This all began when I was looking through TEMU.com for dinosaur skeleton plywood puzzles for my grandson’s birthday. Before presenting him with the gifts, I would scan each sheet of plywood and the instruction pages. I ended up making way too many Stegosaurs, Triceratops, Pterosaurs and other assorted dinosaurs skeletons all in several different sizes. Airships and over-sized insects, too.
Then I found this;
The perfect opportunity for a third version of my “Napa Valley Swine Train”. The first was an LGB ( Lehmann Gross Bahn) version of a 19th century ’Western style’ locomotive and passenger cars. I painted it burgundy and champagne gold just like the actual “Napa Valley Wine Train". As each of the Wine Train’s passenger cars are named after a variety of wine such as Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, etc., I named my cars BACON, HAM and PORK CHOPS.
There was a lot needing to be modified from the original puzzle kit. The wheel base was way too wide for my G-scale garden railroad, yet the cars were way too narrow for my passengers. The side boards were too low and the three entryways and six bench seats wouldn’t do at all. Despite all the dimensional changes, assembly was pretty much the same as the original kit. Other than the wheel base, most of the changes were done specifically to fit my passengers. Also, the canopies had to be removed to accommodate the passengers. I didn’t bother to make fabric shades as I won’t be using any of them. Finally, car sides, seat backs and canopy frames were all made perfectly symmetrical so, after engraving and cutting, the pieces could be flipped and engraved on their second side. The lettering is not included on the inside of the panels.
All that being said, meet the passengers.
As you can see, Petunia really trimmed down for her Swine Train adventure… Shrek’s ‘There Little Pigs’, not so much. It took about eight tries to get the drumhead to turn out the way I wanted.
Kermit stayed on the second version of the Swine Train to share a libation with “Ginger”, since she is firmly glued to her bench seat. But he eventually hopped into the “BACON” car with ‘Miss Piggy’ and ‘Belle’.
The iconic ‘Welcome’ sign, located along the Wine Train tracks and Highway 29 through the Napa Valley, actually reads; “Where wine is bottled poetry”. Mine reads; “If you lived here…you’d be ham now”.
To give Ginger a little more exposure, and to include one of the three chefs, another picture from NVST version 2.
A little bit on the characters:
I used a Hallmark Christmas decoration for Porky and Victoria (from ‘Corpse Bride’) for Petunia. As you can see on Porky’s face, I’m not much for color matching and years in the sun hasn’t helped.
Shrek’s Three Little Pigs are going whole hog on their train ride.
And “Belle” got her dress, at least some of it, from “Belle” (Beauty and the Beast).
The drumhead says it all, “That’s all Folks!”
Note: With help from members, ‘erikniells’, ‘evansd2’ and ‘Purplie’, I as able to load the images and edit the original post.