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).

July 13, 2009

7/13/09 Update

More of the finer details of the Salon scene are going in, such as cords, dinnerware, books, and instruments. I've also installed the lighting for the scene, which consists of five 12 volt lighting hidden behind the piping in the ceiling. So all the shots in today's update will be under show lighting.

I created the instrument that hangs above the specimen table. Since it was so intricate and small, I did a computer print out of a colorized drawing, since it would be really hard to make cleanly without a lasercut machine.

As noted in my last post, I replaced my organ, this time with a photo print, which looks really good in the back. And since it is in the back, it won't really matter if it's 3-D or not. The fact that the lighting in the photo and the lighting in the physical scene match is really good.

One of the details that I worked on this last week were all the books on the shelves on both sides of the scene. Getting a feel of the size of the books and the quantity from photos, I created each book by hand out of foam:

I could have took a block and scribed some lines in it for books, but it didn't really have the right feel to it.

Once I made about 90 books for both sides, they were all painted and glued together, and then glued to the shelves.

The Dinner table got it's cloth, made from a section of Kleenex soaked with a 50:50 ratio mixture of glue and water so that it'll remain stiff. I made the chairs from scratch, awaiting the future characters. I didn't bother making chairs for Ned Land and Conseil since you won't see those at all.

Then the table started to get loaded with details, such as dinnerware made from Plexiglas and sculpey. The seating areas are getting more details like pillows too.

The "railings" on the book shelves were a challenge to make because of their complexity and the lack of having a lasercut machine. So what I did was colorize a blueprint drawing of them and printed them out with a black background. They look pretty good despite not being able to see through them! Also some dinnerware details going in on the side table are visible.

I was hoping to get around to doing the characters last week, but I didn't. However, this week will be the week where this scene finally gets finished up, and that means all the characters will be done by the end of the week for this scene. Some of the details like jars and utensils will have to wait since I don't want to dwell on those and delay construction of the next scene(s). This is a busy month; I'm suppose to have this scene done (which was suppose to be done last month) as well as the next 2 scenes (I split one space into two scenes) done by the end of July.

To finish up this post, here's what the scene looks like right now as of this writing (it's a super-size image, by the way)