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Hi everyone,

 

Just to put everybody at ease, work still continues on my F-4B (LOVEBUG) and my Corsair. Plus my Mosquito PR34 conversion.

Following thru on my master strategy of building enough interesting subjects before i die, i came up with a method of subject selection. The cycle goes like this:

Navy Jet

Kooky and British

Shelf of Doom Subject

Spitfire

Airliner

 

Now, while opinions may differ on whether or not a Buccaneer counts as "Kooky", it did tick the box. Finishing the Spitfire, which was a Shelf of Doom resident gave me a double bonus on those two. And of course everybody knows i built 3 Tamiya F-14s and i have a Tamiya F-4B on the go, so that leaves us with an airliner.

 

Enter the Vickers Super VC10.

 

Why? Why Not??!

 

There are enough finished Roden VC10s here on BM, but i haven't seen anybody do a "Deep Dive" on putting one together. So far, it has been....interesting.

 

Construction began with the fuselage. The Roden clear windows, with some persuasion fit okay. About half of the windows stuck out somewhat proud of the fuselage, about half set either at or somewhat lower than the surrounding fuselage skin. The windows were glued in, putty was applied over them and after about 3 iterations of sanding i had something smooth enough to apply decal windows  onto.

10-2

The mating surfaces needed a bit of sanding to make them adequately level, but the good news is the surface texture is a bit smoother than that found on the C-133 or the Boeing 720.

Next up were the wings. They too have somewhat uneven mating surfaces, plus there was a lot of flash on the trailing edges. In some places, you couldn't tell where the part ended and the flash began. I glued the trailing edges first, taping the wing trailing edge down to my benchtop in hopes of establishing a nice, straight trailing edge.

 

10-4 10-7 10-6 10-5 10-3

The wings have been cleaned up, have a coat of Mr Surfacer Black on them, and are about to go into a secondary QC and cleanup process.

 

Which brings us to the empennage. The VC10 tail section has been a favourite of marketing people for years, and it's every bit as recognizable at that of the Boeing 707, with its distinctive HF boom. IMHO its the neatest feature of the VC10, so understandably its come in for close attention.

10-10

Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly fall together. The actual VC10 tailplane was a variable-incidence stabilizer that was built in left and right halves and bolted together at the centerline, with an aerodynamic fairing laid on top. It was a very large, monolithic construction. Roden has you build up the thing in left and right halves and then butt join them to the sides of the vertical. This results in some awkward, non prototypical joints that require some careful application of putty and sanding to attain something that looks more or less one-piece.

10-14 10-15

After sanding back to bare plastic (why? i dunno. OCD or something), i was pleased to see that most of the recessed surface detail was still there and the imperfect areas were limited mainly to tiny pinholes here and there along the mating surfaces.

10-17 10-18 10-20 10-21 10-22

Building up the empennage this way is the least-bad solution to addressing this part of the model. If it were one piece, i could have left it off until the end game which would have made my job a lot easier.

After i get the wings sanded (again) it will be time to weight the nose and glue the fuselage halves together. Meanwhile, need to get back to work on the mighty Phantom...

Until next time....

-d-

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6 hours ago, Billthebattler said:

Some very thorough and precise work going on here. The panels have impressive engraved lines, and with the tail it's worth going to the extra lengths to get things right.

The panel lines are really uneven with this kit; delicate and shallow on the fuselage, deeper on the wings and vertical fin, except for the top where they're kind of uneven and don't match up great. It's workable but it doesn't go quickly.

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6 hours ago, Alan P said:

This is going to be an essential reference build I think! As you say, surprising such a seminal kit hasn't had a good shakedown build blog on here yet 🤔

*most* of the heavy lifting is done with respect to the flying surfaces; the fuselage is up next. Saving the engine nacelles for last.

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Short update from the Brooklands.

 

Fuselage has the requisite nose weight added, and weight and balance/CG checks are done. Halves have been glued together and will now cook for 8 days while i'm away on tour.

 

The wings have been primed, sanded back and are ready for the next step of the QC process.

