Work continues slowly. Before combining the 2 halves of the fuselage together I added the slot for the rod.
To ease handling, I added a small length of brass pipe into the fuselage. The rod will then insert into this pipe when I’m ready to mount the kit to the base.
A glob of epoxy is used to keep the pipe in place.
The intakes require pre-painting before being installed into the fuselage. The intake and intake ramps are all painted white.
The intake lips are 2 colors: white and in this case FS36375, Mig AMMO Light Compass Ghost Grey. The demarcation is solid.
The intakes fit surprisingly well and solidly.
However, some cleaning up will need to be done where the intake trunkings meet up.
The ventral fins fit after a bit of sanding.
The mounting holes for the wing glove missile pylons were drilled out.
The F-14 Kai in Macross Zero is armed with 6x AIM-120 AMRAAM and 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Interestingly they didn’t bother with the required LAU-129 missile rails and the AIM-9s are attached to the older LAU-7 rails. The wing glove weapon stations will need some cleaning, gap fixing and trimming to look right. The missiles will need to be prepped separately.
The boat tail fits OK. Some gap fixing definitely needed though.
The engine shroud sections of the engines need to be attached beforehand. This fit well though again, engine trunkings require pre-painting before installation.
Part of the rear fuselage extends around the engine shrouds. The parts here required some trimming to fit properly.
The kit only provides 2 positions for the wings: fully stowed or fully open. Since my F-14 Kai will be in flight I have to go with the latter option. Because overall fit hasn’t been great so far, I decided to attach the wing glove sealing plates now to make sure I get a good fit. I’ll just mask and spray this during the painting stage.
The rear fuselage is finally ready!
I did a test fit of the nose section into the main fuselage and the fit is not good.
There’s a distinct step on the port side that needs to be addressed.
I first tried thinning the inside of the main fuselage to see if the nose fits better. I think some additional elbow grease is needed though.
To prepare the closing of the 2 halves of the nose, the cockpit needs to be painted. This one goes through my usual steps of beginning with a black base.
The FS36231 gray is Lifecolor Dark Gull Gray.
I then picked out the control panels with AK Interactive Black Grey. Some of the screens were painted in Model Color Transparent Green. All the edges were then ‘drybrushed’ with a silver color pencil.
With the pilots attached, not much will be seen so I think this looks OK.
The various components fit well enough but I added a spacer at the back of the nose to get a tighter fit with the main fuselage.
The F-14 Kai uses the F-14D chinpod which again, needed some trimming to fit.
Finally feeling the need for speed after a dry-fit of the nose, wings, stabilizers and tailfins!
The tedious work of gap filling is next…