Back to this forum with this airport project thread.
I live in Nantes, France and I've always been considering making a replica of the airport in 1/500 scale.
First, let me introduce Nantes with few pictures :
Now let's speak of the airport. Nantes airport is an airport mostly dedicated to short and medium haul flights, the only long haul flight is indeed Air Transat operated 3 times a week to YUL airport during summer period, while XL Airways France ponctually operate flights to Martinique during winter. Both are operated by Airbus A330.
The trafic is growing fast at the airport, 6 millions of passengers are expected at the end of the year (it gained 1 milllion per year during the last years). Volotea, Air France, Hop!, Transavia France are based to the airport. Easyjet has confirmed today they will also open a base starting in April 2019.
Here is a picture of the real airport :
Since I am working there, I decided to go further and I started the crazy project of making it as a true scale replica.
To start my airport project I decided I would like to learn using a new technology : 3D Printing. It has always been an interest for me, but making aircraft or vehicle was too difficult for me for a first attempt. The terminal is complex, but no rounded parts so I believed it would be possible to make it. Using Herpa buildings wasn't an option
First, I found a map showing all the airport at my work, which helped me a lot about the sizes of each parts. I reduced everything and made a drawing of the shape of the building, with all the size for 1/500 scale.
Then, I started the creation of the 3D model on the computer. I tried few software, spent a lot of time for a bad result and I finally came accros the online website TinkerCAD
which was fine enough for me. I did the building 3 times : My first attempt was correct but was very expensive (someone told me 1000$
) because there was no empty zone, for example under the building. Second attempt was better and very detailled (I even did the vent pipes at the top of the building) but some parts were too small to be printed, while the building was oversized. The last attempt was good for me.
I had to split the main building in 3 parts to fit in the 3D printer. With time, I finally achived to finish all the buildings I wanted. Here is an overall picture :
The terminal 4 which is mainly operated by Volotea and Hop :
As you can see, I also have worked on the foil. To obtain it, I "stole" what I could see on Google Maps, then erased all the lines and finally added the real lines over it. Maps was not accurate for everything, as the parkings stands L1 to L5 where not up to date.
The next step will now to finish the foil all the parking stands, and start painting and decalling the buildings.
I will keep you updated on this thread about the project. Despite Easyjet nor Volotea exists in 1/500 scale, I can have a realistic fleet of models coming to the airport (Air France, Hop, Transavia, Vueling, Rynair - if I can find one not so expensive
-, Smartwings, etc...).
As I am fully happy for the moment with this project, I will probably restart my old greenlandic airport project Kangerlussuaq Airport with the same method (building done by 3D, foild with Maps) and also another hard one : Pyongyang Airport (I had this idea since I received the IL 62 Air Koryo few days ago
). The idea will to give life to my models with realistic replicas !