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So for my third entry into this GB, I have decided - probably against my better judgement to have a go with at least part of the huge 1:44 scale Thunderbird 2 I managed to acquire recently. In case you didn't see the post it was this kit:

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(Note the 12" ruler in the photo!)

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I'm not quite ready for the whole thing just yet so I thought I'd start off with something simple like - ahem - building the internals of the pod!!! There are plenty of references out there, for example:

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So lets start off with looking at the pod that is supplied in the kit

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So the first thing to observe is I'll need to cut open the door.

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That little nick you see is where I experimented with cutting this material. Its very strange stuff - very dense expanded polystyrene with a resin outer coating. Its VERY hard to cut! inside the pod you have this:

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for the bottom - the lumps are indents in the underside to accept rollers as the undercarriage.

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In these photos you can see how think this stuff is! So the first job was to fit a floor for the pod - those bumps look like a nice base to work to, and here is my first attempt:

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However you can see its a bit undulating as I only used 0.5mm plastic card which just isn't solid enough. So I tried again with 1.5mm and got this

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You can also see I've cut out the lower part of the doorway down to the level of the floor. This leaves a bit of a gap under where the moulded door goes further. I'll have to fill that later.

Finally for this initial post, here is where I am on cutting out the upper part of the door

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This took about an hour and half last night after which I'd had enough - its really hard work cutting this stuff, especially as if you saw too fast it generates too much heat and the stuff melts where you are trying to cut!!! I'll try to finish this cutting off today and in the meantime start designing the inner ribs that will define the internal shape.

Edited by Kallisti
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Looking forward to is! Iove TB2

With cutting out e doors, would it not be easier to drill holes at a low speed around the inside of the frame and then push it out?

Edited by Madhatter
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Eventually the doors were cleared. Now to start on the interior. This will be a construct inside the pod - it won't necessarily fill it entirely, it will be an inner sleeve, which makes life easier as once I've got the sizing correct it can be built entirely independent of the pod itself.

To start with I drew up some cross section profiles to match up with the engraved panels on the outside. These will be used to create the inner ribs of the pod

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So once I was happy with this set, I used them as a template on some 0.5mm thick plastic card and voila

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Now my plans are to build one side wall attached to the base which will anchor the ribs in place and then add the other side of the wall but not attach that to the base so that when its all set I can chop out one half of the pod so that I can work on the interior easily and then be able to reassemble the two sides at the end.This will need some cunning artificieration to get right I think, but what have I got to loose?

My sanity I hear you say? Hah, that went ages ago hence why I attempt these builds and then add my own level of stupid complexity!

Needless to say as well that this will need some form of lighting inside to be visible, so the next question there is where do I put the power source? I'm not intending to put this on a base (OMG NO BASE!!! Breath... calm down, Don't Panic!) so the power will have to be internal. Thankfully since the TB 2 build I had an idea after buying replacement battery for my car fob. Turns out this coin-sized battery is 3V, so if I were to string two together that makes 6. These things cost pennies in comparison to the Duracells I've been using so even if they don't have the overall capacity they are so cheap - I picked 10 up off eBay for £1.70.

As a result, the empty space under the false floor of the pod is an ideal place to hide the batteries, so unfortunately this does mean cutting another hole in the pod from underneath to be able to access and replace the batteries when required. This time I'll take Madhatter's advice I reckon...

More anon...

Edited by Kallisti
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Progress:

First, sticking a strip of plastic card into the remains of the moulded door.

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Once this has set, it'll get a layer of filler around the edges which will then be sanded back to blend it back into the body of the pod. You might also notice that there is now a hole in the base of the pod - I took Madhatter's advice and drilled this out

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and then used to the Dremel to clean up the edges

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The rear bulkhead has been attached to the base floor and I've started scratch building the "gutters" that are either side of the central part of the pod.

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In the studio model this was actually from a long strip of Girder bridge bases all joined together to give that "gutter" look. In this one I'm scratch building it by layering 0.75mm card on top of the original floor, with gaps cut into this card which are filled with plastic rod to shape the gutters.

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You can also see the slots cut into the edges for the girder that will support he walls. These still need holes and slot drilled into them - I'll complete that and the other gutter tomorrow...

Edited by Kallisti
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Lots more loverly scratch building now... Floor has been completed with both gutters done The first bracing girder has been detailed with the appropriate holes (although you can see them easily in the photo) and attached on one side and I've put together a front panel to support the inner skin. This front panel won't be visible at all from the door hence the odd shape of the cut out.

