As shortly described in one of the previous blog entries, the mouldings of this model are very nice and we can find the riveting to be reflected on the fuselage parts - though that is done only in small percentage. First thing then as a prerequisite to riveting was to cut out parts of the fuselage, wings and emepenage from sprues and clean them up.
Firstly I used digital calliper, pencil and ruler to make kind of a guide - I marked where the rivet lines are soon to be created. For that I used very nice plans from Kagero publications which helped a lot with bestowing the missing rivets. Next I used Rosie The Riveter Double Wheel to actually create rivet lines - this is excellent riveting tool, though it leaves rather square than round marks so next time I will probably go over each mark with an embossing tool.
Once the rivet work was done I used pencil eraser to remove all drawn lines and then I lightly sanded all the marks - the tool forces the plastic upwards around the edge creating small ridges in the surface so we need to get rid of them.
Having cockpit completed it was time to put together two halves of the fuselage, though in my case it turned out that some of internal cockpit ribs which were moulded inside of the fuselage parts were a bit to long which prevented the cockpit tub to sit properly inside. I carefully shortened them down - easy job which resulted in perfect fit, which allowed me to close up the fuselage without any problems. Now it was time to insert front part of the cockpit together with rudder pedals and bottom window assembly which aided aiming during dive bombing runs. Next I added firewall part and empenage - here fit was perfect. One thing worth mentioning is that I left out horizontal stabiliser cantilevers unglued for ease of painting.
At the beginning I decided that I would like to show opened gun bay on the starboard side wing, so I had to deal with that first, before assembling the wings. I started with removal of the gun bay access panel using Trumpeter Panel Engraver and then sanded the edges. I glued all the required parts, adding as well PE elements from Eduard set, then painted and weathered accordingly. The only problem I had was with the gun bay hatch opening PE frame - it turned out it is to small comparing with the size of the opening itself. To rectify that, I cut out a 3mm width frame from thin plastic sheet and glued it inside of the opening so that it protruded enough to allow to glue the PE frame on top of it.
Having gun bay ready, I assembled the wings and mated them to the fuselage - the fit is very good, it required just a bit of putty on the port side. Putty was also used in front of the cockpit, on the ridge behind the cockpit and on the bottom to remove the joining line of the parts of the fuselage and joining of the three-part wings.
One more place that required usage of putty was a landing light housing on the port wing. I am not sure why Airfix provided here two clear parts - internal and external one, aside of that the fit of the internal part is not so good and required some work - nothing drastic though. Wen that was done I cleaned up the model using IPA and airbrushed first layer of the primer (Mr surfacer 1000 Gray) on the worked areas to check if everything is ok - it turned out some of them required more work. After that I airbrushed another layer of primer, this time of the whole model and then used 3000 sponge to smooth it out. Then I painted landing light housing black, glued small lense from AK to imitate the light itself and mated the external clear part.
Now last thing remaining was to mask out all the relevant places and Stuka was ready for painting.
Till the next one.