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Old 27-04-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
Grinmedic
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Default Scratchbuilt 1:125 scale Thunderbird 2

Hello Forum, I am a late generation Thunderbirds Fan (My parents were babies when it aired haha) and normally an AFV or Aircraft modeller. I have loved Thunderbirds since early childhood watching it with my brothers and cousins.

I watched an episode the other day and was flooded with nostalgia, and decided I had to build one of the thunderbird craft, at first planning to do the Mole...

Thunderbird 2 was always by far my favorite craft, but it was so daunting to build, pretty complex shape being smooth instead of easy flat planes. But I switched gears from the mole and decided on TB2. I have progressed a bit so far and will post some photos soon.

And to make it even more difficult I am trying to spend as little as possible on materials and construction.

Wish me luck!
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Old 27-04-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention that I have never scratchbuilt anything before and this is all an experiment and just for fun!

This is a few days into the build

First I sat down and spent an hour or two making some bluprints to 1:125th scale (it felt to be the right size as to be not too big and not too small)



Then I transfered the blueprints onto 3/4" plywood (would have prefered thinner but I'm aiming for a very cheap build and this was some scrap laying around)


Plywood cut out and assembled into very basic ribbing with a hot glue gun


ribbing compared to the blueprints I drew up


ribbing blocked in with scrap wood (cedar, plywood, fir... anything lying around) then ground down with a sander disc, then sanded to the basic shape




I picked up some autobody filler and so begins the long process of filling/ sanding, filling/ sanding until I like the shape!

side booms and tailfin section will come after the main body is shaped.

Cost so far: $10.90
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Old 27-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #3
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Default TB2 challenge

Hi and

The drawing lines look good and it will be an impressive sized replica when it's together.

Are you planning to make the Pod removable? I guess this is why you haven't modelled the side booms at this stage

The model shops at Century 21 Productions developed a new art from using scrap materials, add the skill you obviously have and this will be an exciting build.

Good Luck!!

Cap'n
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Old 28-04-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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I just remembered, here is how Martin Bower realised his 3 foot model. I don't usually recommend using anything but one of the original studio models for reference but this is so nice. Please forgive the rather domestic setting, I had little time and no where else to photograph this huge model except the dining room table!

I hope they are useful.

Enjoy.

Cap'n





























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Old 28-04-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
Slate Mcleod
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Shame to see the large Bower TB2 with some pieces missing is it under-going a renovation ? Great images though, first time I've seen close-ups of it this clear.
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Old 28-04-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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Unfortunately it came to grief when owned by Phil Rae, one of the support lines Phil used to rig the model for display gave out. It was very highly strain rated fishing line but I have a theory that after a while UV from sunlight breaks it down. The discolouration is from cigarette smoke.

I have to own up to a little whoopsie myself, Whilst helping Phil move his collection and all his furniture to his new apartment I damaged the tail section. Phil was a real gentleman about it, it was the only damage sustained that I remember and we moved a lot of stuff over four weekend visits.

This model now resides with Darren Peters. It spent a very brief period with me for repair and some cleaning but before I could start work Phil sold it on, he is a born trader. The funds went towards buying the Moon props collection. Phil lives in the fast lane and thank god he does, he has the courage and experience to do what others merely dream about and is gracious enough to share with us.
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Old 28-04-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the pics Bernie, she's a beaut!
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Old 28-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Wow, That is a stunning T2. Thankyou for posting.
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Old 29-04-2011, 01:03 AM   #9
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That is one sick looking tb2! Gives some good inspiration!

The rear section where the side booms connect to the engines and tail is giving me some trouble, could you post some side, rear and top views of the specific area? That would be so helpful!

Did some more work on it in the past few days
Continued sanding and refining the basic hull shape with a grinder and sander. using the internal ribbing as a guide and shadows and different angles I adjusted the sides to make them symmetrical.

I also cut the hull into it's main 3 sections, Bow, central Pod and stern/ engines. Continuing to sand and shape, adding filler, sanding down (rinse repeat)


Had to add some shims near the bottom of the Bow piece that had been taken off when I cut it into 3


Slowly am working on hollowing out the pod, but the plywood is making it difficult as it is stronger on that axis then the wood surrounding it... but I'm making headway!


