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    • February 11, 2020 5:28 PM EST
    • I don't know why some of my glamor shots came out fuzzy. I reserve the right to reshoot after I'm less fuzzy.

      Eraser Division

      Entrance to the Pencil Division

      Delivery! Sorry, one of the fuzzy ones.

      Hole In One Golf Pencil Company

      Another fuzzy picture.

      All Rights Reserved Hole In One Golf Pencil Company


      I forgot to mention the building supplies. The base and walls came from leftovers from Jon Radder (thank you), the roof and pencil sign are from deserted Board of Education signs, the Eraser Division is a Bachmann Lil Critter bought some time ago, foundation blocks and door are leftovers from some guy named Taylor.. Some signs were made on the P-touch labeller. Everything else is "stuff" that was laying around, some of which I can't even remember where it came from. Total expense $6.99 (less 20 % coupon) for glue that takes much too long to cure.

    • February 11, 2020 3:16 PM EST
    • Vic Smith's "where'd the damn chimney its nowhere in sight utter failing to even start reassembling his project because he wanted to shovel his personal equivalent of the Panama Canal, or as it shall be forever remembered as, the Mik's Memorial Retaining Wall".


    • February 11, 2020 2:55 PM EST
    • night

      the lady of the house

      living room


      painted and base

      My build, "Cracker House" features left over Playmobil building parts, PVC sheet, board, evergreen styrene, screws, glue, and rattle can paint + fond memories. I lived in one of these till the first grade and when I saw the build included a chimney it was on. Even though my home didn't have a chimney, we had a wood burning stove for heat and cooking, figured why not step it up with a brick chimney. First I assembled the chimney, harder that it looks, then added detail and tried to make it look like new old brick. Went thru all my old Playmobil parts and found every thing I needed. Started with the design, then glued using my favorite ACE surehold, Plastic Surgery. Painted the building using Krylon flat white rattle can and while waiting for the paint to dry made the base from leftover PVC 1/4" board, making footing concrete blocks using #3/4' PVC board which is somewhat porous giving the look of concrete block after being painted. Toped them with .10 heated sheet styrene for termite barrier and then securing using drywall screws from the top down. Found suitable plank flooring for both the front and back porch and secured. Next to the roof, needed extra detail as Playmobil really doesn't look too much like metal roofing, which this build had to have, as then is nothing like a metal roof in a rain storm, that is where I learned redneck sign language, so I added appropriate size styrene strips adding 8 on each side then painted the roof. Onward to the windows and doors, painted again with a rattle can a light mine green, then slid suable thickness clear acrylic for windowpanes opting to leave windows open a different heights and the making roll up blinds using the same acrylic sheet only this time I painted it with glass paint which color them but allowed light to penetrate. Added a little furniture detail in side using playmobil parts just in case one could see inside the open windows, than a mist of Krylon matt finish for UV protection. Porch uprights were next and was done with styrene, last but not least was the chimney, did a little research and it said it had to be 3' from the roof and if within 5' of the highest spot another 2' was needed, done, added a top to the chimney to give it a finished look and hid my pathway solar light panel in the top, solar light was left intact with the exception of the solar panel and it was glued to the under side of the roof. Finally after weathering a little and coating with matt finish added my crowning detail. If what could be better that a pregnant woman with 3 young ones hanging on to show the husband wasn't taking any chances, both barefoot and pregnant and it appears to have been going on for a while. Finished it off with a black dog and "Rooster" as no LSC project can be done without a "Rooster", my expenses were $12.95 for the figures, $3.95 for the ACE plastic surgery glue and $.50 for a styrene strip + I still have enough parts left to build 2 more building or 1-2 store,  very fun build brought back some very fond old memories. Thanks especially to Dave for his time and expense, and all the great builds in this endeavor, Bill 

      partsbasebuild and base

    • February 11, 2020 1:48 PM EST
    • For Mik 2020, I decided to build a small blacksmith shop.  Modeled after what you would find in many turn of the century towns out West in New Mexico.  Built from locally sourced  cut stones.  Every town had it's own blacksmith, a well respected and very needed local citizen.  The blacksmith shop was always a bevy of activity in the town.

      I present to you.  Paul Cozza Blacksmith shop. Named after a departed friend, and his inspirational wife Kathy.