 

At present, it looks like that famous photo taken of the V-1000 fuselage in its cradle, about when the programme was cancelled, LOL.

 

-d-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Folks. Latest construction update from Brooklands.

 

The wings are what i would say are 3/4 of the way through the assembly and preparation phase.

10-34 10-37

After careful thought, the fuselage halves were loaded with my preferred mix of copper shot and 15-minute epoxy, and glued together slowly in stages. The locating pins were wiped out in the process of cleaning up the mating surfaces. So the halves were carefully lined up and held together with tape. Then, liquid cement was carefully brushed into segments of the fuselage length, spread out over maybe 2 days. Then it was set aside to cook and outgas for 8 days.

10-30 10-31

What then followed was a lot of thought about the windshield. Some people had reported issues with the fit, and when i first checked it, it was pretty bad. I seriously considered dunking it in hot water to force the back end to fit the crown better. However, after flat sanding all of the mating surfaces, the fit improved dramatically. The only thing in the way of installing the windshield "cab" is a rather large gap, which you can see i am addressing here:

10-32

At the back end, the one piece end cap was installed, and it was rather large.

10-28

Finally, i was concerned about the fit of the vertical fin at the base of the dorsal fillet. Examination with the Mk I eyeball indicated the matching surfaces were not of the same cross section <COFF!CONCORDE!COFF!!>, so i went ahead and widened the leading edge and the forward end with gradually thicker pieces of styrene sheet (yes, i actually take a micrometer and measure these things...)

10-25

If all goes well, in the next installment i will have an assembled front end and a nicely sanded and blended fuselage.

 

That's all for now. Until next time....

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Just a minor update on the VC:

 

1) The windscreen "cab" is in place, it's been masked off and it is undergoing "blending" into the rest of the fuselage. The cross sections are close, though not perfect. The end result being that the left bottom edge of the cab has a slight overhang that will need to be filed back to play nice with the surrounding sheet metal. Masks will come off for safekeeping, cab will be sanded and polished, and masks re installed.

 

2) On a related note, the Montex windshield masks, so far, are quite nice.

 

3) I have successfully re-engineered the joint of the left hand engine nacelle assembly, but in the process of fixing the atrocious gaps where the upper and lower halves come together, it seems i have obliterated the fairing for the thrust reverser actuator. I will need to somehow restore this.

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Another update from the Pacific Northwest division of Vickers-Armstrongs...

 

I've been fixing the fit of the vertical fin. I was gonna post progress pictures, but i broke off a tailplane for the third time, and i want to patch that up and make it presentable, first. The tailplane has given me a fair amount of grief, because getting the alignment right has been tricky, what with the sweepback parallax error plus i need to set the incidence correctly on 2 separate tail surfaces.

 

The fit of the major subassemblies to each other is.....vague.

 

I took the rather draconian step of sawing the locating tongues off the wings, and i block sanded the ends with 100 grit to make the upper and lower halves level with each other, with a sharp, cleanly defined end. Right off the bat, the fit to the fuselage sides dramatically improved. I then drilled some holes in the wings and fuselage to take some locator pegs made from evergreen tubing and K&S aluminium tube.

 

Pictures of all this to come, when i return from my next 8 day tour.

 

-d-

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Something of a gap-filling update on the VC10...

 

I managed to install the cockpit windows with Krystal-Kleer, rather than the MiG Acrylic glue that i used on the Buccaneer.

At first i thought the fit was dreadful, but after block-sanding the fuselage ledges and the mating surfaces on the clear part the fit improved.

After the "cab" was glued on, the windows were covered with the Montex masks and the area was then primed, to get an idea of just how bad things really were.

10-44

The Montex masks fit extremely well, and i recommend them. The only think to be aware of is the canopy had a lot of distracting reflections and you need good lighting to install them correctly. The itty bitty "eyebrow" windows, not surprisingly were the hardest ones to install. You will need very sharp tweezers.

Then, gray primer was shot on to troubleshoot an "overhang" on the L/H side.

