Wedneday, May 1, 2024

Yes, villaging is world-wide! This young craftsman is from the Turkana Tribe in northwest Kenya. The expression of pride on his face tells so much.  Even in Eastern Africa, villaging brings the same feelings as in Europe, the U.S. or anywhere. Truly, it IS "One World, One Village". As of May 1, 2024, Kenya is #51 on the list of countries by number of visitors with 9. The last unique visitor was on March 29, 2024. Thank you for sharing with us.

My favorite photo by long time TVC columnist David Spears was a perfect candidate for one of our first "Village Jigsaw" puzzles. Here it is ready to add the last piece. Thanks David.

Here's a Great Village Photo

and now . . . the rest of the story . . . Adam Rypinski, a fellow member of the O Gauge Forum (in our "Forums & Links" page) started a thread with this beautiful picture. Then let everyone know it was created in AI. What a fun, spirited thread it became, as many members started studying the photo and mentioning observations such as the wheels not on the tracks, curved cars, and more. Wow, these guys are sharp. Adam said he just asked for a "Christmas Themed Model Train Layout" and this is what he got. How cool is that! Thanks so much for sharing this interesting experiment. Seems Villaging is alive and well in more than just the "real" world.

This photo grabbed my attention while reading the March newsletter of the "Department 56 Villagers of Central PA" club (in our "ClubHouse" page).  And now . . . the rest of the story . . .  The photo was from an article about the club's recent house tour at Mary Evans's house and as she told me,

"The sign in question is standing in front of my Original Seven of Dickens Village. It was a gift sent to me by a collector friend Dr. Gregory Roth. It used to be in his office and he sent it to me without telling me it was coming. How about that for a collector friend? Happy Villaging to you."

Thanks so much for sharing such an awesome story.

Villaging can mean so much more when it becomes personal. TVC's own Jim Peters shares a very special photo. He re-created the resort town of Pinehurst, North Carolina to honor a good friend who passed away. This scene is from Jim's 2023 village to celebrate their annual golf trips to Pinehurst. Thanks so much for sharing a great example of villaging at its best.

Some like a fantasy and some like realistic. This photo of Charlie Comstock's layout leaves no doubt what camp he's in. Wow - absolutely amazing craftsmanship is displayed in his version of the Bear Creek and South Jackson RRThe level of detail here is truly top shelf.

Another awesome look at David Cortney's display/layout. David's been active on TVC and also the O Gauge Forum and has become a popular contributor to both. Thanks, David, well done . . . again.

What a great way to display your village collection.

Elegant, classy and beautiful.



This beautiful display comes to us from Ann & Fred

in New Hampshire, USA. It's a great example of how

collectors with many buildings are drifting away from

large displays to a variety of vignettes around the

house. Nice composition, thanks for sharing.


Here's a prime example that trains can add a lot to a

village display. This cool display is by David Fortney,

a regular contributor to the O Gauge Forum. He adds

that the display has 50 Department 56 buildings, covers

a whopping 14x5' and stays up year 'round.  Awesome!


There are so many ways to display your lit buildings!

Sent in as "Found on the web" and just had to share.

This works for me - I LIKE LIGHTS!


Paul R. from Maryland shares his craftsmanship with this

beautiful "Lit House" that he spent tons of hours on, starting

from an old magazine pattern. Amazingly, this "Glitter House"

is made from paper products. As D.I.Y. is getting popular again,

this is an awesome way to fill a display. Way to go, Paul. 


Villaging comes in all forms and flavors. Most have details and/or stories. Fellow member of the O Gauge Forum, “af3020” has an amazingly detailed section in a temporary floor layout - and a great story to match. Thanks for sharing this awesome photo and great village story with us.

