So after years of collecting various Lego Train, Creator and City sets (along with a bunch of other stuff), I have decided to take the leap and start putting together a modular city and train layout to display and operate everything together. I went the modular path so that I can easily move and re-arrange things and to make construction manageable in bite size portions. Up until last month, I was haphazardly displaying my city and train elements on the bench work for an old, never finished HO train set.
I realized about a month ago that there was no point continuing down that path and I needed to build something new and customized for dedicated Lego use (aka sized to fit standard baseplates). I decided on 2.5x5 foot custom built tables with removable legs that could be bolted together in a variety of configurations. I built my first table a few weeks ago and was pretty happy with it (other than super wobbly legs initially), so I decided to go froward with the plan from there.
I ripped up all my bench work from my old HO train layout and re arranged my garage to fit the new tables. Last week I built the second table and bolted it to the first one, eventually I will have four in a square with an opening in the middle, but I will have my hands full with the first two for a while. My goal is to have a loop of track with some sidings and industries, most of my creator buildings on display and various other city sets. I am shooting something reminiscent of 1950s and 60s Lionel train sets, capable of a hit level of detail, but always with an artificial, glossy, made for TV feel that I think fits Legos well. The display is meant to be moderately detailed, display Lego sets in their (mostly) original form (with a few modifications when needed) and have some functionality, especially related to the train. There will be some MOC stuff, but that is not the main goal, again I am treating it a bit more like the Lionel Train displays which displayed Lionel buildings, trains and landscaping in an environment that celebrated the sets while walking a fine line between artificial and natural.
The first table (module A) houses 4 of my 7 Creator Modular Buildings plus a number of Creator houses, a train station and some other buildings along a street with brick built sidewalks using the same design as the Modular Building sidewalks.
I also wanted to use the Modular buildings attached on Lego street plates with their existing sidewalks without building awkward sidewalk extensions out over the six studs along the edges of the road plates. So I decided to offset the Modular buildings so they used up those six studs on the roads, which required displacing each building 6 studs to the side and 6 studs forward, one brick at a time from their original base onto the four base plates that each modular building would overlap (most of their original base plate, plus a small corner of one and 6 studs worth of one on the front and side). This was a time consuming process that could get quickly confusing since I was removing from the original base plate and rebuilding onto it AND three others. Below is an example picture of the Detective Office partially through re-basing.
I think the end product looks pretty good:
With that done, I worked on side walks and adding some other details to rough in the first module:
The second module (cleverly named "Module B") contains my other three Creator Modular Buildings along with another train station and has a track spur that will house an industry of some sort. There will be a few other buildings, not sure what yet, but most of the module has been roughed in and the Modular buildings have been re-based:
The other two tables with contain an ocean front with beach houses, a light house and a cargo port with siding. The last module will have some houses, stores and a multi siding rail yard with multiple overhead cranes. If people find following this interesting, I will update this post with more material as I keep going! You can check out more detailed info and more pictures at my blog: http://thoughtsonblocks.blogspot.com/