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My Thunderbird 3


Just stumbled onto this, looks great!

The white number '3' s around the base are Futura Bold.


Finally I got round to doing the area I was dreading the most - the cooling fins.
I had previously cut them out of plasticard and painted them Halfords Stone Grey and Halfords Daytona Yellow for the stripes.
I worked out the distances and pencilled them onto a piece of masking tape and marked out where they should go. To help the glue I scraped a line through the paint on the model, any faults would be hidden by the blue stripes later on.
This was very fiddly and I'm not entirely happy with the result but as I said I rarely redo anything. I bought some Evergreen strips 4.8 mm wide and 0.25mm thick and painted them matt blue - Humbrol 109. Once dry I cut them to length and stuck them on. I preferred using strips to vinyl tape.
The cooling fins are the weakest part of this model and I can see bits breaking off in the future.


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Slate Mcleod

I thought the same would happen to mine as well Malcolm, but now years later not a single one has broken off, so good luck.


Many thanks for the kind comments guys.
I decided before I go any further to draw panels etc on the model, for this I used a pencil for this model as its easy to rub out if I make a mess of things. Sometimes I use a pen or even scribe them but this model is made of surfaces that wouldn't take too kindly to a scribe.
I didn't make them too obvious, in fact you can only see them up close.
Once that was complete I sprayed the whole model with Halfords matt lacquer to protect the panels and also to reduce the glossy effect, to be honest the lacquer only reduces it to a sort of mild satin which is fine by me.
Next its the turn of the black bands on the stabilisers. I was going to use thin plasticard but it kept snapping when bent so in the end I chose just black card.
I think it works and you really wouldn't notice even close up.
I also at this stage glued the round base in place as I now longer need to support the model this way, plus I painted the black line round the nose. I masked this off and just used Humbrol matt black and a brush.
Oh yes I also used an airbrush to dirty up some more areas, previously before I used the lacquer I had used some powder paint over the surface just using my fingers and wiping the excess off, as usual the photos don't really show much dirt if any.


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Well after nearly four months (actually just over 85 hours) its finally finished.
All that was needed to be done was the lettering etc, as usual I had my local graphics company make some for me.
They are not a perfect match but that's my fault, perhaps later on I might get some more printed - they are like all my letters self adhesive matt vinyl.
Only recently I discovered that TB3 had the lettering on three sides like the numbers, I also put the white 3 in different figurations so what ever direction it was flying the 3 would always be in the correct position. I know some people think this is wrong but I believe it makes sense.
The panel details don't show up on these photos as they are faint.
Its the tallest/longest model I've built to date and its difficult finding somewhere to put it.
I like it very much but I know its not a patch on certain other versions by well known modellers.
I've included some finish photos taken on the doorstep as it was a nice day, hope you like.
I've already started on my next model which is a 24" TB1 courtesy of one of Ben's fabulous kits.


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The Future Is Still Well and Truly Fantastic.....

Hi Malcolm, been out of the loop for the last couple of weeks, and all I can say is she is utterly and truly gorgeous. What a beautiful model. I've watched your builds of road-going vehicles (wonderful) and Fireball Junior (equally wonderful), but to create what you have and for the model to look as professional as it does, well, I'm lost for words.

I have always admired the good old-fashioned methods you employ in your model-making: you've had a bit of an influence in some of the modelling I'm now trying for myself. It's all so basic to begin with, but you end up with such a marvellous creation. I really do take my hat off to you - you may view your own work differently but those photographs are brilliant.

Well done Malcolm!!!

Kindest regards