Another build log from yours truly! This time PCM's Hurricane, a rather nice kit right out of the box with plenty of photoetch and resin. you can build it as a first production run with a two bladed prop or as an early production model upgraded with a three bladed prop. I'm leaning towards doing a Finnish version with the three bladed prop.
I've been working in sub assemblies doing what I deemed the "easy" ones first. Cockpit, fuselage, landing gear bays, prop. Then moved onto the more complex ones and by complex I mean working with photoetch. I've built the radiator and attached it to the wing. I've built the instrument panel, not complex as such just rather fiddly getting everything to line up.
Now there were issues with several of the sub assemblies I've built and I'll cover those individually.
1/. Fuselage:- the pilot's armoured headrest needed a little finessing to get it to fit properly specifically around the edges that fit into the fuselage. They needed sanding down to get everything to fit snugly. Not unexpected in a short run kit though is it? The underside of the fuselage leading up to the tail needed careful attention to get it all to line up nicely and it does so with a little care. The underside spine? Fin? Is a separate piece and had a couple of rather large sink marks in it that needed filling which I did before I attached it to the fuselage. There are no alignment pins in any of the plastic parts so place everything carefully. I glued down the front of the spine first ie closest to the radiator. Once I had this centered I glued down the back of it. The rudder has two different bottom portions to allow for the different versions. This is split along a taped seam but will require careful blending.
2/. Bottom wing:- The bottom wing by itself is fine with plenty of lovely detail, however there are a few things that we need to attach to the inside of it. The major two are the landing gear housing and a plastic spar the ensure the wing curves correctly to fit the fuselage. I've read a review that stated categorically that you needed to attach the upper wings to the fuselage first to ensure a decent fit at the wing root. I found that the upper wings don't actually curve enough to accurately fit them to the fuselage without bending them to ensure a decent fit. This would require some form of mechanical compression to ensure the shape is correct. Which rather shortened the width of the wing. I carefully approached this part of the build with the spar to ensure proper location to maximise the curving of the upper wing over it. The instructions here are vague to exactly where it goes and there are no markings on the bottom wing to line it up with. I looked at it logically and decided the best placement would be where the fit would be most difficult. To me this was where the upper wings are cut to go around the wing walk areas at the wing root. To do this I taped the upper wing to the lower and drew around the cut so I knew exactly where to place the spar. This worked to my satisfaction, however it was not exactly centered and was a little to the left. It was easy enough to rectify I simply cut a piece of thick plastic stock to extend the top of the spar so it went under the fuselage. (The white piece on the spar) I braced the back of the spar with some of the thick plastic stock to improve its grip on the wing as I'm sure there will be a reasonable force applied to this area. And I worried the butt join would be to weak by itself. I also glued some of the thick plastic stock to the ends of the wheel wells to hide ends of the wells and to ensure a positive fit. I've test fitted both top and bottom wings by taping them to the fuselage and everything fits quite well. I was also advised by the same reviewer that the wheel well needed sanding till it was transparent on the top to get a decent fit. I've not found this with my build. PCM may have worked on the kit to rectify the problems the previous reviewer had with these areas.
3/. Propellor hub:- Again no alignment pins and the attachment points are narrow and don't provide a big mating surface. To combat this I put the back of the spinner on a ruler to lift it off the bench and allow me to rotate the blades to a pitch that looked "right" to me. I then applied glue to the surfaces and put the blade on the desk on a blob of blu tack to hold it in position while the glue dried. I placed a scalpel on the spinner disk to ensure it didn't move while the blade was drying. I worked one blade at a time and waited for each blade to cure enough to be able to support itself while I worked on the next blade. (around two hours to be safe)
4/. Radiator housing:- This proved challenging as the photoetch appeared to be too big for the surfaces they were to be glued too. The front of the radiator was a fairly simple fix I simply put a fine sawblade cut in the piece so the etch part dropped down far enough to be out of the way. I then glued it into position, again it required a little finessing as the front of the part was a semi circle and it needed careful work to get it square. This part was to proud to ensure a flush fit with the wing so it was filed down till the fit was to my satisfaction. The back part of the radiator was to wide AND too deep to fit in the space provided. So again I ran a fine saw blade around the inside of the housing till it dropped in far enough. I got to the point where I was almost cutting through the body of the housing to get it to fit. But fit it did and it also required sanding for a good fit to the wing.
Also the kit's instructions are vague as to how the seat belts attach to the back of the seat but after perusing the web I realised that it actually goes through the seat and then attaches. The instructions don't show this, not a big problem for the RAF modellers out there as after a few kits it must seem obvious but for a dedicated Luftwaffe builder it was rather confusing.
Rather a long spiel but I wanted this build log to be a record of what I did exactly to solve each problem I've encountered. So that you my fellow modeller may either use what I've done or discard it as you see fit. Okay here are the pics and there are a few of them, next up time for a little paint.