Aoshima Super Oversize Thunderbird 2 WIP

rastanz

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Another Gerry Anderson themed kit on the work bench, the Aoshima non-scale Super Oversize Thunderbird 2.

After doing a dry fit, it measures 13" in length (nose to tail), 10" wide (wing tip to wing tip) and 3.5" in height (base to top of tailplane), with that being said, the kit is a real dog of a kit, misalignment's all over, fit issues, seams the size of the grand canyon, sink marks the depth of san andreas fault just to name a few.

My approach to this will be focused on fixing most of the exterior details as the pod will be in a fix position inside the main fuselage which presents problems in itself.

The pod is held in place simply by pressure from the forward and rear sections of the main fuselage which are slightly tapered inward, the fit is tight and a bit on the worrisome side because of this vice grip like pressure when the pod is in place it creates warping of the main fuselage causing misalignment's of the little nub inserts, it raises the question how difficult the pod would be to mount after it's been painted.

First photo's show the gap between the side of the pod and the twin-boom fuselage and the sink mark pits.



The lower part of the pod has openings for wheels? yes, I guess it's suppose to be a toy. I'll fill them in with some styrene.



And then there's the raised detail of the numbers on the tail piece's, the wings and above and below the cockpit.



Easily solved simply by sanding it away and rescribing in the panel lines



I turned my attention to the cockpit, firstly by sanding away the raised number 2.

The cockpit windows are set too high and too large on the forward fuselage so I filled in the top quarters with a bit of styrene strip and putty, I'll work on this area a little more and add a second thin layer of putty.

Filled in the noticeably large sink pit along one side of the pod.



I've started the time consuming task of sanding away the inner sections to relieve some of the stress and even sanding the pod itself which is slowly starting to become much easier to mount with less force.

The pod fit is misaligned, there's a noticeable 'step' along the sides when the top and lower halves are in place, it seems the top half is about a millimetre narrower than the bottom half.

Tried a couple of techniques with each of them failing, the warm water trick and heat gun treatment only heated the areas and since the upper half is a solid piece of plastic, it wouldn't keep it's modified position and kept returning to it's original shape.

The misalignment is only around the middle section of the pod so I used a couple of piece's of wooden dowels acting like braces mounted on the inside to push the wall of the pods to the same width of the lower half.

I had to be careful that I didn't add to any further warpage to both the pod and the main fuselage and it would still be easy to mount.



The dowels worked out fine and the pins now line up. Still a ton of work to be done on this mostly all to do with alignment.

Scratch built some replacement intakes, the originals have holes in them for firing missiles, ummm, yeah, I think it was a random addon to further enhance the toyish factor of the kit? but anyway, GONE are those silly things :p



The kit has presented a nice challenge for me for it is riddled with little surprises... well, back to sanding.
 
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rastanz

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Small update:

My original plan was to fix the pod in place but scrapped that because I needed somewhere to stash the battery for the lighting and the only ideal place I could think of was in behind the cockpit, so I decided to make the pod removable.

Revisited some earlier work, the first pair of intakes I made were taken from the measurements and details of the original kit part, after stepping back and looking at both my reference and my work I decided to redo them as they didn't fill the area to my liking and the area looked too bare.

Top = copy of kit part
Middle = original kit part
Bottom = redone



I've cut out a section of the cockpit as that is where I will fix the electronics, battery holder and the on/off switch, I also cut away a section of the rear wall to add some detailing. Not going for anything fancy, just some basic lighting.

Patched up the hole on the bottom half of the pod which is still wip.




Cut out and narrowed the cockpit windows as the original windows looked too big, the narrower windows make the model look more in scale and cut open the lower observation windows.

Still lots of puttying and sanding to be done plus since I opened up the windows, I'll need to scratch build the cockpit interior.



Slow moving as I've had to put a lot of thought into the adjustments since fixing one thing messes up another... this kit is a son of a bish.
 
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SF_Ziggurat

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Howdy! New to the forums, and I went right to the Sci-Fi section, as vintage SF is my thing. I was so happy to see someone building the legendary Thunderbird 2! A good many of the Japanese SF kits, as you mentioned, were designed to be little more than unassembled toys, and as such, I wish you luck in your Herculean task of trying to “fix” this beautiful toy! I built the smaller Imai TB 2 model back in the 1960s, and thought the big rubber wheels on the bottom of the Pod were absolutely hilarious!
 
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Belugawrx

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Nice work so far, I'll be following your build, I loved this show as a kid !
 

rastanz

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Excellent !

