Galveston Museum Exhibit

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Steve Jackson

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:00:23 PMApr 25
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The director of the Railroad Museum would like to discuss the possibility of TBRR doing an exhibit that would stay up for a few weeks.

This is a very preliminary show of interest, so any and all comments are germane.

He suggested January - they will be done with their Polar Express, and we could still do some Santa stuff.

A big hurdle is insurance: The exhibit will have to be insured if it is out of our supervision. Each exhibitor will need to set their own insurance amount and be a separate named insured, since the "club" has no legal standing. Insurance companies want replacement value, which can certainly include building time - but I would still leave home (for instance) Evil HQ, because the scarcity of those glitter bricks would make replacement totally unreasonable if not impossible. Likewise, leave home your goats and poplar trees - they won't impress museum viewers and they are expensive to replace.

If the trains are to run while we are gone, somebody at the museum would need to receive basic training on battery charging and other simple troubleshooting. What would that entail?

Anyway, few if any of us could stay the whole period, so we'd need to plan one setup event and one breakdown event.

(I don't know if he has in mind using our regular room, or a bigger space in the main lobby.)

I would certainly want to prepare some documentation for them so that visitors could know what they were seeing.

If not for COVID, I would want to use our play brick there, at least for opening and closing night.

For opening we might also offer to do a talk on Lego Trains - I don't know if that would fit the museum's plans, or not. It's just an idea.


Edward

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:14:24 PMApr 25
to Steve Jackson, Texas Brick Railroad
A big hurdle is insurance: The exhibit will have to be insured if it is out of our supervision. Each exhibitor will need to set their own insurance amount and be a separate named insured, since the "club" has no legal standing. Insurance companies want replacement value, which can certainly include building time - but I would still leave home (for instance) Evil HQ, because the scarcity of those glitter bricks would make replacement totally unreasonable if not impossible. Likewise, leave home your goats and poplar trees - they won't impress museum viewers and they are expensive to replace.

Hypothetically, if the club had legal standing, how would that work with insurance if the exhibit components belong to individual members and not directly to the club?

A static display is possible - it may not even have to involve a closed loop.
A long term museum display is eligible for Project Support... potentially even by this December if we're quick.

Tim Howell

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:20:44 PMApr 25
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In general, I'm open to exploring the idea. I have an assortment of thoughts, in no particular order ...


How do we, as a club or as individuals, benefit from this?  General exposure, obviously; anything else?  If any of us make additional trips (see some of my following comments), would the museum pay anything for gas, time, etc?
 
Agree with your insurance thoughts. This is maybe the most critical consideration. We would want to thoroughly photograph the display before leaving.

January is typically low on other display events, so it's likely that things could be left there without impacting other displays.

I only have a couple custom trains, but I would not want museum staff running them. Maybe consider some stock train sets that the staff could run?

Maybe plan where 1-2 TBRR members show up and run trains for the day several times during the exhibit. We could also do presentations / workshops / etc on these days.

Maybe set up starts on a Friday, goes to 12 or 1pm Saturday, so not's quite as much of a rush. Tear down could start maybe 2-3pm on a Sunday so it doesn't go as late. The display would likely be smaller, too, so it wouldn't be as time-intensive.

The display should have some safety factors - such as, leave a half-baseplate distance (or more) around all the edges - partly to keep little fingers away from out stuff, partly to give trains a place to land without hitting the floor. Maybe minimize use of switches, and other opportunities for derailment.

What about cleaning? Whatever is on display will get dusty. Do we instruct the staff how to clean? Or do we come down periodically and do it?

I like the idea of using the same room, so that if there's a significant problem, it can just be closed off.

Next January is a long way away. Hopefully play brick will not be a problem then.



Tim Howell

Steve Jackson

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:28:36 PMApr 25
to Edward, Texas Brick Railroad
If the club had legal standing I would still think that individual owners should be named insureds, but I’d raise the issue with the insurance agent in case I am wrong.

Static display - You are right. It’s less neat, of course, but much less trouble. Definitely a question for David (museum director).

Project Support - Ideas: One or more of the Strand buildings. A train-themed mosaic. A Lego rendition of the museum logo. A Lego map of the state with RR routes marked.

Edward

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:33:25 PMApr 25
to Steve Jackson, Texas Brick Railroad
We could do the whole display as a project. It would be a good way to get parts to incorporate for future layouts after we take down the display.

