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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the ninth re-incarnation of this Tyco themed layout. It has gone from 4x12 to 4x6, before settling on a standard 4x8 slab.

I got a start in Tyco forty odd years ago, and have spent a lot of time trying to reclaim some of the pieces I had as a youngster. While doing this, I deliberately avoided any attempt at fine scale modeling, as it is a (re)creation of something I would have like to have done at age 10.

There are also a lot of visual puns built in, and as I have a great interest in prehistoric animals, I've included several vignettes reflecting my fascination. The T Rex is animated, from one of their last sets, "Jurassic Park." The Tyco USA1 works remarkably well for being forty years old, and the Tyco Strap Hanger set works very well, for being kind of a low end toy train set.

I'll be shooting some storyboard video tomorrow, if the good Lord is willing and the creek don't rise.
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TJCruiser...I LOVE Calvin & Hobbes!!!
 

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Thanks guys! I posted a recent video of it, and the T Rex in action, under Model Train Videos, "Jade Fog to the Rescue."

Briefly, I have a long interest in paleontology, and have worked that into the layout. Traditionally, it is taught that the dinosaurs went extinct about 65,000 million years ago. Truth is, what with all the new research, and even some DNA extraction from a T Rex found in Montana's Hell Creek, the issue is hardly settled at all.

Next time you read about a shark attack, or an alligator eating an intrepid journalist, that would be a living fossil, AKA dinosaur. Less visibly, turkeys are very closely related to dinosaurs, and have skeletal structures quite similar in many respects to T Rex, down to the wishbone. Bottom line, dino's never went extinct. They evolved, and many avian species, and a few reptiles and fish, extend well into the fossil record.

So then, the mammoth and other dinosauria form a visual pun, of sorts. A little hard to follow, but the basis is in scientific fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Evidently you have not suffered enough. So here is another Armodilloville video, dedicated to all poor souls who, at one time or another, have found themselves drawn into the human circus. "Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys."

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Diamonds are for Never

Just amusing myself on my evening off. The Mantua Pacific is as old as I am, weighs almost a kilo, I'd reckon, and works as good as the day it was made. Love this old stuff. The Blue Box SW 1500 has a Northwest Gear set up, and I love it's slow speed characteristics coupled with the flywheels. I have this belief that manufacturers are only recently getting the hint that Model Railheads like our stuff slow, not slot car fast. Slots are great, but trains are trains, and generally plodding.

"Armodilloville" started out as sort of a joke, but the joke is on me now, as it kept getting more elaborate. A lot of Tyco sold for a buck, and it accumulated quickly under my thin budget, working 60 to 70 hours a week, raising a family of five. Friends and family would make little contributions from a a car to a building to a figure and a lot of stuff here is what was gifted to me as people added in their own artistic touches and humor.

Running trains in a circle can get a wee bit tedious, even on a layout the size of a house, as was the case at the local model train club, and so when I last revised Armodilloville (the name itself a gift from a talented Graphic Designer pal) I recollected an early book of model train layouts designed to be laid out on carpet, so we're talking post WWII stuff when the notion of putting stuff on plywood was a fairly advanced notion, and the new, comparatively tiny "Half O" gauge was in its infancy. One of the track plans featured a simple pair of ovals, but they overlapped using diamonds. This little trick, from the great Lyn Wescott, I think, elevates trains from chasing their tails to actually having to do something to keep coordinated and keep moving. It is a little bit like spinning plates.

A lot of folks would shrink at the idea of risking train collisions, and I don't so do I, but this old Tyco stuff is pretty rugged, so the occasional bump causes no harm, and it keeps me on my toes.

Here is "Diamonds are for Never," with apologies to Ian Fleming:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Speaking of cheap thrills.


My friend Aaron painted most of the motor vehicles, and "Capitol Coal" is by the talented El Rojo Grande, as he prefers to be called. Capitol Coal is a reference to the coal mines featured in the series, "The Hunger Games."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Christian. Lot of fun.
The Bird is the Word

One more time, this time with feeling.


 
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