We missed seeing Barb Pitfido’s Lego layout at the Vermont Rails Train Show last month because her partner was sick. 🙁 Fortunately, she found this blog and invited me to come to her house to see the set-up that she had prepared for the event. I was privileged to attend a private, in-home showing of her latest work, “Paris in the Spring.” Photos below. Click to enlarge.
Last weekend Janna and I headed to the new location of the Vermont Rails Train Show: the Collins Perley Athletic Center in St. Albans, VT. Held on the skating rink of the facility, the train show benefits from its new location, which boasts some natural light, a smoother surface to walk on, wider aisles between tables and, very importantly, a shorter distance between accessible parking and the front door. [Now if only the front door had accessible buttons to open it.]
To my disappointment, I did not meet Barb Pitfido, the goddess of Lego layouts. We did, however, see the greatest development ever in the history of toy trains: a scratch-built working locomotive and rolling stock in 1:6 scale! Yes! Trains in the right size for my dolls!
Yesterday Janna and I hauled ass across the state in the rain to attend the Glory Days Festival in White River Junction. Every year, this celebration of trains, both full-size and model, features excursion rides, toy layouts, Amtrak historical exhibits, live music, food and general entertainment.
We arrived much later than expected, about 2 hours before closing, but we did see a supremely nifty miniature steam engine in 1.5" scale [1.5 inches to 1 foot]. The operator sat on top of it, feeding wood pellets into the hopper. It also had a short straightaway of track on which the operator took people for rides. I wondered what my 1:6 scale dolls would look like standing next to it. Pictures below.
Continue reading Glory Days Festival, White River Jct., VT, 09/13/2014
Having familiarized myself with the general layouts last year, I focused this year on the details, particularly of the sets.
Continue reading Vermont Rails Train Show, Essex Jct., VT, 03/01/2014
Janna and I hit the Dollars for Scholars Train Show this morning, conveniently located blocks away from where we now live. I spent hours making panorama shots and correcting the nasty yellow fluorescent cast on all these photos, so witty captions will be sparse.
Finally got around to selecting and post-processing these pictures.
This train show, held in the Gardner United Methodist Church in Gardner, MA, proved much much smaller than expected, even smaller than the Dollars for Scholars one in Winooski. The humungous permanent layout was worth the trek, though!
We attended the Shelburne Museum’s opening ceremonies for the new Pizzagalli Educational Center today. Taking advantage of the free admission [!!], we also hit the Toy Shop, where Janna admired the Radio Flyer layout. Though behind glass, the layout has buttons at kid level that start and stop the two trains and allow visitors to control sound effects as well.
As far as I was concerned, the crowning jewel of the Vermont Rails Train show was, naturally, Barb Pitfido’s Lego layout. I enjoyed her work immensely when I first saw it at the Dollars for Scholars Train Show last year, and yesterday was no exception. We recognized each other on sight :p, and she pointed out to me the humorous details of her layout this time around.
Continue reading Vermont Rails Train Show, 03/16/2013: Barb Pitfido’s Lego layout
Lewis Buchspics set up the layout below at about 3 feet off the ground so that kids could easily view it. Since most layouts were at least 4, if not 5, feet off the ground, kids flocked to this one, attracted as well by the copious flashing lights, sound effects, fake smoke and motorized set pieces.
Janna and I went to the Vermont Rails Train Show at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds in Essex Junction, VT, yesterday. Woo hoo! We enjoyed ourselves immensely. I took 273 pictures in the hopes of getting at least 25% of them to develop acceptably.
Continue reading Vermont Rails Train Show, Essex Jct.., VT, 03/16/2013: Adirondack RR and VGRS layouts