Large Scale Central

Official VOTING for Mik's Build Challenge 2021

Voting for your Favorite 

Mik’s Build Challenge 2021 build.

Voting for your favorite build from this years build challenge is simple.
Voting is open to any member in good standings on LSC.

FIRST: Goto the thread “ 2021 Mik's Build challenge Entrants Photos for voting” 

and look over all the great builds.

SECOND: Come back to this thread and post your votes:


If you choose to vote in private e-mail me at [email protected]

There is ONLY ONE thing to vote on, Your favorite!
For whatever the reason is doesn't matter.
You set your own criteria.
Please list your choices for: 1st., 2nd., and 3rd.

Voting will end at sunup ( really more like when I drag me lazy as$ out of bed) on 

Tuesday the 22th of Feb. Thats 8 days and a weekend.


Dave Taylor said:

Voting will end at sunup ( really more like when I drag me lazy as$ out of bed) on

Tuesday the 22th of Feb. Thats 8 days and a weekend.

That’s my birthday, so… (

I really really don’t like going first, but I had to hit lead-off a few times, so here’s goes nothing.

For unmatched craftsmanship and amibition, my first place has to be shared between Dave Taylor’s drop-center car and Todd Haskin’s factory. There is no freaking way both of these aren’t number one, but I won’t be a chicken: I’m a sucker for Todd’s brilliant sense of color (the man’s an artist) and the scope of the build is amazing, but whatever that thing is on Dave’s car puts me over the top just in the imagination to select it for a build in the first place and for the execution.

First place: Dave’s drop-center car

Second place: Todd’s factory.

Third place is impossible; I’m going for the build with the most emotional appeal to me. Every time I look at Rick Marty’s water tank and shed I like it more and more each time, like the girl you get to know better and better! Dan Hilyer’s fueling station has by far the most emotional appeal, to me, of all the builds especially with all the detail and character. Jim Rowson’ still can’t possibly not be a favorite both in execution and story-telling. Among these equals I’m voting Jim’s still third place for one reason only: I’m struck by the way he painted the still itself; that counts for a lot in my book!

Third place: Jim’s still.

HOWEVER, the one build I would put on my layout right now is Pete Lassen’s quonset hut. I love everything about it. And, as far as pure fun goes, you tell me which has more spirit and imagination, Mueller’s lighthouse or Todd Brody’s “can,” our first animated build I think since Eric’s moose?

Speaking of which, Eric Schade is the only builder this year who’s build is so well executed you can’t tell he started with a can.

I’m pushing the Post Reply button now knowing full well picking favorites among this year’s builds is hopeless.

Really tough to pick favorites. They are all good, but here goes

  1. DaveTaylor’s entry. That car is awesome! Use of cans good too, but the car is a work of art.

  2. Eric Shade"s entry. That guy is amazingly creative. The little car shows just how versatlle he is.

  3. Jim Rowson’s moonshine still. Outstanding detail. Clever above words.

Everyone else deserves a prize too. All the entries showed imagination and great workmanship. Amazing and a treat just to see all the projects. This was as successlul as any challenge.

My favorites are:

  1. Pete Lassen’s Quonset Hut

  2. David Taylor’s Schnabel Car

  3. Jim Rowson’s Moonshine Still

Actually, every entrant is a winner; they have a unique model to grace their layout!

Regards, David Meashey

For a crisp clean and relly cool build I would say Dave taylor’s extra sized flat car is a tough act to follow.

I am partial to odd little locomotives and 7/8th scale and i really like Devon’s work and rivet counting, lots of fun!

Todd Haskins factory complex is a great bit of modeling and will look very nice on his rambling layout!

John Passaro’s caboose repair building really came out well! Plenty of detail.

I Just love seeing Eric Mueller’s gang all taking part and having fun. I am pleased to have helped out in a small way too.

Todd Brody’s tin can can made me chuckle! Nice use of animation!


  1. I’ll say Dave Taylor

  2. Gee, i’ll follow my Gut and say Devon

  3. For more cans i’ll go with John Passaro

Aw man too hard too many great entries too many different choices. Aw crap, here it goes:

  1. Dave Taylor’s outrageously good Schnabel car

  2. Devon’s pneumatic locomotive, I’m such a sucker for little engines

  3. Todd Brody’s tipper, animation is a first for Miks and he would have loved it.

Well, there’s no way to properly recognize all the great builds. I chose to honor what I thought were the most unusual use of cans, so that it was really hard to tell that cans were even involved. So mine are:

  1. John Passaro: the “art” gallery and skylight put it over the top for me, along with just really nice use of color and weathering

  2. Eric Schade’s cars: using a can to form the undercarriage was fantastically clever. And Bernie!

  3. Clan Mueller: are there really cans underneath all those “stones”? Also, this has nothing to do with it being a family act: I just really like the flying buttresses!

If I had a 4th it would go to Pete Lassen for his qhut

Great job, all!

I have to stay with gut feelings from what the contest is about. Every build put out here this year is a winner in it’s own right. Said only because those who participated got off their collective butts and created something in what is normally termed “Cabin Fever” time. Some really super builds in such a short time.

