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Alistair Gauld
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Special Hobby 1/72 Short Sunderland Mk.V

August 28, 2022 · in Aviation · · 35 · 1.3K

A marathon run at this one as it was started on Christmas Eve last year.

As with all kits there are foibles and challenges but the major issues with this build were entirely of my own making.

I had got her to the stage that i was starting to do some weathering on the fuselage but on June 17th I had an entirely avoidable accident with thinners resulting in the last two pictures above.

Resisting the urge to launch it straight into the bin I decided to see if it was salvageable.
Special Hobby came to the rescue with Decals and I got another masking set for the canopy.
Once everything arrived she was stripped back and restarted.

Primed with Tamiya Neutral Grey,
Painted with ColourCoats Interior Grey Green, Extra Dark Sea Grey, Tamiya Nato Black, Flat White, Buff, Medium Sea Grey, Royal Light Grey, Flat Aluminium, Gun Metal, Dark Iron, Clear Red, Clear Green and Revell Aluminium Enamel when I ran out of Tamiya.
Washed with Flory Dark Dirt, a mix of Flory Grey and Ultimate White.
Oil work with various Windsor & Newton and Abteilung 502.
Finished with Windsor & Newton Matt and Satin varnishes.
Rigged with Uschi Van Der Rosten Fine Rigging.

Thanks for looking,


Reader reactions:
16  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

35 responses

  1. This is a wonderful result out of the good but complex and challenging SH kit, Alistair!
    Your perseverance paid off! Would be a pity for this beauty not to see the finish line, despite the serious mishap. Special Hobby customer service was great and, indeed, came to the rescue.

  2. June 17th must have been a dark day for you, Alistair @alistairfgauld
    Good that you could resist it from binning.
    You finally turned it into a beautiful Sunderland.
    Well done.

    • Thanks very much,
      It was a bit of a shock but once i took the masking off the canopy and found that it had survived unscathed I was able to see the way forward.
      There were one or two other self-inflicted surprises in the later part of the build but I'm happy with the result.


  3. What an amazing save @alistairfgauld! A really great result, made better by overcoming the disaster.

    I have this kit and the earlier wartime Mk. II - both look quite challenging. How did you find construction?

    • Thanks so much Tom.
      The construction is tricky in places.
      I used a fair bit of filler getting the wings in place.
      The clear parts require a fair bit of fettling especially the Astrodome piece which is massively bigger than the hole in the fuselage for it.
      I was given the advice to treat it like a vacform while building and that pretty much covers it.
      Hope that helps,


  4. That's one fine looking build, Alistair. Congrats!

  5. Looking at the pictures of the thinner fiasco one would be tempted to throw the kit into the round cabinet. Alistair this a prime example of mind over matter, elbow grease and modeling skill. I'm impressed with the engines and the props, the beaching gear and the over all build. Special Hobby kits need more TLC but, with the additional work they can be good indeed. Pulling this kit out of the fire or pulling it out of the Rabbits hat is an added bonus.

    Two thumbs up

    Smashed the like button.

  6. What a great looking Sutherland and a terrific save, Allistair. Glad you didn’t toss it and kept at it. That’s one large model isn’t it?

  7. I always love Sunderlands, they bring back great memories of air experience flights at RAF St Mawgan. Terrific job on this one, Alastair, including the save

    • I remember the 1963 SEATO exercises (my first year overseas), which ended with the fleets coming into Manila Bay. HMS Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Venoms. the RNZAF bringing four Sunderland Vs up, I was the only person on the staff who recognized the aircraft. There were even all-gun cruisers! A very different world that no longer exists, seems almost like a dream to remember it. Those Sunderlands were impressive.

    • Thanks very much.
      They were stationed in Invergordon but unfortunately left before I moved to Dingwall.
      I would have loved to see them on the Cromarty Firth.

  8. Congratulations on the great save.
    Just to help us not to ever think of doing the same in our futures, could you mind telling us exactly what combination of paint vs. thinner caused the problem? And was it an accidental spill?

  9. Beautiful work and great save! She's a beauty and amazing to look at.

  10. Nicely done Alistair, well saved.

  11. Nice save, Alistair. It looks great.

  12. Nicely executed w.o. Squeezing the trigger. Great save. I have had similar experiences.
    Mr. Stripper comes to the rescue . That is a great product in itself for large or small saves.

  13. Way to go to make the save! I don't know if I would have had the patience. Came out very nice. The Sunderland is such a great-looking aircraft.

  14. Nice save Alistair and nice build. It makes me want to go buy one.

  15. I thought sure that you had lost the canopy, Nice recovery of a great looking flying boat!

  16. Great work on a beast of a model, Alistair (@alistairfgauld). I always worry when I get to the stage where I have my model and thinners co-located, because the chance of the two coming together unexpectedly rises dramatically at that point. You recovered nicely. I remember building the old Airfix Sunderland many years ago, but this one looks light years better. Well done.

  17. Thanks very much,
    I thought about putting her down while I lifted the thinners but of course I knew better...

  18. I think I would have given up after the spill but you stuck with it and got a great result. I built this kit a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. I had to do a lot of filling on the fuselage - did you have that problem?

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