Steve Jackson

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:35:05 PMApr 25
to Edward, Texas Brick Railroad
Lots of landscape-colored bricks, and tree parts?


Tim Howell

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:42:10 PMApr 25
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I believe we can have 150 unique elements in a Project Support order, minimum of 200 each. So we would want to prioritize whatever we can use in larger quantities.

How would a Project Support order be financed? Will the museum provide an honorarium that could cover at least part of it?

Derik Melton

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:48:42 PMApr 25
to Tim Howell, Texas Brick Railroad
I read through all of the comments and questions and those were some of my questions as well however I did have one that I didn’t see anyone else ask.

What if we build a SantaFe F7&8 model that the museum owns and can drive themselves? They are responsible for it etc and if it crashes it’s on their driver. Ours could be static along with buildings and such. Would they have a budget for a $1500 train engine and cars similar to mine?

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On Apr 25, 2022, at 2:42 PM, Tim Howell <timothy...@gmail.com> wrote:

I believe we can have 150 unique elements in a Project Support order, minimum of 200 each. So we would want to prioritize whatever we can use in larger quantities.

How would a Project Support order be financed? Will the museum provide an honorarium that could cover at least part of it?

On Monday, April 25, 2022 at 2:35:05 PM UTC-5 s...@sjgames.com wrote:
Lots of landscape-colored bricks, and tree parts?


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Derik Melton

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:54:33 PMApr 25
to Tim Howell, Texas Brick Railroad
F7 A&B*

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On Apr 25, 2022, at 2:48 PM, Derik Melton <dw.me...@gmail.com> wrote:

I read through all of the comments and questions and those were some of my questions as well however I did have one that I didn’t see anyone else ask.

Edward

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:54:55 PMApr 25
to Derik Melton, Tim Howell, Texas Brick Railroad

What if we build a SantaFe F7&8 model that the museum owns and can drive themselves? They are responsible for it etc and if it crashes it’s on their driver. Ours could be static along with buildings and such.

I think the museum would love to have a Lego model of the F7s. I don't know how comfortable anyone at the museum would be in building/repairing one.
 
Would they have a budget for a $1500 train engine and cars similar to mine?

My impression is that railroad museums don't usually have much money.

Steve Jackson

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Apr 25, 2022, 4:14:06 PMApr 25
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Correct; they need to get maximum bang for their buck.

Steve Jackson

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Apr 26, 2022, 2:48:19 PMApr 26
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Cased exhibit ideas:
- Rolliing stock too detailed fragile to run, like the Challenger boxcar
- Buildings opened up by level to show finished interiors
- Old, old Lego packaging, especially for trains. I have some, but not for trains.
- Any build that deserves to be viewed close-up rather than on the layout

Steve Jackson

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May 4, 2022, 11:56:36 PMMay 4
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The next step would be to find out who, in general, would be up for this. We'd then need from each person a reasonable replacement value, for insurance purposes, for what they'd bring. I certainly would be in. I would not bring anything that would be super expensive to replace, because we want to keep this feasible for the museum. (The Galveston terminal itself is obviously an exception - that's the crown jewel!) For that reason, I think we should be open to more-or-less stock sets, interspersed with the MOCs. That will also show off what LEGO themselves can do, which is part of our job as an RLUG.

I think the idea of project support for this is really good, but I am un-volunteering for THAT part of the planning. I think that rounding up the AFOLs and liaising with the museum will stretch me sufficiently!

So who else would be in for a show in January?

Steve Jackson

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May 6, 2022, 2:26:33 PMMay 6
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I'm working on a guideline/formula for replacement cost. Basically, (current set on BL) plus ($20/hour building time) plus (estimated cost of MOC/MOD parts, allowing for the time required to source them).  I'm going to run a few sample buildings, trains, and landscapes through that and create a First Very Rough Guesstimate for a layout of, say, 20 buildings. Then I will give that guesstimate to the director and see if it makes his hair stand up on end, or if insuring for that amount is within their regular guidelines. If it's a go, we can proceed further.

Derik Melton

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May 6, 2022, 8:51:54 PMMay 6
to Steve Jackson, Texas Brick Railroad
Yikes that’s liable to be some high cost estimates but it would be fun to see the values for everyone’s builds.

