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So for a few years now I always wanted to have The Polar Express in my display, well I finally went ahead and built a very large display...Its an 10x8 display.

I used to 4x8 sheets of plywood...for the bricks i cut 3/4 inch blocks out of 2x4...Now in order to paint all those bricks...I made a slurry of paint, sealer and water in a 5 gallon paint bucket...and put all the blocks in there to soak all day.

Once dried we placed them on the plywood with wood glue, then went along and nailed each one with a nail gun using finish nails.

The Train it self was a beast to begin with...there was i point where I felt I was in over my head...but kept on chugging, parts of it are made from plastic coffee, paint, and ice cream containers...along with pipe insulator, and soda bottles.

70% of the display is made from recycled materials.

and shockingly very light weight!

Any questions feel free to ask!

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Thanks guys! Ive never really done anything on a professional level, or even school level...Im only 21 years old and for the past few years now, Ive just worked on displays for my yard setup each year...I suppose with each display its just a Little ore practice for me.

I even created a housing unit for speakers...The train will have engine sounds, a whistle blowing,,and bell chime playing softly so that when your within 5-8 feet of it...you'll hear it....Just to add a little more realism to it! Oh and a fog machine for steam of course!

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Cool!!! Very cool!!!

Oh my, I have lots of questions, but I'll refrain and just ask a couple:

1. it appears to be set-up in a garage. Do you plan to move it into the yard? Can it be moved, it's looks so real, is it heavy?

2. Sure would appreciate a "how-to", even a brief one. The progress pictures help a lot to explain what you did.

3. Do you think something like this could be built on casters? This or a similiar concept could be built to sit in front of a garage door. If it could be built on a platform with casters and rolled so car(s) could access the garage, that would be ideal way to utilize the blank canvas of a garage door.

Very impressive!!!

Joe

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Wow... WOW... WOW!!! That is one of the COOLEST display pieces I've ever seen. You did an absolutely INCREDIBLE job in creating it. Congratulations on doing such a fantastic job!!!! You have GOT to post pictures of that piece after you set it up this year. Thanks for posting!

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Cool!!! Very cool!!!

Oh my, I have lots of questions, but I'll refrain and just ask a couple:

1. it appears to be set-up in a garage. Do you plan to move it into the yard? Can it be moved, it's looks so real, is it heavy?

2. Sure would appreciate a "how-to", even a brief one. The progress pictures help a lot to explain what you did.

3. Do you think something like this could be built on casters? This or a similiar concept could be built to sit in front of a garage door. If it could be built on a platform with casters and rolled so car(s) could access the garage, that would be ideal way to utilize the blank canvas of a garage door.

Very impressive!!!

Joe

First of thank you for the comments, not to mention the questions! Haha. okay so first off....

1. The setup breaks into three pieces...The Tunnel portion is two 4x8 sheets of plywood..where they meet in the middle I cut a 2 inch wide strip of plywood and attached it to the center to cover the seem from any back lighting...Also that crown piece at the top helps cover a seem as well. As far as moving...its pretty light...just a little large and awkward to do it alone...however it can be done..The Train itself is one piece..It has 2x4 supports under it..and a black wire attached to the tunnel from the "boiler" of the train for a little extra stability.

2.First started with 3 sheets of 4x8 plywood sheets...2 were used for the back of the tunnel and the 3rd for general use. I used 3, 2x4's and cut 3/4 inch blocks for the bricks...Then soaked the bricks in a redish brown water slurry mix..I just guessed on what to make as far as color and water ratio...placed all the wooden blocks in the bucket and let them soak for about 8 hours, then spread them out to dry on a tarp. Once they were dry I used wood glue and placed each one down in a traditional brick pattern all around the tunnel entrance. Then with a nail gun I nailed each block with 1inch finish nails. Once the bricks were all in black..I layed down the tan brick molding then painted it. As far as the train goes, I made circle wooden discs for the boiler and put 2x4 suppers between the two...then wrapped it with old schoolbasementt woodpanelingg. From there I just eyeballed what type of design I wanted the train to have...and added little mechanical looking pieces here and there to give it the look I wanted. I'll postup closee photos!.

3.Its funny you say that..Because this type of setup would be PERFECT for a garage door opening...As long as the unit is bolted together...I cant see what it cant be put on casters. I would think if you could attach on side to the house with a hinge...so it sings like a gate..for a little extra stability...This is an ideal setup to hide such a boring space.

Edited by Thorrocks
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Here on my facebook page for my display...is a video of the train with its Steam and Sound effects!...I made a 5Min loop of engine sounds along with Tom Hanks saying All Aboard, and This is the Polar Express! ....

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=434492096612992&set=vb.247841811944689&type=2&theater

Find us on facebook!

The Crazy Christmas House

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Wow, I am truly impressed. That looks awesome. I love it when folks get creative based on a idea. Displays are not all about blinky flashy and yours is a testament to creative dilegence. Good for you. Now the key question that I get asked all the time, where you going to store it?

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Wow, I am truly impressed. That looks awesome. I love it when folks get creative based on a idea. Displays are not all about blinky flashy and yours is a testament to creative dilegence. Good for you. Now the key question that I get asked all the time, where you going to store it?

You know that when Mark is impressed, your over the top!

I'm also very impressed. Make em smile!

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Could you post the photo you used as your inspiration for the train?

Well a few years back I built a Polar Express...just the engine, that was about 6 feet in length and about 5ft in height...Well I wanted to do something on a much larger scale...and In order to do something along the lines of that...There was no way I could build the entire Engine...So a tunnel was the answer to my problem!

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Wow, I am truly impressed. That looks awesome. I love it when folks get creative based on a idea. Displays are not all about blinky flashy and yours is a testament to creative dilegence. Good for you. Now the key question that I get asked all the time, where you going to store it?

You know its funny because that was something that was always missing from my display....Things to look at...Just static displays...No flash, zing or pop...Just something to say...hey look at that!...As far as Storage....thats a REALLY funny question.......ha. :confused:

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You know its funny because that was something that was always missing from my display....Things to look at...Just static displays...No flash, zing or pop...Just something to say...hey look at that!...As far as Storage....thats a REALLY funny question.......ha. :confused:

I know all about storage issues, which is why I asked. It is the number 1 or 2 questions asked by guests all the time. So inquiring minds want to know.

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