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).

December 16, 2010

One Year Later...

It's hard to believe it's already been a year since I finished off this massive project. It seemed like just last week I was hurrying along in construction trying to meet the deadline of our annual Christmas Party, throwing up the last few walls, hot gluing last minute items, giving the floor a fresh coat of flat black (on to take a hairdryer to it to speed up the process.

Through-out the course of the year, the weather really became a test of durability of the project, especially during the summer. In the past, when I basically hot glued everything, stuff would fall apart during the heat waves and I'd have to come in and fix it. Sometimes it was big polar ice-cap props, sometimes it was full-on mechanisms slumping to the ground. The 20k project held up extremely well, considering I did a very solid construction with wood and screws, as opposed to hot glue and cardstock. The only problems I had were the heavy card panels warping a little bit.

So what's next for 20k? Not much at this point. Since the project let it's first guests in, nothing had changed a bit; after working steadily on it for a good chunk of last year, I was ready to go back to other things. I was burned out on it. I did "blue sky" some plans for an overhaul of the project to freshen it up, like replacing the squid fight with a new scene, which would be the same scene, but from the inside of the Nautilus with one tentacle sticking in (fully mechanized of course) and fully detailed. My experimental automatic doors would be ditched for hardcore mechanized double doors, something more solid, durable, and reliable. The interior would receive more detailing, like the Nautilus motif, and my last minute cuts and sloppy seams would be cleaned up. And pretty much everything that I didn't finish would get.... finished.

However, I'm on the fence about going ahead with this overhaul, I have other plans on the horizon. Rapidly gaining speed is a new studio redo, which would include a bigger work table, but a smaller layout table--thus the end of 20k. Since I wouldn't have rood for another "crawl- thru" 20k would be my last.

Nothing is official yet, I still need to draw up plans for the studio refurb and go through the feasibility stage. Plus I invested a lot of time, effort, and $$ into 20k, and I want to keep up as much as I can.