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).

January 1, 2010


A look at the sign mounted on the outside of the table. It was lasercut by an anonymous source out of black plexiglas and is backlit with a fluorescent bulb. Eventually I am going to cut into the plywood that it's mounted on and recess the sign so it won't protrude out as much without creating chances for clothing snags and damage. The plywood will also get a better treatment, the painted look was a temporary finish.

Above the sign is the "control panel"; this is where I can turn on all the power for the show and also control the work lights (it's a 3-way switch, so I can turn them on and off while I'm inside too).

A "ride-through" video is being worked on at the moment. I'm trying to get all the edits right so it'll be a while until it's posted. For all the shots of the scenes and in the interior, I usually take many shots from different angles and then stitch them together in Photoshop for a large picture (cheap wide angle effect), but since it's so dark, the Photomerge feature in Photoshop can't align the pictures so I have to composite them by hand. Because of that, the finished photos and the video won't be showing up too soon, but they will eventually.