My progress on this jet continues, and it’s quite an enjoyable journey.
In examining photos of the interior, I noticed that there were “skid plates” on the floor under the rudder pedals, ad also that the rudder pedals themselves weren’t really visible. The skid plates aren’t in the kit at all, nor are any rudder pedals. And while the rudder pedals in the actual aircraft are almost impossible to see, I knew anyone looking into the cockpit of the model would want to see a bit of a hint of them at least. (Remember… suspended disbelief.)
The skid plates were simply enough to construct. I used a scribing template as a guide, and choosing a rectangle of about the right size, I cut out two small strips of sheet styrene. Test fitting showed that they were a bit wide. However, when I looked closely at the real deal, I saw that the skid plates had a small “notch” in them where the instrument panel mounted on the floor of the cockpit.
So I stacked the two parts on top of each other, and made a small notch, cutting through both parts, so they would be identical. A test fit showed my guess had been pretty good- the fit was almost perfect. I know that after painting and a wash it will work just fine.
For the rudder pedals, the best photo I could find showed them to simply be the bar type. Using styrene sheet and rod, I cut out a piece of rod to span the forward edges of the cockpit tub. I figured this wouldn’t be seen anyway. I then cut out some very small rectangles of sheet styrene, and cut in very small notches so they could fit onto the spanning rod. I eyeballed placement of them, and then added in more small pieces of styrene rod as the pedals. A test fit showed it was just about perfect. Once it is all in place, when you look in the cockpit, you simply see the slightest projection of rudder pedals dropping down.
There’s certainly more to do on the cockpit, but I thought this was a good start.
Another item to address were the see through air intakes. The kit doesn’t provide any detail inside- it’s just a straight shot into the hollow fuselage. The choice was building the interior, or add some FOD covers. The latter seemed the simplest approach by far.
Luckily the air intakes are separate parts, so I was able to put one face down on a sheet of paper, and trace out the shape of the opening. I then used that tracing to cut out a template in sheet styrene, making sure the template was a bit large. I then sanded it down to fit.
I then took an old credit card, and using the template as a guide, traced the outline into the card. (I wanted the FOD covers to have some strength so they would not flex.) Cutting out two of those, I sanded the edges a bit until I got a decent fit inside the intakes.
I’d seen several different styles in use on the AMX, one in particular having handles sticking out from the front. I thought that would be a nice look to go with. I taped the two covers together, and using a small drill bit, drilled holes through both so they would match. Next I used some florists wire, and wrapping a small piece halfway around the metal sleeve of a paintbrush, formed the handles. I then fed the ends through the holes, added some super glue on the back, and after making some slight positioning adjustments, zapped it with some accelerator. I then clipped off the excess from the back of the covers, and painted them red. I finished up with a gloss coat.
The covers fit pretty well. I’ll be able to install them after assembly, and use a touch of glue to hold them in place.
Next up in this build will be some more cockpit detailing.