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Thomas Probert
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1/32nd scale Short Sunderland Mk IIID Models vacform WIP update March 2022

March 11, 2022 · in Aviation · · 11 · 1.3K

Greetings all,

Time for another update on my long-term 1/32nd scale Short Sunderland project.

Since I last updated you there's been plenty of progress. All painting has now been completed, using my trusted Xtracolor enamels. Uppers were done in Extra Dark Sea Grey and Slate Grey, with the lowers in RAF Sky - all done freehand. I used two tins of each colour to cover this mammoth model, which took approximately 10 hours to paint in numerous sessions. I used some lightened/darkened base colours to add a bit of tonal variation, before a flat coat was applied.

I've begun some light weathering of the model too - Sunderlands did get beaten up pretty badly but weathering is not my strong point so I always go for the more subtle approach. However, there is no escaping the trademark water stain on the hull, which was added with some careful airbrushing. Long over-water patrols meant the engines were leaned out, giving the distinctive light grey lead deposits on the upper wings - these have been added with the airbrush. I will do a bit more weathering in due course, but the basics are now there.

The masking was removed successfully and the canopy survived the painting process unscathed. I have also made the various radar direction finding aerials and added these to the fuselage sides and above the cockpit. I still need to make the larger aerials that are positioned under the outboard portions of the wings - a job for another day.

The beaching gear has been added - minus the wheels - which are prepared and will be added once painted. Exhausts were made from Evergreen tubing bent slowly over the toaster(!) and added to the collector rings before being sprayed burnt steel. Being the early style of exhaust there are, thankfully, no complex flame-dampeners to make.

Although the end is in sight, there's still plenty to keep me busy over the next few months:

  • make and install all the cabin glazing
  • make the turret interiors and mask/paint the turret glazing
  • make, paint and add the wing aerials
  • make and install the landing lights on the leading edge of the port wing
  • rig the floats
  • paint and install the wheels
  • final touch-ups and weathering.

Hopefully, next time I update you she'll be done and ready for you to cast a critical eye.

Best regards to all,

Reader reactions:
18  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Great weathering, Thomas @vacform
    Especially the waterline influence on the fuselage is looking very realistic.
    Nearly there.

  2. Most impressive, Thomas!
    In regards to your closing statement; if anyone uses their critical eye, now or when completed, let them build a 1/32 Vac kit, especially to this level of achievement, before they throw any stones.
    Again...well done!

  3. What a wonderful job so far, Thomas!
    This is a superlative model!

  4. she's coming along nicely! Top-notch work.

  5. Awesome sir. The only vac models I've done are the MiniArt building kits and they are hard enough to work with; I can't imagine what something like this would entail. Master level skills on display here for sure

  6. Amazing Thomas, this is the kind of work that makes me want to either be better at this hobby or just pack it in ...
    seriously this is great , are you U.K. based because I would love to see this at a club day or SMW , how are you going to get those cabin windows in ?

  7. Wow. 1/32 scale too.
    I look forward to seeing the finished product.

  8. Another TP Masterpiece Models production! Super work, @vacform.

  9. Many thanks for the kind words, gents - appreciated.

    Neil - yes I am indeed UK based and hope the have the model at SMW this year. I'm actually hopeful I'll have it done in time for the Milton Keynes show - if you're going - but I'm not going to rush it. However, being in May I should be in a position to have completed the last few bits.


  10. Lovely work Thomas! One of my favourite aircraft. I just don't have the guts to tackle one of these.

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