R e n o v a t i o n  J o u r n a l



"S t i f t  C o c h e m"




12.0 ~ Introduction




On January 30th 2021, I wrote about the Town Expansion.

It is going to be a separate display, which can be connected to the mainframe of the Cochemer Bahn 



Since a Monastery and Cathedral will dominate the view of this extension, this chapter and the very location will be known as:


S t i f t  C o c h e m




12.1 ~ Basic construction



It started with plywood, January 2021



The concept is to create a monastery garden, with a steeply rising vineyard on both sides.

The harvest is in full swing and the first crop of grapes is brought into the city in a festive procession.



Because the extension has to connect to the Cochemer Bahn, a small valley is necessary to extend the already present moat.





Coming from the city gate - the Klingentorturm - one can either turn left to the vineyard opposite the monastery, or turn right up the hill.

On that road is the main entrance to the monastery complex, but one can also travel further through the fields and forests to villages and towns in the area.




12.2 ~ The Foundation


The foundation of the monastery complex is surrounded by a retaining wall.

For this I use profiled Faller wall plates, which I manually trim, decorate and give a different patina.



I also want to apply the terrace concept, visible on the entire Cochemer Bahn, to the expansion,

not only because otherwise this part will disappear from view behind the city's walls,

but also, to make the scale ratio with regard to the background poster more apparent.  








The ascending road runs right in front of the cathedral.





Outside the city gate the public road is not paved, but is still a dirt road (see below for further development).




12.3 ~ The Perimeter Wall

(28-31 July 28-31 & August 4-8)


Painting the walls - both the Vollmer Cemetery and the Faller profiled deko sheets - in basic sand tone.

After drying, a layer of lasur, dry white brush and a little vegetation is applied for weathering (and turning plastic into stone)




Because the Faller plates only have a one-sided profile, I make a stone structure myself on the back. 





Saturday, 31/7: dry white and some vegetation, and then all walls can be glued together.









In the farthest corner is a small gate that leads to the fields behind...



In addition to the main entrance on the east side, which directly leads to the entrance of the Cathedral,

there is another gate on the north side, which is mainly used to bring goods to and from the monastery.





In August, I continued. With about twelve wall sections with seams, I find a suitable interruption in place.

I make buttresses by hand, which I cut out from the profiled wall plates and adapt their shape to the wall profile.





Although I had my doubts for a while whether it would not become too much "wall" with a third one on top,

I also thought that there will soon be a lot of greenery in and around the square,

not to mention the fact that this module will largely disappear behind the city... 



In my fantasy I already see monks or other guests attending a symposium, taking a walk in the middle of here or taking a break for a while.

Perhaps I will place a few more benches and it will become a gravel path or avenue of trees. 





I was really looking forward to this:




As with the Klingentorturm, I opted for green-black doors, which show visible marks of the ravages of time.










Before I left for a short vacation into good ol' Germany, I wanted to have the stairs to the cemetery ready. 

Still didn't know how I'd make the wall turn at the right...






Enjoying the tower lighting in advance...



Après les jours saints...



The form of the perimeter wall takes its final shape.












12.4  ~  D e r  W e i n b e r g

(July 28-13, August 4-8, September 1-4)


With plywood 'the left-hand road is going up' into the mountain area...

The vineyard itself will be rather steep!














This edge at the left side is necessary to neatly close the module. Just too wide for a simple wall.

That's why I decided that the old city wall of Cochem used to run here. Vines will come up against it.

Maybe I'll place a (part of a) Faller wall at the front of the road. Or... just keep it simple.


In 2023 it will turmn out, that... well, you'll see for yoursel!








On 24/8, the Weinberg area had a basic colour, a sand path was made and the dirt road in front was applied (see below). 






On the first of September I focused on the vines in the vineyard itself. Starting with the poles...





On the advice of Markus Markwart I placed the posts at a distance of 3 cm.







Small shed for garden tools




Some weeks later...

