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Main Street Stage


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The pathway was cut from the plastic sheet and slightly bent and formed to fit the terrain. I glued this in place with 5 Minute Epoxy adhesive. The two bridges visable here have not been permanently installed at this time.
I decided to use a plastic stone pattern sheet to model the walkway from the Central Plaza (at top) to the two brides to the left of the castle moat. I outlined the pathway with a red Sharpie pen then used a hobby knife to trace the edges. I then used a 1/4" hobby chissel to carefully remove some of the landscape material in order to allow the 1/32" thick plastic to fit flush.
The construction of this bridge is complete. (whew!) The railings are ready to be sprayed white.
Here is the arched span.
The last of the three bridges to Carnation Gardens was the most difficult to replicate. The railings of this bridge are complicated so I decided to 'fake it' by using some brass screen mesh.
The Carnation Gardens bridge is almost done. All that's left is to paint the railings.
Construction of the bridge from the Central Plaza to Carnation Gardens is underway.
This shows construction of the bridge railings.
Here is the swan barrier (fence) attached to the underside of the bridge.
This is a view of the underside of the bridge. A slot has been created to allow to installation of a piece of brass photo-etched fencing which will keep the swans from wandering downstream towards Frontierland.
Three bridges needed to be built for the Carnation Gardens side of the castle lanscaping. This one, located to the left of the castle moat, leads up to the castle courtyard on the "Once Upon A Time" shop side. The abuttments were formed from a plastic stone pattern sheet and the wood planks were individually applied to a styrene base span.
The two quarter-round 'towers' have been secured to the causeway.
The elaborate support footing for the drawbridge has been added.
Here four of the six banners/torches taken from the Olszewski piece have been temporarily installed.
Creating the moldings (white plastic) for the bench turrets was a bit tedious.
Once I had cut Sleeping Beauty Castle free of its surrounding lanscape I had to construct a new causeway. In this series of photos you can view the steps and progress with the project. The main 'stone' portion was made from a Z-scale plastic sheet with a molded stone pattern. The pattern isn't perfect but it should look pretty good once painted. Here are the four reinforcements that will go on the sides of the causeway.
The relationship between the foamboard and Ultra-Board is clearly seen here.
After the waterways were cut-out the foamboard pieces were placed in position on the layout. They have not been glued to the layout at this time.
I'm cutting out the waterways using my hot wire scroll table. The dark vertical line in the center is the cutting wire.
Here the Carnation Gardens stage is positioned and the base outlined. The foamboard will be cut-out so this piece can be set to the proper elevation.
The blue foamboard was carefully trimmed away using a hot-wire scroll table around the base of the castle.
Here is how the area has been filled with the foambord (blue) and Ultra-Board (white). The foot-paths and waterways have been drawn and the castle has been placed temporarilly. The red outline marks the location of the Carnation Gardens stage.
A close-up of the tracing method with the push-pin. I will draw over these with Sharpie pens to make them stand-out better.
I traced the area I'm working on from our park plan onto several sheets of paper that I taped together. I then laid the plan over the layout carefully making sure it was aligned correctly. I then used a push-pin to trace to lines of the waterways and foot paths onto the foamboard by poking holes through the plan.
The Ultra-Board was cut away after the sidewalks and entranceways had been determined. (note: Tomorrowland's entrance will be handled later) The Ultra-Board was trimmed away so I could fill the area with 3/4" polystyrene foamboad which would allow easy sculpting the elevations of the terrain and cutting-in of the castle moat and other waterways. (note: the foamboard is not available in 5/8" thickness)
The entire north-end of the layout from the Plaza Inn around to the Plaza Pavillion has been built-up with Ultra Board.
To build up the foundation for the sidewalk and entrances into the other 'lands' around the Plaza Hub, I used 5/8" Ultra Board and cut pieces to fill outwards to the edge of our layout.
The edges were then sanded to blend the piece gently into the base. The entire front of the layout is now filled.
I used a piece of 1/16" X 3" bass wood to fill-out the area in fron to of station base.
After the plywood was in, there still was the additional 1/16" step left in the center of the train station base to deal with.
