Modular Hills

For a long time I have wanted to build some elevation into the NCLTC layout but have been reluctant to do so due to the large quantity of brick required to build decent looking landscaping. Building and storage were also a concern.

A while back I saw a thread on LUGNET which described the COLTC Modular Hill Standard. I have visted the BrickShelf Gallery a number of times thinking about how I could employ this on a NCLTC layout. As noted in the last part of the LUGNET thread, the corner modules as shown in the pictures would actually cause a collision and as such, aren’t quite accurate. Still, the COLTC solution was appealing to me as it is very much in the same veign I used to design my modular buildings for town layouts. I have buildings which can be mixed and matched to construct city blocks – they fit in either a 16×16, 16×32, or 32×32 foot print and are designed to fit next to each other to populate a city block. They can be reconfigured easily allowing the town layout to be changed without having to rebuild everything. New buildings can be added or retired one at a time. Storage and transport is pretty easy as well.

Concerned about my lack of green 2×4 bricks, I decided to see what I could build with 2×2 bricks instead. 2×2 green bricks were prevalent in the bonus tubs sold at Toys-R-Us, CVS, and Walgreens a couple years ago so I have a fair amount of them and they are cheap and plentiful on BrickLink. About a week ago I built a single straight module using 2×2 and a few 2×3 bricks and it worked out fine. I could now proceed without worry about where I was going to find a bunch of 2×4 green bricks.

1x5x4 archI followed the COLTC standard for the most part but have adapted it slightly to use 1x5x4 arches instead. I like these arches better and they can cross the span without having to use an inverted 1×2 slope like the COLTC standard does. You give up some rigidity but (a) I like them better and (b) I have a lot of them so I don’t have to worry about running out!

I now have three straight modules mostly complete and have started on a curve. I have deviated from the curve plan which the COLTC uses as I need to have adjacent curve sections fit on a single NCLTC table module which means they must fit in a 96 stud deep area. I need three curved modules and 3 straight modules for the NCLTC SHM Holiday Layout which goes on display in 2 weeks. I will post some pictures soon.

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