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Aoshima Thunderbird 3 ( Progress 28/10)

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I was lucky enough to be given an Aoshima Thunderbird 3 for my birthday this year.  I have finally gotten time to clear the bench and start having a go at it.


The kit is relatively simple and goes together pretty well but the surface finish is very slick and shiny and I have spent a fair bit of time block sanding everything down.  While sanding I noted a fair few wavy bits in the surface and the white engine pod caps need a lot of work to get them to smoothly to the main pods.  Nothing major and I doubt I'll need any putty at all just lots of sanding and checking fit and then more sanding.  I have drilled out some of the retros and added a few grubbins here and there.  I'm not too fussed if I cannot get it totally screen accurate but I do want to look the part.  Those centre section fins will be a challenge as I'm just finishing the block sanding on them, tedious but I think it will look better in the end. I note that they need a painted yellow stripe too!


I'm almost to the primer stage and I have yet to work out the finished colour as I have a few orange - red or red - orange shades to choice from.  Right now I'm concentrating on getting the bird prepped and primed ( it's just pinned together right now) as I would like to work on it as subassemblies for painting and decaling.  


Here's where I'm up to so far.






Lots of fun and I just love that ship.  


I like this kit so much I'm going to track down a TB2 for good measure :)



A little progress.


This little kit is kicking my behind....  But some progress being made none the less.  Not intiely happy with my work on this one but I do so like the subject I'm going to push through and finish her even if it's not my best.


Paint on the engines..




Rough I know but I'm not too good at the shiny stuff.


Docking collar;  Rough as well but I think I can tweak it a bit.




Now the bit that is really doing my head in.


The long, thin blue "U" shaped decals that go around all the fins on the centre section.  I just knew that I had no hope of getting them all straight, plumb to the centre line and evenly spaced around the circumference without some guides or help.  The kit only has a series of small square holes that the ends of the fins hook into.  I added a scribed line at what I thought to be the bottom of the 'u' and some very small styrene strips which will set under each fin.  I took ages to try and get all the strips straight, plumb and evenly spaced.  They are okay and with a lot of cursing and patience I'm laying each decal in place and hoping they don't look kack.  






This has been hours of work and I just hope I don;t stuff it up.  There are no spares on the decal sheet and I find the decals brittle and unresponsive to any of the softeners I've tried on them.  So far one decal is pretty lame and the others are okay.  If I survive putting on the rest The model should at least look okay.  I'm certainly not rushing , just one or two a night to keep from screwing up.  I still have to paint the yellow stripes on all the fins but I'll worry about that latter.


Thanks for looking in.



Edited by ScanmanDan
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Well I'm glad that's done   Those blue decals are a pain but after having several break up into pieces and some just not wanting to play nice I think I got them down okay.  I have started the rest of the decaling and adding little nonsense bits to make it look a bit busy.  Don't look too close as they are from a 1/48 scale bf-109 sheet and so are all in german ;).  I have almost finished the fins.  I scribed a line 2mm from the end of each as I'm painting the yellow tips because I just can't handle many more decals.  I'm having a lot more fun how and I hope to get the fins on soon.  That said I'm not looking forward to alining all those fins 90 degrees to the body of the bottom stage.










Thanks for looking in.



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So we are still a go!  

Thanks for all the kind comments, I hope you are having fun because I'm still smiling!




Spent a bit more time bashing a little base to hopefully partially hide the rocket on a stick look.  Should have gone bigger or smaller but this is where I'm at.  I've started to put the main assemblies together using 5-minute epoxy as it's clear and gives me some time to adjust bits before it grabs.  I'm very glad I pined the three rocket pods with very thin stiff brass wire as they went on without a fuss.  I think they are straight, true and evenly spaced....  The atomic core fins will be a bit of a chore to get straight and even but I think if I just keep my nerve and don't rush I'll be okay.  Lots more little stuff I want to do but I feel it's starting to look okay.  Pics of progress so far.






Thanks for looking in.



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Fins are finally on and came out better than I though they would.  I've started with some detail painting and some panel lines but more to come.  Just want to get the last of the decals on then it's just the little stuff 







Still a fun build and I should get her done soon.  Thanks for looking in.



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