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Entries in Scale Models (17)


Tiny Submarine Voyage + PeopleMover Model

After having such a great time making a tiny Jungle Cruise model, I decided to make a tiny model of a couple of other favorite attractions.

This time around I chose start with the wooden box. Filled it with a block of floral foam and began to carve.

The texture of the foam made for nice rock details. I painted all the rockwork a dark color then dry-brushed a highlight color over the outermost surfaces of the rocks. Painted the water and let it dry.

I then cut and painted a styrene strip to look like the guide track that Disneyland's old Submarine Voyage (and it's replacement, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage) used to keep the subs on course.   

Began adding Woodland Scenics Realistic Water to the lagoon.

Using various StripStyrene styrene strips, I shaped the back end of a submarine. The styrene is easily joined using any brand of general purpose plastic solvent cement. I like Plastruct Plastic Weld. TIP: Hold any two pieces of styrene together and brush the solvent along the seams. No need to add solvent between pieces before joinging. Solvent isn't a glue. It actually melts the styrene pieces together then evaporates away.

I chose to paint the submarine the original gray color, much like I wanted the early striped Jungle Cruise canopy in the last model.

Applying generous amounts of green paint to will allow plenty of turf to stick.

I then sprinkled on a thick layer of modeling turf onto the wet paint. Dumped it off once dry.

More styrene strips for the construction of the PeopleMover track.

Tiny little baby PeopleMover cars. Isn't that CUTE??

PeopleMover Construction Update: In response to some question posted below, here's the process I used to construct the PeopleMover cars. After attempting a few different things, I found this to be the most successful. Join a thin strip to the bottom of the thicker strip you plan on using for your cars. The thin strip will help keep everything together. Follow each step below. As for the little roofs, I suggest cutting those separately. 

Added pretty bushes.


I wanted some good detail and depth in the the lagoon water. I added small plants between layers of water. After each thin layer of water dried, I colored little details directly onto the dry surface of the water using brightly-colored Prismacolor markers. Marker ink is inherently translucent which added a great effect.

Started adding pretty little trees. Trimmed them like I was Mr. Miyagi. Purple sewing scissors required.

Adorable and life-like little Woodland Scenic Fine-Leaf Foliage trees.

Once the PeopleMovers were painted (VERY DIFFICULT) and were solvent-ed to the track, the model was complete!

Up on the shelf it goes, right next to this project and of course this project.

I'm so tired. But I can't stop at two. Maybe one more. My wife has requested I make her favorite ride exterior. I can't say no... This is the first time she's ever asked me to make ANYTHING Disney-related for her. \

Also... Am I the only one who wishes they'd just classify the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as a Fantasyland attraction? Wouldn't that solve the whole "non-futuristic singing fish don't belong in Tomorrowland" argument?? They already "moved" the Matterhorn from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland a few years after it was built for similar reasons. Just do it, Disney. (Then fix Tomorrowland.)


Related posts:

Tiny Jungle Cruise Model
 and Beyond Robot
EPCOT City Model [Part 1]
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Mechanizing a Miniature Main Street Electrical Parade
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 2 ]



Tiny Jungle Cruise Model

I recently decided to make a little Jungle Cruise model for my home office. I'd like to share the process in case others might want to do something similar.

I started by cutting a 2"x2"x1.5" block out of floral foam. You know, the stuff you put at the bottom of vases of fake flowers. 

I then carved a waterway.

Applied paint.

Sprinkled generous amounts of fine modeling turf onto the fresh green paint. Once dry, I blew it off.

Added additional paint and modeling shrubs.

These spiffy little trees are called Fine-Leaf Foliage and come in large clumps. They are a product of Woodland Scenics and can be found at your local hobby store.

I chose to construct the tiny Jungle Cruise boat (old-style) from styrene plastic strips.

Boat Construction Update: Since the initial post, several people have asked for more information about the boat construction. The following image might help. The boat is made up of only four pieces of styrene. Use the appropriate sizes of styrene strips to cut each piece. Gently score lines into the top and sides of the canopy with a blade. When joining styrene, hold any two unpainted pieces together and brush a small amount of solvent along the seams. No need to add solvent between pieces before joining. Note: Solvent isn't a glue. It actually melts the styrene pieces together then evaporates away.

Painting the red stripes on the canopy was a bit tricky. I painted the entire top and sides red, making sure the red paint fulled each tiny little groove. Before the paint was dry, I wiped off each surface. The paint inside the grooves remained in place.

After the waterway paint was dry, I added a liquid product called Realistic Water, also from Woodland Scenics.

Several thin layers later, the waterway is nice and dry and very clear. Notice how the boat measures up to a penny?

More foliage.

Tiny palm trees at this scale can be difficult to find. Had to make my own out of straight pins and watercolor paper colored with a Prismacolor marker.

Painted the pins.

For a sturdy frame, I purchased a strip of a nice wood at the hardware store and cut it to fit.

Glued the frame in place.

And finally....... the finished product.

Up on the shelf it goes. Right next to my Ward Kimball Mars and Beyond homemade robot. Read about him in this earlier blog post.



Related posts:

Mars and Beyond Robot
EPCOT City Model [Part 1]
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Mechanizing a Miniature Main Street Electrical Parade
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 2 ]



The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 3 ]

More incredible additions to Sam Towler's stunning scale model of Disneyland's extinct Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland.

Bear Country before water is added.

New, fake water.

A little beaver for Beaver Valley.

The icing on the cake. A Mike Fink Keel Boat (in-the-making)

Fog! Produced by a fog machine for the purposes of taking this photo. Oh how fun it must have been to ride Mine Train in the fog.

Tastefully-placed LED lighting makes for a gorgeous night shot. 

A great new technique for making waterfalls:

Two years ago we posted a wonderful collection of Sam's behind-the-scenes photos of the model-making process. Sam recently mentioned on his blog that this labor of love has hit the seven year mark. As we've said before, this model with its moving parts is "one of the coolest examples of 'Backyard Imagineering' we've ever seen."

For even more fabrication photos, "like" the Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland Model Facebook page and follow Sam's progress.

Related posts:

The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 1 ]
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 2 ]
Big Thunder Mountain Model
Mechanizing a Miniature Main Street Electrical Parade
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
EPCOT City Model [Part 1]