10-38

Two masks came off, i sanded down the ledge, masked and polished the affected windows and then put the masks back on.

10-39

i then applied a couple layers of Mr Surfacer 500 over the area in front of the glass (i'm not sure if that's prototypical), and i sanded it down and primed again...

10-55

Ah. Mucho Bueno-er.

10-56

I was hoping to have an installment dedicated to fixing the rather sloppy fit of the vertical fin, and i had a bunch of photos ready, but then i broke off the starboard tailplane (again) and i want to patch it up and re-photograph before i post. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but i will tell you that it involves clear mailing tape, super glue, and Mr Surfacer 1500 Black primer. Oh, and more sanding.

10-45 10-46

So, until next time.....

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1 hour ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Nice job on cleaning up the difficult cockpit contours!  I'm looking forward to seeing how well the Montex masks maintain their seal, and whether they leave behind residue.

I've used em in the past and they seemed to hold on just fine.

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Hi everyone, greetings from The Cathedral.

 

I promised Ian Goldstraw that i'd generate an update today, so here it is. It was delayed while i fixed a problem with the tailplane, In a nutshell, it's easy to set the incidence or the dihedral, but not both at the same time.

Anyway, the post is mainly about fixing sloppy 90-degree joints...of which there tend to be a lot of on airliner models.

 

Our story begins, with preparing the fuselage to take the vertical fin...

10-45 10-46

Then what you do is, you glue the vertical fin onto the tape/fuselage sandwich.....

10-47

but first protect anything that will be hard to fix if superglue gets in it.

10-48 10-49

It's up to *you* to get the alignment right, but once the CA sets up, you can back-fill with more CA to fill the gaps and set the position permanently. When you're satisfied, you can hit it with CA or you can let it dry naturally. The one caveat, being that CA can get extremely hard if you let it sit too long before sanding it.

10-53

The next step, is to remove the CA you don't want and keep the CA you do. In order to do this, you need a primer with a high contrast. And rigid-backed sanding sticks.

Enter Mr Surfacer 1500 Black....

10-57 10-59

At this point, once you know you have enough CA poured into the crevice and its fully hardened...the next step is to crack the vertical fin off the fuselage, taking the tape with it.

The result looks.... well it looks ugly as hell really.

10-60 10-61

This is as bad as this monstrosity is gonna look. It's now time to sit down, get the sanding sticks, and go to work.

Here is what it *should* look like, after all the unwanted CA and black primer has been sanded away. The dark line makes things look worse than they actually are, but the 90-degree corner is now filled.

10-68

I have to emphasize here that sanding sticks are required to get a nice, sharp 90-degree corner without chamfering the edge. There's a lot of Tamiya sanding sponge work here too, but almost zero sanding by hand with your fingers.

Here is the other side, although the caption emphasized the repair work i was doing to the tailplane...

10-67

i used this exact same technique to clean up the fit of the engine pylons to the fuselage, and i've also used it to re-work things like under wing weapons/ drop tank pylons. It comes in really handy when you need to re engineer engines in pods in pylons. Trying to work around them if they're glued in place is a real pain, and this technique allows you to leave them aside and add them at the end of construction...just like on the real thing.

That's all for now. As always, operators are standing by.

 

-d-

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Time for another update from Vickers-Armstrongs (America), Ltd.

 

Something else that was running in the background while i was working on the empennage, were the wings. Or more accurately, the wing-fuselage integration.

The Roden VC10, like so many other model airliner kits, uses a 1960s vintage method of tabs and slots to attach the wings to the fuselage.

The problem is the upper and lower wing halves don't fit together so great at the wing root, resulting in a mismatch where the wing butts to the fuselage sides. This results in a gap at the top, or at the bottom, or both. End result is the joint is a lot less clean and precise than it should be.

10-63

 

Once the wings were assembled, sanded, primed, and sanded back again, i took the rather draconian step of sawing off the locating tabs on the wings. After i did that, i block sanded the wing ends with a 100 grit sanding stick, to true everything up. Once i did that, the butt joint to the fuselage improved dramatically. I think the butt end joint to the wing is now very close to the dihedral, that needs to be set.

