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ScanmanDan

Thunderbird 3 (Progress 28-10)

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I was lucky enough to be given an Aoshima Thunderbird 3 for my birthday this year.  I have finally gotten time to clear the bench and start having a go at it.

 

The kit is relatively simple and goes together pretty well but the surface finish is very slick and shiny and I have spent a fair bit of time block sanding everything down.  While sanding I noted a fair few wavy bits in the surface and the white engine pod caps need a lot of work to get them to smoothly to the main pods.  Nothing major and I doubt I'll need any putty at all just lots of sanding and checking fit and then more sanding.  I have drilled out some of the retros and added a few grubbins here and there.  I'm not too fussed if I cannot get it totally screen accurate but I do want to look the part.  Those centre section fins will be a challenge as I'm just finishing the block sanding on them, tedious but I think it will look better in the end. I note that they need a painted yellow stripe too!

 

I'm almost to the primer stage and I have yet to work out the finished colour as I have a few orange - red or red - orange shades to choice from.  Right now I'm concentrating on getting the bird prepped and primed ( it's just pinned together right now) as I would like to work on it as subassemblies for painting and decaling.  

 

Here's where I'm up to so far.

 

Thunderbird%203%2001-X2.jpg

 

Thunderbird%203%2002-X2.jpg 

 

Lots of fun and I just love that ship.  

 

I like this kit so much I'm going to track down a TB2 for good measure :)

 

Thanks for looking in.

Dan

Edited by ScanmanDan

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Mine is still sitting in the stash awaiting motivation and room on the bench to bring her out. Will be following your build with great interest. It's a great start so far, and is looking really lovely, with your additions being just what it needs to help bring some much needed detail to the kit. I fear mine will be a lot more OOB unfortunately. 

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Thank you for you lovey comments James.  I hope my little efforts get you to take yours out for a spin :)  It's a great little kit except for those decals :( , buy then I hate decals and they hate me.

 

 

 

A little progress.

 

This little kit is kicking my behind....  But some progress being made none the less.  Not intiely happy with my work on this one but I do so like the subject I'm going to push through and finish her even if it's not my best.

 

Paint on the engines..

 

Thunderbird%203%2003-XL.jpg

 

Rough I know but I'm not too good at the shiny stuff.

 

Docking collar;  Rough as well but I think I can tweak it a bit.

 

Thunderbird%203%2006-XL.jpg

 

Now the bit that is really doing my head in.

 

The long, thin blue "U" shaped decals that go around all the fins on the centre section.  I just knew that I had no hope of getting them all straight, plumb to the centre line and evenly spaced around the circumference without some guides or help.  The kit only has a series of small square holes that the ends of the fins hook into.  I added a scribed line at what I thought to be the bottom of the 'u' and some very small styrene strips which will set under each fin.  I took ages to try and get all the strips straight, plumb and evenly spaced.  They are okay and with a lot of cursing and patience I'm laying each decal in place and hoping they don't look kack.  

 

Thunderbird%203%2005-XL.jpg

 

Thunderbird%203%2004-XL.jpg

 

This has been hours of work and I just hope I don;t stuff it up.  There are no spares on the decal sheet and I find the decals brittle and unresponsive to any of the softeners I've tried on them.  So far one decal is pretty lame and the others are okay.  If I survive putting on the rest The model should at least look okay.  I'm certainly not rushing , just one or two a night to keep from screwing up.  I still have to paint the yellow stripes on all the fins but I'll worry about that latter.

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

Dan

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Decals look good, your patience is showing! I would have been tempted to mask it off and paint them, though that would still be a fiddly process!

 

Look forward to seeing more :)

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Well I'm glad that's done   Those blue decals are a pain but after having several break up into pieces and some just not wanting to play nice I think I got them down okay.  I have started the rest of the decaling and adding little nonsense bits to make it look a bit busy.  Don't look too close as they are from a 1/48 scale bf-109 sheet and so are all in german ;).  I have almost finished the fins.  I scribed a line 2mm from the end of each as I'm painting the yellow tips because I just can't handle many more decals.  I'm having a lot more fun how and I hope to get the fins on soon.  That said I'm not looking forward to alining all those fins 90 degrees to the body of the bottom stage.

