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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:53 PM EDT
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Infestation at Wilmington?

Trains/Layouts*SMASH* “What? Again!?”
When we planned a “Monsters Attack” theme for our layout at the most recent Greenberg Toy and Train Show at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA, we thought we were well prepared. After all, we had plenty of monsters. Three-headed Ghidorah crashing through a building? Check. Motorized T-rex terrorizing trains? Check. Small rock monsters? Check. Large rock monsters? Check. Small Dragons? Check. Large dragons? Check. Dinosaurs in the carnival? Check. Giant mutant ants in the city? Check. Sta-puft Marshmallow Man? Check. Giant Mecha? Check. Gremlins? Gremlins?! Okay, who packed the gremlins? Well, that is my theory anyway. What else could explain all those mishaps? Not only did we have a record number of derailments, but so many trains fell to the floor that we were starting to run low on engines that could run on our outside loop. It didn’t matter if they were a LEGO design or a custom model, battery or 9volt, steam or diesel. Everything was fair game to the gremlins. Even the Carnival was infested. Brand new rides wouldn’t work the way they did at home. Older rides broke down in brand new ways.

Despite all this, we still managed to put on a pretty good show with towering skyscrapers, an expansive railyard, elaborate castle, and the always popular Carnival. The crashes themselves were entertaining in their way. They certainly helped answer the frequently asked question of “Do you glue your models?” Many visitors enjoyed watching the train engines being rebuilt after all the loose bricks had been scooped up off the floor. And speaking of our visitors, they were fantastic. Many were very helpful when we did have a crash, either picking up pieces themselves or keeping the loose brick from being trampled under foot while a Nelug member made their way over to the area. And there were lots of questions. New questions. Interesting questions. Enthusiastic questions. We all love to build, but sharing our hobby with others is why we do events like this. So thank you to everyone who stopped by to talk or just to look.
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Greenberg Train & Toy Show - March, 2011

Trains/Layouts

NELUG will be hosting a monsterously cool display at Greenberg's Train & Toy show on March 26th & 27th. Located at the Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington, MA, the show goes from 10:00am to 4:00pm on both days. We'll have a brand new layout for this show featuring some beastly creations rampaging through the city!

For more information on Greenberg, including admission information, please visit http://www.greenbergshows.com/.

For directions to the Shriner's Auditorium, please visit http://www.alepposhriners.com/directions.html

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Nelug at the Wenham Museum

Trains/Layouts

themFor the third year Nelug was invited to display at the Wenham Museum and we were happy to accept. So this past weekend we presented a train layout that included the ever popular carnival and a few things new to our Wenham layout. Visitors were treated to a city of towering skyscrapers, a fantasy castle, and a futuristic miniland city. And of course, there were trains. This year we had an interesting mix of steam and diesel engines, LEGO and custom designs, and 9volt and battery powered trains.

But what is this?...

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NELUG at the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

Trains/LayoutsOn January 29th and 30th, NELUG once again displayed at the Amherst Railway Society's big Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This was our second year at the show, and like last year we had a blast. Our setup on Friday was plagued by a few hurdles, but the members who were there pulled together and had the majority of the work done before the end of the day. On the morning of the show, details were added, and trains began to run. By 9am the first of the public began to come through the doors, and it was non-stop for the next two days. Total visitor count to the show, according to the organizers, was 20,459 people. Even with that large of a crowd, the atmosphere was relaxed, and we had an enjoyable time talking to patrons, vendors, and other clubs. There was even enough time for our members to visit the other buildings where the show took place, which was wonderful for gathering ideas for future builds. Being a train show, the majority of our exhibit consisted of a very active train yard filled with locomotives and rolling stock. We also had a small town section, a residential area, and bit of a warehouse district for trains to unload at. While we didn't have a river section for this show, we did have a nice mountain area to provide some scenic beauty. Despite having only done this show once before, we were visited by many people who had seen us before. We caught up with some old friends, and even had a chance to meet a couple of new members. We look forward to attending again next year.
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2010 LEGO KidsFest

Other Events/DisplaysOn December 3-5, NELUG participated in the LEGO KidsFest event in Hartford, CT. We arrived on Thursday the 2nd for setup, and discovered that we actually had a slightly LARGER area than anticipated, which turned out to be a welcome surprise, especially after last year's event where we wound up with half the expected space! The overall AFOL/Hobbyist area was about 40'x70', and consisted of two train layouts (one for NELUG and one for PennLUG) and a table for the Great Ball Contraption and general models.

Setup was a bit slow thanks to our relatively smaller crew (compared to our normal shows), but by the end of the day, we had almost everything squared away except for the final minifig placements and small touch-ups. That left us plenty of time on Friday to finish up and get a good look around the event.

The event itself was a lot different than last year! 2009's KidsFest featured a good deal of vendor booths, many of which had nothing to do with LEGO or kids at all! This year, LEGO beefed up the LEGO content and had:
- 3 "monochromatic build" areas, building only with 1 color
- 2 LEGO surprise mosaics
- 2 areas to play LEGO board games
- A LEGO video game zone for LEGO console games
- Some stations to play LEGO Universe
- "Creation Nation" where kids could place their builds on a giant USA map
- Racing challenge, for kids to race their creations
- A bigger LEGO store (about 4 times the size and capacity as last year)
- Santa Claus visit area
- Charity ornament building
- Free building area
- "Bounce House" for kids to jump around in
- Stage for presentations (like "A day with a Master Builder", etc)
- Meetings for LEGO Club members (private room upstairs)
- LEGO displays in minifig scale
- Life-sized LEGO sculptures
- Some concessions (cotton candy, Dunkin Donuts)
- LEGO building contests And of course there was our "AFOL" area, about half of which wound up being NELUG content, and the rest was made up of fans mostly from Canada and PennLUG.

When the doors opened, the crowds made their way in, but didn't wind up being shoulder-to-shoulder like last year. Instead, the crowds were plentiful yet manageable. And fortunately, we didn't hear any horror stories of people being turned away or having inadequate parking. Instead, all the guests we talked to seemed very happy, and of course all the kids were having a blast.

With motors running, trains moving, and the GBC busily churning out soccer balls, we were probably the most popular display area at the event, compared to LEGO's displays which were mostly static. Throughout the weekend, we kept hearing both kids and parents saying that our area was their favorite part of the entire show.

When the doors finally closed late Sunday night, we started breaking down. We were treated to pizza and a small shopping spree at the LEGO store, courtesy of LEGO (thanks, LEGO!). It took a while, but we finally got everything packed up by around 11pm. Hopefully, we can look forward to coming back again next year!

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