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I reviewed this puppy a couple of days ago here thanks to @dora(of the Wings variety, not the explorer), and wanted to have a go at putting it together, as with it being a short(ish) run type of moulding, it would be useful to our members to see how it goes together.  This type of moulding needs a little more care in construction than your average big-box, stack-em-high type of kit, and preparation of parts is bound to take longer, with test-fitting and fettling an essential part of the model building process.  We know all that of course, but it bears repeating just in case some of us aren't familiar with the term :)

 

I started with the cockpit as per instructions, and have built up a number of assemblies, scraping seams on all the parts, which transforms them and makes construction much easier.  There's a shade of mould-slip on a few parts, but nothing too difficult to sort out with just a soupçon of modelling skill and patience. :smartass: The nose gear bay builds up under the cockpit, so that was done too, as they'll both be interior green, as will the main gear bays etc.  Those have just come out of the ultrasonic bath to remove any lingering mould release, which is more likely on short-run kits.  Apologies to those that I'm teaching to suck eggs, but not everyone's familiar ;)  Anyhoo, while those bits are drying off so I can photograph them, I thought I'd show you a little off-piste non-OOB modelling I've been doing on the leading edge landing light in the port wing.  There's a clear part included in the kit, but I wasn't too happy with it, so initially I cut and shaped a piece of 4mm clear acrylic sheet with a view to drilling a shallow hole to represent the light.  After a bit of retrospective research on what it actually looked like, I realised the lamp is large and mounted on a flat bulkhead in a square sided enclosure.  Back to the drawing board.  Version 3 involved squaring off the curved edges of the aperture, building up a little 3-sided box with a recess for a 3mm self-adhesive cabochon (a what?) that's often used in dress-making for rhinestones and sparkly bits, but also looks very like a scale light that some companies sell to modellers at inflated prices :owww: I bought a few sheets off eBay in various sizes for a couple of quid for a few hundred of the little blighters.  Money-saving tip of the day ^_^ I also drilled a few holes in the side walls, just like the real thing.  That's about the only deviation I'm planning apart from any losses or breakages, which I'll come to later! :cwl:

 

landinglight1.jpg

 

That's where we're at right now, and that little assembly will be painted up after being glued into the closed up wing (post painting of the wheel bays & their insertion).  The cabochons in the foreground will be glued into the recess you can see, as I don't want to rely on the adhesive, in case it falls off later on and rattles around.  I was tossing around the idea of using a clear piece of acetate or @woody37's idea of using a piece of sellotape, but as I've got to make good the curved edge, I'll use the acetate block and mask the shape of the outer cover so it looks proper.  That would be tricky with tape, and could look a bit of a mess.

 

The cockpit went together ok, apart from the control column pinging out of my tweezers, hitting my shoulder and totally disappearing.  I've nabbed one from an Eduard P-39, and will cross that bridge when/if I come to it later :wicked: I also lost the handle on a lever on the right of the cockpit floor, so I made up a new one from a piece of rod that I sanded to a handle-shape & glued on.  I think the nose gear bay sides need a bit of fettling before I close up the fuselage, as they're holding it a little wide, and contributing to a fit issue I've discovered/made for myself on the wing root.  I'll talk more about that later on when I've glued the fuselage and wings into their separate assemblies.

 

You might remember that the intake on the spine of the aircraft was an insert, but beware - there are two in the box!  Guess how I found out?  Yep - fettled and glued the wrong one in! :doh: I pulled it off the next day and glued the correct one into each half of the fuselage, and for avoidance of doubt it's the one with the hole in the rear face that you put a bit of mesh over.  That's fitted fairly well after a bit of fettling, and I will smooth it out properly during the fuselage closing process.

 

The main gear bays fit inside the wings with a bit of sanding down of the mould edge flairs, but I wanted to be absolutely certain they weren't going to baulk the closure of the wings later on, so I scribbled on their backs with marker pen, then dry assembled the wings.  Where the marker had transferred to the top wing I scraped off a bit of styrene with the side of a curved blade until fit was nice and loose.  It's more of a precaution than anything, as I hate having to adjust parts after I've spent ages painting them.

