8. Animation and Special Effects

When I began this layout, the only animation I had planned was the water wheel on the mill. Then I was pressed for more ideas by a friend, and I then thought of making fireflies. After that, I decided to use the gas station I was rebuilding for a diorama. Repairing it also helped repair my confidence, so I started to imagine all sorts of possibilities for animation and special effects; note that a number of them came about as jokes. They're listed in the order they were conceived, more or less.

Click for an enlargement:

1 Mill Water Wheel
2 Fireflies
3 Gas Station Car Lift
4 Restaurant Ceiling Fans
5 Mill Spillway
6 Window Fan
7 Barber Pole
8 Turbine Vents
9 Grade Crossing Gates
10 Campfire
11 Police Car
12 Fluorescent "Shop" Light
13 Desk Fan
14 Welding in Enginehouse
15 Rocking Chair
16 Cabin Fireplace
17 Train Order Signals
18 B&W Television Set

19 Barber Chair
20 Enginehouse Doors
21 Cooking Smoke
22 Rotating TV Antenna
23 Kiddie Train Ride
24 Nano Layout
25 Fireworks Display (?)
26 Combine Door
27 Fishermen
28 Kite Flying
29 Neon Open Sign
30 Flip-Over Open Sign
31 Laundromat
32 Wedding Photographers
33 Crossing Flashers
34 Sunset/Starry Sky (?)
35 Thunderstorm (?)

All projects are finished except the fireworks display, sunset/starry sky and lightning storm. These effects may or may not appear on the layout, depending on how well—or even if—they work.


I added lighting as a separate category because some of the effects are worth noting, but aren't "special effects" per se; the distinction I make is if the lights change, then it's a special effect.


Yes, the Mountain Vista has sound! But not locomotive sound, which I detest. These environmental effects play very softly in the background via a sound control box.

Also See...

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