The base has now been brought up to the 9/16" height at the sides of the train station base.
The front of the layout needs to be brought up to the level of the train station base. The train station base rises in elevation from 9/16" at the entrance tunells to 5/8" in front of the floral Mickey. I decided to use 1/2" plywood left over from the platform construction to fill-out this area. I shimmed the plywood up using 1/16" X 3" bass wood strips and fastened the plywood with wood glue and five screws.
Sorting and routing the wires.
This was a BIG day for our platform. Our friend and electronics expert extraordinaire, Matt, has finished designing and constructing the circuit that will automatically control our Omnibus. Here, the circuit has been mounted to the underside of the platform and Matt wires the conections from our imbedded magnetic reed switches in the Main Street roadway.
Here's a closer look at the control circuit. This device controls our Omnibus movements by reading closures of the magnetic reed switches (triggered by a magnet located on the underside of the Omnibus) and then directs power to the Faller Car System 'stop' units located at the Town Square and Central Plaza bus stops. The duration the Omnibus is paused at the stops has been set at 1 minute 45 seconds. The duration is fully adjustable. This circuit also has additional capacity to time/control other imputs and will be used to control our Astro Orbitor in a future project. It could also be used to control our Disneyland RR trains. When on, it is really fascinating to watch our Omnibus travel up and down Main Street and 'magically' pause at the stops and then resume its journey completely hands-free. Fantastic job Matt, and thank you!
Here's a quick peek at our Disneyland RR right-of-way under construction. The old foam roadbed was removed (along with the tracks) and a sturdy 'permanent' roadbed of 3/8" bass wood replaces it. At the point where the clamp is (to the left of the frame) a removable bridge will be built. At Disneyland, this RR bridge is necessary to allow vehicles access to the backstage area behind the west side of Main Street. The vehicle roadway which passes beneath the RR tracks dips down sharply to allow clearance for the Omnibus which parks behind Adventureland and in proximity of "The Indiana Jones Adventure." A lot of guests onboard the trains aren't even aware they cross this bridge just after leaving Main Street station. The bridge is actually much wider than the RR tracks require because it also supports a landscaped berm to conceal the view of the backstage area behind City Hall! Next time you ride the trains at the Park see if you can detect this landscaping as you cross over the span. Also, while riding the Monorail on the return leg from the Disneyland Hotel, look to your left as you pass the Indiana Jones show building and, if you're lucky, you might see an Omnibus parked behind the jungle of Adventureland. More photos of this RR right-of-way project coming soon.
Disneyland employs automatic spring-switches on the Street Car line to allow the cars to cross 'through' the rails at the turnouts and always keep them veering to the right. These need occasional maintenance and lubrication which is performed by lifting the hinged tread-plates.
These two photos show the photo-etched brass 'tread-plate' that is used to cover the maintenance access hatches and reinforce the points of the turnouts. They'll be painted a brown color to represent iron.
This is a close-up of the finished gutter painting. I ended-up apply a total of seven colors to achieve the look I wanted. I used a light tone of 'aged concrete' for the base color followed by stippling six colors to create the 'stones': Reefer White, Weathered Black, Grimy Black, Roof Brown, Rust, and a custom mix of a light brown/conctere. It meant a lot of work but I only plan on doing this once!
This is how the street looks around the Firehouse after the complete painting process has been done. All that's left to do is install the man-hole covers, some diamond plate details, and some minor touch-up. Well, I still have to paint the gutters which is the white 'line' at the lower right corner of the photo.
Main Street really IS all it's cracked-up to be.
Disneyland's Main Street is under a lot of stress from the daily heavy foot-trafic, weight of the Horse-drawn Street Cars and Omnibusses, and even large parade floats which travel upon it twice a day! Consequently, the roadway has hundreds of cracks in it and there are numerous areas that have been patched-up. I've replicated this appearance by painting areas with darker shades according to my photos.
The stress of daily use really can be seen on the side street between the Opera House and Disney Showcase. There are numerous signs here of the pounding it takes and the repairs necessary to maintain it. Because the street narrows here, the load cannot be distributed as much as on the wider sections. Also, the heavy parade floats enter and exit through the gates on this side subjecting the condensed road to additional extreme stress twice daily.
