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My Thunderbird 4

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi everyone and thanks for your comments.
I was thinking of buying Mamas excellent TB4 kit at one time but due to limited shelf space I didn't.
However my TB4 is working out slightly larger than I intended and will be approx 20" long when finished.
I will use the same yellow I used on my Stingray and Firefly models which is Ford Daytona Yellow from Halfords. This colour was mentioned by a well know model maker so I've stuck to it during my builds, however if anyone has any suggestions I'll be glad to have a look.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Its been a while posting as I have less time these days to get really stuck into this project however progress is being made.
I put a glob of filler on the end and pushed in a steel washer the same diameter as the raised bit on TB4. Once dry it was down to the usual sanding/filling until it looked ok. This took ages even though its a pretty small area.
Later on I drilled a hole through the washer being careful with the depth and then epoxy a cut down bolt which will fit through the matching hole in the main body.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
The two light supports are held in place with a spring washer and wing nut inside the body. I had glued a piece of balsa inside so as to form a 'cushion' when I tighten it. I had thought of just gluing the whole thing in place but I prefer to able able to move the housing.
I also decided to use flexible plastic rod instead of a metal one as I thought if something got caught the plastic rod would break before anything else .
The rod is cut to length and fitted into a couple of holes at the back of the lamp housing. I had previously poured some resin into the front to create some extra depth for the holes.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
The next stage is to tidy up the nose area, presently its just the ends of the insulation foam which is too difficult to smooth off. I decided to use some resin which I just poured in until the correct level was achieved. It took a while to get TB4 set at the right angle. Once dry it can be sanded and filled round the edges giving a nice smooth flat surface for the four holes.
After marking out the holes I drilled a small hole first followed by a larger one then using a round file to finish them off.
To give the four holes a nice finish I used metal inserts used when a compression joint in plastic pipes is needed. They will not be fixed in place yet until after all the painting is complete.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks Kevin. I always get a bit worried when I have to drill holes as I'm well aware of the extra work involved if something goes wrong. However all went well this time.
When I was making the side tanks I made cardboard formers of the intakes for later use so they came quite useful when making the 'grills' for the front and rear vents.
I decided to just use some plasticard for the base and some Plastruct 'T' shaped strips for the ribs. I made each strip overlap the shaped base as I'll sand them down with a mini drill attachment then give them a coat of primer.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
I've now reached the stage I always dread - the final painting.
I noticed that the temperature was going to rise so I decided to quickly get the model ready for its paint job as I hate painting final colours when its a bit chilly.
After lots of spraying with filler primer and sanding it was time.
To support the model while spraying I fitted a length of copper pipe into the model so I could have access to all sides during spraying. As always I thoroughly wiped the model with a tack rag to remove any dust etc.
As with all my models with yellow on them I used Halfords Ford Daytona Yellow. Once sprayed I hoped no passing fly would decide to land on it while drying.
However once it was dry I discovered some faults in the model which I'd missed so I had to use a bit of filler and more sanding and priming before I gave it a second final coat.
With the higher temperature the paint didn't bloom thank goodness. Now I feel as if I might actually finish this project.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
With the main painting complete its time to move on to the next stage which I always hate doing as it involves a lot of masking.
I first tackled the red nose band by using Tamiya masking tape as its more flexible round all the curves. I then used some standard low tack masking tape to give me more area to tape the bin liner onto.
The paint I used was Halfords VW Mars Red which I used on my Fireball Jnr and had some left over.

After covering the model in a bin liner I wiped and sprayed. Later on I removed the liner and tapes and thankfully all went well - no bleed through.

Next is the red bands on the side/roof tanks. It was exactly the same method though I did them one by one. I also painted the engine tubes at the same time. I'm always glad when the painting is over so I can begin to relax.

As you can see I've dry fitted the tubes in place to see what the effect is.

