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A fresh look at Vrolic

May 2008. Lemonade factory Vrolic is spread out over two segments. The right one was about done and the left one is now also moving along. There are two buildings on the left segment, of which the warehouse is the biggest. It is an American kit from Korber Models, which I modified to suit the Dutch situation. The building now has a wooden loading platform, roof supports and other details.

A typical working day on the loading dock. Jack is just carrying the last few boxes of oranges inside. Jake is about to open the door for him. Under the loading platform is a big mess of disused materials. But nobody really seems to care.

There is a simple workshop on the premises for all kinds of maintenance jobs. The building was scratch built from wood and it has a fully detailed interior. The windows were once part of a H0 kit. The working bench is a small kit from Wenz Modellbau and the gentlemen are part of the Preiser family.

Bushes, trees, grass, everywhere seems to be growing something. Pretty much like in real life. The pavement of the loading area was made from Slaters’ Plastikard. The concrete Stelcon plates between the rails are home made. I created a master model and I duplicated that several times as resin castings.

The polder surrounding Vrolic is also almost done. Cows are grazing in the meadow and many other details are lingering around. Now it is time to start zooming in on the last details. I will weather the buildings some more and the reed in the ditches will be roughed up a bit.

Summer fun

June 2008. Fiddling Vrolic has continued over the last weeks. The buildings have been weatherd and more details have been created or improved. All lights are connected to a special controller, which will gradually turn them on when it gets dark.

One of the last things on the to do list was building authentic Dutch buffer stops. You cannot buy them anywhere, so they had to be scratch built. I pulled up some old drawings from the archives and I created two from styrene strips and some odd pieces of track laying around.

This is what a Dutch buffer stop looks like. The model is almost 100% accurate. But... I will need a dozen or so more of these. We will see about that when the rest of the layout has been realised.

The final details

July 2008. Slowly but surely Vrolic is getting finished. The pub owner is returning his empty crates to the lemonade factory and he is expecting to get full ones in return. I did put the logo of Vrolic on a number of crates and it looks great (well, I think it does). The Citroën van was fitted with an old-style Dutch licence plate. The lifelike wooden pallets are from Paulo Miniaturen.

The Vrolic logo has made its appearance on the wall of the factory. Alle buildings have been weathered extensively with thinned black paint and pastels. This adds really a lot to the overall atmosphere. The buffer stop in front of the warehouse has been put in place as well. A lot of weeds are growing in the unused tracks under the buffer stop.

This cheap VW bull of Chinese origin has been sprayed in the corporate colours of Vrolic. The van is ready to deliver fresh lemonade to the factory's customers nearyby. Next to the van you can see some classical Vrolic advertising. In front of the engine house a car full of coal is just about to be turned into the right direction.

The fields nexxt to the track are lined with fenches. Just like in reality, the fenches are put together from barbed wire and old planks. The running characteristics of the shunter (a so-called 'sik') have been improved dramatically by adding an electronic flywheel. The trackside signs were made with the help of a simple laser printer.

And that is were we stand after a year's building. The old diesel pump adds a nice touch to this corner next to the workshop. It is funny to see how small details like this work out so well in this scale. Here you really notice the difference with modeling in H0.

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