Welcome back to the IL-2N build.
This installment will focus on fuselage construction.
I glued the two fuselage halves together and made sure they lined up as close to perfect as possible. It’s better to have a gap then a step. A step occurs when one half of the fuselage sits higher or lower than the other, and there is a resulting step in the seam. These are difficult to fix, and usually occur when the little pins which should help line the parts up are mislocated. This was the case in this kit, so I cut the locating pins off and just lined up the two halves by eye.
This still left some gaps in the seam which needed to be filled with putty and sanded smooth. I won’t use this column to explain how putty should be applied, but I will make note of one of my tricks.
Before I apply putty, I add some tape on both sides of the seam. This helps to keep the putty to the area where I want it, and later, when it needs to be sanded, it minimizes the amount of raised detail which will be destroyed by sanding.
On old airfix kits with rivets, I locate my tape line along one of the horizontal lines of rivets. This leaves an equal length rivet free space towards either side of the seem. It looks more like a rivet free panel rather than an area with the rivets sanded off.
**sorry folks, I’m feeling sick today and can’t seem to concentrate on writing, hence my explanations may seem a bit sparse. If something is unclear than just ask questions in the comments section.
Once the fuselage seams were fixed I glued on the wings. There was further filling and sanding at the wing roots, and the same tape trick was employed here.
Notice that I haven’t done anything with the cockpit yet. This for two reasons; first, there will be very little visible through the small windows; and second, the pilot figure will dominate the cockpit. After this photo was taken, I just painted everything black.
The first major conversion was the construction of exhaust shrouds. For this, I took a short length of plastic tube, cut it exactly in half length-wise, and glued the halves over the exhausts. If you don’t have styrene tubes, a length of appropriately sized plastic drinking straw might be a suitable replacement.
In the next installment we’ll discuss how I created the A/I radar, and schraggmusik cannons.