-- Originally Posted 1/7/11--
Recently inspired to resume work on my Do217-k2 build, I was likwise drawn to this one - likewise incorporating (vastly improved) replacement clear parts, and likewise also collecting dust, lying alongside:
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In addition to (and in no way excusing) my sheer neglect of this build, progress had suffered due to a baffling misalignment of the twin machine guns and their mounting post, in the nose. When aligned to fit through the clear nose dome (see below) and appearing at least pretty good with it on, when the dome was removed they clearly appeared off-center, and their mounting post not even exactly vertical - a logical impossibility, if everything were really aligned right. And so, in the spirit of "Kai-Zen" - a Japanese phrase I recently learned, meaning "continual improvement" - I set about examining and reconciling this problem, by first painting the entire aircraft underside a uniform, metallic (Tamiya Light GunMetal
; TS-42) finish, to check alignment of the heavy "chin" beam (white), supporting the gun mount.
It was indeed found to be misaligned - as (later discovered) also matched perfectly by misalignments in both the nose dome (not shown), as well as belly panel lines on the model! In the above pics these lines have already been re-scribed correctly, and a replacement chin beam installed/aligned correctly, complete with a brass pin, on which the machine gun post was re-mounted.
In the process, the nose gunner was dislodged completely - one of his arms even broken - however this was all to the good, as this would allow him to be repositioned (see below) much better than before, as well as (temporarily) open up access to the underside of the skylight panel (bottom-right, and see next):
Click on Image to Enlarge
FULL RES_______FULL RES__
The skylight had itself been highly problematic - cut too small - and earlier removed (left, top-left) pending replacement, whose time had clearly now arrived. Except this time its installation would be greatly improved by inserting small triangular supports (left, top-right), chopped from ends of thin Plastruct strip (white), once secured into each corner. I then hunted through my (ever-growing) stash of clear thermoplastic - from discarded household packaging - to find any cylinder sections with about the same radius as the fuselage (left, bottom). The best match - cut more carefully this time - laid (dry-fitted) into place near-perfectly, as shown at right. Likewise, more precise trimming/adjusting around the base of the nose dome resulted in near-perfect aligment with the guns - connundrum solved! The gunner (along with his arm) was carefully re-attached in-place - reaching for the guns yet no longer interfering with their free elevation/depression - which was just exactly as originally intended.
As usual, note these clear parts - even still dirty from frequent handling, as seen here - are so
phenomenally see-through that it will truly be difficult to obscure any part(s) of them, with canopy-strapping. In any case, just a little more work in the bomb bay remains before canopy attachment and final, overall painting - and finishing off of - this plane can begin.