~ In memory of my father ~

 

A tribute to my father (1929 ~ 2006)

 

 


 

Since I was a 5 year old kid,

I remember my dad having a separate room with a layout. 

As brothers we called it the TrainRoom.

 

Through the eyes of a kid,  it must have been a huge layout. 
Even though his trains and layout didn't measure up

to today's standards, they did have a tremendous impact on me.
 

Here's the house were trains began to live for me (ca. 1967).

 

The sound, the odour, the colours... 
Take for instance
the box of this Class 81 tank locomotive.

Aren't these the ingredients that make a lasting imprint on our memories?

 

Unfortunately their are no photo's made of this train room,

although my dad had a camera since I was born.

 

I do remember we had a wooden toy train.

This must be the first (and only) picture of me

driving my first train about 1970.

 

Here's me in the light sweater, between my brothers.

 

By the way... while growing up,  we argued about this train

whom of the six of us  would finally achieve it.

Well, I'm the lucky one...

 

 

After we moved to a larger house, my father spend many a summers holiday in the attic,  to make himself a large layout of 20 square meters in three layers.
There were about 120 meters of track. It took over 5 minutes before a train was back at the spot where it started.
Unfortunately only 5 pictures were taken around 1973 (with a piece of broken film before the lens).

 

In the years that I went to secondary  school and later on to university,

 I spend a lot of time in the attic, together with my twin brother, who was also fond of trains.
 

We literally dressed up the layout with houses,  trees, mountains, cattle, inhabitants and so on.

My brother did most of the painting,

created new mountains and let nature come alive.

 

It should be noted that we were scenery novices, who learned as we went.

I think, one of the most important things is to have a sharp eye for real nature and domestic development.

I'm grateful that my dad's layout was in effect a perfect playground for our trial and error.

 

The threefold picture at the right shows:

1. Another of the oldest pictures from 1973

2. The same spot in 1978 with my first attempt in making grass and 'housing' the village.

3. The 3rd picture shows my increasing interest for Germany's so-called 'Fachbau' houses.

 

In time, the budget bound houses from Pola were replaced by the finer work of Faller, Kibri and Vollmer.

Even if it is still one part of the layout, you can imagine the ongoing development throughout the years by comparing

the pictures below.

 

The small church (Pola) is now (1984) replaced by a larger and finer one (Kibri).

 

The houses in the background are removed.

In their stead came these fine facade houses drawing the atmosphere of the late 19th century (1987).

 

 

 

 

Here's another example of improving your skills in time.

 After I replaced my first railway station Zweinitz (Pola) by Vollmers Station Neuffen, here in it's original state (1982)...

 

... I gave it an upgrading two years later.  Even the platform is a little less crowded...

 


 

Now, while I was in charge of the urbanization of the lay-out,

my brother had a fine eye and handfor sculpting

a natural environment.

 

Both the site of the Falkenstein Castle

as well as this 10 feet high mountain with snow and trees

show his creative mind and skill.

 

The pictures below show some of his finest handcraft

at our dads layout.

 

 

Now we compare the first picture with what it became at the same spot after so many years:

 

 

 

And another comparison of change in 20 years on the south side (my side) of the attic:

 

Modelling in 1970...

 

...and in 1990

 

Even wall and roof became part of this romantic world. Look at the wall painting, my brother made.

The sky is all up to the ceiling, where we made lights at the northern and southern sky:

Orion and Ursus Maior.

 

 

The western wall was painted 18th February 1989

 

 

 

 


 

Well, so far this historical view of my dads layout.

Since the day I got married in 1991, my brother never lifted pen or pencil in the attic anymore.

He moved out a couple of years later, as all my other brothers did.

 

 

Since my mom passed away in 2004 and my dad died in January 2006, their house had to be sold.

More then 30 years of childhood and a grand layout had to be made history.

 

The next chapter will not cheer you up.

Never the less, they complete this tribute to my father who was a teacher to me in more than one way.

Please click here

to see the demolition and destruction of 20 years fine modelling...