From the age of ten, when my father intended to make a rail road layout in the cellar of our parental home in Rotterdam (Holland), I got fascinated by the idea of creating miniature rail road layouts. At first I tried to make model train layouts, with many side tracks, stations, platforms, houses, streets, lighting, as well as combine it with rivers, mountains, trees, fields, retaining walls, tunnels, bridges, rural and country scenery.
It was realy too much, and overcrowded to get into a tiny space and still look realistic. I tried it at various stages, but I never got one layout finished. The layouts were all in HO, a very popular size, giving the right size of detail, but taking up a lot of space, that is, if you want to do all I wanted to do. I think because of trying to do to much into too small a space, in the end I gave up.
I tried my hand at marine oil painting, and became reasonably successful in it. In fact I managed to sell 5 paintings. A lot of them I gave away to friends and family members, as I could not hang them all on the walls in my own house. I made to many of them. Never though, did I loose the urge of creating a rail road layout, with the accent on creating a realistic scenery.
Instead, I started painting marine paintings, and tried to do it in a no realistic style, maintaining that if you paint realistic, you just as well can make a good photograph. I did my best not to paint to detail, but never succeeded, as once starting a painting I felt it unfinished if it was not realistic, and before I knew what I was doing the painting almost always landed up presenting real life, defeating the purpose.
Meanwhile I kept getting the regular monthly magazine of Continental Modeler, and later a book from Bernhard Stein, an excellent modeler of railway layouts, but he was using the heavy timber frame works to support his layouts, and heavy plaster in quantities.
It was not until I came across, an old book I purchased in a news stand, showing finished layouts in N scale, and almost simultaneously I got to know about woodland scenic's manufacturer in the USA, who use light weight hydro cal plaster, foam sheets, profile boards and risers. Also news paper wads and an extensive supply of landscaping materials, all lightweight materials, that I started to consider building a layout again.
Still I don't have much space in my present home. I had a good look on the internet and surged for N scale layouts. In the end I figured, I could do a nice light weight layout with a varied mountainous landscape scenery, with a lot of detail in N scale on one square meter, and still carry it around. The other beautiful thing was, that there was no dirty mess with the woodland scenic products, which was a pleasant surprise for my wife.
The result of all this, is the first layout of this web site.
I do think, that I need to improve here and there though, also on the photography.
Not having enough space, my wife doesn't allow me to use any of the 3 bedrooms we have, I can not do anything much more ambitious than 1 m2 or 2 m2 model rail layouts, and then in my own study.
I wanted to try my hand on another layout in N scale and again on only one square meter.
I am therefore wanted to sell my first layout, just to get compensated for the materials used. I never got to selling my first layout, instead I used all the materials of my first layout for my second model rail road diorama.
In 2013 I got very excited on a layout of modellbahn-traumanlage and used his basic layout, but improved on the scenery and town details. I also added an additional section with a lake, water fall and a bridge with the train running over this bridge. The beauty of that layout is, that the town section as well as the dual cariage part wtih castle can be removed to get at the rails underneath it. The trains disappear completely and take a little time to reappear giving a realistic feeling to the layout.
In 2014 I started another layout, which I called Forest Hill, where both a train, as well as a bus are running at the same time.
In december 2014 I started on another diorama, and concentrated on making realistic looking trees, rivers and rock faces. But as always I like to have at least some movement, and made a railroad with a bridge. I wanted to keep it small, especially for apartments with little space. I designed a layout measuring 100 x 40 x 40 cms high, which can stand on its own. To have a train running through the diorama, I made a removable board of 35 cms wide that fits smoothly into the back of the layout.
It can now comfortably be packed into a double lined carton box of 100 x 50 x 50 cms, which is very suitable for economic and safe transport.
In January 2016, I decided to make a model railroad with a winter scene in scale N (1:160), Same layout as above, but sprayed with white baking poder. This gives a perfect effect of snow when taking pictures outside. It only took me one hour to complete the whole scene. I was very pleased with the wintery snow scene. You can't keep it for very lonng, as the White baking powder turns yellowish after a few months.
In april 2016 I made a model frame rail road display unit of only 12 cms Deep, with one rail up and another down. It can be hung on the wall as a display of two trains, with a rocky background and a bridge. It is the first time a painted a background on a singel plywood sheet. On the top inside frame I attached a led light of 60 cms long, which gives a nice daylight effect when turned on. This model frame display unit can be hung on the wall like a painting, as it is only 12 cms deep.