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My Thunderbird 4

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks Kevin.
Its beginning to look a bit like TB4 but there is still a long way to go. After every session in the garage I look like frosty the snowman after all the non-stop sanding etc.
 

KevinD

Alphans
Ha! Yep, there is more sanding than being creative, that's for sure. That's the problem with Anderson vehicles, loads of curves! Shame they look so good or we wouldn't have to make them!
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Another time, another place for an update.
The main body and engine pods are almost done apart from the odd defect so I was going to start on the side pods above the engines using the same insulation panel.
However after roughly shaping one of the units I wasn't too happy with it as the foam is too soft to create the front and rear lips. This means I'll have to order some balsa for this job so they are on the back burner for the moment.

So I thought I would tackle the front where the various instruments emerge from the four holes.
I first very roughly drilled out some of the area and finished it off using the sanding part of my mini drill. Its far from perfect but it can be sorted later on. Underneath the fibre glass is the foam which is easy to remove so I'll be going deeper than necessary which will become clear later on.
I sanded the inside area clear of foam down to the inside surface of the fibre glass and then started to cover all insides with filler. This will take a few coverings to get the basic shape of this area and off course will involve even more sanding.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Its definitely one step forward and two steps back with this project. After looking at some episodes I decided the nose still wasn't quite right so I've started to re-shape that area again mainly the bonnet/hood as the slope was right.
Plus I had started on the side tanks and after making one I figured it too wasn't correct so I cut it length ways and glued in another strip of balsa to increase the width. Once that's dry I'll try again.
Originally I was going to use the same insulation panel to make the side tanks but it turned out the material was just too soft for this so I ended up buying some balsa wood.
I used my mini drill and small chisels to cut out the ends then added filler to smooth it out. Once I have all three tanks I'll cover them in fibre glass resin to strengthen the surface.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Many thanks Kevin.
Its very slow progress with the three 'tanks' as I keep on changing them plus I don't spend a lot of time on the model. Hopefully one day I'll get these things completed.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
I'm still working on the three side/top tanks. I did one side tank which is ok but its taking forever to get the other side to match. It didn't help when I found out one side of the roof was a bit out so I had to add more filler to get it right. The last couple of weeks I've been adding and subtracting filler to get everything balanced and I'm still not happy with these parts.
As you can see I've dry fitted them in place just to get an idea of what it might look like one day.

For a change I decided to carve out the window area. This will be used later down the road to create the window using clear plastic. I used balsa as its easy to shape. I think its about right and like the rest of this model I will be fine tuning it as I go along.
Its still one step forward and two back. Tomorrow I'm going to the Smallspace show at Hanslope where hopefully there might be some TB4 models I can get some more info.
 

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Andernut

Alphans
Looking really good. Word of advice from one who has started down the same road, don't make the side and top cowlings too flat, they're actually quite raised/rounded n this area. My model stalled at the clear cab stage so I am watching with great interest as you proceed. Thanks for the posts.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Andernut
I've taken your advice on the cowlings and started to add some more filler to make them slightly more curvy. After looking at some more photos I can see you are correct. I've done more changes to this model than any other I've done in the past.
Glad your enjoying the build.
Many thanks.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Its been sometime since my last update. Most of the time has been spent on changing the side and top tanks by making them a bit more curvy.
I added filler to the top of all the tanks to create a slight curve which does make a big difference. Of course this means more sanding/filling which is why I didn't update earlier.
To fix them in place I needed more gluing area which made by using filler and tape to create a nice smooth surface for the glue. Another thing that took ages was blending the tanks to the body especially the ends which were difficult due to the space available to sand etc. In fact its still going on as just when you think you've cracked it once you prime it other defects show up.
As you can see its getting there. The balsa block in the window area is just loose as it will be used to mould the window later on. The top fin was just some mdf I had and is still work in progress.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks guys. It definitely looks better with those curves. Since taking the last photo I've made a new fin as the other was soft mdf. The whole thing is taking longer than usual as its too hot in the garage to spend any length of time on it.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks Captain.
Progress is really slow on this project mainly because the heat is just too much for me and I can only work for a few minutes at a time.
However saying that last weekend when the temperature reduced I was able to forge ahead.
The mdf fin I had started to shape was scrapped as I decided to use another bit of wood. Once shaped I gave it a few coats of fibre glass resin. Them some filler and sanding followed by fitting a couple of steel pins in the fin with corresponding holes in the body to give it a bit more strength. Once glued in place I blended it to the body with more P38.
I also got started on the rear engine tubes which were just plastic waste pipes. I had decided to create the ridges at the tube ends by using 3.2mm round plastic rod (Plastruct) but that was wrong and looked terrible. I bought some Plastruct 3.2 mm half round rod which looked a lot better. It did take some time to glue them as I had to wait for them to dry before adding more. I gave them a lite sanding then some primer. The tubes are not fixed in place yet as they would get in the way.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
After the engine tubes it's the turn of the front light bar.
I first tried using 4mm acrylic but that was a failure so next I tried some foam board but was equally rubbish. Thirdly I used an acrylic 12" plastic school ruler or to be more precise the removable centre piece.

I don't know if anyone remembers the rulers that had a removable bit, I had previously used this part to make the drivers bench in my Hoods Desert Jeep model. It was ideal as it had a slight curve on it. So I cut a couple of pieces, angled them and added some thin plasticard for the ends. After filling in any joins and sanding they make quite a good light fitting.

I also decided to start on the cabin but I only got as far as removing some of the insulation foam from that area. Its very easy to remove, all the sides will be covered in suitably decorated plasticard later on.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
I decided to start on the side supports for the front lamp housing.
I simply put a dollop of p38 in position then fitted a hollow metal tube on top and slowly turned it so the filler would become circular. Then just before it set I gave it on last slight twist and removed it. It wasn't perfect but with some sanding and more filler it eventually looked about right. It was just a repeat performance for the other side. To get a flat surface I just used my palm sander with fine grit paper.
The actual arms were made from some dowel which was shaped and sanded and had a 3.2mm hole drilled in the end.
 

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Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Excellent skill being shown here, I'm about to undertake a build of the TB4 kit from Mamas so watching with great interest.

Did you have any thought as to a base colour as yet?
 
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