 

The next task was to devise a means to set the wing incidence correctly. To do this i drilled two holes into the wing ends. The first hole was located at the forward wing spar along the joint between the upper and lower wing halves. I drilled out a hole very close to a diameter the same as the fuselage slot width, and glued in a piece of Evergreen styrene tube.  I then closed up the tolerance between the tube diameter and the width of the slot with strips of Tamiya tape i wrapped around the tube.

 

The forward tube goes into the fuselage slot and it serves as a fulcrum/ rotation axis which keeps the leading edge aligned with the forward part of the wing /fuselage fillet while i align the wing incidence to the trailing edge lines up with the wing/fuselage fillet.

 

Next, i located a second 0.125 diameter hole behind where the wing locator tab ended, at the rear spar and i centered this hole along the chord line. I then inserted the wing  forward post into the slot and then coaxed the wing into proper alignment with the chord line of the wing-fuselage fairing. When i was happy with that, i taped the wing into alignment and made pencil marks on the fuselage sides where the rear wing spar line met the fuselage.

10-65

 

I then removed the wing, drew a straight line between the reference marks on the fuselage and drilled a pilot hole, along this line, centered by eyeball on the wing chord line. I then carefully bored this hole out to the same diameter as the rear hole drilled in the wing.

10-71 10-72

i inserted a piece of K&S aluminium tubing into the wing and then began test fitting the alignment. The alignment at the trailing edge wasn't perfect with the wing root, so i reamed and filed out the hole i drilled in the fuselage,to give me some up-and-down, and fore-and-aft play. Not a lot, but enough to make some very small, fine adjustments.

10-66

 

 

With that task done, i am now a lot happier with the wing alignment, and while the job of setting the dihedral is up to *me*, i feel like i've worked the assembly problem into something smaller and easier to manage.

10-64

And with that, it's time to get Engines 3 and 4 sussed out and then the assemblies will start to come together.

 

In other news, Eastern Express just released CAD renderings of their new Lockheed Electra. Oh, what fun...

 

Thanks for shopping!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everybody,

 

Another action-packed (and i use that term loosely) progress report on the mighty Iron Duck.

Today, we get the last of the engine nacelle integration work done, which clears us to finally install the empennage.

 

This is a repeat of the technique i used to tailor the fit of the vertical fin, but in case you were sleeping (not that i would blame you), here's another practical application.

10-74

This technique has been around for many years, the key difference is, most people use adhesive backed bare metal foil or Metalskin. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but clear plastic packing tape is readily attainable, cheap, and so much easier to manipulate in term of getting it in and off the model.

 

As i may or may not have mentioned before, the raised pads on the fuselage sides are removed first. They don't really help matters much.

10-40

With the raised pad out of the way, it's a relatively simple matter to slap the packing tape onto the fuselage side, slice out the area where the locator tab slots in, and start gluing the engine to the tape.

10-75 10-76 10-77

The upper part of the nacelle-fuselage joint is fairly benign, but the gaps are the worst, on the underside as the pylons wrap around the lower rear fuselage...

10-78 10-80 10-81

After a second application of CA in places, and letting the whole thing set up overnight, i next sprayed the entire engine nacelle/ pylon assembly with Mr Surfacer Black...

10-82 10-83

And then comes the fun part..... cracking this plasticized, crystalized half-styrene/ half-glue thing off the fuselage sides....

10-84

(sound effects added for emphasis)

10-85 10-86

What follows next is the hard part of patiently filing away the unwanted CA using rigid backed sanding sticks, plus while you're at it you can do some initial seam inspection/ joint cleanup work. My nacelle needs some more TLC in that department, but with the pylon work taken care of, i can go ahead with installing the empennage...

10-87

This frees me up to put the nacelles aside, paint and decal them up as separate assemblies, and install them at the very end on construction. It will only require white glue and any residual cleanup will be very easy.

Up next: Installing the empennage, which to me is what really "makes" the VC10.

 

As always, Keep those letters and cards coming, and, uh... Fly Navy!

