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Making the IR Thunderbird 2 accurate "Modifications"

Eagle

Commander Ret.
Now I just have to stop for a minute and say, come on IR/PE I have one of your Supercar models sitting in front of me and its just superb, an absolute delight. We know you can do this stuff well so come on... we want to support you not run you down, because you've done so much that we love... so set the standard don't chase it.
Amen to that....
 

Bishop

Alphans
Its funny, I know the 23" is not accurate, but if I had the chance to get one say for £100 (inc postage) then I probably would. But I could not bring myself to spend really big money on something that I knew was not quite right.

Bless em, may they do well. I'll find a Stingray and call it quits (sort of :D)
 

TonyB

Forum Supporter
Tony, I have asked myself the same question, would I buy any of the new IR Thunderbird replica models, my answer would be, yes, but only if they were seriously cheap, and I do mean cheap, in no way would I even consider getting them at the RRP or their current BiN prices.
 

saturnapollo

Alphans
They actually used a few combinations of different styles and sizes of fonts. The font used seems to be the same as the shots of TB2 on the launch ramp though perhaps a bit bigger. When I did mine I had decals specially made up by a friend of a friend who has an APS printer and could do white decals, and I managed to find an font which was pretty close to what I needed. I can did dig that out if anyone is interested.

Keith
 

Eagle

Commander Ret.
Ok, so structural problems are:

• Thrusters too long
• Windows not quite right
• The odd line or two in the wrong place
• Wings - are they aerofoil in profile or just 'blocks'?

Doesn't sound too bad really and the above shouldn't be too hard, even for me, to correct! :) Overall body shape I'm not too concerned over as I could live with it...

Paintwork / styling:

• Wrong colour
• Wrong fonts / decals
• Dodgy weathering

What's the correct colour green to use, anyone?

:)
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
The equation is simple. How much do you want one versus how much are you prepared to spend? I'd only buy an inaccurate 23" Eagle for say £100 whereas I might pay up to a £1,000 for a 22" if it was beautifully made and accurate. Customers need to go wow at the point of sale, not yuck! It isn't rocket science.

I'm going to put my money where my mouth is too. I was approached this week to exactly replicate two very famous props to send to China for mass production. What I make will be reflected on the shelves. I'm off to photograph and measure the originals in a couple of weeks. No, I'm not going to say what they are until much later. This company is fully aware of the importance of getting it right from the point of view of fan reaction and sales, which is why I feel flattered to be asked and I'm going to do the best job I can.
 

Eagle

Commander Ret.
...I might pay up to a £1,000 for a 22" if it was beautifully made and accurate.
When can you make a start?

:p I'm kidding - I know you're talking about mass-produced stuff. (Had me going there for a moment). You'd have had PayPal last week at that price! ;) :lol:
 

Bishop

Alphans
That sounds very exciting DX. We look forward to whatever you can tell us when you can tell us. The main thing is that all your hard work isn't going to be dodgied up by the company.
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
What I make goes to China. If the Chinese bodge it, that's something else.

Perhaps I should just find a "near enough" resin version and send that out? The plebs will buy it anyway so why bother putting any effort in?

Meow!
 
Saw the TB2 in Bristol this week, and I'd say the main problem with carrying out any improvements is the shape of the nose. It drops away far too much at the front, and I can't see how this could be corrected.

I didn't think the colour was as bad as it might have been though - even the guys at APF found it virtually impossible to match the colour of the original model, and although the weathering is poor, I guess this would be one of the easier things to rectify.

Compared to other items in the same window, the price did seem to be too high in relation to more impressive looking models that were cheaper.
 

Knight1966

Alphans
The original colour used was Ford Apple Green, which is no longer available and I even contacted Ford in the states researching that one.

For my A&B 36" Studio Scale T2 http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee116/Knight_1966/40600139.jpg

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee116/Knight_1966/40600137.jpg

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee116/Knight_1966/14-02-07_2256.jpg

I've used Rover Applejack from Halfords and it seems quite close to me and by the time I've got it dirtied down there should be no discernable difference. Check out Mark42's build, I'm sure he listed what colour he used on his.
 
The original colour used was Ford Apple Green, which is no longer available and I even contacted Ford in the states researching that one.

Was this via Mike Trim ? I think Derek said they'd mixed up a particular shade that he liked, but then couldn't replicate. If it was a straight car colour available at the time. I'd have thought this wouldn't be such a problem. There certainly is quite a variation in the on screen versions. The colouring on the original launch model is certainly the best.
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Mike Trim said it was mixed too. If you look closely at the model when it drops the pod with TB4 in, the nose has a big wad of Harbutts green plastercine stuffed in the nose (a hasty repair). Knowing the colour of the plastercine helps you to judge the actual colour of the model.
 
I'm pretty sure that the the model used in the take-off from London Airport in Operation Crashdive has substantial amounts of plasticine built into it as well.
 

Liberator

Alphans
Its funny, I know the 23" is not accurate, but if I had the chance to get one say for £100 (inc postage) then I probably would. But I could not bring myself to spend really big money on something that I knew was not quite right.

