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tomprobert last won the day on June 8

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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. You're most kind, Steve - I can assure you the workbench is a scene of carnage and I only show you the good bits However, having said that, like with anything the more you do something the better you get at it - I certainly make less mistakes than I used to and experience does help, but it's also important to keep in mind that these types of kits are not as scary as they may look as after all it's only cutting bits of plastic to shape!
  2. Afternoon all, A productive week on the Stirling, mainly focused around making the internal structures of the wings and scribing the basic panel detail on the lower wing surfaces. Although vacs such as these are moulded in lovely thick plastic, due to the sheer size of the parts they need lots of strengthening to ensure they don't sag and collapse over time. 1.5mm plastic card is my 'go-to' for this, as it provides ample strength whilst being easy to cut and shape. I've discovered that the kit wings are actually a little too thin from top to bottom, so I have made up for this by making the spars the correct depth and I'll build up the leading edges when I comes to mating to wing halves to fix this shortfall. This will also improve the aerofoil shape of the wing as again I think the kit parts are a little off and the upper surfaces too flat. Here you can see the substantial spars in place, as well as the wheel bays: The wheel bays themselves are actually quite complex structures of square and tubular spars and I've begun replicating these from Evergreen. It's easier to deal with the deepest part of the bays whilst the wings are free of the fuselage: The forward-most section of the bays appears to have some form of hydraulic tanks and bits of tubular structure but I need to find some clearer pictures of this area. Also, as it's quite accessible I will add this once the main construction is compete as it will be no doubt be prone to damage whilst I'm handling the beast: So here we are as of today - spars in and complete and the basics of the wheel bays done too. There'll be many an hour spent in here in the future, but progress is progress! I think I'll have a look at the upper wing surfaces next before thinking about joining the top and bottom halves. Fun times! Until next time, Tom
  3. Absolutely. A beautiful model of a 1/32nd scale B-17 springs to mind here, built by a well known editor of a well known modelling mag a few years back… which had the whole interior painted Interior Green. Was that accurate? No. Did the judges know it was wrong? No. Did it still take the prize in its category? Yes. Was it an absolutely stunning model? Yes. Did 99% of those who saw it know it was painted the wrong colour inside? No!
  4. Ha! I always thought you should have had a career as a comedian, Frank! An interesting story indeed - one I will certainly consider... A little progress over the last week - I've been having a play with the wings whilst I wait for some Evergreen strip to be delivered to rib the rear fuselage. I've sanded the wings to the correct depth and removed the bomb cells in the wings as I plan on having these open: The undercarriage bays will also be removed but I want to keep the structural integrity whilst I scribe the panel lines, etc. Uppers: And both sets together: I see lots of scribing and making of wing spars in the my future! Tom
  5. I think the vast majority of modellers are quite happy with a model that represents the real thing well enough, but aren’t overly concerned about complete accuracy - if such a thing exists. There will be some who strive for the prefect scale replica and do their utmost to achieve that - and that’s great. They’ll have intimate knowledge of the subject and know it inside out. Others, and I include myself in this category, will build a kit quite happily despite its ‘flaws’ and enjoy it. What always puzzles me is those who build and correct a kit to 0.000001mm accuracy and then paint and weather it to something that bares no resemblance to this real thing with dark panel lines and ridiculously over done paint effects. That I can never get my head around! But, the key thing is to enjoy the process and build as you like. Life is too short. Tom
  6. That would be an achievement in 1/32nd scale but 1/72nd.... wow. A simply stunning model. Tom
  7. Hi Neil, Thanks for the info on the turret/window combination - I have been using the Warpaint book's plans and just blindly followed them re. the window arrangement. I certainly do plan on a MkIII so will need to settle on a specific aircraft I think and that'll hopefully give me the info I need, providing I can find actual photo's of course. Filling them in again shouldn't be a problem - I'll have a ponder! Oh and rest assured the bench is a scene of carnage - I only show you lot the decent bits Tom
  8. Afternoon all, After over a year of being on and off the shelf of doom, this crossed the line last week. I bought this cheap on a well known auction site and upon opening the box, thought it looked pretty decent so with a wave of enthusiasm, dived right into the build. I'd read the horror stories about this model previously and usually take these with a pinch of salt, but sadly most of what you read about this kit is true. Before you can begin assembly there is lots of flash on numerous parts that needs removing, as well as many visible seam/moulding lines. The fit of some parts is rather 'interesting' and more akin to building a short-run kit than a supposedly state of the art 21st century kit. All of the interior bulkheads need reducing in height to ensure the upper fuselage fits the lower, which is well worth doing as it reduces the amount of filling and rescribing needed by 90%. The fit of the undercarriage is poor and this isn't helped by the rather hard-to-interpret instructions, but with with patience and lots of superglue you can get it to stand on its own feet with out too much issue. Saying that, the landing gear does feel a little weak - it survived a trip to my local model club the other night and is holding up fine so far, but time will tell... When I came to join the nose section to the rear fuselage (this is the natural break where either single or two-seat noses can be fitted) the join was terrible and the fuselage had a noticeable twist that needed lots of clamping and gluing bit by bit to eliminate. There was, in places, a 2mm gap along the underside of the leading edge extensions where they meet the fuselage and this meant the nose had the structural properties of a windsock - these all needed filling with plastic card to strengthen everything up. When I came to fit the canopy I found you couldn't close it because the ejection seat sat too high - the bottom 2mm had to be shaved off to close the lit. The instrument panel is too tall meaning the coming above fouls the forward part of the canopy - this then resulted in me breaking the canopy when trying to force it on in a