It has been about four weeks since I last posted about the Tomcat, but work has progressed on her at a steady pace compared to how it had been in the past. So lets bring you up to date with this project.
The air intakes have now been painted, assembled and glued in place on the fuselage. There was a bit of misalignment on one side, which I tried to correct but was unable to due to how something was assembled prior to me buying the kit. So I did my best at sorting it out and filling the gap. Once the main wings are in place, you cannot see this problem as it is hidden slightly. Both of the tails were cleaned up and glued in place to finish off the main fuselage construction. This stage of the construction was finished by fitting the rear panels of the main undercarriage bays. Again there was problems here fitting them due to something earlier being glued slightly in the wrong position. A little bit of trimming was done to locate these two panels better in the bays.
Now work started on some of the smaller items on the model, with the exhausts being painted before assembling them. The insides were first painted off white with the remaining parts of the exhausts being painted with various shades of Alclad. A few small items fitted to the fuselage were now assembled, cleaned up and glued in position. I decided to leave the small fins and aerials off the model at this stage, this would protect them from any damage and would be added to the fuselage during final assembly of the model. I also finished off the undercarriage gear and stuck them in place with blutac just to see if the model was tail heavy. I wanted to check this out before painting in case I needed to add some nose weight as it was unknown if there was any added by the previous owner. But as you can see, she sat okay which was a relief.
Now I assembled the pylons and drop tanks to the configuration of this specific aircraft I am modelling. These are not being glued into position on the fuselage until they have been painted and will be added in final assembly.
And to bring this post right up to date, the fuselage, wings and tail planes have all been sprayed in white primer and then had some pre-shading on most of the panel lines with thinned black paint. Now I started to slowly build up the base colour over the pre-shading with multiple light coats of Xtracrylix's XA1137 Light Gull Grey (FS 16440). It was surprising how long this did take to paint the fuselage and wings, by the time I got to this stage of finish, it was about two hours worth of spraying. Not looking forwards to painting the 1/32nd version I have in my stash. I am not sure how well the shading can be seen in the photos below, but it actually looks okay in the flesh.
Due to the little problems I have had with this model from the previous construction issues, it has pushed my thoughts towards finishing this aircraft as one towards the end of its active life, a bit worn and tired. This might help to hide some of the issues which have arisen from not being able to start building the Tomcat from the start. So some possible heavy weathering might be heading this way!