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2nd editions*: 1:72 WW2 Airforce Base diorama


Kateenaboy
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I’m new to the forum. I have started a new undertaking and in which i’m attempting to construct a  1:72 scale ww2 RAF/USAAF airforce base.

 

I’m looking for inspiration and recommendations for the project. 

 

I was wondering about airforce base infrastructure as I’m looking to a way either make or purchase relating to:

1. Hangars

2. Aircraft control towers 

3. marshalling area’s

4. Munitions stores

5. Bomb stores/dump

6. Fuel stores/dump

7. medic centre/ fire station 

8. mess

9. watchtower/checkpoints/defences 

10. barracks

11. Railway depot

 

Thank you you for your help 

 

Ben

 

*Due to a previous wording and requests I have had to do a new version of my original post 

 

 

Edited by Kateenaboy
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I’m also looking for recommended any vehicles to add to the diorama bases including: 

1. staff cars

2. utilities  vehicles e.g fuel trucks

3. motorcycles

4. Anti aircraft guns

5. trucks/armour 

6. railway vehicles 

 

Could anybody recommend any good airforce personnel, pilot, driver, p.o.w figurine sets.

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I'd try the Dapol  building range for affordable kit bash fodder for buildings also kits of railway engines and stock 

 

If it's a non functioning railway try spares and repairs lots on ebay for wagons

 

Amera for things like dispersals  and Blister hangar 

 

Get some concrete effect paint for runways etc. Got mine from our local B&Q

 

I'd try Zvezda for reasonably priced Bofors 

Plastic soldier company for armour and CMP trucks 

 

Also Lledo diecast for RAF vehicles you can weather them , they have a few sets of three vehicles which are good value

 

Also the various airfix sets 

 

Anyscalemodels for diorama accessories , workshops , sandbags etc 

 

I think fujimi so a checkpoint 

 

For details look at various model railway suppliers , dustbin, chimneys, post boxes etc  , fencing etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lledo have not been around for many years - however Oxford do a number of RAF vehicles including the Thompson refueller and Fordson Weeton crash tender.  I suspect that's who you were thinking of.  Matador Models have a range of airfield vehicles.  Beware that Airfix airfield vehicles are not always appropriate for WW2.  Notably the RAF did not use the K2 ambulance, and the K6 fire tender was postwar - as was the QL bowser with the overhead booms though boom-less versions were used.  Other companies that made RAF vehicles such as CMSC and MMS are sadly no longer available but look out for them when shows renew.

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The USAAF used the K2 ambulance. Here on the left edge of the photo; 

Ambulance_waiting_for_B-17_at_Alconbury.

 

And the rear vehicle here;

 cr1.jpg.6aaa0aeaf8ef513ccd3914d30afff24f

 

Don't forget, Airfix does a USAAF ground vehicle set. ~ USAAF Bomber Resupply set

Ratch built the set just recently 

Academy did/does a set of vehicles with a USAAF Dodge ambulance, eg https://www.kingkit.co.uk/product/academy-military-1-72-13403-us-ambulance-&-tow-truck

and Hasagawa does some GMC vehicles, eg https://www.kingkit.co.uk/product/hasegawa-military-1-72-mt21-gmc-cckw-353-gasoline-truck

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Here are a few vehicles  . .. .

ATF-Workbench-051.jpg for use on a USAAF station

 

 

A mixture of diecast, Airfix and conversions  . . .

RAF-Transport-196.jpg

 

Good luck with your project Ben 

Ian

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Beware the Hasegawa GMCs are not very convincing as WW2 vehicles because of their bonnets/hoods.  There are lots of alternatives, including Academy but these are all with standard truck bodies so cross-kitting will help.

