Category: structures

Build a Haunted Train Depot! – GGRR Part 8

 

Another scratchbuilt structure for my spooky-themed Gruesome Gulch mini-layout – This time it’s the GGRR train depot! I show how to build a small, dilapidated western depot with a special spooky twist: a built-in Pepper’s Ghost illusion to make a frightful figure appear in the window. Tips and tricks for board on frame construction, weathering, and a complete Pepper’s Ghost how-to.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

A Newspaper Office for Gruesome Gulch – GGRR Part 2

 

I know that the structures for my haunted Gruesome Gulch project railroad will probably take longer than anything else, so in this build video, I get a head start on them with the Gruesome Gulch Epitaph newspaper office. Designing and building this small structure helped me get a handle on the esthetics and feel of the entire layout - even before any track was laid! I get to pull out all the stops on this one, really pushing the caricatured architecture and then weathering things to look right at home in a ghost town!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Old West “Pine Box” Caskets in O Scale

 

Here’s a quick little build that goes nicely with the Gruesome Gulch layout I recently announced – a set of old west style “pine box” caskets! I couldn’t find the coffins I wanted as detail parts for my projects, so I decided to design and laser cut my own. As a bonus, these will soon be available in kit form from Crescent Creek Models.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Building a Western Boomtown Part 7: The Calico Depot

 

I’m back in the saddle again, working on my western boomtown of Calico! This time out, it’s the Calico Depot – built from a wonderful kit by Full Circle Models. I add a few of my own twists and custom details to the structure and chronicle the entire build from start to finish with in depth descriptions of each step along the way.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Full Circle Models

Modeling Vintage Disneyland Ticket Booths in O Scale

 

Here’s a fun side project that’s a throwback to the good old days of ticket books and “E” tickets! I’ve always wanted to recreate the old Main Gate ticket booths from Disneyland, and In this build video, I put together a matched pair of the original ticket booths circa 1962, complete with period accurate signs and all of the gingerbread details that greeted visitors arriving at the park since 1955. Step by step descriptions of everything in the build are included. Thunder Mesa patrons will also have access to the plans and drawings created especially for this unique side project!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Vintage Disneyland photos at Davelandweb: https://www.davelandweb.com/disneyland/

The story of Disneyland ticket booths: https://www.yesterland.com/ticketbooths.html

A Horse Corral for Circle D Ranch

 

Out here in the Ooooooooold West, horses and trains go together just like bacon and beans! Thunder Mesa’s Circle D Ranch is home to the happiest horses on Earth, and in this episode I scratch build a brand new corral for them – made to look old with wood construction, staining, and weathering techniques. There’s even a working hinge for the ranch gate!

Saddle up, amigos – we ride!
Dave

Big Thunder Mine Part 2: Ore Bins, Trestles & Retaining Walls

 

Welcome to part 2 of the Big Thunder Mine build! In this episode, I scratch-build some retaining walls, mine cart trestles, and a custom ore bin to serve the On18 Big Thunder & Calico tramway. Then it’s time to dirt things in and add a little weathering.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Big Thunder Mine Part 1: https://youtu.be/KcTcyTm_c_g

Big Thunder Mine Part 1: The Shaft House

 

Time for another big structure build and this time it's the Big Thunder Mine! In the first of this series, I use an O scale Wild West Scale Models Atlantic Cable Mine kit as the jumping off point for the entire Big Thunder Mine complex. This video focuses on the shaft house or head frame, the structure used for lowering men and equipment down into the mine and hoisting the valuable ore out. This build draws inspiration from Big Thunder Mine buildings at Anaheim, Orlando, and Disneyland Paris, but is not a direct copy of any of them. Lots of wood finishing and corrugated iron modeling tips in this one!

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Wild West Scale Models Atlantic Cable Mine: https://www.wildwestmodels.com/products/atlantic-cable-mine.html

Model Making Quick Tip: Making it Square

 

This Model Making Quick Tip is all about keeping things square when building model structures. I share a few of my favorite tools and techniques for cutting and glueing to get the best results.

Thanks for watching, amigos!
Dave

Machinist square and 1-2-3 blocks: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093Q1DMSP?ref=ppx_pop_dt_b_product_details&th=1

Mini miter box and saw: https://www.micromark.com/Micro-Miter-Box-Super-Value-Package