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For my next build I shall be building the new Aoshima Thunderbird 3 kit that arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. This is intended to display on the IPMS Farnborough display at Telford in November.

First the box art:


Now the contents:


So construction is pretty simple for most of it apart from the middle section with the fins. Here I've painted them up while they are still on the sprues since the sprue gates on the side that will rest against the body. I've used Tamiya Metallic Grey:


I've put together the 3 engine pods and attached them to the lower body. There are seperate white pieces for the tops and bottoms of the engines. These were mouled with depressions to represent the retros and exhausts, so these got drilled out.

There are some quite bad moulding seams on some of the parts, but the plastic is that brittle but solid plastic common in Aoshima and Imai kits, so these sand out very well and the surface polishes up without too much hassle.


As usual the camera flash has overexposed things. You can see that I've drilled out the base of the engines as well as I have had some thoughts about how to pose this ;)

On the right you can see the three docking rings that are supplied with the kit. One has thin rings, a second has a thing ring with tow thinner rings on either side and the third had boxes along the circumference like this:


As you can see here, you can see the bad joint around the middle and my first attempt at sorting it out, but I don't think its going to work. This is just about the worst part of the kit. I think the only other things I could do here would be to cut some thin plastic card squares, however to be honest I'm not sure I can be bothered! in the background you can see one of the other docking rings which I think II'll use instead.

Here are the legs ready for priming:


The kit comes with a loat of "fillets" that fit into the slots int he legs and are moulded in dark blue plastic, these will be sprayed Tamiya Nato Black before fitting.

This is the base that comes with the kit:


which is okay I guess but I have had a different idea which will involved a ring-shaped construction and some more cotton wool :)

Finally here is the decal sheet:


The tall blue "U" shaped decals are intended to wrap around the base of each fin in the middle of the body. The Yellow chevrons are intended for the base of each fin which is a different colour. I think I might use them since the thought of masking all 18 fins creeps me out :)

So next I need to get hold of some Peugeot Seville paint from Halfords...

Edited by Kallisti
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Update as of yesterday evening...

Well I popped into Halfords and picked up a can of Peugeot Seville. Prior to that I had primed the main parts with Tamiya grey primer, which I find give a slightly more glossy surface than Halfords primer. I got several cans half price from the Modelzone sale so I'm happy to use it where necessary.

So I then gave the primed parts a pray with the Seville and voila:


Now this to me looks to be exactly the right colour for Thunderbird 3!

So as for the display base, I think I let a certain amount of insanity into my build as I have come up with this:


which then became


I went searching for some rock effect to build the chimney as you can see here:

This picture represents the version I want to build as its slightly less complicated than later versions where there appear to be two levels to the building, mainly because I think they realised they had the scale wrong and it makse TB3 look much too small as you can see here:

I've just cut some balsa up to make the curved supports for the building and they've been primed and waiting to dry to sand down to remove the woodgrain appearance. I plan to use some lead foil to represent the curtains, but the thing that scares me most is the staircase!

Oh well lets see what we can do...

Edited by Greg B
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Great start and the base looks fantastic.

Try our railway modelling friends for the stairs or Brengun do maintenance steps that might be useful.


Looking forward to seeing more.

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Blimey! TB3 is looking awesome, but the Round House too!

I've always loved the look of the round house, and I will watch this closely, great work mate!

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As I mentioned in the previous post (but forgott o follow up on) I did some searching yesterday for a way to represent the chimney stonework. I checked out the Dolls House shop in Twyford and Hobbycraft in Reading and was just walking out of Hobbycraft when I spotted the mosaic section and found a set of mosaic tiles that I thought might do the job for a fiver. So here is the result:


which I think is a pretty good reprsentation. Okay so the stones are out of scale for the original, but then I'm not aiming for an exact copy, but something that will be instantly recognisable!

I also mentioned using lead foil to represent the curtains so here are my tools to do this:


and here are two examples in position along with the chimney:


The pillars have been primed, filled and sanded and primed again. I'll try to remember to get a photo later...

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As hendie said, looking good, especially the Round House.

