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Old 09-02-2020, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Hey all.

I finally have space for something larger than the little diorama that I have been using for the last decade. The challenge that I face is that I want to be able to display and photograph models from a collection that spans quite a bit of time, and both mainline and regional fleets, as well as a couple of countries.

The collection spans:

BOAC (mostly jets) from the 707s in the 60s, adding 747s in the 70s
British Airways in all liveries from the hybrid BOAC/BA to today (with lots of World Tails)
Assorted other British carriers from the 70s and 80s
Comair (BA subsidiary in South Africa)
Deutsche BA (737s)
Obviously a lot of widebodies for international routes as well as a set of narrowbodies for the domestic and european destinations.

So a modern glass/steel terminal area that would be suitable for A380s, 787s and A350s with jetbridges such as those from JC would not work for the older parts of the fleet.

An older area (brick) with closed steel type jetbridges (e.g. Mozart) would work for all, but look old and dated with the newer models.

My thought is to build a area that represents the earlier era, with another that represents the modern, with some sort of transition, maybe a cargo or maintenance area in the middle that would have elements of both.

The older area would have a mix of wide and narrow gates so that I could use as the older area for both, and for the newer short haul routes, as those terminals could have had less investment and modernization than the long haul. The newer area would have more wide gates, but some that could double up.

I don't have the skill (or desire) to model a specific airport, so will probably pick some elements of Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham etc that will fit the space.

Has anyone else tried this? Do you think this will work, or have better ideas?

Suggestions welcome. The build will probably commence in Oct.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Might be worth following this thread: https://www.diecastaircraftforum.com...r-1-400-a.html as I believe he plans to model the whole of Heathrow eventually.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Already following that thread. Fantastic work.
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Old 09-04-2020, 06:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukjohna View Post
Already following that thread. Fantastic work.
Thank you for the kind feedback, much appreciated. I think your idea to mix architectural styles from the various eras is a good one, and indeed, if you look at the old LHR that I'm working on, all those older original brick built terminal buildings were added on to, extended and had their front/rear elevations heavily modified in later years, following numerous refurbishments, so having a mix of styles is not altogether unrealistic either.

Your idea to mix elements from all the major UK airports is also brilliant - you get a bit of everything, and should result in a very interesting diorama, as opposed to mine, which is firmly set in a specific era. You can then compliment the breadth of your collection, across the broader timescale.

I'd say give it a go, I think it should work quite well!
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Quick update. The room for the airport is mostly done, as see from the other side with the shelves for the collection. The rest of the room is split between my home office and the space for the airport dioramas, and storage for all of the boxes!

I have not yet finalized the layout, but have definitely decided on a cargo area (far left at present, sitting on the prior diorama baseboards), a set of gates that form an "alley" that will serve as the older area and then a modern widebody area inspired by LHR T5B/C.

Here you can see 2 of the "piers" that the diorama will live on. Cargo on the left at present, with the "alley" on the middle one. There is one more section to the right that is not visible that will become the modern area.

Early airport planning by ukjohna, on Flickr

As I unpacked most of the 707s tonight, I tried a "test fit" to see how the alley would look. The wood on the right represents where the façade of the terminal will go on that side. The variety of forms on the left are to figure out the sizing of the terminal building on that side and what it might look like, with gates on both sides. There will be space for a few (5-6) widebodies on the other side of the terminal to the left of the alley.

Is the alley wide enough by ukjohna, on Flickr

I have not yet figured out what to do with the area at the back. Suggestions?

(the 747 window in the back corner is clearly not 1:200 scale, but will fit in the room somewhere by the time I am done)
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Very nice set up and room, looks great!
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Great stuff! Just curious to note you are in the USA, but have a great collection of BOAC/ BA 707s. Any particular reason for an interest in this airline?
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukjohna View Post
I have not yet figured out what to do with the area at the back. Suggestions?
This is going to look fantastic I think. I can't quite tell from the pictures, but do you have room at the back to put a runway and a parallel taxiway? If not, you could just model the taxiway and maybe just the edge of a runway, with a cityscape as a backdrop. Either that or another terminal off in the distance possibly?
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
Great stuff! Just curious to note you are in the USA, but have a great collection of BOAC/ BA 707s. Any particular reason for an interest in this airline?
I grew up in the UK and was fascinated by aviation ever since my first flight at 15. Drove past Heathrow every day for years before moving to the US, and then because of work, ended up transiting through there 8-10 times a year. Long layovers make for good spotting times. Landor into World Tails and beyond were primarily the times that I was there, and I just extended that collection back into history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennypayne View Post
This is going to look fantastic I think. I can't quite tell from the pictures, but do you have room at the back to put a runway and a parallel taxiway? If not, you could just model the taxiway and maybe just the edge of a runway, with a cityscape as a backdrop. Either that or another terminal off in the distance possibly?
Thanks. The area at the back is 32 inches deep, so not enough room for both a runway and a taxi, but maybe another set of narrow-body gates with a taxiway would work. The terminal building would have to be a façade, but it would probably look OK. I will try that. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

After a week of looking at the proposed layout, I decided on a "Plan B". There really was not enough space for the alley and a set of widebody gates on the middle section, so I switched it up so that I can have a widebody alley. I think that the gates (at least on one side) will be dual purpose, so that I can have a couple of narrowbodies or one widebody, depending on traffic. I moved the cargo area to the back, and used the space on the side for what will be a modern widebody (and A380 compatible) area. Trying to accommodate 380s in the other gate areas just takes up too much space.

Anyhow - here is plan B. Still just with wood in place of the terminals until I settle on the final plan.

Airport Layout - Plan B by ukjohna, on Flickr
Airport Layout - Plan B - Widebody Alley by ukjohna, on Flickr
Airport Layout - Plan B - 380 compatible gates by ukjohna, on Flickr

Still looking for suggestions until I get out the paint and card building supplies.
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Old 11-01-2020, 04:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

FWIW, I think the plan B is a better use of the space. Looks good!
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Great set up there - love the 707's all lined up.
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