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You know those occasions when you get a crazy idea and just have to give a try? Well this is one of those. There's far from any guarantee of success or completion, but fortune favours the brave and all that..! Having a real soft-spot for the Avro Shackleton I've decided to do something really stupid and have a go at scratch-building one in 1/32nd scale. As I'm sure we're all aware there's kits available in 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, but nothing in 1/32nd so the only option is to start from scratch. I have an old ID Models 1/32nd Lancaster in the stash, and always planned to convert that to a Lincoln. However, when doing some research on the Lincoln I discovered that the wing and centre section (although widened on the Shackleton) were in essence the same airframe. Therefore I thought, making a Shackleton using the Lancaster as a parts donor could be a viable option... The first phase of the project was to find some plans. The Warpaint Series on the Shackleton came up trumps, and although these plans are far from perfect they've given me enough to get started. I duly enlarged them to 1/32nd scale and cobbled together a reasonable outline for a MR2 which is the version I'm hoping to replicate. You can see the size this model will (hopefully) be when finished when you put the Airfix 1/72nd kit on top: With that done it was sourcing the key components of a project like this - various thicknesses of plastic card: And of course the ID Models Lancaster: I then set about building up the centre section from plastic card formers, using the bomb bay roof as the structural centre-point. Wing spars have been made integral to the structure for strength and stability. I'm not going to worry too much about an interior to the fuselage, as it'll all be sprayed black and next to nothing will be visible through the small fuselage windows. The forward flight deck area will be fully replicated, though: The plan is to use the Lancaster fuselage sides for the 'skinning' of the model, and other areas will be 'planked' and blended with filler from thin plastic card strips. With the fuselage centre section progressing well and having cut my teeth on making bulkheads and formers etc., I had the confidence to have a go at making the nose section. This is a lot more tricky as there are many complex shapes and subtle curves to try to replicate, especially around the extreme nose where the bomb aimer/gunner's glazing. Again, the interior won't an accurate structural representation of the real thing, but being black and only the extreme nose interior being visible there shouldn't be too many problems here. As with the fuselage, the basic shape of the formers were made from plastic card and assembled to give a skeleton that'll be skinned in due course: I haven't made the 'roof' to the nose compartment yet as some form of interior needs to be added, as well as the observer/gunner's transparencies and its associated fairings: So this is where we're currently at: And alongside the 1/72nd scale version for a 'size reality check!' As I said at the start, there's no guarantee of success in the long term, but I'm having a blast right now! Tom