Old Taz’s Christmas in July

Old Taz has been in touch.

At first I didn’t know what to make of his post – a Christmas layout in July?

But after reading it, I thought it makes complete sense to post now.

Taz is right. If you want a little festive cheer when it comes to trains, you need to start thinking about it now…

“Hi Al and all of AL’S train buddies

This is Christmas in July. Why Christmas in July? That’s when I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do for Christmas.

Takes me that long to figure it out and to gather supplies. I’m going to show you a few of the things that I’ve done in the past for Christmas.

Eons ago, my wife bought me a Kincaid Christmas train. It was another eon before I had time and a space to set it up.

When we moved into our new house (built in 1942 new to us) I had the bright idea of having it go around in the Christmas tree not below it.

I started with a fake Christmas tree and built a platform at the first section. Had to block it up so it was level and so that it was the same height as our Bay window.

The platform was made to fit the track that was with the train. It had one switch with it so I made it so that it would go down into the bay window.

The buildings and people were bought at the dollar store. We ordered them in bulk over the Internet. The snow was a thin layer of cotton sheeting.

The first year the, train would only go down into the bay window.

The next year, I added to it and had it come out the other end and go around a coffee table, which had to be raised to the height of the bow window and was done with four (coffee cans).

The next year is when I got mixed up with little r my friend down the street. That year, I decided to go HO in the bay window. The turns were such that I had to add onto the platform to make the turns so that it came out into the room further. I did not have any HO track, so I went to my friend little r and got some of his surplus. He always has surplus.

The platform was inch and a half styrofoam. hills and scenery were also Styrofoam. I didn’t have any HO passenger cars. So, I ordered them from EBay and tried to get ones that would be of the right vintage for the Christmas express.

The lights in the passenger cars are those small candles that have batteries in them and flicker. Again, I used the ceramic buildings and people from the collection that bought from the dollar store.

A lot of the trees and shrubs are twigs and branches from real trees and bushes. The display did not get to my bay window that year. It ended up in the corner window of our bank downtown.

It was displayed for the month of December during which, the town had what they call, the Christmas walk, where the stores stay open and serve cookies and hot chocolate. There’s a big Christmas parade. To show it on that night I had to be locked in the bank with one of their personnel during the time of the walk.

The next year it still didn’t get displayed in my bay window it went to a restaurant downtown where it was displayed for the month of December. Little r also had a display in a window down the street from me. So, we were both in display windows on that Christmas.

Sometime during all this mess, we had both of our displays at the senior citizens center here in town. Sometime while it was there, I gained a car. One. of the ladies said she had one at home and just put it on my display. pretty cool Huh!

Next year I finally got to display it in my bay window. Two of the pictures shows a friend from across the street over here running the trains. He sat there for three hours. With a grin on his face. I had the smoke going on both engines’ I wanted to give the. layout to him but mom says no. The layout and trains were given to two brothers. Their dad made a special place for that layout in their bedroom.

A friend of ours would like to have us set up the big layout in his store this year, but because of security and the health of myself and my friend Richard I don’t think it’s going to get done. I think I’m going to go back to my bay window in N engage. Mabe invite the school kids to come up on the deck with their teacher. I have a lot of surpluses to do it with.

At the end of the video Richard and I are setting up four or three months stay in the bank window. It started in October for Thanksgiving, November for Halloween and then we changed it again for Christmas. For Christmas the cars were changed with Seighs and sleds on the roadway. Sorry, I have no pictures of this Richard I of both lost them.

Computers, can’t live with them, can’t live without them, says who?

Merry Christmas in July Ho ho ho and happy modeling!!!

The old taz”

Christmas tree train holder

christmas tree train elevated

christmas tree simple loop


christmas tree train shelf

model train christmas window shelf layout

model train christmas window shelf layout

model train Christmas window



A big thanks to Old Taz, who you’ll remember is now one of the Hall of Fame members, along with his pal ‘Little R’.

But do you know what?

Whenever I put the Hall of Fame pages together, there is always something gnawing away at me. It’s this: what if I’ve overlooked someone?

Well, just a few days after Old Taz and Little Rich appeared in the Hall of Fame I got a sledgehammer sized blow when John popped up in my inbox.

How could I over look John with all his done for the blog over the years? So I’m putting that right.

I appreciate there are lots ‘Johns’ featured on the blog, but you’ll know who I mean instantly if I show some of his pics and his last video again.

He’s happy in any scale:

N scale loco

And he’s also busy building his small gauge railroad:



Please welcome John as our latest Hall of Fame member. He’s written a wonderful narrative too.

And apologies to anyone else who should be in there and isn’t. I’ll catch up eventually.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.


8 Responses to Old Taz’s Christmas in July

  1. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Great Christmas layout with a very original idea.

  2. Never too soon to start on your Xmas layout …like this going around the tree half way up….and the Garden Railway …what fun i would have if i had one

  3. George Zaky says:

    I have a 4×6+ board that just fits the TV room, S scale inner & outer non connecting loops with a 3 ft Christmas tree for Christmas. Outer was the new Polar Express & inner was a 1950’s AF 2109 smoking, chuffing beauty with a few freight cars. I decided to make a real layout with the same board, only wider, with switching, real scenery, and have been working on it since May. This is an electrical challenge- AC power & DCC + a tiny board. I figure I’ll finish by Christmas. Neighbors think I’m weird. Just tested the tracks & the PE just yelled ” The first gift of Christmas! ” in July- What joy!

  4. THOMAS says:

    Thanks for running trains ! I thought everyone stopped . There is time to show off a movie set and then there is TRAIN RUNNING TIME !!

  5. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool Idea.

  6. Robert D. Bouskill says:

    Love the christmas tree idea but I think it would be a hard to sell idea to my wife.

  7. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Thanks to my Bud, we have done a lot to keep model railroading in the forefront in our little town, and have enjoyed it. And so true, time to sart now with another Christmas layout. So we keep on the best we can.
    And Al, you are so right, there are several guys and gals that could be in the Hall of Fame. Everyone’s input on your site sure helps to keep me going.
    Among so many favorite modelers of mine on here, one that comes to mind quickly is Bill(William) in Virginia USA with his HO switching layout, his N scale layout and now his On30 layout all in his two stall garage. I’ve been watching his progress from the start. And Bill is just one of so many on here that have shared so much good stuff. My mind draws a blank at the moment for names.
    But there are so many good active delightful modelers, being a night owl, I always wait for Al’s email to see what is next.
    Little r form Hardin Montana
    P.S: Now I wonder…..how many Christmas layouts might we see this year? Can’t wait to see.

  8. Paul Catlin says:

    Great idea! Wish I’d have thought of that when my kid was little

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