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And here we go yet again. I built a Sternail about eight or so years ago for a friend in Saudi. As far as I know it's still somewhere in the Middle East.

Must be about time to build one for myself. And not just any old Sternail either. This time I'm doing a two seater. BTW, What's a Sternail? Sternail01_zps5bbae40b.jpg?t=1406042243

I can post this one here because it's the one I built. At rest here in a garden just outside Riyadh.

I've been stockpiling kit bits for quite some time, some were earmarked for this build.

I did get a Hind off the bay but it turned out to be too small, so I've rethought the nose.


Here's a sketch I made eight years ago. It shows how I built the last one and I'll do the same this time. A basic wooden frame covered with plasticard. (And filler!).


Not my model but it shows the size of the beast. This is 1/35th scale BTW. You may notice the T-55 tank turrets holding thrusters at the rear. I don't have any this time.



But I did have a couple of King Tiger turrets in a spares box. Go with what ya got! I bought some scrap Airfix Steam engines off the bay a while ago.

On the far side of the top here is a wheel from a Battle of Britain class while closer to you in the piston assembly? from a Mogul. Other parts are mostly ex tank.


Except this bit. The back. It's the tender rear plate upside down. Now if an X wing can have a loco fire box at the back, then I can use this bit!


More train and tank bits. This side will be the lower one.


This is the front. Tank fender, the rest of the tender rear and half leaf springs from an engine.


Another view of the top. I've filled a couple of the holes on that big wheel and still need to rub it down. The brass rod above it isn't yet glued in place.


The two turrets/Thruster housings. The side nearest you will be the upper one. Obviously as the turrets were identical the big wheel won't be uppermost on both. Ah well.


I said the Hind wasn't going to cut it. (Unless I can find a cheap 1/48th Hind quickly). Back around 1984, when I was in Germany, I built a 1/32nd Puma. 

Having worked on them at Odiham I put a lot into it. It's been in a box for decades now and time (and my then building skills) haven't been kind to it.

So it's being reused  on this build as the nose section. It's a bit wide as is so I'll dismantle it further and cut out 10mm or so from the centreline.

And, after a very enjoyable Sunday, mostly in the Mancave, this is where I'm at. I've asked in Wanted for a 1/48th F-14 or F-15 fuselage to use in this but no joy so far.

I may have a way of getting along without it but it won't be so easy. Next up it's time to look at cutting some wood for the basic framework.

As always, Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for looking, Pete

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I got home a bit earlier today and took a cuppa into the manshed. Pondering and measuring (and the odd slurp) took place.

The end result is that 20mm was cut from the Puma fuselage centreline. It looks better and will work with the Sternail dimensions.

As you see the fuselage in the last post, the front in this case is on your left. The right hand end will blend nicely to the wooden parts.

Cheers, Pete

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Cor lumme and other britisher expressions!


You don't waste any time faffing about do you?

I just finished looking at the Drache RFI and you are already collecting bits for your next project!


I am afraid my own Locust project is being put back some more.

I seem to be on a Boeing kick, I just finished the P12 and now I have a commission on the HK 1/48th B-17.


I guess I will just MaK vicariously through your builds!


So, GET BUSY!:whip::winkgrin:

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I do have to sleep you know! Actually I can't wait to get back to it and have been planning for it as I've worked.

Our working hours have been halved now as lots of pubs are closed so I may well get more time next week. Besides this weekend of course.

Thanks for looking. Pete

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Greetings from Fortress Mancave. 

Did you know that the fumes from TET are antibacterial? Neither did I. it's probably not true though.

Anyway, I got a few hours in there today and made the most of it.

Years ago in Saudi I was given a big box of strips of wood meant for making model sailing ships. I had to leave most of it there when I left :sad:

However I did bring some home and used it today for the basic fuselage frame.



And here's a close up of the front end. It's smaller than the rest as it has to mate with the Puma fuselage. (Hopefully).



Here's a picture of a picture that shows why I asked on here for 1/48th F-15 fuselage bits. I got no replies though so have had to rethink this bit.



I cut down previously used 1/72nd SR-71 engine fairings.



And I opened up the scrap loco box. I think steam engines suit kreiger with all the knobbly bits on these parts.


The Puma fuselage is enjoying an overnight bath in Dettol to try and strip off the hairy stick applied Humbrol of thirty odd years past. 