 

-d-

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Just a quick update from Vickers-Armstrongs (Washington) Ltd:

 

The empennage has been successfully glued in place and the sanding/ filler work is done. I'm on the road and will probably not be able to get back to the Iron Duck until the latter part of the month but rest assured. All is going okay, if just a bit slowly.

 

I think when i get home i'll work on the wing fences.....

 

-d-

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  • 4 weeks later...

Greetings from your friends at Vickers-Armstrongs.

 

First of all, the empennage is installed. That's French, by the way.

10-92

 

10-93

 

10-97

What you see here is a shot taken after it was glued in place, but before cleanup work was done in some places.

10-94

The next thing i decided to tackle was....no, not the wing fences.

The wingtips.

VC10s and Tridents had what were called "Kuechemann" wingtips, which were characterized by a very graceful, sweeping leading edge that terminated in a sharp corner at the trailing edge. Roden made an attempt to get this right, but the fit of the wing halves is so bad and there's so much flash that its hard to tell where the trailing edge exactly is.

So, once i got the wings assembled and more or less cleaned up, i decided the wingtips looked just too blunt and rounded.

So, i notched out the trailing edge tips and glued in a block  of .050 bar stock, which i then whittled, filed, and sanded down to final shape.

10-99

 

10-98

and with that finally out of the way, maybe its time to address the wing fences.

 

Until next time...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Latest update from Vickers-Armstrongs Northwest.

 

I installed the first wing fence, the long inboard one from the NH photo etch set. Mee no Gusta.

 

It installed okay, but it wasn't easy. Its sort of like trying to glue a piece of A4 paper vertically on its edge, but worse- its not on a perfectly flat surface.

10-100

 

I managed to coax it in place, but NH completely missed the smaller leading edge fences located on the slats. So it was up to me.

In a nutshell, it requires locating the fences, making some careful saw cuts, inserting some raw working material, cleaning up around it.... and then cut and file away everything that doesn't look like a wing fence.

10-102

CA was needed to fill the lower wing surfaces where the saw cut shouldn't be, but once it was dry, the brass piece pulled out easily with a pliers and stayed out of the way while i filed and sanded out the lower surface.

10-108

When that was done, it was really just a matter of trimming and filing away material until i was happy with the final profile.

10-110

And the big payoff i'd been hoping for.  Wait.. For... Iiiiit....

10-103

I'd been gaming this out in my head for a while, and the first attempt seemed to work as expected... and hoped.

 

So one down.... three to go.

 

Until next time.....

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Posted (edited)

Last of the fences sussed out.... for now. The left inboard one i will leave off until the wings are assembled to the fuselage. i'm still not happy with how it installs, but cutting a slot into the wing that long will just compromise structural integrity too much.

10-111

 

10-112

 

And NO, the fences are not glued in yet.

 

10-114

 

10-116

 

10-118

 

10-119

 

10-120

 

10-121

Next up.... gonna shave off the rain gutters, drill out what i think are exit holes for the heat exchanger/refrigeration (?) inlets, and i'll try to make some fuel vent tubes.

 

-d-

Edited by David H
Had to clarify something.
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Well, kids... time for a major construction milestone.

Wing-Fuselage mate is complete.

10-122

 

10-124

 

10-125

 

10-127

 

Because of my doubts about the wing joint, the effort to re-engineer it paid off.

The wings actually attached pretty well, though i didn't manage to get the butt ends of the wings flat sanded perfectly. The port wing went on with minimal fuss, but i needed to glue some .005 sheet strip to the lower edge of the starboard wing to wedge up the dihedral a bit to match the port. But for the Mk. I eyeball, the wing angles are pretty close. Close enough for me anyway.

 

This was another use of the white cap, resin-infused Tamiya Liquid Cement, and i'm starting to like it. I followed up with an application of Tamiya extra thin all the way around each wing root.

Not sure if anybody will care but i also drilled out the fridge pack exhausts on the wing undersides, and i countersunk some holes to take MV lenses at the appropriate time...

