I hope you are all safe and sound.
As some of you may remember, I have been building for many years a replica of Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1:500 scale. I first started with Terminal 2F, followed by Hall K, Hall L (S3) and Hall M (4)
I tried to look at my old posts but unfortunately all my pictures are now gone, as a reminder, here is what my CDG looks like, the last update being the addition of Terminal 2E Hall M (S4). Those pics are from summer 2019
I have been thinking on extending my Charles de Gaulle airport for quite a long time but of course time was the issue. Thankfully if I may say, the lockdown gave me plenty of free-time. It was obvious in my mind that I wanted to build Terminal 2A & 2C. T2AC are welcoming most non Schengen and non AF partners, the rest are using Terminal 1 (mostly Star Alliance (except AC) + Qatar Airways).
When thinking about building a realistic airport, it's important to ensure the availability of models. Those terminals are used by well-produced models of Emirates, Etihad, Saudia, Oman Air, Royal Jordanian, Cathay, British Airways, Air India, Air Madagascar, Air Canada, American Airlines, Hainan, Aeroflot, Gulf Air, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Austral & El Al. of course, sometimes the subtype is not available, I have to use a 777-200LR instead of a 300ER for Air Canada for example but that is still acceptable.
The only aircraft really missing and with no alternative is the Air Senegal A330-900neo
There are a lot of different approach when you are building your own replica. Some prefers to use painting and wood, others cardboard or printing, I think there is no right or wrong approach, it all depends on your confidence with using such materials and the level of details you are looking.
In my case, I am using a mix of printing for the foil and the terminal design and cardboard for the building structures.
1st step: the Ground Foil
What is very time consuming is designing the foil, for that, Google maps is very useful to get exact parking positions and true to scale. Once that ready, it's all printed in my in house printer on regular A4 80gr paper.
All sheets of papers are carefully cut, glued and assembled on thick cardboards. For transport and storage practicality, the airport is divided in two right between the terminals. Meaning that the building that goes in between cannot be glued to the surface.
2nd step: access roads
Same method is applied for the roads, first designed, then printed and glued but on thinner cardboard. Building the access roads first ensure that the terminals are correctly positioned.
3rd step: main terminal buildings
The main shape of the building is not two complex, it's curved but with flat walls. Feather cardboard is used for both the structure and the walls. The cardboard is then covered by the building design, this time printed on thicker paper (150gr).
Terminal 2A & 2C may look similar but they are different, 2A is slightly smaller and with an additional passageway.
4th step: secondary buildings
Complexity is found with the others buildings such as the one that connect the two terminals.
But by far, the most difficult one is the small terminal that is nicknamed as the cherry by the airport workers. I had to redone it 3 times before getting the desired rounded shape. A lot of patience required.
Not to be forgotten are all the small buildings: those are offices, fire station and storage facilities, it helps give a realistic look to the airport.
Again, everything is designed on a computer, printed and assembled.
5th step: Jetways and accessories
Last and final step are the jetways, same as for my other terminals, I am only using the front part of the Herpa jetways. They are attached to a custom made walkway.
For added realism, I have painted in white the Terminal 2A jetways.
Finally, catering trucks are customized with the local providers: Servair/ACNA & Newrest.
I hope you enjoyed this step by step post and I take this opportunity to congratulate all airport builders, this is IMHO the best way to showcase our collections.
Next update will show the finished airport with traffic, here is a teasing: