Thunderbirds 1/72 Mole

Having had a think, I checked photo’s of the Mole that was used in Thunderbirds and the crawler tracks are narrow rather than full width as I initially thought. With that I came up with a plan which involved making the crawler tracks longer. To do this I made a shelf for each end which were fixed in place with superglue;

4 x 1.5mm holes were drilled in them about 5mm in and 3mm from the edge into which 15mm lengths of brass tube were superglued in. When set the tracks were stretched around and the model began to look much better;

To stop the ‘see-through’ effect, strips of plastic sheet were cut to fit inside and glued into place with any other gaps covered by scraps of plastic sheet;

Doing this has certainly killed the ability to see right through the model plus the interior will be sprayed black which will help a lot;

I’m still not convinced by the rubber band things so may still make new ones but I’ll wait and see for now.

Thunderbirds 1/72 Mole

I started construction of this today and I had an idea it would be simplified but didn’t expect it to be THAT basic. Anyway I put together the tracks first and noted the recommendation of sanding the rubber bands before gluing the links on;

The inside faces have two lines that need sanding too. Next I jumped out of sequence as the drill had already separated from the sprue so I decided to clean that up. This part had a chrome plating but I stripped it off the day before at first using bleach but then Mr Muscle oven cleaner as the bleach was taking forever. The four mould pin marks on the side sanded out easily enough but the seam lines took about an hour of sanding to get rid of them. I thinned out the two blades on the front propeller and removed the raised lumps at the side of them;

Looking like a purchase from an adult store I set it aside to work on the main body of the drill and oh dear oh dear this bit will need some scratch work.

Firstly, the eight holes for the metal pins that hold the crawler assembly wheels in place need opening up as they are not big enough. Extreme care needs to be taken here as it is VERY easy to drill through the main body. After gluing the rollers together (parts A10 and A11) these were fixed into place with the metal pins and the smaller rubber band belts fitted;

The hole for the metal pin is not wide enough.
After opening the holes out with a 2.5mm drill, the rollers were glued into place.
The crawler bands fitted.

After fitting the bands I became curious about this area as I had a feeling you would be able to see through to the other side. With that I taped the two body halves together to see and not only can you see through to the other side, the crawler tracks are far too narrow and you can see inside the body;

You ‘could’ put a strip of plastic sheet on the inside and paint the interior black (which was my first option) to prevent the ‘see-through’ effect but that doesn’t solve the issue of the narrow crawler tracks. To fix it I’m going to make new crawler tracks from 0.10 thou plastic sheet and use thin square strips to make the treads. While I have the plastic sheet out I’ll fix the back of the wheels too as these are hollow and I can’t live with them like that (and yes you can see the inside faces on the model);

Dammit! I was looking forward to getting this completely built in a day or so but like every other project it’s going to take longer now. The price of the kit also excludes settling for a half-arsed build so I’d better get busy.

Thunderbirds 1/72 Mole

Well it ain’t collectable anymore as I’m trying to remove the chrome plating :o)

I’ve got the parts soaking in bleach because the chrome plating will be removed during clean up anyway so may as well get it back to bare plastic. Meanwhile I shall be doing some research;

The kit intructions tell you which episodes the Mole featured in so I will watch those, mainly for colour references. By the way the episodes are;

Pit of Peril (Mole serial number 56156, decal number 16)

City of Fire

The Duchess Assignment

Cry Wolf

(These episodes feature Mole 53250, decal number 14).

I’ve been naughty….

Sooooo…….I took a walk into town this afternoon just to get a bit of shopping, meat pies from my favourite retailer at the monthly farmers market and get a jar of paint from my local model shop as it opened this week for the first time since lockdown. I DID get the paint but also walked out with this;

This is what happens when I don’t have any adult supervision when out shopping lol.

The guy in the model shop said they were new and had just arrived so on impulse I bought one. Looking at it when I got home, the box art shows it to be from Adventures In Plastic which is under the model railway company of Bachmann. However if you look at the box sides it also says Aoshima so it is in fact a re-pop of the kit that first appeared under the IMAI brand around 2000.

Putting on my reviewers head then and the first thing that struck me is the multi-coloured plastic that is used and reminiscent of the old Matchbox kits from days of old;

Looking at the parts and they are pretty well moulded but there are some sink marks on the lower hull but these wull be hidden by the wheels;

Some mould pin marks are visible too especially on the side of the drill along with a seam line top and bottom so you may as well strip the chrome off and respray it with metallic paint as you’ll lose the chrome plating during clean up anyway;

The cradle for the drill body has some flash here and there but what is visible are the interior location points so these will need removing too;

Excuse the rough arrows but these were added on my phone and I have fat fingers.

Rubber band tracks are provided, two for the running gear and two smaller ones for the crawler mechanism for the drill body sides;

The tracks for the running gear require individual links gluing to them so that should be interesting to see how they work. At least you can add them after painting but whether the links stay put is another matter….hmmmm…..

The decal sheet is nicely printed, in register and nice to see that health and safety was taken seriously back in 1963 as decal number 6 says ‘hard hats required’ :o)

I’ve always loved the Thunderbirds TV series and still do as they were part of my childhood so it’s nice to see these in a model shop again. In fact the Miniman Factory SS-23 Oka that I built a few years ago always reminded me of something Gerry anderson would dream up for the Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet TV shows.

Yes I know it’s expensive but the Aoshima and IMAI kits are demanding stupid collectors prices so you can’t really complain and I’m looking forward to making a start on it. Also my local model shop has been closed during the lockdown so it’s nice to be able to spend some money in there too and help them out a bit.

I believe that Adventures In Plastic might re-issue the Captain Scarlet vehicles so the SPV (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle) could be coming home with me at some point. Watch this space as they say!

Hasegawa 1/72 F-104G

The decal process is still ongoing….

I think I’m about halfway through and to cut the time down I’ll leave off most of the underside stencils as unless the model is going to be picked up nobody will see them anyway.

Meanwhile I had a stack of kits turn up this week to review for Model Military Int’l magazine so although I’ve photographed them I still need to examine the kits and write up the reviews. I will also be putting together a couple for full-build reviews too so the next couple of weeks will be busy and current projects will be parked for a while as I do these.

Hasegawa 1/72 F-104G

Just to try and get my mind focussed on modelling again I’ve decided to start decalling the F-104G.

I’m using the Astra decals (an off-shoot of Daco) and they are going on very nicely, unlike the HaHen ones on the Revell 1/72 Dornier Do28 which were not stellar.

So far I have put the main markings on and made a start on the VERY comprehensive stencilling, as to whether I will put every single decal on I haven’t decided but so far I’m doing sections at a time and perversely it has been rather enjoyable. The decals are very nicely printed and they are bedding down well with Microsol decal solution. Although they are thin they are not difficult to apply as some decals I have used previously have put up a real fight just to get them off the backing sheet and onto the model without them curling up into a ball.

There are something like 400 stencils to apply so this will be a long job especially as I return to work this week but at least I’m doing something modelling-wise.

A quiet week

Although I was off work last week I hadn’t done much modelling apart from finishing the Porsche. The results of that and the finish on the 1/72 Dornier left me feeling a little flat so decided to have a break from modelling for a bit. A couple of days later I picked this out of the stash;

My partner was quite taken with the aircraft featured on the box (Hermann Graf’s Bf109G-6) so I decided to build it straight from the box as it has been ten years or more since I last built a 109. I quite fancied putting W/Gr 21 mortar tubes on the aircraft instead of the cannon pods so I started doing a bit of research to see what was what and apparently Graf did have them fitted on his aircraft.

