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TOPIC: Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole"

Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 6 years 1 month ago #1

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Another build makes it to the workbench for a SciFi SIG on another forum.

This will be a kit of first's.
My first thunderbirds kit.
My first build on the new workbench.
My first 'SiG' Although I have done contests and group builds in other places.
My first tracked model, everything else has had wheels, wings or feet :-)
My first 'weathered' build. I have used a lil dust and dirt for accents this will be the first muddy/chipped/dented build I have done.

I started last weekend and got the following done.

And im off.


1st suprise, this kit is motorised and lit. well kinda. it has 1 led and you have to buy a motor but the rest of the stuff you need is included.
Lets start with the unboxing.

Lots of pieces to build the tracks, they really could have taken the lead of some armour kits out there.


The body of the transporter/base etc


These parts make up most of the actual Mole, not a huge amount of detial but thats understandable considering the purpose of this vehicle.


And the drill, which will move, providing i setup the motor and wiring correctly.


There are more of these parts than there are actual parts for the model.


So I started with the tracks as they looked like a lot of repetitive work which is all i felt like doing.
They got a coat of Vallejo primer mainly because I wanted to try it and so far I have no complaints.


As olive drab is not the ideal colour for tracks they then got a coat of VMA Steel


The individual track were attched to some tape to hit the ends with that were sanded after being removed from the sprue.
I then gave them a light spray with Vallejo wash Dark Rust to take the pop out of the steel.


Then it was onto the wiring, these are all required to hold the guts of the hole together (not literally guts or a mole)


And after some fiddling and head scratching at the 98% japanese instructions I have this.


And that was it for the weekend.

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 6 years 1 month ago #2

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And this weekend I got a bunch more done thanks to some quality inside weather

The 'guts' of the mole semi mocked up and test fitted. The motor I had is not correct but lets me know the wiring is correct :)
The blue piece in the middle is a small cam that will cause the led to flash which kinda seems over engineered considering how easy flasher circuits are these days, but is very cool.


That's as far as I can go with the mole for now so i separated all the parts for that


And attached everything i can. Hopefully the motors arrive in the next couple of days while im out of town so i can get back into this next weekend.


Onto the 'crawler' part. Cool little track tensioner.


Again im surprised by the detail in this kit with the hydraulic cylinder and the electronics. The metal pins you see sit inside the ramp frame with a spring between to pass the power from the mole to the base which does not have its own battery source.


Vallejo Olive Drab primer on (and still wet) to darken up the blue plastic this was molded in. First time ive used the Vallejo primer on a kit and I'm going to be ordering some more colours next week, im that impressed with the coverage and the ease of cleanup.


The Vallejo primers also make great base for the Vallejo Model Air paints (something wrong if they didn't).
Tried a couple of colours but settled on the Dark Sea Blue which is a vast improvement on the original plastic colour.
Ill probably be darkening/weathering/muddying this up but I'm happy with the current 'showroom' colour.


Right, so what is left that I can do on this kit.
The drill (or whatever you call it) has some awful chrome and molding lines on it.


And thats it for this weekend. So everything nicely back in the box till next weekend so I can keep the workbench tidy.


Except for the chrome parts which are currently going through the simple green/ultrasonic cleaner de-chroming bath.


Scraped those back w the handy hobby knife.


I was not worried about a clean job as this is the business end of the mole so I expect it to not be in perfect condition so i chipped and scratched it up a but.
This will also help the dechroming process if there are some holes in it.

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 6 years 1 month ago #3

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I'll be interested to see how this comes out Reon

David

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 6 years 1 month ago #4

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Wow the Thunderbirds, what a classic. I'll watch this for sure.
Good start so far Reon
Cheers
Tiger

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 6 years 2 weeks ago #5

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Sorry for the lack of updates. It has been a mad couple of weeks between a major project at work, a $2000+ vet bill and a cough ive had for almost 3 weeks the workbench has not always been on my priority list but excuses no more as I have a happy cat, a big box of antibiotics & a couple of long weekends ahead.

The motors arrived so the guts of the mole have been fitted.
Here you see all the wires being held in place as the gorilla glue sets them well away from any of the moving parts.



