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The Reaper: Ride for your life!

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Hey everyone,


I brought a Gatekeeper train Statix model home from Cedar Point this summer, and happen to have alot of CD parts in my basement. After taking the clear elastic bands off the train, and seeing how well the train rolls... I decided I had to set up a new coaster, this time upstairs in view of the windows, with a mural painted on the surrounding walls.


I am very early in the design phase, but I can tell you the coaster will dispatch straight out of the station and up a large lift hill before taking a diving drop down through a tunnel. The rest of the layout will feature a zero g roll, corkscrew, 2 airtime hills, and an inline roll through a keyhole. The block brake zone will be at the end of the ride to keep the pace up.


I have not decided on a name yet, but the track will be red with grey rails. I have not decided what to color the supports (until I decide on a name) but black,marron, and burgundy are high on the list. I am narrowing down a list of names and themes. This model, once finished and running will be complete with O scale props, sculpted landscapes and tunnels, and lights, catwalks, station, maintenance shed, foggers, etc. The real beauty of it will be in the details. Here are the names under consideration.


Reaper-Twin scythes and a skull adorn the front of the train, features a keyhole through a twisted mass of trees in a cemetary

Valkeyrie-Themed after the norse spirit of warfare, will have lots of ruined forts and obstacles

Cataclysm-Scifi theme

Invader-Alien theme

Marauder-The ride starts with a crash through an old western bank, and ends with a spiraling bust out of the sherrif's jail

Tiamat-The black dragon goddess of death, the trains are adorned with bat wings with near misses with a ruined castle


The coaster will run one, 8 car train which will consist of 2 merged Gatekeeper trains, painted and decorated, with metal wheels replacing the plastic statix wheels. The support structure will be added onto to look like a real B&M wing coaster, footers will be cut from the long grey strips and then permanently mounted to the board. This will be a permanent model and will be completely detailed once trackwork is done. As you can see I am very early on in the process but will post updates when progress is made!


My workspace, this long table is perfect for a nice long layout.


This corner will house the diving drop.


Just to show the height of the lift hill...

Edited by ECZenith
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Progress made today:


Train was completely taken apart and rebuilt. Metal wheels added to increase speed, chain dogs added to the underside to engage lift hill. O Scale passengers placed for added weight and detail, train given a flat black paint job.


Supports, rails, and motor all attached, train rolls wonderfully through what I have built so far.


I can tell you the element that will follow the diving drop will be a pretzel knot.


Side profile of the lift hill


Another view of the lift. The supports on the side are temporary, as I find a way to make a realistic B&M support system.


After 3 hours, the train is rebuilt, new paintjob, riders, and it functions!

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I am really excited for this! Also I think the cars look good to, but that is because black is pretty much my favorite color. Oh and I think you should name it reaper because you already painted the trains black and stuff, also the theming would be cool to. Anyway I can't wait to see how this turns out!

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I have decided to go with The Reaper for the name of the coaster. The ride entry sign will also sport a grim reaper, and the ride's tagline "Ride for your life." I have been sketching up the layout, will have it finalized by Tuesday.


I started putting together some flexible track to begin the diving drop, and for the giant pretzel knot, the coaster's signature pair of inversions.


I'm planning on a dark tunnel throught the catacombs following the pretzel knot, and then a zero g roll over the cemetary. The queue line will wind through the cemetary, the ride entry path leading to a decrepit old building which houses the station. An Immelman will turn the coaster back around over the cemetary once again, and over a terrain hugging camelback hill.


A downward helix will follow reversing the direction, through a corkscrew, bunny hop, and heartline roll through the ride's keyhole. I have some ideas for the keyhole, including narrow misses with the gnarled roots and branches of a weeping willow in the gloomy swamp. I am really hoping to get the trackwork done by Halloween, I want to get to the theming already!


Coastergenius, once the trains are themed, they will no longer resemble Gatekeeper trains. I would like to place crossed scythes on the lead car, and an elongated skull adorning the nose of the train. Black is going to suit this coaster nicely. The ride's logo will display a grim reaper with glowing red eyes, showing the ride's colors of red and black.


As of right now I am having a hard time finding a second Gatekeeper train that I can reassemble and attach for my last two cars of my current black train. If anyone has an extra one they are willing to sell, or you are visiting CP and could pick one up for me, please private message me! I would really like this coaster to look and run like the real deal, I need some help getting those last cars to make up an 8 car train. The CP online webstore no longer sells them so I am quite out of luck...


I will post pictures soon once progress is made and the lift is running, hopefully I will have the diving drop and pretzel knot up sometime ths week.

