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My Thunderbird 1

badsimmonds

Alphans
Before I had finished my TB3 I had purchased one of the excellent kits of TB1 from Ben. I had previously started a TB1 but I wasn't happy with it so I scrapped it and decided to have a rest from scratch building and hence the kit.
This is a really good kit which will be approx 24" high and have wings that move by turning the nose cone.
I thought this would not take too long to build but unfortunately half way through the build I had a major set back with it which nearly made me stop this build.
I'll start at the beginning (which is a very good place to start) This build post will be a bit shorter than my previous ones.

After setting out all the pieces I gave them a quick going over but they are so well made there wasn't a lot to do to them. There are eight little detail parts for the top of the engine section which are supposed to fit under the top part but that created an internal line so I enlarged the holes and glued them inside, using p38 to hide the seams.
The two engine sections were then glued together and sanded and filled.
The round 'blue' section is in one piece apart from its bottom, I cut out the two sections which the wings will fold into. The area to be removed is marked.
It really makes a change having someone do all the creative work for you.
 

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boatshewsd2

Alphans
The Visible 'Birdie...

There's a certain beautiful simplicity to that table-layout of the various parts and sections. Clean lines all around, oh-so-apropos for a machine meant to go fast...

Looking forward to seeing how it'll all come together!
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
The body is made up of five parts and to create the wing slots you glue the bottom four parts together and then sand until enough material has been removed.
The wing mechanism is fitted onto two pieces which are glued onto the body.
Its all very easy to do as Ben has done all the hard work for you.
The wings move very nicely by turning the threaded rod which will be fitted into the nose cone later on.
At this stage its recommended to glue the aluminium part inside the body which the support rod will slot into. Of course you have to drill a hole in the body which has been marked. Ben recommends using a hot glue gun for this.
I've roughly assembled the parts to get an idea of how this model will look.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Slate

This model will be about 24 inches high when complete.

It was at this stage of the build that I had my major setback. What happened was I have a ladder above the work bench and when I tried to move the thing it slipped and smashed into the model. It completely demolished most of the main body see photo to show the damaged area.
As you can imagine I was devastated, fortunately most of the model was in a box somewhere else. It was at this point I was wondering if it was worth continuing with it.
I don't know what it is but I seem to be hexed when it comes to TB1 as I had previously tried scratch building one but it didn't work out so I scrapped that one.
After a couple of weeks I decided I would continue but I would have to create the damaged section myself, something I didn't really want to do.
 

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telster

Alphans
Why not get in touch with Ben to ask if he might be willing to supply you with replacements for the damaged parts?
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi
Good question Telster.
I don't know why I didn't, as you can imagine I was a bit cheesed off at the time.
Anyway I decided to scratchbuild that area which didn't take too long. I was miffed I couldn't use the wing opening mechanism, though I did use all the other supplied parts.
The model is virtually finished now barring any other set backs.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
After the disaster of the ladder I decided to use some perspex tube I had for the main body. This tube is actually about 5mm narrower than Ben's original but I hope it won't be too noticeable. After cutting the tube in half I sanded the edges down until I had enough of a gap for the wings. I then fitted some perspex on each half and filled any gaps with the usual filler.
The sloping area above the blue drum was made from some plywood, the perpex tube will fit inside this. Because the tube is narrower I had to reduce the top nose area supplied by Ben, to achieve this I poured some resin in side this top section to thicken the walls.
After loads of sanding and filling the nose, body and slope were fitted together.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
As I couldn't use Ben's original wing mechanism I decided to drill through the wing fairings and wings and fit a metal rod as a hinge. Later on I filled the top of the hole with filler, sanded and sprayed and with a bit of luck it seems to work.
I sprayed the final colour on the body and engine section Halfords Vauxhall Mistral Grey. The blue parts on this model were not as simple as I went through three colours before I was happy, the first was Halfords Ford Fjord Blue (too dark) the second was Halfords Ford Bermuda Light Blue (too light)
and the third and last was B&Q Atoll Blue.
Some might argue with my choice but I'm happy with it.
 