I have to eliminate one fantastic what if entry which is Dave’s drop center flat car, but I did keep the load for the car in my list of builds. A few have looked at the car as the build and the load as the after thought, but I believe Dave had the load in mind but needed the base to put it on first.

Todd put together in a month what most would need 6 months for and what most don’t have the space for.

But my votes go:

  1. Clan Muellar for their originality and their modeling skills using coal and turning it into diamonds.

  2. Eric Schade and Bernie’s transport.

  3. a tie between: Jim’s Still

Pete’s Quonset hut

EngineNo. 98’s tank car

and Dave T.'s Rubealattor car load

Everyone’s builds are vary great I love seeing the creativity of some of you guys.

Makes me upset I didn’t officially finish but maybe next year.

My 1st place I would give John Passaro the honor as his repair facility is amazing.

2nd would give to Dan Hilyer’s refueling station, the spilled oil detail is absolutely 100% the best I’ve ever seen.

Why not give good old Devon Sinsley 3rd as even tho he didn’t finish either his was cut short by his unfavorable condition and I know it’ll be a headache counting all those rivets when I see it in person. Haha.

I hope everyone had fun and ill be taking part next year for sure!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, thanks first and foremost to Dave Taylor for hosting the competition! I think choosing such a common place product and shape really, really drew out the imagination and craftsmanship this year. We are surrounded by cylinders of all shapes and sizes, making the theme multi-scale / multi-era. As a bonus, the contest brought out many ways to turn that shape into something else using a variety of techniquies!

On to the business of voting. We all voted. I leave it Dave how he wants to tally this…one crewman, one vote; average the results; or (as I do) default to CINCHOUSE. Everyone loved the projects and the craftsmanship. Individual weighting of the centrality of the can, either in terms of volume of material or prominence in end product, played a role in many of the individual choices.


  1. Dany Hilyer’s fueling station
  2. Eric Schade’s “Bernie’s Ride”
  3. Pete Lassen’s Hippy Hut


  1. Dave Taylor’s Rubelator and Schnabelwagen
  2. John Passaro’s Caboose Repair Facility
  3. Jim Rowson’s Backwood’s Still

Oldest Daughter (O.D.)

  1. Dan Hilyer’s fueling station
  2. Rick Marty’s water tower
  3. Todd Brody’s “The Can”

Youngest Daughter (Y.D.)

  1. John Passaro’s caboose repair facility
  2. Dan Hilyer’s fueling station
  3. Eric Schade’s “Bernie’s Ride”

Oldest Son (O.S.)

  1. Eric Schade’s “Bernie’s Ride”
  2. Todd Brody’s “The Can”
  3. Dan Hilyer’s fueling station


  1. No.98’s tank car
  2. John Passaro’s caboose repair facility
  3. Dan Hilyer’s fueling station

I didn’t see a column for the “Spirit of the Mik” award, but two votes went to Todd because that was downright fun and four votes went to fellow traveler on the far end of the supply chain Tim for his refinery.

Good luck to all!

On Behalf of Clan Mueller,


Tough choices as usual!

But, since I have to,

  1. John Passaro’s engine shed caboose repair facility

  2. Todd Haskins’ factory

  3. Tie between

3A Devon’s pneumo loco

3B Jim’s still

Man always tough. A person could vote one way one size, another on best use of can/s, still another for fun, etc. And as has been said everyone did a great job, each pushing our skills and going beyond. But we must choose. And this year I went with simply what was most appealing to me and what I like. Nothing more or less.

#1 John P. That thing is more like a high end luxury spa for cabeese.

#2 Todd’s factory. That thing looks like it cost a few hundred bucks. But was very much built in the spirit of MIK. Basically wood, paint, and a can or two. If you have a scrap wood bin and some paint it is not out of reach in materials but the craftsmanship makes it a million dollar baby.

#3 Dave T. The car alone is just awesome. And while it used some pretty fancy parts, he made them all or had them on hand and I fault no one for the size of they scrap heap. Then there is that monster thingamajig on the car which made great use of cans.

Then my runners up are team Mueller, which remains my favorite build to watch year after year. And Ben for jumping in the frey for the first time.

There are so many great builds this year and choosing the top 3 is difficult, it always is because of the talent and imagination in this group. Even Bernie Sanders and his mittens approved or so I think since he still looked grumpy. We can all be content that we accepted the challenge and stretched our skills and maybe learned some new techniques to build something special and unique for our RR’s. It seems to have caught on more this year than in challenges past and that is the builds have become like dioramas, little scenes loaded with details that encourages one to walk right in to them.

One of these dioramas is John Passaro’s caboose repair facility. There are so many details, parts and textures that magically all come together to form a unique and very interesting building. John you need to put up a No Trespassing sign to discourage the curious from getting into trouble.

I’m a big fan of the big heavy specialized movers and who isn’t and Dave Taylor created an incredible carrier and a really cool load for it.

