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Base Materials for Scale Airports

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  • Base Materials for Scale Airports

    So, I had been wanting to figure out a way to make a base for a scale "airport" for my 1:200 models, or at least an apron, tarmac, or flight line to display a few. I have seen a lot of people's displays that look really nice. I figured maybe something like plywood as a base. But, as a sort of "side effect" from my new job working in new home construction, I'm able to get my hands on a lot of scrap and leftover materials that would otherwise be trash.

    My biggest want in all of this was to find something that would represent the concrete well in both texture and appearance for making a display with a terminal and what not to display some of the models. I also wanted something to make a good runway with the same properties. Well, I think I've found the perfect product just such a texture and appearance. Nowadays, when building houses, the exterior trim and fascia is applied using a cement fiber board (CFB). It comes in 4x8 sheets as well as 4", 6", 8", and 10" widths in long lengths of 8 ft or more.

    I've come across a few scraps here and there that I'm going to use to start my basic (and small) project. Ultimately, I'd like to make a fairly large display where I can set up quite a few of my models in both terminal and taxi/runway settings.

    I'll post some pictures of the bare materials soon. Hopefully, I'll be starting my "construction" within the next few weeks with the in-progress pictures to follow.

    I hope everyone enjoys what I hope will be a good endeavor.

    Clif
    --
    Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!


  • #2
    This piece of board is 12" wide and about 4.5 ft long. It's also 3/8" thick, so it's fairly sturdy. Again, more pics to follow hopefully in the next few weeks once progress takes place.
    --
    Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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    • #3


      I don't have a craftsman gene
      --

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      • #4
        That does look good..

        What I did was use Google Earth and the Windows Snipping Tool to create a mosaic in Microsoft Word.. then I printed using a nice color printer from my work. I used Pine board as a substrate.

        Creating dioramas is challenging. Due to space concerns I make shelf dioramas. I have made three so far 1., a small FBO & hardstand, 2., a section of taxi way, and 3., a small remote hardstand. With each one I've learned and improved a great deal. I'm now making another one, which will be my Int'l Terminal.

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        • #5
          I think printing stuff is the easy way, but I wanted to make something that looked a bit more realistic. I like the CFB because it's got texture and rigidity to it. I thought about getting a piece of board and mixing some cement to put on it as a layer to use. But, when I realized what I had in this stuff, I thought it would work great. The texture isn't super fine, but I think it's gonna work well.

          I like your idea of making shelf dioramas. I think a taxiway setting would be good, maybe a few gate spots, and even a runway short. I want to do foliage and trees like people use for railroads. I also have pieces of 2x4 and 2x6 to use as buildings, and even some dowel rod and PVC to possible make a control tower.
          --
          Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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          • #6
            The project has begun. I bought some paint and other materials today to start on a runway diorama. Going to do a threshold end of the runway and then add the taxiway leading to it next. Pictures to come soon.
            --
            Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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            • #7
              This was a trial run on a broken piece to figure out the size and spacing for the threshold end of the runway. My stripes aren't quite straight in some places and aren't very even throughout, but it's a start. I'll probably make some adjustments when I start on my long piece of "runway."

              Also, I used the entire 12" width of this piece which would scale up to a 200' wide runway. However, I'm going to scale a 150' wide runway which will use the middle 9" of my piece. This will give me the ability to add some hobby grass around the edges.

              Should have some in progress pictures to post by tomorrow night. Hopefully, I'll have a finished project (runway) by the weekend.
              --
              Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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              • #8
                is the piant going to hold up to the models being on them?
                --

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                • #9
                  I'm using spray paint to see how it works. I think it'll turn out okay.
                  --
                  Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fleetlordatvar View Post
                    is the piant going to hold up to the models being on them?
                    I would spray a dull clear coat after the paint dries to get rid of the shine and help the paint stay on better.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AAfan View Post
                      I would spray a dull clear coat after the paint dries to get rid of the shine and help the paint stay on better.
                      I actually bought a can of flat clear coat to spray on it after I get everything on there. I should have a picture posted tonight of the first stages. I was going to take in between photos, but I didn't feel like taking off all of my masking and stenciling in between painting.
                      --
                      Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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                      • #12
                        So this is the "end" of stage 1.

                        I have placed the 1:200 C-17 on the board to show proportion. Although my detailing is not 100% exact, the board and markings are essentially scaled to 1:200. The runway is a scaled 150 ft wide. For this width, the FAA guidelines say to have 12 threshold stripes at the end. I labeled the runway 24 R based on my experience at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California as that is one of their runways with which I have quite a bit of experience. If you look closely, you can see the narrow side stripes that run the length of the runway. I tried to be as precise as possible with modeling a precision approach runway.

                        Stage 2 will be to add touchdown stripes just ahead of the first centerline stripe. I'll also add a few more centerline stripes towards the upper end. I'm also going to add the chevron-shaped blast markings just behind the threshold of the runway. Also, I'll glue some model grass to the outside edges.

                        That will conclude this piece, but I plan on making a small taxiway piece that will join up with this.

                        More to come!
                        --
                        Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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                        • #13
                          Also, there's some touchup of the base layer black that I'll have to do when it's all said and done. And like was posted earlier, I'll clear coat the paint with a flat layer to protect everything as much as possible.
                          --
                          Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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                          • #14
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/9818797...9326/lightbox/
                            --
                            Never trust a helicopter under 50! Phrogs Phorever!

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                            • #15
                              looking good so far
                              --

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