Greetings from The Netherlands


Hi David,

Did you like Holland? Don’t forget to drop me an email next time you’re around. We’ll cook you dinner :slightly_smiling:

As for you questions…

Here is a How To on the thatched roof. It is in Dutch, but Google translate might help. I will translate the page into English over the next few weeks.

Anyway, here is a quick translation of the text:
The building itself is made from 3 mm MDF, laser cut according to drawings I made in Adobe Illustrator.

It has an illusion of an interior, mainly put together in Photoshop.

The thatched roof as constructed in four stages:

  1. First I made a base roof from foam board. The roof is glued to the outside and interior walls. It makes the structure very rigid.
  2. I created a second roof layer exactly in the shape of the thatched rood. Again this was made from foam board. The roof was spray painted black.
  3. I added a layer of grass to the roof, using an electrostatic grassing tool and standard H0 length grass fibres.
  4. I painted the grass in the right colour, strictly moving the brush downwards. This flattens the grass fibres to resemble a Dutch thatched roof.

The top edge of the roof was made from styrene profiles. Everything was painted and weathered.

Sounds easy, but it took a while to figure out the right materials and working order.

Regarding your question about a club. No. I am not a member of a club. like you, I am building this layout in the basement of my house. But you are more than welcome to visit us whenever you make it to Holland again.

Take care!



Hi Huib,

I’m really furstrated I didn’t connect with you when we were over last summer. That would have been great. I have visited other modelers via this website when doing international travel. Next time.

I should have known that european modelers would have figured how to model thatched roofs. The porcess does sound like it takes some practice to get the correct look.

We enjoyed Holland very much. We were in Amsterdam, Harlem, Gouda, and Delft- where we happened to catch their float parade in early August. Fun, and all very interesting. So much to do and see. And I had no idea there would be canals everywhere.

Thanks for connecting and keep posting pix of your beautiful work!



Hi David & crew,

A couple of weeks ago I flew to NYC, picked up a Harley and rode across Virginia and Pennsylvania (and 8 other states). It was really fun to see a part of the Appalachian mountains for real. And I did get a feel of what you guys are trying to bring to life. It is a great piece of the US! It is also fun to see the progress of the layout. Please post more photos if you can. I really enjoy looking at them.

Here is a ‘cab ride’ video of my own layout I made in August, shortly before my trip to the US. Different, but fun to watch I think.

Keep up the good work!




Wow, Huib. What a fun thing to do! And very adventurous too, I might add. I am glad you got to see some of the Appalachians. They have a unique modeling charm. Not fancy or polished. Kinda worn and overgrown. But cozy and like individual vignettes that say “model me.” And if we ever get the past the benchwork stage I’ll try to do just that!

I would think some pictures will be posted soon. We have an A&O open house on the 28th of September, so pictures will be taken. We’ve been busy building some of the interior walls and laying rail. Bob’s been getting some new panels installed. He’s actually caught up at the moment. But I’ll fix that :laughing:

Your video is really neat. All the more makes me regret not connecting with in person last summer when we were in Holland. You are an excellent modeler, and your scenes look like the Dutch countryside. Great work. Hopefully someday we’ll get some new videos of 2.0 to share. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for connecting. Watch for posts on the Crew Logs section.



I’ll second what David said. Those trees are great looking. Are they scratch or commercial?



Hi David, Chester,

Thanks for your posts. I am looking forward to the updates.

I also bought a book on the work of O Winston Link. I think that more or less captures the same part of the States, right? Of course that’s steam and you are modeling the diesel era.

@Chester: those trees are hand-made by two fellows in Germany. They only build to order, but the trees are not that expensive (I don’t need a lot them anyway). They look amazing at close range. I also put a few cheaper trees in the background as well. There are hardly any trees of this size (15 - 20 inch) available from the ‘big brands’ in Europe.

Take care!



Huib -

Your modeling is inspiring. Few of us have enough honesty to model things to scale, especially trees and larger bushes, on a train layout. In your photos the scenery has a beautiful variety of details and textures instead of just a few repeated materials, especially in photos IMG_2800 and IMG_5113. No two trees or shrubberies are the same. Each plant looks like a different species, with varying colour (color for us west of the pond) just as we observe in the outdoor world.

Please keep sharing your work with us!

