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tomprobert

1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

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You know those occasions when you get a crazy idea and just have to give a try? Well this is one of those. There's far from any guarantee of success or completion, but fortune favours the brave and all that..!

Having a real soft-spot for the Avro Shackleton I've decided to do something really stupid and have a go at scratch-building one in 1/32nd scale. As I'm sure we're all aware there's kits available in 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, but nothing in 1/32nd so the only option is to start from scratch.

I have an old ID Models 1/32nd Lancaster in the stash, and always planned to convert that to a Lincoln. However, when doing some research on the Lincoln I discovered that the wing and centre section (although widened on the Shackleton) were in essence the same airframe. Therefore I thought, making a Shackleton using the Lancaster as a parts donor could be a viable option...

The first phase of the project was to find some plans. The Warpaint Series on the Shackleton came up trumps, and although these plans are far from perfect they've given me enough to get started. I duly enlarged them to 1/32nd scale and cobbled together a reasonable outline for a MR2 which is the version I'm hoping to replicate. You can see the size this model will (hopefully) be when finished when you put the Airfix 1/72nd kit on top:

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With that done it was sourcing the key components of a project like this - various thicknesses of plastic card:

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And of course the ID Models Lancaster:

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I then set about building up the centre section from plastic card formers, using the bomb bay roof as the structural centre-point. Wing spars have been made integral to the structure for strength and stability. I'm not going to worry too much about an interior to the fuselage, as it'll all be sprayed black and next to nothing will be visible through the small fuselage windows. The forward flight deck area will be fully replicated, though:

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The plan is to use the Lancaster fuselage sides for the 'skinning' of the model, and other areas will be 'planked' and blended with filler from thin plastic card strips.

With the fuselage centre section progressing well and having cut my teeth on making bulkheads and formers etc., I had the confidence to have a go at making the nose section. This is a lot more tricky as there are many complex shapes and subtle curves to try to replicate, especially around the extreme nose where the bomb aimer/gunner's glazing. Again, the interior won't an accurate structural representation of the real thing, but being black and only the extreme nose interior being visible there shouldn't be too many problems here.

As with the fuselage, the basic shape of the formers were made from plastic card and assembled to give a skeleton that'll be skinned in due course:

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I haven't made the 'roof' to the nose compartment yet as some form of interior needs to be added, as well as the observer/gunner's transparencies and its associated fairings:

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So this is where we're currently at:

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And alongside the 1/72nd scale version for a 'size reality check!'

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As I said at the start, there's no guarantee of success in the long term, but I'm having a blast right now! :)

Tom

Edited by tomprobert

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😳..... Even if you don't get it done it looks like you will have fun, it's a bit of a monster!

Rob

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Great start Tom, I can't wait to see this one.

Note to self: Must invest and buy shares in Plasticard.

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Good grief it's enormous. This I must see. Looks impressive already.

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You are a braver man than most . . . .

the fact that you have all these sections already shaped tells me you know what you are doing and the outcome is gonna be GREAT :goodjob:

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Tom,

I'm trying to get the drawings to you - the files are just too big. Can you PM me an address and I'll get something in the post to you. The warpaint 3 view isn't too bad, but the nose is a little too deep. I posted a large GA drawing here which is better -

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50225&sid=320fb84a92e7f4b4e6fd024e41acb895&start=125

Looking good so far though!

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This is going to be impressive. Good luck!

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Oh I'm definitely pulling up a comfy chair for this one.

Trevor

.....and yes you are a Grade A, cast iron, copper-bottomed loon for trying this. You'll succeed though :)

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Thanks for the early interest and words of encouragement; they're much appreciated :)

It's great to watch a master at work, I'll be following this.

Thanks Dave, but 'master' may be taking it a bot far. More like 'certified insane' may be more realistic ;)

..... Even if you don't get it done it looks like you will have fun, it's a bit of a monster!

Rob

That's the whole point, Rob - have a go and see what it ends up like. I'm confident I'll get it done in the end, but it'll be a long and winding road I'm sure. I've already learnt a huge amount just making the formers etc. and have thoroughly enjoyed the process, too.

Great start Tom, I can't wait to see this one.

Note to self: Must invest and buy shares in Plasticard.

I spent £25 on the stuff the other day... by the time I've finished there'll be a national shortage!

You are a braver man than most . . . .

the fact that you have all these sections already shaped tells me you know what you are doing and the outcome is gonna be GREAT :goodjob:

Once you've done one former the hard work is done. From that first point you have the basic shape to work from, and can use it as a template for the others. I always do a 'dry run' in cardboard first to avoid wasting expensive plasticard when you c**k it up.

The tricky part is where the fuselage tapers - the nose was the hardest aspect of this as there's some fairly complex curves there. When it's skinned any errors will be clear to see so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tom,

I'm trying to get the drawings to you - the files are just too big. Can you PM me an address and I'll get something in the post to you. The warpaint 3 view isn't too bad, but the nose is a little too deep. I posted a large GA drawing here which is better -

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50225&sid=320fb84a92e7f4b4e6fd024e41acb895&start=125

Looking good so far though!

Many thanks, Rich. PM replied to :)

Finished in time for Telford ?
.
.
.
.
I'll just get me coat.

Telford 2020? ;)

Stop this immediately and get back to the Phantom! :)

Yes... the Phantom... it's not forgotten about, fear not. I've done a little more to the cockpit recently but nothing really worth an update on the thread. When I need a break from this she'll get her turn.

Tom

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Methinks I can learn a huge amount following this thread - bookmarked!

You have my attention 100% Tom

Just let me get a cuppa and biscuit and pull a chair up

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Gott im Himmel! Well, Tom, you have well and truly gone off the proverbial deep end and good for you! I shall be watching this inspired madness with a mixture of awe, and disbelief.

Regards,

Jason

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Just seen this via Facebook.... Very nice Tom, you don't shock me no more though! ;) I'm pretty confident that you'll finish it though.....

I wish I started my Savage like this, instead I've gone for the really messy way.....

Looking forward to seeing this unfold :popcorn:

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Gott im Himmel! Well, Tom, you have well and truly gone off the proverbial deep end and good for you! I shall be watching this inspired madness with a mixture of awe, and disbelief.

Regards,

Jason

Well you told me to do it :bleh:

If memory serves me correctly you told me how easy it'd be on my thread with the Airfix 1/72nd scale version. Therefore it's all your fault - that's what I told the wife when it was spread out all over the dining room table this afternoon anyway!

Just seen this via Facebook.... Very nice Tom, you don't shock me no more though! ;) I'm pretty confident that you'll finish it though.....

I wish I started my Savage like this, instead I've gone for the really messy way.....

Looking forward to seeing this unfold :popcorn:

Cheers. Radders! I was looking at your Savage thread the other day - you'll notice I've done something similar with the bulkhead structure but instead of filling the whole fuse out and vac-forming it I thought I'd make use of the Lancaster and skin it instead. May live to regret that decision, but we'll see :)

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Well, I think you've just reached the top of the list of 'maddest scratchbuilt project'

Mad as a box of frogs. No. Make that madder than 2 boxes of frogs!

But I'll certainly be ... :popcorn:

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