Lessons Learned so far—
I think this was the first kit from IMCTH. And though some would call the instructions for the Mustange nothing more than exploded drawings, they were at least very clear. That’s not the case here; unlike the Mustang kit, for example, there are very few indications in the instructions where holes will need to be enlarged or deepened. You should assume that any hole that exists will need to be slightly deepened and enlarged. A 1 mm and a 0.5 mm drill are essential. Diagrams are not as clear as in the Mustang kit, yet they are accurate. You are simply going to have to study the parts against the drawings to determine their correct orientation. The information is all there, but it certainly doesn’t leap out and grab you.
Cylinder drilled and ready to connect Intake and Exhaust Manifolds
CA will NOT stick to self etching primer whether on top or underneath the color coat. So, you have one of three choices. (a) Don’t paint the model at all and build it in bare metal as the manufacturer intended. (b) Mask the parts carefully before priming to prevent any primer from coating a surface which needs to be glued. (c) Prime everything to be painted and remove the paint coat and primer coat with CA Debonder from surfaces to be glued. I have chosen item (c) primarily because some of the masking would be too complicated to do well, and the Debonder really eats through the primer and paint and leaves a very clean surface for gluing. As an aside, I think I pointed out in my Fine Structure Mustang build log that I really favor CA Debonder made by CMK. It seems to be a lot “hotter” that any of the others that I have tried and does an excellent job whether I’m using it for removing paint and primer, or for separating glued parts when a rework is necessary.
Primer Removed from Mounting Stub
Removing Paint and Primer from Crankcase Part
The Sakae engine is quite a project, as you will see in a few minutes. About 100 parts plus or minus a few, and a lot of painting to be done. Take your time and enjoy it. As you will in the rest of the kit, your general modeling skills will be invaluable when you build this or any other IMCTH kit. Test fitting, filing, and testing are perhaps even more important here than in a plastic kit. The only real difference is that you will be working with White Metal and Stainless Steel PE.
First Cylinder in Place
First Row of Cylinders Installed
With a few exceptions, this kit is engineered in the details of the engine and cockpit in almost the same way as the Tamiya 1/32 A6M2 Type 21. I’m using this to my advantage to get a better idea of what final assemblies should look like, and what paint colors to use for the things I am painting. And, with a couple of exceptions, I’m mostly using Tamiya Acrylics for the build. I think that their formula for Aotake anti-corrosion color is really excellent, in spite of the fact that there is a fair amount of controversy out their about what Aotake really looked like. Tamiya have taken a position on it and stuck with it… .Bravo!
The Alclad “Exhaust Manifold” color is really excellent! I used it on the exhausts for the Mustang and liked a lot. I’ve used it on the exhaust manifold here and liked it even better.
Note Aotake Color on Cowling Mounting Ring & Exhaust Manifold Color
If you have difficulty getting lots of pieces to line up and mate correctly, as in the case of he intake and exhaust manifolds, and mounting rods on the engine, remember that this is white metal and it will BEND. Just don’t get too enthusiastic about it. Take it gently and you can absolutely have everything line up in the correct position.
I think that the order of installing the cowling ring, and exhaust manifold on the engine are done in the wrong order. It’s much easier to shape and glue in place the exhaust manifold before you mount the cowling ring, not after (as the instructions indicate)
Intake and Exhaust Manifolds in Place
One of the tasks in this part of the build is to drill 0.5 mm holes in the crankcase where indicated, and at the ends of the rocker arm assemblies, 2 per cylinder, 7 cylinders per row on the engine, 2 rows of cylinders for a total of 28 push rods on the engine. Doubling that yields 56 holes to be drilled. The instructions call for these holes to be 0.3 mm deep. NONSENSE. Go ahead and drill through, if you have excess piano wire it will end up invisible in the crankcase because you can push it through the top of the rocker arm until it is flush and need only minor filler or CA to rid yourself of the small hold.
Ready to Drill for Pushrods
Crankcase & Rear Cylinders Complete
Crankcase & Cylinders Complete - Note Pushrods in place
With the addition of the Ignition Ring, the Prop Shaft, and the front of the crankcase, the front of the engine is now complete.
I have the Eduard Engine Detail set for the Tamiya Kit and I’m thinking about using at least parts of it to spruce up this engine a bit. At the very least, I’d like to get Ignition Wires installed. So, I’m probably going to test fit some some of the PE parts and see how it goes.
So, here is the complete front portion of the engine. Next time, I’ll report on what happens with the Eduard set and we will finish building the engine before moving on to the first part of the fuselage and the cockpit.
Happy Modeling, everyone!
Engine Front Section - Rear View