Building a miniature Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel


As a follow-up to my miniature Cinderella Castle, today I built the Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel from a Metal Earth kit to celebrate our recent vacation in Disney World.

Yes I know this ferris wheel is at Disneyland in California, but I wanted to build it anyway. :). The actual time for building this miniature ferris wheel was about 4 hours.

The finished model looks pretty good:

Miniature Cinderella Castle

To remember our recent visit to Disney World, I built this miniature Cinderella Castle out of thin-gauge steel from a Metal Earth kit.  It took me about 8 hours of work.

FSM Kit #155 – Landscaping and Final Detail

This weekend I had some time to conclude my work on the Fine Scale Miniatures kit #155, Old Time Coal Dock, that I’ve been building over the course of this year.

After laying the rails last time, this time it was landscaping and the installation of some final details.

I began by taping craft paper to the base with Frogtape to protect the wood work and areas of the base where I don’t want landscape material.  Then I sprayed coats of Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement and applied Highball real dirt and some other colors of Woodland Scenics ground foam.

After the initial mud was down under where the structure will sit, I glued the structure in place with wood glue into the wet landscaping on the base.

I used some Coastman’s forest floor debris and dead branch material here and there to make it look like the coal dock was near the woods.  I cut Coastman’s tree trunk  material with a hacksaw to create stumps that look like they were cut with an axe.   I “planted” these here and there around the structure using wood glue into the wet landscaping mud.

Then I applied ballast on the tracks and some coal which was Woodland Scenics Black Cinders around the dock where the crane is.

I let the landscaping dry overnight, then I scraped off the material from the rails and the ties so that they were exposed.  I applied a liberal coat of dark black India ink stain to the track and touched up the rails on the sides with Floquil Tarnished Black paint.

There were a few details to glue in now that the structure is on the landscaped base.  I started with gluing the support ladder on the left side of the structure with wood glue.  Then I added the two oil cans, one crushed, to the front of the structure using 2 part epoxy, and finally I added the sump pump with long pipe to the corner of the hopper structure.  I drilled a small hole in the pump base and glued the pump base and the long pipe into the hole using 2 part epoxy.

On the deck above where the pipe outlet is, I dabbed some 2 part epoxy and later painted on some Floquil Oily Black to represent water stains from the pipe on the deck.

The finished kit on the fully landscaped display base:

I built a plexiglass display case that fits on the base:

I created a video detailing my progress with the landscaping and final detailing.  I hope you enjoy.

PS.  Yes I know the original small ladder (the one in the front) is missing from my structure.  I built it and installed it later 🙂

FSM Kit #155 – Laying the track

Today I continued my work on the classic Fine Scale Miniatures kit #155 Old Time Coal Dock.  I added the track bed and track in front of the structure as well as prepared the base for landscaping, which will come next.

Here’s a video that details the work I did today.  Hope you enjoy!


FSM Kit #155 – Installing the Hopper Roof

Today I continue my work on the classic Kit #155 Old Time Coal Dock by Fine Scale Miniatures.  I’m installing the roof on the coal hopper structure.

I start by creating the three roof trusses following the original FSM templates. Then these are carefully installed on the structure.

Then it’s time to put on the roof boards.  Although the original instructions didn’t suggest weathering them, I decided to add some stress to the boards along with the occasional splits and cracks.

I debated and debated, and finally decided to use the original FSM shingle sheet material that came with the kit.  The sheet consists of several rows of die-cut shingle outlines with instructions on how to cut them out.  Before cutting, I decided to paint mine with Floquil water-based Dirt color, which gave them a more natural wood shake color.

After the paint completely dried, I cut them out and followed George’s original suggestion of trimming some shingles to create uneven lengths.

Then it was time to install the shingles.  I did mine with wood glue applied along the top edge above the shakes.  I left some holes in the runs to let some of the underlying wood boards show through.

I gave the roof a coat of dark India-ink stain brushed liberally top to bottom.  I dry-brushed on some subtle stains from top to bottom using Floquil water-based Grimy Black color.  After this dried, I pried up some shakes keeping wind direction in mind.  Finally, I dry brushed some Concrete color from bottom to top to highlight the edges of the shakes.

I made a video of the process of installing the roof.  It’s kind of long at 22 minutes, but the process is a long one from roof trusses to final shingle detailing.  In reality it took me practically the whole day to complete:

Here is a photo that shows the current state of the model after today’s work:

Next time I will be installing the track in front of the structure and landscaping – I’m close to completing this marvelous coal dock.