Most of my last few posts have been Pulp-related (this won't continue forever; if your interests lie elsewhere then keep hanging on and I'll post other stuff in due course). This recent series of posts detail my preparations for the "Final Flight" scenario from the Perilous Island campaign for the Pulp Alley rules:
Aircraft? Check. Shady characters? Check. Baggage, crates &c? Check. That's all very well, but the scenario I'm targeting is set at an airport. What about airfield-related buildings? Don't worry, I've got that covered too!
Lumbasa Airport Terminal
The problem with making a model of a real airport terminal building is that they are huge! Even a serious, metropolitan airport in the 1930's would be a very substantial affair, far beyond my intentions for game scenery. I could go for a simple, grass field "flying club" setup, but I'm aiming higher than that.
Fortunately, there is one kit which is about the right scale and which isn't too large. This is the Plasticville terminal, intended for O gauge model railway layouts. There are several things about this model which make it suitable for wargaming:
- It's relatively small; representative of a terminal building rather than strictly realistic. The terminal is nominally scaled for O gauge layouts, but that's American O gauge (which is smaller than British O gauge) - and even then it is smaller than might be truly accurate for such a layout. That suits me just fine!
- The Plasticville range is at the toy end of the model railway market, rather than the finely-detailed, super accurate end. Consequently, the parts are nice and chunky (so they won't break easily with handling) and the models are easy to assemble.
- It's not easy to find these models outside the USA, but it can be done. My terminal came from a model shop in Germany (via eBay) and although it cost more than I would have liked, it wasn't prohibitively expensive.
I made a few adaptations to the kit as I was building it. The first of these are apparent here:
- The terminal building has been glued to a base (and I've added a separate, grassed & fenced area to hold passengers as they walk to their aircraft).
- I carved off the heavily-contoured "PLASTICVILLE AIRPORT" lettering from the panel over the front door. Instead (after painting the model), I applied a home made decal for my chosen name "LUMBASA AIRPORT". I imagine this to be somewhere in Africa, though the precise location isn't really important.
I've mentioned size before, but how does this building work with 28mm figures. The picture above includes one such model, whom you may recognise as "Betty" from my recent Pulp Women post. In my opinion, the doors to the terminal are a little too large,, but the building is a bit too small. It'll do...
You can also see from the ruler that the building's footprint is about 26cm (10.25") wide and maybe 20cm (8") deep.
Here you can see another of my modifications to the kit. The original ladder was a single piece, but I wanted to be able to remove the roof from the control tower. I cut the ladder in two just below the level of the roof. This left the lower part hanging loose, so I added a small piece of plasticard outside the tower window frame to hold the lower part of the ladder in position.
Finally, I made 2 cuts to the upper wall, one either side of the clock. This freed the roof of the terminal building and meant that it could be removed for access to the inside.
So, after a few simple modifications, the terminal comes apart and allows figures to be placed in it. Of course, I haven't added any detail to the interior of either the main building or the control tower...
I'm looking forward to setting up my "airport" table and playing a game on it. Everything is ready now, I think - but I daresay that I've forgotten something...