Anyone Ever tried building a model Park replica?

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 4:11 PM
Has anyone here ever tried building a replica of a real amusment park in HO Scale or anything?

I've Seen models of Disneyland that looked pretty good, but has anybody ever tried a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park?

I Guess it would be wise to set it in a past year so that you would not have to keep changing and updating it all the time.

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"The Mountain Slidewinder. Voted The #1 Non-Rollercoaster Ride in America Amusement Business Magazine, 1991"

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Wednesday, October 8, 2003 4:19 PM
A friend of mine is building a replica of SFNE...his screen name is ECZEnith and go to sfne.com to check it out...

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#1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!! My top 7 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Montu 3. Yankee Cannonball 4. Kumba 5. Gwazi 6. Cyclone (SFNE) 7. B:DK

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Wednesday, October 8, 2003 6:03 PM
There was an article in Model Railroader magazine a year or so ago about a Disneyland inspired park. It wasn't an exact copy but he had a train, monorail, Main Street, a neat mine train coaster, hotel, etc.

The Ridemodelers Yahoo group tends to focus on carnivals but there are a few people who do amusement parks. Johnnyland in the "Files" section is an enourmous freelanced park with many rides and a couple of operating coasters.

Finally, click on the link below to see pics of my freelanced traditional park. I've focused on some of my favorite classic rides, still hoping to add a coaster some time. Gotta finish the Flying Scooter first! I used elements from a number of current and defunct parks including Idlewild, Bushkill, Bertrands Island, Nolans Point, etc,
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Ripple Rock Amusement Park

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 7:36 AM
Ripple Rock is amazing... I can't believe how great it looks! How I wish I could visit it ;)

A long time ago, I had a bunch of those little carnival rides that were offered by IHC (International Hobby Co. or something like that) and built a little "fair" on a piece of 4 x 8 plywood. I put down grass, sand for paths and a few trees, but without proper landscaping (nothing like Ripple Rock, which looks frighteningly realistic), it didn't look right and I eventually gave up on it. My rides got tossed into the basement and I think a lot of them are now gone.

I keep saying that, one of these days, I'm going to invest in those Faller rides and do what I wanted to do years ago, but right now I don't have the time to invest in it due to other projects I have involved myself in.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002
*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 10/9/2003 11:51:55 AM ***

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 8:11 AM
Thanks Rob. It's a neat thing to play around with during the off season. :) I wish I had room for a 4X8. I squeezed everything into 2X4 (thus, no room for a coaster).

It looks better when it hasn't been trampled by a squirrel. Hazards of taking pictures outside I guess!

IHC's rides don't have very nice drive systems so getting them to operate is a challenge. IHC also varies in realism. The Spider, Octopus, Skywheel (except for the base) , and swinger are pretty good. Others like the Ferris Wheel don't seem to have a prototype. The Carousel has a lot of shortcomings but it can become a decent model. I hid it inside a pavilon to hide the flaws!

I've built a lot of IHC models but currently only have two on Ripple Rock (Spider and the Carousel). Everything else is scratchbuilt. Never tried Faller because A) I'm cheap and B) They don't offer any of the traditional rides I'm interested in. Their stuff looks amazing though and I hear they are very well made and operate nicely.

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park
Flying Scooter coming soon!
*** This post was edited by millrace 10/9/2003 12:23:03 PM ***

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 8:44 AM
I've got a park too, lots of rides. Kits from Faller, and IHC, and I've got a few pieces that were specially built like a Whip and Cuddle-Up from Warren Renauld, and a model of Dorney Park's Thunderhawk and Hersheypark's Giant claw Wheel from John Hunt.
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Thursday, October 9, 2003 9:34 AM
scraperguy99: Are you at liberty to say where you acquired your model of the Thunderhawk? The only reason I ask is because, many years ago, a friend of mine built a model of the ride and I'm not sure where it is right now. I know where it went but don't know where it is today.

millrace: When I was building my IHC models, I actually never bothered with the motors... I was a kid back then and didn't have a ton of money (not like I have a ton of it now, though) so I saved money on my project by skipping the motors and just building static models. I, too, found flaws... the most glaring ones being that many of the rides shared the same bases, which kind of took the individual personalities away from the various rides. I'm sure that common parts were used to save on costs, but the downside was that a lot of rides looked too similar. I see that you found a way around that by mounting the rides to the ground without the plastic bases, which does wonders for the realism when I think back to how my "park" looked.

I always thought that the ferris wheel sort of resembled an Eli but with cars that extended beyond the actual "rim"... have you ever seen Valleyfair's wheel? I think it closely resembled that one. Of all the IHC models I built, I was a big fan of the Sky Wheel... that looked pretty accurate from what I recall.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 10:08 AM
The park I have planned in N scale isn't based on a real park but, similar to Millrace, has various attractions based on rides I have been on throughout my 30 years on this giant ball of dirt!

