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Friday, July 29, 2011

Progress on the Valiant

I have managed to get the major fuselage pieces of the Valiant together. I did have one serious fit issue, which may be my own fault. There are a large number of structural pieces that need to be glued to one side of the fuselage before the other side is attached. The cockpit, nose gear bay, and something like 5 fuselage formers. All of them fit into rather chunky slots in the other side of the fuselage. The problem was that when I tried to get the two bits together, I could not eliminate a gap. Without the internal pieces, the fuselage halves fit together perfectly, so something has changed in the construction. Most likely, at least one or more of the structural pieces are fouling those big chunky tabs, and the cockpit is the most likely candidate.

Complications arise when you try to fix things. The nose portion of the kit is fairly well enclosed, which means you have almost no ability to see inside and determine where the plastic blockage is taking place. Basically you just try wiggling things prior to closing the fuselage and hope that everything lands where it is supposed to. After a long period of trial and error, the Captain Impatient portion of my rather damaged psyche kicked in and I just went for the best upper seam I could, figuring that I could apply putty to the lower seam where it was out of sight. Alas, while that was good tactics, it was poor strategy, since I then had to deal with indifferent fit of the bomb bay doors and the insert portion of the lower fuselage just aft of the gear bay. Looks like I have some PSR (putty-sand-repeat) sessions in my future.

I also spent time in the paint room and got some stalled projects moving again. The Attacker and Swift got their cockpits painted and their intakes assembled. The long-suffering Ju-88A4 got its RLM80 mottling done, though I’m not convinced that it is any improvement over the original job I did. Realistically, this sort of painting should have been delayed until I get a new compressor with a pressure valve so that I can crank the PSI down. But it was that Impatient guy again, so now I’m stuck with it.

In other news, it looks like we’re actually going to have a football season this year. About damn time too.

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