You'd think Trumpeter's Seafang would be a shake n' bake kit, however there's always a fly in the ointment with so very many of Trumpy's kits and this one required a fair bit of cutting, shutting & "accurizing" (excuse the expression).
The good news is the plastic parts fit very well together, but then it's downhill all the way if you want an accurate Seafang. I only went part way, because, well, life's too short!
Easy jobs were cutting the wing-fold, though be warned the wing-hinge as supplied is very flimsy, so be careful! Things you can correct easily are the cockpit: As moulded it's way too shallow and suitable only for Fleet Air Arm's cadre of Oompa Loompa's. Surgery is required here to drop the cockpit floor and ditch the under-scale seat, and with a bit of sanding & shaving a Seafire
seat can fit, at a push.
I also added a spare gunsight and a few more bits of plumbing & decided to have the whole thing buttoned up as the canopy is way too thick and doesn't look right when opened.
There's something not quite right to my eye with the width of the fuselage and it appears too narrow compared to the standard late model griffon engine Seafires/Spitfire in which in part it's based. No matter, there's nothing I can do that's straightforward, so I ignored it.
I also filled in the hole for the recon camera. On the actual prototype there's a camera window on both sides of the rear fuselage not just on one as Trumpeter would have it. On my "What-If
" scheme there's no camera option.
Other easy modifications were drilling out the exhaust holes. You will however, still need to cut out the opening to accommodate the exhaust as the kit has it siting too proud from the fuselage, and it doesn't look right.
The landing gear bays are too shallow, but there's nothing I could do here, the landing gear is just plain wrong being far too wide to fit into the shallow bays!
A bit of surgery was required to slim down the gear legs so it's closer to the real thing. I also added some resin wheels from a spare spitfire set I had.
I also straightened out the retraction struts which were closer to the real thing.
Since it began to dawn on me that Trumpeter's interpretation of their Seafang was rather fanciful to put it politely I elected to do a "What-If" Scheme. This one was going to be a French Aero Navale machine based on the carrier Arromanches in Indochina during the late 1940's. The decals came from an Aeromaster Seafire set. In an alternate reality Supermarine could have overcome the myriad of issues with the plane and completed it's initial order, some of which were then sold to the French who used them as an alternative to the Seafire Mk.III which were purchased in reality.
Colours are using Mig acrylics, & weathered using Mig's Oilbrushers.
Thanks for looking.