While I was making linden trees - using sewing thread and green flakes - I suddenly thought: Why not make the vines just like that?
I had already made about 15 vines from copper wire. But each vine took me 5 minutes to spin. And that times 155, I would still be busy for months.

You could also see the copper through the brown ground color...





Instead of copper wire I now use sewing thread.

In a strand of four threads, slightly coiled, you get a natural, not too thick trunk.

Glued soil over it, and then I only have to cut them to size.

The linden tree method turns out to be a perfect solution for making the vines.

I glued them horizontally on the posts.


12.12.2021 (a night shot in the evening, therefor b&w)




I first did the right side. The vines are still 'very thin in their leaves'. When the glue is dry, I will add a new layer of leaves on top the next morning.






The next morning all vines got extra leaves. Now it's starting to look more like it. Then again, the wine trunks themselves have yet to be placed between the posts.







"When, oh when..."




The day after, December 15th, the path in the vineyard was improved with gravel.

I sort of had the feeling of almost being done.





Were it not, that in response to this very picture, Thomas Blencke commented 15/12 on Facebook:


"Das schaut richtig toll aus.

Ich finde aber das noch ein paar kleine Farbtupfer, wie Löwenzahn oder sowas in der Art fehlen.

Es wirkt noch zu melancholisch. Weißt Du was ich meine?"



But... I wasn't finished yet. I would provide the vineyard with all kinds of details for two days in a row (December, 16-17), such as weeds, shrubs and even a tree.

I also placed some 120 trunks between the posts on Thursday and Friday.












To top it all off... on December 15th the evening sky was so beautiful that I was able to take some nice silhouette photos.








12.5 ~ The Cemetery


Since a cemetery is included with the Vollmer Monastery, the left corner at the front of the monastery, seems to me to be a good location.

This spot was deliberately chosen to break up the view of a rather massive wall.  








Although I initially only thought of this metal fencing here, somehow it started to bother me. It lacks subtlety.





That is why I have filled the bottom of a wall, so that it now looks as if the handrails are bricked into the wall from above.
That's how development works...






Until today I had thought a small rocky outcrop here. However, the way it goes when you go looking in your stuff...



Last Knight standing...



Remnant of Faller's Alsfeld Rathaus (B-936), which I didn't use with the Drachenburg!

I think, some imitation is allowed...








When you store something... you'll find it back after (many) days!




Coincidentally matching to the millimetre




Just waiting for them to be 'in situ'...











It's going to be quite a puzzle: who, where, when?!

Although the oldest graves are at the left with a little fencing, I am still looking for some variety in (the position of) the graves...



On the Houten Expo, I found two nice Preiser statues,

of which I immediately knew that the Kneeling Statue (29035) would be at the centre of cemetery.

At least... at first!





The freshly dug grave came to mind when I thought of my recent visit to Stift Fischbeck.

A day before my arrival, a Kaputularin (one of the Stiftsdamen) was buried.







No cemetery without a weeping willow...







12.6 ~ Outside the Gate


After some six or seven months of working on only culture

- with stone, wood, glass, in other words: the buildings of Stift Cochem -

the day has finally come to focus on the nature around and within the Stift.
Starting with the strip behind the monastery wall.


But first I had to sieve new gravel...








The path at the back is particularly attractive, which actually originated from a miss.

It happened to me that the corner of the Styrofoam broke, triggering me to think what about it.

And as it goes... every setback has the opportunity to create something better.

I choose for a small path and a single door in the corner of the area.













After a week family around, some time was spent on the layout today.

For the first time in months, the module was placed on the layout for a first impression.














12.7 ~ Dirt Road and Vegetation




Yellow brown muddy clay is used for the paths through in the vineyard.






The next day I finished the dirt road at the right side...





The sound boxes for the church bell as well as environmental sounds are in the back with the intention to use the backdrop as a resonance screen.





On August 27, not only the monastery grounds, but all light blue Styrofoam parts got a new grey coating, including the front and rear edges.

