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"All aboard! Allll abboooaard! Tickets please, tickets please, well; are you coming?"
I'd like to show off my first ever train model - The Polar Express. Right now, it's capable of holding 40 passengers, 3 engineers, and two chefs. It's current specifications are based on a Pere Marquette 1225 2-8-4 Berkshire Steam Locomotive. Unfortunately due to my skill sets and the limitations of Lego Digital Designer, it's original length of 101 feet and 8 inches is unattainable, making the length of this about 49 studs, or 15.5 inches. This puts the size of this model as a 1/78 scale model of the actual locomotive. As you can already see, this train is absolutely huge! If I built this in real life, the length would be 1.6 meters, or 62 inches. Or in other words, this thing has a length larger than most eccentrically sized televisions.
The best part about this model is the details. You are capable of reenacting virtually any scene from the book (and movie), with the exception of the coal car and the toy recycling car. Provided the size and scale of it, every single section can be recreated using existing parts and molds, the only exception being the cattle guard on the front of the train. The total piece count right now is 1,697. Even if a car or two is removed, they each contain only 272 parts, meaning if you stripped this model down to only one car and the caboose, you'd have 1,153 pieces. Also, it's essential to have 8 wide train cars on this model. If it were any narrower like 6 studs why, you'd lose half the seating and the playability factor of the movable seats to reenact the Hot Cocoa scene and the montage of Hero Boy searching the car for Hero Girl's ticket would be destroyed. Ideally if the set was made, it would contain the cast of Santa Claus, Hobo, Hero Boy, Hero Girl, Conductor, Know-it-all, the two Waiters, and the Lonely Boy. It would also add in several props, like hot chocolate for the waiters, skis and a camp fire for the Hobo, and a Christmas present for Shy Boy.If you'd like to read more about the justification and motivation of this project, read below. In the pictures, you can see several images of the different sections of the train, as well as a cross section of the train cars with the chairs facing forward, and with them facing each other like in the Hot Cocoa scene.
I justify this project here on Lego Ideas because in recent years, there seems to be a lacking sincerity in Holiday movies, be it a Hallmark Christmas special or ABC Family film. This beautifully written story manages to detail a heartfelt yet tragic story that yields true about Holidays. As we get older, the stress of growing up seems to displace from our once carefree enjoyment of being with our families. I hope that with this set, I could introduce to a new generation, and a new format to previous generations the gateway to a modern Christmas classic and the nostalgia and love of their families. On the other hand, this could easily fill the niche left by the former Holiday Train, and matches easily with the current and past Christmas themed sets.