TheBrickster

Pizza Displays

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Have any of you ever heard of a Pizza Display?

I stumbled upon this creative concept recently as I was browsing different hobby train layouts. I love the idea of making a two-level display, and all one would need is space for a small oval of track and a circle on top. The challenge would be to build that second layer. A tunnel and some building facades would cover the 2nd level riser quite well. Custom backgrounds like some sky, desert, forest, etc. might also make a nice addition.

What are your thoughts regarding a Pizza Display for LEGO Trains?

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It could work with LEGO, too, but I think these displays are good for running only short trains or simple engines.

Otherwise, I don't like two level displays. :D

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Interesting topic TheBrickster. :thumbup:

I personally don't like this concept much, unless it is a really big pizza. I never like layouts that are just a circle. I appreciate what challenges with size, money availablility etc. the builders face, but I really think unless it's under a Christmas tree, simple loops are a massive :thumbdown: for me.

This does have the scope for much larger layouts to make use of though. There was a particular HO layout at the CMRCI Model Railway Expo 2009 (my local train show) and it was a big diorama of Japan. It was a big city scape, and it featured bridges, tunnels etc. with 2 or 3 different levels at each section. It was certainly the coolest scale railway layout I've seen.

To turn this into LEGO could well be an easy task, especially for LUGs and LTCs at big expos. All that would be required is a big donut layout (hole in the middle) and a row of cardboard boxes sitting at the back of the tables. Cover this in green sheets/bricks/camel poo etc. and you have an elevated section on which you could easily lay 2 lines of track and a little scenery.

This concept has potential on a big layout, but I just don't see it on simple circles of track. :sadnew:

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Thanks for the great topic & idea, Brickster mate - it's always good when there's new concepts discussed, and besides the experience other Train Tech members share is invaluable!

To me, Pizza Displays, as you've called them, are cute but at the end of the day I don't think they're the best way to showcase everything a Train LUG would want to demonstrate... As Zuloo has pointed out, these layouts are quite confined in space and the trains that run on them need to be rather short - unless we're talking about a really big "pizza" layout, in which case it could as well be expanded into a real 2-tier layout with bridges, overpasses, etc.

Ideally, I think such an approach to a train display would be most suitable for home surroundings - and microscale dioramas. For example, a train going round (underneath) the Toy Store with a couple of small Christmas-themed MOCs would look perfect in a pizza-style arrangement. As to microscale - that kinda reminds of snow globes, I think it would be really nice if someone could make a neat lil microscale pizza display...

As to my personal experience with those - I've seen a fair share of model train pizza displays in different malls in Berlin - and I believe the smaller the scale, the greater the success of those. Still, true full-blown train displays almost always came out as winners in terms of popularity.

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What are your thoughts regarding a Pizza Display for LEGO Trains?

I sort of agree with the others above. I think if the object is to have a small layout, they may serve a purpose, but then why use lego given L gauge is quite large? If the purpose is to reduce cost, it doesn't work well for lego purists, because the brick to cover the riser is going to be expensive anyway, so you'd probably be better off with a larger single layer layout.

It does remind me a bit of the toy fair 2010 trains display, and I guess it's a compact way to nicely display a small train or two. It does seem the limitations make it a bit of a niche though, except perhaps as part of a larger layout.

Peter

Edited by peterab

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I personally don't like this concept much, unless it is a really big pizza. I never like layouts that are just a circle. I appreciate what challenges with size, money availablility etc. the builders face, but I really think unless it's under a Christmas tree, simple loops are a massive :thumbdown: for me.

Indeed - under the Christmas tree has been the only outlet for me to actually run a train!

I don't think the pizza layout is entirely convincing, the scene would be quite constrained (mountainside or hillside or such). Now of course it doesn't necessarily have to be entirely convincing, but for the effort of setting it up I'm not sure the reward would be great enough.

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I'm busy trying to create a pizza layout (OK not quite a pizza but a small oval). Only a single layer of track with height used for the diorama. I feel that it offers a level of detail that is lacking in larger layouts. For me I'd much rather have a tiny layout done well than a large layout with sparse details, sets for filler and too many flat baseplates.

Tim

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I've seen this kind of displays before, in shops and exhibitions. I guess that most train fans don't like them because the track geometry is as simple as can be, and planning a diverse track layout is a lot of fun. But I think they can be quite nice if done properly.

But the name "pizza display" is inappropriate, since pizza is flat :sadnew: It should be "wedding cake display" or simply "cake display" :classic:

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That seems nice, a Pizza Display. Maybe I should try that, with a mountain engine on the upper layer.

:classic::tongue::classic::sceptic::classic::tongue::classic:

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Interesting concept Brickster. I like the idea of the 'pizza display', but agree with the others that the pizza would have to be a little bigger to satisfy my needs. I think that some thing about 30" x 70" would be the minimum size I would want to attempt. I think 60" x 140" would be a better size for a display like this. I agree with Gambort though that a really well done small display ala Aliencat's 'Escape From Planet Monday' beats a large, but sparsely decorated layout any day.

Oddly enough, Stacy and I have been struggling with the addition of depth to our layout while still maintaining the flexibility to display in different sizes and configurations. I might be going to a more modular layout design soon, but we'll see. I just don't want to lock myself into a specific 'look' just yet.

