A real milestone this time….the wing is complete
But, it wasn’t easy getting there. I think that the flaps, ailerons, and wingtips were among the most difficult parts of this build yet, mostly due to the small size and/or complexity of the assembly.
Let’s look at the parts for one of the flaps:
I included the tip of the ballpoint pen for scale. As you can see, the ribs for these flaps are exceedingly small, especially note the size of parts B14 in the photo. My best recommendation here is to study the assembly diagram very carefully and resign yourself to the fact that it’s going to take some time and patience to build them.
I think they are really beautiful and realistic when they are done, so the effort is certainly worth it:
Next up are the ailerons, and let me apologize for not having photo documented this part of the build at all. The ailerons themselves are pretty easy… You don’t have to glue the ribs in place, they are simply twisted from a horizontal to a vertical position.
The leading edge of the ailerons is another story; There are 8 white metal parts which make up the leading edge of the ailerons; 4 large ones which look almost identical to each other, and 4 small ones which also look identical to each other.
The instructions are very unclear in this area and it’s critical to locate the correct piece in each position because it will affect the hinges, and the taper must go in the right direction. The taper of these white metal parts is especially ambiguous and I had to debond a couple of times to correct mistakes. Finally, though, they came together and here is the result of the flap and aileron assembly. I do have to say that these ailerons also look very realistic and include both top and bottom counterweights which look great!
Finally, we have the wingtips to complete. Remember, this was a carrier aircraft and the wingtips fold to conserve space; not by much but I guess every little bit helped.
I’ve included a photo of the relevant instructions here and I’m going to take a minute to discuss it because there are some important points to make note of here if you’re going to construct this kit.
First of all, note that parts A27 and A28 must be bent in a particular direction. Be very careful here. If you bend one or more of them in the wrong direction (as I did), they will break off. This is true of any PE bending you do in these Fine Structure kits. Putting the pieces back together was a near nightmare, but I got it done in the end.
Also note that parts J10, J11, J12, and J13 are white metal and their shape and dimensions are just plain wrong. They are not going to look right to your own critical eye, and you just have to accept it. There is no way to fix them. So, count to 10 and get at it!.
Finally, Parts J51 and J52 are resin, two of the very few resin parts of this kit. For some reason they were molded in a milky white color so there is no way that you can paint them with clear red and clear green and come out with anything resembling real wingtip lights. Not to mention that they are about 500% oversized and out of scale, and they fit poorly. Again, you just have to accept that they are notional in shape and size, and let the model as a whole speak for itself when it is complete.
Here are the parts for the wingtips:
And the completed items: (These actually do fold up and work on the model although I’m certain that the hinge is not scale accurate)
With the flaps, ailerons, and wingtips complete, we can attach them to the wings and complete that part of the assembly. All of them are hinged and operable; the aileron hinge arrangement is integral with it’s parts, the flaps are hinged with a piece of piano wire, and you can see the hinging piece for the wing tips.
Here are the completed wing halves:
I don’t know why the instructions don’t call for attaching the wing halves together at this point. It would seem a logical thing to do now, but they would have you wait until it’s time to mate the fuselage with the wings.
I saw no reason to delay it after I reviewed the instructions, and I was anxious to check the fit after my mishap that I mentioned a couple of posts ago with spar alignment, so I went ahead and attached the wings together. This turns out to be quite a firm joint because of a PE locking assembly on both the leading and trailing edge spars which lock the wings together at the correct dihedral. Turned out to be very easy to do, and I’m really happy with the completed wing:
(note that I have the port side wingtip folded in the ‘up’ position)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this part of the build… Next up will be the cockpit area of the fuselage and the rear section of the fuselage with the tail feathers (I’m not sure which I will do first).
But, I will be taking a break from this for 2 or 3 weeks because I’m involved in the Stars of the Silver Screen Group Build, and I have to get that completed by the end of April. I’m building the counterpart to this kit using a conventional 1/32 scale Tamiya kit. I’ve made good progress on it so far, and I expect that things will move quickly to a conclusion with that build soon. If you would like to see it, it’s in the Stars of the Silver Screen GB works in progress.
I’ll be back on this project with you as soon as I am able.
Take care everyone and thanks for reading.