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About ThomasProbert

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    LSM Member
  • Birthday 02/16/1982

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  • Location
    Kent, SE England
  • Interests
    Vacforms and scratch-building, civil aircraft modelling.
    Eighth Air Force in WWII

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  1. Here's Airfix's classic Harrier GR3 from the venerable 1/24th scale kit, warts and all. Built as it comes, but with some home-made additions to the cockpit and seat. Airfix decals and Xtracolour paints were used throughout. For its age, it's a really nice kit. The cockpit is very basic and the landing gear and bays are lacking in details, but with some good old-fashioned scratch-building you can make a decent representation of the Harrier. Happy modelling! Tom
  2. Afternoon, folks Not a huge amount of progress of late due to work commitments, but I've gradually been adding the interior structure of the forward bow section. My measurements have only been approximate and don't look at this as an example of accuracy, I am just hoping to fill out the interior and make it representative of the real thing. First up has been the forward flooring and ladder up to the flightdeck: IMG_0759 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The raised pierced flooring for the tapered front section is yet to be made - I'm trying to come up with a plan to avoid drilling hundreds of holes... I've added some detail to the areas of the sidewalls that will be visible: IMG_0765 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0766 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The door on the rear bulkhead is, as far as I can tell, not present on the real aircraft and it's an open doorway, but as I'm not going to detailing the room behind I hope the Sunderland aficionados can forgive me..? It looks as if a fair bit will be visible through the forward door, so lots more detail to add in due course: url=https://flic.kr/p/2d9JJc8][/url]IMG_0768 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Until next time, Tom
  3. Many thanks for the kind offer, Hubert. I'll keep this in mind when it comes to engines/props in the future... There are a couple of options in 1/48th - there was a full resin kit (manufacturer escapes me) as well as either the Combat Models or Sanger vacforms. Sadly, no injection-kit yet.
  4. Afternoon all Some more progress on the Sunderland to update you on... One of the main problems when building big vacs like this the fact that due to the nature of the plastic and the fact there's no interior provided, the fuselage lacks structural integrity - especially when it comes to adding the wings and tail, etc. Therefore, lots of internal reinforcement is needed to provide enough strength for the model to be able to support itself. So it was out with the profile gauge and thick plastic card, and slowly bulkheads began to emerge... DSC_0039 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr For anyone familiar with the internal layout of the Sunderland, you will quickly see these bulkheads and floors are far from resembling reality, but considering next to nothing of the interior will be visible I went for strength over accuracy. The centre-section 'bomb room' as well as the nose section and cockpit are more in keeping with the real thing, however: DSC_0035 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The other fuselage half... DSC_0037 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr ..now slides nicely over the other... DSC_0041 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr ...apart from the fact that the starboard fuselage is approx. 4-5mm deeper than the port - a bridge I'll have to cross at a later date! The sheer bulk of the fuselage and the size of the real aircraft is quickly becoming apparent: DSC_0043 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr A few more bulkheads to fabricate, and then it'll be on with making the finer details of the interior areas that will be visible. Until next time, Tom
  5. Thanks for the warm welcome, chaps! Yes indeed the B-29 was a challenge to work on due to its size, but at least the span on this is smaller That's great to know, Cees - I have a set somewhere too but I'm not sure how complete they are. I'll keep your offer in mind should I need anything. Most appreciated! The Shackelton is still on the bench but I've not done anything to it for a while - I've run out of steam at the moment. I've been working on it on and off for nearly two years now, so I'm putting it aside for the time being to return to it refreshed and ready to go when the mood takes. I've been working on the interior bulkheads the last few evenings, so I'll do my best to get some pictures of my progress up soon. Tom
