The Blog about Diorama Clervaux


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Adapting the modules

, 20:09

Before i start pouring the river, i wanted to do some adapting work on the modules. This will allow me to continue to work during drying times of the resin.

First a look how both parts will fit together and a hint on the look it will have

All i did for today was to adapt the cobblestone and walls and did some further brainstorming on the layout here. I want to replicate a bit the original but as i have not enough space i must improvise a lot. I can continue the work later, better seated at my usual workplave

No,now the bridge is done

, 20:58

An attentive user from Armorama brought my attention to the fact that i forgot the stonework forming the arch , needed for secure static. Pardon my english here, i don't have an architect englsh dictionnary near by.

So i needed to remake it. Fortunately this went faster then expected and i hope that the bridge will now hold a 1000 years.

and now

People are always interested in seeing others workrooms (see the multitude of posts on the forums). Here was my setup this morning to get a good access to the bridge.


I named the picture "Chaos" " It is clear why . Notice in the foreground some other work like my resin testing setupo (only one of it) and the start to make a birchtree.

This done and my resn testing also nearly finished the next steps will probably center around the river. Finally!

Bridge is done!

, 21:55

Except the towers of course :-)

But with the painting of the stones, the finalizing of most of the cobblestone (the later hard to reach part) , the build of the side entrance, this took quiet a while
Painting of the cobblestones will be done once the connections to the other road parts is made. It's difficult already to get those matching colorwise, i do not want to split it even further
A view under the bridge. No water in there, not yet


Redoing the bridge stonework

, 21:36

The reference picture with the tower clearly shows the stone pattern of the bridge.

As often i choose initially the easy path, and used my trusted mould from the castle stonework to make this ones to. Now, after the start of the detail painting of the stones, i realized that i probably will never be satisfied about it and it would be best to redo it now, while it is still time. Here is how it looked like

With the Dremel i sanded away all raised stones and redid everything with the classic method of air drying clay and scribbing the stonework by hand, one by one. Don't forget at this point that my bridge is 50 cm long and 18 wide, something most modellers consider being two big dioramas already, so there are plenty of stones to scrib. Here is a progress picture
I did not regret redoing it, It will certainly look more like the original now.

The real thing!

, 21:13

Today, on a very pleasant sunny day, i went up to Clervaux (a one hour drive for me) to take some reference pictures from the river Klierf, but also, to have a nice walk with my wife in the Clervaux area.

So for a change let me show you some touristic pictures, but also some usable as reference for anybody. I tested also my new camera , a Sony A33. .

First , the castle!

and some prominent exhibition items (remember the Sherman? It's the one i modelled)

Starting the path out of Clervaux gives a few nice views


Two nice examples of colored slate

Slate is everywhere, even growing out ouf the forest
Reference pictures everywhere!
Real thick moss


But now for the real target of this expeditions, getting reference pictures of the Clervaux river. It is obviously more a green/yellow color, very translucide, even in parts of nearly a meter deep. Mostly it had about 10-30 cm depth, a max of 1 cm in 1/35. It is also really running pretty fast everywhere. Here are is a selection of the pictures i made


this was a very nice day, beautiful weather, a great 4 hour walk in a greal location and even very productive modeling wise

Planting the left bank

, 19:07

This part alone has nearly 2 feet! I have a clear picture in mind and like to replicate that. A lot of plants are fitting in this area. I am using a lot of natural stuff to go in there, with the occasional grass and moss netting to support me.

Managed to do a tree from roots on Saturday, impossible to fotograph on it's own, notice it on the left side of the table
This is the table with the modul

A lot of mess to get this result

The tree and other hgher stuff is still missing

Remodeling a part

, 21:00

I was never really satisfied about the bed of the small stream who is going to run into the "Klierf" (that's the name of the river, means Clervaux). Finally, after i had already painted to whole stuff i decided to redo it. Better do it now and not be unsatisfied forever with it. Here is it before
and here it is now, already painted again

I deepened it and filled the stream bed with big stones. I think it's really better now.


, 11:55

I mixed two kind of sand with glue and water and applied this mixture on the riverbed. As i am not sure yet how translucid my river will be so i covered it also with slate stones.

