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Baarn, terminal

April 2016. The station of Baarn (also known as Baarn NCS) is completely finished. The building not only marks the end of the branch line to Baarn, but also the end of creating the buildings on Buitenlust. All have been completed now. And that is a milestone worth mentioning.

The station building was by far the most labour-intensive building of Buitenlust. Its basis was constructed from many pieces of laser cut MDF and plywood. Several meters of plastic profiles were added in the process. The roof consists of about 20 seats of tiles. The master model was 3D-printed and many resin copies were cast from it.

The building features a fully detailed interior, including the good shed. You can spot a different scene through each window. To name just a few: the restaurant, the waiting room, the living quarters on the first floor and the public bathrooms.

The Jugenstil canopy was a project in itself. The metal parts were composed from 0.3 mm brass etchings, which I designed myself. I was able to include almost all details of the real thing. The roof was made from 1.0 mm plywood, the stained glass is a homemade set of decals on transparent plastic.

The canopy was just an appetizer for the platform roof. Again I used 0.3 mm brass to shape the metal construction. The wooden roof is supported by numerous pieces of plastic profile. The supporting columns are brass profile soldered together; they fit tightly into the laser cut foundation blocks.

You can find countless details around the building. The bicycle stand with advertising is a detail I couldn’t resist adding. For decades they can be found all over the country. The model was made from 0.5 mm harsboard and is extremely fragile. It was made with laser cutting, of course.

In front of the station you can spot a few cars that were typical for the sixties in The Netherlands: a DAF Daffodil, a VW Beetle and a Mini Cooper. The models come from various sellers on eBay. The cars have been lightly weathered and fitted with Dutch licence plates from the era.

On the other side of the aisle lies this kitchen garden. I made it some time ago, but it could do with a few extra details. Now there is gardener in front of the shed, resting after a hours of picking weeds. Since there is still a lot of weed growing everywhere, he is far from finished.

The scare crow doesn’t seem to impress the crow. On the path behind the beans is the gardeners bicycle. It has a wooden crate at the front for today’s crops.

The path was made from laser cut MDF. The gardening tools are brass and look pretty much used, thanks to a special paint treatment. The bin for garden waste was created from the top cover of a wine bottle.

Next to the kitchen garden is this signal box. The interior had been missing for years, but that is fixed now. I completed the roof, added drain pipes and a chimney. Another piece of Buitenlust finished.

A quick flashback to the first photo I posted of Buitenlust. When I moved from H0 to 0 nine years ago, I never imaged I would get this far. At the time I didn’t have clue how I would model all those buildings. Once you get going, you always find a solution, I suppose.

All signals say GO (and STOP)

July 2016. One of the last big jobs on the list for Buitenlust is the construction of the semaphores. There will be ten all together: five standard signals, four shorter ones for the station of Soest and a complex double signal for the junction at Zanderij. Years ago I built Dutch signals in H0, but this time the signals needed to be much more detailed.

With a bit of luck you could find kits or ready-made signals in H0. Not in 0. Except for the arms - available from Philotrain - you'll have to create every bit yourself. But that is also a lot of fun. I made the masts from brass tubing. For the detailing parts, I had my first serious go at 3D modeling and printing.

Some parts needed a different approach, especially for the tall double junction signal. I had them etched from 0.4 mm brass by PPD in Scotland. The semaphores are moved by simple standard-size RC servos. I printed brackets to mount them below the baseboard. Once you start to 3D print stuff, it is hard to stop imagining what you will print next.

The exit signals in Soest are shorter than usual. The arms were half red, half, white to enhance visibility. I created the models to reflect this. The back of the arms have a typical pattern with black and white stripes. After painting didn't work out, I created a set of custom decals for this.

The junction signal is a different story. These signals are typical for the old Dutch signalling system. The signal acts as a double main signal. If the train diverts to the left, the left arm is raised on green. If the train is sent to the right, the right arm is raised. The masts, platform and railings are all made from brass, The detailing parts were printed through It is absolutely amazing how much detail you can print these days. These parts were made on a Formlabs resin printer.

The signal turned out to be quite impressive. Like the other signals, the grooved disc and chains are for decoration only. The arms are moved via thin metal wires that connect directly to the servos below.

