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Hi All,

Having got Christmas out of the way, plus several birthdays, a weekend break and a dose of Covid, I felt the need to do something useful with myself and get on with some proper model making.

I've been meaning to build another UFO-inspired interceptor for a while now. The first two designs for the USAF and Royal Navy craft were pretty easy to nail down but for some reason this one, the Soviet Interceptor, was a lot more difficult to visualise.

I wanted something with exposed girders and struts, but also with some streamlining in the style of the original UFO Interceptor. After a lot of scribbling and rubbing out I came up with this:

 

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The engines were inspired by the pod racers in Phantom Menace (am I the only person who actually likes that film?). I liked the idea of the streamlined upper fuselage with all the panelling removed underneath to allow the engines to be fitted, as if they'd cannibalised a MiG21 or something (this is supposed to be 1980 after all).

I wanted to create a frame with spars and ribs and then clad it in thin styrene sheet. If I heat the styrene I should be able to deform it and get those compound curves. Luckily I have a lot of styrene and a hot air blower so I can afford to experiment a little.

These pics show where I'm at so far.

 

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The engines are made from plastic plumbing adapters and 22mm copper pipe, plus the lids off a couple of chicken spice jars. Detailing will be mostly styrene with a few greeblies from the spares box. The framework is 3mm styrene. The pilot (cosmonaut, I should say) and his seat came from a 1:25 kit, can't remember which, but he's had a makeover to give him a spacesuit, plus his feet have been removed otherwise he wouldn't have fitted in the cockpit.

When done, the overall length will be about the same as the previous builds, about 25cm.
I'm still not sure about the nose guns, I might turn them into 6 barrel gatlings instead because gatling guns are cool.
Eventually I'll spray it light grey and then add some cold war soviet inspired markings.

Thanks for looking chaps, comments much appreciated.
cheers
Monty

 

Edited by Uncle Monty
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@Richard E Whatever happened to Meccano? I remember it was very expensive, maybe that killed it off. Anyway I thought I'd add the holes in the struts to give it that makeshift built-in-a-hurry look, as if they'd resorted to using some of that pierced planking they use on airstrips.

 

Thanks @Hunter Rose. It's a fun build with some challenging bits so I'm learning as I go. If the panelling comes out ok then I might have a go at scratch building an aircraft, I have a couple of designs which would be fun to make.

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@Pete in Lincs I'm feeling the pressure, I just realised I have no idea what the undercart is going to be. Not a clue. Skids or wheels? Skids are more UFO style but I used them before so maybe wheels would make a nice change. Assuming I can work out how to attach them, and where. And source the parts from somewhere. Or maybe I'll just mount it on a stand and avoid the problem altogether...

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1 hour ago, Uncle Monty said:

Or maybe I'll just mount it on a stand and avoid the problem altogether...

Good plan. My latest builds aren't going to have much of an undercarriage. Orbital based fighters won't need to land.

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17 hours ago, Uncle Monty said:

I just realised I have no idea what the undercart is going to be. Not a clue. Skids or wheels?

 

How about building this example as a parasite fighter which could be launched from and (hopefully for the pilotski) recovered to a pressurised hanger on a larger vessel using a Skyhook type arrangement:

 

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On 4/22/2022 at 6:02 PM, Uncle Monty said:

Whatever happened to Meccano?

 

Undoubtedly the brainchild of people who took their Meccano very seriously when they were growing up :)

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Good plan. My latest builds aren't going to have much of an undercarriage. Orbital based fighters won't need to land.

Lovely idea, I'd like to see these and the carrier/mother ship they launch from as well.

 

@Richard E A parasite fighter launched from a massive orbital platform. We have a theme developing here. A bit like Cloudbase but bigger and lumpier. I can't think of a tv show or movie that's done this. 2001 had the space 'wagon wheel' which might be a good starting point but it would need to be more military in style.

 

Aside from all this, I've decided to go for gatling guns, two of them, mounted either side of the nose. All I have to do now is make them :)

 

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5 hours ago, Uncle Monty said:

I can't think of a tv show or movie that's done this.

 

A couple of episodes of Space 1999 featured a lunar orbiting Space Dock space station which was a far more functional craft than the elegant wheel design of the station in Kubrick's 2001 - in some pictures it looks it may owe its origins to one or more Airfix Saturn 5 kits !

 

 

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:41 AM, Uncle Monty said:

The engines were inspired by the pod racers in Phantom Menace (am I the only person who actually likes that film?)

