As part of our maker series we will be bringing you some of the best builds from around the country. From Cosplay to Props to just plain cool we are going to be talking to makers about their latest projects to inspire you to take on that ambitious build of your own.

Just about everyone has made a model of something. From model kits to LEGO, building miniature worlds is something that triggers everyone’s imagination. But our latest maker has elevated this to a whole new level with his YouTube channel dedicated to realistic models and scenery.

So whether you need to build a model for your train set or your Danger 5 fan film, let Luke Towan from Boulder Creek Railway show you how it’s done with this awesome bridge set.

So tell us a little more about your build, what is it? Why did you decide to build it?

Like most of my dioramas I build depict typical Australian scenery and I’m always looking for inspiration. Prior to this build I hadn’t built anything like a bridge so I wanted to challenge myself to create something a little more difficult. I love scratch building structures as well, there are plenty of kits out there but making something unique that nobody else has is very rewarding.

What is it made of?

The diorama is made using a wide variety of materials, the base is usually built up using foam insulation board that I buy from Bunnings. I think of it like making a cake, there’s the base (foam board), the icing which is the plaster that covers the model to hide all the gaps in the foam and then there’s the decorations which are the scenic materials like static grass, ground foam, trees and the bridge in this example.

How long did it take you to build? Can you tell us a little more about the build?

This build took about 2 weeks to finish on and off, I have to juggle between work, family and hobbies which can sometimes be a challenge but if you didn’t have any other commitments and you had a solid plan for construction you could probably build something like this in 3 solid days from start to finish. The main hold back to building it any faster is the drying times for the plaster and scenery glue they typically need a night to dry.

Was this your first build?

No, I’ve built many dioramas in the past… this would probably be maybe the 15th diorama I’ve built in the past 5 years. I’ve built many small items over the same time but complete models like this are less common as they take a lot of time to build and patience.

How much did this build set you back?

It’s hard to put an exact figure on building a model like this, at a guess I’d estimate it costs about $50 in materials however to start from scratch you’d be spending upwards of $300 to get all the necessary products but that $300 would be spread out over multiple dioramas. I usually by products in bulk to save money over many projects.

Any protips you can share after making this or maybe stuff you learnt that you intend to use on another build?

If all you have is a hobby knife then building the bridge would take quite a while however with the right tools you can get much better results that are accurate and you’ll also save time. My tool of choice for this build was the Micro-Mark Chop-It and I found this tool to be invaluable. Also don’t be afraid to fail, we can learn a lot from making mistakes so take the lesson and move on, I’ve made many mistakes that almost resulted in me quitting a project but I’m glad I didn’t quite because some of those projects ended up being my best ones!

If someone wants to find out more about your build or how to make their own where can they find out more?

If you want to replicate this build you can watch the tutorial video I posted to my YouTube Channel (or below) and also see my specific measurements for this bridge on my website.


If you want to see more of this build or other builds by Luke you can subscribe to the BCR YouTube channel and join his nearly half a million subscribers, to see more of his past and future awesome builds.

If you are interested in finding out more or maybe building your miniature creation, check out the official Boulder Creek Railway website which includes tutorials, tips and even features some of Luke’s favourite makers.

Have your own build you want to get featured? Maybe you want to even be our maker correspondent? Drop us a mail via [email protected]