The Blog about Diorama Clervaux

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Friday, October 17 2014

Next project, from squaremeters to micrometers

While for the last project I had to take into account the wide of the door and rent a van to transport it, the next project requiered as one of the first steps to converse millimeters to mikrometers ( µm ) ! The size of raindrops is best calculated in that size. Yep, I will give a rain dio a try and see how far I can go with the realism.

As raindrops are as small as 100 µm, the first thing to do was to plan with a bigger scale. For now, I am thinking to make it 1:24.

I am awaiting a book about boxed diorama from Ray Anderson to educate myself as good as possible about that technique. Some experimental stuff is also on the way, more on that later. Ideas about the scene are finding their way into sketches, but the rain issue must first be resolved. No convincing rain, no need to start this diorama.

Monday, October 13 2014

Well back from SMC

After a three hour trip through pouring rain I made it safely back to Luxembourg, unloaded the truck and made another trip to drive the truck back to the renting station. It was midnight when I could finally sat down and close one of the last chapters of the Dio Clervaux story.

The show was great, simply said. Starting with the enthusiastic welcome, cheering even on the sight of the fully loaded truck, of the SMC crew who quickly unloaded the truck after having recovered.

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This time has two small transport damages. A part of the railing on the side of the house with the old men fell down, second time it deed that, the reason being more my initial soldering errors then transport vibrations. Remember, it was at that time my first soldering experience. (well, not a lot came after that) The glue keeping the fallen tree on the truck also stopped doing what it should and it slipped down on the hood, and took that one with it. I only saw that one after all was set up. With a very long 20 cm tweezers. I was able to push it back on top, just enough to be unnoticed by the visitor.

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Setting up for everyone else on the day of the show started really late, so that my usual routine of being there early to be able to see the expo myself did not bring a lot as there was hardly anything to see until after 9 p.m, except for the SMF Alley with the excellent display of the works of the club members. As other exhibitors also profit from the quiet time before the show, I was therefore already fully occupied on my stand when 10 a.m. came and the door opened for the public. It enjoyed that last hour very much. Meeting again and being greeted so cordially, sometimes after years of not seeing them, those acquaintances I made during the last decade in expositions all over Western Europe, yes, most where in Veldhoven, meeting new ones with colleagues I had only Email contact until now, was really great.

Compared to my attendance in 2010 a lot more visitors poured into the halls and this without the usual calm down around noon. It was only around 3 pm when it started to be quieter. I don't know about the last years, but I have the impression that the organizer can be satisfied with the visitor count.

Visits on my diorama stand where great, as usual I might say. Photos where taken by the thousands I suppose.

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My information display in Dutch language was really well used. Hopefully it will also help the city of Clervaux to get a few more Dutch tourists, if that is even possible after hearing from all sides the number of visits spend already in Luxembourg. I did not count the times I had to answer the question about the number of years spend on the dio or about my next project. I am happy that I can type this as my voice still does not work very well this morning. Unfortunately, the whole diorama is meanwhile so big and the viewer as to take so much in in a short time, that questions about specific parts of the dio are not asked a lot any more. Nonetheless I spend all day talking, to the "normal" visitors of the expo and to the dozens of modelling friends, some of them having made the trip from pretty far to see the complete diorama a first and probably last time. Thanks for that guys, it was an honour for me to guide you around the property. Sales of my book went really well also, so I had an overall superb expositions and I hope that the organizer was satisfied with my coming too.

So, what will I doing next? LOL Well, I started drawing some sketches for a shadow box. I want to give a rain diorama a new try. Something special needs to come out after Dio Clervaux, isn't it?

Who knows, next year I might come to Veldhoven like every other modeller, with my private car and the model loaded in the trunk!

Thanks to Robert, the whole SMC Crew and all the visitors for this excellent day.

Saturday, October 11 2014

SMC I am coming!

Here, nearly live, photo taken at 10 a.m this morning, the truck is loaded
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I counted the parts twice, 8, plus a box for the roof of the castle tower and the willow tree, I am good to go. A quick lunch now and around high noon you will see Dio Clervaux on Tour! LOL

Thursday, October 9 2014

Ready for SMC

Well, I am ready and I can't await to get on the truck. Robert is making so much advertisement for my coming that I am a bit overwhelmed, honoured of course also. Had someone told me that when I started scale modelbuilding ....

The coat of Envirotex over the river worked wonders. As I also first sanded down some of the less attracrtive traces in the resin, who happened probably due to badly mixed components, the whole river looks now as shiny as after the first day. Dust was a lot less then feared. At last I did not notice it. Hopefully the diorama is not getting more and more grey without me noticing it. Well, after SMC I will tightly pack it until the museum calls.

