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  1. I've received some real aggravation recently about posting this build up here, so I caved in.... I'm building this one as another bare wood and metal machine. The Meng kit is superbly engineered with some very innovative touches. There are a couple of things let it down, and one of those is the cockpit. There are a myriad of things not included, in there in terms of parts and detail. There are fuel tank (console) straps missing, levers and switches missing, as well as absent fuel piping, floor detail and numerous other things. The back bulkhead is also very simplistic. I added the missing strap to the fuel tank consoles, and gave them the extruded rubber texture by softening the plastic with Tamiya Extra Thin and then dragging a stiff, flat paintbrush over them. So many more hours could have been spent in adding more detail, but time isn't something I have here (magazine work), so I added some strut to the rear bulkhead, lead wire for fuel pipes, and some of the excellent Airscale placards. I opted to use the plastic and PE instrument panel option, and each of those gauges was a separate decal! I don't know why Meng didn't print them as two decals which covered the whole panel. Another bad design as I had to align every one roughly, pop the PE on, and position properly....remove the PE and then bed the decal down. Tedious. The second bad design of this kit is the horrible wing joint seam that can be seen inside the gun bays. It really is shite. I spent a lot of time making a template for this area so I could blank the seam with plasticard, and add some strut detail. I painted this with Alclad and added some random red patches (primer) that you can see in Martin's excellent walkaround images in our gallery. Extra wiring detail was also added to the guns. The rear internal tail section has MDC Duralumin decals added, so give a little interest. Tedious to add, but looks far nicer... Don't let my comments put you off this one. It's a great kit, and I have another TWO on order!
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