So! As you can see above, the cockpits have been completed. The jet that will be all buttoned up with crew in place has the kit cockpit done OOB using traditional painting methods like dry brushing. I think it looks completely adequate for a closed canopy aircraft. The jet that will be displayed open canopy has the cockpit finished with the supplied Eduard PE. Although some people don't like the flat panels, I think they look fine in 48 scale. I really do think though that Eduard could match their colours better to FS or whatever colour the cockpit is to be painted. The Eduard printed 231 looks more like light Gull grey with a greenish tinge. Eduard have been doing these printed PE panels long enough now to have improved this aspect of them.
With the cockpits done, it was time to fit them into the nose halves. I found the separate panels fitted fine in the closed position, After I examined the below photo, I further tweaked the fit of the panels removing the steps seen. No filler or shims were needed
Attention then turned to the undercarriage. the jet about to be launched will be using the compressed noseleg. I added some punched discs and copper wire to bulk out some of the detail although stopped short of adding the brake lines. I found the instructions a little lacking in clear parts placement here, but eventually got them assembled.
work then moved onto the intake ramps. HobbyBoss only allows the ramps to be built in the lowered supersonic position.
I modified the ramps to the open position for the jet about to be launched. This involved leaving out the front actuators, cutting the forward ramps apart at the panel line and glueing them flat to the intake roof. The rear ramp remains partly open, so had its actuator cut in half. However this then exposes a problem(pun intended). Hobbyboss in their laziness did not mould an inside wall as they knew it would it would npot be seen if the kit was built as per the instructions.
AS this opening would be clearly seen with the ramps raised, a wall had to be added from plasticard. Easy enough to add, but should not have really been necessary in my book.
You can also see the kit comes complete with the ECM blisters under the glove vanes. The implications of this being, I REAALY need to decide what scheme I am doing my jet in so I can work out what block number it belongs to and whether those bumps can stay, or need to come off.
I'm in my fifties and live in Regional Victoria, Australia.