"Mike included this sheet of air ducts and other smaller parts in that kit, as he is particularly fond of details like this. He once scratch built a 1/72 Northrop XB-35 and included all the interior ducting and engine cooling fans, as after all he is an aeronautical engineer. I'm more of an artist though, and never bother with anything that needs a flashlight and magnifying glass to see it, so this item was trashed. However, for those that want to, they are perfectly usable"
"Now it's epoxy putty time. The floats needed filling and contouring and the radome had to be created, so two-part putty was used for this and in these cases I always use MAGIC-SCULPT resin. This brand allows plenty of working time, you can dip your finger into water to smooth and finish, and it turns rock hard overnight. (SEAWINGS Note: I'm not sure if this brand is available outside of the States, however the equivalent in the UK would be Milliput two-part putty).
"In this next photo, the lower wing with the balsa center section and wooden main spar and directional fins have all been installed. Above it, the top wing is ready to be scribed and exhaust pipe openings need to be cut out".
"At this point, I couldn't decide whether to have the floats fixed up or down? In the end, after much thinking, I decided to make them movable. Having carefully cut and separated the parts into individual items, I used plastic coated wire inserted into a plastic tube as a hinge"
"Having completed this 'mini-conversion' here you can see the wing tip float retracted, viewed from underneath the wing".
"And here is the same float, retracted, as viewed from above the wing. Neat, huh?"
"This photo shows the almost completed wing with the wing tip float in the down position. Now you can get an idea of the sheer size of this wing by looking along it in this shot - it is huge. Note, before the wing halves can be bonded, all panel and control details must be scribed in together with the wing tip float legs and hinges, exhaust pipe openings (1/4 inch styrene tubing will be used for the pipes) and leading edge intake slats. Finally, after much work the giant wing was finished as you can see here, below. And, Yes, that is a piece of A4 sized paper just above it....!"
"In the image above the Radome is now in place made from the MAGIC-SCULPT two-part resin putty mentioned earlier. Also here, you can see I've got the cockpit window frames roughed in".
"Some model building tips: Model railroad shops carry a complete line of styrene stuff that makes vacform building easier, such as tubing in a variety of sizes, styrene sheets from .005 to .080. and also rods of assorted diameters. Note: Before wing halves can be bonded, All panel and control details must be scribed - the wing tip float legs and hinges, exhaust pipe openings (1/4 inch styrene tubing will be used for the pipes)and leading edge intake slats. Next week, the tail assembly".
Well, what a difference a week makes! From a selection of huge parts and a lot of work on that wing the whole project is now reaching the point where all the major assemblies are complete ready for the final detailing, with just the tail to go. Given the sheer size of the beast, constructing that tail will probably be as big a job as a normal 1/72 single engine fighter vac-form kit! We'll see next week, as Jim say's.