Revealed today, LEGO is returning to Disneyland with a brand new set, 71044 Disney Train and Station. LEGO’s history with Disney goes back a long way, but few sets have focused on Disney itself rather than its franchises. Of course the first was the gigantic 71040 Disney Castle from 2016. Now the Disney Train and Castle takes us once again to the magical kingdom with one of Walt’s most beloved attractions. Based on the C. K. Holliday steam locomotive on the Disneyland Railroad in the original California park, the train is motorized with LEGO Powered Up! components. Including the train, track, and station, the set has 2,925 pieces and 5 exclusive minifgures, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Goofy. It will retail for USA $329.99 | CAN $379.99 | UK £299.99 and will be available starting August 21 for LEGO VIP members, with general availability on Sept. 1.
LEGO has produced a few brilliant sets representing London Architecture in its Creator Expert line, such as Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. Hyungmin Park has added to this, with renditions of Nelson’s Column and King’s Cross Station. Laid out smartly with the predesigned sets in the background and fan creation in the front, the spaces between are filled in with details of typical London scenes.
The Hogwarts Express popping out of the train station is an easy one to see, and in my mind is the first thing I think of when I hear “King’s Cross”.
My favourite Easter Eggs though, are the more subtle ones such as the Star Wars Royal Guard mixed in with the British Royal Guards, and the cat with the Mohawk, which has always reminded me of a feline British punk rocker.
Do you dream of steam? Glenn Holland not only dreams of of steam; he lives and breathes it, which is why he decided to build this sleek LEGO replica of a Buffalo Creek & Gauley 2-8-0. Glenn has been a fan of locomotive number 13 since he was a little boy, and his passion for this train is evident in the level of painstaking detail. It’s an attractive-looking engine, thanks in part to some extensive greebling, custom rods, and silver striping. You can almost hear that ear-pleasing “chug, chug, chug.”
As this angle suggests, it looks just as awesome leaving the station as it does arriving. The tender has received just as much attention as the locomotive, going so far as to include detailing underneath. If you’d like an in-depth look at Glenn’s model, you can read more about it in his own words on LEGO train fansite Brick Model Railroader.
I have a soft spot for collaborative LEGO train displays because they played a fundamental role in inspiring me to “build outside the box.” Because of this, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw Steffen Rau’s layout module. I love the curves of the track, mountainside tunnels, and wooded landscaping. It feels like a wonderful place to explore, especially with dozens of minifigures enjoying various camping activities.
The Super Chief was the flagship of the Santa Fe Railway. During the 30s and 40s it earned the nickname “The Train of the Stars” by hauling Hollywood celebrities from Chicago to Los Angeles, and becoming almost as famous as its passengers. Tony Sava has put together a formidable LEGO version of this iconic train, and has decided to auction it off for charity at Brickworld 2019 in Chicago. The 8-wide locomotive is a beast, beautifully detailed, fitted with Power Functions motors, and features smart custom stickers to recreate the Santa Fe livery. It’s a lovely model, and a lovely gesture for it to be donated to a charity auction — I hope it raises a caboose-load of cash.
I would not like to be the lone man with the dog in this latest build from Austrian builder Sanel Lukovic. With only his trusted canine companion and his guns, gear, and guts, things do not look hopeful with a ravening herd of mindless zombies pouring around every corner down the decrepit street. The decay and dereliction of the once bustling industrial sector is beautifully crafted, with exposed studs here and there showing how things have been slowly coming apart. Bits of various brownish hues sprinkled about create the appearance of rusted metal, while the overgrown vegetation tells us that no one with any brains has lived there for some time. So why has the lone figure returned to risk his noggin among such undead adversaries? We don’t know.
What we do know is that the scene itself is huge, with the sprawling rail yards and the broken street. I love the stacked shipping containers with partially opened doors using minifigure hands as handles, as well as the brick warehouse facade with cleverly arched windows. Sharp eyes will notice that the large spool for cables in the foreground is made from two Fabuland tables placed end-to-end. Some builders might disagree with me, but I also appreciate it when tiles are not fully pressed down to look like loose boards, like on the flatbed rail car. Careful details and creative parts usages abound throughout, making this a build that needs to looked at a few times to see everything.
