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Author Previous Topic: The Tin Turtle, will it be the next secret weapon? Topic Next Topic: A nifty little passenger car prototype
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Arizona Dave
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  3:02:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arizona Dave's Homepage
Howdy! I'm new to these boards but have been an avid modeler for some 30 odd years. My latest project is a little 3'x6' On30 layout called the Thunder Mesa Mining Co. It's a freelance fantasy all the way so if that kind of thing is not your cup of tea you might want to avert your eyes from the coming blasphemy.



As well as being a train buff, I'm also a big fan of Walt Disney and his theme parks. Walt was a lover of trains and it has been speculated that he only really built Disneyland as a place to run his 5/8 scale railroad! Anyway, I grew up about 10 miles from there and have many fond memories of the early park. So, my Thunder Mesa Line is something of a mix-up of nitty gritty narrow gauge and Disney-esque whimsy. It asks the questions, what if there had been an actual prototype for Big Thunder and Natures Wonderland? What would such a railroad have been like in the "real world?"

Well, I'm nearly 2 years into construction on the layout (I model in fits and starts) and I'm happy to say that things are coming along nicely. I'm knee deep in the scenery now, modeling the fantastic rock formations and deserts of the American Southwest.

The era and exact location of the line are both a bit fuzzy. Let's just say that it is sometime in the early steam era, somewhere in the Four Corners region. Or as I like to put it, once upon a time in the Wild West.

Here are some construction photos of how things have progressed to date:











As you can see, my primary focus has been on scenery. But I have several rolling stock and locomotive projects on the back burner, as well as an entire town full of scratch built structures to complete.

In a nutshell, I'm running three Bachmann 0-4-2 Porters, one with sound. Control can be switched from DCC to single cab DC. The minimum radius is 15" and there are no grades (yet). Track is Peco On30.

The layout has its own website where you can follow along with all the progress; link in my sig below. Also, if anyones at all interested in modeling the Disney railroads (yes! there are more kooks out there) click on over to the Burnsland forums.http://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/index.php

If there is interest here, I'll also update the build on this site. Thanks for looking in!
Dave

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
- Walt Disney

http://thundermesaminingco.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1089

dallas_m
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  3:05:33 PM  Show Profile
Outstanding ... delightful ... wonderful creativity! Glad to see this here in the On30 section ... and looking forward to those updates.

Cheers,
Dallas

Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

Country: USA | Posts: 4674 Go to Top of Page

BBLmber
Fireman



Posted - 03/15/2013 :  3:11:12 PM  Show Profile
Nice job, keep us informed. We love pictures.

Mark


W,L,&E

Country: USA | Posts: 6443 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  3:44:09 PM  Show Profile
Wow Dave this is even better than the first post. Keep us updated. What a great layout.

Jerry

"And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11583 Go to Top of Page

CieloVistaRy
Fireman



Posted - 03/15/2013 :  3:53:46 PM  Show Profile  Send CieloVistaRy an AOL message
Welcome to the dark side, Dave. No such thing as too much fantasy. We have the occasional oversized gorilla, Stegosaurus, and the triceratops lurking abouts!

Your modeling reminds me a lot of John Olson's Mescal Lines RR. He was in fact, involved in the design of the Thunder Mountain RR, if I recall correctly.


Arthur

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40645

Country: USA | Posts: 5831 Go to Top of Page

Arizona Dave
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  4:13:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arizona Dave's Homepage
Thanks for the warm welcome. I was indeed inspired by John Olson's work; loved his Mescal Lines and I've still got a battered copy of his Jerome & Southwestern book somewhere in my collection. John did (still does?) work for Disney Imagineering and worked with Tony Baxter on Thunder Mt. Other inspiration came from Malcom Furlow, John Allen and too many other old time narrow gaugers to name. I always enjoyed Malcom's lighthearted approach to the hobby and his articles in MR.

Here's a track plan I created early on for the TMMC.



It's a little out of date now since the layout has "evolved" during construction, but it still shows the general layout of things. There is a separate "high line" track now that runs diagonally across the layout, right through the big butte and I have since abandoned the idea of using forced perspective HO scale structures in the town. The buildings are/will be tiny, but still 1/4" scale.

I have big plans for expanding the layout and am putting together a new plan for that.