“My railroad is the Ophir and Oblivion. Ophir was the site of King Solomon's gold mines and these trains do cost money. Oblivion is the final terminus for my railroad because it is a Broadloom Conspiracy railroad, which means the timeline for its existence is dictated by the CFO (Chief Floor Officer) and when she says she would like to have the living room carpet returned to its primary state, that means it is time for the trains to least for awhile. As you might expect, there have been numerous revivals of the 0&0 and each time it has a different look."
And as for the collectibles and construction efforts in the village, how about these details:

(See, it’s not always D56)


“The station is an American Flyer #104 Kenilworth station from 1933. In 1928 Flyer decided to name its various stations after towns in and around Chicago and Kenilworth was one of the towns they chose. The other two were Hyde Park and Flossmoor. The two freight stations are also American Flyer - #97's which date from 1931. The icing station is an MPC reissue of the original Lionel version. On the right side next to one of the freight stations is an American Flyer postwar barrel loader. It was designed for use with S gauge but if you put about a half-inch base under the accessory it works just fine with O gauge equipment. There is also part of another freight shed just visible to the right of the train station. This is a heavily modified Lionel MPC shed kit complete with interior detailing and lighting. The passenger platform is postwar Flyer. The steam engine is the head end of the American Flyer Set #1 from 1938. The UP diesel is MPC from the 1980's. The cars and trucks are from various manufacturers as are the people. I've painted most of the people myself. There are a couple of figures which I have modified and painted.”


And then, just to add to the fun, he added:


“The reason for the pieces of black and brown and green cloth, is because when I put this version of the 0&0 together, the living room rug was a light blue, which didn't do much for the train display (we have since gone to a medium green rug so all I use now are the black and brown swatches of cloth)”


There are many styles for displays/layouts, from fantasy to reality and a million variations in between. This is as close to reality that I've seen. This great photo is from the layout of "Country Joe" from the "O Gauge Forum" (see the "Forum & Links" page). Joe hails from Florida, USA, and it looks like you could drive right up for an ice cream at the "Regina's Ice Cream Shop".

People are important in a lot of villages. Here's an example, as shared by Cesare Villa from Italy. TVC viewers have seen a lot of Cesare's creativity over the years, throughout the site, and his latest video will be a selection in the August, 2023 " Village Videos" page. Thanks, Cesare, for being part of our community.

I love these hand carved, wood, lit village scenes.

Fabio Cianconi, an active member of our community

from Italy, shared these photos of his "Spring Village 2023".

We have been fortunate to see many examples of his

creativity in the many photos & videos he has shared.

Chiara Parodi sends us this photo from Italy.

A busy square in her village looks like all are having fun.

Daphne Hendriks, an active Netherlands member of

our community, sent this neat shot of her village train

"hi-ballin" by her beautiful display.

e _xander sent in the really neat display from

our favorite "My Merry Christmas" forum.

Our popular columnist Jim Peters sent along

this photo of a section of one of his villages

with the "World's Largest Trailer Park".

Looks like a great party zone!

From Italy comes this awesome photo of a fun

area of Gennaro Massa's well designed village.

Lemax's "Caddington Square" never looked as good

as this display by Pierpaolo Pica from Italy.

Looking like a scene from a 40s Christmas movie,

this boulevard invites a nostalgic stroll through the

snow. One of our newest columnists, Mark Frendoof

Pennsylvania, had this photo in his March 17, 2023 column.

Back in the day, this is what an Amazon delivery might have

looked like. This fun shot was taken by Linda Di Tomasso of

Ginette Ethier & Jacques Leveille's display. They are all in

the "Lamplighters Club of Quebec" in Canada.

This beautifully detailed street invites a stroll.

Our columnist from Italy, Peppe Apuleoshared

this awesome photo of part of his village with us.

As Jay Haack (aka Soaring Hawk) from Oregon, USA, tells it:

"Here's Ebenezer Scrooge leaving his counting house in the

cold, dark night, on his way to the Melancholy Tavern for a

bite to eat before retiring to his apartment on Christmas Eve."

Wow! He sure is about to have a surprising night!

"Stories" add so much to a village, and this one

photo captures so many stories covering all things

"Halloween"Thanks to Greg Cassidy of Maryland,

USA, for sharing a "Boo" with us.

Jan Kol's club created amazing displays throughout

one of the most historic cathedrals in Netherlands.

What an awesome way to experience Christmas Joy.

The hand-made details, that are

displayed here, are simply breathtaking.