 

While I was test fitting the fuselage halves together, I decided to test-fit the nose insert, which has the two cannon ports in the top.  Fit straight off the sprue was pretty bad in fairness, but was a bit better once I'd removed any moulding artifacts and flash.  It's still going to need a blob of filler here and there, but it's far from unbuildable! :) I'll get that squared away once the fuselage is glued together, while I work on that wing root.  I'm not 100% sure what's going on there, but once the parts aren't slopping around due to being taped together, I'll be able to get a better handle on it and formulate some sort of plan for dealing with it.  Happy days! ^_^

 

I'll take a few snaps of the cockpit, wheel bays & such once they're dry. :selfie:

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With a bit of encouragement from some canned air, the parts are mostly dry, so here's what's done so far.

 

The cockpit was put together and then left to set up in the fuselage to get the correct angle for the rear deck.  After that it was chocked up with a few strips of styrene to make sure it stays put.  You can see the dark grey stick and the white nobbie from my earlier losses/breakages, and the neat little wheel on the console.  I forgot to take a pic of the seat, but as it's seat-shaped, I'm sure you can imagine ^_^

 

cockpit1.jpg

 

cockpit2.jpg

 

The gearbays just needed some fettling, and you can see the IP there with its nice PE rudder pedals. 

 

gearbays1.jpg

 

The fuselage has its correct inserts added and some general sanding done, but I'm going to do the rest of it when I tackle the fuselage join.  I reinforced the join with some slips of styrene strip from the inside, and flooded the join with CA from the inside too, after which I sanded the outside lightly to create a soup of CA and styrene dust to clog up any gaps.  Seems to have worked :)

 

fuselage1.jpg

 

 

I've cleaned up and test-fitted the nose gear legs & actuators, which just needed a tiny amount of the peg cutting off the lowest strut (not in the picture) to get a better fit.  The main gear legs are also being done, and they're looking quite neat with the seams dealt with.  I'll have a look where the brake lines go and add those before I get to the primer stage.  Gear bay doors have also been cut out and fettled, so that I can put the interior colour down in a oner.  Tyres all fit together nicely once you ream out the recesses that the pins fit into, as they're too tight otherwise, and a bit clogged on my example.  The extra slop allows you to fine-tune the fit so there's less sanding needed.  Squoze them tight to get the liquid styrene to ooze out and I'll sand them down next session. :)

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Got a bit of black primer on things last night, so once I've got a bit of interior green blasted at it later I'll post a few pics.  I've been speaking to Dora Wings about my build and they've told me (much to my relief) that I'm heading in the right direction.  Happiness! ^_^

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Managed to paint up the cockpit, gear bays, bay doors and so forth over the break, and got the matt coat on earlier today.  I've already glued the wings together and begin blending in the wing-mounted landing light, plus adding in the control surfaces, which I'm going to be putting some filler onto, as they've got some mild sink marks, as has the wing forward of the flap bay.  It's to be expected though, so no biggie.  A slather of some Tamiya Basic, liberal application of sanding stick, then some primer to fill the grain should see that sorted.  I'll leave them to set up for a day before handling though.

 

fuselage2.jpg

 

cockpit3.jpg

 

The cockpit looks a bit dark in the photos, but when the seat's in it looks a lot better.  The decal on the instrument panel responded to some Daco Strong decal solution and patting down with the tip of a cotton bud, and I still need to put some Klear in the dials to simulate glass to finish off.  Gear legs are done apart from hosing, and I've noticed that the main gear have been modelled in the fully down position, when it appears that most museum exhibits have a little bit of the shiny oleo showing between the kink and the outer.  It probably doesn't affect the sit of the aircraft much, but if it bothers you, you can put a couple of mm of tube pinned in place to change things.  Very pleased with the Molotow Liquid Chrome and how it goes onto the oleo struts.  I found the 2mm a bit wide for the tricky bits, but I decanted a little puddle onto a Pringles can lid, and couple brush it into place if I was quick.  I've a mind to get a 1mm nib for the next job though :) Belated thanks to Paul Modelling Tools for that one, as I'm afraid it did a disappearing act after he sent it :blush: That's what you get for having a horribly messy workbench I suppose :unsure:  Oh, and another little bit of "accidental" scratch building was done, to add some wiring and detail to the box on the rear deck, as it looked a bit isolated to me.

