At the end of Part 1 (which you can find at this link), I had just finished up the construction of the bench seats. I’ll pick back up here with the priming of the fuselage halves and starting to button things back up.
Things have gone much better than I’ve expected so far. The old fuselage came apart without a problem and the cockpit group fell right out with no damage, other than what was broken in the fall. There hasn’t even been much to clean up thanks to Derek’s skill in building and my care in disassembly. I just a clamp to hold the front of the cockpit to the shell but that was only so I could keep working while the solvent glue did its thing.
A small amount of Tamiya putty takes care of the seam between the fuselage halves around the rotor. I still need some filler on the belly seam, but it won’t be seen, so I’m not terribly worried about it.
Before I get too far along on the belly, I need to check some references for the Little Birds in ’93. They’re not very well documented to begin with and Kitty Hawk likes to mix modern appendages with an airframe they market as a Gothic Serpent aircraft. KH gives a handful of different options for the sensors and antenna on the belly and, unfortunately, the best photos I have of Little Birds in Somalia don’t really show the area well. I also don’t know if there are differences between the MH and AH versions, besides the bench seat or weapons.
Comparing the Kitty Hawk directions with real life photos shows the differences between 1993 and what’s called for in the instructions.
I decided to move forward leaving most of the instructed accoutrements off. One, the way the build will be displayed will leave the belly pretty much unseen. Two, I just can’t find anything showing specifics for 93 and the pics I do have really don’t show much there.
Since I wasn’t doing much more on the belly, I masked and painted the inside of the windscreen bubble. Even though it’s going to be incredibly difficult to see when displayed, I wanted the practice of masking the inside of clear parts. Once the inside was painted I pulled the masks off and attached the glass to the fuselage.
I’ve noticed with a lot of these MH/AH-6 kits, the thin strip of fuselage on the starboard side by the glass has been broken. My kit wasn’t broken here but I found that I actually had to cut the fuselage to get it to fit to the glass properly. I cut it through the upper hinge point since I’m not installing doors anyway. The small cut I made removed just enough material to make the fuselage part fit without bulging. It did, however, leave a small gap between it and the clear part that I filled with Tamiya putty. I guess in theory this could be visible through the port door, but again, the display isn’t going to allow for much internal visibility.
Before this gets too long and drawn out, I’m going to pause and pick up the skids and fuselage appendages in part 3. See you there.