And now for something completely different: these two cars started life as cheap O Scale Models representing German prototypes. With some paint and custom-made decal sets they're now reasonably accurate Dutch models.

Another conversion case. This NS8800 shunter is based on an old Bachmann Brass model. The typical British details have been replaced by Dutch ones. A lot of extra details got added too. The real locomotive has been preserved at the SSN in Rotterdam.

Buitenlust almost done

December 2016. The end of the year marks the end of the construction of Buitenlust. Only a handful of items are remaining on the to do list, which used to be several pages long. The last two real jobs are replacing some of the backgrounds and creating barriers for a railroad crossing. After that? There is altijd some extra detailing to do in O scale.

It has been in the making for quite some time, but I finally got round to converting my stack of O Scale Models tankcars. I made Dutch transfers for six cars, each of them based on a different prototype. There are now eight Dutch tankcars in my collection and that will do (at least for now) on this small layout.

Another conversion: from German gondola to Dutch coal hopper. A new coat of paint and a set of decals was all it took to change this Lenz model into a pretty accurate Dutch GTMK.

All semaphores and remotely operated turnouts have been fitted with operating wires. Parts for these do not exist, so I had to create all the bits from scratch. I used 3D printing, etching and old-fashioned tinkering to model the operating wires. The results look pretty convincing, if I say so myself.

The Track Controls are back in town. I removed them a few years ago after I installed the ECoS central unit. There were not longer needed since the ECoS allows you to control everything from a tablet, smartphone or PC. Nobody wanted to take the parts of my hands (they are quite expensive to buy), so I decided to reassemble. I even added an extra one for the staging yard. Together with a Daisy II or Mobile Control II shunting has become real fun.

Some buildings now feature television antennas. I had the parts etched from new silver, rather than using plastic of harsboard. Hopefully they will stand the odd little accident better this way. Although I grew up with these things as a kid, I forgot how big they really are. These things were gigantic.

A new addition to Baarn: the loading gauge. The gauge is exactly in the same place where the real one used to stand. The frame is a piece of track, the other parts have been 3D printed.

The summum of model building? Perhaps modeling yourself. There I am, on the walkway of the signal box. In O scale I am about 43 mm tall. Making a figurine is pretty easy. Just have yourself 3D scanned, scale the scan to size and have the file 3D printed. The hardest part is painting yourself by hand. I think I look like myself. Good.

Enjoying the view of Buitenlust

April 2017. After all those years of building Buitenlust is finally - what you could call - completed. Suddenly the todo list is empty, except for a few need-to-look-into-someday things. The press have picked up on Buitenlust and articles have been published in Modelspoormagazine (Belgium) and Railhobby (Netherlands). More magazines will follow. I selected this photo of the DE-2 in Soest as the cover images for the publications.

Time to do another movie. We ride the train from Baarn to Soest and back. I shot the footage on a GoPro, mounted on a special trackdolly, and a Canon XA-20 ENG video camera.

The NS 162 passes the lemonade factory of Vrolic. These modules were the first ones I built and I am planning to overhaul or rebuild them later this year.

Arriving on track 1 of Soest. The NS 742 steamer does not really fit the era of Buitenlust - steam operations ceased in my country in 1957 - but I just love this little locomotive. The real one has been preserved and sees regular action between Hoorn and Medemblik.

A view of the sandpit yard. Behind the shunter you can see the workshop for the excavators, to its left is the office with crew quarters. In the distance is the station of Soest.

The double semaphore in operation. The left arm has been raised, which indicates the train will travel left at the junction behind the signal. The classic Dutch signaling system is fascinating, but difficult to model accurately.

Shunting operations in Baarn. A coal hopper is being delivered to one of the coal merchants on the yard. The locomotive was one of a small series that were only briefly in service. None of them has been preserved. Only the model remains.

Back to the Kloosterstraat in Muidern. Years ago this little corner house at number 13 was mine. I decorated the interior like it was when I lived there. Including those green curtains.

What is next? Well, a layout is never finished, is it? Later this year I will make a start with redoing the Vrolic section. There is also a railroad crossing and signal box for Baarn still on the table. Time to crack on...

2016, 2017

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