However you can finally see the build coming together. The smaller exhaust ports have all been added, the top wing joined which allowed the last wires to be connected for the lighting and the cockpit has been added which was a bit tricky - you can see the filler along the edges.
Since these were taken, the upper guns have been added which required a certain amount of jiggery-pokery and the removal of the original fixing tabs.
The vanes have been added to the rear exhaust ports and will be tidied up this evening. Next will be the lower guns and some weathering... yes I know the idea of weathering in outer space does sound strange, but there is dust and gas in space and the original had weathering as can be see in this link (not posting it here as its a copyright image)
First was filling the gaps on the back plate and some sanding. That got left so that the filler cures so will re-commence tomorrow. next I started looking seriously at attaching the lower cannons. i was able to find a set of photos on Starship Modeller that are of the original CGI model and one in particular was very instructive:
Notice the pair of pipes/conduits and how the lower section blends in. Here is an enlargement
So now we begin some work... first lets get rid of the plastic that is in that area to give me a clear run at the whole thing. This produces a hole in the side so I've stuffed it with some filler which will get properly shaped when its dry
Dust streaks on the panel lines, exhaust vanes dirtied up.
All guns fixed, but more work needed on the lower ones. You can see the conduits have been bent to shape over a candle and will get fitted and painted later.
Lots of sanding and filling to make the back plate fit nicely
I'm pleased to say that since I've got on with it the mojo has returned. Amazing how when you see progress it makes you want to progress further, but when things are sticky, it just puts you off! So I reckon there is a good chance this will be completed for Farnborough next Monday!
First off tonight I built the battery box that houses 8 AA batteries which will give me a portable 12v supply
No fancy switches right at the moment - I've got a couple of small switches in the electronics box from the Meccano hobby, but I can't be bothered fixing up something when this will suffice for now.
Back then to the build where more sanding was done on the back plate and a fresh coat of paint applied which looked good so happy with that now. next moved onto the lower guns and added some extra fairings to the back of the guns where they blend into the body
The conduits I had scratch built earlier had to be rebuilt as they were wrong - the two tubes should have been of different sizes, larger outer one, smaller inner one. So they should be ready to fit tomorrow. Then it should be good for some paint and on Friday I can Klear, Saturday apply decals and Sunday the final matt coat! Fingers crossed!
So tonight's progress: painting, gluing and Klearing! Yes, we are starting on the Klear (sniff mmmm that great smell of um... ammonia)
First off the fairings attached last night were sanded to blend in with the body, then some paint was applied over these and the various spots where filler had done in to smooth the guns into place, and then...
We have conduits!
Yesteday when I started test fitting I realised I'd made a mistake and made the back conduit the same diameter as the front and on comparing it to the images I posted earlier int eh week, I took the inner one out and replaced it with a narrower rod. Thankfully before I moved out of Central London I made one last trip to that wonderful 4D model supply shop and stocked up on plastic strip and rod so I had some 1.5mm diameter rod available. This go glued up last night and so today it was ready for some XF-16 flat aluminium and fixing in.
Here is another view which also shows Commander Sheridan in the cockpit
Now this is what the same area looks like in the Starfury I built back in the 90s, which was OOB, and I even followed the mistake in the original instrcutions that had the upper and lower guns transposed
BIG improvement eh?
So finally this evening the bottle of Klear came out and I put down a layer on the upper and lower wing surfaces which will take the decals. The paint still needs some touch ups but I'm leaving thing now to dry overnight so that tomorrow I can see if I need another Klear coat or if its okay for decaling.
Last nights progress: Sorry no photos as that would spoil the final reveal
So last night I took the plunge and started on the decals. I was dreading this as from reputation and from earlier experience the decals were not good, thick carrier film, huge borders, some sort of yellowish stain on the carrier and rather thick and inflexible. However, I did the best I could first by trimming as close to the decal as possible and liberal use of Micros Set and Sol. The results were a very pleasant surprise!
The Tiger decals on the upper surface were the ones I was most fearful of and indeed they were the most difficult go bed down properly, but a couple of incisions with a sharp scalpel blade gave it the flexibility to conform to the complex surface plus I trimmed the two forward shapes off which wrap around the instrument pits and added them afterwards. This helped enormously. The decals softened a little with the Micro Sol, but not as much as others, however it was enough to get them to sit over the raised panel lines.
All in all it wasn't as difficult as I expected and I am rather chuffed!
Finally last night I added the canopy. This was a bit tricky as I discovered while adding the instrument panel that sticks out in front that the resin cockpit it distinctly asymmetrical by several mm, however you don't see it normally unless you REALLY look hard Thank goodness! The canopy isn't a very good fit to the front of the body even though during construction I've test fitted and sanded portions to improve the fit. To make sure there were as few gaps as possible, I used Mr Dissolved putty as the fixing medium - using a cocktail stick I laid down a narrow strip of putty all around the edge where canopy would sit so that when the canopy was placed and pushed, the dissolved putty could squidge into the gaps and make a good seal. That left a large gap at the top of the canopy which again I dripped small amounts of dissolved putty into the gap to close it down then this morning added s couple of drops of Mr Surfacer around the canopy edge to smooth the join and then later when its all dried I'll do some very careful sanding to blend it all in.
Now that the decals are dried I'll be adding the final Klear coat today then adding some more weathering over the decals then tomorrow will be the Matt coat. Wow I can't beleive this is so close to finishing
...and so we close the circle and return to the beginning...
We have arrived at the Hour of Scampering by way of the Hour of Longing. We also know this time as... ITS FINISHED!
Yeah so those are okay but what about in the dark?
and there we have it! Phew, that was quite a build but I am very very happy with the outcome. This model will be on display at IPMS Farnborough on Monday if anyone is a member there. Don't know when it will appear in a show as I missed Yeovilton today.