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Paul Brown

Thunderbirds are go - TB1

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Yeah, I know I'm a bit late for the space/sci-fi GB...anyhow this is going to be a TB1

 

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Why two Imai and one aoshima kits? The Aoshima will be a point of reference (it's probably the best of the TB1 kits), whilst the Imai is meant to be built as a push along toy(!) and therefore I will be combining the two kits to build one. I can utilise two of the same fuselage parts, plus a spare set of winglets required for the empennage. From the instructions you can see the toy it's meant to be assembled into, complete with wheels and projectile nose.           

 

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Here's some of the bits that will be discarded, tyres, wheels and part of the firing mechanism.

 

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And we're off! Notice the vinyl stickers. As I have nothing to replace them with, I'll be attempting to use them.

 

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Not too long later...some Perfect Plastic Putty to fill unwanted holes, backed with some plastic card to stop it pushing through. I'm going to let it set thoroughly before pushing on  and in any case have to cook some dinner.

 

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See ya later!

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The lower part of the power unit has been butchered in an attempt to replicate the circular openings on the top surface of the studio models. I used the spare cross piece, hacking off the spokes to glue on after 'a bit of surgery' on the main part with a motor tool. Out with the Milliput shortly to do some sculpting. Must get myself a new small cutting mat some time.

 

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Looks like you have your work cut out on this one, Paul 
Literally and metaphorically
Good luck! 

Edited by Walrus

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Yeah. It's now slathered in Milliput, as is the nose cone for reshaping. I'm looking to replicate the finning under the cone and at the base of the fuselage. The Milliput isn't setting and I may have bitten off more than I can chew within the time limit. Might try giving the Milliput a hair drier blasting.  

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Okay, the nose cone is FUBAR, but I have a spare - the joy of having two kits! The lesson is that the blue parts are soft, almost like polythene and can't be worked like harder plastic, so achieving a sharper tip requires a different approach. In other news the Milliput is now hardening up. Time for supper.  

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Close but no cigar. In the end I set myself a task that was a little too ambitious and the amount of work/processes was too great to overcome. By mid afternoon today I had a set of components ready to assemble, but no time to paint. Here's all the bits.

 

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Modifying the power unit was worth the effort, it's much improved (IMO), but soaked up lots of time. The misfire with the nose cone was overcome with the spare parts. I extended it by almost 10mm to make it look more like the studio models and this was achieved by drilling the end, gluing in a wire replacement (it's guitar string round wire for a bit of extra grab), then coating in superglue and whittling to shape. Finishing was achieved by chucking into a drill and working with files and abrasives, then a polish. With the misfire and working another one it was another time setback. Adding the little vents and collars to the lower fuselage didn't take too long. So here it is assembled, apart from the noise cone that's a loose fit at the moment.

 

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So a failure in respect of the GB, but for me quite miraculous to make so much progress in a couple of days. I shall continue with the clean up and priming this evening, hopefully and then the paint job tomorrow at a more leisurely pace. 

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I've moved the thread to Space and Sci-Fi, because having gotten this far I'm not about to give up. Having checked out other kits and images of the studio TB-1, it's blindingly apparent just how poor this model actually is. The wings are undersize, the wing slots humongously oversize, the fuselage is cylindrical rather than conical/convex (think London Gherkin) and the bottom end power unit an approximation. Still, it's recognisable as TB-1 and should add a fun element to whatever display tables it subsequently finds itself on.

 

I've been nibbling at it this last week, fill, sand, prime, fill, sand, prime, repeat ad nauseum. Bored now, so this is it before some white primer for the pastel colours, then black for the silvers.

 

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On another thread the topic was about tube bending, here's my take on it. I'm going to be using a stand for the TB-1 that's sourced from another kit and need a means of mounting model to stand. I also want it in a dynamic pose, so some brass tube is brought into play. The tube is 2mm o/d and before bending had the guitar string (bottom E if you're interested) inserted before bending around an old paint brush using brute force - my old gaffer in the joinery shop where I was an apprentice would be appalled, brute force was a big no, no. Anyhow it worked, no crushing or deformation of the tube. 

 

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I drilled a hole in TB-1 at a suitable location, then glued in a larger piece of brass tube as a bush. The second hole is for a pin to hold the model at the desired angle.

 

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The stand is from the Aoshima TB-1+Launch Pad set, I wasn't planning on using it. You can see the brass tube and pin glued in place.

 

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Some final touch ups with primer and we're ready to add colour.

 

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A trial run of model and stand. I like it.

 

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More anon!

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