In-Depth: Replicating ‘The Shining’s’ Overlook Maze Model

Adam Savage’s replica of The Overlook Maze model from The Shining is one of his more complex projects in recent memory, given the timetable required for the build and the sheer amount of focused work needed for it. Adam, Will, and Norm sit down to discuss the planning and execution of the replica, running through Adam’s research, in-progress photos, and documentation. Be sure to first watch the full video showing off the project!

Comments (31)

31 thoughts on “In-Depth: Replicating ‘The Shining’s’ Overlook Maze Model

  1. This project is amazing, i cant wait to see the evernote files. I am very much interested in building a smaller version of this, scaling will present its own challenges but I couldn’t possibly fit the current 1:50 scale in my house anywhere without replacing the dining room table. Simply amazing Adam, thanks for sharing this and congratulations on your inclusion in the exhibit!

  2. What an amazing project! Hopefully, when the Kubrick exhibition comes to Europe I will be able to see this beautiful object!

    Fortunately there are a lot of model railway scales to choose from, so there is always a steady supply of figures, etc. You could try H0 (half-zero) which is 1:87(originally intended to be half of 0 scale in the UK, where it is 1:43,5 and not the US standard of 1:48, 0 later became O scale, which is what Adam used for this). If you want to go smaller there is also N scale, which is aprox 1:140-1:160, depending on who you ask (train scales are a mess) or TT scale which is 1:120. And if you want to go truly microscopic you can try Z scale, 1:220.

    These scales are generally the most popular around, especially H0, which is the most popular one around the world, so detail stuff like the figures will be available.

  3. You should consider releasing all of the time lapse footage, if not to everyone maybe make it a premium thing, I would love to see it.

  4. It’d be fun to build a 1/3 scale version of this model out of 1/4″ material then turn that into some kind of wall hanging. Hell, at that scale, you could probably get it CNC routed out of thicker material and have the whole thing be one piece.

  5. Thanks for the advice, i had looked at the comparative scales available and thought that HO might be slightly more manageable as far as the final product sizing goes.

  6. Awesome build, I’m not going to build a maze but this has made me want to use a lot of model trees and foliage in a project I’m working on.

  7. Very cool model Adam! Did you know that the Stanley Hotel recently held an open design competition to design a hedge maze for the hotel, in honor of the movie? The constructed maze is set to open on 4/30/15!

  8. I recognize so much of this process from my own work, its fun to hear how Adam’s solutions and thought-processes differ from my own. 🙂

    The map with each piece numbered and laid out reminds me a lot of the diagrams I made when learning to make neon signs. :p

  9. How about laying something in the maze the shows the way through ? Gold wire ? Footprints in goat blood ?

    BTW- It is nice to see Adam with a project we can all watch where he can sinks his teeth into a complex build. Magnifico !!

  10. Nathaniel brings up a good point. Why doesn’t Mr Savage have his own CNC router? It would have expedited the planning and completion time. Unless…Its for the joy of Manual dexterity. I am a nerd and a CNC programmer, but also a Woodworker by trade so I understand His process. Just curious. Adam is one of the few people I can look up to in modern society.

  11. Great video! I’d love to hear more about the process uses to organize his projects. Does he use Evernote for all of this? How does he organize/annotate/store/etc. all of the research that goes into a build like this?

  12. I’m in the middle of a very tedious electronics project, I spent 5-6 hours (possibly 8 hours, I lost track of time) soldering the components together (and in many cases de-soldering then re-soldering the components when I made mistakes). It was a long, long day, but it worked perfectly when I was done. Unfortunately I’m only 1/3 finished, I need to do the whole thing again two more times. I keep putting this off because it’s so mind-numbing.

    Hearing Adam’s advice for keeping yourself motivated during these kinds of projects was really good for me to hear. I should try to work in some places in the build where I can plug everything in and test it to see it working, that should hopefully break things up enough to push me all the way to the end of the project!

  13. I think an Adam day has more hours in it then everyone else.

    It is either that or my “lets have a coffee/tea/beer” breaks are longer then his

  14. I’d love to know the origin/use of the turd sandwich version that is currently in the Kubrick exhibition. Was it just someone’s art project or did it ever have a role in production/pre-production?

  15. This is a really gorgeous piece Adam, I am so glad to have seen it. The in depth video is also has given me some great tips for sustaining my interests in large projects. It’s always a pleasure to hear you talk about the things you love.

  16. It’s fascinating how something simple looking can be so deviously complicated. I love seeing how you work out your plans for tackling a project and how you work through all the problems you encounter along the way. The mistakes and fixes you make are very compelling. It shows that everyone can run up against mistakes and do-overs, even master craftsmen.

  17. Such an amazing build. One of my favorite things about Adam is watching him get super excited about something then geeking out and obsessing to fulfill that itch. Yet another great piece from the Tested crew. Sidenote, now I want one of those lenses.

  18. So, if anyone does happen to go about making their own maze, I have a suggestion. Because I have neither the time nor ability, but I think this would be neat: Do the entire thing in hardwood and brass.

    Just, ya know, if ya wanna. And post pics. Pls. 😀

  19. Adam has just WAY too much time on his hands and I’m grateful for that. We need more of this work! Next, ‘The back-lot at Elstree Studios’ at 1:72nd scale please 😉

  20. Hi Norman,

    Adam mentioned that he would like to see if anyone else follows his design of the maze from The Shining. While I don’t have the chops to go to that degree, last fall I created a ‘Labyrinth MiniGolf’ maze, including some clever (at least I think so) use of combining old-school music box mechanism with programmed Lego Mindstorms to play ‘winner’ and ‘loser’ music.

    After spending sooo much time just building what I did, I can now so completely appreciate the hoops that Adam (and assistants) went through to build the ‘Kubrick Maze’!

    I would be very honored if Adam would check out my YouTube video of the minigolf maze and send back a comment! Here is the link:

    Thank you!

    Ron Detviler

  21. Really nice project. Awesome work!

    This might just be me but I would probably have put a acrylic plastic plate on top for extra protection as well as still keeping it nice and visible.

  22. Any idea when the evernote files will be released? I am a High School Teacher and I have a Theatre Arts class of Grade 12’s that have chosen to make our own version for display in the school. Pictures and video to follow!



  23. simply make a glass-top table, with the maze under the glass. Of course, ‘someone’ is likely to sprawl a table cloth over the glass..

    –Paul E Musselman

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