      The out door environment in Northern New Mexico has high temps in the summer with extreme UV levels at the 6000' elevation, and even snow in the winter. I have adopted the principal that builds for the pike need to be way over built to survive, and to try and keep the little fragile details to a minumin.  When it rains, it pours... so waterproof becomes an extreme measure.  I try to seal out all possible sources of leaks to the 1/2" plywood central structure. and then extreme waterproof the wood, before I hide it with the exterior.

      And here is my required Chimney....  And yes I did get it a touch crooked....

      There is no exterior surfaces that are exposed wood, cast resin doors and windows, and cast stones,  and the trim work and signage is made from Syntra.  And of course the roof is "guaranteed Never To Rust" Taylor Tin.


      The photos were shot in the sunlight,  it's perament location on the pike is in deep shaded shadows this time of the year..

    • February 11, 2020 12:10 PM EST
    • Another great showing of imagination, skill and talent from all the participants.

        In the past Mik's build challenge has been a time to try new techniques and really stretch my modelling skills but this year had me spending most of my time renovating a house about 60 miles from me during the week and home for the weekends with most of my tools staying behind.   I ripped the wood needed and brought it and my brad nailer home.  As a result my build was not as ambitious as usual but I'm still happy with the outcome and it will be a welcome addition to the RR.  The "switch shack" will be wired in this Spring and will control 2 sidings on my track powered RR.    I did cut the Taylor chimney in half because my original plan was to build 2 small buildings.  The overall cost was $0 with all bits and pieces already on hand.  In the future I might add a bit of trim and maybe a window but for now the building is done.



    • February 11, 2020 11:44 AM EST
    • Pepper's Ice Co. Devon's MIK 2020 build.


      First the glamour shots.


      So for me this is the first building I have built for the outdoor layout. All my previous work was for the now defunct indoor RR. As such it was a lesson in enduring the elements. The very first decision was what to make the base out off. This won't be sitting in a mass of dirt, it will be on a screened platform that will drain so standing water is not an issue but I still wanted something that would last. So the base is made from four PVC boards left over from the construction of the layout glued together with PVC cement. This also gave it the height it needed above the track. Next was to make that pretty so I surrounded it with some Taylor stone and decked it in aromatic cedar.


      I then made the main building using Masonite and, thanks to a tip from Dave, sealed it with Titebond III on all exposed wood surfaces. (Still not sure about using Masonite, we will see). That was covered with some cheap knock of tin from Alabama. Its not Taylor tin, but we had it on hand. It really is aluminum pop cans crimped with the paper crimper. That was attached using liquid nails which should hold up just fine in the weather. It is weathered with a dusting of flat black and then oil paints dabbed on and drug down to create streaking rust. The roof is 100 grit wet/dry sand paper. Doors were added. No windows as in my research they wanted as few openings as possible in an ice house, makes sense.


      The office building is masonite with aromatic cedar lap siding and a corrugated metal roof and a nice chimney for the pot belly stove. And finally and upper deck was added with drop down ramps that extend onto the roof walk of the reefer car. This allows ice to be taken to the roof walk and dropped down the roof hatches. I made the pulleys out of aluminum cans, a paint brush handle, and a sewing pin. I added some ice made from clear resin. Pepper's need. . .well. . .a Pepper; so On the bench is Pepper and her friend. The friend is not me, for one he is too skinny, and second he is sipping bourbon while I am actually inside working.


      For me, the best part of this build, and important part of this build, is the lighting. I like to stretch myself with every one of these projects. I want to do something I haven't done. So based on ideas here, mainly from Bill, I used a dollar store solar path light to create lighting. The solar cell is located in what has become know as Dino Turd Rock (thanks Jim and John C). on the underside of the rock is the little PCB board and battery. then that goes to a warm white LED in the office and two pico LEDs that are inside some lanterns. That was done by taking Ozark lanterns and drilling the bottom and gluing in the LED, these are all wired in parallel. I am happy to report that now that it has sat outside for awhile that the battery has enough umph to keep the entire thing lit all night.


      Thats my build. I spent less than $10. I did have to buy a tube of liquid nails, some super glue, and a solar path light.