By the way, would you be so kind to share information regarding the cameras you used to make your video, and what you learned to produce it? It was extremely well done.


Hi Bob,

I just fond your message. Sorry about the delay :wink:

The camera I used for the film is a standard GoPro Hero3. I set the field of vision to ‘narrow’ and strapped it to a flat car with tape. The shots from the side of the layout were shot with a Canon XA20 HD cam. The footage was color corrected and edited with Adobe Premiere. The quality of the GoPro is amazing. If you go out and buy one, please consider buying the extra battery pack. The standard battery lasts for about 40 minutes and takes hours to recharge.

Here are a few recent pics of the layout…

Heading out to work.

View on the guard’s house (typical line side railway owned home)

DE-1 diesel train halting in ‘Soest’.




And three more…

Signal box. Still needs an interior and its roof attached properly.

Along the line, with a French built Dutch diesel locomotive.

New project: the long since demolished engine shed of ‘Baarn’; I had the walls laser cut after I made the designs in Adobe Illustrator.

Take care,



Two more images of the station of ‘Soest’ (accurate model of the real thing):




Terrific pictures, Huib. But that requires terrific modeling. Great stuff. Thanks for posting.


Hi David & crew,

Wow, it has been two years since my last post here. But… I have been checking up on the progress of the A&O regularly. Great stuff guys! Can’t wait to see a new update come along.

Just in case any of you get bored from watching US train pics, here is quick update on my project in Holland. I have added backdrops, done quite a bit of landscaping and finished all buildings except one. I hope to finish the layout (well, for 98% that is) in 2016. Here is random selection of recent pics…


And some more…


And more. Because we can :wink:

More stuff to see at … 9685247285

BTW. There is a pretty big chance I’ll be mad enough to ride motorcycle across the US this summer. Would be great to meet you in person, if possible.

Take care!



Wow! All I can say is WOW! Your buildings and scenery are beautiful!

For example, the dog sitting in the drive, well trained but still guarding his home, makes the scene REAL! And he makes me carefully consider walking any closer. The buildings and trees are amazing.

Outstanding work, Huib!

By the way, how does one properly pronounce your name? I’m certain if you ride a motorcycle out this way, a warm welcome would greet you.


Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply.

Funny you mention the dog. There is quite a story attached to this building. It is my grandfather’s bakery as it once stood in Holland. He had a German Shepard and it was always in the drive.

In case you’re interested: here is the background story:

About my name… that’s something most non-Dutch speakers struggle with a bit. A simple English word that is more or less in the right direction is ‘hype’. Or else I would say ‘haip’. The right ‘ui’ sound is not common in English though.

I’ll be planning the US tour over the next few weeks. Could you give me a hint where you are located at

Take care!



Hi Huib,

Today Bob and I admired your work as we had lunch. I wish you could have heard our conversation, but it would probably have made you blush. We are just amazed at your craftsmanship, scene composition, attention to detail, and colors- blending everything so seamlessly into the photo background. Such superb work. Have you been published in the Europe Model Railways publications? You certainly should be. How I wish I had visited you when we were driving through Holland 2-3 summers ago.

But you are most certainly welcome to visit here. I live about an hour north of Denver, Colorado. I don’t know your motorcycle plans, but if it works out, we’d love to connect. If your travels look they will bring you my way, email me and we can set something up.

I also enjoyed reading about your grandfather’s bakery. It makes your model all the more special. So glad to hear they survived the war. So many did not.

Thanks for sharing your work on the website. I am honored that you would do so.



Hi David,

Thanks for your reply. :wink:

I am planning to start the trip mid August in LA, then up to SF, along Lake Tahoe to Salt Like City and then down to Denver. From there on south to New Orleans, Miami and then along the coast via Washington DC to finish in NYC towards the end of September.

I’ll certainly drop you a mail when the plans start to materialise.




Wow Huib,

Amazing amazing work. I’d love to talk to you about your techniques. Something that will strive for on my railroad, that is for sure.

Your motorcycle trip sounds great. I too had a bike for many years (sold it a few years back), so if you would like to hear of any trips in Colorado, please feel free to ask. We might be able to find you an awe-inspiring trip between Salt Lake and Denver, if you are looking for something off of the beaten path.


Hi Graig,

Thanks for your help. I’ll get back to you later this year about the routes.

I uploaded some new images to Flickr yesterday:

Back to work now :wink: