Been chipping away on this over the past week. I've just finished adding the vent which is poorly represented in the kit. I cut a piece of steel tube on an angle with the motor tool. Just need to tidy up the putty around it now.
I just need to paint the IP and then once that's in, I can close up the forward section. Will modify the tail fin once I have assembled the aft section.
Wings coming together. I'm building her in a clean configuration with the leading edges retracted and flaps up. To get a nice fit of the slats I carved all of the inside detail away from the undersides. Also glued in the rails so their aren't voids on the undersides. I still need to saw the anti-collision light off the underside port side and move to the starboard side which will be easy.
Trying to plan the best way to create the squared top on the tail at the moment.
Leading edge slats aren't hydraulic. They are gravity operated and are not powered at all. They just fall forward. The only way they were retracted on the ground was by a special strap that was occasionally used to keep them out the way for access. Or a large flat blade armourers screw driver wedged under the leading edge of the wing racks. But only when there were no aircraft trade looking.
Last time I was at MOTAT the slats were in their normal deployed position.
The Blue Angels secured their slats in the up position to prevent asymmetrical slat deployment at certain speeds/AoA, which apparently made close formation flying a bit too exciting.