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tomprobert

1/32nd scale Avro Shackleton AEW2 - scratchbuild project

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You know those occasions when you get a crazy idea and just have to give a try? Well this is one of those. There's far from any guarantee of success or completion, but fortune favours the brave and all that..!

 

Having a real soft-spot for the Avro Shackleton I've decided to do something really stupid and have a go at scratch-building one in 1/32nd scale. As I'm sure we're all aware there's kits available in 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, but nothing in 1/32nd so the only option is to start from scratch.

 

I have an old ID Models 1/32nd Lancaster in the stash, and always planned to convert that to a Lincoln. However, when doing some research on the Lincoln I discovered that the wing and centre section (although widened on the Shackleton) were in essence the same airframe. Therefore I thought, making a Shackleton using the Lancaster as a parts donor could be a viable option...

 

The first phase of the project was to find some plans. The Warpaint Series on the Shackleton came up trumps, and although these plans are far from perfect they've given me enough to get started. I duly enlarged them to 1/32nd scale and cobbled together a reasonable outline for a MR2 which is the version I'm hoping to replicate. You can see the size this model will (hopefully) be when finished when you put the Airfix 1/72nd kit on top:

 

23807134133_eaabe7c7d9_c.jpg

 

With that done it was sourcing the key components of a project like this - various thicknesses of plastic card:

 

24325656392_651bed6dcf_c.jpg

 

And of course the ID Models Lancaster:

 

24066140699_9c776922b4_c.jpg

 

I then set about building up the centre section from plastic card formers, using the bomb bay roof as the structural centre-point. Wing spars have been made integral to the structure for strength and stability. I'm not going to worry too much about an interior to the fuselage, as it'll all be sprayed black and next to nothing will be visible through the small fuselage windows. The forward flight deck area will be fully replicated, though:

 

24433907305_d43c332d68_c.jpg

 

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The plan is to use the Lancaster fuselage sides for the 'skinning' of the model, and other areas will be 'planked' and blended with filler from thin plastic card strips.

 

More to follow...

Edited by tomprobert

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With the fuselage centre section progressing well and having cut my teeth on making bulkheads and formers etc., I had the confidence to have a go at making the nose section. This is a lot more tricky as there are many complex shapes and subtle curves to try to replicate, especially around the extreme nose where the bomb aimer/gunner's glazing. Again, the interior won't an accurate structural representation of the real thing, but being black and only the extreme nose interior being visible there shouldn't be too many problems here.

 

As with the fuselage, the basic shape of the formers were made from plastic card and assembled to give a skeleton that'll be skinned in due course:

 

24066125669_b41a70d03e_c.jpg

 

23805717254_d5c9155313_c.jpg

 

24407711486_5cd48b9456_c.jpg

 

I haven't made the 'roof' to the nose compartment yet as some form of interior needs to be added, as well as the observer/gunner's transparencies and its associated fairings:

 

23805710114_3781e31606_c.jpg

 

So this is where we're currently at:

 

23807151573_62a3ae2471_c.jpg

 

And alongside the 1/72nd scale version for a 'size reality check!'

 

24407736796_cef0f7e41a_c.jpg

 

As I said at the start, there's no guarantee of success in the long term, but I'm having a blast right now!

 

Tom

 

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:o

 

Crikey Tom!

 

Thanks for posting the early stages of the build in detail. Your bulkheads all look so uniform and neat. Any particular secret to that?

Lots of filing and sanding,.....huge amounts of patience,......tons of skill, talent and dexterity,........all of the above? :hmmm:

Inquisitive minds want to know.

 

Cheers.

Edited by geedubelyer

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Good Lord!

Are you mad sir?

 

What a project and the best of luck. Having watched some of your other vac form and scratch builds I am sure you will smack this one right out of the park.

 

:popcorn:

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oh man, the da Vinci of modelling is back :)

 

I love what I see Tom - absolute perfection and one of those builds that mean I need an incredibly high level of discipline not to just drop everything I am doing and go on a flight of fancy myself.. will be watching as one day I would love to do the same with my dad's HP Hastings C1 he flew in 70 Sqn..

 

the Shack in 1/32 - man that is special...

 

Peter

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Thanks for the interest and encouragement folks - something tells me I'm going to need it on this build  :)

 

:o

 

Crikey Tom!

 

Thanks for posting the early stages of the build in detail. Your bulkheads all look so uniform and neat. Any particular secret to that?

Lots of filing and sanding,.....huge amounts of patience,......tons of skill, talent and dexterity,........all of the above? :hmmm:

Inquisitive minds want to know.

 

Cheers.

 

The bulkheads are not actually that hard to make. The plans I have give cross sections of the airframe at various points and thus it makes it easier to get started. Once you've done one, this can be used as your master for the others - making small adjustments as and when for the taper of the airframe. I use a long straight edge to ensure the bulkheads are getting consistently smaller as you move forward and aft, and thus anything out of line can be re-done.

 

The nose was trickier than the main fuselage due to the subtle but complex curves, but lots of small cuts/trimming and sanding meant it got there in the end. The proof will be in the pudding when I come to skin it though - that could show a multitude of sins!

 

When it comes to building the tail section I'll post a more in-depth picture diary - I wasn't sure how much interest there'd be and didn't want to bore people with countless pictures.

 

oh man, the da Vinci of modelling is back :)

 

I love what I see Tom - absolute perfection and one of those builds that mean I need an incredibly high level of discipline not to just drop everything I am doing and go on a flight of fancy myself.. will be watching as one day I would love to do the same with my dad's HP Hastings C1 he flew in 70 Sqn..

 

the Shack in 1/32 - man that is special...

 

Peter

 

Cheers, Peter! To be honest it was your Tigercat that gave me the inspiration. Seeing you just throwing caution to the wind and going for it gave me confidence to have a bash. I've never scratch-built a whole aircraft before so I am a little worried I've bitten off more than I can chew, but time will tell.

 

And a 1/32nd Hastings... YES PLEASE! I suppose Tigger's Halifax would give you a good start... no excuse really. Please don't abandon the Tigercat though  :)

 

This is pretty amazing, maybe HK will see what you are doing and bring out a kit.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

Now that would be the story of my life  :(

 

Tom, you must be totally insane - in a positive way :goodjob:

 

Have you thought about using two massive straight brass rods to ensure stability and correct dihedral?

 

Shackleton_zpsf1rbo2da.jpg

 

Cheers

Alex

 

Thanks, Alex. It'll need something like you suggest - I used plastic card hollow tube with wooden dowel inserted for the 1/32nd Halifax and Lancaster I did so may use something similar for this. Brass rod could be easier to bend to the correct dihedral though - certainly something to ponder  :hmmm:

 

Tom

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