Before finishing the models I was keen to add some illumination so decided to dust off the old soldering iron and some stripboard. Using six white LEDs in the pod really adds an excellent effect over TB4.
I’m hoping to do something similar with the cockpit. However, it’s more cramped there so it will take a little bit more thought.
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.
In order to keep the momentum up on the Thunderbird modelling I decided to get cracking on Thunderbirds 2 & 4 (1:350 scale). I opened up this kit and was immediately struck by the much better kit quality compared to the Imai TB5/3.
There is a lot more detail in this kit including all the interior of TB2 and the pod. The TB4 is rather small (around 1-2cm) but there is a very extensive set of transfers so this should be ok.
One thing I do like is that the top of the pod can be removed to show the inside detail of the pod.
After getting a good run at it I finally finished off the assembly of TB5 and got some highlighting done. The transfers were very simple (only 4 of them) it is now on my display shelf happily docked with Thunderbird 3.
Following the completion of Thunderbird 3 I have been working on the preparation of the Thunderbird 5 model. This involved using black primer and Leadbelcher to prime and basecoat almost the entire model. The copper ring was painted using Hashut Copper. For inking I mostly used Wargame Painter Dark Tone ink as it isn’t as stark as black ink.
Now Thunderbird 3 was finished I moved onto the main model, Thunderbird 5. The base for Thunderbird 5 is, oddly, a moonscape which whilst odd is nice and easy to paint. I did this by priming using Vallejo primer and base coating with Eshin Grey. I used Dark Tone ink to add contrast to the craters. This was followed by lighter shades of grey all the way to Administratum Grey. The craters now really pop out!
Nigel Sadler published a diagram in 2009 showing the relative sizes of the Thunderbirds. They’re difficult to compare generally as Thunderbirds 3 & 5 are never really shown next to Thunderbirds 1, 2 & 4. Likewise, Thunderbird 1 is never really shown next to Thunderbird 4 so it’s difficult to compare their sizes too. Also, Thunderbird 1 relative to Thunderbird 2 is not exactly clear (as shown in the diagram)
It’s interesting to see how huge Thunderbird 5 would be especially compared to Thunderbird 4!