Here are all the guts in their final location, all greased up and ready for closure



I also got the gears into the 'crawler' and fitted the wheels onto their pins which were a nice tight fit so I found i could gently force them in easier by using the clamp



Also made fitting the drive wheels easier



All the guts of the crawler are wired and in, much easier than the actual mole parts.
The connectors mentioned previously that connect the base to the mole sit on the metal plates when the mole is lowered and my turning the little switch at the back the mole will drive forwards or backwards.



The ramp (for lack of a better term) can be raised or lowered and locks in those positions thanks to moulded in recesses below the hinge



Back to the mole that unforunatley I tried to close up under the influence of cold medication and while trying to get the LED down to a decent height managed to shatter it completley



So I attached a new one which thankfully sits better and is a brighter flash.



With the mole tacked together and the LED and tracks masked off I started with a coat of Vallejo German Red Brown Primer



The drill also got a coat of the Vallejo Verde Olive US primer



The mole now has a layer of VMA Gold Yellow which the primer helped give a darker 'mustard' colour which im happy with.



The last little panels etc were applied to cover up the screw holes etc and any any bits of mole that had been missed (there are lits of little nooks and crannies under this) were hit with the VMA Gold Yellow.



There were still some seam lines on the drill standing out to me so i took them back and went over those spots with VMA Gun Grey



The VMA Gun Grey then got a light coat (look heavier in the pics) over the rest of the drill parts


Then randomly I applied a small amount of Army Painter Warpaints Quickshade Soft Tone to see what effect that had, which was random experimentation as this will be painted over again soon.



Thats it for now but hopefully a lot more gets done over the next couple of weeks.

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #6

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Hi Reon, did you get around to finishing this? Looks really awesome (and fiddly!).

Cheers,

Glenn.

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #7

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That's very COOL! I'd love to see it finished.
Thunderbirds are GO!!!!!!

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #8

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Ok, im sorry guys but somehow this slipped (or mole'd) under the radar.
I put all my builds here as well webbynz.blogspot.com/

but here are the rest of the mole pics.

Ok guys, thanks for you kind words that I have cruely ignored with no updates for over 2 weeks :oops:
The good news is last weekend went well and so here is a nice big update.

The mole than got a coat of Vallejo Chipping Medium which as you will see later I applied too heavily.


While that dried some of the Dark Sea Blue was mixed with Black and sprayed over the bottom of the base, then White was added to the Dark Sea Blue and sprayed from above to give it a bit of shading/modulation to break up the large dark blue surfaces.


Once the Chipping Medium was dry I went over the whole mole with Medium Yellow.


Here you can see the effect of excessive Chipping Medium as it crackled the Medium yellow coat of paint.
As this is going to be worn I was not super concerned about it and will try and minimise the effect later.


I then liberally sprayed water over the top and waited a minute or so for the top coat to soften up and started chipping with both ends of a paint brush, trying to stay in the direction the mole would be moving when in use and around protruding areas


Some washes etc should bring the effect out even more


Next i tried to darken up some of the panel lies but the cracking took the wash and spread it in an unfortunate way, luckily it cleans up easily when still wet.


So after doing a little work on the panels i hit it with a layer of Klear (closest thing to future I have been able to lay my hands on)


While that dried for a couple of days it was back to the drill which got a coat of the Chipping Medium (much lighter this time) and a topcoat of Steel


Once dry I was able to chip away the Steel to reveal the darker colours underneath


The drill is pretty much done now.


I remembered from some reference pics that there was a rocket engine in the back of the mole so the tip of that got some weathering with Tamiya Weathering Master powders.
First some Gun Metal


Then Burnt Blue and Burnt Red to get a slightly more heat stained look.


Once the Klear was fully dried it was onto the decals. There are a fewq and they seem to be focused on one side of the mole.


Once they are on they really help break up the yellow.


Unfortunately the decal that goes over the round external part broke going over (don't think it would have gone out without breaking to be honest) but im not sad as it adds to the worn effect


Here you see how few decals are on the other side, and that was me moving one to this side that was supposed to be on the other.


Modellers best friends when it comes to decals has to be Micro Set and Micro Sol
Here they helped the decals conform to the panel lines and chips in the mole.


I tried some chrome powder to add a little depth to the drill but this stuff really does not like to shine unless its over a gloss back base so it went back in the drawers.


