Work starts on the main body starting with the intakes. These were painted insignia white on the inside and come with the engine fans at the end which I painted jet exhaust color. If you peered into the intakes, there are obvious lines where the 2 halves join and is really very difficult to fix so I left them as it. Nothing can really be seen once everything was closed up anyway.
Kinetic designed the kit for different variants in mind depending on the nose, tailfin, tailboom and panels on the fuselage attached. The instructions will have you put the 2 main halves together then attach the parts for the variant you want. I decided to do each half completely before joining them together.
While one gets all the variants with one mold, the execution isn’t great: I have to trim, adjust and re-adjust every part for them to fit properly. The instructions are also vague with regards to the exact orientation of some of the panels.
One of the more troublesome ones are the bumps on the aft end of the wing root. The parts aren’t curved enough to conform to the fuselage. I decided to cut out the whole section where the panels will attach to and then fit the panels in. I first drilled a row of holes in the area I want to remove.
Then a sharp hobby knife makes short work of cutting out the area. After some trimming and thinning of the resulting holes, the new panels fit somewhat better. They’d still need to be refined with filler.
Putting the 2 halves together required the assistance of my various clamps. I also worked inch by inch, adjusting and trimming throughout. By and large, this method worked out well although a small number of places will definitely need filler. The instructions didn’t call for it but I stuffed a small fishing weight with blutack inside the nose.
Did I already mention almost every part needed to be trimmed and adjusted to fit? And so it is with the tailfin too. Cutting down the various guides and sanding flat the bottom of the tailfin made it sit slightly closer to the base. Filler should take care of the rest.
There was however, one part so far that fit like a glove without needing work and it’s the bulkhead for the main gear. Funnily, this part will barely be visible since a majority of the Alpha Jet’s gear doors are always closed even when the landing gear is down. 🙂
After some careful fitting and elbow grease, the Alpha Jet is finally taking shape! Having test-fitted the air brakes, I think I’ll end up leaving these open. I’ll probably end up leaving the canopies open too.