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Mustang from hell…

I went back to work on the Mustang, but then had some… problems… with the canopy.

Here’s Swanny’s review of the Tamiya kit:

Swanny’s review

If you look at the parts runner picture, you see a little runner on the left with a pilot and the frame of the canopy. The frame has a cross brace and a place near the back where teh inner curve of the frame becomes flat. To this frame, the clear bubble of glass is glued.

Hasegawa has molded the entire canopy as one thin clear piece. This requires a much more difficult bit of masking becasue getting that line straight around a the compound curve of the canopy ain’t easy, especially with the pitiful suggestion of a demarcation they have molded into it. On top of that, you have to glue two pieces of detail into the canopy (the cross brace and a little flat piece of plastic that makes the flat part of the inner curve). This, IMO, looks terrible and is tricky with the little barely-there markers they give you to glue the pieces to. Then, once you place the canopy on the fuselage, you see that it’s too wide by a good 32nd of an inch. All these gluing steps wouldn’t be too hard to handle, but I always try to glue my airplane canopies with white glue because it dries clear and won’t cause the clouding or fingerprints you sometimes get with CA super glues.

The problem is that the white glue isn’t strong enough to hold the canopy on once it’s squeezed into place. And in all the time I spent squeezing and holding the canopy trying to glue it in place, the two parts I glued inside of it were coming loose, and the cross-brace was wanting to lean to the back.

I finally gave up on the white glue and very carefully put tiny bits of CA glue on it and glued it. There were still cracks between the canopy and the fuselage, but I decided I could just live with it…

But anyway, I finally get the canopy on and the cross brace is leaning back, but like I said, I can live with it. I mix up some cockpit interior color and spray it (so that when you look inside, the inside of the canopy frame will be the appropriate cockpit color). Then I mix up some primer.

I go to dust the model off and it slips off its skewer and falls a couple feet onto the carpet and the rudder breaks off as well as the f–king canopy and I pick up the canopy and realize the two pieces glued inside popped off as well. Thus most of my progress of the last two nights is gone.

At that point I used every bit of profanity in my arsenal to curse this POS kit. I scoured the floor and found those two little bits then I put the model down gave my AB a once-over cleaning and walked away.

Well, I didn’t really think I would finish, but jeez I thought I would get farther in 31 days. On paper this was going to be a really simple project.

There’s not a lot of progress to show for the last week. Four rounds of puttying, priming, and panel line re-scribing later and it still needs a little more work. Of course this will all show in the end when I have a nice, smooth model.

There were several spots on the Mustang where the parts fit was pretty bad and needed to be sanded deep enough that panel re-scribing was necessary, including the air scoop under the chin, the scoop under the wings, all the landing gear doors, the horizontal stabilizers, and, by far worst of all the canopy.

I finally got the damn thing glued on (with Tamiya liquid cement, gtetra’s good idea), and the fit is TERRIBLE! I mentioned before that the canopy was too wide where the front of the canopy met the fuselage, but once I got it on, I saw that it was also crooked, the base was not flat, leaving a gap on the sides between the canopy and fuselage, and too narrow in the back, leaving the canopy on a shelf:

Soooo… A good gob of Tamiya putty, a couple coats of Mr. Surfacer 500 and lots of sanding later…

And It’s still not quite done sanding, although I believe I’m on the final round. I’ve painted Mr. Surfacer 500 on to touch up a few more places and after I sand that smooth I’ll have to restore more surface detail. The experience I got in panel lining the Sazabi is really paying off in this model. The part that’s really gonna suck is going to be recreating the break between the canopy and fuselage, since the putty has blended them together seamlessly.

Then it’s primer, gloss black lacquer and Alclad. I think painting should go very quickly, depending on how much I shade the Natural Metal Finish and try picking out different panels to make slightly different shades of Aluminum.

Anyway, here I am on Day 31…

Hall of shame all the way, but I think I’ll get a nice model once it’s all done and I’ll have made a naturalistic dio, which will be one more major skill under my belt.

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