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Completed Hanger

This is one of the three structures in my Caribbean airport diorama that was covered in part in an earlier article. The hanger of course is the centerpiece of the diorama. The weathering is typical of what happens to these corrugated structures in the tropics.

The kit supplies paper thin doors that do not lend themselves to this scale, so I created framed, operating doors that run on tracks, much like the real thing, of course with no rollers. The top of the doors are retained by lengths of evergreen channel, one inside and one outside retaining two inner and two outer doors of the two four door sets.

Basswood was used to supplement and reinforce the roof’s truss structure as well as a kerb around the base for proper alignment and attachment of the walls.

The base was a project in itself requiring multiple layering and multiple coatings to achieve the desired concrete floor.

The diorama will be fully lit including the front perimeter being equipped with taxiway lights. There will be over seventy lights, all LED. The hanger has 22 lights. 11 inside and 12 outside along with a lit clock and operating wind sock. LEDs are powered by a circuit board, located on the side of the hanger, that coverts 12V AC to 3V DC. There are three of these boards. One for the hanger, one for the tower/terminal building and Quonset hut (27 lights) and one for miscellaneous lights like the street lamps and taxiway lights. The red objects above the side doors are studs to secure the lights above the doors. The threaded studs could not be trimmed or modified, so I made them into fire exit markers by putting evergreen tubing over them and painting them red.

With the structure complete, the next step is to populate it with equipment, a process already begun with various shop tools – fire extinguishers including a large, wheeled one, parts bins, work tables benches, parts washer, compressor and the crown jewel, a hydraulic engine hoist with a P&W 1340 on the chain. The roof is removable so the interior can be easily accessed.

One unusual discovery I made is that hangers are more difficult to build in this scale than full scale. We put up the real thing in less time with less hassle and never once did I have to crawl around to find missing parts.

I wish the images could be clicked on and moved so they could be placed more in keeping with the development of the description. I am simply not organized enough to compose a complete article with photos before I begin writing.

36 additional images. Click to enlarge.


18 responses to Completed Hanger

  1. Unbelievably cool! The scene with the lights on could easily be from a real early operations scene, mechanics getting the bird ready and warmed up for an early morning trip.

    • I cannot count the times I arrived at the hanger in the early hours before dawn to file flight plans, warm up engines, perform preflights or complete maintenance projects. That life was but one of many accumulated over the years.

      The best of times was back in the days of Ag-flying heaven, when I lived out behind the hanger in a trailer. I only had to walk twenty feet to begin the flying day that normally began one to two hours before summer’s dawn.

      The Caribbean cargo operation was strictly day VFR. While we often flew “scudrunning” operations in and out of low clouds, rare was the occasion when nav lights were turned on for an after dark landing.

      For that reason, the cargo planes will not be lit. However, I am going to have an Antilles Airboats Goose taxing down the water ramp with tiny ~ really tiny ~ electric motors running the props and really tiny .5mm LED nav and landing lights burning brightly and a flashing LED beacon on top of the fuselage. I plan on using Prop Blures so the props will look like they are turning when the power is off. I figure they will look the same when turning as stationary propellers in motion.

      This of course assumes I live long enough to complete the diorama. I figure if Michelangelo could live long enough to complete his Sistine chapel masterpiece, I have a good chance as well.

  2. Very realistic, could fool me with those night lights shots. Great work overall. What scale is it?

  3. G. I find your dio work simply amazing as well as quite convincing. A real pleasure to view, and the addition of lights to the hanger makes it look real! Good work and may I ask how long have you been working on this little project?

  4. Great work. Very impressive.

  5. Beautiful! I can’t wait to see the completed masterpiece.

  6. That is SO cool. The wonderful thing about dioramas is getting viewer to feel like its real and this does. I know your subject is the Caribbean, but I could see Bogie standing in front of that hanger bidding farewell to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Definite talent at work.

  7. Awesome hangar. Would love it and what’s inside! (Plus there’s probably room for more planes!) As far as placing pictures, they are named pic1, pic2 for however many you have. If you want to place a certain picture in amongst the text just find the picture in your group and look at its name. Say you want picture 8. Just place it like this in the text and it will appear there when you post your article. You can edit your article to have them this way even after you’ve posted it!

  8. Oops! I accidentally put picture eight in my reply! What you want to type is “pic8” inside the square brackets.

  9. Excellent craftsmanship, sir….I love it!

  10. Absolute marvel! Buildings can be so nice to model as well!

  11. Excellent – love the night shots as well!

  12. Your diorama looks even better every time you post pictures of your progress, terrific work, please keep it up.

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