Well, time for another update.
My attention now turned to the cockpit assembly, which builds up quite nicely with excellent detail. The 1st order of business was determining the proper color of the cockpit. My resourses had a mixed bag of colors ranging from Interior Green, Dark Dull Green, and the more exotic Bronze Green.
For some time I've followed the research and findings of Dana Bell, who really knows his stuff. Dana stated that the pre-war F4F-3 cockpits were either Natural Aluminum or painted Aluminum Dope. At the start of the war the cockpits were painted what was referred to as Bronze Green. By the time that the -4s came out, the standard cockpit color had been once again changed to Dark Dull Green. The issue is that Bronze Green didn't have a ANA number, so there was no conversion to FS numbers. Dana suggested that two very close matches were FS 24050 or FS24052, and started out as a semi gloss finish, which naturally didn't last very long.
Bronze Green was very, and I mean a very dark green with a ting of Blue. FS24052 being the lighter of the two Fs numbers, is what I mixed my paint to. The mix that I came up with using Tamiya paints is: 2 parts XF-13 J.A. Green to 1 part XF-18 Medium Blue thinned 2:3 with their Yellow Cap thinner.
The Pit construction started with the IP and bulkhead. Trumpeter has the IP panel as a 3 part assembly:
Bulkhead/back plate in gray/ Acetate instruments that are very well printed, and a cover plate. I painted the top cover plate with Tamiya Nato Black, as I feel it has a more natural look to it in scale then flat black. I Tested the ascetate instrument sheet on the backing plate, but the white didn't really pop all that well.
So I cut out a new backing plate from .010 sheet and checked out the gauges again.
There is enough of a difference to make it worth while.
Then I masked the top half of the IP bulkhead and primed the bottom half with MIG-AMMO Black primer. I air brushed it with my home made Bronze Green color:
I wasn't particularly happy with Trumpeter's seat.
Basically, it just to thick, to clunky looking, and thus in need of a diet. Sanding got the seat down to proper proportions, added a seat/backing plate from .010 sheet, and two small plates on the top sides of the back.
One thing to note is that the -3s still didn't have shoulder harnesses, so I opted to make them out of Tamiya tape. Still not too happy with the plan Jane Aluminum painted buckle and latch.
The construction of the rest of the Pit only took a few days including painting, as I didn't add any other details. Once the fuselage is close up, you just don't see very much of the cockpit as the side walls are rolled.
Next up I test fitted the Fuselage halves, and as I expected after reading one build blog after another, the halves just don't align properly, and quite a lot of pressure is needed to close the resulting gaps. Well, sure enough that was the case with my F4F as well. The difference is that I just wasn't going to accept that as a solution. Now I had test fitted both halves with just the wheel well bulkhead glued in place and they fit perfectly, as well as the unworked side to the wheel well. Unfortunately, now I was looking at a modeling nightmare!! The only answer is that the two cockpit bulkheads were causing this issue. So out came the heavy duty sand paper and I commenced at sanding, testing, sanding, testing, etc for a few hours. Finally it fit.
Absolutely no pressure was used to close up the fuselages halves other then the normal nudge here and there. What still didn't fit correctly was the wheel well bulkhead. Not to sure how I'm going to go about fixing this issue other then carefully pre-shimming with sheet, the working with Milliput and blending it in with water. When dried, Bondo and sanding. Hopefully it will turn out as well as the other side did, but I have my reservations.