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Fireball XL5 - The legendary Airfix kit + Resin copy FINISHED AT LAST


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Once upon a time in the sixties, for five Lyons Maid? ice lolly wrappers and a postal order for 10/6d you

could receive a model kit of the then TV wonder, Fireball XL5. (Apparently moulded by Airfix).

Now that was a fair amount of money back then, and I for one lusted after this thing but it was not to be.

Fast forward about fifty years to a couple of months ago and the local car boot sale. Oh look, a box of old model kits,

Oh golly (or something similar) stay cool, it's a Fireball! One pound fifty later, I walked away trying not to grin in a stupid fashion!

The nose cone, (Fireball junior) was missing, but hey, it's a start, I'll scratchbuild one.

I mentioned my find on here and was contacted by a BM regular who normally scratchbuilds large scale cars.

He too had always wanted one and mentioned using resin.I ended up sending my find to him and he did the deed.

I recently got my kit back, plus a resin copy and another resin Fireball junior.

 

Here is what he describes as a 'garage kit' and it looks like it will be a challenge in places but I will

give it my best and we'll see what emerges. Not shown above are the resin fins for 'junior'. You can see

a metal washer and small magnet so 'junior' can go off on it's own.

 

Here's what I got at the boot sale. It was painted & assembled but had to be stripped down for copying.

So this too will be on the build desk and I will end up with two of these beauties! I have some original

Airfix aircraft stands which I will be using for them both.

The resin copies are available on the bay and I've not mentioned any names above in case there are any

issues with copyright etc, but BM regulars should be able to work out who it is.

 

This will be a slow motion build as life is interfering with the model desk for the next month or so at least,

but I will do what I can, and post whenever I get the chance. In the meantime maybe someone else will

be overcome with lust for one and will purchase & build one faster than I can!

Pete

 

 

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I managed to get an hours or so today at the desk.

I thought I'd start with what I know, so I've started

to rebuild the original kit. It's years since I worked with resin.

Having said that, the painted wingtip pod in the picture above

has a damaged rear edge so I've been given a replacement

one in resin.

I had to trim and sand it a bit and found it to be very simple

to work with. So I'm now looking forward to tackling the new

resin kit.

My original kit now has a complete fuselage and the fin is fitted.

I found the diameter of the rear section was smaller than the

forward section so I shimmed it with a sheet of plastic card.

I used filler on the joints and filled in the side windows.

I did a trail fit of the rocket section to the rear of the fuselage

and found that it will need some work.

Look at the pic of the kit above & you will see the main rocket

exhaust with smaller ones around the outside. These should

match up to the cone shapes on the rear fuselage but they are

slightly out of synch. The cones will need a bit of filler to match

them to the tail piece/exhaust. This problem obviously carries

over to the resin copy but shouldn't be difficult to correct.

I did a mockup fit of Junior and found the fuselage length to be

almost spot on 12 inches. Main fuselage diameter is 1 1/4 inches.

Thanks for looking in.

Pete

BTW, linky thing - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fireball-XL5-resin-garage-kit-Gerry-Anderson-/182561279825?hash=item2a81800f51:g:rp8AAOSwc49Y7qTM

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I love Gerry Anderson series and subjects. What a find!!!

Really looking forward to seeing this progress Pete, great stuff :)

Best regards 

TonyT

 

PS: the GBP £ Ozzie $ exchange rate will sadly prevent me from getting a resin one. The raw materials for resin are costly, so the garage kit is very reasonably priced.

I'll just have to be happy to watch, with envy :D!

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Tony, you'll just have to move over here.

 

I had a PM asking what was happening.

The answer is, not a lot, as Eric Morecambe used to say.

Twelve hour plus working days don't really help,

yet I had two days off but spent those decorating and doing family stuff.

I managed to get ten minutes or so yesterday and after

giving it a once over decided to add more filler to the

fuselage joint and to the fuselage/rocket section joint.

 

It now looks to me like I needed to add a touch more to the

rear fuselage diameter to make the rocket section joint better,

and we're only really talking about half a millimeter here.

Live and learn, Better to make errors here than on the resin one.

I think the old, brittle plastic lost a bit of substance when being

taken apart & smoothed down. Plus I smoothed the joint again.

 

Ah well, it will be alright in the long run, and it will be a long run,

I might get time today to go and get the materials for the mancave,

but who can tell?

 

I could do with a clone! Or at least a month off work.

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And, having said all that,

and after I'd mowed the lawns,

I managed to get an hour or so

to fettle Fireball. (Sounds rude?)

photo DSCN0585_zpsrn7ati8l.jpg

I used thin superglue to fit the 'wings' and the rocket pods,

then added filler to the joints. They were a bit rough having been

glued back in the sixties and dismantled a couple of months ago.

Above you can see an original rocket pod, you can't see the damage

to the back of it, hence, it's been replaced by a resin pod. The Humbrol

tin adds scale and the Airfix stand dates from the seventies.

The resin at the back is the fins for Junior.

photo DSCN0587_zps5cduff4s.jpg

A close up of the main engine moulding. I mentioned a fit

problem but a touch of filler and some rubbing down and it

all seems to look okay. The primer coat will reveal all!

photo DSCN0588_zpszeprw0hv.jpg

And, here we are in flight (ish). Now I find out that having

a resin pod on only one 'wing' adds a balance problem!

