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Tintin's Tiger Moth 1/72 ***Finished***


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Having made a restart with aircraft modelling I was busily trawling the Internet for ideas and inspiration, when I saw to my delight that there are decals to model some of the aircraft featuring in the classic Tintin comic albums by Herge. I have always been a huge fan of his work so now I just have to build some of these.

 

I got myself a set of decals for two aircraft, one of which is the Tiger Moth used (or rather, abused) by the detectives Thomson and Thompson to pursue Tintin on the way to Scotland in the album The Black Island. For those unfamiliar with Tintin, these two guys bring comical slapstick to the stories. They invariably get the wrong end of the stick and mess up everything they do. In this case, they commandeer an aircraft but only find out once airborne that their involuntary pilot is not, in fact, a pilot at all but a ground mechanic. The result is some spectacular stunts ending in an almighty crash (they always walk away from their disasters, though).

 

Just like my upcoming build, then :)

 

To set the scene here are some frames from the album (in Dutch, from my own collection), copyright Casterman (I hope this is ok under the fair use rules).

 

This is where they set off on their doomed voyage:

 

Kuifje1.jpg

 

I got myself the decals:

 

IMG-20200629-153905.jpg

 

The Tiger Moth is finished in plain yellow overall with just a few civilian markings. This suits me just fine right now (for better understanding, see my Gladiator wrestling on another thread).

 

When inspecting the kit I found out that the helpful temporary braces on the struts have gone all wrong in the molding. This won't make the build any easier. I have emailed Airfix support but I suspect that a replacement may be a long time coming, if ever.

 

IMG-20200629-091527.jpg

 

In the meantime I have made a start with painting the interior.

 

IMG-20200629-091521.jpg

 

Herge was pretty meticulous in his drawings of aircraft (and cars as well). In the following frames you can just about make out that this Tiger Moth has the modified rear fuselage with the extrusions (I don't know what those things are called).

 

Kuifje2.jpg

 

Airfix provide this option, you have to cut away parts of the fuselage and insert the optional parts. So, out came the Hobby knife and the fuselage halves were duly mutilated.

 

IMG-20200629-145558.jpg

 

Dry fitting revealed that this will leave some gaps.

 

IMG-20200629-150429.jpg

 

I then cemented the bits in place and have used some filler.

 

IMG-20200629-162716.jpg

 

Next steps are to complete the interior and stick the fuselage halves together. More on this later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jur
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Hi @Jur,

 

great to see this build - I'll be following with interest! I only know a bit about Tintin, to be honest, but I may well have to do some research.....

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

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I found them on Ebay. The company that makes them is called Blue Rider Publishing. They do a whole bunch of Tintin sets, plus many others. They even publish books about Herge's aircraft!

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There were other Tintin models built on here quite recently. In one of the group builds perhaps?

The 'extrusions were antispin strakes. First fitted AFAIR in WW2 when the Tigers had bomb racks, and compulsory on British Tigers ever since!

Somehow, I find that I can just about translate the Dutch words in the cartoons!

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Such an awesome idea!  Thanks to a childhood friend who had unusual parents, and therefore unusual access to "foreign" publications, this was the first Tintin I ever read, and I was hooked thereafter.  Will you do the Chipmunk, too?

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Posted (edited)

@Pete in Lincs, thanks for the info on the strakes. I did a search on Tintin builds and there are quite a few. Most are very inspiring! I practically have to do the Bordurian Me 109 (not something I normally would tackle) because I already have the decals. One I would love to do is the Khemedi Air Force Mosquito flown by Piotr Skut (or Szut as his name is in Dutch). They do the decals for that one too.

 

@TheyJammedKenny! apparently the Chipmuck isn't a Chipmunk but a Percival Prentice - or so I've been told. That is something that looks like a Chipmunk with socks. I don't think there is exists kit for that at present.

Edited by Jur
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38 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Somehow, I find that I can just about translate the Dutch words in the cartoons!

Actually, I think it's Flemish. Rather like people thinking I'm talking in Dutch when I speak Afrikaans (my native language).

 

Maurice

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Here's a thought...

 

I have heard that those 'get the wing strut right' parts aren't very easy to cleanly remove once in place.

 

So, while the struts are still attached clean up the attachments that are poorly moulded, then use some card attached with glue (like copydex) to set them to each other. Then when that's dried, cut them off the sprue attachments, clean up those attachment points. Then you can glue them into place and remove the Copydexed card once it has all set up.

 

I hope that makes sense...

 

Matt

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49 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

In one of the group builds perhaps?

Yes...I built the Bordurian Messerschmitt, the Emir's Spitfire and Bab El-Ehr's Mosquito.  It was in the Film, and fictional GB last winter.  Lots of fun.  

 

I am happy you're building the Tiger Moth.  That's on my list too, as is the Arado seaplane.

