Friday, September 17, 2010

Building a 1:600 scale airfield (Part1)

Can't recall exactly what drove me to it but I wanted an airfield as a back drop to a CWC scenario so I set about building one. Elements to include / Considerations:
  1. Runway - scale representation, permanently put onto a board or mounted onto card sections
  2. Buildings - Bought or scratch built, what to include and where to put them
1. They were clearing out the warehouse at work some time ago and I chanced upon a large 1500x800x4mm sheet of plasti-board abandoned by our Marketing department so it was duly liberated as a "that will come in handy" addition to my gaming materials. This was to form the basis of my airfield.
I aimed to make my airfield double sided (somehow) so I cut the sheet in half width ways and rejoined it both sides with silver/grey duct tape. In that one action I had reduced the storage space by half by "hinging" the board. Next I spray painted one side a mix of greens and the other side in desert colours. I then added more duct tape lengthwise as a prototype runway. That is how in languished whilst I worked upon some buildings to put on it (a later blog).
I then worked on a layout for said runway by researching Google maps over most American / UK airfields in Europe. Apart from realising how many had closed and been put over to container parks I quickly realised that there really is no such thing a standard layout. So I took the features I liked and created a fictional layout. The other thing that also became clear was that if I stuck to a 1:600 scale then I could only fit on about a third of the length of the airfield and probably would not be able to locate any buildings - not really what I wanted. I also wanted to be flexible with where my buildings went but had came down in favour of permanently sticking down the runways and taxiways.

Runway under construction looking "South"
My compromise was to represent the "landing end" (to left of picture) of the airfield and to locate some buildings off the taxiways / hard standings. Hence the runway was fixed but the buildings could be placed wherever.
I created the various runways and taxiways using the drawing suite in Microsoft Word, colour printed them, cut them out, located them in an aesthetically pleasing and representative way and then stuck them down.
Assuming a prevailing wind from the west this view is looking south; you will notice the taxiways are quite often different shades as this represents either: different materials (concrete or tarmac), repairs and different time frames. The black line running the length of the runway was my painted attempt over an original duct tape runway but it just too messy and the runway seemed too wide when I offered 1:600 scale models against it. 

Runway under construction looking "West" with HAS complex in the distance

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