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Home > Plaza Inn > Modified Plaza Inn

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Believe it or not, a photo-etched weather vane with a rooster is available and this was perfect to crown our Plaza Inn. Compare it with the photo of the real one in the "Disneyland's Plaza Inn" file. It's almost an exact copy!
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This is a little scene I made at the north side exit from the dining patio. The family is attempting to leave but the little boy is holding onto the gate. He had so much fun at his "Disneyland Birthday" at the Plaza Inn that he's reluctant to leave and head into Tomorrowland for his first ride on the Astro Orbitor!
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This view shows the landscaping on the south side of East Plaza Street. The flower pot was made from styrene tubing. The ground cover here is JTT Tree Fine Ground Leaves which simulates the wood chips in this area nicely. I detail painted the laticework to match the others on this piece.
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Flowers and shrubs have been planted on the north side.
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An overhead view of East Plaza Street after painting.
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This view is a closeup of the street painting technique I've developed after many years. The street was airbrushed using Floquil Railroad Colors to achieve a realistic appearance. This is how it's done: for Main Street, after a primer coat has been applied, I chose to paint the base color a medium grey 50/50 mix of Reefer White and Weathered Black. Next, four colors were applied using a very fine stipple adjustment. 1st) Concrete, 2nd) Reefer White, 3rd) Grimy Black, 4th) Antique White. By layering these colors the effect replicates the individual stones that make up an asphalt roadway.
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The original hole for a tree has been left because it's in exactly the right spot.
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The photo-etched railing has been added and the green ground cover has been sprinkled in.
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Using .030" X .040" styrene strips I've continued the curbing to enclose and define the landscaping area.
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Here I'm working on the north side flower bed. The original landscaping was carefully ground away leaving the original curb seen here. Note that I had to add a small addition to the base to allow the lanscaping to be extended outward.
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Instead of modifying the original entrance sign, I decided to construct our own. I began by folding photo-etched brass diamond pattern screen aound a triangular profile plastic strip. Then .010" X .020" styrene strips were glued to all three corners of each column. Triangle .015" styrene pieces (caps) were then glued to the top and bottom. Holes were then drilled through the caps to allow .020" piano wire "lamp posts" to be run through forming both mounting pegs on the bottom and lamp posts on the top of either column. Flat brass bar (.015" X .040" ) was then carefully bent to form the supports for the "Plaza Inn" sign that connect both columns together. Another short length of .020" piano wire forms the third lamp post in the center. Small plastic spheres from a doll house gumball machine were used to make the white lamp globes. Also, some photo-etched patterns were glued on to add some Victorian charm. More of this will be added before the piece is finished. Currently, I have no good photo of the "Plaza Inn" sign from which to make our miniature version so were done until after our next visit to the park.
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The south side exit railing has been added. These were made from photo-ethched brass fencing. The gate was installed slightly open.
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Here's a view of some planted shrubs (whoopie :>) It was a bit tricky to drill the holes to install them in the narrow flower beds between the railings! The scratch-built photo backdrop has been installed too.
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I had forgotten to stipple paint the street curbs (doh!) earlier before all the brickwork and landscaping was added. So, here I've masked the curbs to be painted. This was necessary because I use an airbrush to apply the stippling to the curbs.
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The shrubs are ready for planting. Notice the two types.
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New shrubs for the planters surrounding the dining patios are made. I made two kinds: one with just straight piano wire trunks and others with more detailed trunks. The detailed trunk type was made from JTT Tree branches. The body of the shrubs were shaped from 1/16" thick Balsa wood and sanded to shape. The armatures were painted green before being brushed with white glue and coated with finely ground foam. Finally, the trunks were painted light grey. The detailed trunk shrubs will be planted in more visable areas like around the entrance to the Plaza Inn.
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All done now.
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The canopy on the reservation cart was lowered about 1/16". The entire cart was then repainted, including additional stripes.
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Here is the new completed backdrop, minus the plants, curtains and signage.
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I fabricated a new birthday photo backdrop from styrene and brass mesh. The four planter boxes are shown too. The original is shown to the right.
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The main overhead "Plaza Inn" sign needs to be installed. I'm going to do a few modifications to it before it's ready. Also, the birthday reservation cart has undergone some modification and a new paint job carried out. It should be re-appearing soon -stand by.
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The two 'boulders' in the island to the right are actually at the park. East Center Street has been primered. Final painting will happen when all of the streetwork has been completed.
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The new landscape islands have had their railings installed and fresh 'grass' has grown in. Trees and additional details are on the way. The sidewalk bricks need to be finished. The non-brick pathways have been painted a base matte earth tone and two colors (weathered black and white) have been 'stipple' painted (misted) over to re-create the park's hue. The four blue umbrellas have been modified the same way as those on the patio and re-installed. Looks like I need more of these too!
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Here's a view of the modified "Happiest Birthday" banners. Again, they were shortened and 'crosses' of brass rods were added. Note the detail painting over the brass rods.
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A shot of the flower beds. We need some tables and chairs!
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Some "exit" railing at the base of the steps is yet to be added.
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View of the south side with the sidewalks installed.
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Photo of the north dining patio. The umbrellas have been modified with .012 brass rod poles and new locating holes have been drilled. The poles have yet to be painted. Looks like I'll have to order about 10 more from the Olszewski Studios! The pedestal bases for the future lamp posts can be seen along with the new railings.
