Alexander's model railway repair shop

close-up of the finished diorama



In 1988 Mr Alexander Pfahl runs a repair shop for model railways. The workshop is based on the ground floor of a multi-storey building which is situated in the outskirts of the German city of Heidelberg. The house next door was only recently demolished and its remains are still visible.

Alexander's many loyal frequent customers allow him to make a living of repairing model trains - he often works till late at night but can be seen in his workshop again the next morning by 9 o’clock already. He also sells a few model railway vehicles and accessories; nevertheless, service and repairs to his customers' rolling stock is definitely the main part of his business.

As usual, we wanted to reproduce countless tiny details without ‘overloading’ the diorama; it should still look as realistic as possible. Only one model vehicle can be seen: a German mail van (‘Deutsche Bundespost’) delivering spare parts and other items from a model railway manufacturer, and a happy customer is just leaving Alexander’s workshop. By the way, there were regional elections in 1988, so we intended to place an advert for a candidate of a (fictional) political party in our diorama as well.

This time we wanted to focus on modelling the interior of the building, and therefore we decided to illuminate the workshop; hence you can watch Alexander at work through the big front windows. Thanks to a street light and the glowing shop sign above the entrance our diorama should look impressive even at dawn or night.

Read our detailed pictorial to find out how we put our plans into action; please find the table of contents below: 


1       1. Materials list
       12. Preliminary considerations / planning
       13. Base plate and frame
       14. Street and pavement
       15. Workshop
       16. Building (outer walls and roof)
       17. Interior lighting
       18. Neighbouring estate with rubble
       19. Mail van
       10. Further details and accessories
       11. Picture gallery

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