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Old 05-24-2020, 07:14 AM   #256
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Looking good Pete - that American MD-11 over the illuminated checkerboard is a spectacular sight! Your diorama is certainly unique and it's always cool to see photos of the construction process.

Thanks for sharing!

- Cal.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:39 AM   #257
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Dromedarius: Etihad's Operations



Etihad is one of the ‘Big Three’ Gulf carriers. Although it has often been a follower and not a leader regarding route development and operational strategy, it cannot be denied that it ranks among the best airlines in the world when it comes to onboard service and amenities. Having flown them numerous times in F and J classes, I can personally attest to the amazing inflight experience that they provide! As such, the airline definitely warrants a place at the over-the-top, boogie Mid-Atlantic destination of Dromedarius. So, presented here is a look at Etihad’s Dromedarius operations over the past few years. Sit back and enjoy!


The early long range operations of Etihad were characterized by a mish-mash of airplane types in the fleet. In its formative years, the company experienced dizzying, exponential growth and to provide capacity to meet demand, the airline operated a wide variety of planes. Seen at Dromedarius’ gate E-10, is an Etihad A340-500 being serviced in-between flights:





Some days, demand on their Abu Dhabi route was so high, that an A340-600 was substituted for the -500! Here is one beginning its take-off roll down runway 9:






A reflection of the company’s chaotic growth during its formative years was the frequent requirement to substitute ever-larger airplane types on especially busy days. Evidence of this is operation of the Boeing 777-300 by Etihad for the high traffic experienced on Tuesday and Friday operations, an example shown here as it taxis to its parking stand:





A few years later, another Etihad “W” wearing the striking new “Facets of Abu Dhabi” color scheme, turns onto runway 9 prior to take-off:






Ready to rock and roll, the Triple Seven trundles down runway 9 for its return flight home:





On days with less demand, the company used its A330 aircraft to service the island of Dromedarius. Shown here is an example of one such operation, wearing the eye-catching, purple-hued “Visit Abu Dhabi” promotional colors:





New types made their way into the fleet as the airline matured and began the process of standardization of aircraft types. With the retirement of planes like the A340, the efficient Boeing 787 was certainly a worthy replacement and has become widely used by Etihad on its long-haul flights. Here is a 787-10 seen in the early evening hours at Dromedarius, about to take off from runway 27:





A particularly busy afternoon sees TWO Dreamliners at Dromedarius. One 789 has just finished landing (background), while another preps for departure (foreground):





The A321 looks gorgeous in the airline’s current livery! This example here, on a non-revenue flight, has popped in for a quick service and arrives at the hangar in Dromedarius:





Returning home after some routine maintenance work, the sporty A321 turns onto runway 27:





Looking equally at home in both desert and urban surroundings, the much-loved Etihad A380 is seen here after completing its landing roll on runway 27:





Ready to fly back home, the Etihad A380 turns onto runway 27 for takeoff:


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Old 05-25-2020, 10:00 AM   #258
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Originally Posted by Cal1736 View Post
Looking good Pete - that American MD-11 over the illuminated checkerboard is a spectacular sight! Your diorama is certainly unique and it's always cool to see photos of the construction process.

Thanks for sharing!

- Cal.
Thank-you for the compliments! Because of its shiny livery and great attention to detail, I just had to use the beautiful Starjets AA MD-11 for the initial photo of the "Checkerboard Approach" as this phase of the diorama construction draws to completion. I hope that by showing some of the steps involved in creating my model airport, others can not only learn some new techniques, but also get the courage to "take the chance" at trying their hand at this rewarding aspect of model airplane collecting!
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:01 AM   #259
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Thank-you to all of the loyal followers of this thread, for waiting patiently to see updates on the modifications being made to the eastern half of ‘Dromedarius.’ This entire week has been spent working on the project—it goes slowly, because not only does each step require planning and thought (in the case of this diorama, everything has to be planned for future storage capability AND the creation of hidden access panels for the wiring of the lighting system): there are also significant time requirements for letting glue dry, waiting for plaster to set, paint drying time, etc.! Logistical headaches that must be overcome, but in the end are truly worth the trouble. Soooo, this post shows many of the steps involved with these procedures.


The terrain for the eastern section of the Dromedarius airport diorama was created in two phases, the first being the establishment of the “crater rim” which contains most of the approach lighting and (eventually) the famous ”checkerboard” approach guide. Here is a view of the wooden substructure of the crater:





The crater rim during plaster application: the plaster will smooth out the otherwise blunt wood substructure and fill in any gaps. Note the LED approach lighting sitting on the end of runway 27 prior to installation—these lights were originally curved model railroad street lamps, which have been modified for this airport application. The heights of the lamps become gradually shorter as they near the end of the runway:




This view shows the process of moving the “piano keys,” etc. several hundred feet down the runway and creating a displaced threshold for runway 27:





Establishing the height of “Mount Baldy” (the second, and much taller, phase of the terrain) using wood forms and Styrofoam, that will create the substructure. This view shows plaster being applied atop the substructure:





A practice approach by an old American Airlines MD-11. Truly a fun landing for the pilots, and any aviation enthusiasts on board with window seats have a field day when arriving onto runway 27 at Dromedarius!





