My second entry in this challenge, and a kit I'm intimately familiar with, the Fujimi 1/72 A-4E/F. Originally moulded in 1987, and slightly awkward in parts but still definitive for the scale, at least if the Hobbyboss releases scheduled soon don't better it.
This one will be built as a freshly "maritime" or "Euro-1" painted A-4K circa 1985 (pic mine) using Flying Kiwis and Ventura decals.
The conversion part entails making a square fin tip and rearranging the underside parts to match a K.
I'm building it side by side with the Hase K in the other thread, so aiming for steady if not super fast progress over the next few weeks
Update In Stash:
Lots of 1/35 Armor mainly WWII German and a few Modern British/American pieces, 1/32 Aircraft and 1/48 Aircraft. Aircraft chosen to replicate RNZAF and RAAF types through the years. Some RAF & USAF types exist also.
I'm not sure I can provide the definitive how-to for this kit, but this will be the 7th example of one I have built so I'll throw in as many hints and tips as I can
Firstly for the E/F models and on it's the best in scale for now. People love it and it's a great little kit, but you need to go through a bit of awkward to get the best out of it. I haven't progressed much beyond washing the parts and polishing the canopy yet and undercoating interior parts, but I'm trying to get all the finicky stuff (undercarriage, stores, canopy masking etc) out of the way before I get started on the airframe.
Here is some of the awkward:
Sprue gates in wierd and risky places
An arrestor hook moulded in place for no apparent reason (other than perhaps to make cleaning up the seam really tricky).
The sugar scoop is super fine, but prone to flash and very easy to damage while being cleaned up.
A wing leading edge seam that winds up about a millimeter above the (fragile) slat rails.
The sprue the wing is mounted on serves as a great rack to attach things to be sprayed to.
Plus though is you get two canopies. The closed one can be tricky to fit perfectly, but fitting the open one closed fits as well. There is no mounting for an open canopy though, so if you want that option you'll need to scratchbuild it.
The cockpit tub is very nice, and compares well to the 1/48 Hasegawa version:
Don't let the "awkwards" put you off, they are pretty minor.
A few more fiddly things before the bigger stuff starts happening.
Test fitting the nose gear bay. This has been moulded with a sort of ski jump toward the nose as far as the walls go, which push the whole thing out of alignment if not fixed. Sanding down the front end so it's level with the rest fixes it, but this piece is always tricky to fit as there is little in the way of positive location when it comes to fitting the fuselage halves together. I always wind up with a perfect join on one side and an imperfect one on the other. The sprue gate isn't actually that wide by the way, that's just flash.
Kit instrument panel and tub ready for a dark wash and install, considerably larger than life (the grid is 1cm)!
Test fitting the other side of the bay and cockpit, plus weights.
And forward fuselage together. As is just visible the tub wound up below the locating tab but I fixed that right after the pic was taken. First "bit that looks like an aircraft" part of the build
More slow and steady progress, as expected with two builds on the go simultaneously, but not helped by a cold keeping me away from the bench for most of the last week.
First part of the E/F to K conversion. Just score along the panel and rudder hinge with a sharp blade until the fin tip neatly detaches.
Engine face and intake painted, washed and almost ready to go in. Very little of it visible from the outside, so don't worry too much about how tidy it is.
Every one of the Fujimi A-4's I have built so far needed shaving of the internal forward corner of the fuselage half as seen here (unaltered corner on the right). The engine face and intake is very easy to misalign, but even correctly aligned I've found it's slightly too wide for the space.
Continuing with the fin tip. Smooth down the edges where you cut off the curved tip, glue a suitably thick chunk of plastic card in it's place, and once the glue is properly set mark out your lines and file and sand it into shape. Simples!
Moving on to the wing, this (among other reasons) is why so many of these I think would have lost a slat rail or two during construction. There are a lot of holes to open up (13 in total) before the wing can be assembled. Care is required Separating the flaps so they can be posed lowered though is a breeze.
To make your wing a K you also have to cut off the mast and shift it over to the fairing on the other side.
I ignored the instructions and put the fuselage halves together before adding the wing as it will make cleaning up the seams where the halves join and around the intakes a bunch easier. It's also easier to fettle the wing into a good fit doing it this way. The wing has had the flaps removed and the seams along the front of the slat recess cleaned up as well. Hopefully anyway, primer will tell. The hump has had the moulded in aerial removed here to be replaced by a more representative scratchbuilt one later on.
Speaking of the hump, it fits like an afterthought. This is the first time I've built one of these kits with the hump, and I'm a bit surprised by that since the fit of the other components is pretty good.
The intake edges I prepainted in their respective interior colours prior to assembly to save trying to mask them later, black green and german grey although they both look black here:
I cleaned them up as much as possible before adding them to the fuselage, since you just don't get a lot of room to work with in this scale. They need a bit of fettling but with care a good seam results that will only need minimal clean up:
NB the thumb print in the primer will be removed before the topcoat goes on
One disadvantage of putting the fuselage together without having the wing as a jig (the latter being the way shown in the instructions) is that little misalingments of secondary assemblies can happen. In this case the starboard intake was a little underaligned, so I added a tiny shim of plastic card to push it out a tad (the little white square at the bottom of the intake) which solved the problem. I've also added a bit of the final exterior colour to go under the splitter plate in case the spray doesn't penetrate the gap.
The wing is also getting as little putty as I can get away with to smooth the seam in the slat recesses. This kit also has the step at the top of the recess like the Hasegawa kit, but I wasn't tempted to cut and realign this one. The way the wing goes together makes it a slightly trickier proposition than on it's bigger cousin.