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ZAK

1/76 Thor Missile Site

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Hi, this is my first attempt at a real post on here, I am in the process of building a Thor Missile pad, just one is quite large in 1/72 scale.

A friend of mine told me about this site and I thought that I would give it a go.

This is the start of the missile hangar.

 

 

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Edited by ZAK
wrong spacing on text

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Here are a few more views of the hangar being built.

 

a6682ec6-2d10-472b-913d-4e477dff3c93.jpg

 

The card hangar has been clad with thin  (1mm) plastic card and the door has been added.

 

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I like your idea of using corrugated cardboard as a core for your plastic sheet cladding: I’m presently contemplating constructing some airfield buildings for mini dioramas so, if I may, I’m going to pinch your idea.  Do you have the BW Models Thor and transporter?  I’m not sure if it’s still available as the business was sold a few years ago.

 

Am I right in thinking that the Thor hangars opened for final fuelling and launching by sliding lengthways along rails laid into the hard standing?

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Yes, I have just recently built the BW Leyland Hippo with erector trailer, some photos will follow.

 

 

Yes, the whole front assembly slid to the side on rails, the hangar also slid away on rails.

I am posting this retrospectively as most of the building has been done, its just getting the photos sorted and so on.

 

Corrugated card is a cheap option but foam board would probably be better, more rigid and lighter

 

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I used the Belcher Bits Thor missile as I am saving the BW vacuum formed one for inside the hangar.

This one is resin and is quite heavy.

The number on the side 39 - relates to a Carnaby Missile, as this was my nearest site.

I am also going to use the Belcher Bits launch base for inside the hangar.

 

Edited by ZAK

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I am very interested in seeing how you progress with this as I am pretty keen to build such a diorama.

As you say, ONE pad is quite large and even then there is a lot to include: blast walls Non-shadow lights rails and runners, sunken pits and associated pipework not to mention the hangar and other buildings associated with the launch.

Please tell me you source for scaling ? I have visited several sites Ludford, Caistor, Breigton, Bardney & Carnaby to name a  few.

 

I have pulled up my chair so I get a front row seat . . . .

Ian

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To be honest I used a lot of different sources, some on line and others from books, once you find the length of the track for the hangar the rest can be scaled reasonably easily.

I found the book Thor, Anatomy of a Weapon System by Geoff Goodchild really good, details of the hangar interior and so on, I got it brand new half price (£10.00), I searched online, I am not sure where I got it.

The missile shelter was 108 ft. long x 28 ft. 10in wide x 20 ft. high.

I am not sure how accurate my model will be, more of a feel with some selective compression, the pits may have to be left on the surface.

There are quite a lot of site plans on the internet.

I found a scale drawing of RAF North Luffenham on line, and use this as most of the sites were very similar.

 

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Here is a view of the ground plan of the single Thor pad, It has been made from mounting board.

OO railway track was laid and glued into position for the hangar to move down.

 

 

The concrete was scribed, airbrushed and weathered.

The hangar will change colour.

 

The 2 ft. ruler gives some idea of the size of the completed model.

I am hoping to exhibit it at the Northern Model Show in June.

 

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Here is the scratch built erector trailer connected to the Belcher bits Launch assembly.

 

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Missile in position on the launch assembly. I used the BW vacuum formed Thor missile for this as it is lighter. the assembly pivots to allow the missile into the launch position and so that the erector trailer can go back to the horizontal.

 

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Thats excellent. I think its great that you can have it in two positions when the hangar is drawn back:yes:

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You've made a great start with this one. 

I'll be watching with interest. 

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I somehow assumed that when the wheels were removed they also removed the mudguards, I have modified the erector trailer and added the mudguards as I have been reliably informed they did not come off when the rear wheel assembly was removed.

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Here the umbilical pylon has been added, this was constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and rod.

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The erector trailer assembly with launch base posed outside the hangar.

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The blast walls posed in position.

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Most of the vehicles and structures had to be scratch built and the spares box came in really useful for this, remember never throw anything away if you can!

I needed a lot of wheels and I did cut the odd corner or two, sometimes only single wheels were used where they should be double.

 

Nitrogen Trailers - 4 of these were needed.

They are built mainly from plastic card with wheels from the spares box.

The nitrogen cylinders were made from large straws cut to size and glued into place.

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Excellent umbilical pylon and I can see this is going to be an education about the THOR installation and I love the trailer.

 

I am so looking forward to seeing more 

 

Ian

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Here are some more of the site vehicles.

Electrical Equipment Trailer (three of these)

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Air conditioning unit.

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Hydraulic Pumping Unit

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Power Switchboard (skid mounted)

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Land rover -from the Airfix bloodhound kit

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Landrover Mk2 from Oxford diecast - repainted

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BW Models Fire Tender

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Zak

 

I like the look of them despite everything being RAF Blue-Grey

Did you guessimate the sizes of the trailers and power units ?

Are you working from research and/or drawings ?

 

Ian

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It was quite difficult to decide on the colour, much of the equipment originated in the USA and looks dark blue, local vehicles would be RAF blue grey, I decided to be patriotic and go with the RAF colours. I may repaint them at a later date.

Do you have any views as to the colours?

Colour photos are few and far between and the colour, a real minefield.

 

Some of the sizes are guesses, some vehicles and machinery is straight out of my head - sorry, but details are not easy to find.

 

As to source the book I mentioned gives lots of sizes of things and details, it was a good buy.  - Thor Anatomy of a Weapon System by Geoff Goodchild.

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Views of the site as the build progressed.

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This is to the left of the missile looking towards the launch rear.

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Over view of the site as the building continued.

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Looks like a great project with super work so far.

Here are a few pictures of RAF Harrington (not far from me)

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In 1958 a new era started for Harrington when the Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles were chosen as a nuclear deterrent. Bloodhound Mk.1 SAMs at separate sites provided protection. Construction at Harrington was completed in early 1960 and 218 Sqn took up residence. The allocation was short-lived as Harrington was de-activated 23 August 1963.
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Edited by Ratch

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Thanks Ratch, as you see I did manage to find the BW Leyland Hippo and Thor trailer - got it given actually.

 

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56 minutes ago, Tsrjoe said:

excellent modelling, its looking really good, might be of use, iv a compilation album of RAF. Thor images on the Project cancelled SIG. Facebook page ... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.481629772006183&type=3  

 

cheers, Joe

I don't seem to be able to access that link.

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Great work to date.

 

I grew very close to two Thor missile sites Coleby Grange and Bardney and have very vague recolections of them and I have alway been fascinated with the sites and the history.

 

I assume you are au fait with the two John Boyes books and Jim Wilson's book on Thor? All three come with the highest recomendation.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Project-Emily-Thor-Irbm-Raf/dp/0752446118

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thor-Ballistic-Missile-Kingdom-Partnership/dp/1781554811

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thor-Ballistic-Missile-Kingdom-Partnership/dp/1781554811

 

I recommened this DVD, which includes 35mm film of a UK Thor base on the Thunder in Waiting short in glorious colour.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thor-Ballistic-Missile-Kingdom-Partnership/dp/1781554811

 

I have a couple of BW models (snagged just before they shut up shop) and Belcher kits tucked away for a rainy day.

 

Watching with interest.

 

Thomo.

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid

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I have read that RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire was also a Thor site.

I now live there in one of the former Officers Quarters.

It will be good to see what it actually looked like.

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