Shortly after completing the original Grimm's Mansion model in 2009, I decided I was sick of Grimm's, which worked out because my wife and I would welcome our first kiddo in March 2010 and she would be a handful. Then I learned that the 2010 Narrow Gauge Convention would be in St. Louis - a mere 5 hours from me. (St. Louis is also home to a bunch of my favorite modelers, who I always love to visit.) It's a good thing I'm a big-ideas guy becasue I decided to build a diorama for the Grimm's model so I could take it to the convention. Not just a diorama though, no..... that'd be too easy! I wanted to venture into what I now call "Environmental Prototype Modeling." I can't think of anything less "prototype" than a haunted house diorama, but I always wanted to see how far I could push modeling environmental phenomena. So, the diorama would attempt to control viewing angles and how much light would hit the model. It would be a night scene. It would have hidden lighting and sound so that I could recreate a thunderstorm. Anyway, I worked like a beast to get it done. I was still gluing scenery down in our hotel room the night before the convention. But I finished and it was COOL.
I was so stoked to visit so many legends of the hobby that I didn't take any video of the completed diorama. I didn't even take final photos. So, these photos are from a set I took in 2020 for the Wiley's Scale Modeling Halloween contest. The only update from the 2010 version was the addition of a "fog" system. It's built into the diorama and can run independently for hours. It made the photos extra spooky!
Enjoy the pics and be sure to look in the "Extras" section of the Gallery for a detailed build process gallery full of tips and tricks and spooky goodies! .~MCG
You wouldn't see this view normally, but I liked how the lights cast shadows on the scenery
This view was also pre-planned and the road wraps off to the right drawing you in...