46: the eagles are coming!

Dennis (IDMT129) at the Burnsland Disney Railroads forum shared his very thorough research on the iconic eagles that mount each of the Disneyland Railroad engines (err… except for one).

Here’s one of the eagles he studied, with Dennis’ own picture. This one is on the Marsh engine:

In the post, he details the differences between each of the four eagles. Even what kind of damages and repairs each eagle obviously went through. For example, Dennis’ sharp eyes observed:

EP Ripley has an interesting feature. The feet have been re-weld backwards. The front 3 talons appear under the tail and only a single talon is viewed from the front. You can also see the perch is a separate feature from the ball and welded in place with a spacer or blank embedded in the weld. The Hex nut under the ball also appears to be another welded after feature.

Indeed, this writeup is probably the most detailed study on this subject yet. I won’t repeat too much of what he’s already said—you can check it out yourself. But the result of his in-depth study is that he came up with a 3D model of the Ripley’s eagle, and he was kind enough to share it with me!

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Wow! I already expected much before I saw the model but once I opened it, it completely blew me away! It’s just chock-full of details! The subtle details like each ruffle of the feathers, the eye depressions, the beak, and more, all come together to create this amazing replica. Check out how finely it’s subdivided:

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I would guess that it was made in ZBrush.

And so once I had the model, I of course had to render it 😀


The above is the classic profile you might recognize. And here’s a very majestic 3/4 shot of the finial.


And the hero shot:


There’s some real weight in the model, especially when rendered. Great job, Dennis!