One minor possible correction concerns the cooling fins and the retro-rocket ring immediately in front of it. As I recall from a lot of photos, etc., they're actually a sort of quite dark blue-grey colour with yellow ends on the fins as provided on the decal sheet. The main hull colour looks to need a bit more red to it, but that may be a trick of the light in your photos.

Regardless, I'm following this with some interest. Keep up the good work.

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Great stuff!

I have TB3 in the stash so will be following this.

Really must make a start on my GA model kit stash !!

Cheers, Steve.

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Final update for today:

Lots of bits done, first off the base. I've used one of my old picture frames (75p from Oxfam!) with a chunk of polystyrene insulation carefully cut to fit and with a hole cut for the launch tunnel. I've attached the "concrete" legs to the roundhouse and you can see how it all should look here:


Now as for attaching the TB 3 to the base, I'll be using this T piece to supposrt the acrylic rods that will be the support. These will be wrapped in cotton wool to disaguise them and provide the exhaust smoke


Now as for the TB 3 model itself, this afternoon I attached the the cooling fins, having painted them yellow, masking the lower 2 mm and respraying with metallic grey.


The white bits have been painted white - funny that!


and the wing fillets have been painted black, although this is an out of focus photo:


Yeah my work desk is very messy and the laptop in the background is getting rather dusty, but it isn't mine its my old work laptop that they haven't yet asked for back since it was upgraded to a newer model last year!

I almost ruined the nose this evening as I tried to mask up the black line around the nose to paint it black, but the paint seemed around the masking take and messed up the orange. So i decided to strip the paint off and start again. Unfortunately while using a stiff bush to apply IPA to strip the paint off, I dipped it into cellulose thinner by accident and painted this onto the plastic which reacted VERY badly! Fortunately I was able to clean it off quickly and after drying it out, a little bit of sanding smoothed out the rough surface created.

Close one! and with that I shall call it a night. Tomorrow I'll get to play with my old favourite claycrete to cover the polystyrene with something that should approach the look of Tracy Island geology!

Edited by Kallisti
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Yes, thankfully I still had a can of Ford Inca Yellow that I'd used on the Firefly model a year or so ago so that did the trick and slicing a strip of 6mm Tamiya tape in half lengthwise did the job of making the masking medium!

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Tonight's progress report!

Starting off with the base, you saw yesterday that it is an off-cut of a polystyrene insulation panel. Here is what it looks like with a layer of claycrete:


The upper layer of claycrete was mixed with some yellow ochre and buff titanium artist acrylic paint to give it the sandy yellow colour. I've also put in the "concrete" ring around the pit and a plastic liner. There is a bit of a gap between them which will need filling and sanding once things have dried a bit. The sides are coated with the leftovers with a dollop of black paint added along with a generous helping of PVA glue to make it bind better since this is being smeared on vertical surfaces. Once all this is done, the next stage is to make the ground "sandy":


The flash has made the "sand" look too light, but it should be a nice buff colour to tone down the yellow of the ground surface. To get the sandy surface, I use coloured pastel chalks ground up in a pestle. Doing this allows me to mix colours and saves using expensive MiG Pigments! This chalk powder is then flicked across the wet claycrete using a stiff paintbrush from the pot. I used a smiliar technique for the UFO Interceptor base.

You can see the depressions where the concrete supports will be located. I'll probably have to add some pins to this as its carrying a lot of weight!

Speaking of the roundhouse itself, but more progress in one of the more complicated elements:


Bloody hell that was not an easy thing to build and it is in no way perfect - crooked and uneven steps ugh :( Hopefully, when I put up the handrails it will distract attention :) Yeah right!

Next I tackled one of the "slatted" panels in the roundhouse. Goodness knows what they are supposed to be, so I had a go simply cutting into the plastic sheet and twisting the strips between the cuts - its turned out reasonable I thought...


Anyway what about the TB3 I hear you ask? Well the nose got stripped down to plastic AGAIN and re-primed and resprayed after I messed up the orange paint then while the paint was still wet dropped it on the floor where it collected every bit of fluff and dirt it could find! So its been painted again and I think this will be okay. However I still have to face the challenge of painting the black stripe - or should I give it up and use the decal?

