Large Scale Central

2024 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 2024
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 2024 challenge is a tribute to LSC’s own Alan Bupp.
A time to overcome the doldrums of January and a long winter to wait till we can get back to running trains.

The 2024 15th Annual Mik’s Build challenge shall be:

Line Side Business!

Some business that has a siding, or is served by your RR.

Build what ever you would like that would have a siding served by your RR.
Factories both large and small, Freight Sheds, Shipping companies. Lumber mills, Granaries, Gravel Pits, Oil refineries, Auto Racks loading, Steel Scrap yards, Lumber Lots, Coal Mine… and Etc.

There is no size restrictions this year.
Any Size, Any Shape, Whatever business .

You will have 30 build days,
and a Max budget of $35.00 [ or your currency equilvment] ( still trying to keep it cheep and in the spirit of Mik).

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. 2024, without it costing against the $35.00 total.

Jan 1 thru Jan 12th, 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 12th, Build Logs to be posted in Annual Build Challenge forum on LSC. Please post your Napkins drawings with your first posting.

Jan 13th, 0001hr, Actual construction begins.

Jan 13th thru Feb 11th, up-dates to your build log posted.

Feb 11th, 2400hr building ends (extended to local sunrise on the 12th if you must put in an all nighter to finish).

Feb 12th thru 18th, Posting “Glamor” pictures to the “Official Finished “ forum post [ I will start ] for judging. Also post your total “out of pocket” cost, and any other descriptives you would like.

Feb 19th thru 25th, 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 27th, Winners announced.

#1 Actual building starts on JAN 13th and Ends on Feb 11th. That gives you 5 weekends to get it done.

#2 For the 2024 challenge, you must start a “NEW PROJECT”. This challenge excludes anything that you may have started previously to the Jan 1, 2024 starting date.

#3 You may use a part of an existing structure on your Pike to attach the new construction to, ie: Add a new extension to your lumber mill… You get the Idea. Please post a before photo.

#4 Building Debbies Cake Shop, or Mik’s Pub House is not in the spirit of the “Line Side Business” concept. But “Mikes brewing and distilling” next to the tracks would be.

#5 $35 (US$ 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!
Any and all rail trucks, Wheel sets, and couplers…. Do Not Count against your $35.00 limit!

#6 Any item that you already have in your hands as of 1 Jan 2024, 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.
Showing and discussing some unique building technique is always a good thing.
Recommended Build Challenge forum Title “Dave’s 2024 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 13th ) 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 2024,
Post a reply to this thread.

The Prize pool for 2024: NOTHING BUT BRAGGING RIGHTS! subject to change!

For the historical record these have been the Challenge categories:
2024: Line Side Business.
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!!


The boys in the Waverly Southern shops and I are excited to partake in Mik’s 2024 challenge. We have no idea what line side business we will build, but we have some time to figure that out.

Thank you, @Dave_Taylor , for shepherding the Challenge once again. The Challenge is a fun time even for those sitting on the sideline cheering on the participants and it would not be possible without your leadership.

Count me in too please.


Team Mueller is in! I have to clarify what a line side business is first, however. We’ll see if this finally prompts the long-awaited secessionist movement!


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We can only hope that it happens. :+1: :innocent: :smirk: :sunglasses:

Clarification on “new” project Dave. So I’m building my massive feed mill but one of the associated buildings as part of the complex is a hay storage shed. I haven’t started the hay storage shed yet so does that count as a new project?

I have a backup idea…

I’ll jump in although right now I have no idea what I may come up with.
Does a blank napkin qualify?

Craig… Your good to go… See Restriction #3! Welcome aboard !

Alright! Now I have to decide if that’s really what I want to do… I mean I know it will take 30 days even though it’s a simple structure! Or challenge myself and do something else…

Well dam, this may be first one I’m going to have to sit out. Reason is over the last year I have already built pretty much every line side business on the layout including two large mining buildings at either end. Only signage and weathering to do. The only incomplete building remaining to be finished is built but not painted. I’m not used to being ahead of the game, going to have to ponder this…

You could build something, and then donate it as a award at the end!!

I think I’m in. I need to take inventory to see if I have enough to build what I’m thinking about.

Welcome aboard Bob!

Those of you that don’t follow the MIK… I believe that for as long as I can remember, for 10+years… This is Bob’s first build challenge !!!


Welcome aboard Bob.

I was kind of hoping the challenge would be to build something for the track since we did a building last year but that is okay. I am in of course and looking forward to it. I might already have an idea to either add on to and update the old mining facility or possibly build a whole new structure that I have been thinking about for years…? Let the planning and the inventory checking begin! :thinking:

I’m in, I think. Got lots of spots to put industries. Need to think about what exactly and how to make it quirky and interesting.

I’m in.
For now it’s a blank napkin.

Seems like it already is !


Pursuant to Rule #3 above, if we were to start with O.D.'s long languishing elevator ( New Industry for the Triple O - A Grain Elevator ) and substantially add to the core (loading dock, crane(s), offices, etc., would we be OK? We can leave the elevator out of the final judging, of course.

If can, can; if cannot, cannot. The boys and I are already scoping out other real estate as we scour the house for materials. We are space but NEVER imagination constrained!


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Well I just started a line side business, but now Mik comes along, it Was going to be nothing special , just a hint and suggestion of a business, nothing that would even raise an eyebrow here , so probably going to pass this year.

@Eric_Mueller Yup you can can do… Can’t wait to see the napkins!