Epic Village Display

By Ken Shirley

This display was a 4 foot X 45 foot running diorama for the entire D56 North Pole Series Collection. They additionally had the Disney Park Series plus a couple of Snow Village pieces. I laid in 55 feet of track at the beginning and built the village around it, including three tunnels and numerous mountainscapes. I built the frame first with 2×3 lumber for legs and ribbing under the foam. Used joist hangers in the wall clete. Tried to use as much lighting as possible behind glass blocks, under the plexiglass of Glacier Bay and between the mountain sections for back lighting.

Glacier Bay was made with plexiglass, cut and hot glued to show the underneath.  It can easily be cut with a glass cutter and a straight edge.  I lightly sprayed the underside with blue stained glass spray for effect of underwater.  The foam was 2 inches below the glass and I pinned white cord Christmas lights throughout and covered the cord with snow.  This effect showcases the underwater aspects.  The whales were cut in half and mounted as if in one piece from underneath and on top.  The splash is nothing more than clear caulk.  I buy the kind that is crystal clear but goes on white…thereby allowing you to see what you are doing.  It clears in about three days and holds it shape.  My water seminars highly recommend caulk as a great use for water and waves over commercial products.

Water Effects Seminar


Model_VD_kens_b03 Model_VD_kens_b04 Model_VD_kens_b05Ken offers classes, does commercial displays for businesses and residences, and has been commissioned by Department 56 to create and build villages for their in-house display. Ken has also had several articles published about his village creations in Village D-Lights magazine. Learn how he made this display with our “Definitive Miniature Diorama” DVD