The Path of Mindfulness and Meditation (in between de Monastery Grounds and the public road in front) was provided with a layer of gravel.




  Although this piece of Styrofoam in the front left was actually a fill in the slope over which the road goes,

I liked it enough to make an old city wall, connecting it to the opposite side.







12.8 ~ F i n i s h i n g  u p


Not before mid-October I continued with the vegetation around Stift Cochem.




Because I had just enough roof ridges and I thought the wall was pretty bare, it appealed to me enormously to provide the entire wall with them.






Since there are no street lamps outside the city gate, and I still want some peripheral lighting, the idea came to me - again! - to use stage lighting.

Seven pieces, hidden behind the wall, will soon illuminate both the cloister and the cathedral at the front.









Not until the Last Five Days of December 2021, the finishing touches were put to nature and with that the module was ready.

New trees were being made and old Preiserlein finally finished with paint and pigment.




Some time ago I bought a sachet with 8 sheep, hand painted by Geke van Petegem.

Originally Preiser sheep, she gave them a black snout and called them Walliser BlackNoseSheep

With some 20 Preiser sheep of my own, I figured that I could do the very same, which would make one big herd.

Even Geke's sheep got a thin layer of lasur.  








December 30th, 2021:


in exactly 11 months!



The start was on January 30th, 2021


The connection to the Cochemer Bahn is told in Chapter 16.




12.9 ~ I n t e r m i s s i o n




On August 25th, I decided to tackle the area at the bottom of the Klingentorturm as well.

Because the pavement of cobblestones around the tower has become damaged and quite crumbled,

I thought it would make sense to do this with sand, to connect with the dirt road outside the gate.

To complete the connection, I also tackled the vegetation directly behind the city wall.









12.10 ~ Gate Keeper's Lodge




Ever since I made Faller's Altstadt Mauer 130401, shown at the far left, it didn't appeal to me to position it right into the wall as Faller suggests.



Although I like the structure, I didn't want large 'gaps' in the wall with this item and the supplied tower as well.

In effect, both models (left the wall parts itself) are from an old kit, which Faller released as B-921 in 1965:



As I pondered where to put it, things fell into place on their own. 



With some adjustment of the foundation, it fits on and against the wall to the millimeter.



The buttress is taken from the construction set itself. I made a door on the other side.







Now foreseen with a lot of vegetation. I can't wait for the festive parade to pass underneath...





While I was working on the ivy, I noticed that the main street was still quite bare.



Although this morning I had turned away the Christ figure, which belongs to the Vollmer Monastery,

because of its size (with pedestal), it was added again this afternoon, this time without a pedestal.

The right place!








12.11 ~ The Monastery Grounds





For many months I was extremely reluctant and hesitant to flesh out the surrounding site of the monastery compound.
With or without hedges? And if so, where and how much?

Where exactly are the next paths? Do the paths get white gravel or not?

Which is closest to the wall? Grass or gravel?


I only get one chance to get it wrong!








Finally, on November 20, I started filling in the edges of both buildings with grass. This later turned out to be a misjudgement...

The further development of the site is described in Chapter 15.3




12.12 ~ W i r i n g



One whole day was spent on wiring!

Eight wires alone are needed to illuminate the church, another two for the spire, then three for the cloister, two spares.

In addition, both the sound module and the servo control require a separate connection, one AC analogue, the other DCC.












Two days later I worked on wiring at the Cochemer Bahn Layout. It took me another whole day.

First of all, I removed the two old transformers (Märklin 6631), because analogue locomotives haven't been on the layout for a long time.

Then I did wiring, soldering the ends, stringing wire, checking what can and cannot be removed.

Connecting 5 buttons for the Faller Sound module.
Nevertheless, a satisfying job indeed.


The two white transformers (Märklin 6647) for both the lighting of the Cochemer Bahn

as well as the lighting of the Module Stift Cochem are placed on the left side, where the blue ones once resided. 
















Frits Osterthun © 5.1.2022

Last update: 31.1.2023