After a break of a few years, I have got back into modelling. I have a number of projects on the go and always tend to do something else between projects to prevent myself becoming stagnated with the same models.
Whilst thinking of what I should do as the “something else”, I decided to go for something a little different. Something a little uncommon and at the same time fairly challenging. Perusing a 35 year old and tattered annual that I found in the attic I came across the very thing…
…the Maximum Security Vehicle from Gerry Anderson’s ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’.
The vehicles themselves were supposed to be heavily armoured transporters, fitted with four double wheels and gull-wing doors. However, they never actually appeared much in the series. They’re probably best remembered in their rendition as “Dinky Toys” (nowadays highly collectable).
I opted for wood as the material of choice for the main body, with glass fibre forming the cabin area. The overall size of the model was decided for me by a set of wheels that I had in my “widget box”. These were radio-controlled aircraft wheels that I bought from my local model shop several years ago for another model that never got off the ground.
I started by making up my plans in line with the wheels that I had. Then I glued lengths of balsa wood together to make up the basic shape of the body. This was then carved and sanded to roughly the right shape.
The cabin section was carved from ‘Oasis’ foam. This is the foam that you buy from the garden centre for sticking dried plants into! I then coated this in fibreglass cloth and resin to form a hard shell. Once the fibreglass had dried, I simply scrapped out the foam from the inside. Also I made up some brass axles, which the wheels would fit onto. The ends were capped off with plastic tube to enable the wheels to spin freely.
The cabin was then fitted to the main body, using car body filler. More filler was applied over the entire model and the windows and vents were drilled out roughly. Also, part of the centre section was made up, using balsa and blended into the bodywork with more filler. The model was then sprayed using grey primer to show up any discrepancies or blemishes.
I found that after the gradual build up of filler, the wheels no longer sat properly inside the model! Therefore, I had to cut a small section out of both axles and shorten them. They were then joined back together using a larger piece of tube. I then cut a piece of Perspex sheet the same size as the bottom of the model which would form the base plate. In order to give the model some kind of suspension, I made up some brass swing arms which were fitted to the base plate and then soldered onto the axles. This enabled the wheels to move up and down.
I made up the wheel covers from plastic sheet cut into discs. These were then pressed over a smaller metal disc to give them the dish effect. Holes were drilled into these and centre parts made from plastic tube capped off with more plastic sheet.
Next was the arduous task of filling, sanding, priming, filling, sanding, priming (repeat, repeat, repeat), until I was happy with the shape and finish of the model. Also, the window, light and vent holes were opened up to the correct shape.
Ribbed plastic card was fitted into the vent openings and the twin bumpers and fin was made from thick ABS plastic.
On to part 2