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G. Ley
29 articles

Airport Diorama – Progress report

June 18, 2018 · in Diorama · · 14 Comments
This article is part of a series:
  1. Completed Hanger
  2. Airport Diorama – Progress report

Once upon a time, in an age before cell phones, there existed a certain kind of airport with certain kinds of airplanes . . .

The Stinson and Beech are courtesy of Mr. Terrence Davis. I had these kits in my build-project store, but when I saw Terry's meticulous work, I knew these were the aircraft for the , as I could never better these precisely detailed models.

I gave Terry the kits from my stores as replacements. He will undoubtedly do them far better justice than I might have ever hoped for. Note the springs on the Staggerwing's landing gear

and the beautifully detailed interiors.

This is one of those "Gee, wish I could do that" moments.

The project is under way. I did not like the aluminum finish, so I scrunged the model and am going to attempt a repaint.

The LaSalle hearse and coffins come from my story Islands in Between where I had a body on board during a flight.

The fact is we normally shipped bodies in cardboard boxes, but in this scale, that representation would not tell the viewer much. "Human Remains" were not uncommon cargo. The LaSalle hearse is a 1/48/O scale, metal replica of the one used in the Bond movie Dr. No set in the Bahamas. When I saw it I knew it would set my own stage perfectly with its tropical scene.

During the photo shoot, one of the mechanics drank a bottle of Tenax 2024T malt liquor and fell over dead drunk.

Note the guys at the plans table discussing modifications to the Beech 18

The Ruger crane was a kit in itself.

Note the guy in the truck craning his neck to watch the loading alignment.

The fence was a project that I might do a piece on separately.

The Beech Staggerwing is a stunning piece of work, winning a "Best Red Airplane" award at a show.

Terry's Stinson , is another masterpiece of workmanship.

I estimate about 50% completion of the Airport Diorama project. Here are more photos of present results.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

28 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Beautiful work, G. I'll say again, every time you post these I start having flashbacks to my wrenching days a long time ago. I didn't see many Stinsons or Staggerwings, but we did have Cessna 195's, Stearman cropdusters, all kinds of ragwing Pipers, Luscombes (pronounced Lus-comm-bee!) and a gent who had a polished metal Spartan Executive, which was one of the most beautiful airplanes I've ever seen.

    Maybe we need to collaborate on a diorama about the smugglers out of Brownsville...

    • I’ll say again, every time you post these I start having flashbacks to my wrenching days a long time ago.

      That's exactly why I created this diorama, to depict what we went though during our aviation careers.

      This is why I am did not create a precisely detailed setting. Instead, this is an amalgamation of various portions of my career at differing times, with the main theme being my cargo days in St. Thomas.

      My memories of that time in the valley are not pleasant. For some reason, certain pic numbers will not display in the story and I cannot figure out why.

  2. Looks fantastic! You can tell a lot of work went into this. Attention to detail does it! Congratulations, Michel.

  3. Yes...I totally agree with what Michel just said - wonderful work, sir.

  4. Way to go G. Love what you've done to date. Looking forward to seeing it's completion.

  5. That's a whopper of a project that is coming along very, very nicely! And yes - hard to improve on those beautiful planes!

  6. Love it. One is looking and looking and finding new details all the time. Now, don´t rush it, just let it simmer till its complete.

  7. This is really impressive. The attention to detail is just superb. Reminds me of airports I have been around.

  8. These 'memories made real' of yours are really inspiring, G. You certainly get a real feel for being there and an almost 'Polaroid quality' in the lighting that adds to the ambience of nostalgia and a slight sense of voyeurism, as though we are sneaking a peak at a private moment. Which in a sense we are, and the fact you can convey that pays testament to your skills both as a modeler and an artist.

  9. Well done, G! Great nostalgic look and feel.

  10. Wonderful work. Just fantastic to keep browsing through those photos. So many details to discover, and the aircraft are great!

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