The diorama we show was built for displaying on the Schreiber stand at model fairs and exhibitions. All the buildings, ships and, surprisingly, most of the rolling stock (but not the locomotive) are models from Schreiber range. The layout can be enlarged and modified as required and sometimes we show only a small part of it, according to the exhibition parameters. The two square sections, the lighthouse and the harbour, were shown at the ship model exhibition in Bremerhaven Maritime Museum, for example. Not much use for a railway diorama on such an occasion.
Building all the six sections shown here took about a year, with one to three people working full time or part-time. The larger part of the work was building the houses and other Schreiber models, but making sufficient numbers of the other accessories from the railway model market consumed enormous amounts of time as well. Making the sections and assembling the whole diorama was a job for “just” two months for two people. I’m writing about it to give some idea of the time necessary for such projects. The time factor can also have different and often funny consequences. Our job with this diorama was relatively easy because we made all the sections at once and we didn’t have to match up the colours of the grass, roads, water, etc. on different parts at a later date. The grass was one purchase of railway model grass, the “road” was one bag of sand, water and one bucket of paint. Making the sections one by one with a period of time in between them may be more difficult.
The Belgian model constructor Jacques Le Plat put the “Meersburg” very decoratively on a hill in the background of his HO-layout. He called the town on the hill Ferbach, and therefore the Meersburg has now become Ferbach Castle.
The scale of the Meersburg is smaller than HO. But this is the advantage here: models in the background which are on a smaller scale feign expanse and distance for the observer. That is what all classical dioramas did. For that reason, Le Plat used buildings on the hill on a smaller scale than down in the foreground.
These are made of plastic, while the upper houses in the background are all built of paper. With that, Le Plat showed how one can combine cardboard and plastic models on one construction.
Jacques Le Plat first described his project in detail in the French magazine “Loco Revue” (April 2004), and later in the German model railway magazine “MIBA” (October 2004).