of techniques and see what feels best in your hands. It’s also fun to see the variety of effects you can get to have exactly what you may need at some point. I also think just experimenting with techniques with little bits gets you much more at ease with the materials and how they work and thus better at getting them to work well in your hands. Many times too it’s just practice! 

thanks again it’s always fun to watch things progress.





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1 minute ago, Tom C said:

A baby brother in arms here; https://jnsforum.com/community/topic/17986-akita-mountain/


What you're doing is looking fab. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see more.



Thanks Tom... I'm a big fan of your work, and wish I possessed half your scratch building skills.  I don't have the patience or dexterity for the type of work you're doing, but it gives me incredible inspiration and ideas.   Greg

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Work on the river progressed a little tonight.  I’m using the toilet paper technique discussed on this forum.  Really like this technique so far.  Test fitted the truss bridge as well. 



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Jeff… it’s a tendency I have when it comes to projects.  Not sure if it’s good or bad.  LOL!  I become slightly obsessed and can’t stop until the idea is out of my head.  I’ve been model railroading for 40 years and have discovered that if I don’t get my ideas “on canvas” right away I lose interest.  I could never be a “craftsman” type of modeler. Don’t have the patience or discipline for long drawn out projects. 

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