A new project - The Hasegawa J2M3 Raiden (Jack) Part 3 - Major assembly and a few smaller bits and pieces
Test fitting the wing to the fuselage revealed a lack of dihedral. This was quite evident in the wing root join. To overcome the lack of dihedral I taped the wings so they flexed up. The effect of this was to close the wing root join and apply the correct dihedral. Some Tamiya Extra thin glue was wicked along wing root join and left to set for 24 hours.
In addition to the issue with the wing root join there was a bit of drop in the forward and rear joint.
This was overcome by adding a some plastic card to prevent the wing dropping further into fuselage. Before I glued the cockpit into position I placed a few marks inside the fuselage where the plastic stops were to be placed.
Some fore aft play was present in the wing piece which left a gap of about half either the front or rear joint. I chose to butt join the rear joint as it is quite a flat surface longer joint than the forward one. This would give me the benefit of a solid joint at the rear and a shorter and easier join to tidy up. The curved join under and around the rear of the oil cooler intake was much easier to clean up with Mr Surfacer. There would have been more work involved to clean up the long flat joint at the rear of the wing.
Some of my own silliness here. When gluing the cockpit into position I used too much Revell liquid glue on the joints. The excess glue flowed up between the gap between the cockpit side wall and the fuselage part. Liquid softens plastic and in turn caused the depressions in the plastic. Pics tell a thousand words right? It was a 'grrr' moment but I managed to sort it out. Tamiya grey putty was layered over the larger depression and eventually sanded and buffed back. The smaller depression was fixed with a mix of talcum powder and thin CA glue. This material sands very nicely and it also takes a scribed line better than either the raw CA or the softer and more brittle Tamiya grey putty. I'm a bit disappointed in this result as it means I'll need to resort to priming and all of the guff associated with it.
Sadly the decals in this kit haven't stood the test of time all that well. When applying the instrument decals, it disintegrated in the water. This led me to one of two options. I could use some Mike Grant instrument decals that I have or alternatively I could hand paint the instrument. I couldn't be bothered with punching out and applying a bunch of tiny decals so I opted for the painting route.
I'm happy I did.
Juan Villalba demonstrate s this neat little tutorial how to keep a sharp point on a paint brush and how to use it to paint fine lines. This is the video.
So with a Kolinsky brush, some suitably thinned Vallejo paint, a steady hand and a decent magnifying glass, I set to work.
This is the setup I used.
To get this result.
It's a bit rough in parts but remember this is a magnified image. I've read that the human eye can resolve an object of 0.1mm at a viewing distance of approximately 25cm. If you can make out this panel when installed and through the kit canopy glass, your vision is erring on that of an electron microscope*. I really am chuffed at how this came out. In future, I think I'll be choosing this finishing option for instrument panels that are provided with raise details.
(* may not be an accurate comment)
Here it is installed. Looks the part, eh?
The last part of any assembly is of course to check everything square. If there is a pet hate that I have it's flying surfaces, undercarriage legs and wheels that are out of alignment or aren't square to each other. A simple test that I perform (and I'm sure EVERYONE else does) os to align the rear flying surfaces against the leading edge of the wing. In the case of the wing alignment I'm quite happy that the installation is square to the fine. In the two images below you can see that the left horizontal stabilator is slightly low compared to the leading edges. The right image shows the slight adjustment that I made to bring the flying surface up and level to the wing. After making the adjustment I'm happy that the rear flying surfaces are relatively square to wing and absolutely square to the fuselage datum.
And this is where we are at the moment.
Next up...the dangly, easily breakable bits.