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26 minutes ago, Jur said:

I would love to do is the Khemedi Air Force Mosquito

Make sure you change the gun configuration in the nose!  Herge had it wrong!

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Your interplane struts are short-shot but that shouldn't affect your enjoyment of the build. You can mount the top wing using the cabane (centre section) struts only, and when that's dry you can pop the interplane struts in one by one. This saves you from having to cut out and clean up the temporary braces, which puts a lot of stress on a delicate model (say no more!).

 

(edit: the bump on the outside of one of the struts at the bottom right is the pitot tube, also short shot. If you look at photos of the real thing you will see that you could make a new one out of stretched sprue or wire, or simply ignore it.)

 

(edit: pretty much every (I've built four) Airfix Tiger Moth I've seen has had moulding problems in the struts, so Airfix may not have any better spares to offer you!)

Regards,

Adrian

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I found some other Tintin pictures a while ago. Mostly on Tumblr. Here's one captioned 1 of 21

GXsSlmg.jpg

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12 minutes ago, John Masters said:

Bab El-Ehr's Mosquito

More hints to the Flemish/Dutch names in those translations.. Bab El-Ehr, or Babbelaar > someone who talks a lot.

Character names in comics are fun to dissect :)  There's also a Sheik Ali Ben-Zine somewhere (benzine > petrol).


I really should look at those Blue Rider decals more... maybe do an F9F Panther in Buck Danny markings :)

 

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5 minutes ago, alt-92 said:

someone who talks a lot.

Yes...many of Herge's names are play-on-words or onomatopoetic in some fashion.  For example, General Kurvi-Tasch from Borduria has distinctive facial hair.  Having grown up reading the books, I was pleased as punch a few years ago to come across the decals.

 

9 minutes ago, alt-92 said:

Buck Danny

Blue Rider doesn't make those.  Blue Rider decals are mostly hard-to-find 'small wars' insignia, unique historical markings and certain Jasta.  They originate from Insignia Magazine which, I think, is now defunct.  You can buy the back issues on Amazon.  The Tintin decals are a special issue.

 

https://www.insigniamag.com

 

 

 

 

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Lots of good info and ideas, people! Special thanks to Matlow for his brilliant idea about the struts, and I will try fitting the upper wing using just the cabane struts as AdrianMF suggests. I don't plan on fixing the upper wing anyway until after the painting.

 

@ John Masters, your models are brilliant! I must make that Mosquito for sure.

 

Interesting discussion about the Dutch version of the comics. I think that Herge wrote them originally in French but I'm not sure if the translation into Dutch was done by a Dutch or Flemish person. In my books Tintin sounds more Dutch than Flemish to my ears. It is true that some of the dialog in the originals is in Belgian dialect, for instance the Indians in the Broken Ear speak a modified version of a local Brussels dialect. That wasn't changed in the Dutch version.

 

@ Pete in Lincs, I came across those pictures. They are not Herge originals but drawn by a fan. Still looking very good though!

 

Tonight I finished the interior. I forgot the seatbelts so I had to fiddle them in with the fuselage already closed. Mind you, the detectives obviously didn't bother with them so I wonder why I did?

 

I need a fair bit of putty around the joints, cleaning that all up is tomorrow's job (in between Gladiator spraying sessions!).

 

IMG-20200629-224115.jpg

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Such a cool build!

@Jur

(to call the attention of a fellow BMer, is not enough to use the @, you have to type it, start to type the name of user (no spaces after @) and a pull down menu will appear as you type the name, from that you click on the name of the intended recipient, who will receive a notification, otherwise there is no notification. It has to "turn on" with the black background, as you see above).

Cheers

 

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I've just completed the Airfix Tiger Moth (RFI later today), luckily mine (G-ACDC boxing) wasn't short shot.  Even so one of the interplane struts had strange extra flow on it, which I was able to trim off with the scalpel.  I used the Airfix stagger setters, I could trim them okay with my Tamiya flush cutters, using a needle file around the rigging to clean off the vestigial nubs was awkward.

It comes out nicely and is a good primer for my other biplane in the stash.  Worryingly the Moth seems tiny, though it's a similar size to some of the interior types yet massive compared to WW1 fighters!  This sort of thing never bothered me as a kid.

Good choice on Tintin planes, I look forward to seeing how it progresses.

Cheers

Will

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I am currently building the same model at the moment OOB and I am at a similar stage see WIP , although I have gone for open doors, I also noticed that you have managed to break of the upright on the very rear of the fuselage! mine is hanging on by a thread! a very fragile piece of this build. 

 

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Following with interest, and I read the Black Island only a few weeks ago, after raiding son No2's bookshelf 😉  

 

(Guess who made sure his bookshelf was stocked with old Commando, Charley's War and Tin Tin comics ... 🤫)

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