A model Dutch windmill and my great-granddad

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If you’re going to recreate a Dutch village in miniature, what do you just have to have to make it feel really Dutch? A windmill, of course!

This weekend I added a windmill to the village I showed in my last posting. This time, instead of the cardboard buildings that I’ve use so far, I built a MDF kit by 4Ground.

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What a joy this kit was to put together. The design is very cleverly designed to form the rather complex shape of the windmill. But, as with other 4Ground kits I’ve built, it all fitted perfectly. 

I personalised the model slightly, adding brick paper to the ground floor, and painting some parts of the sails and the turning beams. I also painted a small heraldic device where the vanes meet in the centre, as I’ve seen on real windmills in the Netherlands.

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I was worried the model might end up too big for my buildings, but I was happy with the end effect. After all, windmills are big in real life!

Interestingly, having a windmill in my model village is a poignant reminder of my family tree.  My great-grandfather was killed when he was hit by a windmill sail in November 1916.

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‘A sad accident occurred here on Saturday afternoon. Mr Hermans, a tile-maker from here [Swalmen], had a message for the windmill and started making his way up the mound. He probably didn’t notice that the mill was functioning. He was hit by one of the vanes, and thrown down. The physician diagnosed a skull fracture. He was admitted to the clinic in Roermond. His condition is worrying.’

He died a couple of weeks later.

Seeing how the sails sweep so low to the deck on my model, I can see how easily accidents like this could happen.

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I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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