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My Thunderbird 4

tryptych

Alphans
Might I suggest you try using polycarbonate instead of acrylic?
It is far more forgiving and less likely to crack, it is also a lot cheaper and the results look identical.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
I left the canopy last as I knew it would be difficult. I had moulded clear canopies before on some of my models using the same method as this time, the only difference was size.
I had to make a simple frame which would house the vacuum hose and the mesh, plus a separate frame to hold the plastic in place. The mesh was from an old radiator cover cut to size. Its very basic but it worked - just.
The actual mould was made from balsa and smoothed down with the help of some filler. I bought the plastic sheet online and cut it to fit the frame and stapled it to the frame and taped it to make it leak proof. As I only had one vacuum cleaner I knew this was going to be difficult. It took a few attempts to get a canopy I was happy with. In between each try I used a heat gun to get the plastic back to its original shape. I just used the oven to soften the sheet then quickly force it over the mould. If I had two vacuum cleaners it would have been easier.
Afterwards I cut it to shape very carefully until it fitted the space. I'm not going to make any interior details as I hate doing cockpits, the model in the tv titles does not appear to have any interior only what looks like a figure from the Johnny Express truck toy.
The canopy is clear its the dust etc that makes it look opaque.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
To cut a long story short after trimming the canopy to fit I masked it off and painted it, however when dry the finish didn't match the rest of the model so I tried re-masking and re-painting which ended up a complete mess. I had to scrap that canopy and start from scratch again. The reason for this was the primer coat, the body final colour was sprayed over yellow filler primer and the canopy was sprayed over grey primer.
Once I had another one moulded and trimmed I made a simple 'L' shaped frame from acrylic which the canopy could be glued to and would then just slot into the space. I decided to do this as I was not going to have an interior.
However in stead of having nothing visible through the canopy I decided to spray the frame matt black and use a photo of the interior glued against the back wall. Not perfect I admit but its not too bad when viewed from certain angles. The whole cockpit/canopy section is not glued in place and can be lifted out if required.
Before spraying this replacement canopy I used some Frog masking tape cut into strips as I heard this tape is very good against bleed through. It worked very well and will continue to use this tape in any future builds.
 

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Andernut

Alphans
This is looking great and I like that you are also documenting your problems overcome during the build. I finally found the plans that I have based my build on, they are from an obscure Japanese magazine and give every single measurement right down to the width of the red trim lines. Which leads me to believe that the measurements are taken from an original filming miniature, most likely the one seen in the opening credits as the pilot is clearly seen to be the figure wearing the soldier's helmet. The length they indicate for the model is as follows....490 cm for the body length from the nose tip to the rear engines plus another 18 cm for the light scoop which protrudes slightly in front of the main body.
 

Andernut

Alphans
As you can see, they are precisely drawn and measured which leads me to believe they are drawn from the original model. Does anyone know if the Thunderbird models were in Japan at any time when this would have happened? I know the Captain Scarlet models were but not sure about others.
 

tryptych

Alphans
Thanks for that.
I'll see if I can draw them up a bit tidier, that way there won't be any copyright issues.
I wonder if anyone can translate Japanese?
 

tryptych

Alphans
That would be excellent.
Do you have any other Anderson related plans like this as they are a goldmine for modellers?
 

Andernut

Alphans
Unfortunately,I only have these plans. I do remember there was a similar set for Tb1 but I can't remember if there were more.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
One of the last things to do on this project is the lettering and numbers.
Like the rest of this model it was/is far from simple for me at least.
Originally I had ordered online vinyl lettering pre spaced etc, I had done some templates to check if the size would do but unfortunately after fixing them in place they turned out too tall. The length was fine but I couldn't get them any shorter. Next try was using some decal paper but even after following the instructions they were a complete mess. The third try was getting a font and printing it onto some self adhesive clear vinyl. I would have preferred separate letters but I was getting rather fed up with the whole thing so I ended up using them as seen in the last photo. They are not perfect but I'm reasonably happy with them.
Creating the '4' was easy as I just cut them out of sticky back plastic.
 

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Andernut

Alphans
That canopy is a good fit, it's one of the problems facing me. Also, the livery really pops....well done. For my part, I am in the final stages of a Mac's Car build which I will document here soon. Keep up the good work.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Tryptych - I had taken on board your earlier font info but as I said I had great trouble getting the lettering to fit my model and after spending days on it I decided to give it a rest until later. In the meantime I used another font which can be easily removed if needed.
I never stick on separate letters as I always used to use a local graphics company which would create the letters and mount them under thin masking tape so all I had to do was position the entire word and press then remove the tape, easy peasy. Unfortunately the company has changed hands and won't help me any more.

The second canopy fits better than my first as I modified the mould which helped. Its not an easy area to deal with if you have separate sections which must match each other.

Thanks for all your comments which are much appreciated
 

Andernut

Alphans
My Japanese friend took a look at the wording on the two plan pics I posted earlier. She tells me that the words are simply referring to the measurements describing the height, length and width etc. No real additional info to what is obvious from the drawings and indicated measurements so I didn't ask her to write it all out.
 

tryptych

Alphans
Sorry to hear your plight.
I can certainly create the text images for you, but you will need to print your own waterslides. They work quite well as long as you don't have white in the image.
Private msg me if you need a hand. (I'm a pro graphics designer.)
 
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