 

The other bit of scratch building was the landing light, which you can see the shell of up top.  I painted the little assembly silver and added a stick cabochon as promised.  It should look good behind whatever type of glazing I go for eventually.  That's got to be decided later, but I'm still erring toward a chunk of clear acetate sanded and polished back to the wing profile, then masked into the semi-circle and painted.  We shall see though. :hmmm:

 

landinglight2.jpg

 

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A quick heads up while I remember :drunk: The part numbers of some cockpit parts are incorrect, and in step 18 F38 should read E38, and F17 should be E17 (not the band).  Later on with the ailerons and flapperoos, the numbers are transposed as if someone had looked from the top then drawn the pic from underneath.  That one's pretty obvious too, as the parts just wouldn't fit t'other way round :doh:

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Another tip, and this time it's about the creation of the cockpit tub.  I had left the front bulkhead kind of high on the floor part, partly due to the moulding seam/slip, and that was causing some of the issues with fit between the fuselage halves in front of the windscreen area, and with the sides of the nose gear bay.  I've removed the part, sanded down the groove that sits on the floor, and reinserted it, which seems to have relieved a lot of the stress around there.

 

Thanks for the likes in the meantime folks :yes:

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Looking rather neat Mike.  Are you able to extend the oleo sections at all, or will they have to be fitted as is?

I guess it would be a lot of work to extend them as you would have to reduce the length of the legs to compensate.

 

Chris.

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I'm trying to think of a way for a Dora crossover...maybe "Filler, no filling!"? :lol: 

 

Keenly watching!

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On 03/04/2018 at 23:06, stringbag said:

Looking rather neat Mike.  Are you able to extend the oleo sections at all, or will they have to be fitted as is?

I guess it would be a lot of work to extend them as you would have to reduce the length of the legs to compensate.

 

Chris.

Thanks Chris ^_^ It would be easy enough to do, but as I noticed after I'd painted them, I'm going to leave them as-is.  Just a quick chop and insert with a pin through-and-through would do the job.  I'm not sure if you'd need to shorten the strut, but I suspect not from looking at it.

 

I've been a bit quiet on this for a while, but I've been beavering away when I can.  Once the fuselage halves were together I realised I'd forgotten to install the nose leg.  Oopsie! :blush:  No matter, as I'll just trim and pin it later :yes: I also worked on the fuselage to wing fit, which was sketchy initially, but I managed to get it as snug as I can.  The main wing/root join is as good as you'll get, while the curved "horns" at the centre of the root will need a little slurp of filler once installed, as they're just a tad too narrow.  I'm planning on using some Milliput so I can smooth it out whilst wet, as sanding will be a bit fiddly otherwise.

 

wings1.jpg

 

I've also filled and sanded the minor sink-marks on the flaps/trailing edges with some Tamiya Basic Putty, which now look somewhere near, and the same process on the fuselage.  There's not an awful lot to sand actually, as the underside has that massive strake from wing to tail, but the topside needed a little care.  The intake has been fiddled-with to finess it a bit, and the nose insert has been sanded back to profile and matched with the prop boss so there's no step.  The intake insert is now flush and just needs a little bit more filler, and some repairs to the panel lines nearby.  Meantime I built up the elevators, which are handed due to the circular access panels on one side, and with a little fettling they both fitted together nicely.

 

fuselage3.jpg

 

Here's a quick shot of the wings and fuselage mated together, but you might not be able to make out what I was talking about due to the large expanses of black primer. :hmmm:

 

airframe1.jpg

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mike said:

  I'm not sure if you'd need to shorten the strut, but I suspect not from looking at it.

 

Just concerned that it may sit a little tail low otherwise.

Can't really tell from the pictures.

 

Chris

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We'll talk about that when I'm about to sit her on her wheels.  Cant' really do a test yet without the wings glued on :shrug:

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I've been reinstating panel lines this session, making all the joints go away, and adding in a few extra fairly prominent rivets I saw on airframes that weren't there, or had been sanded away during the seam filling process.  The plastic is very soft, so I also had to repair a scratch on the nose that I'd made, but it's generally the work of moments with a bit of CA and a sanding stick.  After that I thought it was about time I made the lens for the landing light.  You might remember I'd cut out the bay so that the rear was square to depict the bulkhead and lamp, so the piece of acrylic was fitted snugly to the aperture, then polished back to clarity with progressively finer grits.  Once it was shiny I secured it with CA and flooded the edges to give it a neat join. 

 

landinglight3.jpg

 

After a few minutes I sanded off the majority of the excess with a sanding drum on my Dremel, tidying the shape with a coarse grit sanding stick.

 

landinglight4.jpg

 

Then it was a case of sanding it back flush with the surface using a medium grit stick, so that the scratches wouldn't be too deep for the finer sticks to leave it flush.

