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Zeaf Fighter from 'Terrahawks' scratch build

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First time I've gotten round to posting on here - mainly because I'm such a slow builder.

This is a scratch build of a fighter featured in one of Gerry Anderson's later series, 'Terrahawks'. I always liked the wedge shape and thanks to some meticulous research (not by me, I hasten to add), most of the kit parts have been identified, enabling me to scale up studio-scale plans. Although the original was made from perspex I opted for plasticard as I'm more used to working with it.


The first step was to make the thing strong enough to support itself and withstand being picked up!



The side wings are split into three parts so had to be connected with a 'runner' between them.




Once the main shell was complete, I got on with adding the kit parts, mainly from German tanks, and carving the cab out of balsa.




The tailplane is plasticard with some Plastruct angles.

And that's the state of play as of today! ;)







Edited by DukeDexter
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I used to love Terrahawks as a kid. Wasn't the main bad character called Zelda or something like that and Davies' character was Sargent Major Zero?

I'll have to go Google it once I'm done here


Great scratch building so far. I don't recall the fighter as much as I do the multi angled nose with the huge body

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Thanks for the comments :)

Terrahawks seems to be mainly forgotten and doesn't even get much love from a lot of Anderson fans these days.

I've always quite liked it and thought some of the designs were interesting - the Zeaf has the look of a Snowspeeder about it.


I've added the one kit part that I identified myself - the front bit of the Zeaf is the back bit of a Tiger tank. 

Scratching in plasticard is much easier than balsa… it's taking ages to hide the grain on the cabin! 



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15 hours ago, DukeDexter said:

Scratching in plasticard is much easier than balsa… it's taking ages to hide the grain on the cabin! 


why not try vacu-forming it into plastic? You've got the main shape so you've done the hard part already

I've looked into making my own vacu-forming machine (youtube etc) and it seems easy enough. I just don't have the spare time to make one otherwise I would

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Another option is using CA to seal the grain - it turns balsa into a plastic/resin-like material which is nice to finish. The rest of your work looks excellent, I love the multi-part wings.


And +1 for Terrahawks, I love(d) it - cool designs and 80s-tastic music. I guess watching it now the Lt. Hiro jokes are pretty uncomfortable :( and my daughter thinks the Zeroids are silly.

They keep talking about maybe possibly releasing a Blu-Ray but it hasn't happened, and the owners are good at keeping the episodes off Youtube. Maybe I should try and track down a DVD copy?







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I watched a couple of shows online yesterday after seeing this thread and I have to admit - they're pretty non-PC for this day in age. The armchair activists would have a field day jumping up and down about the things that were said in the show.

I watched the first 3 episodes and the 7th/8th one with the Sporilla. I'd forgotten all about the naughts and crosses game that happens in the credits. I can see why Ninestein wasn't popular - he whinges a lot like a petulant teenager and is pretty nasty towards the Sargent Major

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Thanks Madhatter, Will Vale and Pete in Lincs for the advice :)  the balsa was sealed with 'HMG' sanding sealer which was the first thing available at the local model shop. I'm nearly there with filling the imperfections but vac-forming sounds like something to consider in future. I've got limited space and time so I tend to have to find the easiest option. Learning a few new techniques wouldn't do any harm though! I think the original cab was vac-formed from the cabin of the Treehawk miniature; John Lee who'd designed and built the Zeaf said it was put together very quickly and it reflects the wing designs on the larger ships in Zelda's fleet.


I think the series is being released on Bluray but I hear the quality isn't the best as some or all of the original negatives have gone awol.

I really like Windsor Davies' character in the series, he generally gets the last word on Ninestein. I like the fact it's played for fun, it would have run out of steam earlier if it had been too 'earnest'. The later episode are played more for laughs but the effects shots become more elaborate and interesting to look at.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's looking great.


Being born in the late 80s means that I missed series like Terrahawks and had never heard of it until this thread. My Gerry Anderson show of choice during my childhood, alongside re-runs of Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet (which was my favourite), was Space Precinct. Which seems pretty well forgotten by all and sundry now.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
17 hours ago, Eagle-1 said:

Any new updates on this Duke?  As you already know, I'm certainly interested in this one just a little bit.

Hi Eagle-1, I've added all the kit parts I have, and primed the (balsa) cabin. There are a few kit parts that I can't get - from memory they're from the AMT bulldozer - so I may have to scratch build them. I haven't added the underside yet either, may have to use some imagination with the kit parts on the underside. Can't seem to post a photo via Photobucket, will look into finding a new hosting site. It's been on pause for a while but it's not going to stay that way, after getting this far I every intention of finishing it! :)

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Thanks for the encouragement chaps, I must press on with it because I know it's going to be a good 'un when it's done!.

I tend to go in fits and starts on models. Here is a pic of the story so far.

Bar one or two pieces still to be attached, that's all the kit parts I have. A fair few stuck on the rear too.

I had to busk it regarding the supports for the rear section (between the back of the wings) - I just couldn't see how it was supported on the screen grabs.

I haven't been able to get the AMT Bulldozer so may have to scratch build those pieces for the top of the cabin.

As for the underside, I'm not sure. I may have to just approximate what's (briefly) seen on screen based on the kit parts I have left over.


Couldn't have got this far without the help I had from Rob H and John H over on the Eagle forum :)  

If you have any comments or suggestions, glad to hear them!





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  • 5 months later...

A little bit more work done on this. I've used all the kit parts I have, others have proved to be unobtainable so have done my best to scratch a few of them (approximately).

Primer is to show up any blemishes, just working on the underside 'plate' though the kit parts on the bottom are still proving difficult/ impossible to identify.


The primer has pulled if together a bit, I wasn't that keen on the way the kit parts were used but have replicated them as far as possible.



Edited by DukeDexter
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