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Stand by for Action, we are about to launch Stingray!


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So for a bit of a change after a long and complicated bar-armoured Scimitar build, I thought I'd return to some simpler pleasures:

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I picked this up on eBay a while ago - there is another version out there which has lights and motors and stuff, but I went for the "vanilla" version. Its a remarkably simple kit and looks very much like the wonderful vehicle I remember from my childhood

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As usual there are some discrepancies with various references, for example some model shots from the series have 2 glass portholes in the side of the cockpit but as you can see from the picture above that one doesn't show it! Plus the drawing shows torpedo tubes on the fins which don't appear elsewhere.

To get you into the mood try this out:



The biggest failing with this kit is it has nice clear windows but nothing in the cockpit apart from a hole for a light and opening for the "periscope" which doubles as an on/off switch for the lights in the version that has electronics.

So my plans are:

1) Add light(s) for the transparent impeller-thingy
2) Scratch build cockpit and add figures for Troy Tempest and Phones (but no Marina I'm afraid)
3) Add light into cocklit
4) Hide batteries in a scenic base that supports the model

Anything can happen in the next half hour year!

Edited by Kallisti
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...and so we begin...

First off lets dispose of some of the "toy" features, the most visible on being the huge "spotlight" periscope that doubles as a handle so you can waggle the diving planes! This is a long stick that goes through a hole in the cockpit roof, the floor and connects to the strut that joins the diving planes.

Blanking off the hole in the roof then gives me a flat surface where I can build a proper periscope from chopped up pieces of the original connecting stick:

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Next we will look at the cockpit itself. The original model comes with nothing more than a flat plate and a transparency, through which you could mount a light, but since it would be illuminating nothing, whats the point? So what should the cockpit look like? Here is a selection of pictures and screengrabs I've collected to give an ieda:

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This next set of photos was taken at the Smallspace model show back in July and shows a scratch built 1:32 scale Stingray:

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Lovely 60s internal colour scheme there :)

So lets start with cutting a hole in the floor and mounting some seats and consoles...

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I'm afraid that as usual the white plastic is glaring up a bit there, but you should be able to see the hole in the floor, the central consoles and the side panels starting to develop. The seats are a couple of cheap resin a/m jobbbies - the cheapest I could find at Hannants, so I've no idea what they are now as the packaging got thrown as soon as they arrived! The crew will come from a set of US chopper figures from PJ Productions since they have headphones and peaked caps - okay they might be baseball caps but thats close enough since you will hardly be able to see them inside! The floor has been painted gun metal to replicate that shiny black metallic floor you see in the screengrab.

The roof of the cockpit is either beige or grey depending upon the picture you look at, so I've pumped for beige - it is the 60s after all! I've also painted the lower parts red. I thought about trying to mask the transparency but the idea just didn't appeal so I'm going to compromise and leave it alone and let the paint just show through instead.

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Next, lets look at how this is going to be mounted. Since I will be doing lights, I need a way to pass power up into it as I don't' want to put the batteries inside the body, even though there is a battery box moulded into the lower hull. Speaking of which it now gets in the way of the cut out from the cockpit, so that needs to be trimmed...

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So, I want to mount the batteries in a box in the stand - just like I do with the Babylon 5 Starfury. I'l also need 6 volts for the LEDs which is another reason I can't use the built in battery compartment as that only has room for 3 AA batteries. So we return to the trusty technique I used for the Aliens Dropship and mount a brass tube to accommodate an acrylic rod as the support from the base. Supplied in the kit is a panel to fit over the battery box which is supposed to take screws. This is an ideal place to out the tube:

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The base then will be large enough to provide a good support and hold the batteries:

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Maplins sell these things for a few pounds and they are very sturdy. My plan is to disguise it as rocks and have some green seaweed tendrils which means I can paint the acrylic rod partly green as if it were seaweed! There is a slot cut into the upper surface of the connecting rod to take the wires that will connect to the model. The tip of the rod will have a socket mounted into it and there will be the connector pin at the end of the tube in the model to provide the electrical connection.

So finally for this update (I've been working on this for a couple of days and hadn't got round to posting before now) what about the lights themselves? Well the plan is for 3 LEDs, one blue, one green one red. The red one will provide some subtle lighting for the cockpit while the blue and green will light the transparent thingy at the back which is NOT a propeller.

The blue one is now glued into the back plate of the impeller thingy and when lit looks a bit like this:

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Then the green LED will mounted in the hull just behind the impeller to give a green surrounding glow like this:

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It doesn't come across too well in the photo as the blue tends to dominate but the green effect is quite noticeable to the naked eye.

Edited by Kallisti
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Super project. I too have one of these languishing in the loft. I was going to paint the glass black from the inside to hide the lack of interior but you have inspired me to do better.

Have you taken the scale to be 1/72 ?

