2018-07-31

MOC: Tram 60 at Imperial Square

This is one of those creations that are sort of collection of odds and ends brought together. The tram - or a city train locomotive - was built for Palikkatakomo's locomotive contest at HupiCon 2018. It was originally supposed to be part of New Century diorama, but I didn't have parts to include it there. Anyway, I had been interested in building a vintage tram for some time. They are pretty, sign of era of inventions, and commonly present in contemporary photographs of early 1900s architecture that I use as a reference material.

Another main bit here is the statue, somewhat inspired by Franz Joseph I of Austria, the last emperor of Astro-Hungarian Empire and man of notorious moustache. The Statue was built for the display on HupiCon, located between my New Century City Block II and Oskari's old Finnish wooden town to make the promenade there a bit more interesting. It was built during the last evening before the event (and so was the tram) but I was very happy with it. And why not - greatcoat and friendly mutton chops moustache. It's simple but it works.

The tram was always going to be dark blue, even though the original idea of using dark blue 1x6x3 windscreens was shortly abandoned. Fortunately I still had plenty of curved dark blue parts; The colour is very regal, fitting for the age. The golden swirl ornaments on the sides were there from the beginning, too. But there were challenges. I first used very small train wheels used on regular bar-sized axles, but they were too small; luckily I had two actual train wheel bogeys from Pii Poo's tables, and they looked quite right - wheels on old trams are close to each other to enable turning is curves. The base here is mainly stacked plates, and the sides are made entirely with SNOT, 90 degrees on noses and 180 degrees on sides; as you can see, the yellow vintage windows are upside down! This made possible to use the pearl gold fence pieces on the hem. It's complicated but I like it.

The yellow line wasn't part of the original plan. Actually I doubted if both yellow and pearl gold would look bad on the same, moderately sized MOC, but it turned out quite good. The old yellow windows have been collected from Pii Poo's tables during the few past years (the small ones are from my father's childhood collection) and 14 was enough for a tram. The dark blue returns in the roof, which is quite accurate. The conductor might be a bit too modern - trams of the age seemed to simple use a cable - but this one looked good so I settled with it, having those bar-connection joint pieces perfect for this cause.

The tram actually aroused some discussion whether this is a locomotive or not and therefore can it enter the contest. I though it was, being a single rail vehicle with source of power in it. I edited it a bit, too, giving it a magnet buffer and throwing in a driver (the original photos of the entry didn't have any figs). The driver was left, but I restored the old buffers back home. I was allowed to enter and became fourth (no prizes, but got a small raffle prize), beaten by steam locomotives.

The base here was built to show both the tram and the statue. I acquired more light bley 2x2 tiles from LEGO store at Berlin in May to make some more urban scenery. I also added some dark tan, mud or sleet, to make the scene more realistic - historic LEGO creations sometimes tend to be a bit too clean to my opinion. I made also lot bigger base for the statue, using four lamp posts. The base is inspired by some photographs of old Dublin.

-Eero

 





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