Updated: Jan 1, 2021
I am creating a diorama of Steven Spielberg’s movie 1941. I will be doing blog posts of the different components that went into making this diorama scene.
There is this neat art deco vintage travel trailer in the background of the shot when the woman goes to pump the gas for the P-40.
I wasn’t going to include it in the diorama, but I had some dead space to fill on the right side of the diorama. I thought, well maybe if I can find some info on the internet, (What did we do before the internet?), I’d build the travel trailer. It turns out it is a 1947 Aero Flite Falcon Travel Trailer. I found dimensions, patent sketches and photos of restored campers online, enough info for me to do some CAD drawings and laser cut the parts from .0625” acrylic and .020” sheet styrene. It is not true for the year 1941, but it was in the movie, so I’ll include it.
The camper has louvers on the front that I made using my technique of alternating long .020″ x .020″ strip styrene with .020″ x .060″ short spacers. I do something similar for inside the landing gear wells on aircraft models.
I also laser cut some blinds for the windows.
I used Evergreen quarter round and half round styrene strips for the rain deflectors over the windows/door and the stiffeners on the side of the camper.
The Aero Flite Travel Trailer is ready for the paint shop for masking, primer and paint! I added the trailer tongue, frame and propane tank cover to the front and made the rear bumper, which was a modification from the original trailer built by Aero Lines. I found an a/c nose wheel from the spare parts box. I drilled out for the brake and side lights. The frames around the front and rear windows will be painted separately and applied later.
I had an old red solid decal sheet from Super Scale. How old? It has a $2 price tag on it. I thought I’d cut the decal sheet and give it a try and it worked. I had a couple of breaks, but the decal didn’t shatter! I brushed some thin black Vallejo acrylic paint into the forward vents.
I have to get some micro drills to drill a hole for the door handle and stretch some clear sprue for the side lights. I like how the travel trailer came out. It took 1 week from not knowing anything about this travel trailer to complete, not bad for how I build. I enjoy scratch building
Aero Flite trailers were built by Aero Lines at the Van Nuys Metropolitan Airport, CA after WWII. Construction was similar to building aircraft with aluminum and magnesium. About 110 to 120 were built, maybe 25 survive today.