Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today I'm going to start a mini-series of sorts.  It will include scans of a vintage  Marx #151 "34 PIECE RAILROAD and VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SET".  This was a nifty little cardboard village that was included in some Marx train sets during the 1960s.  It included house, stores, a railroad station, fire house, people, trees, etc. and could easily fill out a small 3-rail train layout with little effort.  The set is made of stiff cardboard and uses a tab-&-slot construction method.  What I'm going to present here are scans which have been brightened - the originals are kind of dull - and have had the tabs and slots Photoshopped out.  Only when the cut-lines serve as a pattern were they left in  Why?  This way you can print these out and build your own Village and not worry about unsightly tabs and slots.  Here's a link to William Eric McFadden's site on which he shows these buildings built-up in a size larger than the original:
William Eric McFadden's Marx Toy Train Layout

This would make a great project for either school, the Scouts, any toy train layout, or just for the person who like to collect and build paper buildings.  There are at least a couple of different ways you can approach the actual construction:

1) Print the buildings out on heavy construction paper; cut them out; glue stripwood on the back side (glue it such that it forms a frame around the back of the wall; glue the walls to each other; then finish up by glueing the roofs on
2) Print the images out on self-adhesive photo paper (if you use the glossy paper the buildings will take on a nifty tin-plate look); attache the paper to foamcore board; cut the board down to siaze; glue the walls and roof together.

A tip on printing the images.  Once they've been downloaded you won't be able to just print the image using the printer's built-in software because it will think you're just printing a snapshot and give you limited size choices (full-page, 5x7, wallet size, etc).  Instead, open up a blank Word document and insert the image.  This way you can play with the image size to meet your needs.  DO NOT print full-color images at first, instead, print out a grayscale, low quality images first and test whether or not the size is correct.  This way you won't be wasting valuable printer ink.  Once all the walls have been correctly sized go ahead and print out the full-color, high res image, then assemble.

Our first building will be the 2-Story House.  Enjoy!



End Wall 1

Side Wall 1

End Wall 2

Side Wall 2