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To Go A Viking

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Several decades ago, when I started working in the Theme Park industry specializing in thematic concept presentation, I was encouraged to create a portfolio of storylines and corresponding story board illustrations capable of demonstrating my ability to take my ride ideas from "blue sky" imagination, to a corporate sponsorship, presentation level.

The very popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride at Disneyland contained all of the right entertainment elements for a particular type of "gravity flow," "dark ride," I had in mind, but instead of 17th century pirates, 9th century Vikings aboard a Longship would be central to the new storyline of the conceptual attraction. From what I had learned of the Vikings, I felt they could be the subject of a 9th Century, "Pirates of Europe" equivalent type of ride.

Quick story board sketches soon led to elaborate presentation renderings by some of the most qualified commercial illustrators available, featuring many of the key show components of the ride concept entitled: "To Go A Viking." One of the more action filled renderings, much later became the Home Page of my www.dynamicdioramas.org web site, where all of the finished illustrations depicting the ride, may now be viewed through the PORTFOLIO, Theme Park Presentations, tool bar at the top of this very animated page.

As a much later complement to the project, I decided to create the To Go A Viking diorama in an effort to capture, in 1:32 scale, high-detail, a small part of the excitement, and the adventurous spirit of both the ride presentation and the historical period on which its storyline was based.

Starting with the excellent Andrea Miniatures Kit, of a Viking Longship, I commissioned an expert model ship builder to fabricate and paint the model kit while I focused on the Viking crew members, the various stowage onboard, the dragon ornamented sail, and the rest of the rocky seacoast setting. The overall composition did not seem complete without my rendering and placement of an old, cypress tree, it roots clinging to the edge of a jagged precipice, and its growth permanently bent over in the direction of a constant North Sea wind.

The completed diorama was later transported to Boston for the World Expo 2005, where it won an international medal. Photo-realistic shots of the diorama, as it looked at that time, can also be viewed at the above web site link through the PORTFOLIO, Miniature Dioramas tool bar.

Since Expo 2005, I have made improvements in the sculpture and material used to simulate the translucent foamy texture seen at the top of crashing waves in the diorama, and also added the ruin of a Celtic Cross at the top of the largest, rocky coastal island, where it can be seen under the shade of the old cypress mentioned earlier.

I plan on displaying the "To Go A Viking" diorama, for the first at a model show in four years, during the 2009 SCAHMS California Show, where I hope many will have the opportunity to enjoy this dynamic diorama in person.

Joseph Neumeyer
Founder: Dynamic Dioramas
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About the Author

About Joseph Neumeyer (Joedio)


Amazing work. Thanks for the OD and congrats to Joseph Neumeyer.have fun and please bring photos from SCHAMS
MAR 17, 2009 - 09:29 AM
Thanks for publishing Jim. I've long been a fan of Joseph's model works and remember seeing this dio on his site a few years back Lovely to see it posted here on HF, and I hope we get to see more of his amazing works of art. Rudi
MAR 18, 2009 - 10:44 AM
Should prove to be a show stopper, can't wait to see it in person this weekend
MAR 18, 2009 - 11:55 AM
fantastic looking dio,would love to see this one in the flesh. Steve
MAR 19, 2009 - 07:31 AM