Doing a final check on the positioning of the checkerboard and curved approach lighting, before final installation. The angulation of the checkerboard is crucial to allow full illumination AND visibility for approaching aircraft.





COMING UP IN JUST A FEW HOURS: What the diorama looks like right now, PAINTED!
Pete


The checkerboard is a beautiful addition and it is lovely to see all the work under a realization like this.
Bravo.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:02 AM   #260
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Pete, there will be a flight from Toronto with the E175...very soon!!!
Looking forward to this and let me know the flight specifics so that I can reciprocate the return flight!
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:04 AM   #261
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Etihad Airways really has one of the most beautiful liveries of the sky! All the airplanes of the fleet are beautiful (A380, B777W, B787) but the A380 in Etihad livery is AMAZING!
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:08 AM   #262
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Originally Posted by Charter View Post

The checkerboard is a beautiful addition and it is lovely to see all the work under a realization like this.
Bravo.
Thank-you Alessandro! A compliment from a master such as yourself is truly inspiring. I have wanted a Kat Tak-like checkerboard for so long--I decided that a desert application here on Dromedarius would be a unique application so I gave it a shot. Glad that you like it! Much more to come, as there is much needed work on the terminals, cargo port, and hangar facilities. Stay tuned!

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Old 05-30-2020, 06:18 AM   #263
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Although I am busy working on improving the Dromedarius Airport scenery this morning with associated pictures to be posted this weekend, meanwhile I had to share a few pix of some new arrivals. Yesterday a literal treasure trove of planes were delivered. It felt like Christmas—I was so excited to receive a few more models!! I will share them individually in more detail, when their time in the ‘rotation’ comes up!





A look at one of the recently landed birds, the particularly gorgeous United 787-10 has arrived from Newark!





Extremely agile, athletic and sporty with its winglets, is this UA 757-200, inbound from Denver:





Finally, one of the most comfy narrow-bodied experiences out there, the A320, in United’s livery is poised to take off for Washington Dulles:




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Old 05-30-2020, 07:14 AM   #264
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Beautiful livery, shame they changed it, only think which didnt fit in my opinion was the font, should have kept the CO one.
UA actually never had a bad livery in my opinion, wish they had kept their last one and CO remained in existance with their livery as well.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:48 AM   #265
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

A lot of new arrivals Pete, congrats on the diverse batch of models!
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:55 AM   #266
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Awesome looking airport. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:49 PM   #267
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

Let The Fun Begin!!

It took the entire weekend to get it right, but now I have finally completed the metal "scaffolding" that holds up the checkerboard warning patterns. Although it would have been easier (and much faster!) just to glue the checkerboards to the mountainous terrain located immediately behind them, I wanted to create a more realistic-looking structure. Now that this difficult task is done, there will be many fun photo opportunities in the days ahead!



The first view clearly shows both the departure and arrival checkerboards, and one can also easily trace the pattern of the curved arrival lighting posts, as this Northwest 747-400 takes off from runway 9, climbs, and then turns slightly to the right to avoid "Mount Baldy:"





As the NW 744 climbs out on departure, this view from behind shows how only a slight dog leg to the right is needed to avoid the obstacle presented by Mount Baldy:



Last edited by uncle beat; 05-31-2020 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:45 PM   #268
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Originally Posted by Speedbird 001 View Post
Beautiful livery, shame they changed it, only think which didnt fit in my opinion was the font, should have kept the CO one.
UA actually never had a bad livery in my opinion, wish they had kept their last one and CO remained in existance with their livery as well.

Totally agree with you--the font should have remained!! At any rate, I'm starting to acquire some UA model airplanes, even though I don't fly United much since they don't have a hub down in Florida. Still nice to have the models, though!

Pete

Last edited by uncle beat; 06-01-2020 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:38 AM   #269
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Originally Posted by stephen1160 View Post
Awesome looking airport. Thanks for sharing!

Thank-you for the compliments! These words are encouraging for us to keep on creating and sharing. It is great that you have joined the forum, welcome aboard and stay tuned for much more!
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:49 AM   #270
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Re: MAGIC: San Ysidro, Dromedarius, and St. Francis

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Originally Posted by DutchCollector View Post
A lot of new arrivals Pete, congrats on the diverse batch of models!

It is always a happy day when a new flock of models lands at the house! I only order in batches, so the orders themselves are often months apart--makes collecting these little beauties even more special. Stay tuned for more developments--especially for the buildings, now that the scenery of Dromedrius has taken a giant leap forward!
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