Update 1/7/11: Why I Never Finish a Model, 2011 Edition
Posted by Matty on January 6, 2011, 14:36:44, in reply to "Matty's DORNIER Do217k2, In Progress"
!I really have zero excuse for this model now being exactly THREE years, still uncompleted - along with so many of my other builds - except for the latter I can now at least make the (admittedly lame) claim of holiday distractions - socializing, and whatnot - including spending time on these three guys, who almost sank HMS Warspite, in 1943:
Click on Image to EnlargeThis is my Do217-k2 build: the plane (or one like it) which hit HMS Warspite - once directly and perhaps another (of two) near-miss(es) - with "Fritz-X" guided bombs, off the Sicily invasion beaches. Over the holidays I suddenly returned to work on this build, wondering why neither its crew nor fuselage-halves had yet been joined, as I cleaned off and installed the (rotating) clear turret, its (elevating) machine gun and radioman/gunner, and closed up the fuselage.
Not, however, before struggling to fit the gunner, who - even chopped off clear up to the knees - still wouldn't fit under the dome until one arm was also repositioned - and even now you can see the machine gun barely clears his face. Profoundly bad fit - to be blamed on Italeri, who really do not appear to have seriously designed this turret to accept a gunner - although this is clearly (if superficially) intended by the instructions, which likewise obviously confuse both names and illustrations of (otherwise excellently detailed) machine guns - light 7.9mm vs heavy 13mm - which go in different locations, though test-fitting soon reveals only the latter fit/function properly in the turret yoke provided, and the former elsewhere (see below), so one of my copper-reinforced resin castings was installed accordingly.
The should have provided a major clue, answering my original question, however still oblivious I went on to install the pilot and (standing) bombardier figures, as well as thin ledges of (white) Plastruct strip forward, to accept/seat the cockpit canopy, the latter proving particularly difficult along the sides, which curve in two planes - both upward and outward - to necessitate (at least) 3 segments of stripping, to fit decently along each. (In retrospect, it would have been easier/cleaner to fit the edge of thin (0.03" or finer) sheet, attach and then shave its top edge down to size.) In any case, only then did I realize yet another reason for the prior delay in fuselage closure:
Click on Image to Enlarge
FULL RES_______FULL RES--Note in these pics the primary difference from earlier - in addition to the cockpit canopy sills now being painted - the additional crew detail-painting, including some parachute straps (left, at top-left), but particularly their goggles, which make a major impact - except on the radioman/gunner, who can never get them now, locked in prematurely as he is, nevertheless very highly-visible under his dome. That really sucks - what with crew visibility being a major feature of this build. And also cockpit interior visibility: fact is, in additon to still not fitting very well with the machine gun, the intensely problematic radioman figure also completely obscures some otherwise highly visible and just gorgeous (if entirely made-up) details of the radio-bench, installed with some effort. Finally, it turns out also that the fuselage is woefully short of contents below the radio post, in the keel "bathtub" gun position, as visible both through that dome as well as directly through the nose dome, under the pilot. Thus, I am now considering reaching carefully back under there with some foreceps, breaking out the gunner, in his seat, replacing the latter and then repositioning him (or a replacement for this much-mangled figure) kneeling in the bottom of the interior, attending the bathtub gun: obviously the solution for which I had paused to realize - though I didn't, at least consciously, and certainly didn't remember it - when stopping work where I did, all these months ago.
Still, it's easy to see how the progress inspires the drive to finish - even getting ahead of the plan - as demonstrated by the remarkable pic at right, where all the detailing and perhaps a trick of the light combine to just "pop" the appearance - particularly that of the pilot - suddenly into remarkable realism, IMHO. Ergo, I continued with further progress, to prepare the top canopy:
Click on Image to Enlarge
FULL RES________FULL RES__The replacement canopy is of course thermoplastic (probably "PET"), heat-formed over the kit part, and still needing rectangular cutouts (left, top) to accept machine-gun-mount inserts, the little triangular-block clear pieces shown. Again, the (now light 7.9mm) machine guns, though correctly labelled in the instructions are clearly shown (including in the photo of the built kit) incorrectly - but regardless only these moldings each have a flared ferrule, ending in a recessed ring at the base of the barrel, which can thus be pushed through the hole in its mounting to snap perfectly in place, allowing it (uncemented, of course) to flex, much like the real thing. Meantime, note these guns are just gorgeous - some of the nicest in styrene 1:72 that I've ever seen.
To support the flexible canopy during cutting, non-stretching, tight-gripping aluminum (HVAC) tape secured it excellently while I first drilled a tiny hole (like, about 0.010" diameter) just inside each of two corners, and then painstakingly and very conservatively whittled along first one edge and then another, all the while constantly checking size against the insert, laid alongside, until finally rewarded with fit so precise that each insert literally snapped securely into its cutout with a "pop" - again not even requiring glue, though I did apply some canopy glue (left, bottom and at right), for good measure. Note at right the canopy - even half out-of-focus, and the other half filthy from all the handling - promises a severely-clear view, into what is already inherently about the highest-visibility cockpit of any aircraft short of, say, a Bell-47 "bubble"-nose chopper: you can appreciate my eagerness to get to that point - but again, I will be very thankful, I'm sure, to first relocate the radioman/gunner out of that seat and - completely painted/detailed this time (!) - into the belly gun position. Plus - I realized, in any case - I should also complete as much as possible of the remaining glue-work - tail installation, engines (which can go in sans propellers) and cutting the belly well for the "Fritz-X" (which should have been done before any of the interior - water now long under the bridge ) - prior to securing the vulnerable nose glass. All to be posted - in agonizing, excruciating detail, I promise - if you will kindly stay tuned...