Tim Schwalfenberg has just come back from the subjugated provinces and hung up his Roman Legionnaire’s battle gear, which looks stunning displayed in all its glory.
Tim’s been busy in his Iron Builder competition against Matt De Lanoy, and has been rolling out top-notch models left and right. Here are a few of my favorites, but be sure to check his flickr stream for the rest.
This is Cale Leiphart and he likes trains, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying his builds for many years now. His latest culmination of train-awesomeness is the Red Lion Station, and is a model of the Maryland & Pennsylvania RR train station and surrounding areas.
At over 3.5 x 17 feet (that’s 5 meters), this requires adjectives which I do not posses to describe the incredible feat. That’s not to say there haven’t been larger builds, but I have a hard time recalling a build of this size that has this much detail packed in. Not only does each of the buildings have a beautiful facade, but each building has a fully decked out interior. It’s so large it’s incredibly hard to even photograph, and is one of those builds that are best enjoyed in person at a display:
I really liked how Cale has gone against the grain and built buildings and streets at non-right angles, a non-trivial feat, to build off-axis roads and buildings:
Not only are the roads difficult to build at an angle, most people would have simply laid the train track on top of the road to avoid complicated brickwork, but Mr. Leiphart, true to form, built it inside the road with some really clever brick work.
As I mentioned before, I had seen earlier versions of this layout last year and it really caught my eye. By catch my eye, I mean I did a double take and went OH-MY-G-O-S-H. Again the size is impressive, but I’m a detail guy, and this nondescript grey building blew my mind. Take a closer look at the sides, it’s not just nicely stacked brick, it’s made up of panels, hundreds of panels attached in some seemingly magical way. Despite being very late on the first setup night, Cale – who was still setting up this magnificent display – noticed our fevered interest and stopped everything and came over to us and showed us the secret of the grey building. This became my number 1 cool must-see thing at BrickFair that year.
Check out the full photo collection here.
I’m not the train expert here on TBB, but I do know a few things about micro and setting up small scale micro dioramas, and this build by Galaktek is simply divine:
I love the use of the raised track and the nice 45 degree angle. But what really steals the show for me is the amazing train. The engine is what microscale is all about – using existing pieces in completely different fashion. In this case using the familiar spring loaded cannon base for the little blue engine that could.
According to Lino Martins, he combined hot rod and steam engine in equal parts and sprinkled in a dash of black magic. When the thunder and lightning stopped and the earth ceased to shake, this wicked beast rolled out of the smoke and up to the curb.
I really dig this one. The locomotive motif, the color scheme and the steam-punk detailing all combine in a most excellent and cohesive way. One of my favorite touches is the open rib-work on the hood, showing off the spinning turbine. This is definitely another masterpiece from the Master.
The top of the coach also opens to display the crushed red velvet interior.
It isn’t often that we see such excellent video of a collaborative train layout and it certainly helps that there are some really lovely trains in there too. Hats off to Michael Gale for a job well done!
The video is on Flickr as well, if you prefer that or want to leave a comment there.
Edit (JW): This is not actually a collaborative layout. Michael built the whole thing. Most impressive!
Today we take a little history lesson in the streetcars of Toronto. Calum Tsang and Derek Raycraft have recreated all three streetcars that have been used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC):
From left to right: the new LRV (2013), PCC (1936) and what I grew up loving: CLRV (1977).
Which one do you like best?
Best part? You can see this up close at the Toronto (Sherway) LEGO Brand Retail store all of November.
But this isn’t the first time this dynamic duo has worked together, last time was on a slightly larger scale when Calum built a Boeing 777 and Derek built an Airbus A380 … in minifig scale… plus the airport to go with it:
This gorgeous display by Daniele Daprile is a perfect blend of trains and tropical beaches. There are far too many details for one photo, so be sure to click through and check out the whole set.
Better known for super-accurate scale model motorcycles and trucks, Dutch builder Bricksonwheels has decided to try his hand at a train. And not surprisingly, the result is spectacular – and also huge!
At 1.31m in length, this model EMD SD40-2 freight locomotive required months of building and approximately 20,000 bricks to complete. It was built at 1:16 scale …which I suppose technically puts it in the “rideable” 3/4 inch scale Live Steam gauge! It will also be featured in an upcoming book on LEGO scale model building by No Starch Press.
At first glance nothing seems out of the ordinary about this modern Japanese tram going about its business on the streets of Sapporo, Japan…
…until you realize it was built from LEGO! Flickr member 1103spa not only went the trouble of photographing the model “on site” in forced perspective, but also did a great job using stickers to complete the illusion. Here’s the reveal:
My education in trains and train creations is woefully incomplete, fortunately Tim pointed out this creation to help me along the way. This is a German BR64, built by brickshelf user abhf. The truly amazing thing about this creation is that this photo is not the work of forced perspective. This is a huge an detailed display. I bet it looks amazing in person.
Henrik Hoexbroe tends to build highly detailed minifig scale models. His latest model is a dining coach as used in 1919 as part of the famous Orient Express, which used to connect Paris with Istanbul.
A single train coach may not sound like a particularly interesting subject, but this one is a bit special. For understandable reasons, most train builders build to minifig scale and guys such as Carl Greatrix and Andrew Harvey (to name just two examples) manage to pack a surprising amount of exterior detail into fairly small train models.
Henrik has built his coach to a much larger scale, however, and this allowed him to go a step further. This is visible in the detail on the outside, but it really shows in the interior.
legorobo:waka shares this awesome armored train carrying a squad of tough looking mecha. The train’s brutal lines and tank turrets evoke a dieselpunk style, with just the right amount of detail mixed in alongside the solid slab-like surfaces.