R e n o v a t i o n J o u r n a l 8
Quarter 1/ 2 0 2 1
2018: Prelude (Part 1) - Prelude (Part 2)
2019: Part 1 ~ Part 2
2020: Part 3 ~ Part 4 ~ Part 5 ~ Part 6 ~ Part 7
2021: Part 8 ~ Part 9 ~ Part 10 ~ Part 11 ~ Part 12 ~ Part 13 ~ Part 14 ~ Part 15
2022: Part 16 ~ Part 17 ~ Part 18 ~ Part 19 ~ Part 20
Chapter 39 ~ T h e B a c k d r o p
Nothing defines a model railway more than its background.
In the early days - when photography became a serious matter to me - I started to think about a backdrop.
A layout is one thing, a background is quite another.
Finding the right one suiting to one's layout is quite a challenge,
let alone the construction, height, width and distance to the layout.
2001 ~ My very first attempt of a backdrop was pure fake. I painted it digitally in the picture with my computer:
2002 ~ Being in Grindelwald (Swiss), I bought myself I bought a poster at the tourist office with an image of the mountain range with Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
I was told that this poster consisted of multiple parts, making some 20-foot wallpaper all together. I was rather excited about it.
Lateron, I found out that there was only one part in the box, no more than 4 ft wide. Nevertheless, I used it some years for photography...
Cochemer Burg "in Grindelwald"
2007 ~ Lidl had an offer, where you could decorate an entire wall with 8 photo sheets.
I glued it to the wall in my home at the time.
You learn from your mistakes: the poster could not be taken with you, and it was placed too high on the wall.
It did not provide the required depth and the proportions were lost...
With foresight I bought a second copy the next day, which I saved for the one day for years.
That specific day would be the last one of 2020!
Some weeks earlier, a friend and I started to make the frame, on which only the upper half of the poster would be glued.
This frame measures 90 x 366 cm.
I n t o t h e T r a i n R o o m !
And as a whole...
On February 20/2021, my friend and I raised the background 12.5 centimetres, because the vast villas on the poster will disappear behind the monastery complex anyway.
Furthermore, the layout has been moved forward and slightly to the side to create more workspace to the left side due to the construction of the monastery complex.
What a hand span can already make such a big difference.
I n t e r m i s s i o n
In February 2020, I was working on the 'laser cut' Jägerstand (Noch 14341).
A friend visited the Cochemer Bahn for the first time, and gave me (besides dear praise) two tips:
1. weathering the Jägerstand (too yellow)
2. add some sitting people in the waiting room near the station platform (covered in Chapter 43)
I immediately took the first advice to heart.
Since it was cardboard, I had to be careful with the thinned acrylic paint. I like this improvement.
Chapter 40 ~ A new Kit in Town
'Historisches Stadttor Klingenturm'
On December 23rd 2020, my friend Sander came to visit the Cochemer Bahn and brought several items from the shop with him.
One of them was this Faller model kit "Stadttor" (city tower, Faller 130400).
It's the next model kit after the Forsthaus (Busch)
and my first Faller kit (in a new design) since I finished Rathaus Allmannsdorf many years ago.
I have made a commitment to make this kit with the greatest of patience
and to stretch the construction time as long as possible for the greatest satisfaction.
New to me - after some 20 years since my last Faller kit - was the layout of this box.
Sheer delight... screaming to be painted, weathered and... put together.
A little confused at the very first step: cutting away some 1/4 of the tower length.
However, after comparing it with the original and the proportions it would have on my layout, I get it!
The good thing is, that these parts were great for trying out an attractive colour scheme.
Now, the original Klingentorturm at Rothenburg ob der Tauber has so many different stone colours...!
My first challenge is finding the right colour scheme. I have to compromise!
So, as a basic colour I choose a mix of ash grey, flat earth and a drop of orange brown.
In the second phase I wanted to implement primary aging.
Contrary to previous procedures - applying it diluted with water - this time I followed Heki's actual advice:
apply a thick layer of Lasurfarbe and then immediately wipe it off with a wet cloth.
The result has even taken me by surprise.
Now there's 1. basic sand-yellow colour, 2. wooden beams, and 3. Lasurfarbe.
The second challenge: the wood work.
This picture says it all!
I think that this interpretation comes close enough. Imagine the thrill, putting it all together!
The third but not that big challenge was the weathering with dry white brushing.
This time I wanted to be extremely cautious in applying too much white, unlike my Kibri walls and towers:
Although it is very likely that the right (Kibri) tower will have to make way for this new one from Faller,
in the whole picture, even whiter would look better due to uniformity.
But still, some variety is certainly allowed.
Rear and front side from the same mould. The change is most rewarding.
But for this moment the piece de la résistance... the stairs.
Even beyond my own expectation.
On 6 and 7 January I continued, step by little step...
Rear and front side
Adjusting the colour of the gutter...
While I mused about the interior lighting - the grey curtains ruin the overall picture - I decided for open windows,
therefor an interior as well. These beams will support the floor.
I'm not quite sure where Faller got the idea of putting a micro-cable bulb in the roof of the tower's passage.
In any case, I applied this very idea more than thirty years ago in the passage of my Kibri city gates (left picture).
Kibri passage (left) compared with the Faller passage
Saturday, January 9th 2021 ~ a whole day for the K l i n g e n t o r t u r m
Creating the interior took all afternoon.
Looking for various materials of interior decoration, like a door on the inside, two knights, creating the first-floor room, etc.
I also decided to give the room a lighter colour.
The coffee brown primer was in effect meant to prevent light from shining through.
