Aoshima Thunderbird 2 & 4 model kit: Part 2

I kept saying I’d leave the Thunderbird 2 and 4 kit until later as they are my favourite (they’re everyone’s favourite, right?) but decided “why not?” and got on with it.

The kit is very well made with lots of a detail, well designed parts and excellent manufacture. It’s been a dream to make and I used acrylics for ease of adding shading and highlighting.

I started with the basic structure of TB2 (without the pod) and primed it with white Vallejo primer.

Initially I used Warpstone Glow¬†which was much too blue and eventually settled on Warboss Green (the old Goblin green) which I think is a perfect shade of “Thunderbird 2 Green”. It should be noted that the shade varied wildly in the show with a dark, British racing green sometimes and a light yellow green at others. I personally prefer the green I settled on as it’s nice a colourful and Thunderbirds was supposed to be a kid’s show, full of bright colours right?

Moving on to the pod, the design is great including a sliding and tilting track for TB4. None of the interior was particularly challenging so I used Dawnstone generally with dark tone ink and highlighting with Administratum Grey.

Thunderbird 4 was the next challenge and even after carefully assembling there were still a number of very slight gaps in the model. This is to be expected as at this scale (1:350 I believe) TB4 is only a couple of centimeters long. Whilst at my local model shop I noticed a pot of “Liquid Green Stuff” and so thought it’d be worth a try. I gently painted it on with an old/almost dead brush and worked it into all the gaps (avoiding any detail like the end pods for example). I then gently swiped any excess off with some tissue and let it dry. It gave a nice solid fill to the gaps and painting over meant they completely disappeared.

I base coated with a coat of Yriel Yellow which gives a nice bright, warm yellow on which to start. A shaded the yellow using the lovely Averland Sunset ink as there are lots of crevices in around the engine pods which needed some shade. For the engine intakes and the nose (where the various tools come out) I used Dark Tone ink.

The next consideration was fixing to the ramp and I decided that rather than stick in place I would use magnets (as I had for Dropzone Commander) to fix TB4 in place. I put 2x2mm magnets into the base of TB4 and a corresponding pair on the ramp. TB4 now snaps into place but can be removed so if I want to use the models for a diorama I have some flexibility in how I can set it up.

The other issue was that the ramp was not heavy enough to stay tilted down. I fixed this by carefully trimming/levelling the back corners of the ramp (those which end up touching the roof of the pod) and I used 4 x 3mm magnets here to ensure the ramp would click up and into place. After these modifications TB4 is able to stick to the ramp which itself can tilt and slide freely remaining in either the up or down positions.

Finishing off TB4 required some Flash Gitz Yellow plus Evil Sunz Scarlet for the red stripes. Transfers were done using MICROSOL/MICROSET.

As I’m keen to iluminate the pod from the inside (I reckon it would look really cool!) I’m going to keep the lid to the pod separate for now. But you can see how the whole launch sequence works in the strip below:

In the next part I’ll look at finishing the model itself and ideas I have for a diorama.

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