I finally started work on this kit today, even after having concluded there is exactly zero chance of finishing it in time. I figure this is called a group build, not a group finish, and I'm building. More importantly, if I don't at least get this thing started, it will sit in the stash unused for years, and that's not what I had in mind.
This kit just wants to become an airplane. So far, I've assembled the wings sans nacelles, and glued the cockpit to the wing spar. Everything else was just thrown together without glue. It all seems to fit perfectly. the fuselage is actually made up of four parts. The front (version specific) part of each half is a separate piece. I viewed this with some suspicion, but Tamiya have come up with a simple locking mechanism hat simply clicks into place, and is then completely hidden by the wings once assembled. I may not even need to glue this together, so close and tight is the fit.
I've assembled the engine nacelles, and attached them to the wings, along with the bomb racks. This will now need to cure for a bit, after which it's time for inspection primer. I expect to find very little that needs correcting. I've also assembled the cockpit module, which is a little gem. There's not much to see yet, but I have high expctations of it; it should be a beauty once completed.
This build just refuses to pick up momentum; somehow something else always seems to take priority over it. Still, I've managed to complete the cockpit module, and the crew figures that are going in there. I should finally be ready to get some visible progress. Maybe..
The pilot just doesn't fit. Despite the various pieces of him not being out of proportion to each other to any significant degree, it is clear from the picture that his legs are way too long, and his torso much, much too short relative to the cockpit dimensions. I suppose I could prop him up by several millimeters, but the cockpit area for the navigator was too narrow as well, and so I gave up on the concept of crew in some disgust. If this plane hates it's crew that much, it can fly by itself and see how it likes that.
The fuselage has now been closed up, and the wings attached. Some minor work on the various seams will be needed, but not much.
Second restart for this kit.. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring this one to a finish this time round...
I just had "now, where was I" session with this mossie, and found that I'm almost ready to close up the fuselage and start painting. Before I can do that, however, there are some internal canopy frames to deal with. Tamiya very helpfully provide decals for these, to save the builder from painting frames on the inside (the outside is scary enough..). Sadly, these decals are worthless. The printer laid down a layer of white ink before printing the colours on the decal sheet. This is usually a good thing, since it will ensure the colours come out as intended, almost regardless on the colour underneath. These decals, however, will be viewed from the "wrong" side, so what should have become a nice stripe of interior green now looks like a white band with green piping. Not what is needed. Of course, this becomes obvious only after the first of the decals has been applied, which means removal of the decal, and waiting for the canopy to dry up completely before going to work with paint after all.
Let's be nice to Tamiya, and say that it's the thought that counts..
The canopy has been mounted on the fuselage, and I've shot primer on the model. I don't expect this coat of primer to reveal any lingering issues, so the model should hit the paintshop sometime soon.
As expected, the primer didn't reveal any nasties. To compensate, I almost got myself into trouble at the paintshop by forgetting this plane is supposed to have partially overpainted invasion stripes on it. To make life easier, I'm going to put on the white parts of the invasion stripes first (too close to the enige nacelles to mask the other way around). So, a simple paint job (just some green over grey) suddenly turned into a white, grey, green, black, grey mist, green mist sequence...
And then there was a bit of a disaster...
I'd masked off the white parts of the invasion stripes, amd proceded to blow on a thin layer of rattlecan black. Not a soaking wet drenching, a light coat. Which proceeded to demolish the paint already in place. Those fine white lines running through everything are actually slightly raised above the surface. This will all have to be sanded smooth, and the expense of whatever paint was there, a lot of time, and some very foul language.
After sanding, a new layer of black went on. Being a masochist, I used some leftover Revell ready-for-airbrush enamel (OOP for ages), but despite it's age, it worked perfectly. The surface appears completely smooth again. Happy days are here again...
I just put on a good coat of Medium Sea Grey (after an ugly coat earlier this week). I think I can safely say the disaster area has recovered
I finally got around to completing the first iteration of the camouflage pattern, and unmasking. I mostly like what I'm seeing, the exception being the stripes underneath the wings, where some of the black invaded the white. Some touch up required.
I copied the camouflage pattern from the instructions of the 1/48 bomber version also in the stash. As a result, it looks like I've inverted the grey and green. Are the instructions wrong, did bombers get an inverted pattern, or were both used? I really have no idea..
Once this is all thouroughly dry, I'll re-mask the undersides, and overspray the top parts of the stripes with the original camo pattern freehand. I'm gambling that the inevitable imperfections arising from this will look authentic, after all, putting on the stripes was a rush job, and it doesn't seem overpainting them later was much better. Scary going, though..
My plan to overspray the invasion stripes was scuppered by the green paint turning to goo when I added thinner. The paint worked perfectly last week, but this time both Hannant's own thinner and generic white spirits made a mess of it. After some foul language, I decided to do an even sloppier job of overpainting the stripes, and grabbed a hairy stick. For added 'realism' I used Medium Sea Grey from another manufacturer (ran the jar of Xtra dry, so patched with Humbrol). The difference may be greater than I'd like; we'll see what it's like when fully cured and dullcoated.
Not as close as I'd hoped, but it will have to do; further coats of paint to correct this would completely remove the shadow of the stripes, defeating the entire purpose of this.
Decals went on more or less uneventfully (on was uneventful, but somewhere along the line half a roundel tore off and vanished, producing a very definate 'off' event). The undercarriage, although fidgetty, fit perfectly. This is a bit of a theme with the recent Tamiyas I've dealt with: fidgetty, enough parts to line up to leave an octopus short handed, but perfect fit, meaning it's actually possible to pull it all off. Another pleasant surprise was the fit of the formation lights at the wing tips: perfect. Given that these are typically parts that will fight me to the bitter end, this was an immense relief.