Christmas Spirit comes in all shapes, sizes, and

locations.  A single shelf in a hutch can change an

entire room, especially when it's done creatively,

while paying attention to the details. Here's a

perfect example of "Villaging" at its best. 

Once the ambient light gets low enough, you start

to witness one of the best "miracles" of "Villaging"...

the Lit Buildings come alive, flooding out stories

to all who view it . . . "Ahhh, life is good!"

Another example of using space creatively. Welcome

to the "North Pole" as we catch Santa about to leave

on his famous journey. Even though he'll be spreading

so much joy, it must be hard to leave when he lives in

such a beautiful "Village".

"OHH, such fun!" This "Employee Groto" is perfect

for the hard-working elves to relax and unwind.

Santa and Mrs. Claus also enjoy the

attention to details that surround them.

Long time columnist and TVC's resident story teller,

Larry Treadwell of North Carolina, had this photo in

his 2014 "Dickens Christmas". This proves that

streets don't have to be straight.

Yes, the "North Pole" is a village at the top-of-the-world.

I love the hand-made log bridge, that's helping the Elves

cross the "Gargantuan Gulch" to arrive at work on time.

According to Linda B. from New Hampshire, USA,

"The amount of space around the Lit Buildings allows

for a better look at the building details, and opportunities

for more stories to be created about the Elves' travel".

Sometimes a smaller area can give the best results.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus".

One of my all-time favorite Village Photos first

appeared in the "Just So You Know" column

of December 8, 2017It has also re-appeared

few more times throughout the last six years

on The Village Collector. Thanks to David Spears

for our "Inspiration" and being the first to share

column with our community here.

Hand-Made "Glitter Houses" are very popular,

and a great opportunity to show your craftsmanship.

What FUN!

My goodness, there really IS a "Village Room" . . . very

impressive use of space (as long as pets aren't allowed).

"Faster, faster" down "Cobblestone Road" as

Mrs. Wattlesby and her niece are late for

the "Razzleton's Christmas Tea Party". This

is society's must-attend event of the season,

and timing is socially critical.

The magic of "Lit Buildings" shines through,

no matter what month it is.

A chugging steam engine, pulling a vintage

Christmas Train, can add a whole new dimension

of fun and stories to a village. Here comes

"The Express" . . . bringing special VIPs

to the North Pole.

Wow - all the Christmas Observers aboard

this festive train must have agreed that

"Cardboard Never Looked This Good Before!"

Painting your own Village is a way to know

much more about each building and its inhabitants.

Very Cool!

Another early photo, from our Minnesota columnist

David Spearsdisplays one of my most used

phases, ". . . and a good time was had by all."

Adding layers of interest and elevation can

truly enhance the details of each Lit Building.

Street Level Views, especially with elevations, really

show off the "Magic of Lit Villages". The presence

of a display such as this, in any room, can enhance

the emotions and feelings of all observers.

Are you in a "Holiday Frame of Mind?"

Oh, my, there's so much magic in this

Village PhotoSharing is the best reward

for all this Time & Effort. Are you

feeling the "Christmas Spirit" yet?

Waterfronts add quite a challenge plus a great

opportunity for creativity. Attention to details is so

important for a top notch display, such as this

Phil Adkins awesome Village Photo of "Phil & Sue's

Christmas Village"Phil is one of our popular TVC

columnists, and, sharing his village all the way

from England, helps prove our belief in

"One World, One Village".


Wood cut-outs make up this intricate village scene,

which is a very popular style in Europe. The details

and craftsmanship are awesome! I love the

variety of styles and efforts that makes up

the world of our Lit Building passion.

Ahhh . . . Lit Buildings . . . So many styles, so

little time. Look at the incredible detail here.

Mind blowing!

The Christmas Magic of Lit Buildings does not get old.

WOW! What a great shot for a finale to end this page,

but I wonder where you keep all the boxes? Yes, this

must be the "No-Pets-Allowed Christmas Room".

I wonder if that's the new Department 56 accessory

"Tree - with lights - large".

Now it's time to send in YOUR Village Photo.

Just click the CONTACT US button below.