I'm having trouble sourcing suitable lettering for this model as the usual graphics company I used has changed hands and they no longer do small jobs. Does anyone know where I might be able to obtain them?Many thanks
 

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KevinD

Alphans
That looks great. Can't help with the lettering I'm afraid. For mine I cut the 4's out of sticky backed plastic but I had a bit of letraset left for the lettering. It's almost extinct now.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thanks Kevin. After reading your posting I bought some sticky backed plastic and managed to cut out five '4' numbers. They actually turned out better then I hoped.
I have no letraset so I will be ordering the Thunderbird lettering online even though they are not 100% correct.
I'm currently working on the cockpit windscreen and once that's done so is the model.
 

tryptych

Alphans
If you have either an inkjet or laser printer, you can make up your own decals using special waterslide paper.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
The lettering is causing me a headache as I bought some clear sticky vinyl which can be printed on then stuck on which I did but as the lettering is all one piece it doesn't look too good close up. I will buy some decal paper and try that, I couldn't find the font required that was available in the size I needed so I'm using another one.
Meantime I sprayed the plastic vents I'd made earlier with Halfords Matt Black and fitted them in place using black silicone sealer as I knew if I used glue I'd get it every where. That finishes off the side tanks.
I've also started the weathering using Humbrol powder and some air brushing.
I wanted TB4 to look like it does in the episode 'Desperate Intruder' as I thought it looked pretty good but would an underwater craft get that dirty I don't know but I like it. I also drew on some panel lines with pencil so I could rub them out if I made a mistake.
I over used the air brush in places so I cleaned some areas using a cotton bud soaked in Tcut which worked a treat. The powder I just used my finger, masking tape and brushed & wiped off the excess.
 

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nialle46

Forum Supporter
Hi, badsimmons, this is looking brilliant, just the right amount of weathering, don't forget you will need the special varnish with the Decal paper to seal the ink , keep up the great work, your nearly there.
 

tryptych

Alphans
What fonts are you missing?
If you are working from a computer they are scalable to any size.

Also, I don't mean to nitpick, but your colours seem a bit out.
The yellow seems too dull and the red looks almost fluorescent.
 
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badsimmonds

Alphans
I'm not even sure what fonts are used on TB4 or where they can be obtained for free.
As to the colours the yellow has been dirtied down so is duller, before weathering the yellow was brighter.
As to the red, its red not fluorescent, the camera is not showing the true colours.
Plus the original TB4 no longer exists so no one can truly say what colour is correct, all models of Anderson vehicles built by present day modellers are painted in the colours they think is as near as possible. And as I've said before I like my models to be pretty dirty. I could Tcut the whole model which would bring my yellow colour back to its original state but then it would look like a toy.
 
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tryptych

Alphans
The fonts are Futura Extra Bold for the numbers and Grotesque No9 for the lettering.
(PM me for my email if you need them)
"Dirtying down" does not mean the whole thing should be dirty.
It's about adding dirt in the places where it would collect, and equally, bright areas should remain in the most exposed regions. Add streaks behind panel lines etc. I fine adding fractionally different shades and glossiness on panels helps break up the evenness.
This is about as close to the original as you will get as a reference:

 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Thank you for the font info, I'll see what I can find.
Everyone who builds models have their own ideas of what is required and more importantly what they personally want. My TB4 is based as it looked in 'Desperate Intruder' where it looked very dirty. I'm not the best modeller on this forum or anywhere for that matter but I struggle along in my own way for my own enjoyment.
The pic you show is on my work bench wall.
 

KevinD

Alphans
That is looking really good! Colour varies hugely in different lighting conditions, so, as you say, go with what you prefer. That'll be a great model!
 

Andernut

Alphans
Colour controversy aside, the model looks great. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a TB4 studio scale model that is incomplete, I am at present carving a plug to press fit a clear perspex canopy, something I always find challenging so I am looking forward to seeing how you go about producing yours. Keep up the great work and please post many pics.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Andernut

I have created the canopy out of 0.5mm thick plastic sheet using vacuum forming which I'll post very soon. It took me about six attempts to get a satisfactory result but I'll go into more detail soon.
Out of curiosity how big is a studio scale TB4, mine is approx 20" in total.
 
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