A-37B Dragonfly (Trumpeter) Build #2 – Cockpit Painting, Detailing, and Fuselage Assembly

With the clear gloss cured, it was time to add the decals for the gauges and some of the switches. As evidenced by the four gauges clustered to the right of the panel, the dimensions of the decal were slightly off. (They should have been a bit wider and had I known their dimensions were off, I could have cut the decal into sections and aligned each gauge cluster individually.) Once in place, a couple of coats of decal solvent got them to snug down. Once the solvent dried, I used colored pencils to add contrasting colors to switches and gizmos. Next, the panel will be shot with clear flat but I wanted to make sure things were dry before doing that:

The next step was to paint the cockpit. The overall color was a color-corrected light gray and then black details were added:

While that paint was curing, I shot the instrument panel with matte clear. The matte removed any hint that the gauge faces are decals:

With the cockpit paint dry, I hit it with a coat of gloss clear and gave it a black wash and a coat of matte clear. Once the paint set up a bit, I added a bit of dirt using pastels:

After the wash dried, the interior was shot with matte clear, the red added to the headrests, and the PE harnesses painted buff and glued into place, and wear replicated by dry-brushing aluminum in areas subjected to wear:

I used a drop of clear gloss on each of the gauge faces and touched up the decal borders with flat black in a few areas and the instrument panel is done:

At this point there’s nothing to do but to glue the fuselage halves together:

And that was it for this session. I wanted the glue to set completely before I started working on the seams and I’m going to need to touch up the front of the instrument panel coaming where glue caused the black paint to lift and smear. Speaking of which, the location of the instrument panel turns out to be the first real fit problem I encountered. It doesn’t sit in there quite level. Unfortunately, I had already glued the fuselage halves together before I noticed it and trying to separate the fuselage halves to fix that would have resulted in the potential for damage I didn’t want to fix. The instrument panel stays that way.

Next, I start on the wings.

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