Thunderbolt Fighter, Part IV

An extra post to make up for the lack of post a few weeks back.

So,when we last left the men of Aquilla Squadron they were trying to fill in a huge gap around their canopies that would’ve all made them all decompress and explode... which would not serve the Emperor’s will.

I’d just filled in a bit in the front.  Now I needed to do the same thing on the sides.  I cut two strips of card 2” x 3/4” (one set for each plane), and then scored them so I had a 3/8” section, a 1/8” section, and a 1/4” section.  For the record, the 1/4” sections are the outside, and the 1/8” piece is the top.  I cut one end of both sides at about a 30 degree angle, giving me kind of a lopsided-arrowhead shape.  Once it was folded on the creases, it looked a bit like a narrow chisel.

This piece went on the inside of the cockpit on either side.  The outside of the chisel glues to the inside of the cockpit.  The chisel end sits against the sloped piece I put in last week.  I used a few patches to make sure these extentions met the slope and there weren’t any ugly gaps.

If I’d Known Then What I Know Now... – All of this could’ve been dodged right at the start just by leaving some extra material on the template around the cockpit.  I could’ve made the folds with that rather than trying to glue on pieces to extend it out.  I highly recommend it so your cockpits can be a lot cleaner than mine are.

At this point I also added some fine detail to the fuselage around the cockpit.  To be honest, figuring out all this gap-filling stuff was a bit frustrating and I just wanted to see some more progress.  The Forge World model has two large rivet-like shapes behind the canopy on either side, plus a large circle that looks suspiciously like a gas tank lid.  I used discs from the 1/4” and 1/8” hole punch to make these. 

Next, I wanted to put in a bracket to help hold the rear engine in position.  I wanted something that would have a little bit of play but be solid enough to support one end of the engine.  Once the canopy’s in place it’ll be very tough to work inside the fuselage, so I decided to add it now.  It’s just a 3/4” strip of card (some leftovers from above) cut at 3” long.  I scored it every half inch and folded it into sort of a chevron shape.  I glued the chevron into the tail of the plane, about an inch back from the rear opening.

Now I was in kind of a dilemma.  I wanted to be able to reach back through the cockpit to position the engine, but I needed to put the canopy in place to help shape the tail section.  This made for another pause while I considered options.  I decided to get everything ready to go so I could put the engine in place and then add the canopy while the glue was still wet in case I needed to adjust things.

And I’ll show you the results of that next time.

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