Looking forward to following your progress and being further inspired. Would like to prevent my Stingray from spending another ?? years as loft insulation lol.

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Lots of progress today in all manner of areas. First off, work has began yesterday on disguising the base so that instead of a black plastic box there is something more in keeping with a Stingray scene. So lets begin with casting some rocks. I'm using Hydrocal, something I've had lying around for a while but I don't use much coz I really don't like it. It mixes up very frothy", so sets with lots of bubbles and crumbles very easily. I much prefer plaster of paris BUT Hydrical is significantly lighter, which in this case is desirable.

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So for the top surface I need to remember to hit a hole for the support rod to go through so to that end this arrangement was constructed:

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and here it is setting in the afternoon sun!

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Today it had fully set so I could work with it. First off the under-surface had to be smoothed off, then the edges that overhung the box were trimmed, then the top plate was added, using PVA glue to glue it. A piece of rod was inserted int he hole to make sure they stayed matched up. Then I misex up some of my old favourite claycrete with some artists acrylic and a mix of 3:1 PVA glue and water to make the resulting paste even more sticky than usual because this stuff is going to have to defy gravity a bit!

The end result was this:

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and this will be drying for the next few days before it will get painted and have the seaweed attached.

In the meantime, the underside of Stingray got some attention, the battery cover panel was glued in and the various gaps filled and later sanded down

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The support rod got some attention next, with the end drilled out to accept the power plug, along with the groove for the wires being extended up to the end. This was all then sealed with araldite to make a solid joint.

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The inside got a similar treatment, with a bracing framework built to support the socket

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After that photo was taken, a liberal dousing with more araldite secured the joints and socket into the framework. This will take a certain amount of punishment as the thing is plugged and unplugged as it gets moved around, hence why an effort has been made to give it all strong joints. Electrical connection tests were made at each step - with everything getting sealed with epoxy, the last thing you want to do is discover a bad connection after its set!!

So with that sorted and waiting for the base to dry before that can proceed further, let us return to the cockpit. The side walls and platform were added. The platform was later trimmed back to provide a good fit against the transparency.

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This was then painted and handrails added to the pit in the middle

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and a red coat added to the bottom of the transparency so that when put together it looks like a proper seal

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and when fitted starts looking right

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Bah, you can't see much there can you? How about we add a bit of internal lighting?

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and with the lights off?

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Jobs a good 'un!

Edited by Kallisti
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Looking good so far. And how exciting is the intro for this show?

If you wanted any more interior detail, there's a couple of pictures on David Sisson's website that might help - think that's the one you photographed at Smallspace wasn't it?

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Had a couple of days off work this week coz I felt like a bit of a mini-holiday and took the opportunity to progress.

First that base has been developing nicely, look at this:

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The acrylic rod supports the model very well and this was another opportunity to do an electrical test which passed with flying... er... swimming colours! As you can see Stingray has had its primer coat ready for painting! In fact painting has progressed even though I haven't joined the two halves. I decided that rather than try to mask the big transparent impeller thingy, I'd doing most of the spraying while it was in two halves then when they get joined it will be just a matter of touching up the joint with - in the most part - silver.

The top surface has had the dark blue of the cockpit painted, plus the light blue of the "crows nest" and the yellow band. In the picture below you can see I've got as far as the light blue bands. This will be a bit hit or miss as I'm masking each section after its painted and moving on to the next, so I won't see the mess that will almost certainly have been made by the paint creep until its all done and I can unmask the lot!

The lower have has had the complicated curved yellow triangle at the front painted and the dark blue oval painted and masked and again we are onto the light blue here as well.

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So then its back to the cockpit. I spent several days trying to work out how to scratch build the steering wheels (tillers?)

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and eventually came up with a plan. First I got some 0.25mm x 2mm plastic strip left over from the bar armour and wrapped some of this tightly around a 4mm brass rod 3 or 4 times. I then dipped this lot into boiling water to "set" the plastic in the curve I wanted. Once this was dry and cool I cut a ring from the strip and then sliced it lengthwise to get 2 1mm wide rings, of which I cut 2/3 out and then cut that in half - each of these was one of the handles.

The long column has to be quite rigid as its well, long... so I cut up a thick paper clip and used the straight bits for the column - its also silver already! The tiller attaches to the column via a cone-shaped connector. This was built up using nothing more than a blob of Mr Dissolved Putty on the end of the column. Its very small and a bit crude, but that should be okay because it is very small!

I added some levers with thin wire and blobs of coloured paint on the end. Troy Tempest and Phones have also been painted up. I couldn't face scratch building their shoulder epaulettes in this scale so I just dabbed a bit of gold on to represent them so here is the cockpit

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and with the transparency on you can see even less clearly!

