Mar 17

Estes Park: Rails on The Rockies 2017

By Lester:

Greetings to all,

We had another successful Estes Park Train Show a few weekends ago, and I would like to thank all those who came up and helped with it. A total of 12 people had something to do with the show; some couldn’t make it, but sent their items with someone else. With the loan of track and base plates from Duane and Mark, we had one heck of a track layout with a large switchyard. The layout was in a U shape with two trains running on each side, Jim’s monorails on each side, plus the moving parade. It was like having 7 trains running the whole time. It really impressed people who attended as well as the train people. The weather was great this year, no snow or high winds. It did rain a bit in the afternoon on Sunday, but very light. I talked to one of the organizers of the show and they said attendance was great this year, but un-sure how many attended the show. Partly due to their new entry fee, so there were a lot of people showing up for both days on the same ticket.

The parade side of the layout:
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The Switchyard area:

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Eric’s buildings:

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The moving parade:

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As usual , we talked about next year’s show, and have decided to do the theme of Circus. Circus trains, circus parade, maybe a big top (not sure how), side shows and a caravel. Oh yes, on another section of the lay out, Jurassic Farm. Start thinking of ideas for next year, what can you build?

Thanks again everyone for you help.

Lester

Feb 14

Estes Park: Rails on The Rockies 2016

Rails on The Rockies 2016

February 13th and 14th

The Rails on The Rockies held annually over President’s Day Weekend in Estes Park was another fun filled weekend of model trains, LEGO, and Lester coming up with an idea out of the box. This year’s display theme was “Islands”. A train track was laidout out around various islands created to be humorous and practical, that had boats and ships that ran around them on the track. There was a kitchen island, Gilligan’s Island, Desserted Island and many more types of islands. A small amusement park had a standard train running around it and other city buildings. The “train” ships were something new and were quite popular amongst the crowd. Thanks to all the builders, about 13, who participated in a unique display layout.

SAM_1019Duplo blended well with the theme of islands. Just need to watch out for Captain Hook and Peter Pan. And when you have a volcano, you might as well toast a marshmallow too.

SAM_1020A popular island by Lester.

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Desserted Island is filled with yummy goodness created by Nancy

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Scooby Doo wouldn’t be out of place with a Skull Island build by Stuart, Monster Mystery Machine by Jim.

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Samantha went all out for Gilligan’s Island. SKIPPER!

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Art’s boardwalk was a great addition to the islands. It’s a very busy place to be.

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Art added a beach with a bar, rock concert, surfin’, and muscle beach. Inside Tip: Almost everything Art builds, there’s his signature concert scene.

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The smallest amusement park set up by Jim. Push buttons again were popular.

SAM_1069Nikoli’s “Penguin Island”. CoWLUG’s youngest builder keeping things cool.


SAM_1072Chris’ “Pirate Cove” is filled with many wonderful details you had to see it in person. The sails on the ships were custom made and well done.


SAM_1082A tug boat and garbage barge with a raptor drinkin’ by Lester. Michael and Meghan’s Viking ship, a classic set.

SAM_1084Some small islands by Lester and Bill. Boat races and Bat Boat, which runs on the tracks, by Lester.

SAM_1015Jim’s “Battle For The Witches Gold”. A chaotic scene featuring pirates, orcs, trolls, dinosaurs, various soldiers, a few ninjas and some wizards battling for gold.

Another fun year and can’t wait to see what Lester has planned. Thanks to: Lester, Art, Jim, Bill, Sam, Meghan, Michael, Nikoli, Nancy, Peter, Chris, (anyone I missed let me know). Early word for next year is “Steam Powered” not “SteamPunk”.

Mar 20

Estes Park – Rails on the Rockies – 2015

For the Estes Park Train Show, we took a gamble and tried to do Las Vegas. The numbers were against us: We had 13 builders for the show and we were setting up on Friday the 13th. But I guess the odds were in our favor and we hit the jackpot! Las Vegas was a great success. I would like to thank all those who built for it, and all those who spent time at the show helping out. Thanks also goes to Jeff who helped transport some of the MOC’s for those who could not make it to the show.

11007741_782383078516093_4107398302694537532_n(photo by Meghan)

Six of our builders made casinos. I felt that Meghan’s Caesar’s Palace was outstanding; many people took extra time to look it over. Our other casinos were: the MGM by Michael, a Star Wars version of New York, New York by Art, the Camelot Casino by Lester, the Flamingo by Samantha, and the Luxor by Duane. Building the Strip with two road base plates wide added greatly to the layout. Jim’s monorail along the Strip added nicely to the overall effect.