 

landinglight5.jpg

 

Then, like a muppet I masked it up and sprayed some primer over it to check the edges were smooth, so you can't see it in all its shiny glory :coolio: That little bit in the pic it a piece of mask I didn't see lurking after I'd adjusted it.

 

With that out of the way, I decided to fit the nose wheel to the bay before I added the wings, which was surprisingly easy, and involved cutting off the lugs so that the sides of the part rest against the bay walls.  Not quite as strong as originally intended by the designers, but as the other alternative involved pulling the model to bits or running a pin through the whole fuselage, I think this option will do.  Serves me right for forgetting to install it in the first place! :doh: I rechecked the fuselage to wing joint, adjusted the little "ears" at the front a bit, then applied some glue.  It's looking like it'll need very little filling other than the expected bit of Milliput at the ear junction with the fuselage.  MY tube of Vallejo plastic putty with the precision applicator should take care of the wing root join on top, while a little Tamiya Basic Putty seems in order under the trailing edge joint.

 

I broke my canopy's windscreen while I was applying the masks, but Eugen from @dora has kindly sent me a replacement, which I'm waiting for the postie to deliver soon.  I can't really fit the canopy until that's here, but I've got the old cracked on taped in place to protect it from the spot primer I was lashing round to check my seams.  Once that's here I'll be able to make some proper progress toward painting her :)

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As I decided to slap the elevators on, I took another pic and then left it in the photo booth so it didn't get squished by me blundering about while I wait for it to all set up.  The Elevators look pretty good in the fit department, and I squared them up on bits of Blutak against the fin, which I hadn't noticed is actually quite tall until now.  They might need a swipe of Vallejo Plastic Putty underneath later, but I'll decide when I pull off the Blutak blobs tomorrow :)

 

airframe2.jpg

 

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Eugen pointed out another goof I'd made by PM to spare my blushes, but it's definitely one worth sharing if it stops people making the same mistake :) I'd totally forgotten to consider NOSE WEIGHT! :shocked:

 

I suspect my subconscious thought processes were either "WWII piston-engined fighter, just needs building, right?", or "Oh look! that battery that has sat on my desk for a couple of days since I charged it needs a top-up, and that.... oh look!  Fish! :hypnotised: ".  I can't tell you which one it was for certain, but it wasn't the first one :fraidnot::shrug:

 

Anyway - on Eugen's advice I needed to find a place for around 15g of weight, which doesn't sound much until you pour out 15g of lead shot or little metal punchings.  Where to put it?  Behind the prop in the fuselage, of course, but how?  By drilling a big hole in the fuselage that will be hidden by the prop when the model is completed of course, dear Liza! :huh: Out came the Dremel, and in went the hole.  I then spent what seemed like an eternity gluing lots of little metal circles (from out of the base from a lamp that died) into stacks, coating them in CA and dropping them in the hole.  I must have made dozens of these things, maxing out at around 8mm so they didn't cause a log-jam in the hole.  I added a few more to fill up the cavity to the (near) brim, then put a bit of extra CA in the hole just for luck, trying to keep it sensible so the exothermic reaction (:smartass:) as it  cured didn't go off the charts and melt the nose.  I'm letting it cure a bit before I handle it to minimise the chances of bits breaking loose and leaving me with a rattling model. ;)

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Looks great so far. Personally i always preferred the lines of the P-63 over those of the -39.

 

-d-

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Thanks @David H :) While I wait for the canopy replacement that's on the way, I've been busying myself with other things, amongst which are the bits & bobs hanging under the airframe.  There are a complement of three drop tanks and two .50cals in aerodynamic fairings, so I've prepared all those parts.  The short pylons on the wing-mounted tanks and struts on the centreline tank needed a fair amount of prep-work, but the tanks themselves were quite clean.  I replaced the moulded-in filler caps with punched discs of aluminium tape, and rtather than spend time tidying up the .50cal barrels, I just cut them off and replaced this with lengths of 0.8mm tubing cut to 10mm which includes a 2mm mating section.  Each pylon and pod has a gentle curve engineered in, and they all fit nice and snugly to the wing now that I've opened up the holes to the correct width.  I'd opened up the two holes for the conformal centreline tank, so shoved a bit of grey rod in and nipped/sanded them back to flat so they can't be seen on the finished article.

