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TommyP

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About TommyP

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    Tenax Sniffer (Open a window!)
  • Birthday 02/16/1982

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    London, England
  • Interests
    Vacforms
    Scratch-building
    Conversions
    WWII
    Airliners

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  1. Afternoon all... It's been a while since an update on this monster - work and a lack of mojo conspiring against any significant progress. However, I have made some in-roads into the cockpit transparencies, which are vital in capturing the look of the BUFF. You only get one canopy with the kit so there's no room for error - definitely a case of measure thrice and cut once. When the cockpit glazing had been trimmed to the correct shape, it became apparent that it was quite significantly wider than the fuselage. This is because as the fuselage immediately below the cockpit curves inwards too much as you move up to the base of the flghtdeck windows, and therefore is too narrow for the cockpit to sit on correctly. The solution was to make a plasticard 'base' which matched the shape of the bottom area of the transparencies. This was then mounted on the fuelage where the glazing will sit, and the difference in space built up with Milliput and blended to shape. This has now corrected the shape of the fuselage sides, as well as making the cockpit more or less a drop-fit: DSC_0305 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The cockpit windows have been marked out with masking tape, and are not 100% correct yet but have given a good approximation: DSC_0315 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0316 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr When compared to the original: Nose on view by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I think I'm not too far off: DSC_0309 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr A bit more fettling ahead yet, but progress is progress, no matter how small... Tom
  2. Afternoon folks... The flap aperture detailing has progressed well - the main structure is now done, with the exception of the flap motors that'll need making and adding later on: DSC_0292 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0294 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0296 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0298 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr When the final detailing has been done, these ares will be given a good spraying of zinc chromate - but that won't happen until the model is ready for painting. In other news, I've finished adding the veins to the spoilers on the wings: DSC_0300 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And these are the beautiful 3D printed wheels that a friend kindly did for me: DSC_0302 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0304 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Unfortunately the colour of the plastic means a lot of the details are lost to the camera, but believe me they're stunning! Now, better get the table cleared for dinner... DSC_0290 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Happy modelling folks, and all the best for the festivities! Tom
  3. The wheels have been designed and produced by a friend of mine - unfortunately he has no plans to produce them commercially. Since my last update work and life has got in the way of this project a bit, but I've had this monster back on the bench (well, actually the kitchen table) again recently... IMG_1694 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1693 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr As you can see I have begun working on the flap apertures in the lower wings. The ribs have been individually made from plastic card: IMG_1702 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1699 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And then the stringers and spars were fashioned and added from more plastic card and Evergreen: IMG_E1705 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_E1706 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So both inner sections have the basic structure complete, and it'll now be the outer sections getting the same treatment. It's a long and tedious task though - I've invested about 10 hours of time in the inner sections alone... Until next time, Tom
  4. It does look that way - but why I have no idea...
  5. Apparently, this aircraft was hit by a heavy hailstorm whilst operating out of Guam - hence the 'sand-blasted' finish. Since my last update I've been working on the stabilisers of the B-52. They were first removed from the backing sheet and sanded to the correct thickness, with extra attention being paid to the trailing edges to ensure they were as thin as possible. The stabilisers are very large on this model, and therefore needed a substantial spar structure in order to keep them rigid: IMG_E1266 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1267 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr They were then secured to the fuselage and the joins made good, before they received a coat of primer. I have also made the swivel plates from thin plastic card and added these to the correct locations on the fuselage sides: DSC_0216 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0214 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0211 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr We now have a model that is, more or less, structurally complete: DSC_0218 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0227 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0222 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr As you can see from the images above I've also been working on attaching the wing fuel tanks. These didn't fit well to the wing, as the shape of the pylon doesn't match the curvature of the wing. I did consider removing parts from the pylon and trimming it so that it followed the wing's curve, but this meant the tank sat too close to the wing. Therefore, I've instead opted to modify and build up the pylon and blend it in with Milliput. The image below shows what I mean - sanding and final blending still to be done: DSC_0225 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr In other news, designing of some soon-to-be printed 3D wheels is progressing well: IMG_E1386 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Until next time, Tom
