My good friend Ed Connell actually painted the figures and so I figured I'd let him explain his process for it.
Giving the instructions a once over very quickly I was able to notice that they don't really specify how and where the guns fit into the finished model in relation to the interior pieces, and because of this, I opted to start with the guns that get placed inside to make positioning the seats easier later. I wanted to outfit this hawk with as much gunnery as possible, really load it down. Some of the guns ended up not being used but it was worth building just to see how they could fit potentially
The first guns I built up were GAU-21 Machine guns as they are the main ones that take up the compartment. Each side begins with a PE plate that the gun mounts and ammo box sit on. The instructions depict them having a step up where other plastic pieces sit and so I expected to have to fold something, and that was a wrong assumption. I used CA glue to secure the 3 pieces onto the PE plate and once that had dried solid I went back and removed excess plastic from the bottom side, The joint isn't very strong and it worries me about breaking later, but it functions. With those supports added I was then able to add the lateral bracing between them where the gun itself mounts.
The gun and ammo box get added last before those are finished. The machine guns themselves consisted of one-piece construction, with the top plate being added before offering that up to the swivel mounts. Kitty Hawk messed up the molding of these swivels and required me to cut off the locating nubs and as a result of the top sight also wasn't molded at all.
PE belt feeds are also included and there is a run of ammo included to be able to use to help bend and fit this, although because it's not as flexible wasn't able to be mated up with the gun itself.
Next, I built up the ammo boxes for the MG-134s, each consisting of 4 pieces, and molded in a much smarter way than the GAU-21 boxes above that were halves. These were more of a bucket with side and top plate attached and look much better as a result.
Building the MG-134 turned out to be a pretty fiddly assembly, with the buttstock built up first and then the gun barrels around a core before finally adding a PE end piece. Included was also ejection shoots for the spent casings and cleaning up the seam lines on those turned out to be a pain, because of the texture and split in half construction of them. To continue the fiddly construction was the mounts themselves, I feel they could have been simplified from their 3 piece construction to maybe 2, but Kitty Hawk must have wanted that piece count!
Same as above this one started out by building up the ammo boxes, although these were a little more complicated, with a base plate, the main body, and a top plate, as well as an end piece, all before attaching some PE tie-down straps and clamps.
Building the cannons themselves turned out to be a pretty easy job, with 6 pieces for each one, and a few those being just for the mounting brackets, some PE needed bending through
Construction of the model begins with the seats where soldiers would sit during transport. Each seat consists of 9 pieces, 5 plastic, and 4 pieces of PE for the seatbelts. The seatback attaches to the seat bottom and a harness is attached to the back of both to give proper angle and is also where the seats hang from, instructions for these shows the bottom brackets that support the seats wrong but was able to catch this during assembly of each seat.
From there we add some detail to the roof including some instrument panels, handholds, and the bar that attaches the seat. Also attached is a bar where the rope gets attached when troops repel from the helicopter and if done correctly can operate. After that, we begin on the side pieces which include bulkheads that give the airframe depth and more detail. When done this all clips into the outer shell and will sit very tight and fits well based on dry-fitting.