This evening I will check wat I will bring else. Questions about the materials I used for the dio are more easily answered with the material at hand. So a sample of my wave work, some moss or other stuff to explain the tree work will be packed for sure also. Perhaps all that is not for the specialists among you, but the normal visitors always appreciate a visual help.

There is a lot of rain over Luxembourg for now. More announced for tomorrow. Hopefully I get an hour of dry weather in the evening for loading the truck.

See you around 3 pm in Veldhoven on Saturday, where I was told a reporter will wait to see me unload my little scale model. LOL

Sunday, September 21 2014

A couple more pictures from Modul 8

That's nearly the whole Module 8, on this picture you see about 100 x 20 cm



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The tree stump, cut out of a piece of Balsa wood.

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The part I modelled after a well known area in Luxembourg called the Mullerthal. Not exactly near Clervaux, but a lot more interesting then a straight slope .

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7 firs, from 3 to 9 cm high, to fill a small space near the rocks

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the gardens, empty because of winter and war time.
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Tuesday, September 16 2014

Preparing for SMC

Having nearly completed the last modul, I can start preparing for the upcoming expo in Veldhoven on Oct.12

The last part still needs to get a nice wood panel on the side to hide a) the bare module frame and b) some of my height adaptions, bare earth or styrodur to cover some missing centimeters. The river got already cleaned up yesterday evening. I had to get rid of dust, missing shine and ugly traces in the resin, like oil traces. Therefore I first cleaned it all up with isopropanol and a clean rag before sanding those oil smears away. I suspect that those traces came from resin I did not stir enough. I brushed a coat of brand new Envirotex over the whole 2.2 meter river in the hope of getting back my orifginal view of the river. As it is that part of the dio who is really new at the SMC, I want it to be as good as possible. If successful I will wrap the dio under plastic until the museum in Clervaux calls for it.

After that, I need to check, again, for the lighting I made for the Gillen house. Still a provisorium as I have no idea where to fix the box with the battery. For this one expo I will leave it like that and wait for the museum people to choose how the will lit the dio. Maybe they will change all, who knows.

The rest of the dio will be checked only days before the expo when I will take it out of the storage room to the garage. A bit of dusting or other fine repair work may be necessary, but certainly not a lot.

I bought already some more black cloth to cover my display table. I now need some 15 meters of it to get around the dio proparly!

I promised Robert to bring my display panel I specially made for the big train expo in Utrecht. I figured at that time that for the awaited 25000 visitors it was impossible for me o explain my dio with some leaflets. I made therefore six A1 size information posters in netherland language informing a bit about history and a bit of "How to" I see a slight problem here as it was intended to a not so specialized public and the informations provided may not fullfill the expectations of the visitors of the SMC. But here again, should forgive me to not invest in other posters for this one last expo as A1 colour posters do not come cheap.

Then there is my book, of course.

I will, as I do on every expo, offer a special discount! You will have the opportunity to buy my second book, the new one, for €25 . There will also be a combo offer. Together with the first book, the package will cost you only €35. So you should not spend all your money before coming to my stand!

I will have german and french PDF's with me. The french ones still needs to be burned on CD. I still sold not one single book with the french CD, so I hope that will change.

So you see, even if I am finished, there is plenty to do before Oct.12. Big diorama, big logistics!

Modul 8 done

This module is now finally done. The work left was mainly vegetation and road work. I also adapted the height to the neighbouring Prüm module. Do do that, I crammed Modules 6,7 and 8 together I my working room in such a way that it is now impossible to correctly make pictures of all the sides. For now at least. Let's start with this picture. I did not have access to that side of the river and just placed the tripod there before making the picture half blind. The background is so multicolres that I had to roughly cut it out for you do even recognize the dio.
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a tree stumb, put in there not only to fill the space but also to give a reason to the roots I made on the lower module (not knowing at that time that I would need to make this one)
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The finished stable comes next after following the path. I put in there some rotten hay.
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The gardens and the simulation of the railings from the real street

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A view who will certainly get a lot of attention on the expo. For transport reasons I I will leave the fir removable, thus beeing unable to fully detail the lower trunk as I need one place to grab it. I added a park bench her e, recognizable on an pld picture at this very same spot) and added a railing along the Prüm gardens. It is a railroad reference and while it has a god enough height, it is so ultrathin that I can not touch it any more and being so close to tree is probably not a good idea because of the risk.

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The view alongside the Villa Prüm to the the new module.
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The diorama has now reached it's final size of 300 x 220 cm, or 6,6 square meters!

There is some vegetation left to add but that should be done in an hour or so.

Am I satisfied with this? I don't know, with the tree certainly, the rest was the best I could imagine to put in here, so probably I am satisfied. The view over the river profits from this added background and better river pictures would be possible now.