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Next some work has been done on the underside to support the eventual lighting that will illuminate the inside of the pod:

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There are two holders for 3v CR 2032 "coin" batteries and a simple on/off switch, wired to a connector which will be where all the LED join up behind the rear bulkhead. The hole on the underside of the pod has been cleaned up

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The electrics are all sunk far enough into the pod that it doesn't need a door to cover it, but I may add something later just to be tidy, Further image searching came up with a couple of incredibly useful shots from Martin Bower's site. in particular this one

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(Copyright Martin Bower http://www.martinbowersmodelworld.com/, used as reference only)

which has prompted me to start scratch building that rear bulkhead detail using strip and rod:

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That last photo shows the detailing on the girder better then before. Finally a ramp/door has been made

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Its only placed there at the moment. From the MB photo above you can see how much internal detail I need to add to the inner skin of the pod. Here is another shot that shows more

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(Copyright Martin Bower http://www.martinbowersmodelworld.com/, used as reference only)

which also gives an idea of the lighting that will be needed...

Edited by Kallisti
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Over the last few days, the support girders have been created, including all the holes

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Today has been spent building up the inner skin over the girders, using my kettle to shape the plastic sheet into approximately the right curvature

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This shot was taken after the port side was removed for access... here is the port side on its own

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This will be reattached at a later stage, probably after painting so I have access to the inside until I don't need it anymore. The grey is Mr Surfacer 500 and 1200 which has been painted on to fill any small gaps where the girders and skin don't quite meet up. Thankfully I found it possible to hide almost all of the vertical joints between the skin plates behind the girders so they are not visible from the door!

The final touches this evening was scratch building a bit more of the rear bulkhead

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Which when in place looks like this:

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This scratch building lark is quite addictive, its great to see something appear out of a disparate collection of plastic strip, rod and sheet!

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Bit of progress over the last week, first up arranging a mechanism to allow the door to be temporarily fixed in place but still allow it to be removed so the pod can fit in TB2 - magnets!!!

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First off two magnets are fixed into the strip under the base of the door on the pod, next a square section plastic rod was shaped to give an angled side and two magnets attached into that side so that you can create a shelf for the door to sit on like this:

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Next 3 magnets were embedded into the upper surface the door will fit on. To make sure they stay IN the plastic strip, a thin plastic strip was then glued over the top of them so they are buried in the shelf. Three magnets were also embedded into the door - you can just about see them in the door under some filler on the right. This means when the door is placed on the shelf it stays put, even when you pick the pod up

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I'm quite pleased with the result! Further detailing work has been done on the inside

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There is still one more oval pice that needs to be added on that side before its complete. I'll also need to build the laboratory that sits inside this pod, that will be next... However today has been a day to work with LEDs to produce the lighting inside the pod

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and this is what the wiring look like on the outside of the inner skin

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Lots of yellow tape :) Inside with the post side removed it looks like this

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Of course, these lighting strips will need to be removed when it comes to painting and reinstated before I finally close it all up. Speaking of the port side, here it is as well

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More anon...

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Love watching things like this come together,and this looks like a classic.

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Lovely work there Kallisti, this is shaping up to be an award winning piece. Very impressed with the lighting.

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Thanks guys, the only thing with the lighting is a couple of the LEDs on the far strip are out of alignment - its bloody annoying, only a mm or so but it brings out my OCD :)

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So the scratch building is done for now and onto the painting... first off after priming I tried using the Tamiya RAF Ocean Grey aerosol as the base colour

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However I'm thinking this is a bit too dark and I need it to be a bit more grey and less blue. Will need to mix something up and try it again.

The door got painted and some of the detail on the rear got taken off again to permit ease of painting.

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In the meantime, attention has switched to the "mother ship" and this is a major job of construction since this is not your average polystyrene kit so will need a different approach, so to that end a batch of slow cure epoxy resin was mixed up and liberally applied to the mating surfaces of the upper and lower fuselage, plus the wings:

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The problem here is the joint is chasm-like and needs some serious clamping and taping as you can see. This was left to cure overnight on Friday night so by yesterday morning I could assess the "gappiness" of the joints - oh boy was that fun! So for my first time as a model maker I turned to that infamous epoxy filler, Isopon to do the honours of filling the large gaping spaces. This got slathered on generously yesterday morning while listening to Test Match Special. This stuff goes off very suddenly so has to be mixed up in small amount to avoid wasting too much, but it sets very rapidly and sands well, although it does create a LOT of dust!

So by mid afternoon yesterday it was a matter of getting the wet and dry out and sitting in the garden sanding the stuff away again, then as the afternoon turned into evening I came back inside and accepted that a mess was bound to happen so carried on sanding while watching Eurovision Song Contest, both activities providing equally interesting distractions from the bordeom of the other!

Eventually this morning, after hoovering up the debris from the previous evening's sanding, I was able to complete the gaps on the inside of the pod opening back out in the garden, bloody hell that was a lot of sanding! Still need to do some work on the engine intakes however... The tail also got assembled using araldite yesterday. The front and back faces of this are cast in white metal, so there were a few gaps. Today this also got the Isopon treatment and in the following photo you can see this as the tail hs taped to the main body

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You can also see the engine exhausts made from brass tubes with some white metal inserts. They've been fixed together in this pic, but still needs some work. The legs are brass supplied int he kit as you see with feet to be attached, These are currently just slotted into their holes.

Its a big bugger!!!

Edited by Kallisti
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