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And finally, remember that base? Well I got a suggestion of using some aquarium ferns as decoration, so I popped into the local Pets at Home shop yesterday and found some cheap plastic aquarium "plants" which were perfect when cut up and added appropriately...

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More to come, including tomorrow in theory should be the "Great Unveiling" where I will discover just how bad the paint runs are :)

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Oh yes its the Great Unveiling!

The lower hull:

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Just a little bit of paint creep around the yellow and the rear curve of the dark blue needs tidying up.

The upper hull:

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Here you can see some of the paint creep in the dark blue above the windows, under the windows, near the nose and around the "torpedo tube". Not as bad as I expected! So all that was easy to fix, so next is gluing the cockpit into the upper hull, gluing the "impeller thingy" into the lower hull and fixing the LEDs permanentlyand then joining the two hull halves together. No sooner said that done!

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Some filler/sanding required on the joint so the paint will need some repairs, but that shouldn't be too difficult! Blimey I think this might be almost complete, but but but... its only been a week or so, I obviously haven't complicated this enough!!!

Edited by Kallisti
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This would look sooo good with either Surface Agent X-2-Zero's sub, or one of Titan's Terror Fish lurking in ambush nearby...

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Great project.

I have all 165 issues of TV21 on CD Rom as CBZ files that I can read on my 10" Archos (large colour e-book reader - ideal for comics)

They open on any computer/laptop too.

Of course, I wouldn't DREAM of offering a freebie copy of the CD to anyone who contacts me, as it might be considered naughty..........

The Stingray artwork was amazing - a guy named Ron Embleton.

Frank Bellamy drew the Thunderbirds strips.

Thunderbirds was my fave though, followed by Stingray.

Great job you're doing here.

Roy.

Edited by roymattblack
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I have a complete set of Countdown (paper versions!) from the early 70s which re-ran most of the Stingray strips, plus I've been buying the various compilations as they've come out. Some of those comic strips had much more complex plots than the TV series - Escape from Aquatraz for example and the strip with the pirates on the Chinese Junk, beautifully drawn!

Edited by Kallisti
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That looks lovely with the paint on. It's a big fella too.

It does beg the question as to how can you build these things so fast? You should still be recuperating after the Scimitar...

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I took 3 days holiday off work to "recuperate" :) It was a much simpler build than the Scimitar much helped by the fact that now wheneve I catch sight of it out of the corner of my eye it makes me smile and start singing "Stingray duh da duh da da Stingray..."

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So after a few days fighting with the hull joint, airbrush and home-made decals, we are almost there!

The joint between the two hulls took a LOT of filling and sanding to get it anything like decent. Then of course came the complexity of respraying the silver, then there was retouching the paint creep under the masking tape. The nose had to be completely repainted - there are something like 8 or 9 coats of yellow paint there!

As for the decals - well there hangs a tail. I had bought some clear decal film for colour laser printers, but then the company I work for got taken over by a big software company whose name begins with "O" and they moved us into their offices and got rid of all out lovely colour laser printers!!! So now I have to use my own inkjet printer on the appropriate decal paper. Problem here seems to be the ink used by HP will run at the slightest touch of the liquid decal film, so today I have used up about half a sheet of decal film trying to get two "Stingray" decals where the ink has run, smudged or simply dropped off!

Anyway perseverance paid off. However, its still not 100% complete. The fins behind the cabin should have a white "3" on them but there was no way I could print white, so I have some generic number decals in the post that will hopefully do the trick. So here she is 98% complete...

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and of course with the lights off...

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and here is a close-up of the cockpit

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This just makes me smile. Fantastic job. "Anything can happen in the next half hour" Dur de dur, dur dur....Stingray, Stingray de de dur de dur dur....

Nah, you can keep that tune. For me it was always "Marina....Aquamarina...."

Lovely model, though, Kallisti. I don't know why nobody brought out *proper* kits of the Anderson craft (as opposed to the Japanese toys). Dinky did their bit but I'm sure Airfix could have made a killing if they'd expanded their range beyond the Angel Interceptor.

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I don't know why nobody brought out *proper* kits of the Anderson craft (as opposed to the Japanese toys). Dinky did their bit but I'm sure Airfix could have made a killing if they'd expanded their range beyond the Angel Interceptor.

Another great result Kallisti, to go with your Firefly that I enjoyed so much last year :)

On the subject of other Anderson kits, I'm sure I remember a friend of mine having a Fireball XL-5 (with detachable front section) - I think it was a kit, probably mid 60s?

Cheers

Cliff

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There is a resin version available from Comet Miniatures ( http://www.comet-miniatures.com/browse.php?s_categ=40&zone=11 ) which is about 8" long, its very tempting but I only know XL5 from the comics, never really seen the TV series except in clip form. Mind you there is an excellent joke about Fireball XL5 in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier graphic Novel by Alan Moore...

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