Claude Joachim from Luxembourg has published two books documenting his multi-year journey of creating his now finished work of art - Diorama Clervaux. His first book starts off by giving some history around the World War II setting of the diorama and then steps through the building of the Château itself. The second book, published in October 2013, starts with a brief recap of the setting and then dives right into the building of the city surrounding the castle.
Many of the tasks (such as placing thousands of slate roofing tiles and individual cobblestones) take quite a bit of brute force, however, Mr. Joachim provides several tips to enable these and various other tasks to be done in a consistent and high quality manner. His approach to modelling the river (described in the second book) is very interesting and I look forward to trying it out sometime. I really enjoyed learning about the thought process and planning that Mr. Joachim follows for each building and the overall layout. He points out the mistakes he made as well as what went well. Even though everything I build is approximately 1/48th scale and Diorama Clervaux is in 1/35 scale, I find both books to be an excellent reference and the techniques described within apply very well to the smaller scale.
The first book I have read cover to cover several times and often go back and look at the high-quality photos for building inspiration. The second book follows suit with the first as far as quality photos go. So far I have only read through the second book cover-to-cover once during the two weeks I had it. I definitely look forward to starting it again. For a small taste of the photos, you can check them out on Mr. Joachim's gallery page. The books contain many more detail photos, but even more valuable (to me at least) is the descriptions of how things were constructed.
I have followed Mr. Joachim's blog for a few years. His project serves as an example of patience and persistence and I am very pleased to be able to hold a small part of it in my hands in the form of the two books. One day, I hope to make it overseas to view the diorama in person. According to his blog, I'll have to visit the city of Clervaux itself since the diorama has been accepted into their museum!
If you are interested in learning new techniques on creating scale models from scratch, are interested in WWII history and the Battle of the Bulge, or simply appreciate unique works of art, I highly recommend ordering both of the books currently available on the Diorama Clervaux web site: http://www.diorama-clervaux.com