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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 48





For the 'belt and braces' modifications I made to try and ensure as near as perfect top wing surface fit versus the fuselage sides - I used sections of wooden coffee stirrers to make supporting blocks which were superglued in place - please see last weeks photographs. I let the whole airframe have a breather for a couple of days. A quick sanding to have a closer look at the joints indicated that there were just two or three small places that required some filler and I was very pleased with the overall fit.



I used Humbrol filler and 'watered' it down a tad to make a smoother paste with some Humbrol enamel thinners. I have found that this works very well and sands beautifully after a couple of hours drying time. I decided to leave it longer and concentrate on the spraying of the jet exhausts which I had left until the fuselage was completed having ensured that the exhaust assemblies fitted OK. There was a slight fit problem with the port exhaust assembly which resulted in having to ease the fuselage joint at this point. Once the exhausts have been sprayed (impossible to do it efficiently if they are fitted prior to this), the fuselage joint (about 0.5 inch in length) will be be glued, filled, the exhausts masked and the fusleage sprayed.



Using the Alclad range of metal finishes, I sprayed the exhaust assemblies gloss black as I was using their Polished Aluminium for one of the next stages. Once the black was dry (the next day) I misted in some Jet Exhaust to the internal sections and also lightly between the petals. This was followed by the Polished Aluminium and then a misting of Magnesium.



It was at this stage that my compressor 'gave up the ghost' and refused to operate. This compressor was one of the cheapo Chinese variety I bought when I started modelling about two years ago and, although it used to get a bit breathless at times (it didn't have a tank), it has served me very well. I did a quick bit of research on the web and amongst my modelling friends and one type kept coming to the fore - the Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet Pro. It was a tad pricey but I decided to get one and very posh it is too. I am a fan of Iwata air brushes so it made sense to use their compressor as well. As I type this, I haven't used it yet but the next job will be to lightly spray some Alclad Clear Blue onto the exhaust petals.



In the compressor down time, I started going over the whole airframe with one of the best tools I have bought from Graham, the Tamiya Plastic Scriber, reinstating some of the control panel lines that had been lost to unavoidable sanding. Using Dymo Tape as a guide for the Olfa cutting blade, the lines have been brought back to life. I have found that on flat surfaces this treatment is relatively easy, but when it comes to rounded surfaces, the Dymo Tape is not so good.



When it came to an evening of reinstating the lines on all of the missiles, and there are a lot, the Dymo Tape would not be possible. I found a roll of 1.25mm Micro Masking Tape I had picked up at a model show awhile back and wrapped this around the missile join lines where needed. It worked perfectly. I suppose the same job could have been done with Tamiya Tape strips. This was a very tedious and very long job but satisfying when done.



It was now getting near to the time of spraying the fuselage. I had decided to fit the leading edge slats as they had quite a large gluing surface area and would (hopefully) be quite strong enough to withstand handling. Because of smaller gluing areas, I made the executive decision to leave off the ailerons, flaps and rudder. The rudder needs to have an additional thin line of aluminium? (it looks like aluminium from my references, but it could be a lighter grey) along it's root length which will be easier to do off the airframe.



The last two jobs (prior to spraying that is) was to fit the nose cones. Cones? Revell, in their wisdom, have designed the nose cone in two sections - a big hinged main cone and a minute tip cone. OK, this is a modelling exercise, but why go to the trouble? Surely a dividing panel line would suffice which would negate any fixing problems. The plastic of the front of the main nose cone is 'paper' thin so any correctional sanding has to be done with great care. There is probably a very good reason for manufacturing this way, but I cannot think of one.



However, the fit of the small cone was quite 'proud' and required, as mentioned, some very careful sanding. As you will see from the photograph, I may have to use a smidge of my favourite filler substance to get rid of a small imperfection. I will see what it looks after a coat of primer.



Next job will be to prepare the two canopies and the relevant parts that fit inside the main canopy. I am planning to show the canopy in the open position along with the open air brake assembly just behind it. It is slowly coming together.



More next week.