The plane would have been built completely had I not dicked with the update set. The cockpit in my opinion, is not really that much better than the standard Hasegawa one. The gun bay is nice tho. This must be an older Verlinden set as the gun bay is not nearly as detailed as the ones I've used of theirs recently for the P-51, etc. There's a chunk of engine to look at, but nothing you'd really want to tear the nose apart (and then have to make a panel!) for. Oh well. We live and learn...
Oh okay...the sidewall detail is pretty good but considering how little you see, it gets lost in the shuffle. The kit itself, pretty much builds itself with no fuss, no complicated instruction steps and no fit problems. Again, if you don't dick with it, you can pretty much build the whole thing in a few hours. There's no real options like flap dropping, wing folding, etc. Just the normal gears-up-or-down and canopy-open-or-closed. So you can pretty much bang the thing together in next to no time.
I'm using something different for my paint. I used the normal Polyscale Zinc Chromate for the green bits, but instead of stinky-worthless Testors Modelmaster Dark Sea Blue, I'm using Polyscale Flat Dark Sea Blue. Ummm...firstly, it don't stink so I can paint at work and I have to gloss coat it anyway, so no harm there either. For my blacks I used either Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black or Flat Black.
I have enough junk in my spares box to do an acceptable decal job for Eugene Valencia's bird, so that's who's bird I'll do. Eugene was the USN's third highest scoring ace and had a plain look to his bird, no nose art, etc. I'll use brass rod for the gun barrels when I get to that point.
All I have left to do at this point is touch up the paint, add the PE gun bay doors, make a cowling panel and then glue the pilot's seat and gun sight in. At my present rate, that will probably take the rest of the year... Oh yeah...and put the decals on.