The drill got a light wash with Flory Models Concrete to add some lil chunks and shading.
It then had Vallejo Gloss Varnish applied before being attached to the Mole which has the final details brush painted on in VMA Gun Grey and VMA Steel before a coat of Vallejo Satin Varnish which really knocked back the shine from the Klear and brought the final look together.


The final result is something im very happy with, obviously its not perfect but 'completion over perfection' should always apply.


The yellow over-spray on the tracks needs to be cleaned up but for now its done.


Time for a quick spin to check all the electronics survived paint process.
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Now it needs something to live on so back to the base which gets its decals.


Once again one side has more decals but not as bad as the mole. Now its ready for a clear-coat


Once the clear had fully dried it was onto some weathering, starting with some mud slashes with MIG Mud Splash Wash (the first enamel product on this kit).
It goes on a lot clearer and darker than but dries to a great looking dirt effect.


I just loaded up a larger brush and flicked that at the kit trying to focus on the parts where mud is most likely to splatter but also giving it an all over dirty. Any excess will be cleaned with MIG thinners once its dried fully and the effect is revealed.


And now back to the job I have kinda been putting off, the tracks, not because of any reason other than I wanted some time I knew I would not be interrupted doing them.


The Mr Hobby CA applicator set is one of my favourite purchases, just look for Mr Glue on sites like HLJ.com and you will find them.
Really easy to use and clean-up afterwards.


Once the tracks were done they were slipped on and the parts came together for the first time.


Obviously some last little touch-up bits needed bits 100% but at 9pm on a Sunday night i am happy for now.


Coming soon will be the completed kit photos, but until then.

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #9

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Well I finally got the final pics done

It was a fun build but very rewarding with a lot of firsts for me.
I did not want an over weathered look, I can imagine that brains is a bit of sticker for well maintained vehicles but I wanted to show it was not its first outing either.

Hope you enjoy.











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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #10

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Couple of images from the MSMC facebook page.

fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-a...8829_383130019_n.jpg

fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-a...0592_639169188_n.jpg

Edit: I should stop posting till I have read the next page lol

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Cheers Michael

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #11

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Michaels Models wrote: Couple of images from the MSMC facebook page.

fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-a...8829_383130019_n.jpg

fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-a...0592_639169188_n.jpg

Edit: I should stop posting till I have read the next page lol


Lol
Cheers for the extra pics :-)

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #12

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Brains would be proud. Nice looking Mole indeed.

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Amateur plastic surgeon!

Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #13

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F.A.B. B)

Really neat to see the work put into the interior motors and wiring - great attention to detail!

Brent

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #14

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Really neat to see one of these built. I have seen this kit several times and wondered what it would look like finished.
I've a few Thunderbirds kits in my stash, as well as the little "egg" ones so maybe I'd better break one out and give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #15

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Well that turned out great, nice build :)
Dave

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #16

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That's really awesome! I loved Thunderbirds as a kid and I still get a kick out of it watching at my local coffee shop where they play episodes on occasion. I have the good fortune to do business with the talented folks at Weta Workshop.They have a big display case in their reception area that is full of Thunderbirds & other Gerry Anderson models like Captain Scarlet etc. Yours would fit right alongside perfectly! I just recently got a sneak peek at some of the large scale models being built for the new Thunderbirds TV show. They start filming in a couple of weeks! Very cool!

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Aoshima Thunderbirds "The Mole" 5 years 6 months ago #17

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GlennM wrote: That's really awesome! I loved Thunderbirds as a kid and I still get a kick out of it watching at my local coffee shop where they play episodes on occasion. I have the good fortune to do business with the talented folks at Weta Workshop.They have a big display case in their reception area that is full of Thunderbirds & other Gerry Anderson models like Captain Scarlet etc. Yours would fit right alongside perfectly! I just recently got a sneak peek at some of the large scale models being built for the new Thunderbirds TV show. They start filming in a couple of weeks! Very cool!


I did the workshop tour last weekend and saw some small parts being done for the new series, nothing more than trees and set dressing but still very exciting.
That would have to be a dream job for myself and many others here, model building/painting etc for a living.

I hope to do the 'big scale' thunderbird 2 sometime this year, and hope to get the rest of the Aoshima kits after the enjoyment this one gave.

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