Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Ardmore Airforce Base

A few miles to the north of Gene Autry is the site of the Ardmore Industrial Airpark and the Ardmore Municipal Airport. This facility was originally built as a military airfield, and operated as the Ardmore Army Air Field from 1942 until 1946, when it was turned over to the City of Ardmore for use as a civilian airfield. With the advent of the Cold War, the military resumed control, and operated the airfield as the Ardmore Airforce Base from 1953 until 1959.

In March 1959 the facility was again turned over to the City of Ardmore and has since operated as the Ardmore Industrial Airpark and the Ardmore Municipal Airport.  However, in my reimagined version of history, in 1960 the airfield is still a busy Airforce base.

The following map from 1965 shows the arrangement of the original rail siding, which was located in the south-west corner of the airbase.

This photo shows where original siding left the ATSF main track and crossed a low trestle bridge before entering the airbase:

This photo from 1954 is the only photo I've found that shows any part of the rail facilities, which are barely visible in the lower left-hand corner. Almost all of the buildings in this photo were removed before the Airforce turned the base over to the City of Ardmore in 1959.

In the tight space that I have available I will include a two-track siding, a long warehouse, and facilities for unloading flat cars and tank cars. These photos show what I have so far:
This photo shows the warehouse as viewed from the aisle. Viewed from this angle,
the rest of the airbase would be located behind and to the right of the warehouse

This photo, and the next one, were taken from a higher elevation to better show
the building and 'concrete' surface.

I've added some freight cars to show the overall size.

I scribed lines in the 'concrete' to represent expansion gaps, using a pattern that I saw on a derelict WW2 airfield in an episode of Midsomer Murders. The airfield used in that episode was RAF Oakley Airfield at Worminghall.

I tried to make the scribed 'expansion gaps' show up darker against the grey concrete by rubbing on darker chalks, but the chalk simply made the surface darker while making the lines appear even lighter. Some time in the future I'll try applying a wash to the surface, but that can wait for now.

Now I just have to figure out how to represent the rest of the airbase. Perhaps a few storage tanks, a building flat or two, and maybe a backdrop photo.