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Esci did a Dodge weapons carrier, also released under the Humbrol and Italeri brands. It needs a bit of work, as out of the box, it sits too high, but with a few alterations to the chassis, it looks good. Here's mine I made last year (incidentally in 100th Bomb Group markings);

 

50512706328_e6a9659067.jpg20201021_163308 by Dan Hardy, on Flickr

 

I also did a Hasegawa GMC fuel truck, which I finished in January;

 

50890907076_e65139f219.jpg20210130_150500 by Dan Hardy, on Flickr

 

Built out of the box, except for the decals and the warning flag, and finished in 357th Fighter Group markings.

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Defences wise, there is a plastic model pillbox made by Wills, plus a ready made one from Hornby's Skaledale range. Made with model railways in mind, but perfectly suitable for an airfield diorama. Ignore the Skaledale control tower though, it is too small. They do however, also do a Nissen hut which might be useful.

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Ben

Firstly welcome to Britmodeller hopefully you will find the inspiration and assistance you need here. Do keep posting about your project. I am working on a similar project which is being documented elsewhere in the Forum. However the centre of mine is the railway station/sidings that serviced the logistical needs of a local airfield. This first thing I learnt was the size required for this sort of model. Just remember a B-17 in 1:72 scale is 457mm x 254mm and the station / sidings are over 6m long. Therefore unless you have a large space if you are looking at a series of dioramas  you may have to scale down your vision. In my case I will only be modelling part of the airfield with many elements either in the distance (via forced perspective), painted on the backscene or in the air (the B-17). Most of the vehicles will either be on the road or in the station yard.

 

I am not going to repeat what has already be said but add:

 

Choose between RAf and USAF (the 8th or 9th airforce)

Choose an area where the airfield is to be set - most bomber bases were in the area served by the LNER railway company, but others were in the counties served by other railways.

Choose an era a 1940 BoB airfield is a different beast to a later build airfield.

Do as much research as possible of airfields that meet your criteria.

 

As to models all I will add is that you should look at downloadable card kits:

 

https://scalescenes.com/

http://www.smartmodels.co.uk/

 

are two I have used but an internet search will bring up more. Also most airfield buildings are fairly easy to build in plasticcard etc..

 

Good luck with this..

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Paul821 said:

...This first thing I learnt was the size required for this sort of model. Just remember a B-17 in 1:72 scale is 457mm x 254mm and the station / sidings are over 6m long. Therefore unless you have a large space if you are looking at a series of dioramas  you may have to scale down your vision...

 

I understand where this coming from I was thinking due to such a large space being required I would potentially the diorama modular sections, then they could be added to together to form the entire airforce Base.

 

Era wise I’m thinking Battle of Britain or 1943-44. Other than that there is not really any set time period 

 

The concept I have is based on one of the shared allied airfields in the south of England. 

 

I am also considering using some of my favourite aircraft/groups including: The red tails, Hub Zemke’ Wolfpack, ‘M’ for mother, Memphis belle, a custom spitfire flight based on fictional Ace James Bigglesworth, etc. 

Edited by Kateenaboy
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Ben

 

I have replied to your PM separately but looking at the above:

 

Red tails - Not in England (Based in Italy)

Hub Zemke’ Wolfpack - Debden, Essex, then Manston, Kent

‘M’ for mother - not aware of this one

Memphis belle - Bassingborne, Cambridgeshire

A custom spitfire flight based on fictional Ace James Bigglesworth - anywhere but likely Kent, outer London or Essex

 

Therefore your model is likely to be based either South East (Southern Railway) or London or North East. (London and North Eastern Railway)

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1 hour ago, Paul821 said:

‘M’ for mother - not aware of this one

M-Mother was one of the lead Lancaster bombers used in the dam busters raids. It was part of the RAF 617 squadron located at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire

 

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Just a slight correction, Zemke's Wolfpack were the P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped 56th Fighter Group, and were based at Horsham St. Faith (briefly), then Halesworth in Suffolk, then Boxted in Essex. Debden was home to the 4th Fighter Group, with its red nosed Mustangs.