Cut the two side booms to their rough shape, will need sanding and tweaking to make them sit flush against the main hull


Total cost still stands at $10.90
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:32 AM   #10
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Work continued on the green behemoth, the side booms were sanded to shape then placed on board cut to height, booms were then glued to the main hull, clamped and left overnight.

overall shape continues to be refined and sanded, and the side booms were further shaped and smoothed.

Filler was added to the stern on the hull to make the seamless transition to the booms.

And now the central pod can slip in and out with a friction fit. I still need to add some 1/8' sheet to the front of the pod and the rear hull to replace the sawoff.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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That's really starting to look like something

I'll see what I can do but I think that's it image wise for the Bower model.

Keep going, it certainly looks like an amazingly promising start.

Cap'n
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Old 18-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #12
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Done a lot of work since the last update, and unfortunately forgot to take as many pictures. Here is where the model stands as of this afternoon. I gave it a little coat of some random green to check out the shape.


Continued to shape the booms and hull, and made a form for the cockpit windows that I moved around until I like the position, then I cut/ chiseled out the space.

Wings were cut out and shaped/ sanded, then a insert was ground out of the booms to give it some strength, then the wings were glued in with spacers on the sides to ensure they kept straight.

The boom intakes were drilled out and sanded a few times to get the shape I like, then filler was added to make it smooth (work in progress still)



Starting to look like a Thunderbird!

Unfortunately when I was drilling out the pod it split apart... the thicker plywood in hindsight was a bad choice of material!

But on the bright side it made it much easier to hollow out and smooth before I glued it back together so it turn out alright.


Work on the rear tail section and engines begins!
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Old 19-05-2011, 10:58 AM   #13
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Geez! Reminds me of the American indians hollowing out boats! Lot of carving there but seems to be paying off.
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Old 19-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #14
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It's lookin great so far....for some reason I was under the impression that the wood model was just a master plug for a fibre-glass mold but I'm guessing now because of the Pod hollowing incident that this IS going to be the actual model ?

Slate
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:45 PM   #15
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Great build so far, my only concern would be the wood expanding/contracting etc. What are you going to use to seal the wood? Fibreglass resin works well.
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Old 21-05-2011, 11:33 PM   #16
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Very commendable effort, I wouldn't have the patience or the skill for this type of technique....
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:23 PM   #17
Grinmedic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCnut View Post
Great build so far, my only concern would be the wood expanding/contracting etc. What are you going to use to seal the wood? Fibreglass resin works well.

Thanks for all the kind words guys!! Sorry for taking so long to reply, it's been a busy past few weeks!

The plan is to have the wood model as the final product... but it could change along the way, I started the project as a fun build that i could do cheaply and adding in fibreglass and resins would cost this student a pretty penny.

to seal the wood I will most likely be putting on a spray varnish, letting it dry and expand/ contract, sand and then do any finishing touches... i'll see if that ends up working or not.

I did a little more work, mostly on the rear tail section, of which i will post the pics later on today.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:15 AM   #18
Grinmedic
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I sure have been busy these past few weeks! Been slowly pluggin away at the model, but there is still a lot of work to be done!

I finished hollowing out the pod then capped the ends and made the pod door opening.
further putty and sanding to shaped on the overall body, refining and correcting. I added the front intakes and glued them in place. Rear engines were made from scavenged tubing and plastic drilled and with a felt pen cap as the centre.

Attempts at making the rear opening failed and now i have a big mess to try and clean up, fillered it and am trying to make it clean but i may have to try another method.

Windows are the next step, i have been experimenting with different materials with varying effectiveness. Still need to build the upper engine assembly!

Anyways, enough talk, here are the latest pictures:



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Old 14-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #19
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Any updates on this Grinmedic ? I recall following the thread last year but then it just stopped ?
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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Interesting thread. I own one of the two Thunderbird 2 models built by the talented Martin Bower for use in photo shoots for the Thunderbirds Comic. My model is the lighter version made for the flying scenes. Here is an image of my model:


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