Eduard don’t include the mortar tubes so I bought one of their Brassin sets which is due this week sometime. Doing some further research I found that Graf’s machine was fitted with outboard gear doors as well, presumably to protect the wheels from blast damage from the mortar tubes.

Picture is a still from old film footage and is shown for discussion purposes only

Not a huge problem as they wouldn’t be hard to make from styrene sheet, however on further digging the canopy on Graf’s machine featured a blister on the top which would be very difficult to replicate. Luckily AIMS produce a set for Graf’s 109 that includes the outer gear doors, rocket tubes and new canopy centre section so that is on the way too.

If you look carefully at the open centre section of the canopy you can just see a curved section in the top.

This has obviously put back the build so I may make a start on this one in the stash instead;

Meanwhile I sprayed the dark yellow base coat on the Tasca 1/35 Luchs just for something to do;

I find that Tamiya XF-60 is too dark straight out of the jar so I lightened it with XF-15 Flesh plus I added some acrylic retardent fluid to avoid the rapid drying time that leaves a gritty effect in paint, something I should have done with the Hataka stuff I used for the Dornier Do28. After spraying the Luchs I took the opportunity of completely stripping and cleaning my Iwata Revolution CR airbrush as the trigger is sticking when you release it;

I just used IPA to clean it and did NOT put any lube of any description on the working parts as last time I did it, the sticking trigger was made worse with the stuff.

I may put the green and brown camo on the Luchs later but even after spraying it I still feel a bit flat so may do domething else. We’ll see…..

AFV Club 1/35 Sd.Kfz 251/1 ‘Stuka zu fuss’

in a previous post I was saying about reworking this model as the mud effects were pretty monotone so while waiting for the gloss varnish to cure on the Hasegawa 1/72 F-104 I made inroads to improve it;

To be honest it doesn’t look that much different apart from a heavy exhaust staining on the upper hull from the projectiles being fired….oh well it was worth a shot and it now resides back in its place in the storage box.

Revell 1/72 Dornier Do28D-2

I put the decals on the model tonight using a mixture of the kit supplied decals and ones by HaHen;

The kit decals include all the stencilling as HaHen only supply the codes, crosses and unit badges, another thing to note is that the decals all printed together and you have to cut each one out. This has led to noticeable edges to the decals and I’m hoping a coat of clear varnish will hide them;

Unfortunately paint has crept under the masking tape on the cabin glazing and will need careful cleaning plus the paint went on too dry in places leaving a rough finish so interest in this project may end here. Unless the gloss varnish smooths it out (which I highly doubt) then the model will need to be sanded down and resprayed, this will mean sourcing another decal sheet of a kit that has been out of production for years. The other alternative is to just use the HaHen decals and not bother with all the stencilling.

It’s my own fault as I should have sanded and resprayed before going any further but I took a gamble and lost although if I do respray it I will not be using acrylics as the drying time is too quick hence the rough finish. Anyway I’ll see how it looks after the clear coat and make a decision on its future.

Back to the usual subjects

With the Tamiya Porsche out of the way it’s time to get back to what I usually do and seeing it was lovely and warm outside today the Tasca 1/35 Luchs got a basecoat of black from a rattle can;

Hopefully I can get some paint on it soon.

I was looking through my blog last night and found pictures of an AFV Club 1/35 251/1 C ‘Stuka zu fuss’ that I built and painted over 10 years ago;

The original images from over 10 years ago

I remember at the time somebody saying it was good but needed some contrast with the mud as it was all one tone and after seeing the pics again last night I had to agree. I still have the model so dug it out of storage and had a look at it today;

Apart from the monotone mud, the model still stands up pretty well some ten years later and is miraculously still intact too (others in storage have various bits broken or missing). I quite fancy reworking the model so may have a play to see how I can improve it, the first thing would be to respray the front panel of the hull as I got carried away with the mud originally. The mud effects also need some contrast and exhaust staining from the rockets needs adding as I’m pretty sure these vehicles would be pretty sooty or scorched.

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