Book Review
Capturing Clervaux
Capturing Clervaux - A modellers tale
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by: Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]


I have always had a fascination with building Dioramas, I love the idea of being able to convey a story or a moment in time in three dimensions. The one thing that I have really noticed over the years with my passion for dioramas is how difficult it is to be able to create a large successful diorama without losing the whole story you are trying to convey, but every now and again a modeller succeeds, and this is one of those moments.

The Book

The book is the first in what I would hope to be a possible series that goes on to explain this diorama, starting with the main focal point, that of Château Clervaux. The book introduces the reader to the history behind the diorama stating the reason behind the builders endless research and determination to complete such a large project. Taking the period during the "Battle of the Bulge" when a small group of American Soldiers are resting up after a period on the front line, and the initial invasion into this area of Luxembourg by a determined German battle group, the Diorama depicts various moments during the battle where the American forces were besieged in the Château.

The book itself is presented in a soft back format and runs to around 80 pages, with plenty of full colour pictures and descriptions including the history back story. This in itself makes a fascinating read as most model builders are probably not aware of this part of the Battle of the Bulge. For some reason its place in most history books seems to have been missed. You get a real feel for the passion of the modeller and that this is a life's work, which he now has the opportunity to share.

As stated earlier the book starts with a good look at the history, accompanied by various black and white pictures, maps, and various plans of the Château allowing the reader to really see where he was coming from and what he wanted to achieve.

With the history out of the way, we drop into the actual building of the Château, starting with the huge base it sits on and how to make the multiple walls used in its construction. The author has taken the time to explain every aspect of his work, breaking the book down into logical chapters. These chapters show, in both pictures and text, the various techniques used to create such areas as; the windows and doors, the various differently shaped towers and the internal fixtures and fixings. The author also takes the time to tell the individual stories that actually happened in the various locations.

The modeller has tried to use every day materials that are readily available, and seeing as he has had to scratch build pretty much everything, the techniques are simple, but effective, and that is a true test of a model builder. Some of the ideas you can see in various other publications, but the full colour pictures and accompanying text make a lot of them easier to follow.

Finally the book ends with a montage of photographs of the completed work, and its only then do you really understand the size of the undertaking, with every picture showing small details that you only really spot when looking over and over again at them.


I have to recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in building dioramas, there are so many good simple techniques on show that anybody reading it will come away with an idea they can use in their own work. The whole book exurbs the passion of the builder, and you really get a feel for what he wants to achieve. I truly hope that this work eventually ends up in some museum somewhere when complete.
Highs: A full colour book with excellent techniques and an interesting story, makes it a worthwhile purchase for the budding diorama builder and regular builder alike.
Lows: Currently only available from the publisher, so may not be available at your regular store.
Verdict: An excellent book that takes the reader on the same ride as the builder, which leaves you waiting to see the rest of the diorama, as this is only part one.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  PUBLISHED: Nov 23, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Luxembourg

Our Thanks to Diorama Clervaux!
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About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...

Copyright ©2021 text by Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]. All rights reserved.


I bought this book a few weeks ago as well. A great read, and the pictures are gems - it left even my wife speechless (something that doesn't happen often - I mean her not speaking ) I believe the book is now available from distributors Rudi
NOV 23, 2009 - 02:21 PM
Thank you Keith for the review, thanks all for looking! I would like to add that the book is available with 11 resellers throughout the world and also by me for the lowest shipping possible. A 12th will be probably be added this week (in Greece). All of them are listed on my website. I tried to get some more in countries not yet covered , but i have around 30 unanswered requests until today! Thank you and have a nice weekend Claude
NOV 27, 2009 - 11:59 PM
The book is now "in stock" from Lucky Model
NOV 28, 2009 - 08:24 AM
Hi everyone, Still looking for a present for Christmas? It's still time to order "Capturing Clervaux" anywhere in the world! It's in stock everywhere! It will be also available in Greece starting mid next week and is probably in stock now also in UK. Check all available the resellers on my site http://www.diorama-clervaux.com Thanks for allowing me to annoy you with my advertising, but is is soon over. Cheers Claude
DEC 11, 2009 - 02:19 AM
Claude, My copy of Capturing Clervaux came today and I've just spent the last couple of hours enjoying it. So much information, great pictures. This is a must have for anybody who models. Even Model Railroaders can learn from this book. Such fast mail service too. This is a much better gift than any shirt or socks I will get for Christmas! Thank You Claude ! And have a Merry Christmas ! Tom
DEC 21, 2013 - 01:06 PM
Ordered mine..and received it in no time! Postal services fast as lightning....and a plethora of marvelous pictures and useful modelling tips, Claude keeps the standards high!. I was lucky enough to see the complete diorama in the flesh, but the marvelous pictures can still warm your heart! Well done Claude and thanks a bunch for an exceptional experience! Cheers Romain
DEC 21, 2013 - 08:42 PM
Well , I was surprised to see this thread coming up again! @Tom, you are talking about the first book? I thought you had it already ! Where did you order it from, if I might ask for curiousity? Anyway, which ever it is, I am glad you like it. I remember you wanting to visit me some years ago on a planned Europe trip, Romain did so some weeks ago and was the first overall, but soon followed by Joan from Catalonia and all the city council and museum people. Thanks Romain for the visit and the contact afterwards. The first book sold very well and I have only a 100 left. With the prospect of selling in for the next 50 years at the museum book shop I will reprint more soon. I have an offer running on my website for the combined buying of the two books. € 50 the couple, shipping included for everywhere in the world! It's to late to get it under the Christmas tree, but the next anniversary is certainly around the corner :-) Have a nice Christmas everyone Claude
DEC 22, 2013 - 12:13 AM
Claude, I do plan to buy one after Christmas when it's time to but MYSELF some presents!! Merry Christmas to you Comte Claude, J
DEC 22, 2013 - 02:24 AM
Hi Claude, I started re-reading the first book when I ordered the "Final Hour". Your shipping was so fast that that I have only made it to the Tunnel Chapter. Hat's off to the Luxembourg Postal system and the US Postal Service too! One week from your door to my door at Christmas that is amazing ! I look forward to reading both books when the madness of the Holiday Season ends and life gets back to normal. While my friend is no longer at SHAPE in Mons I still want to see Clervaux in person. Please keep everybody up to date when and where it will be on display. Because you just never know.... Thanks again and have a wonderful Christmas and an excellent 2014! Tom
DEC 22, 2013 - 03:18 AM

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