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Part 2.

                              Main fuselage, forward fuselage and cockpit.

Well, time for a new build update of the Kittyhawk Gripen. Things are moving on, but perhaps a bit slower than usual after all it´s summer time!

With the forward fuselage and cockpit put together I moved along and finished the nosecone as well. The Gripen will be a tail sitter and needs some weight added to the nose. The instructions tell you this, but not how much weight needed.

Note: I have not built things in this part 2 according to the Kittyhawk build instructions and sequence. I have looked at the instructions and found out that I might have some better solutions to get the best possible fit of parts to avoid the use of filler as much as possible. Hopefully this will work out great.

So, I did my usual thing and filled the nose with lead pellets and the use of CA glue.

The pitot tube at the nose is quite large, so I digged around in the spares box for an replacement, when the solution came…I looked at my Draken stuff and came up with the turned brass pitot tubes for the Draken.

Quite an improvement over the kit one.

This is how it looks when it´s all done. The pitot tube is just dryfitted.

The nose cone is in place on the forward fuselage and I also gave the cockpit it´s base color in black, I will go back and finish the paint job in cockpit little later.

The nosecone don´t have a perfect fit and needs a little care and attention to smooth things out and get it even with the fuselage.

The engine.

This is all parts for the engine, including the PE insert. There are a few small ejector pin marks here as well…

Before I glue the engine halves together I drilled a series of small holes. This is done so I can drop in the rear facing engine part and glue it from the outside. Why glue the engine halves together now? well, I think it will be a lot easier to get a good fit of of the engine PE insert.

Since the inside of the engine will be painted in sail color and the last stage of the engine will be painted with burnt iron, things will be a lot easier this way, paint the parts separately and weather them before they are joined together.

So, time to get the flat PE engine insert to a round shape. The need for a soft surface underneath is critical. I have used a Flory Models sanding sponge as a rolling base and a few round rolloing “tools” of different diameter. 

Then it´s time to start rolling…back and forth…changing the rolling tool as you go. Go easy and take your time, until satisfied.

The rolling session is done. I will not paint the forward part of the engine as there are no intake channels provided in the kit…so it will just look stupid with a painted engine in the “roomy” fuselage. I will probably scratch build FOD covers instead. Also seen is the last stage of the engine, the one I intend to drop in after the paint job are done.

The engine PE insert are done and glued in place to the inside of the engine. Ready for some paint and weathering.

The main fuselage.

Some serious pinmarks to be removed…

When I was done with the pinmark removal I got curious the see how the CMK burnercan (intended for Italeri) fitted to the Kittyhawk Gripen and as you can see a near perfect fit. Nice!

Note: I also tested the Aires burnercan, but that one is a no go, it´s to small.

I got the airbrake interior and the parts for the APU glued in place before I worked my way through the fuselage and glued it together.

I didn´t glue the forward part of main fuselage (the black arrows). I wanted some play in this area to have some movement when it´s time to glue the forward fuselage to the main fuselage.

I also decided to glue the bottom plate/mid section of the fuselage at this stage. Again, I find my own way through the instructions and this bottom plate is in place way before the instructions tells you to ad it to the aircraft.

The bottom plate in place and also, as you can see, the front fuselage. Doing things this way we can get a nice fit for the front fuselage and a chance to glue it on both the top and bottom.

The topside of the join is glued as well.

It´s a quite tricky join between the front and main fuselage. There will be a need for a little filler here.

The Gripen fuselage are together and we can start to see the beautiful lines of the Gripen. Now it´s time to step back and finish the paint job in cockpit before we move on with build.

Thanks for looking in! Cockpit paint job next!