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Old 09-02-2020, 06:29 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, 07:56 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, 12:37 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, 05:22 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, 10:32 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, 02:18 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, 05:40 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, 09:58 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, 12:52 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, 11:48 AM   #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, 03:48 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, 09:22 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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Old 12-29-2020, 03:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Finally some progress on the terminal buildings. A combination of poster board and sheet styrene. Just a test fit at present as the buildings will need painting and then have glazing installed in front of the black card, which will eventually be replaced if I get around to doing interiors. The windows will have vertical struts (like the one on the left).

New Terminals 2 by ukjohna, on Flickr

The central building (above the BA and right hand QF) will get more height, which is why it does not yet have a roof. A lower building that matches the left ones will be installed on the right to complete this section. A similar set of buildings will be installed on the side where the camera is now. After that, I will start on the A380 gates in the rear.

A couple of other shots, changing the focus and lighting to see what looks good..

New Terminals 7 by ukjohna, on Flickr
New Terminals 5 by ukjohna, on Flickr

Last edited by ukjohna; 12-29-2020 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Very nice setup and room for expansion as well!
Now I have an idea where you took the pictures of individual models in front of the hangars.
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Old 01-01-2021, 05:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

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Very nice setup and room for expansion as well!
Now I have an idea where you took the pictures of individual models in front of the hangars.
Yes, using the area at the back for close up shots until the gate areas are done. Then I will redo that area for cargo and maintenance.
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

March 2021 Update.

I decided that the terminal buildings I was working on will go somewhere else and that I needed something more imposing. The originals have have been moved to the back corner for now.

The current effort is inspired by, but not intended to be a copy of LHR T4. I have made 7x 12 inch long sections, which is about all that will fit in this area. Only the closest two have roof sections to date. Next will be filling, painting and glazing. I cannot decide whether to do the gate houses (still to be made) in Orange, or a less garish while.

In any case, here it is. Landors on one side, some World tails on the other.

Once painted and with gate houses and gates, I will make sure it is straight

Test fit of new LHR T4 Style Terminal Building by John A, on Flickr
Test fit of new LHR T4 Style Terminal Building (close) by John A, on Flickr
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Last edited by ukjohna; 03-28-2021 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 03-29-2021, 07:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

That's looking great, excellent work
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Old 03-29-2021, 10:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

It keeps getting better and better, thanks for the update
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

April Update.

I managed to spend a few hours on the diorama this weekend. The "T4 style" buildings got roofs and a coat of primer, the "older" part of the airport using the KATO N scale buildings as terminals was extended, and I got the first coat of paint on the area at the back that will be the cargo/maintenance area.

I still need to build real gate-houses for the T4 style buildings.

Next up will be marking the concrete areas.. but I could not resist setting up for some overview shots and a couple of close-ups.

Airport Progress - April 2021 (1) by John A, on Flickr
Airport Progress - April 2021 (2) by John A, on Flickr
Airport Progress - April 2021 (3) by John A, on Flickr
Airport Progress - April 2021 (4) by John A, on Flickr
Airport Progress - April 2021 (5) by John A, on Flickr
Airport Progress - April 2021 (6) by John A, on Flickr
Fictitious BA 747-200 Kuguty Lowickie (Poland) Tail at the gate by John A, on Flickr
G-CIVY British Airways 747-400 Union Flag (Crest) at gate by John A, on Flickr
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Old 06-07-2021, 06:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Early June update. After moving things around a few times, I believe that I have settled on the final configuration (at least enough to commit to some paint). The cargo area is now back in the original position on the furthest left of the former workbenches. The T4 style terminal will stay on the middle bench and the older/narrow body terminal using the Kato N scale station components will go at the back.

Last night I had a chance to do some painting, so the concrete areas are now a slightly darker shade, the sky is now blue (but needs clouds), there is a taxiway in front of where the terminal buildings will go, and at least some ground markings to show the centerline and edges of each of the hard stand / cargo areas.

A couple of shots of the cargo area:

New cargo area overview by John A, on Flickr

New cargo area 7 tails by John A, on Flickr

In the second shot, you can see that the bench is made up of 3 sections, and the middle one is lower than the others by just over a millimeter. I could not be bothered to level them for such a small amount, but it really shows up in a shot like this one.

Next up will be to reinstall the terminal buildings and jetbridges along the back wall area, then finally get back to the widebody (T4 style) terminal.
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:49 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

I really enjoy seeing such cargo line up, sad that BA Doesn’t use the 747-8F anymore
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Old 06-12-2021, 07:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to represent 60+ years in one diorama?

Quote:
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I really enjoy seeing such cargo line up, sad that BA Doesn’t use the 747-8F anymore
I agree. That livery looked good on the 747-8.

I did a little cleanup in the room today and took a couple more shots. These should provide an overview of where things stand today. I used Photoshop to merge a few pictures together - so apologies in advance for any weird visual artifacts.

Narrowbody merged 2 by John A, on Flickr
Narrowbody merged by John A, on Flickr
Overview Merged by John A, on Flickr
Widebody Merged by John A, on Flickr
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