The yellow paint is the same as used for the exterior. I kept some in a jar...
I couldn't keep the floor from curving, since I glued the planks on cardboard.
While looking for an appropriate door in my 'stock chest',
I found the sachet with Preiser knights (again).
I don't think there is a more appropriate place than in this medieval place.
Some Heki Lasurfarbe with some white brushing, and...
Two extra wall parts at the side would be preferable in this room, but I think I need them as backdrop in the next upper floor...
Today mostly working on the wall parts next to the tower and the interior of the first chamber, in the evening some wall parts.
In some way I can look at this piece of wall for hours.
It's growing bigger and heavier than I imagined...
A small challenge arose: how to join the Klingentor with the present wall of Cochemer Town.
But with a few cuts...
I will deal with the "flight of air-stairs" later...
Tuesday, January 12th
Similar to the Cochemer Burg and Town Hall, the slate roof tiles of the Klingentor will also be old orange.
But that's more a job for tomorrow...
The next day, 13.1.2021
Painting the roof tiles meant for the staircase.
I will weather the tower rooftop not before all roof ridges are positioned.
Since a gap was between these two parts and the banisters hung in the air, I placed a wooden beam in the opening.
Today I installed the roof mouldings and made a second floor for the next room.
Painting and cutting shelves out of balsa, for creating the next floor...
N o t i n c l u d e d !
What lies ahead, is a new alphabet!
Friday, 15.1.2021 ~ Woodwork
Today I did some finetuning with balsa.
Since this kit had no fitting part in this curious open spot, that's why I made a triangular panel for this area.
Working on the second floor with ma-hogany and a lot of ma-fantasy...
Since rain is falling through, I used wooden shelves to seal up this gap.
This tower is going to be huge...
Today I have not been able to glue any plastic part of the Faller set. It became all w o o d w o r k.
I chose to finish the panelling completely. After all, everyone is looking over my shoulders ...
One thing led to another. The lighting on the first floor had to be installed.
The lamp had to be mounted somewhere on the wall. I initially opted for two planks of wood.
But in the end, I panelled the entire wall, also to tidy up the wires in the niche.
I definitely didn't want a ceiling light, but neatly at the front, so that the door and knights would be beautifully lit.
After testing with only one bulb, it turned out how poor that was. So, it became two, one on each side.
In the meantime, I was preparing for the floor above.
Because I also leave the window open here - and just for fun - I create a room with interior.
I constantly have to take into account how and where I leave the cables of the lighting.
At the end of the day - and after a time-consuming search for a fitting door - I decided to make one myself.
This day started and ends with woodwork.
Again... N o t i n c l u d e d !
The next day...
Although Faller decided to not make an entrance door at the front, as the original prescribes,
I made an extra outside door on the side, so that my little people still can enter the tower in an orderly manner.
With a serious attack on my patience...
Finally, the top floor
To prevent sagging, such as on the bottom floor, sturdy beams are now installed.
The lighting for the second floor disappears completely into the floor.
On Thursday (21.1.21) I started painting the rooftop with amaranth red.
It took me more than three hours to cut 34 roof ridges, remove their casting remnants, and then glue them to the roof. Dyeing came later.
Then it was time to think about the transition from the Klingentorturm to the wall I made.
I connected the demolished staircase to the adjacent wall with Styrofoam and balsa wood.
The stone staircase will soon change into a decayed wooden staircase.
A new week to begin with the e l e c t r i c a l c o n n e c t i o n and f i n i s h i n g t h e r o o f t o p.
Monday, January 25th
The beautifully designed roof profile is now weathered.
Fixing the micro-cable bulbs
Tuesday, January 26th
A busy workplace, with a note sheet indicating which colour code to use.
The last two planks finish the floor and hide the wires.
Finally, the detail work on the roof is approaching...
Planks are placed on the slate roof to prevent packs of snow from splashing down ...
I mix green and brass to 'oxidize' the copper roof decorations
As you can see, I decided to not use both parts of the bell tower. Already at first glance I found this out of proportion.
What's more, I didn't like the fraction halfway the posts.
To seal these holes and to make the whole look a bit more traditional, I opted for a wooden deck.
One part omitted, yet another added.
Almost finished. First impression on the layout.
Thursday, January 28th 2021
Getting things started
Because the Klingentorturm is right on the edge of the layout and the ground here is not flat
- while I currently have no material to extend the clinker road under the gate -
I decided to use mahogany for a classic passage. Now it all forms a unity.
Let there be... light!
Today I also tried to get the tower 'light-tight'. It needed some adjustments.
Well, those stains and griminess require a thorough restoration... NOT!
Chapter 41 ~ Renovation of some Altstadt Houses
Since the Klingentorturm found its place on the Cochemer Bahn, the other houses
- now about forty years old - suddenly looked a bit thin.
I have planned to make some adjustments by means of paintwork and, in some cases, even improve the interior.
First there is the Arkaden Cafe (Kibri 8375)
For weathering, I had to remove all the mouldings first...
A bit strange, when you look at these structures again after some forty years.
You can clearly see the traces of time in it and the rather primitive way of sealing that I used at the time.
Here they are in their prime, some 40 years ago on my dad's layout in The Attic Empire
But now, from past to present!
A new window glass in the upper window section, and duct tape as a renewed seal.
Putting things together again...
Neighbouring at the Arkaden Cafe is the Patrizierhaus, former Kibri 8379
I did only a Lasur coating and a dry brush...
... and furthermore, some details like handles and hinges in gloss black.
Like it could be...
... and like it will be!
To be continued in Journal 9
Frits Osterthun © 112.2021