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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:


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


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:

DSC_0097 DSC_0099

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:




That's a lot of plastic!


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


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:




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!


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,


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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.



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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,


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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:


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



And both sets together:


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


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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:




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:


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:


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!




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,


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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/25/2022 at 6:40 PM, Wingco57 said:

Great update Tom. A lof of detail can be seen in those wingbays. Will you use Tsonos Megas' build as an example?

Yes, most definitely - that really is an inspirational model and a fantastic reference. 

Good evening guys and gals!

Time for an update on the big Stirling. Over the last couple of weeks I have been continuing to devote my attention to the wings. The kit parts are not the most accurate in terms of aerofoil shape and the top surfaces are too flat and don't capture the real thing particularly well. Therefore, with cunning use of spars I have made an attempt to correct this and replicate the real wing shape more accurately. 

The spars were previously cut to the correct depth following plans, and then I added a large diameter Evergreen tube to the leading edges as this was the correct shape/diameter to capture the curvature of the leading edge. The leading edge was glued first, given 24 hours to dry, and then I glued the forward spar to the upper surface. Again, this was allowed to dry thoroughly before the rear-most spar was glued. This has allowed me to bend the plastic along the full length of the wing and capture the aerofoil shape much better. It's probably easier to see what I mean with a picture:


The next problem I encountered was the fact that the nacelles were not deep enough and when the top and bottom halves were joined they were an oval shape rather than circular. This would cause major problems when it comes to adding the engines (plus it's totally inaccurate!) so I measured the diameter of the Beaufighter cooling gills and made four plastic card plates to be glued to the nacelle fronts. The area behind was then built up with P-38 and blended to shape, meaning I now have corrected and perfectly circular mounting points for the engines when the time comes:


The Revell 1/32nd Hercules engines from the Beaufighter will now fit perfectly:


Lots of blemishes still to be sorted in the above photos, but you get the idea.

With the wing halves joined I thought I'd tackle the ailerons next - Cees had removed these previously as the molding is very soft and the shapes poorly defined. First it was case or prepping them by sanding and thinning the trailing edges:


For some reason the upper surface of the port aileron was 4mm too short, so I lengthened this with some plastic card bent to the correct shape and blended in (red arrow). I next added some plastic strip to the rear of the wings (blue arrow) to ensure a nice and strong join:


Finally, they were glued in position - the fit was almost perfect which was probably more luck than carefully planning on my part!


The Stirling has very distinctive fuel cell covers in the upper wing surface - the Sunderland has the same and I made these from thin plastic card on that model and was very pleased with the effect. Although not strictly accurate, I liked the effect as it made the very large wing surface more three-dimensional and therefore I decided to do the same with the Stirling. First of all I made some card templates - these can then be drawn around and flipped over to do the reverse on the opposite wing, saving errors on expensive plastic card in the process:


These were then transferred on to plastic card before being glued to the wing surfaces:


A top tip for making wingtip lights - cut out the shape with a saw and line with plastic card:


File and sand to shape and they're ready for some clear sprue:


I've also added various other raised areas to keep things interesting and have tried to capture my scribing etc. in the light in this shot. It also shows off the effective aerofoil modification:


The undersides still have a lot of work to do on them, but I need access to the spars when it comes to joining the wings to the fuselage so these will remain as is for the time being. The wheel bays and flap area will also be finished off when the fuselage and wings are joined to avoid damage to these areas:






The uppers have really come to life with the tank covers, life raft hatch as well as various access panels:






Having corrected the aerofoil shape highlights just how out the original kit's wing position is - Cees was already on the case with this as removed the raised section on his fuselage for good reason!


And that brings you up to speed for now.

Until next time, all the best,


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  • 2 months later...

Afternoon all,

Work and life in general has conspired against me spending too much time at the bench of late, but I've been making some steady headway with the rear fuselage of the Stirling. With the rear entrance door open, I've created quite a bit more work for myself but with a model this large it's worth going the extra mile. I've spent about 5 sessions at the bench adding the ribs and stringers to the rear fuselage - the visible parts - and each had to be cut from Evergreen and added to the interior:


The port side needs a lot less as with the door being on the left, only the structure immediately around the door itself needed to be added:


I now need to make the mass of other internal details such as ammo boxes and runs, the rear spar box for the stabilisers, the Elsan toilet, flooring and many other bits and bobs. Plenty to keep me busy over the Xmas holiday...

Regards to all, 


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On 12/24/2022 at 5:25 PM, Bomber_County said:

Stunning Tom, the Stirling is my favourite 4 engine workhorse. So wish someone would do a IM of it, my skill set is nowhere close to yours. Merry Xmas….

I can guarantee that as soon as I put the finishing touches to this, one of the mainstream manufacturers will step up! 

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