Saturday, August 23 2014

Modul 8 progressing finally

After the work on the evergreen I was finally able to follow up on the completion of the rest of Modul 8. As this Modul was forced on me, you remember that I had to widen the Villa Prüm Modul at the last moment, forcing me to this unexpected and unplanned Add-on, I never really had a complete plan and layout for it. I am basically improvising the whole thing while I am building. Only the prolongation of the road from the bridge was set. A small road parting to the left right after the bridge, a part of Clervaux called "op der Hoh", was right here and I wanted obviously to show part of it. The first thing I logically build was a stretch of some cobbled street to continue the main road and use also make the ditch of the old village road with cork pieces.
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Ideas to fill the rest with came slowly and for now I am set with the following. Two gardens beside the village road, bordered with plaster pieces simulating slate. Those gardens are historically probably not to far from the reality. A bit higher, just before the rocky part, I set a shelter (for the cows or sheep), fallen into ruins. Pictures of the houses on this part of Clervaux around the year 1920 are showing very old houses, ruin's nearly, and I pretty safe to make the animal shelter likewise.

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The rest will be filled with grass and small trees, more a hedge. The evergreen will be placed nearer to the Villa Prüm to fill the empty space in the foreground.

Tuesday, August 12 2014

Cones added to the tree

I added 200-300 cones to the tree. Cones were made with Super Sculpey (tan coloured) and backed at around 170 °C until reddish.
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I still need to replace some of the branches points, because they broke already or are completely unsatisfying, I will also replace some of the fern. On the lower branches I started with another moss, less fine, and now I do not like it any more at all. As a consequence, I will take some down and replace with finer moss.

Tuesday, July 29 2014

Building a 30cm high (1foot) Evergreen tree

I always wanted to build a high Evergreen tree, a
s high as they are normally as adults, some 10 meter high, around35 cm (or 1 foot) in 1/35 scale. As I do mostly I wanted to depart from the usual methods to do it, no synthetic stuff and also no Aspargus fern. Although the use of moss is not new, the way I choose to approach the use of it for the sake of a better detailing is not seen a lot, never until now I think. After a few months work on it, I understand why. What I used is this kind of moss
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It's freshly collected and still wet. It will thin out a lot more after drying. I did not use it with it's entire branches but cut instead all the individual side branches from the stem

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and reassemble branches for my tree with all the small bits of moss glued on one by one .

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Here is the same procedure done on the lower and longer branches. Here I used moss collected a long time ago and already yellowed.
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Once glued on the branch I airbrush the moss. That way, no further colouring is needed after assembling the tree

The tree having 30 cm and every step of the tree needs at least 5-6 branches, I estimate the whole tree having around 100 branches and probably around 5000 pieces of moss!

One of the problems I had was the presence, just meters away from my working space, from a tree in my garden. This made me permanently look for the best way to imitate the real thing

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The branches are natural too, coming from a few different plants with suiting branches. The advantage versus wire is the natural thinning out of most of them. On top of the often to smooth branch I sprinkled a very fine sand and pigment mix to imitate the bark.
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The tree is finished, with the exception of some touch ups with the branches and the replacement of missing or unsatisfying moss pieces, and the adding of a lot of 500 cones! I will cut some of the trunk when I decide on the final rest place of it, right hear near the new rock part or near the Villa Prüm to fill a big empty space. The headless figure is of course just to get the height relations.
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The tree will be part of the display in Veldhoven at the SMC, but I will probably not leave it on the dio for it's final rest place in the museum of the real castle of Clervaux. After Veldhoven I will try to make the Evergreen the center point of another diorama. The work invested warrants using it more then once.

Wednesday, May 7 2014

I am building again !

Nearly ten months after completion of Module 7 with the Villa Prüm, I am finally getting around to build again. In the meantime, as you probably know, my whole spare time was invested in my book, the various PDF offerings and last, but not least, some renovation work in 1:1 scale. The first thing on my menu is the build of that missing module part. Remember, the Villa Prüm got wider then expected and I was forced to widen the module accordingly by 20 cm. If I want to have a nicely square overall diorama, I now need to build the continuation of this along the whole river module, a piece of 140 x 20 cm. Here is the task
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The original layout here is a steep wooded hill and I wanted to recreate it somewhat. As it is along the border of the module, placing trees here would only bring transport and storage problems. So I decided to make it a stony hill, rendered a bit after one of Luxembourg's touristic highlights, the so called "Little Switzerland" of Mullerthal and his intriguing rock formations. It should not be to high as not to obstruct to much the side view on the farm house and the bike shop, but high enough to recognize it.

Until now I made the Styrofoam base and plastered it already. The small stream coming from the side does of course also need to be continued.


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This one will not take to much of my time as all is routinework now.