  6. Afternoon all - and happy New Year! I thought I'd share a new project with you - the old ID Models 1/32nd scale Short Sunderland vacform. I've had it in the stash for a while, and decided to dust it off and give her a turn on the bench. Saying that, I'm having to use the kitchen table as it won't fit on the bench: IMG_0639 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The cutting mat in the picture above is A3 sized... The first task (after hours of rubbing down the fuselage halves) was to mark and cut out the fuselage openings such as the cockpit, turrets, bomb windows and portholes: Step 6 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr This was mundane but fairly simple to do - it was a case of drilling pilot holes: Step 1 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Opening them up with an old set of sprue-cutters: Step 2 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Rounding and shaping with a sharp blade: Step 3 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And then a final sanding to neaten everything up: Step 5 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr It took a while, but looks the part now it's done - my mobile gives a useful size comparison, too: Size Comparison by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The interior is devoid of all detail... Interior by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So I'm currently making bulkheads and floors before internal detailing can begin: IMG_0692 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Lots of work ahead, but great fun so far. All the best, Tom
  7. Evening all This is very likely to be my last completed model for 2017 - I've been working on it on and off since August and it crossed the finish line this week. I picked up this classic from Airfix at a model show for a mere £20, and set about building it for a bit of nostalgia and a love for one of WWII's unsung heroes (the Spitfire seems to get all the glory!) I built it more or less out of the box, but did use SAC metal undercarriage legs, an Eduard seatbelt set and aftermarket decals from Techmod. A bit of extra piping was added to the engine, but other than that it's as it comes. It fitted together pretty well - at least better than I was expecting for such an old kit. The wing roots were a little tricky and there was plenty of filler needed here - Archer rivets to the rescue to replace those lost in the filling and sanding process. The worst fitting parts were probably the landing light covers and these took a lot of careful trimming to get them flush with the leading edge. Some of the detail is a little clunky and not up to today's standards, but the surface detail is streets ahead of the Trumpeter offering, with beautiful raised rivets and lovely fabric effect on the rear of the fuselage. Paints were from the Xtracolour enamel range, with the flat cote from Humbrol. Hawker Hurricane MkIc, 306 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Ternhill, November 1940. For £20 it was certainly great value for money. Happy modelling! Tom
  8. Evening all I've dusted this off in time for a trip to Telford and decided to tackle the rudders over the last couple of weeks. You'll have to excuse the terrible photography as I haven't had the time to get the proper camera set up so I've been snapping away with my camera phone in the dark winter evenings... I carefully removed the fins from the stabilsers and using the set of plans I have, cut the shape of the rudder from plastic card. As the real thing is an aerofoil shape, I cut what would become the leading edges from sprue, and mated these to the rudder hinge line: Next up was to add some thicker plastic card to the forward third of the rudders to aid with the thicker forward part of the structure: The thicker forward sections and aerofoil shape were then made up and blended together with filler: They were then primed with filler-primer, sanded sooth with some micromesh, and then I scribed the basic panel detail on to them. The riveting will have to wait as I can't find my riveting tool anywhere at the moment: The rudders now fit nice and snugly to the fins themselves, which have now been reattached to the stabilisers: And here she is sitting pretty on the kitchen table and ready for a trip to Telford next weekend: As you can see I have also started playing around with the propellers, but more of that next time: I'll hopefully catch some of you at the Nationals - the Shackleton will be on IPMS West Kent so do pop over and say hello! Tom
  9. The decals were nice and thin and responded to decal softeners well. The upper wing roundals are slightly out of centre however, and there's a thin white 'shadow' around them which needs careful trimming before applying. Other than that, no problems.
