A diorama based on a airport layout wouldn’t be complete without an aircraft to go with it! Luckily, the real airport in West Sussex has very good integrated rail, road and air interchange links, so much so that the railway station is right next door to the south terminal and the runway.
For anyone that has passed through the real airport in West Sussex, aircraft land and take off on an east/west direction and pass right over the north/south railway line, this is something I wanted to replicate on the diorama. The layout is designed with minimum space in mind, a width of only twelve inches, so I had to search for a suitable aircraft model to fill this space. In addition to this, a 1/72 scale commercial jet aircraft model would be way too big, so I chose to go for a 1/144 scale commercial jet airliner kit and use forced perspective so that hopefully the model doesn’t look too much out of place and unrealistic.
I found two aircraft kits that were suitable for the width of the diorama, an Airfix Boeing 737, or a Revell Airbus A319, however, not being an aviation enthusiast, I didn’t realise until it was pointed out to me that that neither the Airfix Boeing 737 or the Airbus A319 would be suitable for the time period and livery I wanted, the early 1990s. The Airfix Boeing 737 model was a -800 version, which the British airline livery I wanted to use didn’t fly, the Airbus A319 was too modern, more suitable for the 2000s. I eventually found the right aircraft kit and decals, a Boeing 737-400 in Landor livery.