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get another hour or so and can see if the frame mates up with the Puma. 

Thank you for looking, and now wash your hands. Pete

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A quick update on the progress so far.

The Dettol worked very well and, with the aid of a pan scrubber (the metal swarf type) most of the old paint came off.

I finished cleaning the surfaces with 180 grade wet'n'dry. This included removing all the surface detail, rivets etc.

After a good wash in warm soapy water* I placed the two halves together and found that they fit around the narrower part of the wooden frame nicely. Phew!

The holes where the cabin doors were have been filled in with some tank bits and now look more technical/kreiger.

The mating surfaces are rather thin so I've added plasticard tabs (as used on vacforms) to one half and will join the halves later.

The plasticard on the loco shells got rubbed down and I've searched out some detail bits for them.

The SR 71 engine shells had their lower edges sanded/cut square and I'm happier with them now, I think they'll do the job.


Next I need to mock up and then build the back end. Then I can get a rough idea of where the CG is. 

There will be a rod up into the framework from the stand, so the CG area needs to be beefed up before I can cover the woodwork in plasticard.

As usual, thanks for looking and comments etc are welcome. Pete


*The model parts, not me!


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As I understand it, The Sternail is/will be/could be a single seat Earth/ Moon orbit interceptor, 800 years in the future.

Two sides are fighting over the remaining resources on a previously abandoned planet Earth.

This present build will be a two seater. (A) Because of the parts I'm using and (B) Just to be different. So imagine a space going He219 UHU.

When I built my original model I think there were only two or three others out there in this scale (1/35th). A garage kit in a smaller scale may still be available.

I just like the look of the thing, plus I really enjoy these builds. Oh, and yes, the spares boxes are getting low, but I haunt the spares section of the bay!


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I'm stuck at home now as we have ceased to deliver the falling down water 'for the foreseeable future'.

So here's a small update to keep you from being bored if you're also stuck at home.


The nose piece RH side. Tank bits filling the cabin doorway and now with added metal earth bits stuck on.



And in close up. I bought the metal earth (AT-ST) kit yonks ago but thought it too fiddly. So I'm just using bits as decoration.



Here's the other side. The 'loop' at top left is where the U/C sponson fits. I'll be re-purposing them for this build.



And the two halves got glued, clamped and banded. There it will stay overnight. The sponsons are bathing in Dettol overnight.



Not mutilated eels. These are the SR-71 engine bits with 1/32nd Me262 nose bits glued into place at the front. Filler will be applied soon.



The inside. Not so pretty but it should hold together. At least I'm getting my monies worth out of these old kits!

Thanks for looking, Pete




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Two updates within 24 hours, You'll be getting fed up with me....


The Dettol stripped the majority of the paint from the undercarriage sponsons with a little help from my panscrubber.

And once they'd dried off, I was back at the bench this afternoon after a morning sorting out the woodshed.


I tidied up the 'eels' and found that one had dried slightly flatter and wider than the other. What to do? 

I cut two 30mm wide strips of 1mm card and glued and elastic banded both of them. so now I have two at 30mm wide. 

A half circle of plasticard was glued to the blunt end & Milliput was applied to the joins later.



On the fuselage piece. I glued a section of 1/32nd Luftwaffe Phantom (previously built circa 1977) and added some plasticard for stability.

In the foreground, left to right. SR-71 exhaust, chrome 1/24th car wheel with a laser designator? sticking out of it and an ancient truck wheel.

The car wheel fits inside the truck wheel and they are then inserted into the back of the exhaust. This then fits to the front of the Phantom section.



And we have a nose! This was also faired in later with lots of Milliput.



And this old canopy will fair in that bit on the top.



The sponsons minus all that horrible old paint. The Dettol had attacked the glue and they had split into halves which made cleaning them easier.

I glued a slab of card inside and then used 1mm card to fill in the detent. Again, Milliput to the rescue later, but just neded a smear this time.



And this is where the sponsons will sit when the time is right. I may search out some eye decals. Hmm, wonder if I have a sharks mouth somewhere....

And that's yer lot for another day as far as progress is concerned. Tomorrow it's out with the wet n dry again.

Thanks for being. Pete

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On 3/24/2020 at 6:50 PM, Pete in Lincs said:

Two updates within 24 hours, You'll be getting fed up with me....

Give it at least a week.....😉


Thanks for the description too, I now have a better understanding as to what I am looking at.


