OK, time for an update then! I started by cleaning up the seats, which have a nasty resin seam down their backs. The right one in the photo below is 'before', and the left one 'after':
You can also see that I managed to uncover a couple of small pin holes, which were duly filled with CA gel and sanded back. I don't think it matters all that much though, as preliminary test-fitting suggests that little will be seen of the rear of the seats. Here they are after painting and weathering:
Cockpit sidewalls with the detail parts added:
I deliberately over-highlighted the black parts to give them some hope of standing out once the fuselage is closed up. I initially thought there was a lot more detail to add than that, but it turns out that the kit supplies two of everything with regard to the cockpit detail parts. A nice touch! Clearly there's scope here for a lot more detail should you be so inclined. I'm happy to stay with what you get in the box at this point.
Here's my feeble attempt at creating a convincing wood effect for the cockpit floor:
I was going for a plywood effect, so I'm hoping it'll look more convincing once it's installed in the cockpit. Since I used the 'dragged oils' method for this, I'm gonna have to leave it dry for at least 24 hours before attempting to progress. (For the record, it's Raw Sienna dragged over a gloss-coated Tamiya Deck Tan base, using a combination of a square brush and some packing sponge.) Any tips on improving it will be gratefully accepted!
Finally, here's the control columns and linkages (a 'torque tube' according to the instructions):
This will fit into the longitudinal slot in the cockpit floor. I'd love to have the time to really go to town on the cockpit in this kit, but a lack of both time and references makes it impractical. Still, I think once everything's assembled and in position, it will look pretty good.