Time for final assembly—-
First up was to mount the cockpit section of the fuselage to the wings. Like the Mustang kit, this consisted of 4 tabs (this time on the fuselage) into 4 slots on the wing spars. Here is where the time and care spent on assembling these sections really pays off. I heaved a deep sigh of relief as mine settled right into it’s slots, no problem.
At this point, it’s also time to put the wing “skins” on top of the wings. Remember way back when we assembled the spars to the lower “skin” at the beginning of the build? Well, this is a similar process for the top of the wing. It was pretty fiddly work getting everything lined up but turned out very well in the end.
Here’s a photo of the assembly with the fuselage section and the wing skin in place:
Now for a couple of detail shots of the wing. In this photo, note the Landing Gear Indicator blade in red (it’s pretty small!)
And in this photo the lights on top of the wings are visible. (I’m not sure what to call them; their colors match the navigation lights on the wing tips, so Navigation lights (?), formation lights (?). Anyway, it was nice to see them included. However they unbelievably small and difficult to handle. My wife had to help me locate one on the floor when it got a life of it’s own and “flipped” out from between my tweezers tips!:
Next up, I mounted the tail assembly to the fuselage section. This turns out to be another perfect fit (Take your time on alignment pieces, especially, when you build these assemblies!), however, it’s easy to get a perfect fit and a slight misalignment, as I discovered. About 1 mm out of place at the fuselage join means a very noticeable horizontal stabilizer that is NOT horizontal. Having learned my lesson, once again, I debonded the tail assembly, and did it again, this time correctly. Here are a couple of photos of it. The join is immediately aft of the antenna mast:
Next up was the installation of the engine assembly to the firewall. Thank God white metal is soft enough to bend, because this did take some work to get the large, thick tabs to line up with the rectangular mounting holes in the firewall. When mounting a large, heavy white metal assembly like this, I really strongly urge you to use gel CA. It will give a much stronger join, and the location for the glue is on the back side of the firewall where it will never be seen anyway. Here’s a few photos of the engine in place, since we haven’t seen it for quite a while now:
And, finally, I put the prop in place. I know, I could have waited until the remaining items were complete, but this has been a long road and I was ready for it to look like an airplane:
What we have remaining to do is the Vac-Form canopy (I hate these things; you would think that for the price of this kit, you would get an injection molded or even a clear resin canopy), the pitot tube, and the antenna wire.
So the next thing you see here will be a final reveal.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying it.