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HARDLUG participates in the NMRA Train Show
The HARDLUG After Action Report on our display at the Tidewater National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Train Show (September 20-21).
About this creation

The HARDLUG After Action Report on our display at the Tidewater National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Train Show (September 20-21).

HARDLUGs display at the Tidewater National Model Railroad Association Show was a celebration of modern multi-modal transportation, encompassing the sea, land, and sky! On the Sea, the mighty container crane at the Port of Brick Town loads a commercial container vessel with goods that will be sold in markets across the globe. Tragically, even in this modern era, the ancient threat of pirates…or more accurately, the threat of ancient pirates stalks these proud merchant vessels. A fleet of pirate corsairs can be seen skulking not 5 feet away from the loading facility! The only thing keeping the pirates off the cargo docks is the astoundingly violent reputation of the Brick Town Longshoremen's Union. Note the rail barge in the foreground. Now that’s a specialized asset you don’t see in every Lego port!

On the land, the Brick Town switch yard, and a small sampaling of HARDLUG rolling stock. It is a vast fleet of bulk, container, passenger, and specialized platforms . One may rest assured that under the constant scrutiny of famous rail barons Paul Vasano and Heinz Detricht Von Rodenfels, the trains of HARDLUG run on time.

And in the sky! Suspended by gossamer threads which were totally invisible from the parking lot, a civil air transport thunders over the display. The illusion of flight was so realistic that the members of the Tidewater “O” Gage Association kept scattering in terror as the aircraft seemed about to crash into their PVC sign. Puny mortals! HARDLUG owns the sky!

Dave McCracken, John Longtin and Zack engage in a spirited exchange of opinions regarding HARDLUGS new “Arms Akimbo” policy. McCracken says: “No Dice!”, but how long can he hold out against a guy who wares size 15 shoes and another guy who grabs flies in flight with his eyes closed? How long could any of us hold out? Does it look to anybody else like Longtin is thinking about a knife and a fork?

McCracken brought a chorus line of space ships. It was like the classic film epic: Battle Beyond the Stars, starring that guy who played Johnboy on The Waltons. He gets shot in the TV version of All Quiet on the Western Front…Johnboy, not McCracken.

HARDLUG Vice President Joel “Sky Master” Heart decongests the crowded sky of the layout under the unblinking gaze of fellow mustachioed Lug officer, Club Presedent, Paul Vastano. They both seem nice enough…until you cross them…and then…actually…they are both pretty much cool all the time. Joel has enough Star Wars minifigs to populate the entire layout.

David Hurley is terrifying. He springs out of the shadows, right up in your face with that same crazy killer jack in the box expression. I mean, he builds a mean crane…and his work with naked minifigs and swat teams defines the genre…but he is terrifying none the less.

John Longtin. Arguably one of the happiest guys in the lug. I mean…look at him! Here he points out some of the features of his Sea Side Boardwalk. In fact, he was humming the song “Under the Boardwalk” for most of the show. John…Happy guy…Just go along with him on the “Arms Akimbo” policy.

Team Cleland as ever, ensconced on the cutting edge of Lego Technology. Bunny displays the Drive In Theater where the fortunate citizens of the HARDLUG layout get to watch video from BrickFair. Take a moment to look into the eyes of Brandon. He doesn’t look like a killer does he…but then, you haven’t seen his work entitled “Captain Red Hooks Island”. Ever seen the Michael Cane movie “The Island”? Yea well…same thing.

Here Brandon demonstrates the combination drawbridge/death trap. When activated, it sends a minifig plummeting through a trap door and onto a bed of spikes. Play Well!

HARDLUG enforcer and secretary Valentina Neblitt displays a conveyor belt that moves MOCs along the table top. Here her MOC the Storm Trooper Frat House is passing in front of her. The guy upstairs is mooning you! Wait! That’s no moon…

Then all the MOCs trundle along the belt, and shortly, Valentinas “Yoda Memorial Library” slides into view. There is currently a big discussion about two competing sidewalk designs within HARDLUG. This shot captures the two designs in simultaneous parallel use. One is thicker and uses more parts but it offers more construction options. These decisions are why Lego is no past time for the faint of heart. See the parking meters by the library? That is where the opening scene form Cool Hand Luke was shot. The blister windows were added years after the films release.

Heinz Otto von Rodenfels laughs at the notion of a HARDLUG train running late. It simply does not happen!

Shawn points out a police man who he painstakingly placed the previous day. Due to his meticulous attention to the placement of Minifig law enforcement personnel, there was no reported act of minifig terrorism during the entire show…almost.

The only terrorist incident of the show. It happened in front of terrifying jack in the box Dave Hurley's town hall…this SWAT team had to bring down a member of the terrorist faction known as “Naked Truth”. No shots were fired, but the perp did get a skinned knee and some embarrassing grass burns. After the show, the entire SWAT team went missing. Swoosh! Gone like the perps pants.

Back at the docks, union reps review a labor proposal. Turns out the ancient pirates want to join the Longshoremen's union. Something about “A might better dental plan…Arrrr”.

That’s no moon…it’s a guy with a tape measure.

Down on the farm Zack runs a tight crew. His spread includes a stable, stock yard, and a nice ranch house. There was even a country rock band called “Dixie Drums”, but it ended badly for them, as we shall see shortly. On an unrelated note, check the guy in the background. I think he was flexing just for this shot. Creepy…

This is Billy Hickory Stick…lead drummer for Dixie Drums. On the second day of the show, he was unexpectedly eaten by a dragon form the famous Ozzy Ozborn tribute band: Crazy Train. The dragon showed no interest in the Lego clone pigs. By way of compensation, the surviving member of Dixie Drums, Claude Hickory Stick was given a job as a rodie with Crazy Train. For the record, several model railroad types DID NOT LIKE the Lego dragon eating the Lego guy. I guess Dixie Drums was pretty big in the O gage community.

Zack sneers with un-masked distain at the broken and bleeding form of yet another defeated opponent. Seems the guy made a wise crack about the clone pigs. Sigh…some people just need teaching.

Once again, HARDLUG had a great time, and we are grateful to the Tidewater National Model Railroad Association for inviting us. We will be back next year for sure! For more info about HARDLUG, check out our web site at HARDLUG


 I like it 
  April 13, 2011
can t wait to get back at one of those!
 I like it 
  September 27, 2008
Mike, Where's YOUR MOC? Seems like the photographer never gets into the photos. I'll fix you. Just wait. I have photos.
By Michael Rutherford
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Added September 27, 2008

LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop HARDLUG participates in the NMRA Train Show

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