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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 €40. 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.

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)
The finished stable comes next after following the path. I put in there some rotten hay.

The gardens and the simulation of the railings from the real street


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.


The view alongside the Villa Prüm to the the new module.

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.

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.


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.


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

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


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


Here is the same procedure done on the lower and longer branches. Here I used moss collected a long time ago and already yellowed.

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


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.

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.

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

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.


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, 59 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

Monday, December 16 2013

At least no deep modeling hole

It 's very quiet around my modeling hobby, I admit it. Fortunately this is not because I fell in a deep motivation hole after the near conclusion of Dio Clervaux, but it has more to do with a simple lack of time.

As I am renovating an apartment for my son I have plenty to do and the head is not really free to think and plan for further modeling activities. Once that is finished and once the hobby rooms cleaned, I will restart with the missing part of the dio, the bit of street and hill becaming necessary because of that error I made with the last module.

I have also an invitation for a visit to a local slate museum, together with two railroad modellers, and this is certainly to get us interested into making a diorama for the museum.

Don't forget that I am still translating my book in french language and assembling the PDF's, french and spanish, will come next. That's a lot of time dedicated to the hobby after all.

Overall, 2014 looks like it will be another interesting year modeling wise!

Saturday, November 30 2013

Perhaps the future location of the Dio


In that room in the castle, big enough with a nice medieval atmosphere.

After the very interesting visit and talks I overheard, any moving to the museum is not for any time soon as there is lot to do beforehand. The good thing is that I am now reassured that the dio will find a home in the castle. What could I wish more?

Wednesday, November 27 2013

Museum talk

The museum talk took up some speed these past ten days. Finally, after all those years, the authorities of Clervaux had the chance to check out my dio. The mayor of the town was among them and he confirmed what has been said earlier, that they are very interested in making the dio part of the exhibitions in Clervaux.

I will also visit the castle this week to have a look at the chosen place.

I do not know anything about the concept and if there is a wish that I should continue the build with a module of the battle around the cemetery.

I must now be patient and don't presume that anything in this matter will happen over night.

And Robert, (organisator of SMC), if you read this, I reserved myself the right to delay the moving to the museum after your expo in October! (just in case things are going faster then expected)

Tuesday, November 26 2013

Luxembourg coolness meets Catalan enthousiasm

It was an honour for me to have the visit this week of Joan from Catalonia, He made a big effort and made thousands of kilometres on the European roads to come by and have a look at my dio. It was a very pleasant visit who offered also some great insides into the catalanian thinking.

We Luxembourgers are often known as being very calm and not likely to show overwhelming feelings. Meeting the latin and overwhelming enthusiasm of Joan was very special for us.

I always think about i started this project 8 years ago and seeing that people now travel so far to see my diorama is making me especially proud.
Due to the wide angle the picture is unfortunately a bit distorted

Slightly better

Thursday, November 14 2013

Dioramas everywhere

I want to share a couple of pictures from my recent trip to North Italy. I went to Lago Orta , Lago Como and Milano.

I had the chance to discover a few highlights during that trip who were especially appealing to my diorama maker heart. In Orta San Giulio's UNICEF world heritage classified "Sacro Monte", an assembly of over 20 chapels can be found and in each of them splendidly displayed dioramas, all made around the year 1600!

On Isola Bella, one of the Borromeo Islands of the Lago Magiore, you can find the only model of a town, more of a castle, of what is now one of the biggest italian cities. I unfortunately don't remember the city, but it's a major one. The model is a couple of hundred years old.

Scale modeling has a long history!

Here is another discovery, a reference perhaps for future models, see in Bellagio on the Como lake.

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