I completed my last day today, well half day really so after getting all relevant housekeeping in order I hope to crack on too. Qucik question, do you have to ' soak' in dettol or can you brush it on a bit at a time?

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Thanks for looking in, Guys.

@Head in the clouds. Dettol, soak overnight, I usually leave it for 24 hours. BTW, a week, that would be a record!


Time for another update. Well I didn't do one yesterday. Yet modelling did happen! Anyway, bring on the pictures....


Cheap copy of the Coliseum made of balsa, various bits of wood and plasticard. I may have gone to town beefing up this end but it'll be worth it.

The superglue is brilliant with the wood. It works in seconds. And also sticks the card to the wood. All of this will be hidden, probably a good thing!



Even more bracing than Skegness. This bit is where the rod from the stand will terminate. 



See? Here balanced on a 10mm drill bit. Though I'll use a perspex rod. Who is that chap in the mirror?



Back to the er, back. The upper card piece and eels in place along with the thruster turret (All temporarily fitted for the picture).

The photograph shows an original model. The blue bit on top is 1/48th F-15. That white bit in front of that turret has to be scratchbuilt.



And here's a temporary fit to show how it's coming along. Length is 64cm, there's the black bit to go on the nose too though.

Next up I'll figure out how to mount the turrets, make that white bit (x2) and clad the back end in card. That should fill tomorrow!

Thanks for dropping by. Stay well. Pete

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14 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Who is that chap in the mirror?

I don't know but I wouldn't trust him as far as I could thro,    😉


It is not very often on this forum Pete that we see balsa wood and plastic mentioned in the same paragraph, cracking modelling skills here.



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And now for something completely different... Got yer make up bag ready?



Yep, Boots number 7 mascara compact x2. Her indoors was having a throw out some time ago, so I salvaged these.

I wanted something to help attach the thruster turrets at the rear and rediscovered these in a spares box.

I pushed out the hinge pins for the lids with a small drill bit.



Turn the turret upside down and the compact almost fits. I had to cut off the two tabs that would have held the turret to the tank,

A quick swipe with a file and it's a snap fit. It seemed they were meant for each other. I gave the plastic a rub down with worn wet n dry.

There was a large label stuck underneath, but the IPA in cheap screen wash dissolved the glue.



Here the slots where the hinge pin was fitted can be seen. I found some panzer tow cable in the spares box and cut it to fit where the pin was.

It can be just made out in this picture. I just wanted something different there.

In other news, at the rear of the ship I've glued the upper panel into place. I also added a few more spacers between top and bottom to support the side pieces.


And that's where things are at now. I've been doing chores in the mornings all week (washed and cleaned both cars this morning) and modelling in the afternoon.

In the garden we have an old Summer house that needs LOTS of TLC. For two years now it's supposedly been going to my Daughters house.

The idea was for my son in law to refurbish it for their garden. Today I was told they don't want it now. Guess who gets to rebuild it now?

So this may well (it will) eat into my modelling time. So this build is unfortunately going to slow down :sad: I'll do stuff when I can. I promise!

Thanks for looking in, I'll be back, soon as! Pete


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29 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Today I was told they don't want it now. Guess who gets to rebuild it now?

Torch it and break the head off one of your garden gnomes and blame it on 'those pesky kids'😉


Good forward thinking on the No7 make up holders, but come on Pete, whose are they really?😳


I still cannot get over how something as innocuous as make up holders fit just right into an up turned turret, great forces must be at work here...

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I'm looking forward to the challenge of restoring the Summer house. I'm pretty much going to do it using what I have to hand.

And there's plenty of spare wood in the big shed. I'm something of a hoarder. Shocking revelation eh?

Mascara really doesn't suit me. Honest, Guv.

I do keep saying it, but it's amazing how often, in the scratch building game, two totally random parts will fit together as if made for it.

Thanks for looking in. I hope Grantham isn't too boring, and that you're finding plenty to do. 

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16 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Thanks for looking in. I hope Grantham isn't too boring, and that you're finding plenty to do. 

As you know I am on the outskirts so only a short distance for a walk in open country....for now. I am catching up on paperwork and then I can hit the bench and hopefully start moving my 3 Kings build forward, like yourself, work and other commitments have slowed me down a little. However, I have done a little side model to try and lift my mojo so will hopefully post it on RFI soon. Other than that it is supporting the older folks in the family and trying to keep them on the right side of healthy, easier said than done, a proud and stubborn bunch they are.

