Starting out this build we find ourselves in the cockpit, building a pair of seats. Each seat has a base, the seat itself, and what I'm guessing is radar scope. To this aftermarket, PE seatbelts were added before painting them interior green from Mr. Color.
Next up I built the various instrument panels, for the pilot on the sides of him, the main instrument panel, and then for what I guess is the navigator and radioman. Once again PE bits were added to each and then painted black. To highlight details on them I dry brushed on aluminum since no decals were supplied to actually represent the detail on them.
Finally, everything was brought together, with the panels fitting to the floor, and the seats on their rails, before finally offering these up to the fuselage halves. Did I mention those got details added include PE as well?
Before the two halves were brought together I had to build the upper turret that swivels about, One of the options though didn't have this but not mine, we are armed as much as possible!
The next build of the build moved to the very tip, the radar to be specific. While it'll never be seen at the end of the day it was nice of Monogram to include the radar dish in the nose cone. Two versions of the nose cone were included, again depending on the build. I choose to go their route that added a bit more 'flavor' to the aircraft beyond the all-black nature of it, which paints part of it in white.
Carrying on with the build it was time to build up the pair of wings, as is typical for an aircraft there were upper and lower halves mated together. For a kit of its ages the two parts actually went together pretty well. One disappointing thing though was that the oil coolers were molded into the wing, with no ability for extra detail without going crazy.
Once the inner and outer flaps were built they got added to the wings, but for this one I chose to model them up, and as such the pins holding them needed cut back so they fit in tight.
Both booms were constructed in a similar manner with mirrored parts for the left and right boom. The landing gear was first painted aluminum and the lateral bracing for it was glued onto it. I then cut the gear doors as told to in the instructions for the markings I decided to do and glued those into the boom halves. The fit here was terrible but after some paint, it wasn't so bad, definitely saw better of course. The gear leg was then fit in and each half glued together.
Once the booms were finished they got fit to their respective wing root where they set up for a long while to ensure they stayed as the gap was pretty substantial here.
Once it had been set up good and hard I took the horizontal stabilizer and fit it between the booms, before adding the wings to the main body of the fuselage.
At this point I decided to go ahead and move forward with painting the model. Being black this one was very easy to do, I used Tamiya X-1 so that I didn't need a gloss coat before doing decals later. With this kit I also had a Eduard mask set, a god send for something like a WWII fighter with many many windows to have to mask. I used these on the canopies, and then fit them all into place, with masking tape inside areas where the canopies will have to be added later.