Part 2 - Building the Wing
Wing assembly begins with attaching the front and rear spars to the bottom framework of the wing.
With the slots and tabs on the spars, I thought assembly would be simple. Just line up the slots and tabs, insert, apply some CA. Easy right?
Well not so fast. The slots and tabs primarily aid with alignment. The tabs are too shallow to hold the part in place hands free and the slots are a bit oversized and allow for too much movement.
On top of that, I started off using a thicker, gap-filling CA glue with a 5-15 second working time.
It was easy to apply with the glue applicator, but I found it was taking much longer than 15 seconds to cure enough that I could let go of the part.
After about 4 failed attempts to get the spar properly attached, I was beginning to wonder if I would even be able to get this model together at all!
So I decide to switch to the Thin 2-5 second CA glue.
I just noticed the product description happens to say: INSTA-FLEX has also proven to be superior when bonding anodized aluminum.
Turns out it also does a great job bonding with this thick PE!
So the spars were finally put in place.
Next came attaching the ribs. The slot to place the rib over the front spar is about 4x larger than it needs to be. A correction to the instructions tells you that you must attach the rib flush to the front of the spar so that the gap is open on the back side. This forces you to have to hold the rib firmly in place with pressure against the front spar to try and minimize the gap.
Some of the ribs are complete from front to back while others are separate pieces. Now that I was using the thin CA, things actually moved rather quickly with the rest of the ribs.
One thing I have found very helpful so far has been the use of CA debonder.
Anytime I have a problem attaching a part (like the 4 times it took me to attach the spar!) I would use the debonder to remove the dried build up of the CA glue.
In addition, I finally found a use for the Microbrush applicators I’ve had in my tool caddy for years! The fuzzy tip of the applicator can be dipped in the debonder and used to clean away excess dried CA from the joint!
This leaves a nice clean finish without large amounts of excess CA even around the smallest joints.
Another few hours of work and the wing, flap and aileron were complete.
Here’s another close up look at the fine detail and engineering of this PE. You can see they even create recesses for the rib to fit neatly between the fore and aft parts of the aileron.
Oh, I now have the complete other side to do!
With the wing ribs in place, next is to install the white metal gun bay, guns and ammo.
Although IMCTH suggests leaving all parts in the natural metal finish, I have chosen to paint select internal components in hopes of showing off more of the detail built into the kit as well as tie it closely to the Tamiya P-51 build I did that this will sit next too.
White Metal needs to be primed so that the paint will adhere properly. I found the Tamiya Metal Primer in the rattle can does a fine job.
Here I sprayed the engine and the paint has stayed in place even after lots of handling to spray the different colors, hand paint parts and dry brush everything.
The machine guns and ammo belts are also white metal and painted.
This update concludes with the painted guns and ammo belts installed in the wings.
I would love to hear your opinion about my decision to paint some of the internal parts of this kit. Do you think the color makes certain parts stand out or does an all metal finish look better.
Thanks for watching!