Bridge stonework

, 19:23

Because of the rounded support for the towers, i need to use the glue technique to master the stonework. I used this already for the witch chapel tower and consist of using straight carpenters glue to make copies out of my stonework mould. The sheet of stonework can be appled to every rounded surface with a hairdryer, a bit of heat softens the sheet again and it lays itself nicely around every surface
The bridge is covered completely with stonework and later covered with a filler. This one takes care of the smooth texture of the glue ( to smooth to do a convincing stone painting) and the thousands of air holes.

Starting Modul 6 for real

, 10:17

Finally, after two months i am ready to go into modeling modus again.

For details about the features to be build for this part, please check the entry from december, where i posted some reference pictures.

Just before the break i made already most of the preparation work, means landscape and the bridge out of styrodur.

Plaster was added on top of the Styro and the whole rock was modeled after some reference photos taken in the northern part of Luxembourg, slate country, the same as around Clervaux,

After a few changes i was happy about the rocky look.

The lower part is bordering the river, that's why i modeled this slight overhang. The rock will end in a short part of grassland before the bridge separates all this.

The bridge itself is made from Styro also. Stairs on the side had been added
and a long wall, who is going to make the border between the river and the house gadens is made from self hardening clay

Ok then

, 19:21

A for every house renovation exact timing is difficult. I am only now done and already started cleaning up. So i am hopefull to have my workroom ready for restart after this weekend.

This is by far the longest pause i made during the last 6 years and i hope that i can get quickly back in my modeling mood again.

My detail work corner is still white from dust from tile cutting. I will need to clean up each one of the hundreds of color pots and bottles and every tiny bit of stuff lying on my modeling desk! Aargh! Stay tuned!

Starting soon

, 19:38

One more week to go to finish the house renovation, clean up all the mess and i will be able to restart on my module next week or so.

Quick note

, 10:49

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note that i really started this module but am a bit slow and even unable to update the Blog because of 1:1 scale house work. I hope to resume with regular updates soon.

My main task for now is finding the right color scheme to tint my Envirotex for the river.

Have a nice modeling year everyone!

Gaining traction

, 16:54

I have no idea if i ever will be able to do this battle scene. It would mean a further extension of the already 3.2 meter long dio. Is this something i want? Is it something the Clervaux council would like to display , in the hypotetical situation that they give sign of life at all?

So i decide to simply continue the build of the village, using more space as originally planned and for the moment simply not thinking ahead to the next extension. This module and the next will certainly occupy me for 3-4 years and more (more on that later), and after that timeframe i probably know more about the future of the dio.

Perhaps, as someone also commented on my Blog, there will be a possibility to show two diorams, separated by a distance of 2-3 meters, allowing to display the whole scene without distance problems. But that, will carry me away 10 more years!

What am i going to build then for now? Here is a rough sketch (1,4x0.7 m). Yes , i am working so messy and i like that! :-)

Right in the middle of it is the "park island " with the willow. On the right side i will do 3-4 houses, probably one in half to allow inside views. Complicated houses like a pharmacy and a bike shop for example. The bridge (spanning over the 2,2 meter river) is about 50 cm long by itself (i underestimated that one badly in my initial thoughts) Bottom left side

Notice the little towers on the bridge, well , here is one in detail

I need to make two of them! That would be the menu for module 6.

Module 7 (only 0,8 x 0,7) will then feature this nice house, of which, for now i have only bad pictures (near the middle, on the right side of the river)

As a small proof that i stared really , here is the start of the modul

Window desaster

, 20:39

Recently my son discovered a major disaster about to happen to some of the windows of the castle. Just take a look

win1.jpg Remember, i made the glass with clear evergreen plastic sheet sandwiched betwee two identical windows, Resin copies from my original. The lead glass is a self made decal applied to the plastic sheet. I glued this together probably with superglue (it's over 4 years ago), not knowing it better then. Obviously, either the glue or perhaps uncured resin started to literaly "eat" away the plastic sheet! I must replace those windows. I did not want to redo it myself completely this time, because at this point i was not sure who was the culprit of the above mess.

I recently saw a product announcement for ready made lead glass from Marks Miniatures and inquired with the owner Mark for some more details about the product. It turned out that Mark was very cooperative and in the end send me a sheet of lead glass, made specially to my needs with the same pattern i used for my own decal. It is essentially a relatively thin and flexible plasticsheet, (not as sturdy as the Evergreen Clear sheet(, with the lead pattern imprinted.

