Sleeve-ranks and more assembling

Adding the rank bars on the coverall sleeves

Yet again I ducked for the rank markings of the Luftwaffe for these ranks I pulled out of my sleeve. For simplicity I decided that the first guy'd have a single set of moustaches on his sleeves while the other one had a moustache underlined by a horizontal bar. Both'd be white as I really didn't feel like making a mess or multiple passes with yellow, if I really didn't need to. The white paint would also stand out a bit better, I thought, as the coveralls and the bibs were already yellowish and yellow, respectively.

Pictured: some flying colonel, who's being blinded by a misleadingly bright future
As a foundation I painted grey-black rectangular blotches on the sleeves and later I attempted to paint the tiny, tiny white  blobs on them. The radio operator got the single moustache so he was an Unteroffizier (which translated to a sergeant? Weird shapecount, considering that the other armies and branches usually have used three somethings for sarges, but who am I to complain?). The pilot then got the underlined moustache, becoming a Herr Leutnant, a lieutenant. Nothing too fancy but maybe even believable, I hoped.

No, you couldn't recognize anything there, but they are there and that mattered the most.

Employing some factory workers

At this point the instructions told me I had two options. Open dive brakes or closed ones, wingtip hardpoints loaded with either a pair of small bombs each or single external fuel tanks. Rather surprisingly and shockingly the Project Mumblings took the divebombing option in a divebomber project.

From under the masking tapes a pair of almost good-looking landing gear pods emerged. One of them was going to need a tiny bit of puttying, but they were quite an improvement from the last time I had seen them.

Next I glued the tail stabilizers with their diagonal support bars. Those settled into the airframe beautifully! Afterwards I tried to rererecheck that the damn wings were set straight, but that's what I've always done and always there's been some criticism afterwards :p

Under the aiframe I installed a couple of antennas and other things. Those identical hook-like things were to be glued on, with a glue specifically sold by Zvezda, so there's another case of "no glue needed", again.

Moving on, I assembled and painted the radio operator's MG and attached it to the rear glass piece. At this exact moment I realized I was just about done with the whole assembly part of this project. Before getting to that I thought I'd make my canopy masking subprocess a tiny bit easier by painting the frames from the inside. But nope, the plastic practically refosed to take and hold any paint on its surface. Gnaah.


Building session 2

Bit by bit

As the paint had dried I continued with the building itself, conciously ignoring the little dudes' sleeves bare at this point. My program consisted of installing a curious square-shaped window piece in front of the bottom of the airframe, between the wings. This looked like some sort of a "do we still have the bomb in there, Hans?" window or something. I had never encountered this detail in my previous Stuka models, so I was a bit uncertain of its purpose.

The cockpit

The next step was the traditional mashing together of the airframe and the wings. I was quite concerned of the fate of the poor little guys' shoulders but with some wiggling and a couple of reaimings everything settled together amicably and there weren't any huge gashes anywhere, either. The few gaps were sorted out with a drop of liquid glue and a bit of pressure over a short period of time.

Behind the first part of the engine's radiator (or oil cooler) a new neatly shaped arc was installed. Behind that I attached the main bomb on its amazingly swinging rack. A smarter modeler would've painted those separately, but as we've maybe realized over the years, yours truly is always not quite that smart.

As you could tell by the image 2, I still had space to paint the rank insignia to the arms of the coveralls. Maybe I would have to come up with some kind of ranks for them, but I didn't know anything about these things, what kind of chaps were paired and how they were typically ranked. I guess I could make the radio operator a general and the pilot a summer trainee replacement for an auxiliary loader's assistant. That'd keep us on the track, considering the quality of jokes in this blog.

Landing gear

I was very pleasantly surprised by the four-piece landing gear. In theory the wheels would be spinnable and there were even separate propellers for the jericho sirens!

Generally speaking these bits were really good but after assembly the fronts of the cupolas were grimacing more uglily than myself when the alarm goes off in the mornings. So I applied some glue, pressed them together for a good long while and then tied them together with masking tape. In case my first assault wasn't providing me an end-all solution, I'd use pegs for the second one.