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Hello everyone, thank you for your interest in this project!


Work continues at a steady pace to get The Reaper's trackwork in place. As of today, my lift motor will get the train to the summit, and it navigates the diving drop wonderfully, gathering lots of speed at the bottom of the drop.


I have assembled the piece of flexible track needed to start the first half of the pretzel knot.


The Immelman frame was placed just for a size reference to the rest of the layout. Much of this coaster will change day to day as I figure out the best configuration of support beams to reduce any shaking or slowing off the train.


I'm hoping to get the pretzel knot put up this week.


Enjoy the photos!


The Immelman will send the train back towards the ride's first drop. Here you can also see the brake zone, transfer track, and what will eventually be the station area.


The lift is running! Chain dogs were adjusted so the spring catches the trains nicely, and the ride disengages at a perfect time, letting the train flip over and pick up some good speed in the first drop.


I am not nearly done with the support work here, and the first drop needs some shaping. But it works!


Another view of the work done so far.


A reaper train taking the plunge!

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Experimented with the pretzel knot today, was not happy with the amount of momentum the train loses in this complex and large element, so I will need to stick with the previous plan of adding a zero g roll following the first drop to provide enough momentum to make it through the Immelman which is quite large.


In the pictures below, you can see the new layout so far. Note: The station area will be themed to a swampy unkempt, overgrown cemetary. Moving the Immelman closer to the zero g-roll maximizes kinetic energy and allows for some interesting interactions with the queue. As I mentioned before, the ride will end with a 360 in-line "death roll" through the twisted branches of weeping willows resembling claws reaching out to the riders. The ride's marquee will be directly under the death roll, the queue will go up a ramp and over the catacombs structure, which is a tunnel for the coaster itself. (Seen in the photos as the straight "rampy" sectgion between zero-g roll and Immelman inversions. This footbridge will connect to the station.


The footbridge will cross under the yet to be built keyhole inversion, the "death roll" and then over the tunnel to the church.


Still painting some supports, I will get much more speed once the coaster is properly supported and flexes and bends are reduced.


She flies gracefully! Really fun to watch so far!


That's hw o I roll.

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Looks good, but you need waaaayyyy more supports. When the train runs, it moves the track thus causing it to lose an unnecessary amount of speed. And from my experience, zero-g rolls on sitdown models are a no-no unless they're really big. One more thing, the efficiency on the wing train is not good, just like the dive train.


TBH, unless you pull a miracle, your layout isn't going to work, you need something less ambitious.

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Still painting some supports, I will get much more speed once the coaster is properly supported and flexes and bends are reduced.


I have to agree with you, Zach. The wing coaster train has an incredible amount of drag due to the extended surface area (much like the dive machine trains) I have tried to compensate for this by making the inversions smaller than normal. If I can get the coaster to make it to the Immelman, the rest of the layout is mostly downhill. I am optimistic I can get it to run, but I realize this project is very ambitious, and changes to the layout will be fairly common.


I have not put the supports in permanently until I am satisfied with the amount of speed I have at the bottom of the first drop. You can expect at least twice the supports shown in the photos between the first drop and zero g roll, they just need to be painted.


I agree that inversions kill the speed of the coaster, mostly due to the fact that the newer CD trains do not have guide wheels (like the old Scorpion trains) and have plastic upstop wheels which also reduces the speed. I will try to make the best of it, in the end I will have a model I did the best I could with, and will be pushing it to the absolute limit speed-wise until I get it right.

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I added the much needed supports tonight, some still need paint and details. It's running so much better. I have sketched up the layout so you can get an idea of the theming and logo concept.


You can expect video soon, once the next inversion is in place.


I know I have changed the layout many times before, but as of today, this is the order of elements:


140' Lift Hill

135'' Diving drop (inversion 1)

75' Zero-g roll (inversion 2)

Tunnel through the catacombs

65' Immelman over the cemetary (inversion 3)

30' Airtime hill over the catacombs and footbridge

40' Scythe turn (fan turn)

30' Airtime hill

Death roll through the reaching branches of the twisted willows (keyhole) (360 degree barrel roll, inversion 4)

Sloped magnetic brakes

180 degree turn

Transfer table

Return to decrepit church




State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Butler Hospital

Contraband report: 9-5-2013 23:17

Patient: Silva, Eli (49 y.o male, former building inspector)

Initial Diagnosis: Hallucinations,, night terrors, paranoia, low body temperature, irregular vitals

Treatment plan: under review

Contraband: Journal entry, elopement risk detected, security protocols increased, medication levels increased (Thorazine 5xDaily)



