The Challenge of “Reassembling” a Set

This past weekend I decided to “reassemble” my 4565 Freight and Crane Railway.  I am in the process of getting my LEGO together as I plan to “purge” quite a bit of it.  I have far more LEGO than I need and most of it just sits in storage these days.

Unfortunately a lot of my Town and Train sets have been either completely or partially parted out for the various things I built for the many NCLTC shows I participated in.  So putting them back together as sets isn’t always easy.  The 4565 Freight and Crane Railway is one of the many sets which is in a state where I either adapted the model from the original instructions or only used part of the official set.

I never cared much for the standard 4565 model but I liked the alternate “Steam Engine” model so I built that instead.  I then built as many of the standard freight cars and loads as I could from the rest of the parts.  I also built the cranes and used them as part of my own cargo station but I never built the weighing station.  The rest of the parts apparently went into my collection because I couldn’t find (a) the box – which is odd as I don’t throw Train boxes away or (b) a bag of leftover parts.  Hmmm … this may take longer than I thought it would.  🙁

As I started to put the primary model back together I realized that I was missing quite a few parts.  Where did they go?  After digging through some usual suspects where I stash leftovers I concluded I must have just put the parts away.  I am sure I did this more than 10 years ago.  As I reassembled and ran into missing parts I’d find them in my parts bins.  Putting a set back together this way is a rather laborious process.  Occasionally I’d run into an element I couldn’t find.  Like many people I have some tubs of never sorted parts so I’d dig through those, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.  Some of the parts I ran out of were odd – for example, I am completely out of the black 1×2 grill tile.  This is an incredibly common part and I have tons of them, just none in my parts bin.  This is not a part I would expect I’d be out of.

The 4565 has a 1×4 black tile with a gauge pattern.  I don’t know if it is unique to 4565 but I know I don’t have many.  The alternate model used one of them.  Where is the other one?  Logic would indicate it was in my decorated black tiles stock but unfortunately it wasn’t.  Hmm.  Move on to something else.  I have a tub of miscellaneous train parts – there are wheels, bogies, some roof elements, Metroliner noses, and some other odds and ends in the tub that are typically used on trains.  Also in the bottom of the tub was the missing 1×4 black gauge tile!  Yeah!  One more missing element resolved.  Saturday was a miserably rainy day so afternoon consisted of watching the Ryder Cup and locating parts for my 4565.

In the end there were 6-8 parts I simply couldn’t find.  I know a couple of them were used on MOCs that I didn’t want to take apart.  Off to BrickLink!  I found all of the missing parts with one seller (awesome!) and placed a small order which will arrive later this week.  Once they arrive, my 4565 will be 100% back together and back into storage.

My goal is to return all of the trains I never use to their original sets and disassemble any MOCs and return the parts to my storage bins.  It is very time consuming but hopefully I can knock it out a little at a time.  It is keeping some momentum that is critical.  Once I get rolling I am able to remember where certain parts go or where something I need might be stashed.  I’ll keep 3-4 Trains assembled but I don’t need 20+ assembled.  After I finish the Trains, I need to go through my buildings.  I still have a bunch that are long over due for dis-assembly but instead of taking them apart, I have simply left them in storage where they take up space and use up parts.

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