  6. Thanks for the kid words, chaps. I'm currently in the process of adding the stabs and wing tanks - I'll post a picture update soon. In the meantime, I spent a great day yesterday at RIAT at RAF Fairford, and one of the star exhibits in the static display (at least for me) was this fine specimen of USAF heavy metal: IMG_1319 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr As well as taking lots of reference shots for the current aerial fit and other various lumps and bumps, what really struck me was the state of the thing. I'm used to seeing pictures of the current BUFF fleet in reasonably good condition in terms of paint finish, but this one was really heavily weathered and was showing lots of zinc-chromate primer. It looks like it had flown through a heavy hail storm or the like, as it almost has sand-blasted effect on the leading edges. It was a mess! IMG_1325 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1309 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1311 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1305 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr It looks like I can get creative with my paint job when the time comes, and although heavily-weathered finishes are not my thing, it'd certainly add some interest to an otherwise rather bland all over grey if I go down that route. Now - back to the bench... Tom
  7. The BUFF has had some more work done on the engines - I've sanded and shaped the home-made upper, over-wing parts of the pylons and all look good under some primer: DSC_0186 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0187 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0190 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Shaping the pylons on the underside was a lot more tricky as they are all molded identical, but of course the inner pylons have a very different shape due to the change in shape as you travel down the length of the wing: DSC_0201 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I've also finished detailing the rear of the bypass sections: DSC_0195 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0199 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr It was a bit of a faff opening these up but worth the effort. And we now have something really taking on the form of the venerable BUFF: DSC_0205 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0192 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr As you can see, however, the tail feathers are conspicuous by their absence... better get sanding! Until next time, Tom
  8. You're very kind - but kits like this just require a little more planning ahead and thinking outside the box. They're well within the skill range of most modellers, it's just that many are put off by the vacformed parts which is a shame as they are great fun. Anyway, here's a few quick phone pictures of the engines now they've been installed: IMG_1247 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I'm in the process of making the upper part of the pylons that extend over the wing as these are not provided in the kit - plastic card and Millput is the order of the day. These are yet to be sanded to their final shape: IMG_1248 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Larger working area needed: IMG_1246 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I'm in the process of preparing the wing fuel tanks at the moment so hopefully another update soon. Tom
  9. I've been pondering this - there were some B-52Hs in at RAF Fairford a few months back and they all have had the 'bulge' removed - my kit is for Memphis Belle IV which I photographed at RAF Mildenhall a few years back and it does still have the fairing fitted so I may go for as it was in about 1995(ish). Decisions, decisions... I've been having a play with the engines today. I didn't realise that the engines on the real H-models have such a 'nose-up' attitude on the wing: (pictures used for illustrative purposes only) IMG_1236 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1237 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So I've been doing some careful trimming of the kit-supplied pylons in order to get both a decent fit to the wing as well as replicating the angle at which they sit: IMG_E1234 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So far, so good... IMG_1233 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Sanger have also molded the four pylons as identical pieces - in fact on the real aircraft the inboard/outboard pylons have a different shape due to the change in profile of the wing as you move towards the tip so I've been doing quite a bit of head-scratching today. I'll have some more pictures of my progress soon. Until next time, Tom
  10. The school holidays are upon us now so the BUFF has been seeing a little action... I've not been happy with the rear turret set up, and I feel the kit's parts don't accurately resemble the real aircraft. Please excuse the terrible photo here (quick snap with the phone camera that I didn't realise was so out of focus) but as you can see... IMG_1127 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr ... it's not even close to the real deal... Tail Turret by Thomas Probert, on Flickr (Used for illustrative purposes only) So, it was out with the hacksaw, and I removed the kit-supplied turret and began by building up the basic underlying structure with some scrap plastic card and some brass tubing for the gun housing: IMG_1135 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr This was then all blended with filler, and sanded to shape. I then added the radar domes from some scrap 500lb bomb noses as the kit parts were too small: DSC_0172 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Pretty happy with that - we'll see what it looks like under some primer in due course. As I explained in my earlier update, the kit panel lines are rather inconsistent and they've all been filled and an initial coat of primer applied. I've now begun to scribe my own panel detail onto the model - here's the nose: DSC_0179 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0160 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Undersides: DSC_0168 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0177 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The mid-section join has disappeared which is a bonus: DSC_0181 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I've begun working on the spoilers - vanes still to be added: DSC_0174 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr She's looking a bit of a mess at the moment, but I can assure to that progress is being made: DSC_0158 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Until next time, Tom
