The Blog about Diorama Clervaux


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A wall made of clay

, 21:48

I used seldf hardening clay to make the bark of the tree. I have a lot left and as i already had a package drying slowly away because the package was not closed airtight i prefer using this clay to build a wall programmed anyway. It is meant to put behind the houseson the edge of the parking. I rolled it out 1 cm thick between two pieces of wood and simply scribed the pattern in while workable. I did this a few times, not knowing exactly the curing point and slowly getting to this look. This are slate stones put one on top of the other without mortar

I will cut the wall lenthwise in two pieces to get roughly a meter of it.

Willow finished 95 %

, 09:12

Uff, i initially made a half joke when i told that i will need the whole stock of twigs to make one tree, but no, in the end i would be happy to have some more! After assembling and dissassembling twigs for the whole last week i am finally done. I probably took apart at least 50 % from the tree as i showed it a few days ago because i was not satisfied with the look.


The tree is 50 cm high and is assembled from roughly 100 pieces (if i pass the Airport scanner with it i will be able to count the pin's)

The top has already been replace again and a few smaller twigs added here and there, a few more (no more then a half dozen) will be added after this weekend ( i may find a few more treasures during my sunday walk in the forrest)

Of course the bark on the lower trunk must be made also, that's what i will doing right now after typing this. Don't forget the paint!


, 21:14

The weeping willow makes good progress also, better then expected. I will really need the whole stock shown in the picture a few days ago to make one good tree! A few branches on this picture are not fixed , just to get an idea how it will look later


Between adding twigs and branches i am doing the bark with self hardening clay.

Cobblestone finished!

, 21:09

Uff, this was an tedious task again. Finally it took me a relatively fast three weeks to get it done


Now i am going to paint the stones of the park's wall before adding a "cover" to the wall. Otherwise it will be to hard to reach all the stones. Then i take off the houses to do the final work on them and before returning them to fix defintely i will have grouted the street.

Start of the weeping willow build

, 19:16

I am alternating build steps on the willow and the cobblestones as i am already counting 4000 of those and i slowly get tired of sanding little pieces of cork. Yesterday i hunted down a weeping willow in my neighborhood to recheck the structure of the bark and the branches, particulary how the twigs are emerging from the branches. We want to do it somewhat right, aren't we?


I started then by putting together the first branches. I drilled holes and inserted metal pins for better hold.


I build a small park

, 10:00

Playing again detective to get a clue how Clervaux could have looked around WW2, not forgetting that i do not have the space to o everything, i will do the following. The area i am about to build is situated right at the bottom of the middle in this picture


You notice the bridge (that's for next year) and a lot of green on the right side below a massive house.I don't want to do this house as it is to big to fit in my dio at this point. Here is the house again on the backside

( i will try to build this column, but notice the design, it will not be easy)

I will make a small park now out of this. Because my space is relatively small (only 25x 15 cm) i can not do such high walls with a fence, otherwise it would look like a prison court ! So i am doing only a low wall with half height pillar's bordering the entrances. I am copying the original design to make them..


Some more progress also on the cobblestones


I will plant a tree in the middle (either the weeping willow or a birch tree)


, 10:00

The recent storm Xynthia was very favorable to my root-hunt! You normally don't get the chance to look under beech-trees, so i discovered very nice and useful roots under a few victims of the storm.


Often people tell me that i certainly need a lot of place to build a dio like this, well, seeing how much space i need just to make my selection of roots for the weeping willow, i have to agree


Some diversification

, 00:00

Ok, here is the update picture regarding cobblestone laying


I also started the build of a weeping willow.

I will choose among my collection of roots from a beech tree. Let's see where this will end! It will be placed in the marked area in front of the cobblestone street


Cobble, Cobble

, 00:00

Get used to it, for the next days and more the main progress will only be more centimeters covered with cobblestones.


before i close the door of the garage and forget to take a picture, here is one of the 1935 Alfa Romeo (Matchbox) i put in the garage. The excuse for still being there is, well, he has no tyres and is placed on some wooden blocks.

As i really like opening doors to give a more living feeling to the town and my structures i need to model a basic interior for the case someone would want to look inside. By the way, i am more and more unsatisfied with my phototaking.