Thanks mate, it's slow moving but getting there :)

Howdy! New to the forums, and I went right to the Sci-Fi section, as vintage SF is my thing. I was so happy to see someone building the legendary Thunderbird 2! A good many of the Japanese SF kits, as you mentioned, were designed to be little more than unassembled toys, and as such, I wish you luck in your Herculean task of trying to “fix” this beautiful toy! I built the smaller Imai TB 2 model back in the 1960s, and thought the big rubber wheels on the bottom of the Pod were absolutely hilarious!

Hi Ziggurat and welcome to the forums, nice of you to pop by and share a few words of your Imai TB2.

I thought I'd give myself a bit of a challenge with this kit and offer it a little TLC as I've read a lot of negative reviews about it. The kit is a nice size and will make a nice display piece on my shelf, those big rubber wheels are indeed hilarious :D

Nice work so far, I'll be following your build, I loved this show as a kid !

Thanks, also a fav show of mine as a kid.

Small update:

Been working on building some of the inner details, I completed the main cockpit area and I think I got the scale right to suit the windows which I heightened just a little more.

I use reference photo's from the De Agostini 1/144 scale version as they displayed all the angles I needed to help with scratch building the cockpit as well as the forward and rear wall panels.

It's not highly detailed as I just wanted a space filler.



The rear wall panel will be fixed position but I had to get a little inventive with the forward panel as I wanted to house the 9 volt power source behind the wall of the cockpit, so the forward panel had to be removable.

Using a sheet of styrene, I cut out two small tabs then drilled a hole in each just big enough for a tiny neodymium magnet to sit inside, I glued one tab to the cockpit section and the other to the backside of the wall panel.

It worked out okay and plops in place nice and solid, just as long as I have access to the battery and switch, I'm happy.

Oh yeah, about the switch being internal, I kinda puttied up all the holes including the one for the switch for I didn't want it to be seen poking out anywhere on the exterior.





Can't really seal this up yet as I need to paint the cockpit and install the lighting which is still on it's way to me in the post.

Cheers :cool:
 

urumomo

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Dang , man - that's awesome work with those bulkheads and the cockpit is fantastic !
 

rastanz

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Dang , man - that's awesome work with those bulkheads and the cockpit is fantastic !
Thanks, having fun with it.

Nice work with the added details
Thank you.


Tiny update:

My LED's haven't arrived in the mail yet so I went and built the lower section under the cockpit.

The hand rails were quite easy using some really thin styrene rod, the truss pieces were simply measure, cut then glue but getting them at the proper angle (since the underside slants upward) and levelling the floor was a small task. Haven't found any decent reference of what fills the empty space there so I may just improvise.

 

Hagoth

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Doing some really excellent detailing on this and having fun at the same time. It's kind of nice to have room for creative license like this.
 

SF_Ziggurat

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This Supermarionation “restoration” project is simply amazing. I’ve never seen as much attention to added detail put into one of these Japan SF kits. I’m afraid I’m more of a “straight out of the box” stock-build kind of modeler, but I am in awe of what some of you folks can do to bring a kit up to snuff. FAB!
 

SF_Ziggurat

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PS I remember reading somewhere that for some modelers, the kit is only the starting point. Seems true here!
 

rastanz

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Sure brings some scale to it.

I agree, I think resizing the cockpit windows gives it a sleeker look rather than the ranch sliders it originally had :D

Doing some really excellent detailing on this and having fun at the same time. It's kind of nice to have room for creative license like this.

Thank you, exactly what it's about, having some fun :)

This Supermarionation “restoration” project is simply amazing. I’ve never seen as much attention to added detail put into one of these Japan SF kits. I’m afraid I’m more of a “straight out of the box” stock-build kind of modeler, but I am in awe of what some of you folks can do to bring a kit up to snuff. FAB!

Thanks, lately I've found myself building older kits as they present a bit of a challenge when it comes to detailing or kitbashing parts, I do also enjoy the leisure of building straight out of the box..
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Teeny weeny update:

Hopefully the rest of my electronics arrive soon so I can move forward and start sealing this behemoth of a build, meanwhile, I've been doing some prep work for the led lighting.

I thought long and hard about the lighting and decided stuff it, I may as well light the booster rockets too so I drilled out holes for the 3mm led housings (still in transit along with the rest of my resistors and wiring) and did a test using a spare AA battery pack, some white led's, and some old resistors which I had just soldered... the boosters needs some light blocking as the led's are a bit bright shining through the plastic, I might also try some yellow led's.

I'll be using some fibre optic filament for the four landing lights and I may even run some strands up into the cockpit to light the control panel... we'll see.

I never solder anything on my cutting mat as the hot solder tends to tear up it's surface if I need to clean some of the solder mess that gets away from me.



