Thanks for the encouraging comments and gifs (!) peeps. I promise to return to this project soon. I'm in the middle of a big model purge on Tardme and ebay right now, and all my spare hobby time (oh the irony ) is getting sapped up with cataloging, listing, posting etc etc. Might put some bargains up on KM soon.
As private Schulz would say "forge on for the fuhrer"
I cannot believe I've neglected this topic for 4 months! Work has been ongoing with the big cat, and it's not been without drama. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief that Grant knocked his one out in something like 9 weeks.
Rather than a blow by blow account I'll just say that all the added resin parts generally fit, but a lot of fitting and fettling to get things to accomodate each other is needed. Sometimes even simple things like the plastic swing wing mounting block has a hooked rounded leading edge that neatly binds on the resin main wheel wells. Careful grinding needed there. The resin cockpit sat slightly high atop of the front wheel well, and just to frustrate both the resin cockpit and resin wheel well fouled on the plastic avionics/gun bay recesses where it's difficult to even see. I only discovered the problem after putting it down for a day and walking away in frustration! Fitting the Zacto intakes took some effort, and they do look good once in.
With the group build dead and buried I've not had the same motivation to photograph every step, but I'll try to be more diligent about progress photos. So here's where I'm at:
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.
Thanks for the encouraging comments guys. Finally got over the hump that was the warped resin fins on the GBU-24's. I got some Eduard Brassin parts and all eight rear tail fins were mildly warped (noticeable enough to need fixing) and some even split slightly. I had two choices. Ask for replacement rear ends (and face build delays) or straighten them myself and move on. I needed the weapons made up to test fit the racks and pylons.
The fins were straightened by dropping them in hot water and using flat nose plyers clamped on the fin while still hot. It was a frustrating exercise of doing one fin at a time and needing to repeat some again as the hot water caused previously straightened fins to move again. Everything generally went ok except for fumbling a wet part which hit the floor splitting some more fins one to the point where I had to replace it with plastic card... and here was me thinking I saved time. The GBU-24 are mounted at a downwards angle on the forward pylons of the Tomcat (I assume so they clear both the pylon and aircraft upon release), so this necessitated scribing the pylons already in place with a fine razor saw to allow the middle section to ramp at an angle for the bomb rack to be mounted.
The other little Trumpeter "pickle" or as it's better known the LANTIRN pod, was also found to be wanting. Turns out the circular vent on the rear and the mounting holes were upside down on the kit part. So holes were filled and new holes and opening made on the flipside including swappin out the solid plastic mesh with scrap pe mesh I had on hand.
Next up is main landing gear. Updates soon I hope!?
I've finally cracked and reverted to type. I told Bruce and Tania I'd be doing no mad stuff on this model, keeping it mostly ootb only to start on the nose gear to find the kit parts were missing most of the interesting stuff. So what started as making a few parts kept escalating, until I lost count at over 180 additional parts. There is still a few missing parts to be attached after painting, lights, wiring to connect to said part, and placards etc, but done enough to qualify as finished. Hardest part was making the launch bar fully articulated, including all the little brackets that attach to it. The only reason I did this was so when I add the nose gear into the model I can tweak the launch bar to the right height for catapult engagement when in the (very cool ) kneeling position.
Shout out to Bruce for the free Tamiya catapult officer!