28th March 2014
Some more progress on the Viper cockpit…
All the main components have been fettled and filled and primed with Tamiya Flat J.N.Grey (XF-12). No real reason to use XF-12 other than I have a load of it left over from another build and it’s not a colour I’m likely to use anywhere else for a while.
With the primer on I had a good look around for blemishes, and then realised I hadn’t glued on the front angled sections of the side consoles (Doh!) – so they were attached and blended in with PPP and Mr Surfacer 500.
As I mentioned before, the HUD is a really poor fit. It looks like they moulded the side brackets for the HUD glass back to front. There are two grooves in the outside of the hud mounts that are the correct width for the HUD glass, but they don’t run the full length of the brackets. The mounting pins for the HUD mounts are on the wrong side of the mounts too, so it really looks like they just got the glass slots and the pins accidentally swapped before they moulded it. I’ve double triple checked the fit and I’m 100% sure I’m not doing something stupid here, so had no choice but to make them fit 😉
Here is the HUD glass dry fitted before gluing.
Here you can see one of the gaps that resulted from having to shift the HUD mounts inwards…
And the beauty of PPP – just a quick dab of PPP in the gap, wipe it over with a damp cotton bud and job’s a good-un.
Here’s the HUD mounts glued and filled complete with the other side bits in place. They also took a bit of tweaking to get them to fit and they look pretty close according to my reference photos. Also shown are some components from the instrument panel area that will need to be painted black…
The front coaming and instrument panel parts were painted with Tamiya flat black (XF-1), and I did a bit of pre-shading on the cockpit tub and seat. I don’t want to go for a full on heavy weathered look here as all of the reference photos I’ve seen have the seat and cockpit in pretty good shape (the benefits of being indoors)… The pre-shading is hopefully just going to provide a bit of dimension to the paint rather than heavy shading.
Finally for this update, a coat of Tamiya XF-66 over the tub and seat.
Time now to leave the paint to settle down over night and have a look at the pre-shading with fresh eyes in the morning. If the shading looks too evident with fresh eyes I’ll knock it back a bit so that it’s barely visible. Bearing in mind that a clear coat is likely to enhance the pre-shading and give it more contrast.
The seat is a bit tricky to do because the back is open and you can see inside it. Also the ejection gun is installed inside the seat but is visible from the outside. So what I’m going to do is clear coat the inside of the seat and the ejection gun (the long tube bit), and then give it some Flory dark dirt wash before fitting the gun and closing up the seat.
The front coaming will need some Tamiya Nato Black applying here and there to give it a sun bleached look and I’m toying with the idea of trying Flory Light Wash on it to create dust and fading.