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GB - B.A. Bodil A mini-lay out in perspective

A mini-lay out in perspective

After winning first prize in the mini-layout competition during the fourth Modelspoorexpo at Mechelen in Belgium in 2008 with Veldhoven 1935 (see CM February 2010).

Peter Dillen, Hugo Baart and Hans van den Boom  knew that the next project would have to be even more innovative. It must be said that creating the perspective view of the town was more of a challenge than making a layout within the area of 0,75m² permitted. As well as the challenge of building the mini-layout, the pleasure experienced in the process was priceless for the team.

The basic idea consisted of a railbus running through a mountain valley. This layout, which got the name B.A. Bodil, was again to be built in perspective, as this gives the impression of a much larger scene, almost a complete layout, in a very restricted space.

Is that just one railbus?

Although it appears that there is just one railbus running on the layout, there are in fact four, all built in different scales. The one at the front is a 1:25 scale, running on O (32 mm gauge) track. It comes out of a tunnel behind the smithy, it halts, lets a passenger in, starts its engine and disappears tot the right behind the garage, again through a tunnel.

After some time, from the right hand side, the railbus comes out of a tunnel again, runs over the viaduct (you can hear it running…) and disappears into another tunnel on the left-hand side. This is a 1:50 scale model and runs on HO (16,5 mm gauge) track.

A while later the railbus appears further along the valley. This is a 1:100 scale model and runs on HOm (12 mm gauge) track.

After that, the railbus disappears behind a rock and reappears after some time far down the valley, high in the mountains (you can even hear its noise disappear). This one is a 1:400 scale model. This railbus is made from a styrene sheet and strip with virtually no depth. It does not run on conventional track but is moved along by means of a cord. This railbus sisappears high in the mountains on the righthand side.

After some time, it comes back again, running from the right to the left, and the whole sequence of ‘train’movements is reversed, going from the rear tot the front until the foreground railbus disappears behind the smithy. Oh, and halts again on its way to the smithy, to let the passenger out. And one sees another gimmick: the driver has changed his place…..

Digital control

To make the train movements as natural as possible, all railbuses and the cord drive mechanism in the back are fitted with a decode. Each of the two front railbuses is also fitted with a sound decoder.

The late Erik Teunissen was asked to help the team, because he was an expert in working of digital control. He developped a control system using the  ‘Koploper’ control program. The possibilities are endless. Train movements, sound, animation, everything  is possible, provided a decoder and reporting decoder are fitted.

The landscape and details

On  the left-hand side of the layout is a smithy. This is also built in perspective and is mainly made from card. In the smithy there is a smith at his work. As the smith strikes the workpiece with his hammer, you actually hear the sound of a smith who is working a piece of glowing iron with a heavy hammer.

In front of the smithy is a small boy playing with a model train. The speed of this model train is controlled by his train set controller. Next to the boy is an open Märklin train set box from the right period. Behind the smithy is a halt with a waiting passenger inside the shelter.

The garage owner has discovered an opening  in the rocks into which he built his premises. He firmly pulls  to open the heavy garage door. The garage has full interior detail: on the workbenche there is everything you would expect to find in a garage workshop – there is a bench vice, and on the toolboard are the necessary tools. In addition above the workbench real fluorescent tube lightning is installed. And there is also a poster to see…..

In front of the garage is a mechanic hard at work under the bonnet of a Citroën ‘Traction Avant’. You also see a Solex powered bicycle parked.

In the mountains we see numerous activities: hikers, climbers and a shepherd with his herd.

If you want to read the whole article: see CM September 2011.

Tick for the pictures on 'Diorama B.A. Bodil'.

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