So scraperguy is the recipient of Hunt's Double Wheel model! Always wondered where that went. Course I'm not content unless I build an operating one someday. :)

I agree Rob, the Skywheel is among the better IHC kits. And with little effort, you can add drive tires, cables, simulated lighting, and even semi trailers! Cummons will do just that and charge $400! LOL And here is Hunt's Thunderhawk (not sure if it's the same one): http://www.rollercoastermodels.com/image/thawk04.jpg
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Brad Sherman
OK so the Phlyers I spoke oph didn't make it......so......watch phor us next year!

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 10:10 AM
How do you guys make your custom rides? Do you use existing models and modify them, or build everything from scratch?

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 10:26 AM
Yup, that's my Thunderhawk.

And, no Rob, it's not the one that you had. Mine was made for me by John Hunt. Is yours the one I saw an add for in Amusement Today/Inside Track(not sure which of the 2) a few years back? At the time I wished I could have bought it.

And, I was the recipient of the Giant Wheel from John Hunt. How did you know he made one? Is it on his website now? It wasn't there last time I checked.

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 11:04 AM
The Thunderhawk model that I know of was built about 15 years ago... my friend sold it to the previous owners of Dorney Park, but I understand that they sold it, which means that it could really be anywhere right now.

How did you get John Hunt to build those models for you? Will he build for anyone if they're willing to pay? I've seen many of his creations but never knew how to "acquire" one.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 5:48 PM
I'd love to get my hands on a Cummons Tilt-A-Whirl, Zipper or Ring of Fire, but I don't have that much money or the patients to wait 2 years for a model. (While I have heard that they end up being the best-performing rides out there!)

I agree in saying that FALLER rides are wonderful, they just take some expierience and fine-tuning after there complete. I had to work on my Faller Big Dipper for a long time before it would make it around the track once.

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"The Mountain Slidewinder. Voted The #1 Non-Rollercoaster Ride in America Amusement Business Magazine, 1991"

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 6:24 PM
Removing the base from the IHC rides improves their looks dramatically but it makes it hard to motorize them. Currently, only the train operates (because I built it on the frame of an old N-scale Bachmann diesel). Someday when I'm rich and bored I'll work on the rest of them.

Some of the Eli Bridge wheels have seats that are mounted "outside the rim" as seen here. IHC's problem is that the cross bracing in the wheel doesn't follow any sort of realistic pattern. It's also a circular wheel and when I think of an Eli wheel I think of something more like this. Somebody said that the IHC model was loosely based on a Chance Astrowheel. I don't really see much in common between them! I salvaged the seats (which aren't quite accurate either but close enough :) ) and scratchbuilt the rest.

I make models out of a wide range of materials including typical things like Evergreen styrene strips and brass rods, and strips, etc. Some more unusual materials also prove useful. The rockets on the Circle Swing were made from small plastic centrifuge tubes. The Whip tubs and bumper cars both started out as IHC Spider/Octopus tubs. I also modify non-amusement related kits into useful parts. Central Valley bridge girders are very useful.

Cummons models are incredible but I can't justify the expense. Warren Renauld's models are very nice. He has a large selection of non-operating older rides.

Check this out for one of the most impressive models I've ever seen. It even has a realistic lighting package and racks on a trailer!

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park
*** This post was edited by millrace 10/9/2003 10:25:05 PM ***

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Thursday, October 9, 2003 7:19 PM
Yes Rob, John Hunt will build models for the public. If you go to his website www.rollercoastermodels.com you can contact him.
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Friday, October 10, 2003 7:33 AM
What is a Cummons model? I have never heard of that before!

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, October 10, 2003 8:11 AM
Cummons Scale Amusements

Fantastic stuff.

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park

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Friday, October 10, 2003 9:13 AM
Wow. Look at that stuff! I was definitely happy with what I saw until I saw the prices. Ouch.

Well, I am bookmarking the site so I know where to go when I win the lottery or get rich!

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, October 10, 2003 10:22 AM
Any ambition I ever had about building a minature park just evaporated when I saw Cummons prices.

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Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.

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Friday, October 10, 2003 10:31 AM
Me too.

Well, not entirely. I still like the way the Faller models look, and I think a "fair" with a Big Dipper, Wild Mouse, flume and some other smaller rides would be really cool. Plus, I like the idea of building them myself... I used to love to build those little 1:24 scale plastic car models and it would be nice to be able to "create" something again. I just wish that I had the motivation of people like millrace that actually construct their own stuff... my fair would probably consist of all pre-designed stuff.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, October 10, 2003 10:51 AM
I wouldn't have the know how to build things like that from scratch... I would need some sort of kit.

Patience is not the problem... I'm currently in the process of painting almost 8,000 tiny 6mm tall lead Civil War figures to war game the battle of Gettysburg (nearly 1/4 of the way there now), so I do have patience. But when it comes actually designing something and building it from scratch... I become very impatient at my self and my mistake and most of the time I end up saying "To hell with it" and never finishing.
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Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 10/10/2003 2:51:58 PM ***

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