Monday, June 21, 2010

Madurodam, August 1964

At first you might see today's photos and think, "Why am I looking at pictures of an old airport?". But on closer inspection you'll realize that this is a scene created entirely in miniature! We're back at "Madurodam" in The Netherlands - see my first post for some history on this venerable European attraction.

From what I can see in those older 1955 photos, there was no airport, so it made for a great post-war addition. What could be more exciting than the sight of a dozen or so gleaming white jet airliners waiting on the tarmac, preparing to fly to who-knows-where? Paris! New York! Buenos Aires! Oxnard!

There's a Shell gas station, a good place to fill up your rental car before returning it. I love the details, the tiny gas pumps, the car carrier, the little Citroens and Peugots and various trucks.

I'm tellin' ya, if it wasn't for those legs in the upper left, a person could be fooled into thinking that this was a real airport.

The folks in the background give you an idea of the scale here. I like how some of the miniature people are standing at crazy angles!

I hope you've enjoyed today's visit to Madurodam, because I have more to come.


Chuck said...

Wow! I wonder if you could take a flight from here to Storybook Gardens...

Anybody know if the cars on the highway moved on a track (like at the LA County Fairgrounds)? Those tire marks could be good model detailing, but it also could be an indication of some good animation as well.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Totally believable if you just look at the photos without enlarging them. This place is so cool - its like Mott's miniatures outside times 1000! I'd love to see it in person! Thanks for the great post.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Absolutely fantastic Major. Awesome place!

The 4 airplanes in the first picture are French manufactured SUD Caravelle's. The nose and cockpit area of this airplane was taken from the British Comet.

Later SUD would become Aerospatiale. And along with British Aerospace would build the Concorde. Just thought you might like to know.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I don't know for sure, but it looks like the vehicles are on a little track of some kind, so I'm guessing that they did move.

Tim, you need to book a flight to the Netherlands today! ;-)

Viewliner, I am wondering if those airplanes are high-end store bought models or if they were made expressly for Madurodam. Did you work in the aerospace industry? You sure know a lot about them flying machines!

Chuck said...


Didn't realize the Caravelle front-end was copied from the Comet, but now that you mention it, the family resemblance is unmistakable.

Further developing this tangent...both a Comet and one of the Concorde prototypes are on display at the Imperial War Museum Annex at the former RAF Duxford south of Cambridge (the one in England, not Massachusetts or Ohio). Both aircraft are usually open to the public, and never having flown on either, it was a real treat to see the difference in amenities and personal space from what we're used to in airline travel today, or even what I experienced as a child in the '70s. Granted, the Concorde's fuselage cross-section was driven by desired speed rather than passenger comfort or capacity, but it's still a contrast. That said, I think either still beats side-mounted, red web seats and a set of foam earplugs in the back of a C-130 any day.

Anyway, worth a visit if you're in the UK, have a thing for winged contraptions and you think that Samuel Johnson guy was full of crap.

Nancy said...

very cool....