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tomprobert last won the day on February 3

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About tomprobert

  • Birthday 02/16/1982

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    Kent, SE England
  • Interests
    I build mainly aircraft models, in any scale. However, large scale Vacforms are my real passion, the subject usually being WWII heavy bomber related.

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  1. Great work so far - I’ll be sure to dip into this when I start mine for some tips and tricks. One thing that struck me however - I thought Lanc wheel bays were black..?
  2. That is seriously impressive. Paint work is on another level - beautiful! Tom
  3. I can’t see anything ‘rough’ about that whatsoever, Craig - it’s a masterpiece of micro-engineering. This is going to be the ultimate model of a B-17 in any scale, that’s for sure. Now you need to brace yourself for the main gear bays - when you get there All the best, Tom
  4. Afternoon all, Here's the latest model to take off from my bench - the new-tool Airfix 1/72nd Avro Vulcan BMk2. After grafting on some very long-term projects of late I decided I needed something relatively straightforward for a system reset and mojo reboot and this proved to be just the project. I found it an absolute delight to build - actual construction only took four evenings and the whole model was completed in just under two weeks. In fact, it's the first model I can remember in absolutely ages that I didn't put down for a few weeks and return to it later as I'd lost interest - I just wanted to keep going! As with most of Airfix new-tool kits, tolerances are very tight indeed and therefore I gave each surface to be glued a quick swipe with a sanding pad and this meant an almost perfect fit for all components. I was really impressed with how the intakes went together, and with a quick swipe of Milliput White they look seamless with the minimum of effort. I wanted to do a later version than is currently supplied in the box so bought an Xtradecal sheet to make a 101 Squadron machine based at RAF Waddington in the mid 1970s. Two type of jet pipes are provided in the kit, and I had no idea which were fitted to this aircraft so went with the same as the one currently preserved at Duxford as they seemed of the same vintage. The kit's bomb bay is beautifully rendered and with some careful painting comes up beautifully out of the box. If you build this kit, don't waste your time detailing the interior of the cockpit as next to nothing can be seen - I just did the absolute basics. Xtracolor enamels were used throughout and I gave it a satin varnish as these machines seemed very well maintained in service and other than a few streaks and stains here and there, I kept her reasonably clean as period photos suggest. I recommend this kit to anyone looking for a large and impressive model in their display cabinet but not requiring a huge amount of effort - it's a pleasure! Tom
  5. That really is so impressive, Peter!
  6. I’ve built both the Flanker and Lightning, and did enjoy them both. The F-35 is certainly the simpler of the two, and I found the overall fit to be better, too. If you want a relatively quick and easy “pick me up” then the Lightning would fit the bill. The Flanker is OK but a more complex build. Fit is generally OK but I do recall the wing join wasn’t great, neither the nose. It’s also a much bigger beast and took me approximately double the time to build than the F-35. I can’t comment on the Typhoon as haven’t built the Trumpy offering but online reviews are quite favourable. Do share your chosen project when you’ve decided! All the best, Tom
  7. That’s a cracking image of ‘Homesick Angel’, a Vega built B-17F (note the cheek window arrangement) serial number 42-6174. From the American Air Museum website: She was on strength with the 422nd BS of the 305thBG (coded JJ-K) from August 1943 at Chelveston. In November ‘43 she was transferred to the 858th BS of the 492th BG at Alconbury and was assigned to Carpetbagger Ops. I imagine this picture was taken around that time. However, a couple of things puzzle me. The underwing codes were a post war practice, but no 8th AF squadron was coded ‘5Z- ‘ as the picture shows. Blue cowls were also not used by the 305th and if this was a post war image, she’d have had the green band on the tail by then. The fact that the ball and top turrets, along with all other armament, have been removed has me wondering if it’s serving as some kind of war weary hack aircraft. Tom
  8. Some useful info here: https://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/41248