 

 

10-128

 

10-129

 

The wing root filler work i anticipate will go quickly. Then it will be time to mix up some yellow green primer and applying the "art" to this thing.

 

Stay tuned, and... FLY NAVY!!

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What a great thread this is, and some exceptionally useful information and techniques too. Thanks for sharing!

 

Ray

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Latest Update from Vickers-Armstrongs (Washington) Ltd.:

 

We have primer!

10-128

Due to the size of the model, priming of the fuselage was broken down into more manageable stages.

10-130

 

10-132

i learned when you airbrush around the slots for the nacelles, it begins to sound like a very poor wind instrument, so i plugged in the nacelles to keep the overspray out. They're due for multiple rounds of sanding, re scribing, etc. anyway.

10-133 10-134

Tune in next week for another thrilling episode....

Same Bat-Time

Same Bat-Channel!

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On 1/6/2022 at 11:42 PM, David H said:

Hi Folks. Latest construction update from Brooklands.

 

The wings are what i would say are 3/4 of the way through the assembly and preparation phase.

10-34 10-37

After careful thought, the fuselage halves were loaded with my preferred mix of copper shot and 15-minute epoxy, and glued together slowly in stages. The locating pins were wiped out in the process of cleaning up the mating surfaces. So the halves were carefully lined up and held together with tape. Then, liquid cement was carefully brushed into segments of the fuselage length, spread out over maybe 2 days. Then it was set aside to cook and outgas for 8 days.

10-30 10-31

What then followed was a lot of thought about the windshield. Some people had reported issues with the fit, and when i first checked it, it was pretty bad. I seriously considered dunking it in hot water to force the back end to fit the crown better. However, after flat sanding all of the mating surfaces, the fit improved dramatically. The only thing in the way of installing the windshield "cab" is a rather large gap, which you can see i am addressing here:

10-32

At the back end, the one piece end cap was installed, and it was rather large.

10-28

Finally, i was concerned about the fit of the vertical fin at the base of the dorsal fillet. Examination with the Mk I eyeball indicated the matching surfaces were not of the same cross section <COFF!CONCORDE!COFF!!>, so i went ahead and widened the leading edge and the forward end with gradually thicker pieces of styrene sheet (yes, i actually take a micrometer and measure these things...)

10-25

If all goes well, in the next installment i will have an assembled front end and a nicely sanded and blended fuselage.

 

That's all for now. Until next time....

The actual aircraft was thin at the base and then tapered up larger at the top of the vertical tail, so you have tried to correct something that was OK anyway

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7 hours ago, kev67 said:

The actual aircraft was thin at the base and then tapered up larger at the top of the vertical tail, so you have tried to correct something that was OK anyway

sorry, i don't understand.

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Last nite, i finished painting the horizontal tailplanes. This was followed by a rather intense masking session, to mask off the distinctive tailplane "Bullet" fairing to get ready for the white. After this was done, i had to mask off the rest of the tailplanes to protect against overspray.

 

I had similar challenges like this with the Buccaneer. When the T-Tail cannot be deferred until the end of the painting/decaling/weathering evolution, it really gets in the way and you sort of need to depart from conventional painting doctrine (e.g., working from lightest to darkest colour).

10-135

As expected, priming revealed some areas that required a bit more attention. Mainly in the wing root areas, and a few hairline gaps along the belly fuselage joint.

Also, i've been having issues with the Tamiya white putty pulling off some of the filled-over windows when the Tamiya tape is removed. I'm addressing these on a case-by case basis with Mr. Surfacer 500.

10-136

i've actually started applying Mr Base White on the tail bullet and part of the solar cap. Most of the vertical fin will be dark blue, but i painted it white to maintain a consistent base colour for the dark blue to go onto.

10-137

Lacquer paints can be....finicky, when it comes to adhering to the plastic.

So, i'm painting the colour on a little bit of the time. This occasionally means having to stop, go back and fix an issue, but the fast drying time of lacquers means the inspect and repair cycle goes fairly quickly.

 

As always.... thanks for shopping!

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