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1/32 Short Stirling - take 2!

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On 9/17/2022 at 12:22 AM, NukerDan said:

Love this! I don't envy the building of the undercarriage though! 


I'm trying not to think about that or else this is likely to hit the shelf of doom!


On 9/18/2022 at 12:27 PM, vvwse4 said:



You will probably have seen this one but for the sake of interest a nice Stirling site.









Thanks, Rick - I've been following this project for a number of years and what they are doing is nothing short of exceptional.


A little progress over the last week - I've been having a play with the wings whilst I wait for some Evergreen strip to be delivered to rib the rear fuselage. I've sanded the wings to the correct depth and removed the bomb cells in the wings as I plan on having these open:




The undercarriage bays will also be removed but I want to keep the structural integrity whilst I scribe the panel lines, etc. 






And both sets together:




I see lots of scribing and making of wing spars in the my future!



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So good Tom! 


I know you've described the sanding process several times before, but seeing the wings presented above so neatly never fails to impress. I still very much doubt I'd ever get my efforts to look that good!


Always a pleasure to watch another of your marvels take shape!



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Afternoon all,


A productive week on the Stirling, mainly focused around making the internal structures of the wings and scribing the basic panel detail on the lower wing surfaces. Although vacs such as these are moulded in lovely thick plastic, due to the sheer size of the parts they need lots of strengthening to ensure they don't sag and collapse over time. 1.5mm plastic card is my 'go-to' for this, as it provides ample strength whilst being easy to cut and shape. 


I've discovered that the kit wings are actually a little too thin from top to bottom, so I have made up for this by making the spars the correct depth and I'll build up the leading edges when I comes to mating to wing halves to fix this shortfall. This will also improve the aerofoil shape of the wing as again I think the kit parts are a little off and the upper surfaces too flat. 


Here you can see the substantial spars in place, as well as the wheel bays:






The wheel bays themselves are actually quite complex structures of square and tubular spars and I've begun replicating these from Evergreen. It's easier to deal with the deepest part of the bays whilst the wings are free of the fuselage:




The forward-most section of the bays appears to have some form of hydraulic tanks and bits of tubular structure but I need to find some clearer pictures of this area. Also, as it's quite accessible I will add this once the main construction is compete as it will be no doubt be prone to damage whilst I'm handling the beast:




So here we are as of today - spars in and complete and the basics of the wheel bays done too. There'll be many an hour spent in here in the future, but progress is progress!






I think I'll have a look at the upper wing surfaces next before thinking about joining the top and bottom halves. Fun times!


Until next time,


Edited by tomprobert
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18 hours ago, brahman104 said:

Super work as always Tom!


I've always been curious about how you derive the shapes and profiles for those hefty spars you put into the wings on your masterpieces? Is it just trial and error? It seems like you have a more efficient than that.....






Thanks, Craig.


I get the basic shape/profile from careful measuring and consultation of plans, which gives a good starting point. I then make a 'master' from card - usually from an old cereal packet - to ensure the shapes are correct. I tape it in position and test fit to ensure it's a good fit before committing to plastic card. This way, I don't waste expensive plastic sheet. Then, it's simply a case of reversing the master for the other wing and this ensures they are both identical. It's far from an exact science and lots of trial and error, but as with anything the more times you've done it the better you get. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/26/2022 at 9:53 PM, Phartycr0c said:

Ready in time for Telford Tom? grief, you dont half pick em! first the Sunderland then this beast. 


This will be amazing, great work! 

Ha ha I can dream! Although I’ll bring it along as a WIP. 

I have been making some good progress with the wings - although there have been a few issues to sort - and will do a proper update soon. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Good evening guys and gals!


Time for an update on the big Stirling. Over the last couple of weeks I have been continuing to devote my attention to the wings. The kit parts are not the most accurate in terms of aerofoil shape and the top surfaces are too flat and don't capture the real thing particularly well. Therefore, with cunning use of spars I have made an attempt to correct this and replicate the real wing shape more accurately. 


The spars were previously cut to the correct depth following plans, and then I added a large diameter Evergreen tube to the leading edges as this was the correct shape/diameter to capture the curvature of the leading edge. The leading edge was glued first, given 24 hours to dry, and then I glued the forward spar to the upper surface. Again, this was allowed to dry thoroughly before the rear-most spar was glued. This has allowed me to bend the plastic along the full length of the wing and capture the aerofoil shape much better. It's probably easier to see what I mean with a picture:




The next problem I encountered was the fact that the nacelles were not deep enough and when the top and bottom halves were joined they were an oval shape rather than circular. This would cause major problems when it comes to adding the engines (plus it's totally inaccurate!) so I measured the diameter of the Beaufighter cooling gills and made four plastic card plates to be glued to the nacelle fronts. The area behind was then built up with P-38 and blended to shape, meaning I now have corrected and perfectly circular mounting points for the engines when the time comes:




The Revell 1/32nd Hercules engines from the Beaufighter will now fit perfectly:




Lots of blemishes still to be sorted in the above photos, but you get the idea.


With the wing halves joined I thought I'd tackle the ailerons next - Cees had removed these previously as the molding is very soft and the shapes poorly defined. First it was case or prepping them by sanding and thinning the trailing edges:




For some reason the upper surface of the port aileron was 4mm too short, so I lengthened this with some plastic card bent to the correct shape and blended in (red arrow). I next added some plastic strip to the rear of the wings (blue arrow) to ensure a nice and strong join:




Finally, they were glued in position - the fit was almost perfect which was probably more luck than carefully planning on my part!




The Stirling has very distinctive fuel cell covers in the upper wing surface - the Sunderland has the same and I made these from thin plastic card on that model and was very pleased with the effect. Although not strictly accurate, I liked the effect as it made the very large wing surface more three-dimensional and therefore I decided to do the same with the Stirling. First of all I made some card templates - these can then be drawn around and flipped over to do the reverse on the opposite wing, saving errors on expensive plastic card in the process:




These were then transferred on to plastic card before being glued to the wing surfaces:




A top tip for making wingtip lights - cut out the shape with a saw and line with plastic card:




File and sand to shape and they're ready for some clear sprue:




I've also added various other raised areas to keep things interesting and have tried to capture my scribing etc. in the light in this shot. It also shows off the effective aerofoil modification:




The undersides still have a lot of work to do on them, but I need access to the spars when it comes to joining the wings to the fuselage so these will remain as is for the time being. The wheel bays and flap area will also be finished off when the fuselage and wings are joined to avoid damage to these areas:








The uppers have really come to life with the tank covers, life raft hatch as well as various access panels:








Having corrected the aerofoil shape highlights just how out the original kit's wing position is - Cees was already on the case with this as removed the raised section on his fuselage for good reason!




And that brings you up to speed for now.


Until next time, all the best,


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Hi Tom


I run out of superlatives when I look at your work.  You are patient, methodical and work to a high standard. This is going to be a great model! I was thinking about the undercarriage: I suspect with the weight of this bird and the complexity of the main undercarriage that brass may be the only way to go?


If brass is the way you are going with this Mike @sandbagger has a technique that uses soldering paste rather than traditional flux which he shared with me and, having tried it now, I can confirm it absolutely works and gives joints far stronger than CA glueing the rods and sheet together.


Best regards,



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