Caesar's Palace Meghan

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(upper photo by Lester, lower two photos by Meghan)

At the center of the front tables, Stefano’s large train station held everyone’s attention, as well as a large desert area. At one side was Jeff’s Star Wars Sarlacc Pit and skiff. On the other side were a few of Jim’s amusement park rides. The kids just loved the push buttons to make the rides move. One of our new members, Pete, brought a few of his trains to run in this area. He even let some of the visitors run his RC train.

Stefano's Train Station

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(upper photo by Lester, lower photo by Meghan)

The remainder of the layout displayed our version of Suburbia, with a wide variety of houses. Everyone got big kick out of the different kinds of buildings. Stuart’s Upside Down house and his Cookie and Milk house, Lester’s Despicable Me house, Sam’s Duplex (with good and bad neighbors) and a Wedding Chapel, Doug’s Cape Cod home, Meghan’s multiple buildings, Duane’s various buildings, and a Wedding Chapel from one of our young builders, Nikolai. We ended that section of the tables with a farm, an oil refinery, a train switchyard, and odd buildings here and there.

Cookie & Milk House Stuart

Despicable Me Lester

(photos by Lester)

There was so much to see, that it took people a long time to look over the details. We were told by many visitors that they came to the show just to see what we’d built this time, since we have a different theme each year.

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11010578_782386858515715_6999871925037448969_n(photos by Meghan)
Thanks again to all who participated! -Lester

 

 

Feb 16

Rails on the Rockies: Estes Park 2014

Zombies, Toys & Coffee by Meghan

Despite the continued reconstruction of all the highways leading up to Estes Park after last fall’s disastrous flood, there was a solid showing for CoWLUG members participating in this year’s display, organized by Lester. Above a corner of the city showcases buildings by Meghan, Duane and Samantha.

Push Button Amusement Park by Jim M.

Jim M.’s interactive amusement park received continued action by the younger crowds.

Button Pusing

Below, Art created a mountainous backdrop to Jerry’s fort.

Fort by Jerry & Mountain by Art

Grimy Gulch Station by Jeff Market by Lester and other buildings by Duane & Meghan

The mountain’s tunnel spilled out into a very large Western section of the layout with buildings by Lester (Market,) Grimy Gulch station by Jeff, and a multitude of detailed structures by Meghan and Duane populating the action.

Spanish Village by Jerry

A Spanish village by Jerry spanned the length of one side, bringing us to an Indian village by Jim M. and Bent’s fort by Ian.

Indian Village by Jim M. & Bent's Fort by Ian

Hedgehogs vs. Octopus Teddy Bear Army

No one was quite sure exactly what was happening between the hedgehogs, bears and an octopus….

Western by Samantha

Western Detail by Samantha

Samantha’s detailed western structures and scenes were a popular draw, especially with the addition of LEGO Movie references.

Train Wreck fun with Lester & Imagine

There was plenty of train wreck action happening as Lester changed out various trains during the show (the blurry figure lower right behind the tarantula leg) and tested the number of characters that could be added to numerous cars. The crowds looked on, very entertained.

Low Clearance under Tarantula by Imagine

Low clearance under Imagine’s steampunk tarantula contraption from Wild Wild West brought inquisitive looks from onlookers.

Victorian Block by Meghan

Beyond the western area, Meghan’s gorgeously colorful victorian street created a lovely spot to stand and gaze. Lester certainly looks pretty posing behind them. I think the pink house is giving him a rosy glow. 🙂

Lester Extraordinaire

Lester’s pièce de résistance this year was his addition of the steampunk street scene and various steampunk inspired vehicles and figs.

Steampunk Village by Lester

Steampunk Village & Dirigible by Lester

Steampunk Details by LesterAnd literally bridging the gap between steampunk and city features was Duane’s quadruple bridge, dam and river scene. The underwater and cave features were particularly exciting for the shorter members of the crowd who could peer in at their own eye level.

Dam & Bridge by Duane

Dam & Bridge Crossing by Duane

The city scape continued to grow this year with more buildings (by Stuart, Lester, Duane, Samantha and Meghan,) and activities.

Pizza by Stuart & City by Lester

Ice Cream & Salon by Samantha

LEGO Movie Action by Imagine

And since the LEGO Movie hit theaters, there were of course several relevant action scenes playing out in the streets. Here, Imagine’s redesign of Lord Business’ Lair uses his huge legs to stomp his way through the streets.

Multiple Layers-Monorail by Jim M.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Rails on the Rockies without trains. There were trains of all kinds, moving through every part of the layout all day – thank you train builders: Lester, Duane, Michael & Jim M!  Lester would like to extend his thanks to everyone who took part in building, displaying and tending the show over the weekend. It was a truly fabulous collaboration by all.