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Thomas Probert
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1/32nd scale Short Sunderland Mk II – ID Models vacform WIP

August 1, 2021 · in Aviation · · 25 · 3.1K

Morning all,

I thought some of you may be interested in one of my longer term vacform projects that's been making good progress of late - the old 1/32nd scale Short . This kit is a basic shell of the fuselage, wings, fin and stabiliser, and the rest has to be done by the builder - a blank canvass if you like!

I have constructed numerous interior bulkheads from plastic card for structural strength and integrity, and have made the details for the visible interior sections such as the forward fuselage, cockpit and central bomb room. The model has been fully scribed and surface details added, which with a model of this size took many a-dull evening to get completed. It almost got binned at one point as I was about the close up the fuselage and my jumper caught the tail end and the whole thing crashed to the floor, completely wrecking the interior work I'd done. However, I packed it all away and came back a few weeks after I had cooled down!

This is a huge model - the picture of my 5 year old daughter holding it gives an idea of the size. The Sunderland is a big aeroplane! I've now finished the main construction and am shortly going to begin work on the engines. I still need to finish off the interior of the cockpit, add the transparencies, make the turret interiors and scratch-build the beaching gear before I can begin the painting process. Being a MkII airframe, I'm leaning towards the early 1941 scheme of sky undersides and dark sea grey/slate grey uppers. No markings are available so I'll make my own masks and spray all codes and insignia, etc.

Lots more fun awaits!

All the best,

Reader reactions:
25  Awesome

20 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Amazing job on such a challenging project, Thomas!
    This id BIG!
    Looking forward to it

  2. Wow that is a massive undertaking.

  3. Yikes! That thing is big. Your bulkheads are very impressive. How did you make them? Contour gauge?

  4. Impressive and ambitious. I always think of the Sunderland as being big and graceful .Thomas, please keep us post on your progress on your journey with this project. With great risk come big rewards. It looks like your well on your way to making a outstanding model.

  5. I have been following this build on another site, and I have to say that you have done a tremendous job on this. Having done vacs over the years, I really feel for your frustration mentioned earlier. Looking forward to the completion.

  6. Ho-leee wow! I thought the Sunderland in 1/48 was big!

    Just amazing work.

    I saw four RNZAF Sunderland Vs in Manila during the final SEATO fleet exercise before Vietnam heated up. I amazed everyone on the staff by being the only person to know what they were.

    • A great memory I’m sure. I too have recollections of seeing a Sunderland fly - there was one based down in Chatham in Kent (I believe) for a while when I was a wee lad. It’s now in Kermit Weeks’ collection and as far as I know, hasn’t flown for some years.

  7. Been following your progress on Facebook, I’m looking forward to seeing this monster finished.

  8. Epic work! Looking forward to seeing this one finished! I suppose all markings are going to be painted on?

    • Thank you - and yes, all marking will be sprayed on. Unfortunately kits such as this don’t come with decals. But saying that, having the markings sprayed on probably works better in this scale anyway.

  9. Andrew Alexander summed it up in one word- EPIC! Can’t wait to see her done Thomas!

  10. Amazing work, the other day was the first time I saw your work in FB. All are amazing! Looking forward to when this one is complete.

  11. Positively excellent work. Where do you display something this size when it's completed?

    • Thanks - and thankfully I have a large and relatively dust free attic where they are stored. She’ll be in good company too - there’s already a 1/32 B-29, Halifax, He-111 and B-17 up there, with a 1/32 Avro Shackleton and 1/48th B-52 in progress too. Needless to say, room is fast running out!

  12. Unbelievable dimensions, Thomas.
    Wonder how big your workbench is to hold this amazing plane.
    Really looking forward to the progress of this beautiful airplane.

  13. Awesome. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

  14. You're a brave man Thomas!
    Keep up the great work.

  15. Man - way beyond me! And HUGE! (I thought I saw your daughter struggling to stay upright, holding onto that thing...). Looking forward to the finish!

    • Ha ha - thanks, Greg. It’s actually surprisingly light as there really isn’t much to it - I was more worried about a large gust of wind coming along and blowing them both away ?

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