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  1. [ full gallery] I am pleased to present my MOC of the Northern Pacific streamlined Vista Dome North Coast Limited. The North Coast Limited ran between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest (the train split and went to Portland and Seattle). Much of the attractiveness of this build is simply due to the prototype, designed by Raymond Loewy. More info on the actual train can be found here. One of the unusual features on this train was the full sleeper domes (as opposed to the dome-observation sleeper cars found on several trains). More info on the domes can be found here. I have been working on this MOC for over two years and it remains a work in progress. The initial assembly occurred about two years ago and it has been displayed a few times. However, without the lettering, I considered it far from complete. I just applied the decals this past weekend and uploaded the photos to brickshelf. The cars are 42 studs long plus diaphragms (another stud total), to strike a balance between realistic scaled length at 6 wide (more like 52 studs) and the operational constraints of lego curves. The cars have a real vestibule on the door end (set off from the interior) like the prototypes. They also feature close coupling for display, with the diaphragms connecting, while with the insertion of an extra magnet allows for sufficient clearance to take a curve. The domes were my focal point. The use of the 3x6x1 curved windscreens was one of my favorite features, but there is a lot of snot in the domes themselves to get the right shape and form. I used transparent headlight bricks so in principle one could see through the dome, but in practice only a bright light can make it through all of that plastic. Still it does a good job reflecting the ambient light so the design worked, just not as originally intended. There are lots of subtle features to be picked out, including the detailed under-frame (no great shots at the moment) and the half plate vents on the side of the dome cars, e.g., as seen below the dome here. Throughout the cars I used an unconventional approach. Sand green plates are way expensive. So the lateral strength of the cars comes from white 6x plates between the sand green and dark green layers. This has the added bonus of making the windows much more apparent than they would have been without the reflective color on the inside. I did seek bonus points for the use of a large unruly piece for the roof of the observation car. I had to leave out several cars (including the RPO/dorm; travelers rest lounge; several coaches and sleepers; and a sleeper dome). The locomotives have a lot of subtle features going on, e.g., the louvered openings between the porthole windows and the much more complicated snotted nose. Unfortunately for me, the NP was one of the few railroads to actually paint over the chrome upper grills on the F-units, still, I took the liberty to use chrome lego grill tiles since they are typical of most F-units and dark green grills would not show up well. The train is powered by a pair of PF train motors in the b-unit, which also houses a rechargeable battery, IR receiver, and extra weight for traction. I've made a few small changes to the build over the years, e.g., swapping out 1x2 grilled cheese for 1x2x2/3 curved slopes on the nose of the locomotives. The train runs fine around standard lego curves, but it looks a little awkward, It looks REALLY sharp on the wide radius curves, e.g., on PennLUG's layout (videos can be found here) All of the photos thus far are from before applying the decals. Here are few shots with the custom decals applied, Many more shots are in the full gallery. Enjoy the ride, questions and comments welcome, [ full gallery]