As a general rule, before I sand and fill seams on a model I like to get as many of the clear parts on as possible. Specifically, I like to get windscreens masked and installed. The benefit of this is manifold to me, but specifically this allows me to blend in any seams where the clear parts meet the aircraft while I am working the usual fuselage and wing seams. And, as an added benefit, the masked and attached windscreens and canopies tend to protect the delicate cockpits from dust intrusion or from having pieces knocked off while the model is handled with less care during the sanding and filling part of a build.
I say all of that to explain the stasis of the Stuka. I’m still waiting on my masks to arrive from somewhere near the former Iron Curtain (note: it took the crew of Apollo 11 less time to travel to the moon, work, travel back to earth, be quarantined, and then participate in a ticker tape parade, than it does to get mail from many parts of the civilized world). I can make my own masks, you say? Poppycock! Horsefeathers! I could walk to work (uphill both ways, mind you) but that would just feel like regression as a species.
I did receive the replacement exhausts, and after priming them black, I laid down a thin coat of Alclad aluminum, then a dry brush with Model Master rust. This is usually my go to method for exhaust stacks, varying the amount of aluminum or rust over the black primer as a way to get different effects.
After the exhaust were installed, it was time to put the cowling on the Stuka (Pro-tip: the following will take all three of your hands). After some dry fitting (pro-tip2: put the cowling around the engine before you mount the whole engine/mount/cowling assembly to the firewall – also known as ”follow the directions.”), I decided the thing to do was to line up the three piece cowling assembly, tape it together, and use Tamiya Extra Thin cement to fuse that unit as a whole, but leave it floating around the engine but not attached to the fuselage. Once it was reasonably dry, the wrestling match began. Using some force I could align the cowling with the fuselage with minimal gaps to the firewall and fuselage. My standard go-to, Tamiya Extra Thin wouldn’t bond this joint quickly enough so I had to break out the big guns: I unsheathed the glue-looper and thin CA glue and prepared for battle. Good luck figuring out how to hold the model, apply pressure to the cowling, and use a glue looper simultaneously. I would tell you how I did it, but I don’t want to ruin the fun.
In sum, I think I won the wrestling match. While the fit and engineering isn’t as good as a Tamiya, Hasegawa, or recent Eduard, it’s nothing to be scared of. Not yet, at least.
The Butcher Bird.
So close. All that is left is the prop and some minor chipping with a Prisma Color pencil. After some troubles early on, and much grumbling by yours truly, Eduard’s kit has been redeemed somewhat in my eyes. Aside from a minor issue with the decals, again, I don’t have much to say negative about this kit. The decal issue is perplexing. For the second kit in a row, Eduard’s decals have silvered on me somewhat. I was extra cautious this time, given my disappointment with the 109’s stencils, and still had a similar issue. This time, the stencil decals weren’t manufactured by Eduard, but were made in Italy (which likely means Cartograf). Either I’ve gotten into a bad habit that is causing this, one that I haven’t diagnosed yet, or Eduard’s decals are problematic (they are a bit old), or my MicroSet and MicroSol have gone bad. I don’t know, but I ordered new bottles of the latter just to be sure. The next update will hopefully be pictures of the finished model.