  9. Thanks, Jack. I met Doug at a model show many years ago and he was working on one of his 1/32nd B-17 vacs. He'd scratch built all of the interior from plastic card and the like and I was blown away by what he'd done. I distinctly remember him saying that he gave the modeller the blank canvass and it then it is up to them make their masterpiece. I still quote him regularly to this day and it holds so true for this type of model. It was indeed Doug himself who inspired me to get into vacforms, and shortly after I bought one of his 1/32nd B-25s. I made a bit of a fist of it, but it certainly was a first step into a dark and mysterious world Thank you. And, yes - a journey indeed. Made a little longer by the unscheduled first flight from the kitchen table, but it was certainly a couple of years well spent in modelling terms. Tom
  10. I was wondering where the Anson was and how it was going - I demand that you dig it out and get going as I was enjoying that project! Time is indeed a bit difficult - hence the two-and-a-half year build time. I used to get through them much quicker before I had kids. Thank you, Troy - this'll live in the loft with the rest of the big ones. I'm more or less out of space now, so it's time to start donating a few to museums... Tom
  11. Ha! Something to throw darts at I suppose! Thanks - and yes I’d be honoured. Tom
  12. Thanks, Jeff - and yes it is indeed a big old brute. Me holding certainly gives a good sense of the scale. Tom
  13. Evening all, I took advantage of my time away from the classroom last week and finally finished this two-and-a-bit year project: Tigger Models' (the old ID Models' vac kit) of the Short Sunderland in 1/32nd scale. This has been a really rewarding project, and despite a setback when I knocked the completed fuselage with its interior off the table, making a rather messy contact with the kitchen floor, it's been great fun and relatively straightforward - despite its size. Kits like this come as a blank canvass for the builder to work his/her magic - 'bumps in plastic' is quite apt, but the shapes are reasonably accurate if not a bit primitive (picture borrowed from Tigger's webpage): The kit provides a the correct hull shape for a MkI or MkII, but with some mods the more adventurous builder could easily convert it to a MkIII/V, etc. All panel lines and surface details need to be added and the parts are devoid of any real detail, but the plastic is lovely to work with and scribes/sands beautifully. Due to the size of the parts, home-made interior bulkheads are needed, and any visible parts of the interior need to be made from scratch: Strong wing spars are also essential to keep the structure of the model sound - thick plastic card spars were made and added: The flightdeck interior, bomb room and nose section were all made from scratch and detailed with some aftermarket seatbelts: All the aerials were made from sprue and thin wire - markings were mix of home-made masks and decals: The engines were made from spare HK Models' B-17 cylinders coupled with Revell Beaufighter parts to make a reasonable representation of the Bristol Pegasus. The early-style exhausts were made from Evergreen tube bent slowly over the toaster! Landing lights were home made from some of my daughter's diamante play/craft jewellery (for the lights) and the covers were clear acetate once again heated over the toaster. Rigging for the floats came for EasyLine and reminded me why I'll never build a biplane! The kit's transparencies were used throughout - all turret interiors were scratch built. Beaching gear was also made from scratch with a friend helping out with some 3D printed wheels: Bomb racks were again made from scratch with some rather lovely depth charges coming from Tim Perry - thanks, Tim! I used Xtracolor enamels throughout the build - 6 tins were used in total! I don't like to go too mad with weathering on my models so kept it relatively clean - however you can't build a Sunderland without the distinctive water marks on the hull: A bit of exhaust staining and some fading with post-shading completed the upper surfaces: And for some generic pictures: I'm often asked how big a 1/32nd Sunderland is. I'm sorry to inflict my ugly mug on you but you can see that it is a massive model with yours truly holding it! My model represents a Sunderland MkII of 201 Squadron during 1942 in the lovely temperate sea scheme. Painting white gives me nightmares (especially something of this size) so I took the easier option. W4001 (ZM-V) was only on strength between February to October 1942, before hitting an underwater rock and being written off, thankfully with no loss of life. Thanks for those who took an interest along the way - I'm off for a long lay down in a darkened room to contemplate the next project! Best wishes to all, Tom
  14. That looks rather splendid, Kev - despite the niggles you describe. If you are going for an operational version, those blue Spanish AF ones are just lovely. Not sure about decals though, and if memory serves correctly you'll need to add some wing fences. Tom
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