Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas 2015 - Lego Trains Holiday Village Layout

We've been in quite a lull in terms of wargaming at our house -  life has definitely kept us from gaming nearly as much as we'd like. But, we have been able to have fun with plastic figures - of the Lego variety!

The kids and I have been collecting the Winter Village sets over the past several years, and can put together quite a nice little town for Christmas. (Much nicer than the Dept. 56 buildings, IMO :classic: .)

Last year, we added a loop of track around the village, which sat on a 3'x4' board. It was a little tight, space-wise, so this year we decided to expand! After a shameless land grab in the middle of the family room, we were able to place a 6'x4' board. This allowed us to add a smaller, nested loop, inside the outer one.

The frame for the 4x6 table.

Since i have a small car, I used three 2'x4' boards for the top.

The downside of using separate boards, caulking the gaps and the screw holes. Next time I'll borrow the van and grab a larger board.

I used a textured spray paint to cover the whole surface of the table. It took several cans, but I just don't have enough white Lego!

In its place of honor in the center of the family room, with the track laid.

I picked up the 60051 High Speed Passenger Train (aka the Candy Cane Express) to run around the outside of the village. That's what connects the Winter Village with the "big city." The inner loop, and the switches, are 9v track. We have the 4535 Lego Express Deluxe running around the inside as a "tourist train." I think next year, we're going to tray to make that into a tram, as the full train is a bit much. I love Miro Dudas' Winter Village Tram.

We chose to have a small mountain in the corner, to give us an elevated area to set up Santa's Workshop at the North Pole, and because I love tunnels!

I laid out a template for the "mountain" before building it.

The mountain still needs to be painted, and a slope built to cover the hole facing the village. That's being built up out of styrofoam sheets, and will be added to the display soon. I'll have an updated photo to show that.

The old and the new, side by side.

I was recently fortunate enough to win an ebay auction for a set of Lego Super Chief cars and a Santa Fe locomotive. I like the look of this much better than the high speed train, so that will replace that train on the outer loop.

But first I'll need to convert one of the locomotives (I already had a pair bought from Lego when they first came out) to ruin off PF, or get enough 9v track to make the outer loop electric. Right now, I have enough to do one or the other loops in 9v track, but not both. (Here's a short youtube video of the Super Chief in action.)

I still need two more of the original cars, and I'd love to add an MOC dome car and B-unit locomotive... maybe for next Christmas.

As mentioned, we're combining the 9V and plastic track, and it works as long as we can throw the switch fast enough that the steamer does not get sent to the unpowered track! This video shows my daughter handling the switching duties.

One of the hazards of railroading with Lego. This NEVER happened on my old N-scale layout. :laugh:

We are by no means "theme purists" and often mix and blend  - in fact, I think the Empire has scheduled a stormtrooper raid on the village to control the scourge of hobbits (they love to pilfer goodies from the bakery) later today!

Merry Christmas everyone!