    • February 11, 2020 10:50 AM EST

      Post them in the individual build threads.

      This thread is for pictures of the builds for voting.


      Each participant needs to post his photos and comments of his finished or unfinished challenge build.

      Please identify who you are, and what you built, and any other comment you would want to tell about your build. 


      Please keep this thread clean of comments about the builds. 

      And limit posting to the participants of Mik's build Challenge 2020.

    • February 11, 2020 5:01 PM EST
    • Eric, it spells MIK side ways


    • February 11, 2020 4:47 PM EST
    • Nice job!  Love the "random" white bricks on the chimbly.

    • February 11, 2020 3:46 PM EST
    • Vic I laughed when you posted on the final pics thread. You certainly worked harder than anyone else for the challenge. And you used block, didn't quite turn into a chimney. I think when MIK came up with this idea he had not planned on someone actually building their RR for the challenge.

    • February 11, 2020 3:20 PM EST
    • Dennis, super build!

    • February 11, 2020 2:15 AM EST
    • Beautiful as always Dennis.

    • February 11, 2020 2:37 PM EST
    • Dave,


      looking at the glamour shots you posted in the show off thread you mention the stones are cut from the local rock. That really comes to life in those shots. You did an excellent job of color matching your stones to the native rock in your layout. Yet another take away from your excellent work. When I did my build this year I made no attempt to match either my cut stones or the dino turd to the native rock of my layout which is primarily a very white granite or black basalt. This is something to consider in the future, especially considering the amount of rock in my layout. Nicely done.

    • February 11, 2020 2:30 AM EST
    • You really put the Taylor Materials Group (Taylor Tin, Taylor quarry, and Taylor Window and Sash) to work this year. 

    • February 11, 2020 2:26 AM EST
    • Yes Dave t very much does

    • February 11, 2020 12:30 PM EST
    • i just noticed the switches in the glamour shots. You did a great job of hiding them in plain site.

    • February 11, 2020 12:03 PM EST
    • As always a huge thank you to Dave T for hosting this. I never participated during the MIK years but I think he would be tickled to see his legacy live on in this challenge. I know I sure would if I was him. Thanks Dave.


      To all who participated, finished or not, I got some great take aways this year. John C's use of cut stone tiles is a keeper. Bill's revamping playmobil buildings into realistic buildings, I will be on the look out at garage sales and thrift stores from now on. Dan's use of 3D printing, while not the way to go for all construction, he sure showed its versatility and the possibilities for one off parts or for masters to be cast in resin is a keeper. Lou gave me a great use for one of my lil hauler coaches, I will have a nice track side shanty. The Mueller family makes me want to move to Hawaii; while everyone else is buried in snow and rain during the build, they went to the beach. Aside from my extreme jealousy, it makes me want to share my hobby with someone younger. My kids are beyond that age but I have young grand nieces and nephews, neighbor kids, and probably soon (hopefully not too soon) grandkids. As with every year I think Eric is the grand prize winner because he gets to do this with his brood. And I am now saving meat trays and my wife is giving me dirty looks. Dennis' weathering is one to copy as usual, got some ideas there. I also love Dave's stone work and the possibilities that exist there since I have a mold of the stones.


      Just some great ideas and I am always amazed at what we come up with using some pretty ingenious stuff (Tim's Christmas ornament).


      A final thought: Dan, John P., John C. please finish your projects and continue to post. All were ambitious and all have great ideas I want to see finished so I can rob them.

    • February 11, 2020 10:25 AM EST
    • An Old Wise Mentor once stressed to me.....   " Just because you can,  Doesn't mean that you should "


      In this case... Dans extreme build, worked well, and as he says,  just not the best way in the end...


      But if he was to use the prints, to make molds for a production run of many more models, then it would be time and effort well spent.



    • February 11, 2020 2:21 AM EST
    • Wow. Your RR is going to cost a fortune. It is an interesting lesson though between its ability and its viability. 

    • February 11, 2020 9:12 AM EST
    • Looks great. Regarding anchoring a foam building, two ideas utilize a concrete paver as a footing and use construction adhesive toa  it in place. Or if you can access the interior, use construction spikes, basically giant nails, thru the foam base into the ground. The spikes would be better if you need to remove it for any reason.