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About ThomasProbert

  • 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. Afternoon all, Progress on this build has slowed somewhat after returning to teaching for the new academic year, so evenings have been taken up with marking books and planning lessons. It's such a shame when work gets in the way of one's hobby. However I've been working on the floats when time allows, so thought I'd share some pictures... The basic shapes were removed from their backing sheet with a sharp blade. I hold it at a 45-degree angle and score around the part numerous times before snapping it free. It then means there's only a very small 'lip' of plastic needing to be removed which cuts down on the sanding time significantly: To aid the gluing together of the parts I lined one half of each float with a thin plastic card tab: The floats are obviously going to be positioned on the outboard sections of the wing in quite a vulnerable position, so I made a trip to my local model shop and bought some alloy tube, helpfully in the shape of an aerofoil like the real thing. This will provide plenty of strength if they inadvertently get a whack! Before joining the floats together I worked out the position of the struts using the plans, before securing them in place using Araldite Epoxy glue: Here are the floats now together and the struts cut to the correct length. Everything about this model is massive - here's a pot of Tamiya paint as a useful size reference: I am now going to need to scribe and detail the floats before working out a plan to attach them to the wings and getting a nice and strong join. Stay tuned! Until next time, Tom
  2. You were a life-saver, Mark - thank you once again! Evening boys and girls, It's been a glorious sunny day here in my corner of Kent so I got the camera out and snapped some pictures of the recently installed engines. With each 'power-egg' complete it was just a case of adding them to wing-section of each nacelle. The Revell Beaufighter cowl flaps were an absolutely perfect fit for the kit's forward firewall, so it was just a case of applying some Araldite to the inside surfaces of the cowl flaps and sliding them into place. The relatively slow drying time of the epoxy glue meant I had ample time to ensure each engine was aligned correctly, both with the plans and each other. When installing them, I didn't realise that the engines canted outboard at such an angle, but references confirmed this was the case. It certainly looks a little strange that the thrust line is so off central, and I presume there is a valid reason for it, too! Anyway, on to the pictures... As you can see the fit is nice and snug, and engine no.1 looks the part now it's hung on the wing. The early MkII-style straight exhausts will be made and added later: Engines 3 and 4 - lots of care was taken to align the engines carefully during installation: When I was hacking about with the kit-supplied nacelles I removed and kept the very crude carburettor intakes in the hope I could make something useable from them - as you can see from the three finished intakes at the top of the picture they scrubbed up fine: These were than glued in position on the lower section of each nacelle: She's really starting to take shape now: Thanks for stopping by folks, and stay safe! Until next time, Tom
  3. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words, chaps! A little more progress to share on the Sunderland - I've been working on the engines of late which has not been the most fun (I hate engines and cockpits!) but I'm at a stage where they are ready for installation to the airframe. Sunderland IIs were powered by the Bristol Pegasus, of which aftermarket options were very expensive and to fit four to model would have cost me nearly £100! Therefore I did originally plan to modify the Revell 1/32nd Hercules engines from a Beaufighter, but being two row seven cylinder engines, that was going to be quite a challenge. With the Pegasus being a single row nine cylinder set up, a better starting point would have been a Wright Cyclone and thankfully a fellow forum member came to the rescue (thanks, Mark!) and sent me a set of his unused HK Models' B-17 engines. The reduction gear housing more closely resembles the Hercules set up, however, so I used the HK cylinders and the Revell Hercules reduction gear - not perfectly correct but close enough... The Pegasus is actually, at least at first glance, a quite simple engine to replicate (used for illustration purposes only): I won't have to worry about detailing the cylinder heads as these will all be hidden by the cowling, so it would just be a case of adding the single push-rods. First up I sprayed the inside of the cowlings black and then I needed to check the cylinders fitted inside the cowlings properly - in the picture below you can see they sit quite happily in the correct position and actually needed no glue to hold them there. The reduction gear housing is just sitting on the cylinders to get the 'sit' of the engine correct in regard to clearance for the propeller: I then painted the cylinders and reduction housing, and made the pushrods from Evergreen before adding and painting: A final test fit in the cowling - as you can see not much can actually be seen so the detail I've added is quite adequate: All four 'power eggs' are now complete, with the engines secured with Araldite Epoxy to ensure they don't fall into the nacelle: Next up will be installing these onto the wing... stay tuned. All the best, Tom
  4. Looking mightily impressive, Cees. Any more progress on the tail feathers? Don’t keep us waiting too long... Tom
  5. Greetings all, This has been a long-time 'as and when' project that I completed this weekend - Tamiya's 1/32nd F-4J finished as an F-4J(UK) of the famous 74 'Tiger Squadron' in the mid-1980's. It was built more or less out of the box, but with Mastercasters' FOD covers and YellowHammer decals. Paints were all Xtracolor enamels. It's the first time I have added crew figures to a model as my daughter requested that the pilots should be in it. I might add crews in the future as it adds a bit of life to the cockpit! All the best, Tom
