Airfix Lancaster Bomber: Part 2

The next section of the build was to fit one side of the fuselage to the spars. This involved quite a lot of internal painting, painting some bits “cockpit green” and others “black”. To be honest not a lot of this shows in the completed model so (perhaps) some of it could have been ignored but its difficult to tell because you can look in at the windows (if you try hard) and could tell if the inside wasn’t painted. Talking of the windows,

5th Lesson: Some of the windows come in multiple sections. Don’t paint between the windows because the transparent sections don’t stick very well;

6th Lesson: Its possibly a good idea to cut the windows into individual sections. The fuselage is quite thin and flexible and the window sections can come unglued and “pop-off”, leaving you with a complicated refitting activity or accepting the fact that the windows won’t be there in the final model.

On my model three sections of windows fell out (when gluing some of the finer detail later on I had to twist the fuselage even after it was fitted together and they popped off, some of them I could refit (with a bit of jigging and poking) but some I couldn’t so there are a couple of blank windows in the final model.

It was sometimes difficult to work out what was supposed to be painted which colours and in retrospect perhaps Airfix could have an online version of the instructions in colour showing how they thought it could be painted.

Anyway, I got the cockpit fitted (the maps on the navigators desk is a nice touch but (to be honest) some of the level of detail within the cockpit and bomb aimers area is lost within the model and maybe doesn’t need to be there – depends who our designing it for I suppose.

So at this point I ended up with this:

As I was going to put the pilot in (later), I don’t think I actually needed to put the yellow dot on the back of his headrest but who was to know?

I put the other side of the fuselage on (somewhat fiddly, take care not to bend the wing spars) and braced the spars with the bits. Again, it would have been better not to have painted the braces or the spars before fitting them as the slots to fit the braces were slightly paint filled and it made them awkward to fit. There was also a bit that fitted into a circular hole just behind the bomb-bay doors that didn’t seem to make any sense.

The next step was fitting the wings.

The awkward thing about this point is that the wings aren’t straight. They need to be bent upwards whilst they’re being glued. Theres a little pin towards the end of the upper part of the wing and a hole in the lower part. They are supposed to marry together and (I suppose) make sure that the wing takes on the right shape. NO! Doesn’t work. When I strained and struggled to get the pin to marry with the hole, straining the fuselage popped out the windows and the pin just bloke off. I think they could (for me anyway) do with some extra pins and holes to make it easier to align and shape the wing. Then I could have done with a number of clamps to hold the wing in shape whilst it was drying. Anyway, as you can see, with a degree of patience and masking tape to hold it together, the wings fitted. They weren’t perfect, one of them bulged slightly and (to be honest) I don’t think the spars and braces should have been painted at this time, it could have waited.

Then I fitted the engine nacelles which was quite a lot of the instructions but relatively straightforward and got me to something that looked like this:

7th Lesson: Have something else to do. Walking away while the glue is drying is a good thing.

Part 2 of 4: Part 3

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