Red Helijet “End of the road”



Some notes on accuracy

When I made this model the references I used were, screen grabs, plans from a Japanese book and the small Konami model.

Since I finished the model, high definition DVD’s of Thunderbirds have become available. Screen grabs from these show a lot more detail than before. Also, some of the members at eagletransporter.com have been doing a bit of research into the subject while making there own helijet models. The result is, I now know that there are quite a few inaccuracies in my model.

The B 58 wings are too thick, as only the lower half of the wings should have been used.

The small wings at the back should not be perfectly horizontal, but point down at a small angle.

The extra window on the port side is now known to be a boat window or port, made by Ripmax.

The pictures below are of some helijet builds which show how the rear detail should look. (See the screen grab of the original for comparison).


Construction

I started by putting together and painting the interior of the cockpit. The bulkhead behind the seats had a doorway and window in it. I covered these up, as there wasn't going to be any detail in the rear compartment. I made no attempt to match the shots of the interior from the episodes.

The tail booms of the huskie are used for the landing gear. I glued threaded brass rod inside these using two part epoxy. Once these were bolted to the body, more epoxy was used to cover the nut, making a very strong joint. The body halves were then glued together. Note: the small Konami model, which is incredibly detailed for its size. The doors of the rear section were filled in with plastic sheet. The bulge above the cockpit was cut off both ends and sanded flat.

The rear of both huskies were sealed off with plastic sheet, then stuck together with EMA box section. The remaining gap was filled in with styrene sheet.
The exhaust halves were fixed above the box section where the tail booms would normally go.

The top of the huskie where the twin rotors normally attach, becomes the mount for the vertical engines. This is first stuck to one of the Huskies tail fins. Note the engine exhaust bit is from an Italeri 1/72 B58. I know this wasn’t used on the originals.

The rear doors of the huskie were stuck together, and the bottoms of another set of doors were used to finish the part. At this rate I would need four huskie models to make one helijet. So for the other part required I used plastic sheet and car body filler.

For the pipes that stick out at the top, I used aluminium tube held in place with plastic washers, stuck with super glue. I used tubes that I had available at the time, but they are too small in diameter compared to the original.
I stuck in place the sub assemblies I had made, and the engine cowlings. The cowlings were first extended with styrene sheet and shaped to fit the curve.
Holes were drilled through the body and plastic tube glued in place. These would be used to hold the vertical wings in place. I wanted them removable to make painting easier.

The Revell Atlas Booster halves were cut to length and stuck in place. The open ends were blocked off with plastic card. I made a window from Perspex and styrene. This was based on the konami model.

When I started the helijet, I didn’t know which model was used for the engines and wings. I knew it was a B 58 kit, but which one?
I got an Italeri 1/72 scale kit first. The engines from this were too small, but strangely, the wings were too big. Next I got a 1/64 Lindberg kit. The engines were a better size, but not quite the right shape. The wings were much too big. I then tracked down the large Aurora kit, and everything fell into place. It was obvious that this was the kit used.

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You can email me at tobor@btinternet.com