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Making an A380 from a piece of wood

  Building wooden airplane models is a challenging and engrossing hobby for our artists. It can take up to a week to craft each airplane. The process requires attention to detail and a steady hand, but the results are amazing and are now in museums, airlines, travel agents and hobby collectors' homes across the globe. Our artists have created over 35,000 aircraft over the years, and now with the introduction of the A380 onto the Global network, we will show you how the A380 is made from a piece of wood.

Qantas A380 Model

So how is it done?

Starting with actual airplane blueprints, a template is cut. The templates are sized according to the ratio of the actual real life airplane and the model. In most cases, our model airplanes range from 16 to 18 inches in length.

The template is placed onto a piece of kiln dried Mahogany Wood and traced using a pencil. Then, using a saw, the pieces of each aircraft are cut. In the below picture, you can see how the piece of wood has been cut for the main wings and horizontal stabilizer.

A380 under construction

The same is completed for the other parts of the A380. In the below example, the body of an A380 is cut from the side. Other details are traced onto the piece of wood, such as where the wings are assembled, to ensure correct carving is completed.

A380 under construction

The pieces of wood are now chiseled, scraped, planed and sanded until the airplane resembles the actual aircraft. This part of the process is quite time consuming, as one mistake will mean that this piece of wood will be considered damaged, and the process will start again with a new piece of wood. The nose, cockpit, and inserts are placed onto the body. As the A380 takes shape, you can start to see the double level on the fuselage and also where the wings will be attached to the center wing box, and the vertical and horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage.

A380 under construction

As the wings are sanded to a thin piece of wood, they are then ready for the addition of the flaps and handcrafted engines. In the case of the A380, it has 4 engines, and also a wing tip. The wing tip is attached to the wing in this stage and is made of a small piece of metal.

A380 under construction

All parts of the airplane are now assembled using wood glue. The aircraft though is still a piece of hardwood and further sanding for adjustments are made at this stage.

A380 under construction

The airplane is now ready to be smoothed with putty. This removes the wood's roughness and provides a smooth finish. This process may occur several times as putty is added and sanded.

A380 under construction

Finally the airplane is ready to be handpainted by the artists. Most models will have the same placement of the cockpit, windows and doors, however, different liveries (scheme of the airline) will require different paint processes to complete the aircraft.

A380 Air France Model


You can check out other model airplanes by clicking the link.

We will accept custom orders (just imagine your own 747 in your own colors! Your personal AirForce One!). Please contact airplane@themodelairplane.com for further information.