Dave

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
- Walt Disney

http://thundermesaminingco.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1089 Go to Top of Page

Tommatthews
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  4:19:18 PM  Show Profile
Dave,

Interesting ... very good.


Tom M.

Country: | Posts: 9572 Go to Top of Page

Arizona Dave
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  4:51:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arizona Dave's Homepage
Today I've been experimenting with colors for the fascia. So far, the winner is flat black. I like the simple, theatrical presentation.



Dave

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
- Walt Disney

http://thundermesaminingco.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1089 Go to Top of Page

Ensign
Fireman

Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:03:14 PM  Show Profile
Hi again Dave,I posted earlier in your other thread about your very cool layout.
I hope you don't mind me making suggestions already,but...
That fascia should have a modeled underground mining scene you can see through it.
Then you could see what's really going on in that mine down below.

Greg Shinnie



Country: Canada | Posts: 8323 Go to Top of Page

MinerFortyNiner
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:11:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit MinerFortyNiner's Homepage
Dave, what a fantastic model railroad! I have always loved the Thunder Mountain, it is my favorite Disney ride. You have captured the feel in a more model railroad sense, and you scenery is terrific. The layout looks like a lot of fun!

There's another On30 modeler working in fantasy modeling you need to 'meet', Steve Jarman...he is active on a French modeling forum, and does beautiful work. He is working on a similar theme in a micro-layout, somewhat smaller in size. I hope he comes across this thread and can touch base with you.

It's great to see Arizona interpreted in miniature...I see you have already found Duane's ACC project, another Arizona-themed On30 layout. Keep us posted on progress.




Country: USA | Posts: 2793 Go to Top of Page

Arizona Dave
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arizona Dave's Homepage
Thanks for the suggestion. Good ideas are always welcome! I had thought of doing an underground mining scene. There is already going to be a rather elaborate caverns scene on the far side of the layout so I might save the mine scene for a future expansion of the railroad.



Dave

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
- Walt Disney

http://thundermesaminingco.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1089 Go to Top of Page

Arizona Dave
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:21:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arizona Dave's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by MinerFortyNiner

Dave, what a fantastic model railroad! I have always loved the Thunder Mountain, it is my favorite Disney ride. You have captured the feel in a more model railroad sense, and you scenery is terrific. The layout looks like a lot of fun!

There's another On30 modeler working in fantasy modeling you need to 'meet', Steve Jarman...he is active on a French modeling forum, and does beautiful work. He is working on a similar theme in a micro-layout, somewhat smaller in size. I hope he comes across this thread and can touch base with you.

It's great to see Arizona interpreted in miniature...I see you have already found Duane's ACC project, another Arizona-themed On30 layout. Keep us posted on progress.



Thank you! I think I've seen Steve's work. If it is what I'm thinking of, his micro-layout is what finally convinced me to get off my duff and build Thunder Mesa.

Are any of you familiar with the work of Sam Towler? He is a VERY talented young man who has been busy for that last several years recreating the entire Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland attraction in On30 - complete with animated animals, erupting geysers and teetering rocks. Check it out: http://nwrr.blogspot.com/


Dave

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
- Walt Disney

http://thundermesaminingco.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1089 Go to Top of Page

on2rails
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:22:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit on2rails's Homepage
Welcome! A nice addition to the wide variety of this scale and gauge. Great work on this layout and very interesting and pleasing at the same time.... looking forward to seeing more from you.


Country: USA | Posts: 407 Go to Top of Page

peterg13
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/15/2013 :  5:33:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit peterg13's Homepage
Hello,

Really neat layout you have going there. Looks like you have been having fun and should also be fun to operate.

Cheers,

Peter G



Country: Canada | Posts: 176 Go to Top of Page

on30vince
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/15/2013 :  7:28:23 PM  Show Profile
Love it! this may just be the inspiration I need.
Vince



Country: USA | Posts: 360 Go to Top of Page

ChiloquinRuss
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/15/2013 :  7:33:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChiloquinRuss's Homepage
What a neat and fun layout. I am also a big fan of Thunder Mountain and you sure hit it right on the head! Great job. I can't wait to see the next posts. Russ


Country: USA | Posts: 680 Go to Top of Page
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