Planning the street

, 00:00

The street going over three modules needs to be planned carefully. To get down to the level off the new module i need to place the Module 5 already now. A ramp will be the base to put the cobblestone street on.


A roundabout

, 00:00

So, after a few days of fideling around i have finally some visible progress to show. If you take a look at the picture, the road is coming from the left side of the Café and bifurcates in front of it, one side is passing in front of it and the other side is going on down the picture and will be the one leading to the bridge. In the right bottom part you can barely distinguish some pencil strokes delimiting a sort of parc i will put in here. To make the cobbleroad a bit more interesting i decided to mark the junction with cobbles layed in a circle for a part of it.


Way to go!

Slowly progressing

, 20:23

I do not have a picture for you this time, but i would like to ensure you that work is going on . I am adding finishing touches on all the houses i made years ago (like signs, weathering and so on) before putting them on the base. Difficult to put that in photos. So stay tuned for a more visual update soon

Cleaning up

, 11:31

With such a big project comes also a lot of organisation. Sometimes you also need to clean up the whole workroom as a lot off stuff accumulates during the construction phase. I also wanted to reorganize a bit my whole stock of plants.


This are only the small plants, leaves and moss. I have the same amount of bigger stuff like branches and twigs and roots.

Struggling with the modules

, 00:00

With such a big dio comes a lot of other occupations and problems. This whole weekend was reserved for cleaning up the workrooms. One of the reasons was ( apart the obvious that a lot of stuff and dirt is accumulating during the whole constriuction phase) is that i wanted to raise my former dio podest from the low 30 cm to a regular 70 cm height. Main reason was to protect my knee while working to adapt the modules. Another was the hope to get a more level surface to work on.

For this reason i bought height adjustable table legs. I also bought precut 25 mm MDF boards.


My hope for a better working surface quickly vanished after my first try to fit everything. The screws to adjust the height do not support the castle! The modules i build are already f.... up with my poor carpenter skills and slightly warped wood and also far from level because of the former overlength boards and a floor far from level itself. After a few hours during which i broke the stair and lost a lot of nerves i stopped to rethink everything. I probably need to work with compensation pieces all around after all like before. I'm frustrated! Except the new height i achieved nothing (ok, i spend a lot of money for the material)

Any carpenter out there?

Call it done!

, 00:00

I started mid december and i think i can call it done. I covered the dormers with lead foil, made some touch ups here and there and fixed the window guards




I may need some washes here and there, fix the advertising as soon as i have found out what's written on it and fix the electric thing. But that's it!

A lot of detailing

, 10:43

My whole work for Saturday was to do this one electric thing and the windowguards. I made also the advertising sign but holding it back until i know what is written on it.



, 20:42

I could barely distinguish a sign over the second entry door on the ref. pic.. I presume that the owner's name was written here once again. I used 3 mm photoetch lettering for that. After having attached two only 1 mm high feets on every letter i attached them with superglue on the facade, taking care of being in the middle of the door. What i could not influence anymore was the leveling of the letters. Right from the start of the housebuild i made a mistake when a part of the styro facade broke off and i glued it back. This operation was not exact enough and the facade makes a slight bump at this place. Now, the letters are following the bump also :-( Should have reworked immediately the whole facade!

Ok, seing from the front and distance it should be somewhat ok. I used a piece of balsa wood as a horizontal guide.


Here is a view of my workroom. Notice the big light on the left side. It is a Photolight i bought recently to make good overall views of the dio. I thought that it would be a pity just to use it a few times a year and brought it up to enlighten the dark evening hours
You notice also the ever diminishing workspace, whatever the space was when you started.

Getting closer

, 18:51

Weathering the side walls with a hint of green on the north side. Also weathering on the roof done.


Detailing the house

, 20:59

I started with the downgutter, build according to the original picture (see a few days ago)


You will notice also the start of the painting of the roof

I imagined the lettering on the side of the house to fill the big empty space. I printed the name out, cut out the letters and used it as stencil.


Tiling done!

, 00:00

It took my 4 weekdays to get the tiling done. I'm glad that i am finished now. For those still counting, there are approx. 4000 tiles on this roof. You will notice the two chimneys, simply made of Balsa wood and covered with Acrylic paste. They will ge a cover later.

Now the painting

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