Again, great job on bringing up another thought-provoking topic. :thumbup: :thumbup:

-Davey

tot-lug_100x40.jpg

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I'd much rather have a tiny layout done well than a large layout with sparse details, sets for filler and too many flat baseplates.

Yes Tim, I tend to agree with you. Based on the discussion at hand, it sounds like most prefer a large layout. I like the idea of a vertical layout with a high level of detail as well.

Again, great job on bringing up another thought-provoking topic.

Thanks Dave. It's great to see you part of the discussion. I bet you've got an awesome layout!

I've been working on adding additional landscaping to my Train Town 6 (adding additional trees/greenery and a stream to the desert section). I would love to add a 2nd layer similar to the western layout in the Pizza Display image.

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Thanks for a new way of looking at model railroads. Found this page Small Layout Scrapbook on this website Micro / Small Layouts for Model Railroads. One of the pizza layouts has the base revolving in opposite direction to the train movement.

I have a totally LEGO solution to this. In an auction about 4 years ago I won a LEGO shop display made in the early 1980's. It is circular and has very old LEGO sets and cars glued to it. There are working street lights and the police helicopter's blades rotate as well as the base.

Auction description

"This Lego display is 93 cm diameter and stands 12 cm high. It was imported into the country to be a window display for a toy shop to promote LEGO. The display has the following on it:-

Shell Service station, post office, restaurant, burger bar, phone boxes, road workers, picnic area, mail box and post truck, police cars and motorbike, helicopter, trees, flowers, several different types of trucks and numerous people walking around doing different things. It comes with its own power box, so just plug into the power and the display will rotate, the rotors on the helicopter rotate and the several lampposts will light up. There is 11 lampposts, howver 4 of them require replacement bulbs. Good condition."

My idea is to strip off all the LEGO and put on a LEGO train track. The power feed to the lights I will adapt to power the train. :classic:

Edited by AllanSmith

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Darn it, I clicked this topic thinking it would have something to do with a pizza shop train car. :laugh:

To be honest, I've never seen one of these displays until now; I actually used to have a Lionel bank or clock or whatever that was like this, except extremely minimized, when I was younger. I still wonder what happened to it. I'll have to ask my parents.

But I'm hoping another train expert will come along and make a huge pizza display and share it with us here on Eurobricks.

Thank you for making this interesting topic, TheBrickster.

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I love these if they are done right. In one of the restaurants in Disney World they have something like this. It's a model of an italian hillside thats about 3ft long and 1ft wide so its not very large but because it's built on a slope there are allot of details in a small space. I personally like these more than a bigger layout with open space but a more complicated track.

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Darn it, I clicked this topic thinking it would have something to do with a pizza shop train car. :laugh:

To be honest, I've never seen one of these displays until now; I actually used to have a Lionel bank or clock or whatever that was like this, except extremely minimized, when I was younger. I still wonder what happened to it. I'll have to ask my parents.

But I'm hoping another train expert will come along and make a huge pizza display and share it with us here on Eurobricks.

Thank you for making this interesting topic, TheBrickster.

Hey that could start a run: Who builds the first train wheeled Pizza shop?

molto bene

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Hello

I love these tiny "Z scale" railway layouts that fit inside a normal-sized briefcase

...they are beautiful things, although the price seems to be rather disproportionate to the size! I love the idea that some important businessman could be sitting on a train or a plane with their briefcase open on their lap, and anyone looking at them would think they are reading some secret important document or something, but actually they are silently thinking "choo choo"... :classic:

Of course, Lego gauge would require a much larger briefcase :classic:

hmm, now I am thinking.. what kind of Lego setup could I fit into a briefcase? Maybe a train based on the Creator 4837 mini train set...

EvilTwin

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Although it doesn't offer much scope for shunting/switching (does anyone do that on their Lego layout?) it does have a pretty long train and looks realistic (ish)

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Didn't someone post a YouTube link with Lego trains running at three levels a while back?

If I remember correctly there was a three level train station and there was a 12V 7740 running at one of the levels.

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Hi Staalis, yes, and that was me. Here's the

again. Why stop at two levels on a pizza display when you can have three? (I plan to re-film the layout now that it has been more or less finished, you can spot gaps in the video. Will post when I've done it.)

The main reason for it is simply space. I like to run as many trains as possible at the same time, and on this can run 4: 2 x 12v on the bottom, passing in front of the station, 1 x 12v on the middle level (these two are connected by a ramp, rarely used) and 1 x 9v on top. As well as the 2 at the bottom which can either run in the same or opposite directions, trains inevitably pass over each other, so there is always something happening at the front of the layout.

From above the layout looks like this

3_levels_stacked.jpg

and the three levels on their own are fairly simple:

3_levels_separated.jpg

I've only used blue track in the diagrams to clarify which level is which!

The drawback with this layout is that with two hills for tunnels and support, a large viaduct at the back and a very dominant station (minifigs can walk to every platform!), there isn't room for many buildings. Ironically for this thread title, the only building in it at the moment is based on the Pizza Parlour, 6350 :wink:

Andy

PS - It is all Lego, there are no wooden supports for the mountains.

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Thanks for posting it again Andy. I would love to see some updated photos and videos.

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Thanks for posting it again Andy. I would love to see some updated photos and videos.

The updated video is

I'm now contemplating a complete re-build so I can run at least 2 trains on each level. Playing with Bluebrick has it's risks!

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