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Scale Model Scenery is a great site for anyone building / adding accessories to dioramas.  They provide modellers with great value, high quality, easy to assemble, realistic building kits and detailing accessories to enhance model dioramas. They do support a range of scales but as the primary market is aimed  at model railway layouts and associated British town scenes, the majority of the range is in 00 / 1:76 scale but in most cases its close enough to 1:72 for me. 

 

They have hundreds of items - off the top of my head such as drain covers, farm gates and fences which I am sure would have a place on any British WWII airfield -  I particularly like the laser cut PSP Marston Matting For Airfields and the laser cut chain link security fencing / gate which is incredible - fantastically realistic and surely a feature on any airfield WWII and up to the present day.  

 

spacer.png

 

Well worth a browse. 

 

https://www.scalemodelscenery.co.uk/oo-scale-9-c.asp

 

Rich

Edited by RichG
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7 hours ago, danbuoy said:

Just a slight correction, Zemke's Wolfpack were the P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped 56th Fighter Group, and were based at Horsham St. Faith (briefly), then Halesworth in Suffolk, then Boxted in Essex. Debden was home to the 4th Fighter Group, with its red nosed Mustangs.

You are correct in correcting me - I followed an incorrect link on the web and did not double check.

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I chose a period of November 1943 for my set up, each board measures 8' x 4'  and at the mo it measures 12' x 16' 

 

RAF-Grimsby-history-5.jpg

 

All the buildings are scratch built but I do have a collection of scenic grasses and fences and other bits to add to still a long way to go . . . 

 The vehicles are a collection of diecast and plastic and the model aircraft I have are from the said period so are in the appropriate markings . . . .

 

I hope you will be posting progress reports as you go Ben so we can admire the work and possibly offer suggestions for additional bits to make it 'complete'

 

Ian

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An aside; the UK laid out the hard parts of airfields with concrete. They put the concrete down in squares 9ft by 9ft with a variation of plus up to 6 inches, i.e. 9ft 6 inches by 9 ft 6 inches. I've not measured a variation under 8 ft 11 1/2 inches.

Nutts corner runways are 9 ft x 9ft. Aldergrove was 9ft 3in x 9ft 3in. Langford lodge was variable between 9 ft and 9ft 5in, here they used tar banding between the sections which overlaid the edges so it was hard to get a consistent measurement

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@Mancunian airman, yes I’ll be posting progress notes.

 

my first goal is research and ordering first couple of items to start the project off. Just currently going through the PDF you sent and further having a look at the facilities and compiling a list of

potential building I’m interested in.

 

I’m also looking at a concept for the train depot that would service the areodrome.

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21 hours ago, Tigercat75 said:

That's amazing @Mancunian airman

 

What's the big wall in the centre . Some kind of firing range ? 

Yeah it is, not quite finished when the photo was taken as it needed more embossed red brick . . . another photo from the same time but showing the range itself 

RAF-Grimsby-history-068.jpg

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20 hours ago, Kateenaboy said:

@Mancunian airman, yes I’ll be posting progress notes.

 

my first goal is research and ordering first couple of items to start the project off. Just currently going through the PDF you sent and further having a look at the facilities and compiling a list of

potential building I’m interested in.

 

I’m also looking at a concept for the train depot that would service the areodrome.

 Only two airfields local to me had a railway service. One was a bomber airfield that had bombs delivered into a siding at the rear of one of the hangars and the other was an airfield handed over to the Americans. Although it didnt directly serve the airfield, the GI's could walk literally 5 mins from their barracks and catch a train, plus it ran right next to the southern end of a runway on the airfield . . . 

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afaik very little was delivered to RAF airfields by train. Trains were used by personnel though

Cosford has a railway running alongside. just out side. We used to use the halt that it was then (above the cafe, near the bridge) to get the train to anywhere when we had time off

Famously, Ballykelly in N.I. has a railway running right through the base and it crosses one of the runways. Take-offs had to be scheduled according to the train time-table! But afaik nothing was ever delivered to the station via train. Personnel had to use the halt outside the base

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