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tomprobert last won the day on April 28

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About tomprobert

  • Birthday 02/16/1982

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    WWII aviation - especially the Eighth Air Force, Commercial Aviation, Vacforms and Scratch-building

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  1. I genuinely think it will float as it’s so light - whether the hull is watertight or not is another matter
  2. Retirement... that's unfortunately a long way off yet but during the summer holidays it's as if I am! I remember that pond well - I haven't done a buoyancy test with this yet as it won't fit in the bath. I may have to get the kids' paddling pool out... All the best, Tom
  3. Afternoon guys and gals, Another update for you - can you tell I'm a teacher on school holidays? I've been working on the last of the major airframe construction which has been the vertical stabiliser. Here's how it comes in its raw form: As usual, I had to scribe on the surface details and then I set about making some internal reinforcements. Being such a massive fin, I made some beefy spars from plastic card and used some old scrap sprue to reinforce and help the bonding of the leading edge. The spars were made to protrude from the base of the fin, as they would then be attached through the top of the fuselage and secured to the spar for the stabilisers using Araldite Epoxy glue for a really solid joint: The fin was then blended into the upper fuselage with car body filler, polished and then the missing and damaged panel detail reinstated. Unfortunately, the distinctive curved fairing at the lower rear of the fin was missing in the kit, so I fashioned the basic shape of the fillet from plastic card and blended everything in with filler - see the red arrow below. This will still need some more tweaking when I work on the turret as it's actually quite a complex shape at the back end: I've also added some Evergreen ribbing on the rudder in an attempt to match the elevators - this has since been sanded right back and is much more subtle: It's now looking more and more like a Sunderland: It's good to get the main construction done and I've been on a bit of a roll... the next logical step will be the engines so I'm off to do some head-scratching about how I can convert a 14-cylinder Hercules engine (from the Revell 1/32nd Beaufighter) into a 9-cylinder Pegasus. Should be fun! Until next time, Tom
  4. One day... that would make an impressively-sized display of submarine hunters. I can’t see my club appreciating that very much as it would mean all the display space taken up at Telford!
  5. Indeed it would - it’s just the display base would need to be 4ft x 4ft as a minimum and the wife might get a bit excited about that.
  6. They all live in the attic on shelving in the eves. Far from glamorous but reasonably dust free and out of the way. My smaller models all go in IKEA crates and are stacked on top of each other which makes getting to a model at the bottom of the stack a bit of a chore but they’re well protected and again safe from dust and knocks. Room is rapidly running out now unfortunately and this Sunderland, my 1/48th B-52 and 1/32 Shackleton will take the last available spaces. A rethink will then be needed as I’ve got a few more large ones lined up such as the HK Lancaster and HB B-24, and I’ve also got a vacform 1/32 Stirling and 1/32 Catalina lined up too. Fun times!
  7. Ha ha! We’re really careful when it comes to publishing pictures of our children on the internet. If they want to post images of themselves when they’re older that’s their decision, but we’ll never publish any identifiable images of them online. And I’ve actually been lying to you all along. My daughter is actually a midget and this is only 1/72nd scale! All the best, Tom
  8. Those guns are works of art in themselves. Amazing skills on show here, Fozzy!
  9. It is indeed a large model, Alan - here's my daughter (she's 5) 'modelling' it for you to see how big it is! All the best, Tom
  10. Howdy folks, I've been busy working on the stabilisers of the big Sunderland of late. As usual, the first job was to scribe on the panel detail: I did contemplate removing and scratch-building the elevators, but there is some really finely moulded rib detail that is actually well worth keeping. I'll need to add the hinges and with a dark wash along the hinge line when painted, I think they will look fine. Each section was cut from the backing sheet and sanded to shape, ensuring the correct depth and thickness. As you can see, the fit was pretty good when test-fitted: Given the fact that the stabilisers are likely to get whacked periodically during the remainder of construction, I wanted them to be nice and sturdy so I have added a plastic card spar, as well as the usual scrap sprue treatment along the leading edges. I've also opted for a brass tube spar system that will fit through the fuselage and offer a really strong set up: The stabilisers were then trimmed carefully and added to the rear of the fuselage - careful consulting of plans ensured they are in the correct position: The careful trimming of the mating surfaces, along with the spar structure ensured only a lick of filler was needed along the fuselage to stabiliser join. She's starting to take shape now: She lacks a bit of stability at the moment, so I better get cracking with the fin... Until next time, Tom
  11. I had no idea this existed. Where does one find the aforementioned ‘leader board’?
  12. Many thanks, gentlemen. As I said in my original post I’d heard stories of nightmare build experiences with Mach 2 kits so had prepared myself for the worst. This really was not as bad as I’d feared, and I wonder if the quality of Mach 2 kits are on the up..? I’d say treat yourself, Alex! Hopefully my WIP showed any potential pitfalls so forewarned is forearmed, as the old saying goes... It is a fairly chunky model but quite a bit smaller than the Heller 1/72nd Boeing 707-300 so you could always tell her indoors that it’s actually quite a small airliner Many thanks, Kev - and that’s praise indeed coming from you! Yes it is certainly one of their better efforts - you know me and I’m no rivet counter but I at least like them to resemble the real thing! Tom
  13. Afternoon all, Here is the Mach 2 1/72nd DC-8-50 that rolled off the production line this very afternoon. Released at the end of last year, I was really keen to get my hands on one of these kits as I love the DC-8 and this is the first injection-moulded kit in 1/72nd scale of an important piece of civil aviation history. Unfortunately Mach 2 kits don't come with the best reputation, but I'd never built one before so threw caution to the wind. I'm used to dealing with 'difficult' kits and I'm pleased to say this one didn't pose too many problems at all - it is just like you'd expect from a short-run injection moulded kit. I thought it might be useful for fellow builders to have a quick summary of my findings below: Cons: Typical short-run kit with no locating tabs and plenty of flash on the smaller parts; I found that the right stabiliser was 3mm too high on the starboard side and needed lowering - a quick an easy fix; The engine pylons were too deep on my example and the inboard engines almost touched the ground - 3mm was removed from each pylon and now the nacelles sit at the correct height; Transparencies needed a lot of work to get them clear; Fit was a bit dodgy in places, and don't expect to build this kit without the use of fillers. Pros: Panel detail appears accurate and well moulded; Shapes seem pretty good to my eye; Nicely detailed landing gear; Overall the build was fairly painless and it went together well; Nicely detailed flightdeck area; Engines are nicely done and look the part once assembled; Plastic is nice and thick and there's no need to additional interior bracing or the like; It's a 1/72nd scale injection-moulded DC-8! I used Halfords' automotive paints and has a custom set of decals printed by 8A decals to complete the build. All in all I really enjoyed this model and am pleased to finally have a decent DC-8 in my civvie collection. All the best, Tom
  14. Having seven dwarves to assist wound have certainly been welcome! Although saying that, P38 sands really easily and it doesn’t take long to get the shape you want with this stuff. It is a little large, Colin - not only is the span huge but the fuselage itself has some serious bulk to it as well! The gaps certainly were a little large, but I kind of expect that on builds such as these. With the right fillers, it really isn’t too tricky so sort them and now everything has been blended it’s hard to tell how large the gap was. And funny you should say that... I’ve just taken delivery of a 1/32 Catalina. Mustn’t start a new model... mustn’t start a new model... mustn’t start a new model... All the best, Tom
  15. Lovely work as usual, Ray - the finish is impeccable! What a sad end for the real aircraft though - I bet someone got a bit of a telling off for that mishap... Tom
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