Thanks Simon. I'll aim to please,
This weekend I started cutting sprue/fret and throwing paint. Juggling three campaigns now I figured I'd get a jump on this while I'm waiting for S/O parts for other builds. Gonna lead off with the Arii kit. For those not familiar with this kit. It is easily overlooked amid all the conversations about Tamiya, Hasegawa, and Academy Bolts, however, there is more to recommend it than one would think at first glance.
On the plus side: Its cheap (picked one up on the net new in the wrapper for $10). The plastic is surprisingly easy to work with and the surface detail is subtle with nicely engraved panel lines. The fit is shockingly good. and the transparencies not only fit well but are pleasingly clear. The construction runs very similar to the old Monogram kit (but without the raised panel lines)
OK, so what's not to like? Well, there are some sink holes in visible places. (but nothing a little Mr. Surfacer can't solve). It is positively light on any details, and the decal sheet is all but useless.
That said, for $10 there is a lot of modeling potential.
So, this is going to be a relatively quick build to whet my appetite for the Hasegawa D-25 a bit later. Since the kit is so spartan and because there are AFAIK no aftermarket bits for Otaki/Arii kits a combination of scratch build and modification of other aftermarket items is required.
I started by modifying a TD resin cockpit set to fit my Jug. This required minor trimming/shimming and lowering the floor 2mm to have the side panels line up correctly. Adding some Eduard PE bits gives extra pop to the tub. I'll post some progress pics tonight.