Putting it all Together Part I

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    Tucking in all the wires, aligning all the Stringers, matching all the holes and praying I hadn't forgotten anything... I closed the fuselage.

    Although it was very gratifying to finally see it taking shape, it was sad in a way too, because I'd been working and becoming familiar with the process, practically every night for the past 3 months.

    Now it was time to begin building/adding the exterior components of the aircraft; Weapons Pylons, 20mm Cannons, Grenade Launcher and Shroud, Ramp, Cockpit Transparencies, Rotors, Antennas, etc. etc.    As you can see in the lower picture, I already had added the sliding cockpit side windows.

    Here is an illustration of how I built the Weapons Pylons, which was basically a plastic skeleton, wrapped with thin sheet styrene.

The Spar was flush on the outboard side, but extended about 3/16" out of the inboard side, and slid into a rectangular cut-out I had made in the pod. (can be seen in earlier pictures)

Also the skin on the inboard side must be cut so that the wing will fit against the pod correctly.    Although it's built with thin sheet styrene, the wing is inherently strong and makes a stable platform to work up the Weapons installation.

    After assembling and attaching the Weapons Pylons.

    I was now ready to attach the Ramp, which wasn't completely finished because I didn't want to take a chance on tearing up the detail when attaching/threading the light wires through the Ramp structure.

The wires were inserted into the forward side of the ramp structure, through the body, and out a little hole I'd made where the ramp touches the ground. (there it was fed through a hole in the display base, through another intersecting hole and into a space in the base where the battery pack is installed)

    I also had to re-shape the area around the aft landing gear because the model lacked a lot of gear well detailing options.

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