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LEGO Millyard Project Officially Completed


After nearly two and a half years of effort, NELUG is very pleased to announce the completion of the Millyard Project! On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 approximately 100 people attended the official dedication of the LEGO Millyard Project at the SEE Science Center in Manchester, NH.  VIPs in attendance included the two main benefactors of the project, Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and founder of the SEE Science Center, and Kjeld Kristiansen, owner of The LEGO Company, who flew all the way from Denmark just for the ceremony.  The ceremony, hosted by SEE’s Douglas Heuser, started with short speeches from our two good friends, LEGO Master Designers, Steve Gerling and Erik Varszegi along with our own Joe Comeau.  In addition to speeches from Dean and Kjeld, both the Governor of New Hampshire and the Mayor of Manchester also said a few words. There were about 20 NELUG members present who Kjeld readily greeted upon his arrival.

Everyone in attendance, including many long time TLC employees and Kjeld himself, were truly excited and amazed at the size, complexity and sophistication of the models in the display.

There was an incredible amount of effort put in over the last two and a half years, but nothing as intense as the five days preceding the ceremony. Erik and Steve worked virtually non-stop along with 10 NELUGers who burned more than the midnight oil to help out.  Working 16 hour days, the team completed an amazing amount of building to bring the LEGO Millyard to life.  The Kennard and Old Courthouse were finally brought to the deck and Pine Island Park was assembled which included a Ferris Wheel, roller coaster, carousel, swan boats, roller skating rink, bathhouse and so much more. The magnificent Notre Dame Bridge was also erected and extends right off the main deck right near the amazing cut-a-way of the Jefferson Mill, complete with a vast array of textile equipment. In addition to all of this, hundreds of carts and thousands of mini figs were placed throughout the nearly 2200 square foot display to give it the vibrancy of a bustling city.

Please visit our media gallery to see pictures of this amazing display by clicking on the photo accompanying this story and feel free to visit the SEE Science Center to see the real thing - even after seeing the pictures you will be amazed!

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Millyard Phase VIII

Other Events/Displays

Millyard Project Progresses as Completion Nears

Members of NELUG gathered at the SEE Science Center in Manchester, NH to participate in the latest building event, Phase VIII, held on Nov. 11-12, 2006.  Building concentrated on the completion of several buildings that were partially done either during the last Phase or in the interim at The LEGO Company in Enfield, CT.  Building focused on completion of the old Courthouse, the Cigar Factory, more canal buildings, an entrance to the Millyard where workers would enter and leave from, various rides and amusements for the Pine Island Park, machinery for the Jefferson Building (done as a cut-out to see the inside of one of the mills), and lots of carriages and horse drawn wagons.

The Millyard exhibit, a scale replica of the mill buildings along the Merrimack River and adjacent parts of Manchester, NH around 1900, is a 22’x95’ permanent display built entirely out of LEGO bricks.  “The Deck”, as the exhibit where the LEGO buildings are placed is called, has come a long way since we first began working on this project over 2 years ago.  Most of the space on the deck now has something on it, and with the trains running and it fully painted we are ready for a final surge of activity to complete the project.  Two new additions to the exhibit are a platform where visitors can get up higher to get a better view of the display, and a wide screen TV to see the camera display from the train as it travels through the Millyard.  All of this is in preparation for the official dedication on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006.  We’re almost done, but we have so much left to do!

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Great Train Expo November 2006

Trains/LayoutsFor the seventh year in a row NELUG has displayed a layout at the Great Train Expo (formerly Greenberg train and toy show) in Wilmington MA. As has been the case for the past couple of years we once again had our largest layout ever at 13'x26'.

This layout had 4 operating loops on the tables, another loop operating as a subway line, and our longest run of Monorail track seen to date. The amusement park has continued to grow and remains a strong focal point of the layout. The inner city while smaller included a river and one of our best town/residential sections.

The show itself appeared to be quite the success with more attendees than we could remember seeing for several years. There was even a vender selling significant amounts of LEGO for the first time including 9v train accessories.

From a club perspective setup was pretty intensive and brought us to our limits. We probably won't expand the layout significantly again until we become comfortable with this layout and have more help during setup. We also kept pace in being one of the quickest to clear out at the end of the show in less than 2 hours.

Our outside loop was bumped and derailed several times and one boxcar fell to the floor (twice) and needs a bit of repair. Thankfully it is LEGO so repairs should be relatively easy.

Please visit our gallery for the layout by clicking on the image in this article.

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NELUG Hits Central Vermont!

Other Events/DisplaysBy invitation of the Middlebury, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, NELUG put on a great show July 22nd and 23rd at Vermont Brick Blast 2006.

View the event gallery here.

NELUG members from all over converged on Middlebury, Vermont for the town's first Vermont Brick Blast event.

Despite rainy weather, the spirit of the crowd visiting Vermont Brick Blast 2006 was not dampened. Children and adults of all ages came in waves to marvel at the creations of NELUG members, as well as to participate in BrikWars games, robotics demonstrations, and building and MOC contests sponsored by the Middlebury Chamber of Commerce.

Brick Blast 2006 gave the club a chance to totally let loose, with an expanded train layout, a moonbase layout, MOCs of all shapes and sizes, as well as a work-in-progress automated model of a working quarry.

MOCs on display by NELUG ranged from the well-detailed Jabberwocky by Jason Wolfson, to the club's beautifully done giant mosaic of the Boston skyline.

As usual, the train layout was a big hit, with a nicely done residential area at one end, leading up to the towering buildings of the city on the other end. In between the two was a newly added river section, with several types of bridges spanning the water, allowing both rail and automotive traffic to cross. Adjacent to the city was a busy, work-filled rail yard, with trains of many shapes, sizes, and eras filling the sidings. Running the length of the layout, with the city in the background, was NELUG's famous carnival section, filled with spinning, twirling, and tilting rides that lit up the eyes of visitors young and old. Traffic between the carnival and the city was handled by monorail, which in addition to the layout's four independent train loops, provided transportation to minifigs far and wide.
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April 1 & 2 Great Train Expo


NELUG presented a 10'x30' layout at the Great Train Expo in Wilmington MA on April 1st and 2nd. For the first time we were placed in the front lobby which brought us even more exposure but presented challenges in terms of crowd control. While there were no major incidents the crowd at opening was at times overwhelming and resulted in several derailments.

Jonathan Dallas took responsibility for designing this shows layout. We had several new MOC's including 2 amusement park rides by Dave Gwon and lots of new contributions in the Residential area. This was probably one of our most cohesive residential areas yet.

Of course the trains were very popular with Elroy's Adventurers train getting a lot of complements. As we have been growing our layout lately NELUG is in need of more track, especially straight track. We hope to have this taken care of before Brick Blast in July.

We had many of the usual questions:

1. How many pieces?
2. LEGO makes Trains?
3. Where do I buy LEGO Trains?
4. How long does it take to set up?
5. Is it battery powered or electric?

In addition we got several great compliments

1. This is the best layout here.
2. This layout is so much fun.
3. We came just to see this.

Thanks to everyone who made this such a great show.

Photos of this show can be seen in our gallery

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