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Prep-work for aftermarket extras

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

It has been a while since my last blog entry and this is because of other activities happening in my life recently which are taking up quite a lot of my spare time. For the foreseeable future this is not going to change so progress on the next builds will be definitely slower and so are the updates of this blog. Nevertheless I hope my dear subscriber that you will still enjoy reading new entries as much as I do writing them. Having that written, let's jump to the first update of the mighty P-38G Lightning fighter aircraft.

Normally I would start with cockpit assembly as with the majority of the aircraft models, though as I bought Eduard resin cockpit, nose gun bay and flaps sets I had to make a different approach. To fit in those tree sets I had to to do prep-work like altering original plastic parts in some places quite a bit and then dry fitting to be sure everything is properly aligned.

I started with cutting out all cockpit parts from the sprues and compared with the resin counterparts - no surprise here, as most of the resin elements have much better details.

Then I compared main instrument panel from Yahu models and Eduard set - the quality of the former is much much much better and that is the one I will use of course.

Next step was to removed all elements from casting blocks and clean them up. That took me a while (beside cockpit and gun bay I took care of landing flaps and superchargers as well).

Now I had to conduct quite a surgery on some of the main fuselage parts and resin cockpit itself to be able to accommodate both sets. Removal of redundant plastic was easy enough with Proxon Micromont tool, then I cleaned that up with different grades of sanding sticks. Next using Tamiya tape I assembled main components of cockpit and gun bay. Now I started a repetitive process of checking the fit, dismantling, making corrections and reassembling to check again. After a few repetitions I achieved a very good fit with the fuselage. Last thing was to check the curvature on the top of the gun bay backplate- it is a rib on which a front part of forward glazing of the canopy will be seated so I needed here a perfect match. It turned out that I had to adjust a shape of the rib and embed whole gun bay component a bit deeper in the fuselage which I did without much hassle by sanding wheel wells assembly from inside of the fuselage. Below you may see final result (all is dry fitted for now).

One more preliminary step before commencing with the build was to accommodate resin flaps from Eduard set. It turned out to be a lot of work. First I had to remove plastic counterparts of flaps from the bottom surfaces of the airframe - this step was quite easy and straightforward - again I used here Proxon Micromont tool and then different grades of sanding sticks to smooth it out. Next I assembled flaps housings using PE elements from Eduard set. When that was done it was time to to fit them in between upper surfaces of the wings trailing edge and bottom recesses created by removing panels in the first step. This was the most difficult and time consuming task. It took me couple of evenings to prepare the surface for it. First I hade to remove all protruding plastic and then make the internal surface of the plastic thin enough. Aside of that I hade to adjust the recesses as well to align them with the PE flap assemblies. All of this required enormous amount of testing and dry fitting but in the end I think I managed quite ok. Due to plastic being extremely thin at the trailing edge of the wing parts in some places I managed to damage it a bit, though this is nothing drastic and will be easily fixed later on.

This is it for this entry. Next one will focus on nose gun bay, flaps and canopy building and weathering. Below a gallery of in progress photos.

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