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Okay, it's been awhile since we took some photos and a LOT of work has been completed! First, the grey slate paving stones have been added. These were made by scribing 1/8" squares onto .005" thick styrene sheet. The sheet was then cut into the roughly 1/2" squares to fill between the brick outlines. This was a tedious task. Bases for the yet to be added 11 lamp posts were fabricated from styrene and installed around the dining patio retaining walls. Next, the entry awning received 10 new supporting poles made from .019" brass rod and has been re-installed. The poles are roughly 3/16" shorter than the originals. "Iron" railing was then installed around the retaining walls and flower beds in front of them. The 14 pink and yellow "Happiest Birthday" banners were shortened about 1/4" and "crosses" were added made from .012" and .019" brass rods. New locating holes were drilled and the banners re-installed according to my photos. Next, the Plaza Inn's landscaping was 'planted' with various colored finely ground foams from JTT Tree and Woodland scenics. The two "big" trees are modified 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" "Ash" trees from JTT Tree. Other trees are yet to be installed.
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Photo of the north dining patio.
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In this view I have constructed new stairs and have intalled the sidewalk curbing. You can also see the new retaining wall and south tree planter.
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Here I've used the brick paper cut into strips two bricks wide to outline the checkerboard pattern. The squares will be filled in with grey slate 'stones' in a manner similar to that used on the Tour Guide courtyard project. I used my park photos to replicate as best I could the the location of the bricks. The entryway has also been outlined. Notice the new tree planters (3) that have been made and installed in their new locations.
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The north side filled too. Now for some sanding. Things are really shaping up now!
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The south dining patio extended with Bondo.
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Close-up of the south side dining patio wall. It's now time to bring in the dumptrucks and fill the patios with dirt...okay, more Bondo putty.
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Both dining patio walls have been installed and the landscape islands have had their curbing installed. The curbing was created from .030" (height) X .040" (width) styrene strips.
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The new retaing wall for the north dining patio extension is installed. Made from .040" X .100" styrene strips, the same will be done on the south side patio. I used a small level to sand the wall, well, level and to the correct height.
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The new terrain has been created with a generous application of Bondo putty. It covers the entire plastic base extension. It has been gently sloped from the main entrance area by the awning to the curbs at Main Street. There is also a gentle slope upwards East Center Street towards the main entance. This photo shows that second application of a bit more putty was necessary to create the proper grading. It hasn't been sanded down yet. The dark red spots are small imperfections that have been filled with auto body "Glazing and Spot Putty." This is also made by Bondo.
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The terrain (base) of Plaza Inn has been re-graded to a lower level. This was a messy job accomplished with a Dremel tool with a 60 grit sanding drum. Do this stuff outdoors while wearing a dust mask!
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With our Plaza Inn piece positioned on our platform, a .100" X .100" piece of styrene was glued to the Plaza Inn base while butted up against the Photo Corner side of East Center Street. It was gently tapered down along the same line as the Photo Corner sidewalk towards Main Street. This piece of styrene not only sets the level for the Bondo putty but creates a dam to keep the putty in place.
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This shows the original terrain around the dining patio on the East Plaza Street side. This will have to undergo some re-grading in order for the street and sidewalk to be at the same level as the Photo Corner side. This is just fine as there are four steps (stairs) that lead up to the Plaza Inn dining patio from the sidewalk level.
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This is how the entire Plaza Inn piece now looks with the base fully extended.
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Here is the piece with the newly extended base positioned on our platform. The new landscaped islands and the patio extensions have been drawn to show where they'll go. The line for East Plaza Street has also been drawn. This was accomplished by tracing a stencil created from our scaled plot plans. Note also that the hole from the removal of the intergalactic rocks has been filled with plastic.
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The tops of the brick retainer wall around the dining patios is cut down flush with the patio floors.
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Everything is cleared out except the "PLaza Inn" sign over the main entrance and the two tree planters. The sign is removed in the same manner as the birthday banners and the planters are ground away with a Dremel and a ball cutter bit.
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It's time to remove the "My Disneyland Birthday" banners. These are held into the base with small diameter steel wire. Careful chiselling at the base shatters the super glue bond and will allow them to be pulled out.
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Here I'm extending the scenery base using 1/8" thick extruded ABS plastic to fill the gap in our platform created by repositioning this piece farther from the Central Plaza.
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In order to extend the area around the Plaza Inn the intergalactic rocks of the Tomorrowland entrance have to be removed. These will be relocated when we work on installing the Astro Orbitor. I used a cut-off wheel in my Dremel tool along with a hacksaw to cut them away.
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Notice how far back the Plaza Inn sits.
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This is the altered position of the Plaza Inn as it will sit on our model. The front facade is on a 30 degree angle to Main Street and sits farther back from the Central Plaza. The dining patios and landscaping can now be expanded to accurately replicate the prototype. Notice the Hub has been removed; check the Modified Platform files to see what I've done to it.
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This photo shows the standard positioning of the piece on the platform. We will alter this to bring the Plaza Inn into the correct position according to our plot plan of the Park.
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The tables and chairs were removed by using an X-Acto #5 Heavy Duty knife handle with a 1/4" chisel blade. I am using my pliers to gently tap the knife handle to remove the chairs. I used the same basic technique for the tables, however, the tables have a steel pin to locate them on the piece. Therefore, I used the chisel technique to lift them up a bit and then twisted my knife (like a motorcycle throttle) side to side to lever them out.
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Tree, umbrellas, lamps, trash cans and benches cleared out. Next I attack the tables and chairs.
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Careful extraction of the trees. The same technique was employed to remove the umbrellas.
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We begin to remove the trees. The technique is shown: needle nose pliers grip the trunk and a piece of wood is used as a fulcrum. I push down on the pliers to lever the trees out. Several pieces of wood or plastic were employed to make a fulcrum for some of the harder to reach trees farther in, but the same technique was used for all.
 
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