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).

September 13, 2009

9/13/09 Update

First off, I you haven't noticed, I've changed the title of my blog; kind of a play on the movie title and the fact that it all takes place under  a table. I felt very clever when I thought of that.

More has been done on the Nemo/Organ scene, not as much I had planned, but stuff was still done. I jumped around a lot today, looking at previous scenes that I did and getting them totally signed off so I don't have to visit them again later on in a panic to finish up all the details.

I've compiled a list of what I've done this week:

• The switch for the "Nemo Gun" in the Shark attack scene has been replaced with a reed switch; that way there's no physical contact which means little to no maintenance.

• The Dinner scene was completely finished with hands for the figures, utensils, and everything glued down.

• The Shark attack scene was lowered 4 inches for more comfortable viewing perspective; it was hard on my neck to look at.

• The lighting for the discovery scene was installed and I'm planning on adding "fogged" plexiglas behind the Nautilus model to blur out the background (or lack of background)

• Nemo's cross in the Burial scene was painted and glued. That scene still needs it's water effect as I stole it for the Shark attack scene and I need to make another one.

• I planned out the basics for the next scene, the fight with the giant squid. I had to adjust the crawl path in order to satisfy my need for adequate space for both that scene and the end scene with Vulcania exploding/Nautilus sinking.

• More was done on the Organ scene. At this point, the organ console was painted and given a high-gloss finish. The "woodwork" was made out of sculpey and painted with Testor's gold enamel paint. (I was hoping for a larger scale so I could actually gold leaf it like the real paint, but it turned out too small for that). I still need to do the pipes, the Nemo figure, but I can't quite do those until I get more supplies. The two round piece of furniture were made out of foam that go in the foreground of the scene, all sealed and ready for paint.

Here's a "press shot" of the finished dinner scene. It's a super-size image so you can see all the details.

A closer look at the table details; everything you see was made from scratch, nothing store-bought. 

The Organ scene in progress, with the painted organ console and freshly sealed seating.

For a long time now, this has been the set up for the next two scenes, the Squid fight and the finale (Vulcania Exploding/Nautilus Sinking)

The main problem with how this area works out is that the spaces for these scene are rather small, when they should be big for such spectacular scenes. I also discovered how hard it would be for some people to make that hairpin turn and being able to crank their neck to look at the scenes on that turn, especially for the squid scene. So I made some adjustments. 
By adding a few elements around, I was able to get a comfortable viewing perspective for  both scenes, as well as gain more space for each scene. It was a win-win situation! 

I will be getting into the details of the Squid fight possibly in the next update, but until then, that will be it for now.