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Monday, June 06, 2011 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks, Interviews and Magazine.

The model of Fata Morgana

For quite some time, there have been several videos circulating on Youtube that document the miniature model construction of the themed dark ride "Fata Morgana” at Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands. Particularly appealing are its incredible details, installed lighting system and the overall setup. Parkscout was also really impressed by the grandiose project that puts any other model construction of amusement park attractions into the shade.

Reason enough for us to ask the constructor, Rick van Riel, for a short interview. First and foremost, we were taken aback by the fact that he is just 16 years old. At the age of 12 he already recreated one of Efteling's attractions called "Spookslot” for the first time. His hobby of constructing models has quite obviously kept him busy, and he began to create "Fata Morgana” around three years ago. Before we start with the interview, we would like to present one of the total of five videos showing the construction process of this model.

The model of Fata Morgana

Parkscout: When did you first came up with the idea of building "Fata Morgana”, and why did you choose that very Efteling theme ride?

 © Rick van Riel
© Rick van Riel
Rick van Riel and the model of Fata Morgana
Rick van Riel: The idea of constructing a model of "Fata Morgana” was born when I finished building "De indische Waterlelies”. I looked for a bigger challenge than my previous projects, and decided to build a dark ride. It was originally intended to be a model of the attraction "Droomvlucht” in 1:50 scale, but when I started realizing, I quickly noticed that this scale was way too small for all the details and technique – so I finished this work and began to devote myself to the attraction "Fata Morgana”, this time in 1:25 scale, meaning that the new project is going to be 3.60 metres long and 2.40 metres wide.

Parkscout: This model seems uncommonly close to reality. Did you have technical plans, artworks, photos or the like on disposal?

Rick van Riel: The attraction's plans or technical drawings were never given, so I scaled everything down to 1:25 by myself. In doing so, I used many pictures particularly from the bird's-eye view, videos and, of course, my experiences with Efteling's attractions. There were several information on the internet about the so-called "Nokkenschijven” system which operates the animatronics in "Fata Morgana”. I also applied this technology.

Parkscout: How long have you been working on this project and how much money has been invested so far?

Rick van Riel: I started the "Fata Morgana” project in June 2008, so I have been working on it for more than two and a half years now. I can't really tell how much time and money have been invested in it – I can't remember, but as one can imagine, I can tell for sure that it has been a lot.

Parkscout: How are you going to install all the "Fata Morgana” animatronics?

Rick van Riel: The animatroncs in this model have more or less the size of Playmobil figures, but it is improbable for the mechanical elements to be installed. There is a whole bunch of figures and animals that only move stiffly, and there is also much flow in the individual scenes. I utilized the same technology for these movements which are used for the original too: that of "Nokkenschijven system”

Parkscout: Is it already possible to estimate when the model will be completed?

Rick van Riel: I still can't say when it will be finished, but I am quite far. The individual scenes are nearly complete and soon I am going to begin painting the building. There are few mechanical elements left that are still unfinished and the station housing the turntable needs to be painted. When everything is done, I will start programming the whole show – but there's a lot to do before then.

Parkscout: Will this model be displayed at an exhibition – or even at Efteling?

Rick van Riel: My work has already been seen on several occasions – "Fata Morgana under construction” was displayed in a shop in my home town. However, I'm currently concentrating on the completion of the model. Nobody knows what the future holds...

Parkscout: Are you planning on further models? If so, can you tell us what comes next?

Rick van Riel: I've got plenty of ideas, not only concerning models. But I will continue to keep them dark for a while – first and foremost "Fata Morgana” needs to be finished.

Parkscout: Thank you very much for the interview and all the best in the completion of this highly extraordinary model.

More impressions from the model of Fata Morgana

Bild links Bild rechts
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel
  • Bild aus Fotogalerie<br />© Rick van Riel

© parkscout/MV,AF Fotos: Rick van Riel

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COMMENTS     Write own comment

Absolutely fabulous, great work

07-Jun-2012 00:44

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