Work finished Thursday so other than any emergency callouts  I am in the same boat as most, day by day living. Some jobs to do around the house that do not need a visit to the merchants will also keep me honest for a while.


How are things your end?

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Quiet so far, her indoors was working from home, so I was left to myself in the garden, garage and manshed, so I've got lots done.

I really should space it out and slow down, but this is stuff I've had on the to do list for ever. Weekends were too short while I was working.

Both cars got a very thorough post winter clean today. The model called before I could get around to polishing them though.

And now I have the Summer house job to plan and carry out. First up is a new roof while the weather holds. Fingers crossed!

Uninterrupted this should take all next week to do at least. 


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Time for another update....

I got a little bit of modelling time on Saturday but nothing much to shout about. Went to bed as normal.

Woken at 03:00 as my Daughter in laws waters had broken. So we had to go over to Gainsborough (8 miles) to look after our 3 year old Grand Daughter.

Yeah, I know, Isolation. She's not allowed into maternity, so what else can you do? Anyway, they went, they got sent back, we came home. 

We went back an hour later as labour had started. And Tobias was born at 3:00pm. Our first Grandson. They got home at 10:00pm, lots of ah's, we went home. Looong day!

Today the intention was to get back onto the Summer house. Rain stopped play. So I was adding more struts to the sides of the fuselage to bolster the plastic card sides.

After lunch the rain went away so I spent most of the afternoon outside, woodworking.

Anyway, the modelling....


Now, you're thinking, he's gone loco (well, if you're Mexican you might). Bear with me.

In the middle fuselage the extra struts I added can be seen. Above them is the top part of an Airfix Battle of Britain class loco and the cab roof from a Mogul.

The foreground features the sides from said B of B loco and another cab roof. I got a box of train bits off the bay a while ago.

You see, the fuselage isn't square, It should have a certain roundness, these bits will help to acheieve that and add extra detail.



This cost a couple of quid from the bay. See the curved roof? I love the detail on those doors. It's for the chop!



See, detail. Better than plain bits of card or me messing about looking for tiny stuff in the spares boxes.



More detail! Maybe not all these parts will be used, we shall see. But at least you can see what I'm on about.



The rear of the Puma fuselage will need to be faired in so I split the SR-71 nose cone. Look what I found inside! 

So this radar dish will go inside the nose piece here on the left. And that is where we shall leave things for today.

I'm not sure what the weather will do tomorrow, so it's either more of this or working outside.

Thanks for dropping by, Oh, and Baby is doing well, hungry little blighter! Pete




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Congratulations to yourselves and the family, a birth is a very special moment indeed and you did what any of us would have done. Now is an uncertain time for mothers to be/young mothers and must be very confusing as to what to do for the best, this is where the old fossils wisdom and calmness should help a little.


Love the thinking on the loco bits, why add detail when it is there already...if you know where to look.

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Gratz on being a Granpa Mr Pete!

I only have one adopted kid myself and I'm hoping not be be a grampa myself at least for some time longer since I don't feel quite old enough just yet.

(Crikey! I'm only 28  Um..  35.  Crap!  Er, 42?   Okay fine!  56?  Jeez,  I'm in my 60's already?! What the hell happened?  :clif:)



Your 'Star Nail' is moving right along there isn't it?

I am only disappointed that you didn't use real eels...

Still, carry on, it looks brill.





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2 hours ago, Tzulscha said:

What the hell happened?

Life. Dreadful isn't it?  🤖 The first million years are the worst...

Thanks for the good wishes. Baby is doing well and works as advertised at both ends.

Me, I'm spending 8 hours a day in the garden cutting, gluing and nailing wood, not plastic. Bummer!

Normal service will be resumed in this thread as soon as possible.

Cheers, Pete

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I managed to get an hour away from the rebuild job late this afternoon. The woodwork is now 95% complete. Next job is finish the roof, so...

I need to go to B&Q tomorrow to collect my order of roofing felt. Apparently I'm awaiting an email to tell me when I can go.

Anyway, I added some 1mm plastic card to the top and bottom of the fuselage and had a play around with the bits of engine to see where they're happiest.

I also took the razorsaw to that freezer wagon and it's quite a soft plastic so that was easy. I think it will work.

Thanks for looking in. Pete


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