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  1. I’ve stalled on the Zero I’ve been building for various reasons, but I’m planning on getting back on with that shortly, but in the meantime I wanted to get a little bit of building done, and had picked up the recent Wingsy Kits A5M Claude, and fancied putting it next to the Zero in the cabinet one day, as one led to the other – I’ll let you decide which one. I’d not heard much about Wingsy (another Ukrainian company - take care folks!) before, so I was interested to see what was in the box. It’s good stuff, actually, and there’s lots of detail in there, so I set off building it. The cockpit was a breeze to put together apart from the floor “window”, which I thinned down to get rid of a little sink-mark, then polished it up back to transparency before fitting it with GS-Hypo. I’ll cut a mask before I get to priming it – I hope! (edit: I did) The quantity of PE in the cockpit is good, and it all goes in well, especially now I’ve rediscovered my sticky-pick that I found on eBay some years ago for a few shekels. I also made up the engine, as that’s going to be put in pretty soon, and that too worked out nicely, apart from when I snapped off a couple of the push-rods, so had to replace those with 0.5mm rod, which should look identical once they’re painted. The cowling was prepped too, and the aft section that has the cooling flaps was thinned out substantially to give it a more realistic look, and I also separated the tips of the flaps too, just to finish it off. The exhausts are solid, or at least they were until I did a thing with my Galaxy Model motor tool, reaming them out with a rounded-end bit and finishing it off with a pointed bit to get the wall thickness somewhere near. They’re not as good as the genuine metal ones that Wingsy themselves made, but once I’ve painted them, they should look ok. A smoothed off the interior with some liquid glue and then went for my tea. I've been mucking about finishing off some sub-assemblies and preparing the instrument panel, as I'm using the PE and film option, so I thinned down the plastic panel, even though the instructions seem to tell you it's an either/or situation. I wouldn't have a clue how to use just the PE part, as there's nothing to attach it to the bulkhead with. I've thinned down the plastic IP as much as I dare and have attached it to the bulkhead under the gun breeches, ready to receive the panel and film once the paint is on. Speaking of wings (were we?), I glued them together after drilling out the holes I needed to, and was going to install the clear wingtip lights until I discovered they have sink-marks in the centres. Rather than try to fix that, I elected to replace them with clear acrylic, but as I can't find my sheet, I've had to order a new one. I'll cut small pieces, glue them on and file them back to shape, polish them, then put two-part masks on, as the Claud had a third strip of frame that ran along the leading edge, which is unusual for WWII type lights, but worth noting. I'll mask off the lenses and let the primer, top coats and varnish build up the frame thickness. Should work Not much to show for my effort yet, other than a bunch of sub-assemblies, which you can see below, a pic I took before I attached them mall to sticks for priming. More nonsense as it happens, or shortly after.
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