Carl, thank you for leaving a post. It is indeed nice to see the differences between the two airframes. What I found interesting is that the two crew positions are completely interchangeable: you can fly from the front seat and use the weapon systems from the back or fly from the back and fight from the front, something that could not be done in the Whiskey. If the pilot spots a target from the back it will show on the displays of its co-pilot seamlessly, where in the Whiskey, the pilot would have to give his copilot visual directions for him to spot, acquire and engage. I am sure the crew love these features.
OK, time for an update. If you have followed this build from the start, you will recall I was not super happy with the 20mm gatling gun provided in the kit
The gatling gun in the Whiskey kit was completely useless, so I had replaced it with the Masters offering and I was very happy with the result. So I bought another one to replace the Zulu gun. I thought that it would be useful to show how the Masters gun build and how you adapt it to the kit parts, fortunately that was very easy, so here we go:
Masters parts and instructions
You start by using kit part C18 (the part looks a bit messy because I salvaged it after building the gun from the kit parts)
Then you glue with CA the brass base of the gun on the kit part. The brass is almost a perfect fit to the kit part, you just need to slightly scrape the inner lip of the part and it will fit snugly.
In the brass base there are three holes to accept the barrels. I used a drill bit to drill the three holes in the kit parts
and then glued the three barrels with CA
Then you glue the middle brace:
and you finish the gun with the muzzle brace (using thin CA):
Then I glued kit part C18 to part C35, primed the gun with Aclad gloss black and then Alclad steel
Then I glued the base together. I painted it before assembly Yellow primer. Not sure this is accurate however.
The manual calls you to glue part C38 (the part of the gun shield that moves with the gun). Before doing that you need to add the corresponding shark mouth decal (if you are building one of the three shark mouth versions in the kit). If you glue the shield without the decal, good luck putting the decal afterwards.
gun shield glued to the gun assembly. The hole is just big enough to accomodate the Masters barrels, just go slowly:
Then I glued the two sides of the turret around the gun. The fit is perfect and the gun moves up and down.
You need to paint the turret gloss white before assembling it because the shark mouth decals only has white printed on the top part of the decal. I think they left the white out on the bottom part to allow for the curvature of the turret (there is no transparent film between the bottow teeth). I have not applied that decal yet.
This leaves a seam on the turret but the front seam will not be seen once the turret is in its housing and the back seam can be eliminated without fouling the front of the turret (at least that is the plan).
I think the Masters barrels are a nice addition to the kit and they fit very easily to the kit parts.
More progress soon.