 

Pics.

 

Thunderbird%203%2008-XL.jpg

 

Thunderbird%203%2007-XL.jpg

 

 

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

Dan

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31 minutes ago, ScanmanDan said:

Don't look too close

Well it looks darn good from where I'm sitting.

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German decals on a TB? Heresy! hee hee hee.... 😉

 

Looks just great, Pete.

 

I did the Imai TB1 with Scott Tracy figure many years ago, simple but enjoyable build.

 

Kev

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So we are still a go!  

Thanks for all the kind comments, I hope you are having fun because I'm still smiling!

 

Progress:

 

Spent a bit more time bashing a little base to hopefully partially hide the rocket on a stick look.  Should have gone bigger or smaller but this is where I'm at.  I've started to put the main assemblies together using 5-minute epoxy as it's clear and gives me some time to adjust bits before it grabs.  I'm very glad I pined the three rocket pods with very thin stiff brass wire as they went on without a fuss.  I think they are straight, true and evenly spaced....  The atomic core fins will be a bit of a chore to get straight and even but I think if I just keep my nerve and don't rush I'll be okay.  Lots more little stuff I want to do but I feel it's starting to look okay.  Pics of progress so far.

 

Thunderbird%203%2009-X2.jpg

 

Thunderbird%203%2010-X2.jpg

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

Dan

Edited by ScanmanDan

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On 10/7/2018 at 6:31 AM, ScanmanDan said:

I'm not too fussed if I cannot get it totally screen accurate

There's really no such thing as 'screen accurate' here because (like all of the craft) there were several different models of Thunderbird 3, in various scales, used to suit whatever scene they were shooting. And there were differences between each one! So what you do might match one shooting model but not another!

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Indeed Gordon, I was very interested in looking at all the pictures on line and noting lots of differences between the models.  ( I wish there were some good scale drawing of these birds)  I noted colour changes too, but I also made some choices that were purely aesthetic and looked good to my eyes.  I'm pretty sure the stage separator and atomic core fins and bottom plate should be a dark neutral grey instead of the US Navy intermediate blue grey I painted them.  But I liked the blue tone next to the electric blue stripes better.  Also bits are just made up to fix modelling issues.  Like how I had to add tiny bits of plastic card to the docking ring to hide the impossible to fill seam between the two part assembly.  I build for fun and my own amusement and scale and detail fidelity are not my highest priority :)  

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Just noticed this! Nice progress so far, its a decent kit (considering the awful kits you usually get of Thunderbirds)  The decals around the fins are a pita, but are barely noticeable when its completed.

 

I built this kit 5 years ago (blimey is it 5 years!) you can see my build here

 

I've just re-read the thread and I see to have had problems with those fin decals as well! This is what I ended up with - of course I couldn't just build TB 3, that would be too easy! :)

 

DSCF8052.JPG&key=d77566e7dbb225a0f05cf0e

 

Sadly time hasn't been kind to the model - its travelled to lots of shows and has been knocked about a bit - particularly the handrail!

 

Looking forward to seeing further progress!

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15 hours ago, ScanmanDan said:

I build for fun and my own amusement

Well said. I would guess that only a small percentage of models are displayed to the public (as opposed to family members) and if you're doing that - particularly if you're entering it in competition - you probably should strive for perfection, but if you're doing it for yourself then what's important is what you are happy with.

 

FWIW I would be delighted if my own models were up to the standard of this one so I don't think you have any worries on that score.

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Progress;

 

Fins are finally on and came out better than I though they would.  I've started with some detail painting and some panel lines but more to come.  Just want to get the last of the decals on then it's just the little stuff 

 

Thunderbird%203%2011-X2.jpg

 

Thunderbird%203%2012-X2.jpg

 

Kallista - Great looking TB3, I spent a fair while reading your build before I started, excellent work with some great tips.  Thanks for sharing. :)

 

Gordon - You are too kind , Sir but thank you for your encouragement.

 

Still a fun build and I should get her done soon.  Thanks for looking in.

 

Dan

Edited by ScanmanDan

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Really, really beautiful finish on her. Looking forward to seeing the base get some paint on. Great work. 

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