Now that the majority of the painting is complete, I’m starting to make real progress on the armour sections. These parts go on the inner shoulder. The photo-etched parts are nice enough, but when I put the two layers together there was hardly any depth differentiation between the bottom and top layer, so I used Tamiya smoke on the bottom layer and carefully hand-painted in the details with Tamiya clear blue.The outer face was panel lined and the small chromed piece added. These small chrome detail pieces almost invariably need a drop of glue to hold them in place. The serrated edge detail appearance was enhanced with a few tiny drops of Tamiya smoke. Here they are joined onto the inner shoulders.The inner detail on the panels will never be seen, but we know it’s there! Talking of inner detail, under the blue/yellow section is what appears to be a vent detail that you have to add a photo-etched grille. It’s not just hard-to-see detail but never-seen detail. The front wings have pretty good inner detail. The outside has panel lines and serrated edges to detail up. The panel lines are very roughly moulded in places with gaps missing. The rotating section on these parts of the front wings are held in place with a screw that was very tight to get in. I added some hand-painted clear red onto the chrome parts for extra detail. The front side doesn’t assemble like the manual shows and you have to work the front white part in from two directions at once so the clip pegs hold on the underside and the top part groove fits its peg from the top. Once in place I glued and clamped to ensure a good fit, then glued the red and photo-etched part in from the back side before assembling the gunmetal part in.I thought it time to gloss top coat a number of the completed pieces. The white and blue plastic really isn’t all that smooth with a fine texture that makes the finish look cheap. The gloss top coat should help with the water-slides and then I can flat coat once they’re in place and hopefully get a presentable finish.
The side skirts have some nice photo-etched parts to go on the inside of the white armour and as grilles on the yellow parts. I assembled the gunmetal parts before painting so it was a quick job to add in the red and chrome parts, and detail up the chrome with a few drops of Tamiya smoke. The yellow parts did need gluing in place. And now the outer armour can be added on, which completely obscures all the detail you just built…. Back to the wings, I added a couple of drops of the Tamiya lemon yellow paint at the front on the little indent. I did the same on the front and rear skirt sections. I’ll need to get some more super-glue in the house to attach their photo-etched parts which are large and really don’t want to stick with normal plastic cement. For the large rear stabilizers I decided to build up and gloss coat some of the component pieces before assembly. When the armour sections are added to the stabilizers they really start to look great!Here are all the stabilizer parts I’ve done so far drying after their top gloss coat. When dry I added the photo-etched parts to the yellow ends. Now all the pieces done today can be left to thoroughly dry. I think I’ll be starting on some of the water slides next as I reckon they’re going to be easier to do while the model is still in its component sections.
The blue sections for the chest were highly problematic. The front parts just lie on top of the inner frame, so as you put the rest of the blue sections on, you have to hold them in place or they just fall off. Ok, I can cope with that, and when you get to add in the side sections you can see that they have pegs to hold the loose sections on. Great. But they don’t fit. They are no-where-near the right size to fit. Either we can think of the pegs being too big or the holes too small, but in the end, they don’t fit. Ouch.
So trimming the pegs wasn’t going to be an option due to where they’re placed on the side parts, so I decided to drill out the holes. First I drilled the existing hole all the way through to the other side. Then I used the drill and a file to expand the hole, checking for fit with the peg. Eventually I got the size right so they would insert with just enough friction to hold everything together. This has been by far the worst fit issue on this kit so far. The metal photo-etched parts for the front and rear skirts look great, but they didn’t fit all that well. I did try just using plastic glue to hold the first layer in place, but that wasn’t going to work. After a quick trip to Giant Tiger, I got some super-glue which did work to grip the metal tightly in place to the plastic, and then I just used a nice thick layer of Future Finish to hold the top layer in place. I’m pleased I darkened the first layer with Tamiya Smoke as otherwise it hardly stands out and you don’t get the nice layered effect, which is of course the whole point of building this section up with two photo-etched layers! With the rest of the blue parts added, another layer of Future Finish was added. The gloss really helps with the look of the blue plastic parts. It almost makes them look painted. There were some tricky bits in this assembly, but nothing that required surgery, just brute force. Now dry, we can really see how it’s all coming together. I’m pretty happy with how this looks. I did look at clipping the stabilizers on, but they seem a bit tricky with how they hook over the front of the chest, so I’ll leave that until later so that I only have to do it the once.