Another build that really struck me was Dan Hilyer’s oil facility. The details and weathering are superb and I could almost smell and taste that grimy oil leakage.

My votes are.

#1 John Passaro

#2 Dave Taylor

#3 Dan Hilyer

Great job Gents and Happy RRing!

#1 - Dave Taylor

#2 - Todd Haskins

#3 - John Passaro

There are so many good entries this year. Dave Taylor’s HD Flat and the Rubelator. Definitely the heaviest narrow gauge flat car in history. The Rubelator used more and more variety of cans than anyone else.

Pete Lassen’s Hippy Hut, a unique use of a decorative tin. I think he should have maintained the original paint.

Vic Smith, another great ‘small’ space build. Always thinking ‘pizza’ layout.

Engnine 98 did a great build with a soup can into a quite credible tank car for a short line railroad.

Jim Rowson’s backwoods moonshine still is one of the most creative scenes this year. His ability to make the simple stuff looke great is a unique ability.

Todd Haskins definitley gets the nod for the largest in square feet of layut coverage. The can is almost lost in the sheer size of the building.

Rick Marty’s water tower is a great addition to his railroad and just right proportioned.

Devon Sinsley… what can I say, always the ambitious build. Thought he was going to make it to the end, but his health had other ideas. He still gets the tenacious award for all those rivets he placed, let alone the ones he didn’t.

Eric Schade’s excellent metal work on two unique 7/8’s scale cars.

Todd Brody surprised us all the the ‘Can’ can. Definitely original in all aspects, especially the animation.

John Passaro’s Caboose Service Facility is outrageous. The roof is a one off, and the art gallery sets this one apart,

Team Mueller…what can I say! The range of talent displayed by all the family members is fantastic. Each one of them deserves Kudos in their own right.

Dan Hilyer built a right smart oil storage facility, complete with pump house, barrels and some grime.

Lou Luczu… A KEGGER!!! What an interesting build. Keeping the original paint was the right thing to do. Sets it off as a piece of art work.

Now for my votes…:

I am tied for first place with Jim Rowson’s Moonshine Still and Eric Mueller’s light house. Dave T can figure out how to score this.
Third goes to John Passaro’s Caboose Service Facility

Tough to choose from this year.

Dave Taylors ‘rubealatter’ and the monster car it’s parked on is ‘wow’ - especially the flatcar.

Jim Bowson’s still fits perfectly into backwoods country. Brought a few old homesteading stories to my mind…

Pete Lassen’s Quonset Hut - good one. I’d build one for my layout if there were any room left…

Todd Haskin’s factory - a model that comes close to scaling out to prototype dimensions. And one heck of a lot of work. (every time I try something like that, it’s a nonstop battle with warped lumber and botched cuts)

Eric’s ‘miners car’ (my term) made me chuckle. Bernie must be out to organize the miners. (picket signs next?) Simple and effective.

John Passaro’s train car repair facility impressed me with the detail work.

Dan Hilyer’s fuel oil storage tank brought back memories of 500 and 1000 gallon tanks parked atop similar frames at remote worksites around here in my youth. Liked the attention to detail.

Marty’s water tank, while…generic…is also well done. A good ‘building block’ for that part of the layout. Water tank was my second choice of project.

I also liked Vic’s straightforward (and solid) water tower. No 98’s ‘tin can tank car’ seemed exactly the sort of thing a backwoods shop would conjure up.


First Place - Clan Mueller’s lighthouse for the family cooperation, creative use of materials, imagination displayed by the younger members (sculpture park would have been cool), and the narrative woven into the build. Little touches like the hibachi made from junk and the marauding pirates.

Second Place - Todd Brady’s ‘The Can.’ It’s detailed. It moves.

Third Place - Devon Sinsley’s compressed air locomotive. Never heard of such a thing before. Even unfinished, it looks dang impressive to me.

1 Dan Hilyer

2 John Passaro

3 Rick Marty

Well I keep erasing as I argue myself into voting a different way once the decision is made so without any more argument from me ;

first place, me, 2nd, me and 3rd, me. well no one said I couldn’t do that! LOL

ok, ok here are my official votes

1st place Eric M. and family, you just cannot beat a 5 person committee that can finish on time without fisticuffs!

2nd Place Jim Rowson, you could not tell it was a tin can, or that it isn’t copper .

3rd Place John Passaro, such a different use of a can than everyone else, I will allow the destruction of the 2 boxcars! LOL!

honorable mention to Devon for even trying and dang well succeeding to do the challenge with all that is going on with him.

Dan H. And all the other builds this year are top notch and very impressive work by all!!

let’s see if I can hit send before I change my mi

  1. Todd Haskin’s factory. ‘Nuff said.
  2. John Passaro’s caboose repair facility.
  3. Todd Brody’s can, man. Socal street creds for the animation alone.

Honorable mentionits

  1. Rick Marty’s water tower and shed (additional accolades for the outstanding track work).
  2. Cheerleader Dan Hilyer’s elevated fuel tank.
  3. Vic Smith’s water tower (because of the extraordinary amount of time and effort that went into it).