The longest homestretch ever

The burner cans are now neatly planted in the rear end of the Phantom, and it inches closer to looking like the real deal. I think next I’ll add the glass to the gunsight (it fell out months ago, and I should probably tweezer it on in there before I put on the clamshell canopies and can no longer reach under the windscreen. The landing gear struts can go on soon as well; although I’ll need to add some wiring to the nose bay. I was able to patch the split seam reasonably well enough (it looks like a recessed panel line now – convincing enough!), so that crisis is averted.

The latest problem is that I can’t find the canopies. I’m sure they’re on my desk somewhere; I looked long and hard for them last night to no avail. I’ll probably borrow them from one of my unbuilt Air Force Phantoms and just move on – when they do turn up, the can go into the RF-4 box and it’ll be no harm, no foul.

With the Kickoff Classic approaching fast, I’m making a point of spending at least 40 minutes a day on the model. That’s a good thing to do in general, but some of the things I’m finishing up on the Phantom – like those canopies – require some time. They will get masked, then three coats of paint (black, gull gray, red), a coat of gloss, decals and a flat coat – that takes time. The gear need brake lines, weathering, new anti-torque scissors and other photoetched bits; that takes time. The Sidewinders need their stripes and the tank needs its red flourishes; that takes time. The multitude of antennas still need to be added, as do the pitot heads; that takes time. And the bang seats, control columns and other cockpit gear needs to go in ahead of the canopies; they take time too. I think this weekend I’ll pick the most logical next area and work it to completion (landing gear and gear doors seem smart to me).

I was looking forward to having more than two planes at the contest, but I suppose two it will be… If I am lucky!


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