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Thunderbirds Recovery Vehicle - Aoshima '1:72' scale (ish) [Completed]

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It seems like ages since I did a Thunderbirds model  - well it was October last year but it SEEMS a long time ago - so I decided to raid the stash and pull out a kit I've had for quite a few years and see what could be done with it! My choice this time was the Aoshima Recovery Vehicle




If you look very closely you'll see the box boasts a 2 channel remove control option!! Whoo hoo, Vroom Vroom!


Okay lets not get too excited, the 2 channels allow for forward and reverse plus the 'firing' and winching in of the magnetic grapples!!  Sounds awesome? Hmmm....


Here are the contents of the box:




You'll see it comes with 2 electric motors plus a stack of other bits alongside the plastic. It should be noted that this kit uses the same technique as the Aoshima Mole with 2 rubber bands with the tracks glued into mating holes in the rubber. It works very well on the Mole kit and keeps the tracks nice and flexible. On the subject of the Mole, that kit ALSO claims to be 1:72 and while the tractor bodies of both of these are the same size, the Mole is supposed to be a much larger machine. On the Recovery Vehicle one you can see the windscreen so can imagine the size of the driver.


What is missing in the above photo (because I forgot to take a sprue shot until I'd already started building doh!) is the aforementioned '2 Channel Remove Control' controller. This comes as part of the kit and is quite easy to assemble as it includes a prefabricated circuit beard with wires already soldered on. It accepts 4 AA batteries and has 2 constrol sticks that simply move forward and back. 




I've tested it and it all works fine. My plan it to connect this to the model via a 4-pin plug and socket on the underside so the controller can be detached when I want to display the static model and then plugged in to play with.. .er I mean to display the motorised action... ahem!


The instructions are the usual Aoshima mix of Japanese and English, French and German




These pages show you the construction of the controller






Approaching Danger Zone...





Edited by Kallisti
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A few days worth of work for this progress, so to start with this is the nose of the recovery vehicle assembled - you can see the amount of filler that was required!




Next the upper part of the body which includes the magnetic grapples. These are supposed to be spring loaded and operated by a mechanism underneath






The tubes required a considerable amount of sanding to eliminate the joints. I'm not at all certain that the firing mechanism will work. This is the underside - the grey bar is connected to two levers which release the grapples. This is pushed forward by a cam attached to the cog wheel on the right in the pic. The other cog wheel is attached to a spindle which is where the cotton thread attached to the grapples is wound up, This should sit in a pair of recesses in the lower body and the cog should engage with other cogs in the lower body... speaking of which here it is with the electric motors and associated gears installed.




The one on the right drives the tracks on both sides while the one on the left is supposed to work the grapple winch and the firing mechanism. However, so far I have not been able to get it to work and the instructions are of limited help! To be honest I'm not that bothered - its not supposed to be a toy!


There are plastic frames that go over the gears which seal them into their channels. Assembling the gears was a tricky and non-trivial exercise!


Returning to the non-toy theme, I've arranged for how to be able to disconnect the remove controld box and wires from the model as you can see in the underneath pic




and a little closer:




So the 4 pin plug will engage with the 4 pin socket. I've tested the electrical connections and all seems sound - for now. of course as soon as I seal the body up, things will start to go wrong. As I said before, its not goign to worry me too much as this is NOT supposed to be a toy! (vroom vroom!)






Edited by Kallisti
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  • 2 weeks later...

Latest news... the "working" features are not so they have been abandoned. The winch mechanism just did not work at all so the motor was removed from the chassis and when finally assembled and tested with tracks on, the gear that connected the drive shaft to the tracks did not pair up with its corresponding drive gear so I've abandoned the whole idea of having this with some working features.


In the end it makes the build easier and as I've said before, its NOT a toy, honest guv! :)


So now its on to painting and I'm going to use my own custom mix of Tamiya X-6 orange plus a bit of red to get a more reddish orange - a bit more like Thunderbird 3.


I'll post some photos with progress later...

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  • 2 weeks later...

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