Here is the finished painting process showing the contrasting shades between the roadway, concrete, and horse pathway. The gutters are yet to be painted.
Like the roadway itself, several areas of the concrete bordering the Street Car trackes have been repaired over the years. These areas were masked and received a bit more of the darker color.
Airbrushing the concrete lining the tracks. This will be a shade darker than the roadway.
Several areas of Main Street have received re-paving as part of the constant maintenance. Since these areas have newer paving they appear darker. Asphalt lightens in color as it ages. To replicate this effect I simply masked these areas and lightly sprayed a little more of the darker steet color to create a subtle contrast.
The area between the track rails has been painted. The base color here is the same as the main roadway, however, only white stippling has been done as this area is lighter (whiter) than the roadway because the horses scuff it with their polyurethane shoes. Note too, the masking tape has been removed and the only area left to paint now is the concrete that surrounds the the outside of the rack rails. This will be a shade slightly darker than the roadway.
This is a close-up of some cracks I've created by lightly scratching them in with a hobby knife using the back edge of a #11 blade. Thinned flat black paint was flowed into the lines prior to the painting of the roadway.
The red lines here are flexible vinyl 1/4" masking tape over the path between the rails that the horses use. This area appears lighter so I masked it to protect it from overspray from the roadway painting process.
Close-up view of painting the Street Car tracks. A lot of masking was required as I'm only painting the 1/32" wide track rails.
The first step in painting the roadway was to paint the Street Car rails. I used Floquil Roof Brown.
This is a view of the side street between the Opera House and the Disney Showcase pieces. The path of the Car System guide wire for the parade route is still discernable. I took many photos of Main Street while at the Park so I could create the paving section lines on the model.
Here's a shot of one of the 14 reed switches. I've soldered solid core copper wire to the leads.
There are a couple of man-hole covers that needed to be installed. The covers are N-scale photo-etched brass detail. To make them 'flush' with the road surface, I first opened a hole the diameter of the cover in a small square of .010" styrene sheet. Then, I glued this to a .060" thick square of the same dimensions. This created a .010" recess for the cover to fit into. I then cut a square out of the roadway and glued the recess flush with the road surface. A little spot-putty was used to fill around the edges.
The first step in painting the roadway was to mask the Street Car tracks. I air-brushed them With Floquil brand "roof Brown" laquer-based model railroad paint. Here are the painted tracks.
Since the Olszewski City Hall piece contains a bit of the roadway around Town Square, the scribing of the street section lines had to be done with it in place on the platform in order for them to be perfectly in line with those on the main roadway. Here I've masked the structure in preparation for painting.
Here is where the Car System guide wire veers from the center of the roadway to skirt around the right (east) side of the Central Plaza. If you look closely, you can see the faint dark 'line' of the guide wire between the rails as it runs down the center of Main Street, even though it has been covered over by .010" styrene strips.
I hid the Car System guide wire in the flangeway of the Street Cars tracks where they lead to the backstage area between the Firehouse and Emporium. The wire emerges from the flangeway to make the left turn so it can park between the rear of City Hall and the Street Car barn.
My design for audio effects to be triggered by the passing Omnibus calls for 14 magnetic reed switches. Here are the 2 recesses for switches to be triggered as the bus leaves the Town Square stop. The recesses are made by first dilling 2 holes for the switch leads and then using a Dremel tool with an 1/8" ball cutter bit to create the 'trough' between them. The trick is to make the recesses just deep enough for the switches to lie about .010" bellow the surface of the roadway.
This view shows how the Car System's guide wire has been laid-out to steer the Omnibus over to the right to make the stop at the Central Plaza.
Here is the completed trackwork for the Street Car passing spurs. The thin, dark horrizontal lines to each side of the spurs is actually the Faller Car System's guide wire which has been imbedded but still not covered over.
This view shows how our Town Square and Main Street appear with the narrower roadway. The slimmer road width brings the opposing facades of the buildings closer together and makes the town more intimate and quaint. The view of the building fronts is still very, very good.
