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  1. After reviewing this puppy here the other day, I thought I’d give it a go at actually completing a model for once. It’s a nice-looking kit and I like the Zero, and I also like Eduard’s kits, especially their recent ones. I started following the instructions (I know, weird eh?), and prepped the fuselage halves with the instruments and boxes, stripping off the moulded-in detail that’s replaced by the PE parts from the sheet to give it a bit more finesse. A lot of the PE is pre-painted so can’t be put on just yet, so I moved onto the rudder pedals, and here I made my first mistake. If you glance at the instructions, you might think that you just have to remove the pedals by nipping them off. That’s not the case, as I found out when I offered up the new PE pedals. I’ll fix the damaged part later, but pinched another set of pedals from the other set of sprues, nipping off the front of the pedal then sanding and scraping the arms back and attaching the new pedals. I’m also using the 3D Printed Brassin seat, which you can see here along with the resin wheels and the bronze gear legs. That was work of a few seconds, and I attached the brackets to the frame, offering up the seat to ensure they were in the correct place. The adjuster has the semi-circular track nipped off and replaced by PE, with the front face curved to match the sides. After annealing it in a flame, I found it fitted one of my rolling “pins” perfectly and once that was done I secured it with a tiny amount of CA applied by blade. The cockpit floor has an equipment box moulded into it, which has some of the detail removed and replaced by four T-shaped controls later. They’re pre-painted too, so I drilled some 0.3mm locating holes in the top and left them off for now. The clear panel in the floor fits well, and even includes two pieces of kabuki tape for each side. GS-Hypo cement secured that in place, then I added the detail bits to the floor in the suggested order. The same removal of the front detail was needed on the cockpit sides, and again on the instrument panel, then the guns were mounted onto that weird-shaped replica of the ammo feeds. You can quite easily get those the wrong way round if you’re a nitwit, so take care. They fit well one way, and while they’re setting up, align them so they’re both pointing in the same direction. The fuselage halves have a little bay for the arrestor hook, which fits really well and can be glued into one half of the fuselage for painting before you close it up. The same can be done with the landing gear bays, and these fit really nicely into the lower wing with a bit of care. The inserts with the blisters fits incredibly well, with a bit of flash, and I mean a tiny fraction of a millimetre around the edge of the hole making the fit absolutely perfect. I also made up the elevators with a very slight droop in the flying surfaces, then made up the two banks of pistons of the Sakae engine as separate sub-assemblies for painting, and possibly adding some wiring if I have time. I was really looking forward to making up the cowling on that jig, and I wasn’t disappointed. Each part was test-fitted just to be sure, but there was very little prep-work needed, just a bit of care with the application of the glue. The finished cowling is superb, to say the least I put all the resin/bronze components of the landing gear set through the sanding/chopping up process, and made up the drop-tank, which also fits together really neatly, but has a seam running through the filler cap depression. I reamed that out a bit and punched out a 1.9mm circle of 0.1mm styrene sheet, putting it in with some CA so it didn’t melt, and using a pointy bit of Blutak to hold it steady during gluing. It's all waiting to be primed now, which is the next task after cleaning my airbrush Couldn’t resist doing a tape-up after all that fun with knives and glue: I’ve got a bit of research to do on colours, but some of you chaps have already got a thread going on the subject, so I’ll ask any questions there rather than muddy this thread
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