"An ominous presence is felt as I walk through this desolate swamp. The old footbridge is rotting away but seems steady enough to cross. The church is still standing for now, the demolition team is finding it difficult to cross the swamp. It looks like some punks turned over many of the headstones, kids these days... Still no sign of any survivors, and not one body can be found. It had been 2 days since the fire. Some teenagers thought it would be fun to party in this sacred shrine. The fire chief still has no known cause of what started a massive fire. The fire spread quickly , nobody had a chance. The stained glass windows which have adorned the once beautiful church are cracked and charred. As I near the end of the footbridge, I am overcome with a feeling of dread, something is telling me not to enter this place. I check my hardhat, flick on my headlamp and take a deep breath, fighting my paranoia and stepping into the darkness. "


"The smell is unbearable, the air feels still and cold. I could swear I heard cries below my feet in the basement below, but I'm convinced my mind is playing tricks on me. My headlamp dims and dies out. I just put batteries in the damned thing last night! The morning sun is peeking through the stained glass, but I am distracted by a distant red glow drawing closer to me. My curiosity gets the best of me and I do what I do best and decide I should investigate. The air becomes colder as I approach what seems to be a pair of crimson eyes staring dead ahead. A shadowy figure comes into view. A spectral hand reaches out to me. I am stunned with fear and cannot move. I watch as the skeletal hand slowly reaches my chest, passing right through my body as if it were not there. I can feel bony fingers around my racing heart. The last thing I can remember was a maniacal laugh, and then everything stopped, and the figure vanished. I blinked my eyes, and in a moment I found myself soaring skyward. In an instance I realized I have just been taken by the angel of death."


"The infamous outline of the grim reaper's tattered shroud flaps in the wind. Shadowy claws torment my soul as we fly over the hallowed grounds. The reaper is heading back for the church, I see my chance: My body lies below me on the floor. I shake myself free from the shadowy ghost and reach out to my corpse. In a flash of light, I can feel my body temperature warming, I can feel my heartbeat again. I run like hell over the bridge, the frustrated scream of the reaper booms behind me. I rushed home to my wife. She doesn't believe me. An ambulance pulls into the driveway and a police officer is knocking on my door. A week later, I remain in this hospital. I don't know when or if they will let me out, but I know the reaper will find me when my time comes. I am safe here for now, but when I get out of here I am going into that basement and finding the source of that noise. I know what I saw, I know what I heard and felt. I'm not crazy, and I'm going to find out what happened that night one way or another."


75% of the supports are in place for the trackwork done so far.


This should give you an idea of the layout, and thematric elements.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello, I finally received some parts and props and as of December 1st the project continues to roll along! I am improvising with the layout a bit as large inversions at the beginning of the ride were slowing the train too much. As of now, the coaster will leave the station and ascend the lift directly ahead. An inverted "Gatekeeper" style drop leads down to the cemetery with a camelback arching over the future marquee of the ride. From here, I plan to do a new element called a "scythe roll", a type of Immelman that will curve downward and lead to the second half of the ride. I am hoping to maintain enough kinetic energy to complete a barrel roll before the coaster hits the brakes. Now that I have some more track to work with, I will begin tweaking with the track layout again.


I mocked up some of the props that have arrived this weekend, just to give you an idea of the theme and where the entrance will be. These elements will be further customized before the plywood is covered with plaster and landscaped with at least one tunnel, hills, trenches, etc. Skeletons will hang from the trees at the ride's marquee. A decrepit church will house the station. Enjoy the pics!


No one escapes the Reaper!


The right two-thirds of the layout.


Camelback/airtime hill over future marquee. There will be a creek here under the bridge, crows in the trees, and a mini fogger!


I am personally a big fan of Gatekeeper, Reaper pays homage to its big brother Gatekeeper, and could be considered a "sister coaster" to Kings Island's Banshee


Airtime over the cemetery, negative g's so intense your soul will leave your body!


Chopper effects through the trees, I can't wait to landscape the table.


Overhead shot of the yet-to-be-themed train


The marquee will go over the front of this footbridge, with guests looking up at screaming riders as they enter, just like the real thing. Thanks for reading, more to come soon!

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The theming is totally awesome just sayin'.


I really hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I still think the layout is too ambitious for a sitdown train. If I'm lucky I might be able to get 1 or 2 big elements/inversions in right after the lift, so I'm not sure how well the heartline is going to work. But, it very well could work so I say go ahead and try it, but if it doesn't just try and figure out a different way of doing things. Just don't rage and break anything, these models are expensive.

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