  6. Greetings ladies and gentlemen, Another Sunderland update for you - lots of time has been spent at the bench but unfortunately there's not a lot to show for it... just four engine cowlings that have taken a while to make. The parts supplied in the kit are very basic indeed (see picture below) and to be honest wouldn't cut it if I used them as they came. There has been an effort to mold the exhausts, cowl flaps and carburetor intake but the details are very soft and not to a standard I'm aiming for. Therefore, they'd have to go. Over the years I've amassed a good collection of Revell 1/32nd Beaufighter engine parts as they always come in useful for builds such as these - originally I had intended to use them for a 1/32nd Stirling (a project that's stalled) but they have also come in very useful for this build. The Sunderland's Bristol Pegasus engine cowling is very similar to the Hercules in the fact that is uses the same forward exhaust collector ring and cowl flap set up. The cowling itself is slightly shorter front-rear due to the Pegasus being single row and the Hercules twin-row, but other than that there's lots that is interchangeable. I've also now got a set of 1/32nd Wright Cyclone cylinders (thanks, Mark!) that will form the basis for a Pegasus conversion - as well as the Beaufighter parts mentioned above. Pictured too are the kit cowlings... The first, and rather brutal task, was to remove the centre-section of cowling from the kit parts. This will ensure the engine is the correct length front-rear, and was simply done with a hacksaw. The kit exhaust and intakes will also be removed as I will make replacements for these myself: I then carefully trimmed all of the cowling parts to ensure they were all of identical size, and glued them to the Revell cowl flap parts, bit by bit: I then replaced the missing parts where the exhaust and intakes were molded with plastic card, heated slightly and curved to match the cowling parts, and then added the Revell collector ring which fitted almost perfectly: All the joins were then made good with White Milliput, and some raised detail such as the hinges for the cowling covers were added from Evergreen strip. After about five hours of graft some decent-looking cowlings began to emerge: You may notice that the engine second from right has its exhaust positioned at 9 o'clock rather than 12 o'clock as the others do - this is because the number 2 engine's exhaust goes into the leading edge of the wing before changing direction and leaving the upper surface of the wing vertically. I believe this is something to do with a heat-exchange system for the cabin heating - but those more in the know about Sunderlands may be able to correct me on that! With the basic structure of the nacelles complete, I decided to give them a quick splash of primer. Finding some way of holding them whilst spraying is often a challenge, but then I stumbled upon an idea: Sometimes I even amaze myself at my own genius..! Here we have all four nacelles primed: And here is how they'll look once installed on the wing: Well 'appy with that! I now need to tackle the engines themselves, as well as paint the interiors of the nacelles before I can install them permanently. Until next time, Tom
  7. Good news! I have a set of HK models B-17 engines in their way - thanks, Mark - so I can get modifying them as soon as they arrive. I have also done some test fitting of the Revell 1/32 Beaufighter cowl flaps and exhaust collector ring and it appears that they will fit perfectly - they are almost identical between the Hercules and Pegasus so that’s good news. Hopefully another more in-depth update soon! Tom
  8. Evening all, As the title suggests, I wonder if anyone has used aftermarket engines for the HK Fortress and therefore has the kit engines going spare? I’m after the cylinders specifically, as a starting point for a conversion to a Bristol Pegasus for a 1/32 Sunderland project. If you can help, do let me know and we can work out costings, etc. I’m based in SE England. Regards, Tom
  9. Thanks for your thoughts on the engines - I’m wondering if anyone has a spare set of HK Models B-17 engines as the Cyclone will be a good starting point to modify into a Pegasus. If someone has used an aftermarket set, they may have the cylinders going spare. We’ll see. If not I’ll have to make my own.
  10. This is great news, Cees - I can't wait to see this back on track! Tom
  11. I have considered that - I'm sure I have a set of Wright Cyclones from the HK Fortress somewhere but I can't find them anywhere...
  12. Any updates on the magnificent project, Cees? I keep popping by for my Stirling fix, it no luck 😕
  13. Afternoon guys and gals, Another update for you - can you tell I'm a teacher on school holidays? I've been working on the last of the major airframe construction which has been the vertical stabiliser. Here's how it comes in its raw form: As usual, I had to scribe on the surface details and then I set about making some internal reinforcements. Being such a massive fin, I made some beefy spars from plastic card and used some old scrap sprue to reinforce and help the bonding of the leading edge. The spars were made to protrude from the base of the fin, as they would then be attached through the top of the fuselage and secured to the spar for the stabilisers using Araldite Epoxy glue for a really solid joint: The fin was then blended into the upper fuselage with car body filler, polished and then the missing and damaged panel detail reinstated. Unfortunately, the distinctive curved fairing at the lower rear of the fin was missing in the kit, so I fashioned the basic shape of the fillet from plastic card and blended everything in with filler - see the red arrow below. This will still need some more tweaking when I work on the turret as it's actually quite a complex shape at the back end: I've also added some Evergreen ribbing on the rudder in an attempt to match the elevators - this has since been sanded right back and is much more subtle: It's now looking more and more like a Sunderland: It's good to get the main construction done and I've been on a bit of a roll... the next logical step will be the engines so I'm off to do some head-scratching about how I can convert a 14-cylinder Hercules engine (from the Revell 1/32nd Beaufighter) into a 9-cylinder Pegasus. Should be fun! Until next time, Tom
  14. Or you could just build it and enjoy it for what is... a model that looks surprisingly like a P-51B when done 🙂
  15. That's a few ways to describe it, Peter. Interestingly, my wife has a few others - that I won't repeat here, being a family site and all... 🙄
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