I made sure not to fill over the Car System turnout until the system's guide wire was installed.
Once all the filler had been applied it was time to remove the masking tape and sand the roadway smooth and level with the tracks.
Using a 1" putty knife I carefully applied the filler being sure to fill from the Street Car tracks to the edge of the street.
I applied the auto body filler in small batches because the working time before it starts to harden is only about 1 1/2 minutes. Here is a batch being mixed.
Masking tape has been applied to protect the Street Car tracks and the edge of the roadway because I don't want to fill the thin recessed line that separates the roadway from the gutter.
Once the Street Car tracks were finished it was time to 'pave' Main Street. The tracks are masked-off before applying auto body filler to form the road surface.
This is the finished passing tracks for the Street Cars.
I'm working on the Car System turnout here but you can see that the 'paving' of the roadway around Town Squre has been done. The 'paving' process is shown in the photos that follow.
I'll be installing a turnout for the Faller Car System to allow the Omnibus to turn to the right off the route and head backstage behind City Hall. Here I have cut out the hole necessary for the unit to be inserted up from the bottom. Another hole had to be cut into the platform surface too.
An entirely new Main Street roadway was also on the 'to do' list. After some consideration of the best material for this, Tahnee suggested "Ultra-Board" which she had discovered on the internet. Ultra-Board is a very stable and lightweight 'sandwich' comprised of 1mm. PVC plastic skins over a extruded polystyrene foam core. The thickness we chose is 3/4". This material is very easy to cut, especially with a jig saw. I chose to construct our own roadway because this would allow the enlarging of the Central Plaza by being able to increase the diameter of the Street Car tracks which encircles it. Our Plaza 'hub' would not be confined within the original Olszewski Street Car tracks. However, consequently I was faced with the task of constructing Street Car tracks from scratch. Oh well. I used Plastruct 3/32" ABS "L" angle pieces (part number A-1) for the track's rails. Here I've begun by constructing the Street Car passing section.
Piece by piece the Street Car tracks take shape.
This is the turnout with the siding that leads the Street Cars backstage behind City Hall. This shows the desired detail lines of the modeled 'concrete' sections that outline the tracks.
Instead of having to scribe the detail lines between the 'paved' sections I knew it would have a cleaner and sharper look if I created these lines by cutting and installing individual .010" styrene pieces. This meant a lot of cutting and gluing but I only plan on doing this job once :>)This brought the finished height level and flush with the tops of the track rails.
In this view I'm filling the gap between the rails with .020" X .156" styrene strips. The straight sections were easy but I had to cut the curve pieces from .020" styrene sheet stock. The .020" thickness brough the height to within .010" of the top of the track rails. This was intentional and the reason is shown next.
Here's how our Ultra-Board Main Street looks positioned on our platform.
Here I'm framing-up the platform with 1 X 3 lumber. For strength, all corners were mitered and the entire assembly 'screwed and glued'.
All the access hole have been cut out. The end at the top of the photo is where Main Street staion goes, and Sleeping Beauty Castle at the bottom.
The left side has been done. This is the border between Main Street's west side and Adventureland.
After the outline had been cut it was time to cut all the holes to allow the electronics to be installed and accessed under the Main Street pieces. A drill is used to round out the corners and the jig saw will be employed to 'connect the dots.'
The time had finally arrived for constructing our own platform to enable our Main Street model to be incorporated into one of the entire park. I had to study our park plot plan to design our platform so its perimeter and borders would be the least intrussive into the other 'lands.' The idea was to not have the platform's edge mate to that of the adjoining realm right where a major structure (like Space Mountain) or water way (Rivers of America) would be located. It is nearly impossible to hide a seam in the middle of a model of a body of water. In the end, this resulted in a platform outline that appears strange and awkward but, for our purposes, entirely necessary. Our model of the park will be broken down into sections and constructed over several 'platforms.' This is known as a modular layout or model. In this view I am transferring and 'scaling up' to full size the outline of the platform from the smaller scaled park plot plan. For strength and also relatively light weight I chose 1/2" birch plywood framed up with 1 X 3 clear cut boards.
After the outline had been drawn it was time to cut it out with a jig saw.
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