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Building a 30cm high (1foot) Evergreen tree

, 20:51

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.

I am building again !

, 19:23

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.

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

, 18:50

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

French PDF finished

, 18:31

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

German PDF finished

, 13:09

Please see Homepage and German page for informations

Update PDF

, 19:30

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?

A word about the coming PDF files of the book

, 18:19

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

, 16:21

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

, 16:20

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

, 11:34

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

Today, 69 years ago

, 22:54

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

At least no deep modeling hole

, 19:05

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!

Perhaps the future location of the Dio

, 19:31


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?

Museum talk

, 18:49

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)

Luxembourg coolness meets Catalan enthousiasm

, 19:03

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

Dioramas everywhere

, 18:15

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.

Accepted by Museum!

, 18:31

What I thought would never happen did two weeks ago. The telephone rang and a person from the military museum in Clervaux told me that they finally agreed to permanently display the diorama in the actual Castle of Clervaux!

That took a long time to decide! More on that during the years to come I presume.

OK, I'm late

, 18:29

You probably all saw that the book arrived and is already selling.

The last month was so busy that I did not even think of the Blog.

Book arrived on Oct 10. I dispatched immediately all preorders just in time before the post office closed, Oct.11 was already departure for the expo in Genk for the whole weekend. Oct 16 was departure for a two week holiday in Italy, return Oct. 30., 2 days later I packed again for Expo in Luxembourg. Right now I ma repairing the damage done by one irresponsible visitor who nearly destroyed the Harley driver. Then I am arranging somewhat my two latest river modules because I will display them this weekend in Walferdange at the train expo.

In between all that , extensive house renovation is going on.

Uff, what is it, November already? I did not notice that! :-)

Now I have to calm down and start anew.

Let's see what the next months will bring

See front page!

, 12:31

The book is coming on the second week of October!

Book update , it's going good

, 20:53

I am still on target to get the book out just in time for the expo in Genk on Oct.12.

I am also in the midst of translating the text to French so I will be able to have a digital version of the book in that language.

Lack of time makes this a more tedious task and I have only done the first 20 pages of 80 pages of text. This will not be out with the book but probably only in November or so. The German version will be next then. A Spanish version is already in the making also!!

I am reshuffling a bit my website to make space for the second book and change a few outdated things. Nothing spectacular here as I am working on the same little HTML knowledge as before,

Somewhere in between all this I must also start to look for typing errors in my book.

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