Thunderbirds Zombite Fighter

The zombite fighter is from the Thunderbirds episode “The Uninvited”. Three of them are seen shooting down thunderbird 1 at the beginning of the episode. They are later destroyed on their launch ramp inside the pyramid of Khamandides.
I love this design, with its sleek body, big under slung engine and circular tail. They also have a nice colour scheme.



The Kits

The main engine was clearly from an Aurora B58 (kit number 375), these have a very distinctive shape. I knew the main body was an F-104 starfighter, but which one? The only kits I could find that were available in the early 60’s, and were the right scale for the engine (1/48), are by Lindberg and Hawk. I got one of each kit and compared them in the picture below. The engine intakes on the hawk kit are too far forward, and the rear of the body curves up. The Lindberg kit seems to match perfectly, so this is the kit I went for.


Construction

The rear fuselage was put together and a tank wheel fixed in place with a plastic tube attached. This would be used as a mounting point, for painting and maybe the final display. The tail plane was then cut off and sanded flat.

The main body and wings were put together as normal and the rear part attached. Two halves of the wing tanks were fixed to the top of the body. These were not designed to go there, so a bit of filler was used to blend them in.
Note that the Lindberg model has a lot of rivet detail on the body. I sanded most of this off, and just left some on the wings, showing the main control surfaces.

Small slots were cut in the body for the wing tips from the Aurora B58. I think these are what were used in the original models, as they seen to match in shape and size.

Looking at the screen grabs, I couldn’t see the cone shape part of the engine intakes. Therefore I didn’t use these parts from the kit and used styrene sheet instead. I think not having these parts makes it look less like a starfighter anyway.
The rear part of the canopy was stuck in place with superglue. It didn’t matter about the fogging as it was going to be painted.

The horizontal tail plane was cut in half and shaped to fit the top and bottom of the rear fuselage. Steel pins were glued in place to make the joints stronger. The B58 engine was shaped and fixed in place, again using steel pins.

I made the circular tail by laminating thin strips of styrene sheet. After studying the screen grabs again, I realised I’d made it too big. So I broke if off and made a smaller one. This meant I had to re-shape the tail fins. The new tail was fixed in position, and the construction was finished.


Painting

The Model was first coated in Halfords grey primer.


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You can email me at tobor@btinternet.com