That Airfix stand can't go on the centerline though because

of the sheet of plasticard I used as a spacer in the rear section,

so the idea is to fit it to one side of the centerline to balance

the RH bank. It might work, it might not.

It was around about here that I found that Junior is not quite the

same diameter as the forward fuselage. Fragments of a millimeter,

but it wouldn't do. Is this resin shrinkage in action?

The forward fuselage is tapered anyway and has thick walls,

so I just sanded the bejesus out of it until I was happy.

The transparent bits are just in place above to add the thrill factor.

And that is where we will leave things for today. Back soon (I hope)

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15 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I could do with a clone!

 

Get "THE MAN" to mould a Garage resin kit of Pete in Lincs......!

Great find, great story, great bit of work from "the man" too . Bet you couldn't wait to get away from that car boot seller's pitch with that in your hand and happier that a happy thing !

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1 minute ago, bzn20 said:

happier that a happy thing

Even happier than that!

I got a box of old built 1/35th

military stuff today for two quid.

Now all dismantled to use as

greeblies in future sci fi builds.

4 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

resin kit of Pete in Lincs

But there's resin shrinkage to consider!

Cheers and thanks for looking.

Pete

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42 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I managed to get an hour or so to fettle Fireball. (Sounds rude?)

 

No - it sounds more like the latest offering from my local real ale Micro Brewery.

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Well, I've seen some great names on

real ale so I wouldn't be surprised.

My favourite is Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

It's about forty quid a bottle though!

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Hell of a find mate, one of the kids in my street had one of those, my jealousy knows no bounds, didn't have one then, don't have one now.

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Thanks for all the nice comments, guys.

I don't know if 'the man' could be persuaded

to do some more copies?

There seems to be a good demand for them,

though I understand the moulds get tired after a while?

 

I hope I'll get a bit of time this weekend for more fettling.

Cheers

Pete

 

BTW, Kallisti, I can't help but wonder how you would weather one of these.

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OMG, the holy grail of wanna have kits.I have lusted after this model since I was a kid, hope the "man" decides to up his production line. Have fun building it Pete, looks bloody gorgeous :thumbsup:

 

BTW fettling the Fireball does sound like an ambitious Kama Sutra position that would probably lead to serious spine injuries :hmmm::shocked:

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I was lucky to have one of the original Kitmaster/Airfix releases, sadly long gone. I'm glad I managed to grab the last one, (and I did have some input into the final item).

What I couldn't understand was 30 people were 'watching' it. It was the last one left out of a run of 3 after Pete's and 'the Man's' copies, it was BIN

and still they didn't snap it up. Oh well, you snooze, you lose.

 

Anyone else wanting one would do well to ask 'the Man' directly, as these will not be widely available, and any future production will be small.

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Hi Pete in Lincs

 

Now this is the kind of kit that I love - plenty of skill required and a challenge - good luck with your build - what a treat for the forum

 

John

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There is an original Kitmaster on ebay. It's built, complete with stand, and looks good.

'Buy it now' for £1,000.00

Pete, you got a bargain.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIREBALL-XL5-EXTREMLEY-RARE-FIREBALL-XL5-MODEL-KIT-MADE-BY-KITMASTERS-IN-1963-/192116302864?hash=item2cbb062410:g:7LYAAOSw32lYtdVh

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Buy it now/ make an offer. Wonder what his "trigger" is?

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I did get a bargain didn't I?

I built a smaller resin version of XL5  for a mate

while I was in Saudi. I can't remember the

make though. It came with a section of the

launch rail, so I made a mini diorama with it,

including a close(ish) version of the control tower

 

I didn't get anything done to it at the weekend.

I was busy doing the mancave. Battening and

insulation is up on three walls. needs boarding

out now.

 

Fireball needs filler rubbing down on the joints

and junior needs fins. Then off to paint I think.

May have to rethink the stand though, too heavy.

 

Thanks for the interest and comments, guys.

Pete

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6 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I did get a bargain didn't I?

I built a smaller resin version of XL5  for a mate

while I was in Saudi. I can't remember the

make though. It came with a section of the

launch rail, so I made a mini diorama with it,

including a close(ish) version of the control tower

 

I didn't get anything done to it at the weekend.

I was busy doing the mancave. Battening and

insulation is up on three walls. needs boarding

out now.

 

Fireball needs filler rubbing down on the joints

and junior needs fins. Then off to paint I think.

May have to rethink the stand though, too heavy.

 

Thanks for the interest and comments, guys.

Pete

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ROBERT-HARROP-FIREBALL-XL5-ROCKET-FX01-MINT-IN-BOX-/222510841239?hash=item33ceadfd97:g:WdYAAOSwTuJYtGID

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8 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I did get a bargain didn't I?

I built a smaller resin version of XL5  for a mate

while I was in Saudi. I can't remember the

make though. It came with a section of the

launch rail, so I made a mini diorama with it,

including a close(ish) version of the control tower

 

 

That'll be the Comet Miniatures kit

 

http://fantastic-plastic.com/FireballXL-5-Comet.htm

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That will be the one. My mate paid for it,

I just got the fun of the build plus about

15 quid for 'expenses'. We were both happy.

Not sure if I still have any pictures anywhere.

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I just found this Pete,...Now I can't get the end theme music out of my head.."I'd love to be a fireball...Keep up the great job here.

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All together now

 

Oh I wish I were a spaceman

The fastest guy alive

I'd fly you round the universe

In Fireball XL-5. . . . .  (next verse, over to you)

 

 

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