 

underwing1.jpg

 

A quick squirt of primer and see if they're ready for paint next.  I had to fill some sink-marks on the pylons with CA, so hopefully those are nice & flat now but as I've glued them to the tanks it'll make any remedial work a bit more fun :D

 

 

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The canopy has arrived! :yahoo: Thanks to Eugen @dora for that, and to celebrate I've pulled off the old one, cleaned up the edges and done some careful test fitting, scraping edges here & there to improve the look.  It's looking decent now, so I've dropped the new parts in Klear and will fit them when they're dry :)  Meantime, here's a pic of the completed cockpit in the fuselage, which is the best view of it we'll get for a while.

 

cockpit4.jpg

 

You can see the hole I drilled into the nose to store those pesky nose weights I forgot.  Despite my best efforts a couple rattle a bit, but then if I catch anyone shaking my finished models there'll be hell to pay! :lol:

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9 hours ago, Mike said:

 but then if I catch anyone shaking my finished models there'll be hell to pay! :lol:

I'll wait till you go in to make a brew then.

 

Looking good though Mike.

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I just got a couple of those including the 2 seater in stock here at my shop.

Kinda nice to see a build.

I haven't seen a Kingcobra kit in 1/48th scale since the old MPM Expert series kit.

(It DEFINITELY needed an expert as I recall...)

 

Looks good.

Crack on!

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It's been a while since I've posted anything on this for a couple of reasons, but after Eugen supplying me with a new canopy, I fitted it and masked it up.  I couldn't reuse the masks that were on the other one, so I cut my own, and used CA to attach the canopy after scraping off the covering of Klear on the mating edges for a better grip.  I usually don't suffer from canopy fogging because I tend to place the parts in a well ventilated area upside down, which allows the fumes to dissipate without clouding the glazing with that annoying haze.  I moved my Xtracrylix rack a few days later, and a few pots fell out, liberating the canopy from the model, cracking the intake and loosening the mesh panel on the rear.  Oops! :owww:

 

airframe3.jpg

 

Fret not, as I've put it all back into shape, and I actually think the fit of the mesh is better, as I've faired it in with CA.  I put off doing the wingroot purely because I don't like mixing Milliput (no idea why, maybe the white mess?), but I got round to it today, and smooshed small quantities into the little indents caused by the slightly narrow track of the "cat-ears" that stick up from the wing panel.  It took longer to mix than apply, and should need little to no fettling afterwards.  I just need to wait for it to cure, but in the meantime I squirted a little interior green onto the greenhouse before I prime it completely.

 

 

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One of my favorites from my flight sim days. A incredibly underrated fighter. And one of the best looking fighters too.

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That's as maybe, but me Milliput isn't going off fast enough :raincloud:

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Milliput went off, I temporarily glued on the doors, and sprayed up the whole airframe with some black primer.  That's been polished up to a nice flat finish, taking special caution around the wing roots where the overspray "sandpaper" can occur.  I've been surfing Bing's pictures since to decide whether the silver finish is paint or bare metal, and although i'm coming down on the side of silver paint, I would appreciate some input from those wot know, as there are a couple of pics out there where it's difficult to tell.  There are also a few pics where the front panels around the prop are bare metal, as are the borders around the exhausts, which I'm guessing is for heat reasons.  The scheme I'm doing is 311721, which is all-over silver with a black anti-glare panel and red spinner.  Here she is in primer in the meantime :)

 

airframe4.jpg

 

I'm gonna have a further mooch about on t'internet while I also think about a suitable paint colour for what appears to be a fairly milky-looking silver. :hmmm:

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I was having a dig around my stash of Alclad earlier, and thought I'd test out a couple of shades as possibles for the main colour.  I got Semi-Matt Aluminium and White Aluminium out, and prefer the White Ally, as it has that lightness and a slightly milky sort of shade that looks more like all the photos I've seen.  The squirt of Polished Aluminium is just for the front panels near the prop, so I was checking the difference in tone.

 

painttest.jpg

 

I'm quite happy with White Ally, so I think I'll give that a go and see how it looks on the aircraft, then take it from there. :)

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She's totally covered with white ally now, and I've not yet handled her to give the paint plenty of time to gas off, so there's no pic either.  Looks ok from here, but I guess we'll see tomorrow.  I'll need to do some bits & bobs to it, but I might give it a coat of Klear first off to protect the finish while I muck about with it.  I also remembered to paint the wheels, gear bay covers (most of them), and all the tanks, which is a novelty! :)

 

Pics tomorrow.

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