No

 

On 4/23/2022 at 11:54 AM, Uncle Monty said:

I just realised I have no idea what the undercart is going to be. Not a clue. Skids or wheels? Skids are more UFO style but I used them before so maybe wheels would make a nice change.

How about feet ? Like 4 or 6 landing feet on the Millennium falcon or on the Space  1999 ships ? 

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Thank everyone for the suggestions re feet. I favoured wheels initially but it's a long way from the nose to the ground and hence a strut there might look a bit strange. I'll think some more while I get on with adding greeblies to the underside open areas.

@Corsairfoxfouruncle Us people who like Phantom Menace, and appreciate the intricacies of the plot, need to stick together. We'll just agree not to mention THAT guy.

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11 minutes ago, Bertie Psmith said:

 

Jar Jar? I see him as one of the great supporting characters, like Malvolio in Twelfth Night or Warden Hodges in Dad's Army. 😁 

Frank Spencer?

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Inspired lunacy! Well done! You do realise of course that no matter how outlandish your craft becomes, it still won't match the Bartini Beriev VVA-14 for sheer bizarreness! Gerry Anderson would never have let the VVA-14 appear in 'Thundercats' because it simply wasn't believable enough.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

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Hi All

I got in a few quality me-time hours over the past few days and here we have the result of a lot of googling followed by a lot of cutting, sanding, drilling and gluing in that order.

As you can see, I spent the time making Gatling guns (not a sentence I use very often) and here we have the result. Two 6 barrel guns, to be mounted on either side of the nose.

 

The barrels are sprue, roughly 2mm diameter. The brackets that hold the barrels are made of tank wheels glued to styrene backing plates. By pure chance these wheels contain 6 holes, so this made the job a little easier. The central tube is styrene tube (I bought a bundle of styrene tubes and rods off Mr Amazon). The ammo boxes are made of slabs of 3mm styrene glued together and sanded into the required profile. I had to VERY carefully drill 0.5mm holes in the ends of the 'barrels'. I used my new Ikea battery drill for this, a very useful piece of kit and dirt cheap (no I don't work for Ikea).

The swivel brackets on top are made from 1mm styrene with more sprue, these will be glued underneath the stub wings on the nose. The 'pistons' were made from styrene tube with a tiny length of what I think is supposed to be an arial.

In the last shots you can see filler which needs to be sanded off.

I still need to add more greeblies, maybe a hydraulic pipe or two, but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out so far.

Hope you like, cheers for now.
Monty

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All

Things I have learnt from this build so far:

1) Just because I cut out a strip of plastic using a steel ruler which is definitely straight,
does not mean the plastic is straight.

2) The floor under my desk contains a magnet that attracts plastic.

3) A piece of plastic covered in glue will stick to everything except the thing it's supposed to stick to.

I've spent some time adding detail to the underside of the interceptski. All sorts of bits and pieces have gone into it,
including styrene rod, greeblies and even a few staples. I've tried to keep it logical, so pipes and cables
go from somewhere to somewhere like they do in real life.

 

I'm now thinking that the Meccano look is not what I'm really after so some of those holes need to be plugged or covered
up. I wanted a sort of grungy, industrial look, and the holes don't quite fit that.

 

The guns and the fuselage have had a coat of primer so now I can think about adding the upper body panels.
I did some tests with the hot air gun and styrene sheet and the results were mixed. It was very difficult to heat up the
plastic without wrinkling it and then press it into place quickly enough on the ribs so it takes and holds the desired shape.
I had a bit more success just bending it using my fingers and some round-nose pliers. The thin styrene does deform after a while if it's rolled and bent enough times
so hopefully I'll make some progress there.

 

The best part about adding a coat of primer was losing the revolting pink colour :)

 

That's enough for now, the sun is over the yard arm and it's time to uncork something.
Happy modelling everyone.

Monty

 

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I love it so far!  It's definitely looking like something the Russkies would have come up with in an alternate cold war.  And Phantom Menace was just fine.  Aside from the kid that played Anakin.  They could have found a better actor growing in a pot down at the garden centre...

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@ErikT Cute kids. In films. *shudder*

@Corsairfoxfouruncle Exactly. I watched it again recently and I used the Jar Jar moments to visit the loo and the wine cellar.

@Hunter Rose I am toying with the idea of making a hangar for it, which is something we never got to see in UFO. We just got the shots of the lifts rising up into the craters (which is still very cool).

Space permitting, I might have a go. Maybe just the floor and one wall, something like that.

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