Sunday, 19 February 2017

Final Flight: the Airport

Introduction

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:
  1. 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).
  2. 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...


Conclusion

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...

27 comments:

  1. I like this a lot. I can imagine that building an airport terminal is like building a hospital. In real life they are huge but for gaming purposes you have to go with what looks practical and what will fit onto your gaming table. It looks to me like you've succeeded on both counts.

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    1. Having built a hospital I concur, they're incredibly difficult!

      This is terrific Hugh

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    2. Bryan, da Gobbo Grotto, I think you're absolutely right. Some real-life things (including ships, ports, hospitals, skyscrapers and airports) are just too large for a realistic portrayal on a games table. Compromises need to be made...

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  2. A great addition .. look forward to the game report

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    1. Thanks, Dave. Yes, I must get on with organising the actual game :-) !

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  3. Terrific stuff Colgar6, and despite the odd sizes of the doors and building itself, I think it looks just the job!!

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    1. There are definitely a few strange touches to this model (for example, what is the purpose of the small "wings" without a back on either side of the main building?). But it's easy to ignore these and then the overall effect is just what I want :-) .

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  4. I think this absolutely amazing! What a great find and with your additional modifications, the whole project is surely ready for lift off?

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    1. Yes, I really must stop adding to this project and just play the game :-) !

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  5. Looks good size wise. I'd have to add in some kind of windows to the tower though.

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    1. I did consider adding glazing to the windows in the tower - indeed, I've even set aside a piece of clear plastic packaging to use for that purpose. It seems like a lot of extra work, but I might do it yet...

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  6. I do like Plasticville stuff, as it's quite well-detailed, pretty much the right scale and easy to put together. Given the size of the kits, they're quite good value too but, as you say, they're getting harder to get hold of.
    Nice usage of the kit and i can't wait to see all the components together.

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    1. This is the first Plasticville kit I've had and I would certainly like more. However, they aren't always very easy to find in the UK.

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    2. I managed to get the aircraft hangar, church and fire station and they're very nice kits. Towel Models has the greenhouse and TV station on clearance = the greenhouse is a bit pants, but the TV station's quite nice. Currently half price at £10.25. You might want to have a look at it elsewhere first, as they haven't ghghot any pictures on their site. I might possibly get one myself...

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    3. Tower, not Towel = bloody predictive text...

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  7. Man that is sweet & something I need to invest in, would you have a link to the German company or are they only a ebay set up ?

    Now that I've come back down to earth let me congratulate you on a very clever bit of work on been able to take the roof's off C^

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    1. I don't think it would help you for me to give such details, as they were (I suspect) selling off old stock; this was the last one. All I can suggest is that you keep scanning the internet for further copies. They do turn up from time to time.

      Either that, or make friends with someone who travels to & from the USA frequently :-) . At the time of writing, I can see a Plasticville Airport Terminal on ebay.com for about $29 (USD), plus the same again for shipping from the USA to UK and who knows what in import tax. It's the shipping and customs duties which really hurt...

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  8. A super model of a Quite a nice 1930 style building. A manageable size that conveys the feeling of transport in a golden age and yet is not totally unwieldy.

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    1. Thanks, Clint. Yes, it's definitely an Art Deco terminal, which suits my Pulp setting very well :-) .

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    1. Thanks, HW. It will need to attract the eye, as airfields are notoriously flat and devoid of other features :-) .

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  10. Great model and well done on all the bits and pieces of conversion.
    It's a fitting model for the game an well worth all your effort imo. It does remind me a lot of Newcastle's airport terminal in the 1950's (and it's not that much smaller), all that's needed are a couple of Nissan huts (custom halls iirc)!

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    1. Hmm, I do have some models of Quonset huts. Mind you, they're definitely post-WWII and therefore a bit past my intended time period.

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  11. That is an awesome addition to a gaming table, well worth the time and effort that you've put in. I swear it is bigger than the airport I fly to in Austria when we go over (Linz).

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    1. Thanks, Paul. Linz airport can't be that small, can it? My model is of a building that is even smaller than Barra Airport (though somewhat grander in style :-) ).

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  12. Splendid and impressive airport!

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