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  1. Evening all, Having come off a steady diet of Tomcats and Corsairs for almost 10 years, i needed a "Palate Cleanser" that i could more-or-less slam together with minimal modifications, and get right to paint schemes, which is the part i love the most. Enter the Airfix Buccaneer S. Mk 2. Model building enthusiasts of the "Brick" haven't been really ignored, but they have been limited to the mold making standards of their era. With the exception of the lovely CMK Resin kits, most 72nd scale Buccaneers have more or less been shells that are Bucc-shaped on the outside, but sorely lacking in terms of substance in most other places. Not to mention kit makers have had issues getting the shape of the Buccaneer "Beak" quite right. Not so with this kit. I read many build reviews, and without exception have heaped praise on this kit. It ticks some key boxes like being Carrier-Based, and "Cold War" vintage, plus at least over here the Bucc is still viewed as something as an exotic; you don't see on contest tables very often. Citing the throwaway cliche "Construction began with the Cockpit", you can see what i did here so far. The cockpit sidewalls and tub were painted with Mr Color C335 Medium Sea Gray, and given a wash of water, Future, and Tamiya flat black. When dry this as well as the cockpit tub got a coat of Model Master flat clear lacquer. After i prepped the painted cockpit tub with some Mr Color Super Clear III, i applied the kit decals. I was expecting these to be a real mess, since the working surfaces were so small, but i was pleasantly surprised by how well they laid down and it was fairly easy to coax them into place. I suppose i could have held out for a resin cockpit set, but the added fuss of removal from the casting block, test fitting, etc. kind of defeats the purpose of making this a "Fast" build. One exception are the ejection seats. I'm keeping my options open there. I glued the cockpit tub into the left fuselage half, and them taped the right half on, serving as a "jig" to hold the cockpit tub and nose wheel well steady while the cement set up. When that was done, i un-taped the halves and mixed up some nose weight from a combination of 15-minute epoxy and copper shotgun pellets. Guidance from Airfix says 15 grams. i kind of guesstimated at that. Wanted to be able to still close up the nose halves after all, plus i really hate working with epoxies. When i glued the nose halves together, i deliberately did not glue the rear end where the halves wrap around the aft cockpit bulkhead- what i call the "Forward Fuselage Splice Point"- in order to be able to "squeeze" or "spread" the aft fuselage as needed to ensure a level, flush fit at the junction. I'll let this section outgas and harden while i go on my next tour and hopefully it will be ready for mate when i get home. Up Next: The fuselage centre section. Stay tuned.
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