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  1. Hello again, all. After a couple of non LSP kits, I decided I'd get back to the Master Scale. My lovely wife bought me the MkVIII Spit for Father's Day, so I thought I'd get right to it. I just have to say, this is, as we all expect from Tamiya LSPs, a beautiful kit. It could be built straight out of the box and look fantastic. So, naturally, I bought a bunch of after market . Actually, as I'll discuss later, I think I may have actually bought too much aftermarket (is such a thing even possible?) I went with HGW seat belts, Barracuda decals and cockpit upgrades, the Eduard exterior photoetch set, and a Yahu IP. My first attempt at HGW belts had been frustrating, so I have left that part for now. I do, however, want to talk about the interior resin upgrade set. It is of course, beautiful work from Roy as always. However, more to the praise of Tamiya than to the detriment of Barracuda, I'm not sure that it is that much better than the kit parts. I've posted below some comparison photos of the relevant parts. The seat is the one clear winner for me. Fortunately it's sold as a separate piece. Tamiya elected not to mold the very prominent backrest cushion, which Barracuda has corrected. The other thing I do love about these particular parts is that they're made to be drop in replacements to the kit parts, complete with attachement points of the correct shape to fit to the sidewall. (I have since removed the flare rack from the front of the seat, which to my understanding is not correct for this mark. The compass is nearly identical. I honestly can't even tell you which is which in this photo The throttle quadrant does show a couple of nice additional details, but the kit part is very good on its own. As you can see, I still struggle with cleanly separating parts from the casting block. That handle is askance because I had to glue it back on after breaking it during sawing. Undercarriage controls. Again, a few nice details, but not a stark contrast as there is with some kits. The control column. The barracuda part comes with wire and asks you to drill three tiny holes to accommodate them. I used a #80 drill bit but still managed to break the part. I ended up using the kit part, with the resin handpiece, which does add some nice detail where the lines attach. Sidewall painted up with paint scraped away for the bulkhead attachments. Rather than try to drill again and ruin my only remaining control stick, I used lead wire and just cut it where it's meant to be going through, picking it back up on the other side. Some solder added for the hydraulic lines from the undercarriage lever. For some unknown reason, Tamiya have chosen to leave very prominent defects in this door. After trying unsucessfully to fill and sand them, I scraped away the detail, smoothed it over with some Bondo, and re-added the detail by scratch. The open door below shows that in progress. I deviated from the instructions and added the sidewalls to the fuselage halves so that I could add some wiring. I just noticed on the second picture that I'm missing a couple of bits that still need to be glued down on the starboard side. These upclose photos also unfortunately are demonstrating my sloppy painting. I usually brush paint Model Master Acryl semi gloss black for these parts, but have been unable to get it appropriately thinned - it either runs everywhere or goes on too thick, as below. I'm expecting a bottle of UMP universal thinner, which I'm going to try on it before switching brands entirely, but does anyone else have a favored paint for this? I prefer not to try to mask and spray all these little parts, so brush painting is a must. Control column and rudder pedals. There is a trick of the light, here, the starboard pedal has not suffered from green overspray. I added straps to the rudder pedals from Tamiya tape. Here's my door. Need to clean it up a little still. Waiting on a new bottle of MRP RAF interior green. The crowbar has yet to be built, but I am thinking that I'll whittle it out of styrene strip. While waiting for my Yahu panel to arrive, I decided to paint up the kit part. It has the usual coke bottle effect on the instrument glass, due to the way Tamiya engineers them, but looks pretty good. The Barracuda set also comes with placard decals. I will add those as well, and may save this pre-made panel for the next 1/32 spit I do (there will definitely be another, as I love Spits and this kit - probably Skalski's MkIX). I just realized looking at this that I somehow lost the bottom three instrument decals! D'oh! And the Barracuda resin seat. First with a base coat of MRP ochre wood, then dabbed and swirled with some burnt siena and burnt umber oils for the Bakelite effect. I was going to give this a top coat with MRP clear red brown, but I think it looks pretty good as is. Thoughts? Anyway, I'm about to go away for the holiday weekend, so I'll leave these oils to dry for a few days and hopefully my IP will be in the mail when I return! Gloss, decals, washes, and seatbelts still to go before I can close up the fuselage halves. Thanks for looking - as always comments criticisms are welcome!
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