Dec 10

A Loveland Holiday with Lester!

CoWLUG can boast about its many fine LEGO® builders, but Lester’s enthusiasm and devotion to continuing with enhancements for his builds goes above and beyond. Recently he pulled out all the stops for a one-man show in his hometown at Loveland’s First United Methodist Church.


The overall layout encompassed five tables with three train loops, one with a full time running train and the other two activated by push buttons for the kids to run.

Other button operated items included a steam plant and an ATM. “I also had a ball contraption which ran when a quarter was dropped into it, with all the funds from it donated to one of the missions that our church sponsors.” Said Lester.

Children from the church were invited to construct a building, a scene, or a vehicle to add into the display.

The event ran both Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 23-24) with enthusiastic crowds there for craft events as well. Lester explains how the build bug can hit anyone at any time. “On Saturday, one of the visitors talked to me about his LEGO® collection and his small home layout. On Sunday, he came back with a Galloping Goose that his son made for him. We ran that on the layout for awhile. The next day, I started to build my own version of the Goose.”

All photographs are courtesy of Lester.

Nov 16

Laramie Train Depot Open House 2013!


Video courtesy of Ben.

Held Sat. & Sun. November 2-3, the Laramie Train Depot Open House is an annual event organized by CoWLUG’s Wyoming stronghold, Stuart. He had several things to say about the success of this year’s exhibit: “Since it is a community event, CoWLUG shared space in the building with N scale, HO scale, O scale and 027 layouts. Our portion was approximately 17′ x 14.5′ and was by far the most complete of the rail layouts. Great scenery folks!”


Photo courtesy of Tanya (Ben’s Mom.)

Stuart provided a list of New/Notable features:
– Duane’s dropped table with river (3×3 baseplates) with 2 rail bridges and a car bridge
– a 3×7 baseplate raised section (~22 bricks off the surface with buildings, 2 train tunnels)
– Lester’s elevated railway
– Stuart’s 4 interactive arcade style buttons. The buttons activated:
– Lester’s elevated rail way
– Lester’s steam plant
– Lester’s steam punk building
– Lester’s fantastically geared ATM and Duane’s helicopter on top of a very tall building.
These buttons were specifically set up to allow the smaller visitors to interact with but not touch the layout.
– PF IR controlled trains (both PF and 9V powered rail from the same controllers). Stuart hacked the PF lines to accept wall warts so we weren’t running 9V trains on batteries.
– The Doofenschmirtz Evil Inc Building courtesy of Duane Hess’s Eeeeeevil Build Table (lots of fun comments about this one)
– MANY new builds by various members My guesstimate is that we had 50% new builds.


Photo courtesy of Tanya (Ben’s Mom.)

And notable returning
– The Duplo touch table on Sunday with motorized Duplo trains (Thanks Lisa for organizing and watching this! And thanks to Sam & Star for helping out here too.). This is our 3rd year for a Duplo touch table.
– The reopened and now CC standardized Luigi’s Pizza


Photo courtesy of Tanya (Ben’s Mom.)

The Laramie Depot Open House also boasted a microscale train ornament set designed by a former LEGO designer, Joel Hoornbeek. This set of an engine and 3 cars was used as a fundraiser for the Depot.

Stuart’s best estimate is that 800 people attended over the course of the weekend. He explained that CoWLUG helped advertise and prep the community for the event: “We reserved and filled a display case at the Albany County Public Library. Lester and I filled the case with a Western scene that was 4.5 baseplates x 1.5 baseplates and designed as a visual scavenger hunt with a list of items for the passers-by to find.”


Photo courtesy of Duane.

Additionally, there was immediate, positive feedback from various people including serious model train buffs. Stuart: “On taking my son Asher to school after the weekend, I had feedback from parents about how their kids not only loved the exhibit, but went right home and started building. I think that’s where I can count our greatest success for this event!”

Feb 16

Rails on the Rockies 2013

Lester has outdone his organizing skills from previous years to make Rails on the Rockies a huge success! Multiple trains, a monorail and immense variety are the highlights the crowds are enjoying. Above, a speeding train passes by Lester’s multi-mechanical ATM installation while dinosaurs get their fill of java at the local Starbucks.

Inside the Battle for Hoth installation, Lester gets a train on the track.

The mulit-pod moonbase is a new addition this year, featuring bases from half a dozen builders. Ian’s mech moonbase sits next to Jim’s Brick Comic Network moonbase.

Figs that get hungry during the show are making their way over to Meghan’s Zombie restaurant for a unprecedented feast!

The sci-fi monorail section of the installation features various alien gardens with walkways, hover vehicles and various species of plant life featured in the images above and below.

Lester extends his thanks to all the participating builders this year. It’s certainly one of the best this venue has seen!

Samantha’s ice cream parlor highlights the latest Friends figures and colors!

The monorail track kind of meandered out of control from it’s spirals out over the moonbase layout.

Awesome details were displayed by all our builders. Duane’s Thinker sculpture sits in front of town structures by Sean and Stuart.

The Hoth Ice Cream Shop is by our youngest sponsored member, Asher, with help from Stuart.