Bless em, may they do well. I'll find a Stingray and call it quits (sort of :D)

When I bought my23" Eagle I never knew it was inaccurate. It was Eagle and a great big Eagle. I agree with all the comments regarding accuracy but there are some uneducated fans out here and I'm one of them.

The Eagle gives me a chance to enjoy being a fan. Do I care that its 20-30% inaccurate (how much really is inaccurate?)- No, I didn't know and now that I do know I don’t care and I don’t think it’s a piece of shit. I'm still happy with my Eagle, and no I won't buy an Eagle even its made out of piece of shit, as was mentioned here on this forum. That is insulting.

But I do agree that if PE/IR is going to try and sell its self to the collectable market then they need to do their research more thoroughly and get the replicas out there to match the filming models accurately. They can never be 100% accurate - how accurate does the consummate replica consumer want them to be? Typically there are a number of filming models out so do they make their replicas a combination of all filming models or just focus on the one version? No matter which way they go they will never get it 100% right. The fan market is different to the collectable market. They are a different group of collectors and will buy it if its done right and rightly so.

Look at the discussion of the Discovery thread - we all admire that model, a beautiful build and a beautiful kit but it seems that its not perfect enough because it has a bulge where there shouldn’t be one - where do we draw the line. How accurate is too accurate - surely we all not turning into a bunch of rivet counters?

The Fine Moulds Millennium Falcon – the ultimate Falcon Model kit. Hundreds of parts, years of research yet there are people out there who like to say they have got it wrong. Me I’m happy to have the kit and the word out is it’s the best you can have. The Master Replica version also has its detractors. Where is the line drawn, who draws the line?

We all loved our MPC/Airfix Eagle – even with filled in cages – I have two – I know they are very inaccurate. I now have the PE eagle but I still have my Airfix ones – I’m not getting rid of them either.

Until I found this forum and the Internet resources I would never have known the Eagle is inaccurate. I've said before there are two things on the Eagle that bug me, the pod windows - surely that was too obvious (And it seems they have got it wrong on the TB as well) and the thrusters.

Most 'fans' and I’m talking fans, those who just love the show and are not model aficionados really don’t know about the errors, they just want the model to remember the show by.

I’m sure getting their replicas right would have increased the sales. Now that they are targeting collectors they really need to focus on getting it right as they are a very demanding group of people - and rightly so.

The only regret I have now about buying the Eagle – buying it too soon – I could have got it for a few $$ cheaper had I waited – about $250 cheaper. But even knowing what I know now I still would have bought it because I’m a fan, not a rivet counting collector – and no offence to those that are. If you want it perfect build it to they way you want it. I don't think any one will be happy with what's out there unless it meets their definition of perfect.
 
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w8cmp

Alphans
Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed repainting my 23" PE Eagle and making a few detail tweaks here and there (including the pod and CM windows). I gain a sense of satisfaction knowing that it's better than it was before (well in my eyes anyway), but still a little disappointed that it's not closer in some dimensions to the original. However I still love it.

I took it to Comet Miniatures the other week to show Tony and others what I'd done with it, and I immediately had loads of people crowding around it asking what it was etc etc. No-one recognised it as a PE Eagle...I even had a few offers to buy it which were about three times what I originally paid, but to be honest with the man-hours invested in re-working the model I'm not prepared to part with it so easily.

 

Bishop

Alphans
It really looks brilliant. As I said above I would still like one, but it ain't gunna happen, and I'm really pleased the 12"s are so good.
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
I don't think it has to be a question of rivet counting as long as these things "look" right. Obviously one can obsess about the smallest detail. Also there will be happy customers at one end of the spectrum who are happy with the model regardless and that's great. The discussions are more about (a) companies showing an apparent disregard for getting even the basics right but still asking a huge amount of money thus reducing their customer base only to those at the end of the spectrum who aren't bothered and (b) those who are interested for it's own sake to learn more about the features of a given subject because they do want their model to reflect the original as much as possible. There's a guy on SSM who displays barely disguised outright anger at PE for cancelling a Dr Who line and for getting out of the cheaper diecasts. He won't apparently buy anything from PE/IR ever again as a result. That's taking things a bit too far, however critiquing product is perfectly valid amongst consumer groups like this forum. If consumers don't voice their opinions, where is the manufacturers incentive to improve their products? Presumably they want them to sell as best as possible? Ultimately, a company has to take responsibility for it's own goods if they don't sell very well. The voice of the critics can only explain why they don't buy. A product only has to meet an individuals personal equation of desirability versus cost. You can't really blame a bunch of guys (and girl) who are Eagle fans and congregate here to to acquire/build top class Eagles to not moan about obvious faults in the expensive toys we're offered?
 

Eagle

Commander Ret.
The PE23 worked well despite being riddled with 'minor niggles'. It looked like an Eagle and that's why it sold - even to the likes of us. Hell, I bought two.

TB2 doesn't have enough 'features' to allow innacuracies to be overlooked. The faults it does have are glaringly obvious to the point of being painful to look at.

It's just a big toy. A replica it is not.

Sorry! :)
 
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