I cut a slit just big enough for my fibre and wiring to run through to the rear, I used some styrene tubing to guide and anchor the wiring and fibres down to the fuselage.

Glued the tailplane together of which I cut away the mounting pins so I could reposition it further back towards the booster rockets (personally I thought they were too far forward), and filled the gaps with putty... sanding is in progress



Went back over some previous work and modified the rear bulkhead so now it also has a neodymium magnet and removable.



One other mod I'm seriously thinking of doing is the pod, detailing the inside and lighting that too, it will probably need to be on it's own power source perhaps a coin battery.

Cheers.
 

rastanz

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Moving along sloooooooooooooooooowly as I am still waiting for supplies to arrive in the post, damned SMD's are scarce here and only available from the neighbouring galaxy 6 million lightyears away (snail mail as the retailer doesn't ship by courier), also had to restock on some butane for my gas operated soldering iron as it seemed most suppliers here have been out of stock since COVID raised it's ugly head ‍ :oops:

So I've been taking my time detailing the cockpit area and lower observation deck with greeblies, prepping my lighting for the kit as all of my electronics have arrived (except SMD's), mapping out my wiring and drilling teeny tiny holes in the cockpit area with my pin vise for the fiber optics.



It's also been bugging me that the tailplane is out of scale and oversized so instead of completely building a new one, I just moved the whole thing back towards the booster rockets as it's new position would drop it a few millimetres in overall height and from a certain perspective bring it back down into scale, the whole thing looked to far forward anyway.

I had to trim away some of the tails middle anchor and completely remove the back pin so it could still fit inside the slots... the yellow hi-lighted circle's are the original mounting holes, the green hi-lighted circle's is it's new position... I think it's a bit of an improvement overall.



Kind of went back on my word in saying I was only going to install basic lighting but with the incomplete state that it's in and the more I look at this thing still in pieces, the more crazy ideas pop into my head as I am now looking at how I can install lighting on the wing tips LOL.
 

Belugawrx

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Nice scratch work going on, I like it ! Is that an early Ford flat head V8 engine with supercharger? hehehe love it
 

rastanz

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Nice scratch work going on, I like it ! Is that an early Ford flat head V8 engine with supercharger? hehehe love it
Thank you, I'm not sure what engine part it is but I had to cut the bell piece on one of them and glue it to the opposite side because they were both in the same orientation.
I also used the left over tracks from my 'Mole' as a base for it, it's my non-studio accurate power generator lol.
......................................
Been away in the studio recording some new material with my band so I only have another teeny tiny update.

I set aside the main fuselage as that is ready for the paint booth but I wanted to complete my lighting as this will be sealed, I want to make sure nothings going to burn out. I forgot how much of a pain in the butt smd's were to solder , dang tiny things, I blew out one testing it as I forgot to attach a resistor LOL.

I decided to modify the pod and turn it into pod 4 since TB4 is the only vehicle in scale with TB2 that came with the kit, the rest of the vehicles are way off scale size and just look bad.



Measured and cut out the pod floor and glued some stand-off's and braces around the sides to mount it, it's rough in places but those area;s wont be seen from the exterior.

Also built the launch ramp which is operable by my little wire mechanism to hold it in it's raised position... the extension recovery rail will not be fixed as it needs to slide out. I think there are three rails, two launch and one recovery so I may build a third.



Cut out two shapes for the doorway, one inner and one outer then scratch built the tiny greeblies on the front bulkhead of the pod, I'm not completely happy with the tiny pieces so I might redo them... the door was a challenge of how it would open and close without snagging on the pod, I did a basic approach using a spare plastic hinge cutting two slits joining it's screw holes, drilled holes in the pod floor the same positions as the holes on the hinge and used some brass rod as anchors through the holes and hinge so it would slide out when open without snagging on the pod then slide back in when closed... it's a simple design but it works with the hinge I had :D



Looking at lighting it but that means mirroring what I done on the front to the back of it.

I will start painting it once I've completed building everything.

Cheers :cool:
 

rastanz

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Dude , that's super-cool !

Thanks, slowly getting there :)

I cut away the rear bulkhead and decided not to build a opening doorway instead I'll fix it to the rear and use magnets so the whole thing can be removable to give me access to my battery clip and on/off switch... I'm still adding detail inside the pod as well as routing cables... I'm happy just using only 4 LED's as it lights up quite decently... scratching some control panels to place along the side walls which will be lit with fiber optics..

TB4 as scale reference.



I wanna get things right in there as once it's sealed I wont be able to fix things if they go wrong.
 

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