WorkstationingAs is customary, I built the cockpit parts first. Or rather, I glued the unpadded chair onto the tub and stuck the joystick into the flooring, and that's all that there was. Maybe it's because these are all in the 1:72 scale, but damn, are they boring! I wasn't going to even consider going for the most insane approach some plane modelers do (the "I'm doing everything that is missing and more myself" one) - maybe I could try to set up some cheap attempts of belts from masking tape or something. They could, potentially be seen from the outside.
I spent a bit of time googling for the 190 cockpits. I guess it'd be enough if the part under the pilot's buttocks got a bit of a different paint than the rest. Of course the sides of the tub would contain FunkGeräts, switches, levers and who knows what else, but I really didn't see myself just painting them on. The pedals were as ridiculous as they usually are in this scale, I guess I'd drybrush some metallics on them or something, for the sake of trying.
In the end I just painted the seat part with the same brown (VMA Tank Brown) that I had already used on the seats of the Kübelwagen. Then I drybrushed (VMA Steel) here and there, working on bits I thought that could be noticeable.
Of the IP area I actually had a real photo, taken through a glass and extremely annoying reflections in the Deutshces Museum in Munich. Doing any sort of copying attempts in this scale made absolutely no sense at all, but I had to think of it in my sick mind for a bit, anyway. At least the dark grey looked the way it was supposed to.
Somewhat pointless effortsWhatever I was going to do to the IP, it would most likely be unseeable in the end. So I decided that I'd paint the dial faces black and maybe drop a bit of gloss varnish to get a glassy effect. Other than that I was going to leave it as it was.
In the end I just painted them flat black (VMA 71075 Black) and then applied a dropful of semiglossy varnish (Vallejo 70522 Satin Varnish), as if anyone could tell the difference. Or see the dials. The main point was, again, that they were done and that at least I knew what was done.
Shutting the sarcophagusPreparing for the worst, as the traditions dictate, I glued the seat complex and the IP bit onto the left half of the airframe. Then I allowed them to cure for a bit before I glued the right half on as well, fixed the grimacing tail fin with a peg and taped the rest shut to keep them from opening up uglily.
After working on other things for a while I undid the nose's tape and test-fitted the machine gun part on. It required a tiny bit of tinkering, because it just didn't fit properly taken straight out of the box. The problematic part was the bottom left edge (near the front canopy part). Gotten scared and scarred with the A-10's tail assembly, I did only minute changes between each trial, until the piece went on nicely.
Wing-thingsI still had a bit of modeling time left, but instead of gluing on the tail wings I focused on the wings themselves. For the first time ever the wing pieces settled on perfectly, nicely and aligned well! I was shocked.
This time I thought I'd approach these from a yet another new angle for me. I'd glue on the wings, then I'd follow the instructions and do the landing gear and only paint the plane when it was completely assembled. The obvious pro for this approach was that I wouldn't mess up already painted areas with glue. Then the con that came to my mind first was that some parts would be overshadowing some other areas and parts, making the airbrushing that much more difficult, but I thought that I'd survive.
The kit offered a pylon under the plane and for that either a drop tank or a nicely sized bomb. I assembled them both without any plans, but I think that I may actually end up deviating from the core attitude of the 'mumblings and go for the extra fuel tank instead of a thing that says KABOOM.
At this very point I realized that in my rush of building I had completely and totally forgotten the belts. I guess I could've jammed them into the cockpit at this point still, but I really didn't see the point of that anymore. I hadn't even thought of them for the previous four planes, so I guess it was all the same if I didn't do them now, either.