I have built all of these models from scratch and they have been built over the past couple of years. To clarify, I have used NO kits, building each entirely from my own supplies, plans and hands.
Depending on the model, the shortest time to complete was 2.5 months, but the longest took around 7. Each unique in their own way, I have tried my hardest to accurately depict the real model as to the ones in real life. I am aware of the downfalls of each, but have tried to make them as minimal as possible.
Manta, without doubt, will be the most accurate, as I am going to settle for nothing less than perfect for accuracy.
Follow with me as I build my latest model, share your opinions and let me know what you like and what I can do better. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Sheikra Model: Over the years I have always been fascinated with coasters and have always wanted to own my own. I went by coasterkid and now go by themeparkman to many of my friends and family. In the future I am going to own a theme park and am currently in college getting a business degree. In the mean time, I have entertained myself building scale models of SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point and now Insane at Grona Land. I would like to share these models with you because I feel they are very cool and unique.
SheiKra took the longest of the three coasters to make due to the fact that the box spine of the B&M track took forever to make. The spine is made of really thin balsa wood, which took a lot to get it to bend and turn the way the actual track does. It is about a 1/160 scale of the real coaster. I know the MCBR is higher in the model than in the real life, I could not get the track to bend out of the helix in the way I wanted it to. Besides that error, I feel the model is pretty accurate including an actual splash down area with fake water, the train station including a train track as well as many of the surrounding buildings. I built the supports and track to the best I could at the time and I am relatively pleased with how it turned out. So without further a due, I present my model of SheiKra!
EDIT: I found some pictures of the track in the building process...
Sorry for the double post, I wanted to keep the pictures and stories behind them separate. I will post pictures of Top Thrill when I go home next, the model was way to big to bring up to an already tight dorm room! That model stands approx 3 feet tall and is looking really good. I still need to paint that one and add all the scenery to it. So seeing is how I am always bored sitting on facebook or whatever, I decided to undertake a smaller more manageable coaster for dorm living, INSANE at Grona Land! I just started this one a couple days ago and will post pictures as I continue building it.
This model stands only 14" tall and 16" wide and will be built using a lot of left over pieces from TTD. I started this one making "blue prints" just to know what I would be working with (I really just looked at every picture on the thread). Next, I cut out a piece of wood that will act as the base and put lines on it to aid in the actual building process. Next, I built the main support tower. And then at this point, I will add the rails the train doesn't roll on and the boxes that Intamin actually uses. Please enjoy, and excuse me for the wicked mess on my desk! I will continue to post updates as I get further along with the track!
This is how you build a model. Plan, plan, plan. Do small projects to get your ideas fleshed out, then move onto something bigger.
I'm wondering why balsa wood? Styrene comes in so many prefabed forms (like I beams, L beams, T beams, box beams, etc.), I would think that would be easier to use and shape. I think it might be cheaper too.
^^^^Thanks! SheiKra took right around a year to build. I wouldn't tab it at that amount of time though because I took a long time off between when I finished the actual coaster and when I finished the decor. I also tore apart the helix after the immelman countless times because of its angles and the "not so bendyness" of the wood. TTD took about a month to build the track. And I don't think Insane will take too long!
^^ and ^Too be completely honest, I have never though of using anything else beside balsa wood. I am spacing his name right now, but the guy who builds all the wood coasters and built the model of Led Zap, he used wood so I just kind of assumed I should too. I hope what I have done with the wood though doesn't look too bad, I put a lot of time into them.
themeparkman25 wrote:^^ and ^Too be completely honest, I have never though of using anything else beside balsa wood. I am spacing his name right now, but the guy who builds all the wood coasters and built the model of Led Zap, he used wood so I just kind of assumed I should too. I hope what I have done with the wood though doesn't look too bad, I put a lot of time into them.
I wasn't knocking the use of balsa, just curious as to why you chose it. As a model railroader, I use a lot of styrene for projects, thus my curiousity. I'm more comfortable using it, so I keep grabbing more.
Perhaps you could do a test in styrene, and compare the end results? That might be interesting.
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