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Building the Hasegawa P-51D in 1/32 Scale: Part 3

The end of Part 2 saw us come up with a solution for securely installing Hasegawa’s wobbly engine into the fuselage. This meant that I could get on with the task of fitting all the requisite internal assemblies into the fuselage and close it up! Always a landmark moment in any aircraft build, but particularly so in this larger scale.

So, in goes the resin cockpit, along with the radiator exit ramp:

Of course, I mis-located the cockpit the first time around, and had to rip it out and reposition it about a millimetre aft.

The cockpit was secured with CA glue, while Tamiya Extra Thin cement did the trick with the radiator exit ramp. You can see in the photo above, however, that I’ve used some styrene strip to help reinforce the join across the top, along with a combination of black kit sprue and black CA to help block the otherwise see-through gaps at the back.

Time to pop the engine in and test fit the fuselage halves!

And with the upper cowl in place:

Now it was time to start the laborious task of joining the fuselage halves. I had to do this in sections, waiting for each section to ‘grip’ before moving on to the next one, and employing all manner of clamps to keep the two halves together:

Despite all this effort, I still managed to induce some fuselage slippage, which didn’t become evident until I glued the upper cowl in place:

That gap is a non-issue, and easily dealt with. The misalignment of the exhaust opening, however, is a different challenge altogether:

It’s fixable, and I’ll be dealing with it in the next update. This is disappointing after all the work I put into trying to avoid this kind of thing, but that’s modelling sometimes!

I’ve also still got some major gaps inside the cockpit to deal with:

Those two little construction conundrums bring us to the end of this update, so stay tuned for Part 4 to see how I deal with them!

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