Kinetic’s 1/48 F-5A Freedom Fighter: Joining The Fuselage Halves

Sometimes in building a model, certain steps in the build process can exceed your expectations. I like it when that happens.

The breakdown of this kit into fore and aft sections had me a bit worried. Early on I had tested the idea of joining the front and rear fuselage halves together on each side, and approach the build from a more traditional standpoint. Reading a few reviews and forum posts made that seem a mixed bag- some liked that approach, some didn’t.

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to go with what the instructions suggested.

After getting the front half of the fuselage assembled, I gave it a few test fits into the rear half. This helped me identify several areas that needed sanding or trimming. I kept up this process over several iterations. Eventually, I slid the front half of the fuselage into the rear half- and it stayed. The join was just about perfect without glue. I placed a few drops of super glue in key places, held the two parts in place until that dried, and followed up with Tamiya Extra Thin cement.

I’ll still add a line of Mr. Surfacer to the join to even things out and make it look like the surrounding panel lines. And the leading edges of the wings will need a bit of glue to get them properly aligned to the intake sides.

But I was really happy with how it all turned out- it was quite contrary to what I expected!

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