This gorgeous scene of a steam engine at sunset is brought to us by Flickr user Pieter Post. Whether this is simply an alias or not, it’s a very apt name, as this build looks straight out of a postcard! The star of the show, the train, is masterfully done. The custom striping and numberplates elevate the detail without taking away from the excellent brickwork. The scenery is also delightfully colourful and nicely offsets the more muted colours of the train and ground, as well as mirroring the sunset in the background. Can you name a more picturesque scene? Answers on a postcard please!
In 2013, Sérgio Batista built a model of a Portugese steam train for the annual Octrainber contest. Now he’s back with a warning of what can happen if you leave your LEGO locos out for too long! The same model of engine has been consigned to a siding, and nature has done its thing. The rusty metal is accomplished to great effect with a smattering of browns, greys and dark oranges. The plants, on the other hand, bring a nice touch of colour to offset the earthy tones. There’s something quite wistful about an abandoned steam engine, isn’t there?
If you prefer your trains a bit more brand-spanking-new, take a ride to our train archives!
We recently took a look at Blake Foster’s cyberpunk locomotive engine, but why stop there? Blake has posted some of the cars for this futuristic freight train, and each is just as worthy of our praise.
This flatbed car, and the massive cargo-container that it’s hauling, make terrific work of tiles to create a comfy space for hobos of the future to ride. And those angled ingots give a wonderful industrial detail.
We see plenty of ideas of what the future might look like in LEGO bricks. Cities, spaceships, cars, robots… But what will trains look like tens or hundreds of years in the future? Blake Foster has had a crack with this cyberpunk locomotive. It’s recognisable as a train to us mere present-dwellers, but has enough cool features for that sci-fi look. I especially like strap-like detail around the mechanical parts in the middle — it really sells it as something futuristic. Since this is cyberpunk, I have to assume there’s some dystopian reason for that enormous strap. Perhaps it’s to stop people falling into the loco’s fusion reactor? I hope that’s a preventive, rather than reactive, measure…
After President Trump’s failed attempt to broker peace on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea resumed ballistic missile tests in 2019. They have done so many since, it has become quite hard to keep track of them all. However, two tests, in September 2021 and in January of this year, stand out because the missiles were launched from a train. Putting missiles on a train makes some sense. If it were to come under attack, North Korea needs to ensure it can still launch its missiles. Mobile launchers make it much harder for an adversary to find and destroy them on the ground. And North Korea has poor roads but a fairly well-developed train network. Finding the launchers becomes a shell game; just about any box car in the country can house an unpleasant surprise.
The train in September consisted of a single Soviet-built M62 diesel locomotive; a very common type in communist countries. This pulled two freight cars. The first was a regular Chinese-built P61 box car. The second was externally similar, but it had an opening roof, extra doors in its side and launchers for two ballistic missiles inside. I admire the skill that goes into building a LEGO train, but the last time I built one was in 2014. And the one before that was in 2009, so it is fair to say that I rarely build trains. But North Korean missiles on a train definitely piqued my interest. I have built number of other missile launchers recently, including a Soviet MAZ-547 transporter erector launcher for an SS-20 ballistic missile and a Cold-War cruise missile launcher. This fits that theme perfectly.
Furthermore, I also happen to write professionally about missiles from North Korea and I write computer models to predict their trajectories. So, the research that went into building this model is directly linked to what I do for a living. Over the years I have found that quite a few people in similar lines of work are actually LEGO builders.
I (and TBB) admittedly missed the first version of this gorgeous LEGO loco by Mateusz Waldowski when it was posted last year. But the newest iteration, sporting a vivid, green-striped color scheme, is definitely the one I choo-choo-choose! In the limited palette of dark green, Mateusz creates some superb angles, sculpting the front of the train perfectly, and showing extensive knowledge of geometry. The black underside definitely feels mechanical, but also clean and orderly, as if designed by an engineer’s engineer. And I absolutely love the seamless inclusion of this 1×2 slope with grill along the sides of the train. From personal experience, it’s not easy to get a slope like that to sit flush with a wall, but the builder shows he’s on the right track with this one!
And in case you wanted to see the old color scheme from last October, featuring sand green, and yellow coloration and a different bogie design, here you go.
I’m sure by now, Caleb Schilling is sick and tired of the azure saddle LEGO part he’s been working with throughout this round of Iron Builder. But, build by build, the LEGO Master continues to find new uses for the clunky piece. This adorable locomotive is no exception, utilizing 31 of the saddles. While they’re primarily used to make up the sides of the engine and attached cars, each one features a new configuration, showcasing each of the part’s sides. The pairing of the dark azure saddles with dark blue and black makes for an excellent color combo, and contrasts the blurry green background of the countryside whizzing by.
From the Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett, builder Ordo (Fabian B.) brings us a wonderful LEGO depiction of Fett and his Tusken Raider clan taking on the Pykes atop their repulsor train. There’s just some fantastic sculpting at the front of the train, using hinges and bars/clips to create the right domed shape for the nose. I also appreciate the texturing choices along the cylindrical engine, providing variety while at the same time focusing on clean lines. But what really takes the cake for me here is the speeder bike design! They look so lithe and agile, zooming across the Tatooine sands. And the clouds of dust they’re kicking up are ingeniously built!
Sure, there are LEGO train sets on their way this summer, but if you look even further into the future you can find out that Oscar Cederwall (o0ger) has his own unique vision of how the rails will evolve. Basically, they’ll be ditching the rails in favor of hover technology. Smart move. This was a creation a year in the making, and the attention to detail really shines through.
The recently unveiled LEGO City 60336 Freight Train is joined today by two more train-themed sets that appeared on LEGO.com. As a tradition, the cargo train is accompanied by the new 60337 Passenger Express Train. Additionally, the city is finally getting the new station building in the form of the 60335 Train station set. Although based on the existing train system, the sets bring a lot of new play scenarios, with other City sub-themes introduced here and there. All three sets will go on sale on June 1, with prices to be confirmed shortly.
Do you like trains? Sure, we all do. And Canadian steam engines? Well, those are just super-sweet. I mean check out these great digital builds of U-4-A “Northern Type” engines by Nemowerty. Sure, only five of these were ever built in real life, but that’s no reason to exclude them from having LEGO representation. I love the sleek styling of these 1:44/1:45 versions, and the in-progress view Nemowerty shared is a tempting jumping off point for folks to start building their own.
We’re trying to expand of coverage of great LEGO train builds. Know of a builder who should be on our radar? Let us know in the comments below!
Railways aren’t all built alike, and that’s what allows Pieter Post to create this awesome bit of recursion in a LEGO diorama. The green engine is a narrow-gauge steam engine, allowing it to be transported on a standard-gauge flatcar. The engine and flatcar both are magnificent, with lots of details that are so cleanly sculpted they blend in, even down to the wood-slatted structure on the back of the flat—a structure whose purpose escapes me. I also love that Pieter hasn’t simply shown the pair on a straight piece of track, but instead took the time to sculpt a small diorama. The uneven edges add a great deal of visual interest and give the scene a feeling of being part of something much larger.