moment of frustration. Thankfully Revell provided a replacement but beware! The solution was to trim down the instrument panel (again by 2mm) which means you can just about get the forward clear section to sit ok. I found the fit of the weapons really poor and every single one needed filling. The rear stabilisers are supposed to attach to the fuselage using the smallest tabs you can imagine which are completely useless - I got rid of them and used brass rod instead. The fit of the twin fins is probably the worst fitting part of the whole kit - the slots are far too big for the tabs and they slop around all over the place, leaving at least 2mm gaps all round. Again I pinned these with metal rod and built up the farings with Milliput. I wanted the wings extended on mine and again the fit of the outer wings was poor - the hinges foul the upper fairing/plate and need to be trimmed considerably for them to fit. I think the kit was designed for wings folded to be fair. There are some positives, however. The detail in the undercarriage bays knocks the Trumpeter kit into a cocked hat, and panel and surface detail over the kit is really quite excellent. The decals are superb and bed down beautifully with setting solutions. Cockpit detail is good out of the box to be fair, and seat comes up well with some careful painting. Er... that's about it. The crowning glory of this build was when I had masked up the black areas to spray the upper grey, and when removing the masking tape paint started coming away resulting in most of the upper surfaces exposing the bare plastic beneath. This was despite a thorough cleaning and priming, as well as a mottle coat beneath. At this this point it very nearly went into the bin, but I thought I'd got so far as may as well strip it and repaint - thankfully the problem didn't repeat itself of that really would have been it. In short, expect a bit of a battle when building this kit - it's worth sticking with as it does make a very impressive model when done, but it's one well of a journey! This certainly is not my best work, but considering the trials and tribulations along the way I was just glad to get it done. All the best, Tom
  9. Yes it'll certainly be getting on that way. Only a few feet smaller than the Lanc... Indeed he has - the man has serious scratch-building talent! No pressure then..! I've not had the most amount of time for modelling over the last couple of weeks due to work commitments, but I've been tinkering with the fuselage. I've added the fuselage windows and cut out the bomb bays and rear undercarriage bays: In a moment of madness I've also opened up the rear crew entry door and will add some detail in there: One of the most challenging part of building kits such as these is the joining of the fuselage halves - or any surface for that matter - as there are obviously no locating pins and the plastic is quite a bit thinner than normal injection-molded kits. A really simple solution is to add plastic card tabs on alternating sides as you go along the fuselage mating areas: ...which means when it's time to mate the fuselage halves together, you get a nice area for glue ad you create a very strong join: And the underside: The next task will be to fashion some interior bulkheads to give the fuselage strength and keep everything nice and rigid. Stay tuned! All the best, Tom
  10. That’s very kind, Ian - thank you. It is indeed a shame to keep it up there but with two young children, a cat, and limited display space in the house it’s the only option really. I plan to take it to a few shows over the next year or so meaning it’ll get plenty of fresh air. I think the first will likely be Telford in November.
  11. Many thanks, Jan - and the local council did get a bit tetchy about me mooring it on the village pond as it has meant the local ducks can no longer take off and land safely. The RSPB has been in touch and everything - they simply don't understand Thank you - and to be honest I do actually (usually) end up spending more on Evergreen than I did on the initial outlay for the model itself - true story! Tom
  12. Afraid not, Dick… there has been some sporadic progress but nothing of great importance to report. The airframe needs scribing and riveting now and I must confess I’m putting that off as it’s not one of my favourite jobs. Perhaps it’s something I can do in drips and drabs over the winter - mojo dependent. I assure you that I will finish it one day! Tom
  13. Thanks, Dennis - but 1/48th? Nah… too small
  14. Evening all With the waters now settled on my 1/32nd Sunderland build, I thought it about time to start another big vacform... well, to be exact, continue with a long stalled project from a few years ago. I started this Tigger (ex ID Models) vac of the Short Stirling about 5 or 6 years ago and ran out steam, and it had been consigned to the loft since I boxed it up and got distracted with something else. A conversation a few months ago with @Cees Broere about the Stirling led him to offer me his also-stalled project with the promise that I'd continue his excellent start and get it finished - an offer I grabbed with both hands considering the excellent start he's made to the cockpit interior which is my least favourite part of building models such as these. I was in the Netherlands with the family last week, to I popped in to see him and picked the beast up - thanks again, Cees! I've since been for a rummage in the loft and dug my kit out, and now combining the two means I'm confident that I can finally get the job done. So here's where we're at... This is how far Cees had got with his fuselage: And how far I'd got with mine, which as you can see is not very: Cees is a wonderfully talented modeller and scratch-builder and has made some beautiful progress with the cockpit area - a great base for me to continue working on: Here are the wings I'd started a few years back - at the time I decided to open up the wing and reveal some of the interior detail. I like to think I've improved my scratch-building skills since then so instead I'll use the wings from Cees' kit and start again: That's a lot of plastic! Here are the other parts that include the engine nacelles, stabs and fin, etc - pretty basic stuff but perfectly workable: Cees has kindly given me a supply of Bristol Hercules engines as well as various HK Lancaster turret parts which will come in very useful and reduce the amount of scratch-building needed in the future: So... with both my earlier work and Cees' more recent efforts, I certainly have something Stirling shaped which is a great start (or point to continue from) for this project so I'm ready to dive back in! The plan is to do a late MkIII variant with open bomb bays and a full bomb-load - squadron and specific aircraft yet to be decided. I'm really not looking forward to tackling the landing gear, but that's a problem for another day. Updates are likely to sporadic as the new school term starts imminently but I'll do my best to keep those interested updated on my progress. All the best, Tom
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