Category: 2021 Season

Thunder Mesa Limited Ep 12: James A Powell

Model Maker and themed entertainment professional James A. Powell joins us for the final episode of the Thunder Mesa Limited’s 1st season. Our talk covers everything from Malcolm Furlow’s San Juan Central, to Magic Wheelchairs, to dream projects and the joys of making.

Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast Ep 11: Robert Kurner

Inventing a Fictional Railroad
Join me as I chat with Robert Kurner, creator of the Adventureland themed Typhoon Lagoon Railway. We get insights into the art, science, and all-around madness of inventing a model railroad prototype like Typhoon Lagoon – plus some startling late night discoveries working 3rd shift with Disneyland’s horticulture department. We also learn what’s cool about N scale, and much, much more!

Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast Ep 10: Jake Johnson & the Art of Model Railroading

The Art of Model Railroading

Jake Johnson is back for a second appearance on the Thunder Mesa Limited, and this time our conversation is all about the art of model railroading! We talk about how and when to use forced perspective, color choices for scenery and structures, backdrops, how to choose a scale that’s right for you, the detail threshold, and so much more.

Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast Ep 9: Ray Spencer

Former Disney Imagineer Ray Spencer is back for a second appearance on the Thunder Mesa Limited. This time we talk everything from pirates on Tom Sawyer Island, to Tomorrowland, the PeopleMover, and the value of aspirational “edutainment.”

“I like projects that are responsible; that people can take something away from… in terms of knowledge and, hopefully, inspiration.”
– Ray Spencer

Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast Ep 7: Jim Shull

Join me for a wide ranging conversation with former Disney Imagineer Jim Shull! Jim is a 33 year veteran of Walt Disney Imagineering and we delve into the highlights of his career from Mickey’s Toontown to Shanghai Disneyland. Along the way, we tackle questions like why Shanghai doesn’t have a railroad, what it’s like to be on an Imagineering team that works mostly behind the scenes, and learn about a Tomorrowland that could have been.

Thunder Mesa Limited Episode 5: Michael Campbell

Join me for episode 5 of the Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast and a great conversation with Disney Railroading historian, Michael Campbell! Michael is a leading authority on Walt Disney’s railroading interests and has produced museum exhibits, presentations, and collectables on behalf of Walt’s Barn and the Walt Disney Family Foundation. We talk everything from Disneyland locomotive builder’s plates, to models of the Lilly Belle, and the final home of former Fort Wilderness locomotives. Don’t miss this one!

Thunder Mesa Limited Episode 4: Sam Towler

Join me for a fun and informative conversation with professional model maker, Sam Towler! Sam is the multi-talented young man behind the Nature’s Wonderland model at Walt’s Barn in Griffith Park, and has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering on recent high-profile projects like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Pixar Pier, and Tokyo’s Fantasyland expansion.

Here’s a look at Sam’s Nature’s Wonderland model railroad on display at the 2016 Fullerton Railroad Days: Thunder Mesa Studio YouTube

You can follow Sam’s creative projects on Instagram: @fabricatednonsense
Facebook or his NWRR blog

TML Podcast Episode 3: William Tyson

Join me for a fun and candid conversation with retired Disney Imagineer, William Tyson! From Epcot World Showcase, to Disneyland Paris, Animal Kingdom, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and just about every Disney Park in-between, William has some amazing stories to tell from a 37 year career with WDI. Listen in on how the magic was made real working with some of the very best in the business!

TML Podcast Episode 2: Ray Spencer

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast and my chat with former Disney Imagineer Ray Spencer! Ray is a well respected creative professional with over 20 years at Walt Disney Imagineering. As an Executive Creative Director, he oversaw numerous projects for Disney Parks around the globe, as well as the designs of attractions, hotels, shops, and restaurants. Like so many Disney folks, Ray is an avid rail-fan who enjoys sharing that passion with others. Listen in as we talk about his time with Disney, the many projects he has had a hand in bringing to life, how he got into the themed entertainment business and so much more. Enjoy!

TML Podcast Episode 1: Jake Johnson

Welcome to the very first episode of the Thunder Mesa Limited Podcast. Join us as we talk with former Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Dimensional Designer Jake Johnson about his time in the Disney Model Shop, riding on the movie Tombstone, building miniature sets for Robot Chicken and so much more!