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Aoshima Thunderbirds Mole #2... and I live in a hole...

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So after a hectic summer of building ridiculously big Oil Platforms or ridiculously complex Eagle Transporters (although THAT was well worth putting the effort into in the end :D), I've had a couple of weeks of building a couple of "simple" out-of-the-box kits that will eventually be posted in the RFI section for Aircraft. However while the paint it drying I decided I'd revisit the plan I had for my second Aoshima Mole kit.


If you can remember all the way back to the middle of last year (2015), when the world seemed a much less complicated place, I built the superb Aoshima kit of the Mole from Thunderbirds, and in the Telford comp that year it won a Bronze medal




Well I was so enamoured with the possibilities of this kit, that I went and bought 2 more from HobbyLinkJapan and made plans...

One of those plans is to take the tractor section, which is a superb rendition of a Vickers Vigor toy tractor that was used by Thunderbirds as the basis of many of the pod vehicles, and converting it into an screen-accurate Firefly.


That would of course leave me with the rest of the kit, ie the Mole itself! Another plan came into my head and this is the plan I aim to execute in this build, namely... well you'll see as we go along.  So lets start off with the same pics fromt he previosu build to illustrate the kit itself...








So the bits we are mainly intersted in are the yellow bits plus quite a few bits fro the various little baggies. These contain the "moving parts" and electrical gubbins (technical term here!) which will be a bit more important in this build tha n int he previous.


To start off with, as before the silver plated screw and associated components were cleaned up, which removed most of the silver plating. The rest will be removed with some Mr Muscle Oven cleaner and then they'll get the Alclad treatment. Next I jump back a bit again to the Aoshima Thunderbird 4 kit I built at the start of this year which can be seen here. This included an electric motor




which I didn't use in that build but kept it to one side as I knew it was the same electric motor that was supposed to be used in the the Mole. So some time was spent wiring this up with the various gears that come with the Mole kit to get this:




Yeah I know its boring looking at a static pic of something that should be moving so here is the Youtube video of it in action!



So thats all good if a little noisy. They supply a little tube of grease to help with that. You can see the red light on the top - I dicided to use the one supplied rather than replace it with a slashing red LED as the voltages required are different to that powering the motor. Its intended to be powered by 3V, so for that the pea-bulb they provided will do the trick.


Next is the base or rather the "mounting" for it. So I ask you what does the Mole do? Why (I hear you reply) it digs through the earth in a generally downward direction... so that is how it will be displyed!




This is a cheap picture frame with 2 layers of my favourite insulating polystyrene stuck to it with a slot cut out to contain the Mole. I'm going to make a hole int he back to thread the wires through so that the batteries and on.off switch can be mounted on the back of the picture frame. This will be a vertical model, which will be good on the club's display table as it won't take up much table space :D


I'm still pondering exactly what the Mole is coming to the rescue of - but its likely to be something in the lower left of the display... more on that later...


Edited by Kallisti
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Next phase was to add some detail to the base, this included a sewer pipe, including some hanging "gunk" and a tunnel with a blockage to represent the emergency...




I created the "gunk" using UHU glue which is sticky and very stringy as its drying. The tunnel is a cardboard tube... no not from a loo roll! with a floor made from a paving tile and some tubes left over from the Oil Platform build for some conduits under the floor. This was then "blocked" by brown painted polystyrene bits left over from cutting the hole originally.




Next I mixed up a nice thick brown sludge from my favourite claycrete in readiness...




For those not in the know, claycrete is this stuff and I've also shown the artists acrylics I use to colour it




Applying it looks a bit disgusting and is quite messy, and this is what it looked like when first applied




It will take a couple of days to dry out and will fade in colour as it dries. I used different colour mixes to give the strata effect, although I might have made the colour difference a bit too drastic. I'll have to wait until it dries to see what its really like. If worst comes to worst, I can always paint over it and blend the colours a bit more...

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Looks pretty good to me...if good is a mixture of dog food, cat sick and the presents my daughter leaves for me in her nappy.


As you say though, it will all settle down and it can then be blended a bit with pigments and the like.





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Its been 2 days since the dog-food, cat sick a baby whatits was applied and its dried out and the colours have faded a bit




The main body has been assembled and painted with my blend of Tamiya flat yellow with a drop of red, then I gave it a Klear coat before doing the panel lines with a pn wash. I started weathering the rest then realised I hadn't done the decals so I've had to leave it to dry for a day and I'll add the decals and continue the weathering...




and here it is next to the original model I built last year which I'm using as a guide




Finally for this quick update, the screw has been give the ALclad treatment. This time I've used Aluminium on the screw, Dark ALuminium on the end plate and Airframe Aluminium on the cutting tip




I'll do the decals tonight...

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Nice progress, it's looking good and I like the yellow mix - Tamiya yellow is definitely too lemony in its natural state.


What did you use for the glazing on your previous Mole? I can see it glinting in there but I don't think the kit supplies anything. I cut and polished slices of acrylic for mine which must've been the most ridiculously fiddly solution for what's probably a simple problem...





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Well the final assembly was quite straightforward, the only difficult bit being sitting the Mole in its tunnel so that the rotating "cutting" top doesn't snag on the sides. So this is what it looks like when complete




and when spinning




There is one major problem with it though, which becomes apparent in the following movie...




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