This blog is here to document my latest 2009 project, an extensive recreation of the Disney 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea through a series of detailed miniature dioramas, all contained under my model railroad table. This will be a "crawl-thru" type attraction (What is a crawl-thru? Read about it here).

Like Disney, I usually tend to keep everything under-wraps until I unveil the final product at the end. However, by keeping everything a secret, I end up not taking any photos of my projects and it is often disappointing to not have any documentation in the end showing how everything worked and was constructed. This time, however, I will document every step in the process of the creation of the project with photos and drawings (and maybe some video) illustrating each leg of the construction. Even though the posts here will be chock-full of spoilers, it will show the amount of work that goes into this and other projects--which is often under-appreciated.

This blog includes weekly updates that consisted of notes, ideas, photos, and maybe some video of what was worked on each week up until the estimated completion date of December 2009. (It was officially finished on December 10th, 2009).

March 28, 2009

"The Monster Attacks"--Scene Construction

This weekend I focused on the very first scene that the guests will see in the show; the scene showcasing the attack on the S.S. Abraham Lincoln by the "monster"--the Nautilus. This scene will be from the perspective of the ship looking out to sea at the monster, as if the viewer were on the deck of ship. The monster Nautilus would be charging at the vessel towards the viewer, illuminated like the scene in the movie:

Construction on the scene started with creating the backdrop, the sea surface (with the edges and corners coved to give the illusion of a higher horizon) and an elongated pyramid representing the Nautilus. There wasn't much to do on the Nautilus when it comes to detail, considering the whole thing is covered with rushing water. I rigged the pyramid Nautilus with 12 volt lights with yellow and green gels for the eerie monster look.

Next, the Nautilus was covered in strips of clear plastic and coated with 'Mod Podge' (a thick gloss medium that dries clear; I'll be using A LOT of it on this project!)

I added a facade of the ships railing, complete with rigging and a boat ready to be deployed (as demonstrated by Ned Land in the movie). I still might add a sailor with a scared face pointing at the monster while hanging onto some rigging to give the scene a little more "life"

Then, the entire "sea" was given a thick coat of 'Mod Podge'

In addition to the Nautilus lights, a dim blue gelled floodlight illuminates the ship facade and the sea as in this photo showing the finished scene (at this point)