Speaking of decals, (how about that for a link? Hey this isn't just thrown together, it takes careful thought and planning to write this rubbish!) I've completed the decals that wrap around the fins. Bloody hell what a faff! I would seriously recommend anyone else building this kit to seriously consider masking and painting instead of using the decals!


This image is quite flattering, it looks a lot worse in real life lol

I also masked and painted the black stripes around the top of each engine nacelle but don't have a photo of that.

So thats a busy and at time fun weekend gone with good progress to show for it... Onwards and upwards!

Edited by Kallisti
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It's only seeing it together that made me realise what a major undertaking the fins are - that must have taken some doing! Nice work, sorry to hear about the paint woes but I'm glad it's still coming along. And the round house looks fantastic.

BTW how do you get so many URLs in your sig? Mine complains if I add more than 6 or whatever it is.



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Work proceeds...

I decide that the docking collar needed some enhanced detail. The Graham Bleathman cutaways show that the docking collar has a ring of "retros"...


(image used for reference only)

so I thought I'd try to replicate something approaching this using a thin disk of plasticard with holes drilled:


I've applied some filler around the edge to help blend in with the original collar and the holes will get a dark colour added once everything has settled down. Next, I had to paint strip and redo the lower part of the fuselage as the orange paint had gone bad during a resparay attempt. One of the main problems with Halfords sprays is that the paint is a lot more runny that the airbrush or even Tamiya rattle cans so it takes careful spraying a little at a time to get a good finish. This time round I masked the black stripe and the bottom before doing the orange:


which then turned into this:


Much better!

The round house has had some paint applied and the curtains painted as well. The slatted bits have also been painted and attached and finally stuck the curtains on yesterday evening:




Not all curtains have been attached yet. However, the problem I now face is the rooms around the ring are empty so leaving the curtains open will look a bit odd, but all the photos I've seen of the studio model don't show any detail in the rooms, although the black and white one does seem to have some "splodges" in the rooms but I can't find any better photo references...

Edited by Kallisti
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Today was a big day! It was time to assemble the various sections of Thunderbird 3!


taa daaa!

Decals went on without too much difficulty - main issues being aligning the "thunder" and "bird" on all 3 sides of the fuselage:


What is interesting to note is that there is a colour variation from the top section to that below the docking collar! Too late to do aything about it now I'm afraid through.

As for the house, it got its last sets of curtains added plus a few more layers of paint and then test fitted to the base. At this point I also fixed the acrylic rods into the T piece and used almost a whole tube of araldite to fix it in place. I sadly forgot to take ap photo of that stage :(


and just to test it...


Finally, I filled the central depression with cotton woll to hide the T piece and wrapped it around the acrylic rods to get the full exhaust effect:


Almost there! Now I just need to wait for the decals to set fully and then I'll touch up the black fillets that went onto the struts as the glue has caused issues with the paint and then I'll give it a coat of Klear, add a dark wash for the panel lines and raised detail. Still need to do the handrail around the roundhouse.

Since Nigel is always goign on about food in his Dalek thread I thought I'd join in (sort of)...

Lunch today arrived in my garden all by itself...


This is the second time this little chap has visited - a coupel of weeks ago he made himself nice and comfortable...




Problem is trying to light the barbecue in this weather ;)

Edited by Kallisti
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Thanks Hendie

Well a very productive Saturday evening was spent in the shed. First off, a dark pin wash was applied to the TB 3 and then wiped off to give the panel "trenches" a bit of definition:


Then spent the 2 hours listening to Sounds of the 80s on Radio 2 cutting up plastic rod and getting my fingers covered in superglue while trying to attach the handrail...


Now it just needs the copper wire to be painted white to match the supports and I will consider this done! No I'm not putting another horizontal bar in the handrail!!!!

I just couldn't resist the temptation to see what it will all look like...


Bloody hell, that not half bad even though I say it myself!

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Marvellous! F.A.B. even!

Great work on the fabricating of the roundhouse. Just goes to show what can be done with plastic card, some household items and imagination.

A splendid scene.


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