"Coach is Here"

The weekly Epping Coach has arrived with the latest

News, Gossip and Surprises. Check here often.


February 22, 2021


Sorry. Due to storm damage priorities,

there will not be a new "The Weekly"

for this week. We'll try again for next week.






I Like Lights!

To me, the best part of "Lit Buildings" is the fact that they're lit.

I mostly prefer a village light show created for a darkened room.

(probably a result of too many black light posters in the 60s/70s)

Kids - you'll have to ask your grandparents.

They MIGHT remember those days.  :)

It was a time when villaging to me involved four wheels and shag carpet.

Ah, but that was then . . . this is now . . . 



Some of you might remember that I made a small

display a few months back, for a vignette contest. It

involved a couple of buildings under our Christmas Tree.

Well, we finally took down the Christmas Tree,

but thought we'd leave a "light show" on the

table for a few months more. But, what to display?

I needed some "Inspiration, Information & Fun!"





Since the beginning, our goal here has been to provide

a place, not on social media, for villagers to find

"Inspiration, Information & Fun"

One of the best parts for me, is that I get to take

advantage of that, as well. So, let's see an example . . .




Reading David Spears' Columns always gives me things to

think about. A bit ago, he showed using the Department 56

lit print as a background. That was the inspiration for the

starting point. And things just flowed from there . . .

Thanks David.

This is the view from our couch (our TV is just to the left) so

this is my regular seat view. Camera is at my seated-eye-level.




Reading Jim Peters' Columns gave me the idea to set up

for my target audience (Kathy and me). Jim's discussions

about choosing the right viewing location for taking pictures

gave me the information I needed for NOT choosing where

to put the camera for pleasing composition, but to do the

opposite, and set up the display for a specific viewing

location. Plus, you'll only need to build what you'll see . . .

Thanks Jim

Since I only care about the light show (not daytime viewing),

and Covid Lockdown means no visitors, there's no need to

concern myself about wires, landscaping, roads/pathways, etc.

The only thing that matters, is what we see from the couch,

while we're watching TV at night.

Notice the space left in the front. It's there to lessen the

potential for damage from Mickey's tail as he constantly

walks by that corner showing us he's a "Happy Dog"  :)



Reading Larry Treadwell's creations has shown me that

it's always more fun when there's a story involved. Adding

my "Coach" always adds a story. Nothing that needs to be

written down, or fleshed out, but just in general. Each time

I look at it, I just know that something's going on . . .

Thanks Larry




Now, I love the "Coach", and I think it makes a nice addition,

but it doesn't have any lights. In the darkened room, it just

makes a "black hole" in the display. I solved that problem with a

little repurposing. Department 56 used to have a bunch of lighted

signs called "Brite Lites" and the one that says "Department 56"

is the perfect shape and size needed.   Placing it in front of the

"Coach", turning it around to face the "Coach", plus aiming it up

a little bit, softly lights the details of the people, horses and, of

course, the "Coach". I added a set of Lemax fiber optic hedges

to hide the "Brite Lites" from view. The low light capabilities of

my old iPad don't do the "soft" effect justice, but the red glow

you see here is muted in real life, and it looks neat.


The TVC "Village Videos" are a very popular source for ideas,

but there's so much more here. Explore the whole website

and you'll be rewarded with a lot of "Villaging". Actually,

well over a hundred hours worth. All FREE.


"There's Lots to See on TVC!"










Chosen by The Village Collector as the two  "Best of the Best"

for Video Quality, Audio Quality, Village Quality, Creativity and Fun.

Each of these categories have many components and keep in mind

that these are just my opinions. The community here has already

voted their opinions for the Hall of Fame.


"Christmas Village Ramon 2018 - 2019"

by Dutch Mini Landscapes

was Nominee #3


"Lemax Christmas Village 2019"

by vaggelis kokalis

was Nominee #5



And the "Oh, So Close" award goes to two more

videos that just barely missed my choice.


"Claire's Christmas Village 2019"

by Jim Peters

was Nominee #13



"My 2018 Dickens Village Display"

by Dana Phuong Doan

was Nominee #12




As a Thank You to everyone who participated, I've added two bonuses for you.

I've captured a video frame from each of the Nominees, added a little photo

work and made two calendars. They are in a pdf format and are FREE for all.

#1 - Click on the Button

includes all Eight Inductees and

Four Honorable Mentions.

#2 - Click on the Button

includes the remaining twelve

Official Nominees.


. . . and of course, we're all collectors here,

so these calendars are part 1 & part 2 in a series.

Only available for a Limited Time