Thanks guys. The landing gear went not so well as there are a lot of parts with a lack of more positive fit methods, Nonetheless, I got them on after first painting all the struts and began to smooth the joints.
BUT, it was only after everything was glued tight that the misaligned spats came to light (note the different slopes on the bottoms of the spats). This is annoying because, though the attachment of the inner spat half to the axle has alignment tabs, there's still a lot of slop in the joint which allows the axle to twist relative to the spat and I didn't realize that I was this far off. The masking tape that you see on the spat covers a bright green circle and will stay in place until I fix and finish paint this area.
It looks like I'm going to need to cut off one of the spats and re-glue it with a brass pin for reinforcement after I check which of the two is the more correct.
On a happier note, the paint scheme on these Avias has the upper colours wrap around the horizontal stabs and Eduard provide masks for this which saves a lot of work. I had begun masking this area and shot some left over paint from when I sprayed the undercarriage.
Thanks guys. The work sequence I decided on is to install all the fiddly bits that will be hard to get to with the upper wing in place, then paint, gloss coat, decal, and matte clear the fuselage and the separate upper wing before gluing the upper wing and interplane struts in place and installing the rigging. I did glue the cabane struts into the locating holes and, once the glue had partially set, I measured the spacing on the upper wing and and adjusted the cabane strut angles so that the pins will line up. With the glue fully cured, I checked the installation with a quick dry fit and am happy that it all seems to be aligned:
I sprayed a coat of the XF-58 lightened with a bit of white and intentionally left a few streaks on the wings which aren't seen too well on the picture.
There was a lot of masking needed to replicate the intricate demarcation lines between the silver and green.
The kit provides a nifty little ring and bead sight which I CA glued in place before painting. Note also the 6 holes that I drilled. The two closest to the sight ring are for the aileron control cables that will attach to the upper wing. The other 4 are for the cabane strut rigging. None of these had any hint as to location so I spent a lot of time studying plans and photos to figure out where the had to go.
I then sprayed another coat of straight XF-58, leaving a bit of the lighter coat visible on the upper fuselage surfaces and some streaks on the wings to represent some fading from the sunlight. These effects are again largely not visible in the photos.
Here you can see all the masks removed to reveal the demarcation line at the wing root and undercarriage struts. The green then wraps around the carb intake which all took a fair amount of time to mask. Note also the bright green squadron ID on the spat. I also did touch up the attachment point for the rear undercarriage strut after taking this picture.
And now, everything has received a gloss coat.
The upper surface could use another coat but I may just leave it alone for the decals as there are a lot of dead zones that might cause some weird finishes that I'd sooner avoid.
I started the decals and then discovered that I should not have painted the tailplane struts green. So, it was on with the masks again and a squirt of Aluminum.
As always, I start with the bottom decals to get the feel of how they'll perform. Good thing because the decals began coming off the paper and curling up in the water after only about a minute. One began tearing on me as I unfurled it and began moving it around but I was able to save it. Good learnings.
Well, things went south with the decals. It all started with a mediocre gloss coat which I thought I could get away with but it turned out not to be so. My regular gloss coat is Alcad's AquaGloss which, when sprayed with a medium tip on my Paasche VL, usually makes a nice glassy finish. The downside with using that tip is that it sprays a lot of material and, given how small this model is and the fact that are areas of limited access that could create runs, I thought that I'd spray it on with my Iwata with a smaller tip. Anyway, the gloss coat came out grainier than I would have liked and I was dumb enough to soldier on regardless.
The defects didn't show up until after I sprayed on the semi-gloss clear which was supposed to be the finish coat. Here are a few examples of what I now need to fix. Silvering on the codes:
Stains from the decal solution appear on the match marking serials:
And more staining can be seen in on the roundel just outside the blue area and to the rear of the white and red sections:
I started on some fixes tonight by cutting a circular mask for the roundel:
The capper would have been if I tore the decal off but fortunately things went well this time and I managed to paint over the stain. Here's how it looks before I recoat with gloss and semi-matte coats.
This is going to take me a few days to work through and I'll be back when I have something to show. Thanks for stopping by.