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Aoshima Fireflash and Thunderbird 4 diorama

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I've started my next build - even though I haven't finished the last :( so I thought I'd start posting it here. The kit is this one from Aoshima


which is a decent enough rendition of this iconic airliner in jeapordy! However I don't want to to the cliched "trying to land with on undercarriage" type of diorama depicting scenes from the first ever Thunderbirds episode "Trapped in the Sky", but rather I want to do one form the other episode featuring Fireflash, "Crash Drive".

In this episode, technical problems on a test flight of Fireflash end up with it crash-landing onto the ocean and sinking, trapping the pilot and co-pilot


The solution is for Thunderbird 4 to cut off the engines so that the rest of the aircraft can float to the surface (yeah okay I didn't write this stuff!)


So I have a tiny TB4 left over from my recent Thunderbird 2 on the launch ramp builds, so it should be trivial to mount it next to the tail of Fireflash to make it look like it cutting... how about a bit of fibre-optic and a flicker-effect LED?

More to come...

Edited by Kallisti
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Thanks guys :)

I forgot to post a sprue shot, so here it is...


The red sprues are the Elevator cars you can use with the model. The flash has taken out the decal sheet sadly. So onto the current state of the build. Here is the base with some plaster cast rocks and a tube to use as a conduit for the LED's wires


The fuselage has been put together - this isn't a good fit - the joint has quite a bit of a step on it on the upper surface which isn't hard to fix as the upper surface is supposed to be flattish as opposed to circular like a modern airliner.


Looking at the tail you can see the cut-out that is the pilot's cockpit. Its rather narrow to fit a pilot and co-pilot in even at 1:350 scale!!! In theory this is the same scale as the 8" Aoshima/Carlton kit, however there are some serious scale issues in the Fireflash episodes with TB2 so I wouldn't 100% trust these scales :) I'm not sure I can be bothered to scratch build something representing the cockpit... I'll see how things go on...

Here is the miniature TB4 from the Imai kit:


This is missing the front light attachment, that will be attached later. So here is the tail section. I've cut out a channel to fit the 1mm fibre optic strand and this is back-filled with Mr Dissolved Putty. The fibre optic strand will reach down through the tail into the fuselage where the LED will sit. Here is the wing section with the outriders and tail engines


The kits comes with alternate parts for the outriders, these for in-flight and angled ones with the pods open and the landing gear extended. The fit of some of these parts was a bit ropey as you can see from the filler around the engines. The hole in the bottom is for the wires to the LED, eg


This is a white flicker-effect LED that will need 6V to light it - that side of things is already in hand - I'm going to use the battery assembly that was originally built for the Steam Showmans Engine. Finally there are window sections in the wings which are supposed to allow passengers a spectacular view. The kit doesn't come with anything to put in here, apart from a transparency for the windows. So needless to say I've scratch built two inserts which represents the lounges you see in other shots.


These will be painted up later...

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Well sorry to say, I've had to abandon the fibre optic lighting idea as it just doesn't work. There isn't enough space in the tail for the fibre optic to bend properly and there isn't enough light being transmitted from the LED in the fuselage. Its also broken twice at the point where the fibre optic takes a sharp bend "out" of the tail to support TB4. It was worth a try and as they say if you don't try you don't have a chance of success, Sadly in this case it failed...

Never mind I'll build the rest of the diorama regardless - makes it a bit easier :)

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can I suggest you carve a groove out, insert the fiber and putty over it? I did that with the Yamato and it worked well

That is exactly what I did but that wasn't the problem - the problem was the fibre didn't work, it didn't transmit the light well enough.

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That's a shame about the fiber optics, that would have been truly brilliant, is there no way of mounting the led at the point in the wing where the end of the cable was going to be? I assume not as the scale is probably to small? I look forward to seeing more :) is there any progress on the TB2 diorama?



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The fin is too thin to be able to mount the LED within it.

The TB2 diorama was finished some weeks ago, but now you mention it I didn't update the build thread or take completed photos -oops! I'll do that in the next few days.

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An 0402 SMD should fit -they are about 1mm in size and you can use 0.10mm copper wire to run the power to it. You can get pre-wired SMD's as well if soldering on a nano level sounds like too much hard work (it does for me)

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Hmm, I can remember watching this particular episode and building, what I thought was a perfect replica of Fire Flash, out of Lego!

Now, as this was before Lego started supplying sculpted bricks, I do also remember have a tiny tantrum because every time I tried to pick it up, one or both sides of the tail would drop off or it would break in half...

Ahh, great days...

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An 0402 SMD should fit -they are about 1mm in size and you can use 0.10mm copper wire to run the power to it. You can get pre-wired SMD's as well if soldering on a nano level sounds like too much hard work (it does for me)

I've got them but it doesn't fit - its still too thick for the fin.

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I think you should drop the lighting and go with what you think, I have had projects where I was stressing so much about doing some lighting and how to make it work I just left it out, otherwise it ends up on the shelf of doom gathering dust. And I'm sure while it wont glow, the same effect just in paint will be cool.

Looking forward to seeing this come together :)

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Lastest progress update.

Wing lounges painted and glued into place


Suitably garish 60's vision of the future... Bit of scratch building added to the pilots cocpit - difficult to see, but there is a silver instrument console and red seats


At the same time, the base has been put together using some cast plaster rocks and trusty claycrete...


Then finally after a week of drying out, it was ready for paint...


Can't quite get the sea-bed surface right just yet, but very happy with the way the rocks turned out.

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