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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. 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
  2. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    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
  3. ThomasProbert

    Revell's new 1/32nd scale Spitfire MkIXc

    I used Humbrol's decalfix.
  4. ThomasProbert

    Revell's new 1/32nd scale Spitfire MkIXc

    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.
  5. 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
  6. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    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
  7. Fantastic as always, Cees. Good to see the Manchester getting some bench-time. Tom
  8. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    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
  9. 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
  10. Still not finished yet, Cees? All joking aside, it's good to see some progress again. I'm sure you're like me and pick up long term projects like this as and when the mood takes. Slow and steady wins the race! Tom
  11. ThomasProbert

    Revell Spitfire IX is out

    Thanks for the pictures, Cees. I've got this kit on order and am very much looking forward to it being delivered so I can get cracking. I recently built the MkII and loved it - I'm sure the MkIX will be the same. For 30 of my finest English Pounds you can't go wrong really! Tom
  12. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    Cheers, chaps! And yes, she's getting rather tricky to handle. Notice both fins are off as one took an unscheduled encounter with the wall adjacent to the bench, and thus I removed the other to protect it whilst there's still sanding and filling to do...
  13. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    Evening everyone Not a lot of progress to report on the big Shackleton project, but work has been going on, albeit at a glacial pace... I've been getting the wing surfaces sorted, as after the outer wings were attached a coat of filler-primer revealed a multitude of sins to be sorted. The original plastic of the Lancaster kit was quite bumpy from the start, and the rather rudimentary panel detailing needed to go, too. So, the pictures you see below are the results of three coats of filler-primer that have now been sanded back and polished, to leave me with a lovely and smooth surface for the final priming: I've also begun the process of marking out the position of the outboard nacelles in preparation to make those: Have I said before that this model is rather large? Here's a 1/32nd Spitfire snuggled up and shows the massive span of this thing - it's not far short of the 1/32nd B-29 I did a few years back: Not the most enthralling of updates, but I wanted to assure you that this project is still ticking along slowly... On a final note, does anyone know of a good source of plans for the radome set-up on the AEW2? I'm going to redo my earlier one and need a lower, side, front and rear profile of the 'dome itself is anyone knows of a good set of drawings? Until next time, Tom
  14. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd Spitfire MkIIa

    I fancied a quick and easy project and seeing Spitfires overhead daily during the summer months (I'm under the approach to Biggin Hill) I didn't need much inspiration to dig this one out of the attic This model simply fell together and was an absolute joy - construction of the main airframe only took a few evenings and I only used a smidgen of filler at the wing to fuselage join. Decals were from EagleCal and I also added the MDC corrected spinner and oil cooler,to more accurately replicate a MkIIa. The model depicts P8088 of 118Sqn during April 1941. All paints were Xtracolour enamels finished with Humbrol Matt Varnish. I'm really looking forward to the MkIX that Revell are about to release to go with this one. All the best, Tom
  15. ThomasProbert

    1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

    Wing Update Part II Attaching the outer wing sections was done by cutting slits in the inner wing ends and allowing the spar stubs from the outer wings to slide through and interlock with the inner wing spars I'd made earlier in the build. The outer sections are quite chunky, and I wasn't confident that normal poly cement or superglue would be strong enough in the longer term, so instead I've used this stuff: It's actually are two-part exposy-resin glue that dries so hard it's like concrete. It can be sanded/sculpted and with a workable drying time of 20 minutes, it allowed me to set the wings level and then they could be left overnight to harden. The join is now absolutely solid, and there's very little flex across the entire length of the wing which is rather pleasing for a model of this span. It was important to get the correct dihedral, and because the Shackleton's outer wing sections have a less pronounced upward lift than the Lancaster, the fact I was using Lancaster wings meant I needed to modify the join - you can see in the picture below the plastic card spacers I added to each wing to get the correct angle: I then set about blending the inner and outer sections together, and applied a liberal coating of my trusty P38. This was then sanded back over a couple of evenings. Building a model this size requires thinking out of the box, and sanding it over the sink was the only option because 1) it keeps the amount of dust to a minimum and 2) it's one of the only spaces big enough to maneuver it properly! The wife wasn't best pleased, but I explained this was a better option than coating the rest of the house in an inch or two of sanding dust... And here we are - it's suddenly become a lot bigger... about three-and-half-feet-across-the-wings-bigger! You may have noticed that the fins are missing - this was because one was broken off when it had a too-closer encounter with the wall adjacent to my workbench, and thus I removed the other one as well before that took some irreparable damage, too. They will be reattached when the main filling and sanding is complete. In the photo you can see the amount of filler needed to correct the warping on the left wing - it's more or less corrected now but it will be clearer to see if further work is needed when it's been primed: So the next step will be to have a bash at the outboard engine nacelles... should be fun Until next time, Tom