Inspired by his travels to Guayaquil, Equador, model enthusiast Clay Franco has developed CSF International Airport which is modeled after Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport. The diorama shows an amazing amount of creativity and talent and currently houses over 94 1:400 scale diecast aircraft. The layout also features realistic runway and taxiway lightning and landscaping features such as grass and trees.
Name: Clay S. Franco (Modelaviator) Instagram
Current Location: Long Island, New York
Airport Name: CSF International Airport
Airport Scale: 1:400 scale, with some 1:500 scale vehicles
Largest Aircraft Serving CSF International: Airbus A380
Smallest Aircraft Serving CSF International: ATR-72
DF=The Diecast Flier
CSF=Clay S. Franco
DF: Can you tell us when you began to develop an interest in aviation?
CSF: When I was around 5 years old, I received a Fisher Price Airport set for Christmas. It came with airplanes and a terminal as well as fuel trucks and passengers. I remember playing airport with my older brother who influenced my liking in the world of aviation.
DF: Favorite Airport?
CSF: San Francisco International Airport due to the runway configuration. I’m also a fan of St. Maarten Princess Juliana International. The views of the approaching airplanes are amazing.
DF: What is your airport’s name?
CSF: CSF International Airport. If you haven’t figured it out yet those are the initials to my name.
DF: Is your airport modeled after a particular airport?
CSF: It’s actually modeled after the Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport, which serves Guayaquil, Ecuador. I used to travel to this airport frequently. The welcome sign made out of grass on approach to Runway 21 made me want to replicate this airport.
DF: What inspired you to design your diorama? How long did it take?
CSF: I am a collector of 1:400 models and was tired of having them either in boxes or on shelves. I had seen several model train layouts and came up with the idea to create an airport to display my models. My airport project began in 2012, and I’ve been working on it daily ever since. In order to keep the layout clean I often move airplanes from their display positions in to perform a weekly cleaning and dusting of the layout.
DF: Can you tell us how you designed and constructed your airport?
CSF: I purchased a mat online from eBay and placed it on top of a computer desk. I then decided to make table with enough height to it that you can stand and get lost looking at my small world. I wanted it to have a lot of details and views.
DF: What type different types of products did you use in the development and creation of your airport?
CSF: I used regular wood for the buildings and terminals, Woodland Scenic products for grass and bushes, as well as plaster and crushed paper to create the mountainous terrain. Although Woodland Scenic products are typically used for model trains layouts, they can be used for any dioramas in my opinion. I also used printed ground foils on card stock paper and ice cream wood sticks for the over pass bridge.
DF: Favorite aircraft that is part of your diorama collection?
CSF: I have so many, but right now my favorites are the Air Serbia A330, United B747 and British Airways A380.
DF: How many aircraft are based at your airport?