Thursday, April 17 2014

Pas d'intérêt pour le PDF, je me pose des questions

Cela fait trois semaines que la traduction française de mon livre en version PDF est disponible est je suis triste de constater qu'il n'y a jusqu'ici pas un soupcon d'intérêt pour cette combinaison, rien. Après avoir entendu tous les commentaires me demandant de publier le livre en langue française, sachant quand même très bien que ce PDF n'est qu'une solution de dépannage, ce silence absolu est quand même très décevant, il faut que je l'admette. Je ne m'attendais certes pas à une avalance de commandes, mais là ...

En ce qui concerne la version allemande, l'intérêt n'est guère mieux. Après l'expo de la semaine prochaine en allemagne, je serai mieux fixé.

En tous cas tous cela me réconforte dans le choix initiale de ne pas avoir invéstit dans des versions imprimées en langues autres que anglaise.

Je suis peut-être simplement trop impatient, qui sait, l'avenir me le dira.

Ajout au 28 juillet: Intérêt toujours 0 , grande déception, il faut que je l'avoue

Monday, March 24 2014

French PDF finished

Veuillez voir la page française de mon site pour plus d'informations!

Saturday, February 22 2014

German PDF finished

Please see Homepage and German page for informations

Tuesday, February 18 2014

Update PDF

Die deutsche PDF hat alle überholt und wird wohl in 14 Tagen fertig sein. Der Text ist übersetzt , verbessert und zu 80 % schon in der PDF anstelle des englischen Textes.

La version française prend malheureusement du retard. Elle est traduite, mais la correction n'avance pas vraiment bien. Patience!

Spanish version is going good also. Translation made very good progress, but needs a bit more time.

Meanwhile, between that work and house renovation I was not able to pursue any modeling project. The recent visit in Martelange in the slate quarry was very informative and as a consequence, together with a few ailroad modellers, we will put together a project to make a scence of the quarry from 100 years ago. We will start soon and I will probably be responsible for one or more buildings. What else?

Monday, January 6 2014

A word about the coming PDF files of the book

My actual plan is to make a french and german text version of the PDF to go free with the buy of the english book. By text version I mean that I will blurr (make hardly recognizable) most of the pictures. Status of the translations as of today: I finished translating the french version but I have some problems with the progress of the the grammar corrections. The first 12 text pages (from 60) are already put into the PDF also and I am now only awaiting the corrections to finish the french version.

Because of this wait I started the german version this weekend and as suspected, I am more at ease with that one, at least until know and before the text gets more technical. So in a short time I already did the first 6 pages and am progressing a lot faster.

The spanish version is moving very slow. The work involved to translate the text is heavier then anticipated by the translater, so all depends on him now. The Spanish version will be a full PDF! I will put a yet undefined price on it and will sell it on my website. Of course a spanish reader who bought or buys my book gets it for free as supplement.

Ein Wort zur deutschen PDf des Buches

Da ich momentan mit der französischen Version nicht vorankomme, habe ich letztes Wochenende mit der deutschen Fassung begonnen. Dabei habe ich festgestellt dass ich deutlich schneller voran komme als bei der französischen. Jedenfalls bis ich zu den Seiten komme in denen in meinem Sprachschatz nicht vorhandene technische Begriffe gebraucht werden. Bisher sind 6 Seiten übersetzt, von 60. Trotz gutem Fortschritt dauert es also trotzdem noch ein wenig. Dann muss ich schauen ob ich es nicht doch kurz verbessern lasse und nicht zuviel Luxemburger-Deutsch im Text ist.

Die deutsche PDF version wird ausschliesslich aus Text bestehen. Die Bilder die zu dem Text gehören werden unkenntlich gemacht werden. Diese PDF kann man dann gratis beim Kauf eines Buches dazubekommen!

Sollte dieses Modell einigermassen erfolgreich sein werde ich später eventuell auch das erste Buch noch übersetzen. Mal sehen!

Un mot sur la version PDF du livre

J'ai complètement traduit le texte. Il s'agit de 60 pages DIN A4 bien remplies. J'ai aussi inséré les douze premières pages dans le PDF. Ces douze pages ont déjà été corrigées. J'attends maintenant le reste de la correction pour terminer le PDF.

La version française PDF sera du texte seulement et sera offerte à l'achat du livre (qui lui est en anglais). Le PDF est une copie du livre, ce qui est logique puisqu'à la base du livre. Les images seront modifiés de telle sorte qu'elle ne seront pas reconnaissable.

Si cette façon de faire trouve un certain succès, je pourrai aussi traduire le premier livre.

Comments allowed again

Let's see if the Spam is not to bad.

Tuesday, December 17 2013

Today, 69 years ago

on Dec.18 1944 , German panzers set the roof of Château Clervaux on fire and forced the 100 men american force out of their shelter. Clervaux was in German hands again!

The damage done on the roof of the castle was devastating and was only repaired many years later
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