Work Stoppage at the 1:72 North American Plant

For two weeks, my Mustang has been sitting in a state of suspension: painted, decalled, and all the remaining subassemblies ready to be added. I have to touch up the natural metal on the flaps, but that’s all the painting that is left. I have to add brake lines to the main struts (and add the little photoetched bits to them – but I do that after the struts and wheels are on the plane anyhow), and the gear will be ready to add. The only real delay is the canopy rails – one of the photoetched rails I added a few weeks ago went off into the ether and I had to order another Eduard set just to steal the rails. They’re prominent, especially if you keep writing books about various Mustang-equipped fighter groups, like this one (available in bookstores near you in November – with a different cover). When you look at photos like the one below, you start to fixate on that detail, and I’ll never be able to build a Mustang without them.

The canopy’s ready – it’s the Squadron canopy, dipped in Future. Boy, does it look good – I have no idea why I stopped using Future on the clear parts, but for bubble canopies it can’t be beat. The prop’s done – white spinner painted with good old Humbrol No. 34 Matt White, blades tricked out with manufacturer’s decal. Gear doors have had their sink marks removed or covered with .005 styrene sheet and painted. Tail wheel painted and ready, as are the metal tail gear door covers. Exhausts were all drilled out, then painted with my own mix of Model Master leather, insignia red and burnt metal (it looks good!).

Now, I just have to stick ‘em together. I also need to fashion a landing light and add the signal lights in the wings – but my first thing to do is to add weathering. It’s a lot easier to add before the exhaust stacks are on than it is to work around them, especially in 1:72 scale.

Okay, so that’s all that’s left. Now that I’ve put it in print and said it in public, I have to get off my backside and finish it – right? (Hold me to it, readers! I’m counting on you!)

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