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boatshewsd2

Alphans
So far, so good, it sounds. Do I understand, then, that the wings will be able to move back and forth, using the method you described? :think:
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi boatshewsd2
Yes the wings will still move by pulling them out unlike Ben's original method of turning the red nose cone.
At one time I was thinking of just having them in a closed position but I really wanted them to work.
As you can see in the photos I filled the hole with filler, sanded then resprayed the final colour and it actually turned out better than I hoped for.
Maybe one day I can use the original mechanism on something else.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
The red nose cone was Halfords VW Mars Red as I had it on the shelf and the blue on the stabilizers and wing tips was B&Q Atoll blue. One thing I found was the B&Q paint did not like Halfords matt Lacquer which I spray my models with, I did a test with this paint before spraying the model which is a good thing as the test piece bubbled up.
The blue line round the engine block was tape I bought from Ebay and the two black lines near the nose were also tape, I always try to reduce the amount of masking needed.
The four cooling fins were sprayed Plasticote Aluminium, this paint will accept the lacquer.
I've included a photo of the tops of the three colours I tried for the blue drum, the one I used is on the right.
The red nose cone is held in place with a wooden dowel, no glue used.
The decals I used were a mixture of those supplied and some I bought from elsewhere.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
With all the parts more or less completed it was time to fit them together.
The blue drum section was glued to the main body and the engine section likewise though to strengthen this narrow part I fitted an aluminium tube to give a bit extra strength.
It took a while to make sure the main body was sitting straight, to help with this I levelled of my work bench. I also dry fitted some perspex off cuts to keep the same gap between the sections.

Well that's about that for this build, it didn't turn out the way I expected but I think I managed to salvage the model. Ben's kits are extremely high quality and I would recommend anyone to purchase one. The build posts are shorter than I usually put on here but that's mostly due to this being a kit. I like doing a kit now and again as its nice to have someone else do all the hard work though make sure any ladders are out of the way.
I'll post some finish photos soon.
 

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nialle46

Forum Supporter
Thunderbird 1

With all the parts more or less completed it was time to fit them together.
The blue drum section was glued to the main body and the engine section likewise though to strengthen this narrow part I fitted an aluminium tube to give a bit extra strength.
It took a while to make sure the main body was sitting straight, to help with this I levelled of my work bench. I also dry fitted some perspex off cuts to keep the same gap between the sections.

Well that's about that for this build, it didn't turn out the way I expected but I think I managed to salvage the model. Ben's kits are extremely high quality and I would recommend anyone to purchase one. The build posts are shorter than I usually put on here but that's mostly due to this being a kit. I like doing a kit now and again as its nice to have someone else do all the hard work though make sure any ladders are out of the way.
I'll post some finish photos soon.

Lovely looking TB1, well done.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks guys for your kind comments.
As promised some finish photos. TB1 is 24 inches high while TB3 is 31inches.
 

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Utterly gorgeous.....

Ah, those old staple components - Perspex, plywood and a metal rod. In the time-honoured badsimmonds tradition, ingenuity and dogged determination win through. If the thing with the ladder had happened to me I would have been absolutely livid - all that hard-earned potentially going to waste.

She may not have Ben's nose-turning wing-opening thingy installed but, for what it's worth, she's truly unique in the way she's been constructed (and beautiful as well). Well done Malcolm!!

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks everyone.
The fun and games with the ladder was a low point but with such a high quality kit it was screaming out to be finished. This was a shorter than usual build but it still came in at around 50 hours ( I keep a file on times, costs, paints etc on all my projects)
My next planned build will be TB4 but as I have been told to do some house decorating I'm not sure when that will start. I intend to have a TB2 at some point but whether its a kit or scratchbuild I do not know, I won't do a TB5.
Yesterday I was at Matt Irvines Smallspace model show at Hanslope and the quality of the models is breathtaking. Its also nice to see the original 44" Eagles 1 & 2, The Liberator and orac.
You could spend a fortune at shows like this as there is so much stuff.
 
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