I sandwiched the new glass between the windows again and voilà, here is the result, two new windows
Notice the windows on the background, there are three more to do. As the corosion is not yet so advanced and as the risk for damage on the castle and some furniture is a lot higher, i will not do those at this point and push this task out until the unevitable.

To finish , i can only recommend the service of Mark's Miniatures


, 03:14

This is not going to work like i originnaly planned. Even reaching the cemetery (where the real action happened) who is at the same level as the Courtyard of the castle and completely leaving out the road with the column of german armour (saving me certainly a year of work) is a nightmare. It is still to steep. I am about to try to reach the same height as the castle, but with half the space! I can lower the level of course, but that means that the action is visually even nearer to the village then previously planned. All civilian action in the village is not plausible any more.

Do i go ahead and see what the result will be?

I can replan everything and completely leave out the action on the opposite hill of the castle and basically keep it a architectural diorama. I can build the river, the bridge with nice columns, three houses are planned anyway, i can ad one or two on the other side of the river. There is one gorgeous house in Clervaux, called the "Villa Prüm", it is really situated near the area i model. I could try to build that one.


You recognize the building easily on the right side of the river.

I can stop here and do something else!

I still don't have any contact to the autorities in Clervaux. The could give me a hint what they prefer, in case they would be interested.

This is the preparation work for the next few years, so i better take my time.

Timid restart

, 21:36


After two and half months of building rest due to the expositions and some housework, i restarted yesterday on the build with a brainstorming session. You remember that i want to build the complete hill opposite the castle (please see the overview picture in my new Sherman article, accesible from the Homepage) The hill dominates the village and i would like to replicate that view. So what are the heights i need to build my dio? That was the brainstorming session for.

Carrying over the topographic heights of the real Clervaux to my dio would result in an overall diorama height of approx. 2,60 meters! Wow! Remember that i wanted to show action at this height! It is pretty obvious that i can't do that. I would need to put the visitors on a ladder to see what is happening there. On the oher side of the diorama the people would need to crouch down to see inside my castle's cellars! Also i would get a huge black wall at the backend of the dio. No way i can do that.

Back to the drawing board!

Season over!

, 19:31

The exposition season is over! I spend a very successful and pleasant exposition weekend in Veldhoven near Eindhoven at the 4th Scale Model Challenge. The host Robert and his team made everything possible to make us feel welcome and make this event a success.

During this two days myself and my wife had the great pleasure to get to know Chris Clayton and his wife Helen, both very charming and friendly people. It was a pleasure talking to you! Those who don't know Chris Clayton, he whon Best of Show in Euromilitaire this year and also opened recently a new website to sell his figures

During the next weeks the modules of the diorama will still be accessible very easyily , so i will use this time to make some repairs on the castle. Nobody noticed it except my son, fortunately. The windows from the open part of the castle, made out of clear evergreen sheet with a decal simulating lead glass, is starting to literally melt from the outsides. Probably the long time effect of the superglue i attached them with. I did not know better 5 years ago.

After inquiry with him and a very pleasant mail exchange, Mark from Mark Miniatures arranged to get one of his standard stained glass sheets adapted to my special needs. I will use this product to refurbish my windows. Please visit him at

I will keep you updated!

Calming down

, 18:39

Ok, you noticed that i did not update the building Blog. Well, for the moment i do not build!

I passed with great success the first two expositions and am right now preparing "Scale Model Challenge". Inbetween i am fixing some stuff and resting a bit from the building stress of the last months.

The Blog will pause a bit for sure as i am not yet ready to restart the next building phase. Some homework has to be done in 1:1 first and a lot of forward planning must be done again for the next modules of the dio. As i am planning to incorporate a two meter resin river, a complete forest of a square meter in scale, a cemetery, a lot of road (without cobblestones) and last but certainly not least a dozen vehicles and lots of soldiers, a lot of thoughts must be spend to the feasability of all this.

I managed tu update the Gallery section of the website, so for anyone looking for the latest pictures and the result of the building Blog, please have a look over there.

See you in Veldhoven on the Scale Model Challenge expo !


, 19:31

Three days of intensive building behind me, just declared it finished and coming upstairs with my Jeep to ad just one little last thing and Bam!, down to the floor and into 20 pieces!!!!

Sh.t! This sucks.

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