Large Scale Central

2023 Mik's Build Challenge

In Memorial to Allan Bupp,

aka: Mik, Mik just Mik.

Founder of the challenges. Train Guy,

Builder, Scrounger, Steam Guy and friend to all.

We miss ya buddy!

MIK’s Build Challenge 2023

Let the fun begin.

All aspects governing the Challenge are to be applied under

Mik’s build challenge Rule #1

Rule #1: Remember this is a “Fun Build Amongst Friends”

The 2023 challenge is a tribute to LSC’s own Alan Bupp.

A time to overcome the doldrums of January and a long winter to wait thru till we can get back to running trains.

The 2023 14th Annual Mik’s Build challenge shall be:


Build what ever you would like that would be found DOWNTOWN!

Such as, But not limited to:

Barbaras Bread store, Bernies Beanery, Holt’s Drugstore, Gazabos, Park benchs, Fire station, Library, City Hall, Bob’s Billiard Hall, City Fountain, Police Station, Gomers Gas Station, Elmers Livery and Blacksmith. First Church. And anything else that might be in the town.

There is no size restrictions this year.

Any Size, Any Shape, Building, or Town thing.

You will have 30 build days, and a Max budget of $30.00

The Final Build can be any size or shape that you want, of anything that you would like to build. You may use anything or materials that you have on hand as of 1 Jan. 2023, without it costing against the $30.00 total.


Jan 1 thru Jan 6th, Sign up. You can start planning, drawing (napkins included), gathering up your supplies, but NO CUTTING or BUILDING! Pondering with adult beverages is permitted!

Before Jan 6th, Build Logs to be posted in Annual Build Challenge forum on LSC. Please post your Napkins drawings with your first posting.

Jan 7th, 0001hr, Actual construction begins.

Jan 7th thru Feb 5th, up-dates to your build log posted.

Feb 5th, 2400hr building ends (extended to local sunrise on the 6th if you must put in an all nighter to finish).

Feb 6th thru 12th, Posting pictures to the “Official Finished “ forum post [ I will start ] for judging. Also post your total “out of pocket” cost.

Feb 13th thru 20th, Voting on the “Official Vote “ forum post [ I will start ] for judging. Also Again this year, you may vote by e-mailing me your vote if you would like to keep it secret. [email protected]

Feb 22th, Winners announced.


#1 Actual building starts on JAN 7th and Ends on Feb 5th. That gives you 5 weekends to get it done.

#2 For the 2023 challenge, you must start a “NEW PROJECT”. This challenge excludes anything that you may have started previously to the Jan 1, 2023 starting date.

#3 You may use a part of an existing structure to attach the new construction to, ie: shared wall with a existing downtown building… You get the Idea. Please post a before photo of the shared wall.

#4 Building Philips Refinery or Redwood Saw Mill is not in the spirit of the “DOWNTOWN” concept. But Farmington Lumber and Hardware would be.

#5 $30 (US$ or your local equal) is the max you can spend on materials, paints, glue , etc. If you buy a bottle of ink and use two drops, don’t worry about it, if you use the whole bottle, count it. If you have to use 2 inches of a 36 inch piece of brass, because thats the shortest length they sell, figure the cost as 1/18th, you get the picture!

#6 Any item that you already have in your hands as of 1 Jan 2023, does not count towards the limit. Any “Free” item you can procure, is free. This is on the honor system guys. Refer to rule #1

#7 All contestants MUST post a “Build Log” in the Annual Build Challenge forum section of LSC. You have to declare your intentions of what you will attempt to build in the initial post. Post your napkin (drawings) with your first post. You can change it if you want to, but you must post it. NO phantom builds to pop up on the last day! Progress posts ( preferably with pics ) need to be made often. Recommended Build Challenge forum Title “Dave’s 2023 challenge log”. Something along those lines so every one will know, and be able to follow along.

#8 If you will be using an 3D printer or a Laser Cutter, or any other CAD type construction assistance for parts and pieces, Please wait till the building start date ( Jan 7th ) before starting to create any cutting or CAD, or printing files that you will be using for your build. If you buy a file to create a part or piece, add that cost to your total build cost.

If you choose to participate in Mik’s Build Challenge 2023,

Post a reply to this thread.

For the historical record these have been the Challenge categories:

2023: Downtown

2022: ROW, Right Of Way

2021: Tin Can.

2020: Chimney Kit.

2019: 10 year redo: “Build Whatever You Want”

2018: 2x4

2017: Quarry cut stones.

2016: Roof panels = 800Sq Ft.

2015: 16’ Flat car, Whimsical theme.

2014: Door

2013: Gondola Kit, or a building.

2012: Finish something you already started.

2011: Build something! Up to 288 Sq In base.

2010: Unk. Category ( build whatever you want )

Happy New Year!

& Great Building!!

Huh. I may have a small structure that would work for this. If I work fast, I might be able to pull of two as they are “small”.

Dave, thanks once again for shepherding the 2023 Challenge. Not sure what “Downtown” thing I will build, but I’m certainly participating. Happy new year to you and yours.

I’m down to go to town on building something downtown

We are in…and we are already arguing about what we are going to build!

  • Team Mueller

Well, to save family peace… Split up and have two teams, on a bit smaller projects…

Why of course i’m in, the hard part is like all you others, Hummmm, what to build?

I’m in, found a building picture in my someday file. I see Devon is off and running already :smiley:

1 Like

I think I’m in. Have wanted for a while now to have a bank built out of the local granite rock. My hint of downtown will be a Jail, Mackenzie’s Mercantile general store, and the Bank of Durango.

So in this picture (working on the lighting for the existing buildings, finally), the bank would be off to the right:

Oooh I like the sound of this build! I’ve never managed to get my act together in time for this challenge before…this is the year!

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I am going to give this a try again. A lot will depend on the overtime at work this year if I get to work on a project at all… Been awhile…


Well, Jim gave me the idea, a bank sounded like a great building for my downtown area , but mine will be brick, since it’s a newer build than Jim’s layout. This will force me to name my town too , as I have been going back and forth with what to call it. Anyway , I am tentatively throwing myself to the wolves with another MIK build! Build log, napkin drawing and fun to follow

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Not much room left ‘downtown’ - and I have three of them. Still, I’ve been meaning to build that last facade for Middleton…

Dang, I don’t have any ideas that springs to mind, indoors or out. Still have 6 days to think about it but it’s not looking like the planets are aligning this year.

Just because Dave said “Downtown” doesn’t mean it needs to be a city. Here is the downtown area of the 1 horse town of Brent, ON…


Welcome to the Mik 2023.

My RR doesn’t even have a town an uptown or a downtown but I think I have an idea for a business that would fit right into any town in the Northeast and I already have a custom painted box car that works with it.

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Sounds like a brewery is brewing in Todd’s thoughts!

I have often thought a small craft brewery or a small distillery would be a fun addition to a layout. Not something you see many people model.

Against my better judgement, I had an idea. Something small and portable but would definitely be found in any downtown. Give me a couple more days, I need to a parts search.

1 Like