  11. Evening all, Time for a BUFF update.... With the school term being in full swing time at the bench has been a little limited, but the wings are now on the model is really starting to take shape. The spars I'd spent hours making previously meant the winds simply slid over them and resulted in a very solid union with the fuselage. The fit wasn't too bad, but in true vacform style the wing roots on the fuselage were shorter in length than the wings themselves, so there was a lot of building up and shaping with Milliput to level things out: IMG_1036 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Once under a quick lick of paint, the joins look pretty good and capture the shape of the real aircraft quite nicely: IMG_1053 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1051 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr We've now got something starting to resemble Boeing's finest: IMG_1047 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_1049 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr As a size-reality check... that's a 1/24th Harrier: IMG_1055 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr Until next time, Tom
  12. The last few sessions at the bench have focused on the vertical stabiliser. After the parts were removed from the backing sheet and sanded to the correct depth, I set about adding some internal bracing using 1mm plastic card. I left these protruding from the base, as these extensions will be inserted into the fuselage as an anchor. I also opened up and boxed in the distinctive intake on the leading edge of the fin: IMG_0986 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr After careful consultation of plans, I opened up two slots on the fuselage top so that the fin anchor points could slide into place: IMG_0991 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And hey presto - a fin that fits! IMG_0989 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr There'll be a quick lick of filler needed around the base, but the fit is excellent. This will probably be the last update for a while as I return to teaching on Tuesday - books to mark and lessons to plan will mean a lot less time at the bench... Tom
  13. I've had a bit of a marathon sanding and filling session over the last couple of days. As usual with these sorts of projects, I've used my trusty P38 automotive filler as it covers large areas well, dries quickly, and is very easy to sand. The only problem is, it creates an awful lot of dust, so to avoid getting on the wrong side of the good lady wife, the kitchen sink is the best place to tackle such tasks: IMG_0962 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I'm really pleased with how the main landing gear bays are shaping up: DSC_0121 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The left side bays have been blended in nicely after their move forward: DSC_0113 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I've also made and added the ALQ-117 pods on either side of the nose: DSC_0114 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0117 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The tail turret has taken a lot of blending, and the panel detail will all need to be replaced here: DSC_0119 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So here we are now - underside: DSC_0111 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr And the upper side: DSC_0110 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr There's still a fair few blemishes to sort, and I also need to do a full re-scribe, but I think I might tackle the fin next and ensuring a strong join. Until next time, Tom
  14. I've been having a play withe the nose radome, which is more pointed on the later G and H models. This kit's nose is more like that seen on the A to early G model, so some surgery has been needed. I did consider slicing the entire nose off, but it actually worked better using the kit's nose as a starting point, and adding the basic shape of the extension using plastic card. The plans Sanger give were useful in doing this, and it didn't take long to replicate a more H-like radome shape: IMG_0916 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0915 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The gaps were then filled with Milliput and when dry, sanded to shape. When the plastic card formers begin to appear, you know you're close: DSC_0102 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr However, there is a problem, as I think the lower nose area (circled below) is incorrectly shaped and is too bulbous - it's almost as if the kit's nose is like a hamster with its cheeks full. However, there'd need to be some serious surgery to sort this - the kind of surgery that I'm not unwilling to take as I do plan to have this model finished sometime this century... Nose by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I've had a bit of a play with the camera fairings on the chin, and the look of the nose is improved with these in place. Note the canopy has not been trimmed to the correct shape as of yet, hence it sits too high at the moment: IMG_0951 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0949 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr There's still some jamming pods and sensors to add to this area, and then I'll have a look at how it looks under some primer. Until next time, Tom
  15. The fuselage is now joined - lots of tabs were added along the mating surfaces and on the whole, I've got a pretty good join. Considering the size of the parts, they matched well. As this picture shows, there'll still be quite a bit of filler needed (par for the course with these sorts of kits) but nothing of real concern: IMG_0906 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The H-model tail turret has also been added to the rear fuselage: IMG_0907 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I've also lined the openings for the undercarriage bays so they are more representative of the real aircraft: IMG_0908 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0909 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr IMG_0910 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr So now it's out with the filler... Until next time, Tom
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