Some light customizing

Madness is contagious

I'm afraid I've read too many articles in modeling magazines and online because these cases of "this is so wrong, I had to make a kiloton of details myself" don't seem so far-fetched anymore. My first example: there was a piece on the front of the cockpit's instrument panel that looked more like a lego cheese slope than anything else. I started by cutting it away and searched for some transparent plastic so I could make a better targeting device to replace that hideous mountain of plastic.

That's nothing, I think. Worse is yet to come.

A pilot and his workstation

This pilot was like a character who escaped from the Spaceballs with his ball-shaped helmet. The instrument panel just looks totally wrong. No, I wasn't going to rebuild or remake or even fix everything, because I'm no scratch builder, but something had to be done! First I painted some gray-black areas where my reference photo showed some shapes. More or less.
Then I dug out a piece of greenstuff and rolled it for a while. I slapped a tiny chunk on his face and tried to remodel it to look a bit more mask-like. The mask alone wasn't enough so I took a length of wire and inserted it on the side of the mask and the other end between the pilot's legs. From the rest of the greenstuff I cut away a couple of slabs and set them on the instrument panel to represent those dark things on the link above. I guess, when viewed from afar, you could guess they're some sort of instruments, even in this 1/72 scale.

After my almost five-minute long handcrafting session I was left with painting Ivan and the mf-displays. The guy himeslf got a coating of green, his helmet ended up light gray and the visor black. With the same black I covered the freshly installed instruments in the cockpit. Whenever I'm done with the ejection seat and the pilot I'll add the launching handles on the seat.  Being bright red they should be nicely visible to the outside. Oh and of course I have to add the seat belts as well (or whatever they're called in fighter planes), if I'm going for this much trouble!

For a while I've pondered if I should add some cables and stuff to the inner sides of the cockpit. Perhaps. The sides of the pilot's tub are pretty ascetic but I just don't trust my skills so much that I'd dare to start changing the whole insides based on some pics in the net. Maybe I'll manage to achieve something semitolerable in the end, when I have painted some kind of views to the MFDs and other random things to represent dials and whatnot. No matter what, a throttle handle is an absolute must!

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