Work continues with prepping the pilots. The co-pilot doesn’t fit so his lower legs were chopped off.
These were quickly painted up, given a wash, then set aside.
With the exhausts pre-painted, it’s time to assemble the legs/engines. The challenge here of course, is to close the gear doors.
The kit is designed for lowered landing gear so there is a section on the engine halves that supports the forward gear door. This was cut off so the gear door can be fitted closed.
The 3 gear doors are lined up and reinforced with plastic plates.
They align fine but are of different thicknesses.
I had to cut small grooves on the forward door so that it fits closed.
The fans and trunking were painted, fitted together and dropped into the intakes.
A dryfit shows that some sanding and trimming will be needed but nonetheless it’s decent result. The exhausts will need to be masked off before painting begins.
The arms of the Valkyrie fit in between the legs/engines. I added some plastic plate for a stronger fit. The gunpod usually fits in the middle of this area.
Since I’m building a recce Valkyrie, the gunpod will be replaced with a reconnaissance pod. I managed to get hold of a resin copy of the EADS GAF Telelens that’s usually carried by Luftwaffe Tornados.
The gunpod mount was modified to fit the pod.
I’m not sure if the pod clears the landing gear but luckily I’m building the kit wheels up. Hah!
A quick dry fit to see how everything looks…
Armaments are next. First are the AMM-1 missiles mounted on TERs. I inserted rods into the 6 o’clock missile for a more positive fit.
For the other 2 missiles, I added plastic rod (in orange) to the TER so there’s a larger area for the missiles to stick to.
I’m also mounting Storm Shadow/SCALP EG cruise missiles to my VR-1D. These came from the Hasegawa European Aircraft Weapons Set. The pylons come from the Valkyrie Weapons Set.
The missiles required some modification for the pylon to fit. I first marked up the area where the pylon’s tab will slot into.
Using a pin-vise I then drilled a row of holes along the line and then trimmed and cut off excess plastic with my hobby knife and chisel to get the slot.
I made the slot just big enough that the pylon’s tab can friction fit into it.
At this point, I realized I made a mistake with opening the holes on the wings for the pylons. So I took a pair of spare wings (the white ones) from my stash and redid the holes.
Next is the hole for the display rod. There’s no real good location for the rod due to the center mounted recce pod so in this case, I chose the space just in forward of the pod. I’m trying a new tweak by using a rare earth magnet which I hope can keep the kit oriented in 1 direction easily. I also cut a small length of hollow pipe to put inside the arms to use as a guide for the rod.
The area around the hollow pipe and magnet was packed with epoxy putty to keep them in place.
The work inside looks rough but it works!
Unlike the A/J/S heads, there’s only half a D head for the kit. The head cannon barrels were drilled out as added details.
The canopy has the usual seamline running down the middle so I scraped it off, sanded and polished as best as I could. This would get a dunk in Future later.
I’m keeping this kit in subassemblies so gap fixing is next and then it’s on to painting.