Once again I find myself struggling for quality time at the workbench, but I've managed to squeeze a few short sessions in here and there, so here's the latest progress update.
Firstly, I managed to fix the too-wide fuselage at the forward end, by slicing away some of the upper section of the forward bulkhead with a #11 blade, until I could press the fuselage sides into a better position to much the upper cowling part. This at least eliminates one fit issue.
Rather than plough on and try to get the nose to fit at this stage, I decided to switch to dealing with the lower fuselage section that goes between the wings. This needs modifying to accept a resin forward part. I decided to use the chain-drilling method for removing the unwanted plastic area (which is what I should have done when modifying to fuselage, too):
Note that the resin part is positioned backwards in the photo above.
Here's the assembly after the removal, and much test-fitting and refining of the mating surfaces:
The conversion instructions aren't completely clear about how to handle the subsequent assembly of this area, so I decided to take what seemed the most logical approach to me. Since everything becomes a bit of a jigsaw puzzle at this stage, there's plenty of room to get things wrong, so I elected to glue the kit's plastic spar to the two remaining locating holes, which I figured would help anchor the resin section in place while the CA cures. However, the join between the resin and plastic parts has a lot of vertical flex, and I could see it becoming too concave or too convex if I wasn't careful, and getting the spar sitting at the wrong plane in relation to the two parts would have made things worse. I decided to tape everything up and fit it to the fuselage, and the poke the Tamiya Extra Thin brush into the wing roots to run some cement into the plastic locating holes and pins. This meant that the spar would set up in the correction position, and I could then CA the resin part into place, confident that the geometry of the assembly as a whole was as good as I could get it.
I know that's a pretty confusing explanation of the process, but here's the result:
The next step was to fit the new resin locating socket parts for the landing gear, which you can see in the photo above. But these introduced some new fit problems, as you can see below:
The solution here was pretty straightforward - reduce the width of front tab on the upper wing root:
Much better! But now you can see that the roof of the landing gear sockets is forcing the leading edges apart, so I'll have to reduce those before everything sits how it's meant to.
I'll be back after some filing and sanding!