By the end of my previous post, I’d adapted all the major bits and pieces that needed to be adapted. The next thing was to get the fuselage halves closed around the interior, which was less straightforward than usual because the Eduard kit doesn’t provide any sort of locating pins on the fuselage halves—you’ve got to press them together and then nudge them into the correct alignment before the styrene glue takes effect.
Then things get even more tricky, because the wings need to align with the V-shaped struts which need to align with the undercarriage, and the locating positions for the struts on the undercarriage legs are exiguous, to say the least. And the wings also need to be correctly spaced to allow the upper part of the canopy to fit tightly between the wing roots. So while trying to come up with a solution to this four-way simultaneous positioning problem, I managed to spring the set of flanges for the wings free of the rest of the interior assembly—which made things much easier, because I was able to assemble both wings into a nice solid construction on a flat surface, before starting to jiggle wings, struts and undercarriage into place. So I’d recommend not following the kit instructions, and actually assembling both wings on to their flanges before attaching the whole wing assembly to the rest of the model. Here’s the result:
And then I slotted the tailwheel into place, briefly, so that I could orientate the fuselage correctly and place the rear compartment access ladder vertically:
The kit provides no locating holes for the ladder, so it’s very much a freestyle event, using reference photographs to get the location correct.
Meanwhile, I was painting some of the minor bits and pieces that will go on later:
The front cowling and exhaust were a peculiar metallic shade on these aircraft, which I’ve mixed up from Tamiya Titanium Gold, Bronze and Chrome Silver. Below the propeller and engine is the message hook—the idea with this contraption is that people on the ground would attach a package or message to a loop of cord suspended between two poles, and the aircraft would fly low over the poles with the message hook extended, snatching up the package without ever having to land. These were removed or omitted from later Special Duties aircraft, but Nesbitt-Dufort’s Lysander still had it in place—it’s visible in one of the crash photographs in Part 1 of this build log. (The kit provides the hook and attachment arm, and leaves the modeller to provide a suitable length of rod to connect the two.)
And below all that are the cockpit canopy parts, all painted on their inner surfaces with Interior Green. I used Montex masks for this, since the kit provides only exterior masks. I was tricked by the masks into creating one transparent panel which is not transparent in the real aircraft—the lower square panel in the port window assembly. I rectified that later. Also, just after this photograph was taken, I took a razor saw to the port-side windows and separated the sliding pilot’s window from the rear transparency.
Then I placed (almost) all the transparent parts in their closed positions, using a thin smear of white glue to position the side window and sliding canopy—they’ll seal off the cockpit while I’m painting the exterior, but should then pop off fairly easily so that I can put them in the desired position on the finished model. The exception to this plan was the rear canopy, which is clearly intended to be modelled in the open position, and which doesn’t work very well in a closed position. So I had to mask off the rear compartment, and paint the rear canopy separately.
(Because of the complex curvature of some of the transparent panels, some of the corresponding paint masks have holes in the middle so that they can be applied without wrinkling. I’ve filled the central spaces with Humbrol’s purple Maskol, which brushes on as a liquid and then sets to a sticky gel.)
And here it all is with a coat of primer.
For the sake of complete paint coverage, the slats and cowling are being painted separately and will go on late in the assembly process.
Next time—paint and decals.