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1/32 Short Stirling - take 2!


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Evening all :)

With the waters now settled on my 1/32nd Sunderland build, I thought it about time to start another big vacform... well, to be exact, continue with a long stalled project from a few years ago. I started this Tigger (ex ID Models) vac of the Short Stirling about 5 or 6 years ago and ran out steam, and it had been consigned to the loft since I boxed it up and got distracted with something else. 

A conversation a few months ago with @Wingco57 about the Stirling led him to offer me his also-stalled project with the promise that I'd continue his excellent start and get it finished - an offer I grabbed with both hands considering the excellent start he's made to the cockpit interior which is my least favourite part of building models such as these. I was in the Netherlands with the family last week, to I popped in to see him and picked the beast up - thanks again, Cees!

I've since been for a rummage in the loft and dug my kit out, and now combining the two means I'm confident that I can finally get the job done. So here's where we're at...

This is how far Cees had got with his fuselage:

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And how far I'd got with mine, which as you can see is not very:

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Cees is a wonderfully talented modeller and scratch-builder and has made some beautiful progress with the cockpit area - a great base for me to continue working on:

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Here are the wings I'd started a few years back - at the time I decided to open up the wing and reveal some of the interior detail. I like to think I've improved my scratch-building skills since then so instead I'll use the wings from Cees' kit and start again:

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That's a lot of plastic!

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Here are the other parts that include the engine nacelles, stabs and fin, etc - pretty basic stuff but perfectly workable:

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Cees has kindly given me a supply of Bristol Hercules engines as well as various HK Lancaster turret parts which will come in very useful and reduce the amount of scratch-building needed in the future:

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So... with both my earlier work and Cees' more recent efforts, I certainly have something Stirling shaped which is a great start (or point to continue from) for this project so I'm ready to dive back in!

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The plan is to do a late MkIII variant with open bomb bays and a full bomb-load - squadron and specific aircraft yet to be decided. I'm really not looking forward to tackling the landing gear, but that's a problem for another day. 

Updates are likely to sporadic as the new school term starts imminently but I'll do my best to keep those interested updated on my progress. 

All the best,

Tom

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The Mighty Stirling the RAF's first 4 engined "heavy" sadly neglected in anything but 1/72 scale.

I loved my Airfix kit but in those days I was that small it probably felt like 1/32 scale does to me today.

Will be great to see this one progress.

Cheers

Dennis

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've not had the most amount of time for modelling over the last couple of weeks due to work commitments, but I've been tinkering with the fuselage.

I've added the fuselage windows and cut out the bomb bays and rear undercarriage bays:

Fuse 1

In a moment of madness I've also opened up the rear crew entry door and will add some detail in there:

Fuse 2

One of the most challenging part of building kits such as these is the joining of the fuselage halves - or any surface for that matter - as there are obviously no locating pins and the plastic is quite a bit thinner than normal injection-molded kits. A really simple solution is to add plastic card tabs on alternating sides as you go along the fuselage mating areas:

Fuse 3

...which means when it's time to mate the fuselage halves together, you get a nice area for glue ad you create a very strong join:

Fuse 4

And the underside:

Fuse 5

The next task will be to fashion some interior bulkheads to give the fuselage strength and keep everything nice and rigid. Stay tuned!

All the best,

Tom

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Absolutely awesome!  I’ve always loved the big, hulking Stirling, and I’ll be following this one very closely! 
 

If I ever decide to build a large vac kit, the Stirling will be the one I build. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little progress over the last week - I've been having a play with the wings whilst I wait for some Evergreen strip to be delivered to rib the rear fuselage. I've sanded the wings to the correct depth and removed the bomb cells in the wings as I plan on having these open:

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The undercarriage bays will also be removed but I want to keep the structural integrity whilst I scribe the panel lines, etc. 

Uppers:

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And both sets together:

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I see lots of scribing and making of wing spars in the my future!

Tom

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Afternoon all,

A productive week on the Stirling, mainly focused around making the internal structures of the wings and scribing the basic panel detail on the lower wing surfaces. Although vacs such as these are moulded in lovely thick plastic, due to the sheer size of the parts they need lots of strengthening to ensure they don't sag and collapse over time. 1.5mm plastic card is my 'go-to' for this, as it provides ample strength whilst being easy to cut and shape. 

I've discovered that the kit wings are actually a little too thin from top to bottom, so I have made up for this by making the spars the correct depth and I'll build up the leading edges when I comes to mating to wing halves to fix this shortfall. This will also improve the aerofoil shape of the wing as again I think the kit parts are a little off and the upper surfaces too flat. 

Here you can see the substantial spars in place, as well as the wheel bays:

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The wheel bays themselves are actually quite complex structures of square and tubular spars and I've begun replicating these from Evergreen. It's easier to deal with the deepest part of the bays whilst the wings are free of the fuselage:

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The forward-most section of the bays appears to have some form of hydraulic tanks and bits of tubular structure but I need to find some clearer pictures of this area. Also, as it's quite accessible I will add this once the main construction is compete as it will be no doubt be prone to damage whilst I'm handling the beast:

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So here we are as of today - spars in and complete and the basics of the wheel bays done too. There'll be many an hour spent in here in the future, but progress is progress!

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I think I'll have a look at the upper wing surfaces next before thinking about joining the top and bottom halves. Fun times!

Until next time,

Tom

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