This scene of a steam train traveling through a forest by Allan Corbeil does so many things skillfully. Everything is executed wonderfully, but the centerpiece of the little diorama is clearly the steam engine in the middle. The train is perfect. My favourite aspects are the cloud of steam spewing forth from its chimney and the ingenious use of a Clikits ring on the front. While I love the train, it’s dwarfed by the magnificent beauty of nature that’s been recreated here.
The variety of vegetation–from tall coniferous and deciduous trees to the dense and varied underbrush–coupled with the pond make the whole scene seem real. The forest is so well done that I can almost smell the trees and hear water trickling. Maybe I might hear that train roaring down the tracks too. Be sure to check out Allan’s other pictures to get the same feeling I have, as well as spot a couple Easter eggs he included as surprises.
LEGO trains have a big following in the LEGO fan community, and what follows LEGO trains? Well a LEGO caboose of course! In fact, one just like this cute little CN caboose by Mike Sinclair. This is a magnificent train car, but what makes it cute to me is that the model includes more than just rolling stock. Not every train car we see includes track and terrain, but it’s included here, and the green grass is the perfect complement to the red caboose.
In addition to the beauty and technical precision of this creation, I find it incredibly nostalgic. One on hand, the door is one that hasn’t been produced since 1980 and was a mainstay of the hand-me-down LEGO that started my collection. More than the bricks it’s made out of though, this little train car brings back memories of playing in a caboose at my local municipal museum as a child. I can fondly remember waiting to climb up in cupola and breathing in the smell of creosote railroad ties.
Trains are complicated machines, especially steam-powered locomotives, which are a blend of smooth metal curves and a myriad of moving parts. Capturing this magical combination of sleek and mechanical details at a small scale can come down to a single part choice, and Niklas Rosén has really done it with his micro-model built around this Technic spring-loaded shooter. The curved lines along the side are reminiscent of riveted sections on the boiler. Meanwhile, the creation is finished off with a pair of driving wheels represented by hubcaps from the Speed Champions theme, and the smaller wheels are represented by printed 1×1 round tiles.
It’s hard to believe, but trains are now more than 200 years old, going back to the early 1800s for the most rudimentary steam-powered rail engines. This model by Nikolaus Löwe shows one of the first such engines constructed, which hails from 1815 and was known as the “Steam Elephant” due to its large trunk-like smokestack mounted on the front. Nikolaus has done an excellent job recreating the lattice of ironwork with bars and clips surrounding the boiler. Interestingly, he’s chosen to photograph it on a brass model track, which although not LEGO does look mighty nice.
Back in the early 20th century, the Victorian Railways in Australia ran two S class steam locomotives, first without streamlining and later with streamlined Art Deco styling. Australian LEGO train builders Alexander and Teunis Davey have collaborated to build both versions of these vintage trains. The earlier version looks beautiful in dark red with black details, while the later streamlined version looks fantastic in dark blue and gold.
Alexander users a number of custom elements in the locomotives, including 3D-printed rods and valve gear, as well as the gold locomotive names and trim. As much as I love the Art Deco look of the 1937 train, I’m smitten with the classic look of the original, unstreamlined locomotive.
If there’s one thing I can say about Nikolaus Löwe, it’s that his last name rhymes with “wow!” We were certainly “wowed” by Nikolaus’ steam traction engines back in February and are happy to see he’s keeping the steam dream alive with this handsome locomotive. According to Nikolaus, it is modeled after a steam engine that was built in 1875. The way the green body with gold trim rests atop the red undercarriage is eye-pleasing. Speaking of the undercarriage, it sports some serious detailing that would look stunning on its own, including the use of 3D-printed elements for some of the rods. Now that’s the hallmark of an engineer!