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A new year for Buitenlust

January 2014. The DE-1 rail-car grinds to a halt along the platform of Soest. The holidays around Christmas also bring a lot of new ideas to the table. Buitenlust is not finished yet, but it is getting there. The next few months will be dedicated to setting up the buildings for Baarn and finishing up a couple of loose ends.

The bigger part of Buitenlust has the branch line feeling I started looking for over six years ago. The image of the local goods train might very well have been a real photo from the sixties. The same goes for the NS162 shunter on the siding of the Zanderij. This is what rail transport looked like back then.

Landscaping around the guard's house has been finished. This is where the advantage of modeling in a bigger scale becomes visible: it feels like you're in the middle of the scene, rather than hovering over it. You can just keep on adding details, so it is likely more bits and pieces will be added here over time.

This farmhouse from Soest has got a prominent place in one of the corners of the layout. The front and the side of the building can be seen up close here. The garden has been dressed with bushes, grass and flowers. The birds' house just had to be part of this. These feeding plates are quite common in The Netherlands.

Talking about typical Dutch details: bicycles are everywhere. Here is one parked next to the front door of the farm. A bit to back of the building, the farmer's dog is keeping guard under the apple tree. Geese are looking for food on the side of the canal. Chickens roam the yard.

Baarn is the scene of some serious construction. The former locomotive shed has been resurrected as a 3/4 building. Like all other buildings, the shed has been made from different layers of MDF and 1 mm ply. Only a handful of vague photos and a rough building plan are left of the real building, so a lot of educated guesses went into creating the model.

The former guard's house at the Torenlaan (in Baarn) has been also been recreated as a shell The real building was torn down around 2005 when the main station of Baarn was extended with a third platform. The railway crossing in the Torenlaan was reconstructed at the time and a sharp bend in the road now covers the ground where the house once stood.

The small office building of Baarn NCS is coming along too. This building still exists and can be found next to the former NCS station. Windows and cornices will be added next. The idea is to build all the important buildings of Baarn as a shell as soon as possible to get a feeling of what the diorama will look like. At the moment two buildings are still missing: a coal merchant and the station building itself.

Here is a first experiment of using real photos as a backdrop. I plan to replace all plain blue backgrounds with large prints in the course of this year. The effect is already looking quite convincing, although the print is still a bit too shiny.

Ongoing business

April 2014. Sometimes you find yourself buying stuff you don't really need, but want anyway. The Heljan NOHAB had been on my list for a while and in December 2013 I could get one from eBay. Of course, this Danish diesel doesn't fit Buitenlust at at all, but it is fun to see this impressive piece of machinery run around the layout every now and then. I'll also take it to O gauge get-togethers and run it there.

The locomotive was analogue when I got it and it needed a decoder. It was a great opportunity to play around with a ESU LokSound XL 4.0, an impressive piece of technology. The decoder outputs an impressive sound through a 36 mm speaker, attached to the underside of the locomotive. The fans in the roof can be switched on and off. I used the special ESU LokProgrammer to update the firmware, upload the sounds and program the decoder.

In front of the signal box was still an unused stretch of land. I planted a kitchen garden here, with numerous vegetables and a scarecrow.

Production of the buildings of Baarn NCS is an ongoing process. The walls of the small office building have been completed. The windows consist of three layers of 1.0 mm plywood. The walls have been made from two layers of MDF. The interior and the roof still need to be done.

The big locomotive shed has progressed as well. The building now has a full interior. In the workshop you can see the fire glow in the smithy. The shed shows numerous details, like a standpipe, ladders, coal furnace, etc.. You can see all of them when you peek through the large windows.

The shed is illuminated with LEDs. The plastic disc on the LED diffuses the light and spreads it around the room. The LEDs are powered via the adjustable, all it can eat LED.

A couple of more details in the shed. Through the windows you can see the newspapers on the desk in the stockroom. The top of the roof has been raised to accommodate ventilation slits. These were 3D printed by Shapeways; credits go to Fred Hornung for the design.

This is what the shed looks right now. The next challenge will be adding roofs and chimneys. Plus a bunch of details to finish the building.

Building Baarn

July 2014. Building efforts are now focusing on the last major section of Buitenlust: Baarn NCS station. Again all buildings have to be (re)constructed from old building plans and scarce photos. The former locomotive shed is the first building to be completed. The real building was taken down years ago; it has now come back as a 1:43.5 model.

One track of the shed is till in use. The doors open and close slowly thanks to a servo with built-in DCC decoder. The chimneys for the smoke of the engines are hollow and function just like the real thing. If you drive a loco with a smoke generator under them, smoke wille exit through the pipes. The chimneys were 3D modeled by Fed Hornung and printed by Shapeways.

This short video shows the doors in action. The servo from Uhlenbrock can easily be fine tuned to speed and positioning.

The guard’s house disappeared a couple of years ago when the tracks of the main line passing Baarn were relaid. It is now being recreated as a model. Soon the house will be furnished and finished. Next to the building a classic railway crossing is projected.

Coal trader De Ruiter was one the coal traders with a siding at Baarn NCS. Only a few vague photos remain of what once was a thriving family business. I have taken a stab at recreating the buildings from the scarce information at hand. Let’s call it the educated guess approach to modelling. Another coal trader, Rademaker, is projected next to De Ruiter. Hardly any information about Rademaker has survived.

The platform office building is nearer to completion. It still needs some final interior decoration and a roof. This building has also been preserved and can be found next to The General. Behind the building you can even find a piece of the original platform. Talking about the platform... that project is up next.

The opus magnum of Buitenlust is the station building of Baarn NCS. It is quite an impressive building in O Scale. Luckily this building has been preserved, which makes figuring it out a lot easier. Today it houses Restaurant The General and it is a nice place for an extensive lunch or simple dinner. The station building will probably be finished last.

Meanwhile constrcution hasn progressed on the Maaskant Bakery. The shop at the front and the workshop in the back now have fully detailed interiors, including the characteristic bread slicing machine and cookie cans. The bakery is at the topo of ’things to really get done soon’ list.

Self portrait? A bit. There is a lot of work going on at Buitenlust. Building in O Scale takes a lot of detailing by hand, despite laser cutting, 3D printiung and other modern techniques. The combination of old and new ways of working makes it a fascinating project.

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