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How To Start Your Diecast Model Airport

Posted by AMS Team on 1st Dec 2021

How To Start Your Diecast Model Airport

Herpa 1:500 Airport Diarama | Lego city airport, Diorama, Model airplanes

Ever wondered what it takes to start your own model airport?
Here at AMS we thought this guide would help outline the essential items you need to make your own diecast model airport.

What Is A Diecast Model Airport?

A model airport is a scaled down replica of a fictional airport or even sometimes a replica of a real life airport.
Where collectors position their diorama and swap them around from day to day, to replicate real world operations. 

What Scales Are Diecast Model Airports

Most diecast model airports are typically in 1/400 just as they are more of a suitable size for collectors and do not take up as much space as the larger 1/200 airports.
If you are a 1/500 collector and wish to make yourself an airport, then there is plenty of equipment for this scale also.
Although if you do wish to make a 1/200 scale one yourself, this is possible just not as much equipment is  available.

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Now let's get into what you will actually need to get your model airport kickstarted.
Take a look down below.

Airport Mat

Firstly, you will need the main base or the actual ground for the airport.
Which is mainly provided by an airport mat, however some people do like to create their own.
If you are starting up an airport for the first time then here are some items we recommend for you.

GeminiJets Airport Mat 1/400 GJAPS006 (image above, models sold separately)

https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/geminijets-ai...

1st Choice Airport Mat Layout Set 1/400 & 1/200 - Aircraft Model Store

1st Choice Airport Mat Layout Set 1/400 & 1/200 (image above, models sold separately)

https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/1st-choice-ai...

They are some of the mats that we recommend here, the 1st Choice Airport Mat is great if you want to do both 1/400 and 1/200 as on the reverse side it has been adapted to work with 200 scale items. 

However if you wish to start off with a beginners mat, then we have the perfect item for you.

AMS Airport Paper Mat 1/400 & 1/500

AMS Airport Paper Mat 1/400 & 1/500 (Image above)
https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/ams-airport-p...

The mat you see above, is also suitable for those 1/500 collectors who wish to get started!
So once you have your mat, place it down in an area in which you have some space and wish to start your airport.

Then we move on the the next item, Terminal Building!

Terminal Building

There are many different options when it comes to picking what terminal building you might want to use for your airport, as it really depends what mat you have. 
Since some mats are purpose designed to work with a certain terminal building item.
So in this case, if you are looking for a 1/400 terminal building here is one that we highly recommend.

GeminiJets Airport Terminal Set 1/400 GJARPTB (image above, models sold seperately)

This GeminiJets terminal is great, not only do you get the terminal itself but also 7 moveable jetbridges and some LED lights to give it an amazing look in the dark. 
However if you are in the market for a 1/200 terminal building those are slightly harder to find, although Herpa do make some fantastic single airport buildings that you can build together for 1/500 collectors.
Take a look below!

Herpa Airport building: 2 Departure halls with recess 1/500 519649 (image above)
https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/herpa-airport...



Airport Vehicles & Accessories 

Now we have gone over all the essentials that you may need to get that airport up and running, now to enhance and make it more realistic you can add some airport vehicles and clutter around the apron to give it more of a lively feel.
There once again is huge variety that you could choose, but we have picked a couple for you. 

Fantasy Wings Swissport Airport Bus 1/400 (Image Above)
https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/fantasy-wings...

Every airport needs a way to transport their passengers? So this airport bus set is ideal for a 1/400 airport, as this Fantasy Wings set comes in a pack of 4. Other ground handling operators are available, although for this example we have used the swissport item.

Herpa Airport Accessories: Catering vehicles (2pcs) 1/400 562485 (Image Above)
https://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk/herpa-airport...

Can't forget about the passengers food can you? So this pack of 2 catering vehicles would do the job.
Since there is only two in each pack, if you have a large amount of aircraft it might be worth getting a few to ensure no passengers miss out on their inflight snack.

They are just a few examples of some items that you could get, to enhance your diecast model airport once you get it started. 

Don't forget the planes! The most important part of a successful airport, however what aircraft and airlines you pick are completely up to you. 

Wishing you all the best with your Diecast Model Airport!


Thank you for reading!


See you in the next AMS Blog.