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On May 6, 2022, at 1:26 PM, Steve Jackson <s...@sjgames.com> wrote:

I'm working on a guideline/formula for replacement cost. Basically, (current set on BL) plus ($20/hour building time) plus (estimated cost of MOC/MOD parts, allowing for the time required to source them).  I'm going to run a few sample buildings, trains, and landscapes through that and create a First Very Rough Guesstimate for a layout of, say, 20 buildings. Then I will give that guesstimate to the director and see if it makes his hair stand up on end, or if insuring for that amount is within their regular guidelines. If it's a go, we can proceed further.
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Steve Jackson

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May 6, 2022, 9:51:01 PMMay 6
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Your wish is my command  :)

Lego Cost Estimates – some worked examples from my own collection, for discussion
 
I used the lowest BrickLink “new” price. Was that the right approach? LUGbulk might be cheaper on some MOCs but between the wait, and using up our LUGbulk slots, I didn’t want to go there.
 
Short 6-Wide Train (OOP Set) – Maersk set, engine plus two cars, motorized
         Set cost: $420. Parts to motorize: $52. Time: 6 hours. Total replacement value: $592.
         That is the BOTTOM of the scale for “real”-looking, working trains. 8-wide trains cost more; long strings of cars cost more. MOCs have zero set cost but the parts can be hard to source and the building time jumps into the tens of hours.
 
Very Small Building (OOP Set, plus 10 extra figures) – Coffee Shop
         Set cost: $15. Parts: $30. Time: 1 hour. Total replacement value: $65.
 
Small Building (MOC) – Bakery
         Set cost: zero. Parts: $50. Time: 2 hours. Total replacement value: $90.
 
Small Building (Current Set, Unmodified) – Bookstore
         Set cost: half of $178, so $89. Parts: zero. Time: 3 hours. Total replacement value: $149.
 
Medium Building (MOC) – Deli
         Set cost – zero. Parts: $200 (includes lights). Time: 5 hours. Total replacement value: $300.
 
Medium Building (Current Set, Unmodified) – Police Station
         Set cost – $200. Parts: zero. Time: 6 hours. Total replacement value: $320.
 
Large Building (Three Out-of-Print Sets, Modified) – Hotel Tahoma
         Set cost – 3 x $1,000. Parts: zero. Time: 10 hours. Total replacement value: $3,200.
 
Large Building (MOC) – Trans-Blue Tower
         Set cost – zero. Parts: approximately 9,000 x .24, plus lighting, so about $2,260. Time: 15 hours. Total replacement value: $2,560.
 
Decorated Road Baseplate
         Parts: $14. Time: 1/2 hour. Total replacement value: $24.
 
Landscaped Baseplate (16 x 32)
         Parts: $8. Time: 1/2 hour. Total replacement value: $18.
 
Ballasted, Landscaped Track Section (16 x 32)
         Parts: $12. Time: 1 hour. Total replacement value: $22.
 

Steve Jackson

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May 7, 2022, 11:40:57 AMMay 7
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Gareth, what is the replacement value of a table? More than we paid originally, thanks to materials costs increase.

I need to compute the RV on a standard small and large Steve-tree. Tony-trees, Lasso-trees, and Derik-trees will differ.

Steve Jackson

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Jun 22, 2022, 9:35:14 PMJun 22
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No, I have not heard back from the director . . .

Steve Jackson

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Jul 22, 2022, 3:05:04 PMJul 22
to Texas Brick Railroad
Called the director and had a brief talk. He is still interested, just buried in work.

He says "What about a 10 x 15 exhibit visible from all sides?" I say "Sure, I can work out an estimate."

This being Galveston, I think we HAVE to start with Tony's museum as the centerpiece, and build around that. Tony, can you give me the length and width of that setup, and anything else I need to know to rough it into a layout?

10 by 15 is actually small for us, which is okay - it means we can have a very high density of minifigs on the sidewalks, trees in the forest, and so on. I thiiink that we'd want to do it as a 2 x 6 table setup with no center hole, and push the unreachable middle baseplates into place, keeping all active track within easy reach of the edges. But we could also do that size with a center hole. An advantage of a center hole is that it lets us show off a bridge . . . but then, we could use a dropped half-table to build a water feature and run a bridge over it.
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