For the third time (previous ones here and the supremely talented here), Michael Pianta (scruffulous) and I teamed up to present a 1972 era diorama at Brickvention 2014 based on the railroads of the great state of Victoria, Australia.
This time we chose our most urban setting yet in the APM Paper Mill in suburban Melbourne alongside some of its neighbouring suburbia. As usual, our goal was to create as realistic a display as possible, under the limitations of our collaboration (I fly my contribution in) with the specific targets of creating: 1) plausible landscaping, flora and fauna, 2) minimal gridding and, 3) realistic roads and rail. I’m happy enough with it to think we hit the targets.
On a sadder note, I’m using this flagrantly self-promotional post to announce my resignation from TBB as a writer/editor/curator/whatever the latest hip term for it is. After many years sharing my love of LEGO with you all, I need to focus my time and energies on other things. I even hope to start building more models again, although I’m not threatening that too strongly. I happily extend my thanks to Andrew, Josh, my co-bloggers new and old, and especially our readers for the fabulous time I’ve had here.
With a little help from TBB regular Tony Sava, Edward Chang from Texas Brick Railroad LUG has made this adorable microscale layout, complete with Christmas and holiday details, and replicas of children’s favourite trains. One for the kids and adults alike. And if you’re in the Friendswood, TX region you can see this in the brand store in Baybrook Mall.
Caleb Randolph has taken train dioramas to the next level with “Anastasia”: Runaway Train. The detailed, raised mountain platform and use of classic train tracks to give a continuous edge is especially masterful. And that’s ignoring the excellent snow, steam, and, of course, the locomotive itself. Brilliant work.
At the sound of the whistle its Train Time again, constant reader and fortunately for all of us Sérgio Batista (SujiroLegoTrains) can feed our mutual craving for the rails. First up is the “CP1900″ Portuguese Railways diesel locomotive all decked out in a Halloween color scheme.
And since Saturday nights are made for double-shots, let’s also enjoy the charming “Sintra´s Tram” whose title I initially misread as “Sinatra’s Train“. I like to think the Chairman of the Board would have liked this tram, it has style.
It’s time to slow things down so put on some Duke Ellington, pour a glass of your favorite adult beverage and spend some time watching the trains go by. This weekend’s special comes from our good friend Falk (bricknerd) who brings his usual expert skill set along with some new tricks to the “Alco RSD-7 Demonstrator“. I’m going to sip my drink quietly while Falk talks about this brown beauty.
“When Alco launched the RSD-7 back in the early ’50s, they built two demonstrator units to tour the RRs and prove it could compete with its primary rival, the FM H-24-66 Train Master. Here’s a picture of one of the two demonstrators, #601. #600, the second demonstrator unit, was equipped with additional Gyra Lights which I included on my model. The model is 7 studs wide and 46 long. Changes compared to the render include the yellow stripes on the noses and vents, and the trucks. Note that the uneven spacing between the axles of each truck is prototypical, caused by the arrangement of the traction motors.”
Duly noted Falk, what a gorgeous engine.
And to keep up the train theme, Mike Pianta (scruffulous) has gone to rather smaller extremes in his teeny rail motor car. As is pretty clear from Mike’s LEGO Model, rail motors were a sort of car or small bus that ran on the tracks. They were used to service less popular lines in various countries before cars and buses took over. This one was built for a challenge over at LEGO Train MOCs.
The background might not be LEGO, but I can assure you that the Class 116 DMU (that’s a diesel powered inter-connected train for those who don’t speak train nerd) certainly is*. And as if good looks weren’t enough, Carl Greatrix (bricktrix) has given this commuter train full digitally controlled lighting, sounds and motor control with help from “Richard and Mike”.
* Admittedly a few pieces may have been bent, cut, and otherwise modified.
We can’t let a weekend slip by without something for our valued Train-heads, the progenitors of our shared hobby. To that end, Poland’s Maciej Drwięga would like to share his latest effort with you the very orange “PKP WM15A heavy rail truck“, a staple of the Polish rail system. Not only is the design pleasing to the eye, it has some nice play features as well like moving crane and a tilting bed. The builder credits Mrzumbi’s 2006 version for inspiring this build.
Grab your little striped blue and white conductor hat, it’s Train-Time! Today’s offering comes from fan-favorite Peter Norman (swoofty), who’s screen-name sounds like that flatulent noise Space-builders make when they run around with their ships. The real title of this beauty is “SNIM SD70ACS #CC 122” for all you Train-heads who speak in code, but no matter what you call it, you can’t deny the striking color scheme and diverse textures.
This model was actually posted on Labor Day here in the States with some insightful accompanying text on the topic of SNIM (Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière), the national railway of Mauritania. I asked our own Brother Tim if he would help me with some insightful tidbit about this engine, but his speech was slurred and I couldn’t quite make it out…something about my mother. My mother is really more of a fan of the big-rigs so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. Enjoy the train!
Ever seen a 6-wide train naked? No? Well now’s your chance thanks to TBB rookie Alexander (narrow_gauge) who brings some fresh blood to the genre. Alexander quietly goes about his business with calm precision so common to his tribe of builders:
“Power comes from two PF large motors each mounted in a carriage. In between them another carriage carries a battery and IR receiver. With the motors geared down, top speed is a little slow, but reasonable for narrow gauge. There are two designs: one has the motor on its side which reduces the amount of room each side but leaves room to put a 12V train weight above the motor. Tow ball couplings are used between the motor cars – with a simple pivot coupling they tended to derail.
Alexander isn’t averse to showing off his work to the great unwashed masses either, as evidenced by this gorgeous photo from the recent Caulfield Train Show 2013 in Australia. There is some decent video from the event here, although only a small portion of it is LEGO related.
*Edit: Although I’m a fan of the genre, you could fill a teacup with my actual knowledge of Train related action. The stock is actually 6-wide, so my initial posting didn’t make much sense.