  10. Evening all The latest off the bench is Revell's new 1/32nd Spitfire MkIXc, which as I'm sure you know follows their release from a few years back of a Spitfire MkII and thus the breakdown of the kits is almost identical. This was a very pleasurable build and it went together relatively trouble free; the only filling needed was as the wing root fairings where the moulding was slightly short - I've seen this on many other builds and know it wasn't just my kit which has this issue. The simple solution is to add a small plastic card shim to each fairing and smooth it in with Milliput and a wet finger, and the problem is solved in under 10 minutes. At £25 I thought it fantastic value for money and will definitely be purchasing a few more. Decals for this one came from Xtradecal as the code-letters were off colour-wise on the Revell sheet. Paints were from the Xtracolour enamel range and it was finished with a coat of Humrol Matt varnish. Supermarine Spitfire McIXc, 132 Squadron, RAF Detling, November 1943: And alongside the MkIIa which I completed earlier in the year: Let's hope Revell keep giving us 1/32nd Spitfires at such reasonable prices - and roll on that P-51D! Tom
  11. Afternoon all With the school holidays upon us and me entering retirement for the summer, I thought it time to get this project back on to the bench... As you can see, it doesn't fit all that well! I'd got to the stage of completing one outboard engine nacelle, so decided to get the other one done. This began by adding a series of strips (or planks) cut from plastic card and slowly adding them to the framework of the nacelle I'd made earlier: These were then built up over a couple of evenings until the basic shape of the nacelle was formed: With the glue allowed to harden for a week, I then coated the nacelle in a generous helping of car body filler: This was then sanded back and a coat of filler-primer applied, before this too was then sanded and polished to leave a beautifully smooth finish to the nacelle: After a serious sanding session, some light refreshment is called for I wasn't completely happy with the leading edges of the wings, so I also took the opportunity to re-profile them: I then primed and polished up the 3D printed 'power-eggs' and test fitted them to the firewalls - thankfully my careful measuring and planning paid off, and although they're not quite a Tamiya fit, they fitted pretty well: After the power-eggs were glued to the firewalls, it was a simple job to blend them in with filler and then give the wings a primer coat of grey - here the engine fronts are just taped in place as I still need to make the radiators and oil coolers before the fronts can be permanently attached: And so now a major milestone has been reached, about 18 months after starting this build, and the airframe is now complete: Underside: And here she is with a 1/72nd scale Revell Shackleton as a useful size comparison: So now I can concentrate on the detailing of the model - the cockpit and flightdeck may well be the next task as the upper fuselage still needs blending in. The extreme rear of the fuselage needs some tweaks too, but the main construction is now over and I'm pleased to have reached this point in the project - it's all down hill from now on! All the best, Tom
  12. Fantastic as always, Cees. Good to see the Manchester getting some bench-time. Tom
  13. Evening all It's been a while since any kind of update on this project, but life and a general lack of motivation for it has got in the way over the last few months. However, I have been doing a bit of work on the outboard engine nacelles... The first task was to establish exactly where the outer engines were on the outer wing sections. I used a combination of my plans as well as scaling up the Airfix 1/72nd scale kit's measurements, and then made the firewalls from 1.5mm plastic card - these were stuck to a 'spine' which was cut to the profile of the nacelle which was in turn stuck to the underside of the wing. Confused? May be the following pictures will explain in better... Here are the firewalls in position on the leading edges of the wing: With the firewall and spine on the correct position, I could then begin to build up the basic shape of the nacelle with bulkheads (or formers) which again were checked against the plans I have as well as the Airfix kit to ensure the shape was correct: With the shape of the nacelle sorted, I then began planking the formers with 2-3mm wide strips of plastic card: The extreme rear of the nacelle has a too-steep profile for the planks, so this was made from Milliput and wet-sanded to shape without too much of a headache: And now we have an outboard engine nacelle completed: As you can see from the pictures, the surface is far from smooth. This won't be a problem though, as when the glue is properly cured (and thus there's no more movement in the plastic as it dries) it'll get a coat of car body filler and a thorough sanding, before a few coats of filler primer will be sprayed on to finish the job. Now one nacelle is done, I've got to get cracking with the other. The thought of cutting a load more planks doesn't instill me with joy however, but I keep telling myself it's the last of the main structural work on this project, and then it can be the fun detailing of the airframe. Until next time, Tom
  14. I picked up this long out of production single-seat 1/32nd MiG-29A cheap recently, and fancied doing a Polish version so also ordered a set of Decals from Techmod. I built this more or less out of the box, but did close the upper air intakes with plastic card, made some FOD guards for the exhausts and intakes, and added a seat belt set from Eduard, but kept the cockpit closed as it's fairly basic for this scale. Paints were from Xtracolour with varnish coming from Humbrol. I thought about coating it in gloss, as the Polish MiG-29s are very shiny and clean, but decided to do more of a satin coat for a better scale effect. The Revell kit is actually a MiG-29A version, but after doing a little research the differences between that and the G version very mainly internal so I could get away with it without too many problems. MiG-29G, Polish Air Force, 41st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Baltic Air Policing, 2012. With the new Trumpeter kit hitting the shelves, no doubt a few more of these will be sold off - hopefully I can snap another one up at some point. Tom
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