The P-39 Nightmare

Tuesday night, I went out and bought some fishing weights, so I was finally able to move forward on the P-39N. Of course, for every two steps forward, I felt like I was making nine steps back.
First, the weights… I bought some small weights. Small enough where I (correctly) figured out that it was going to take three of them to hold the plane in balance, and not have it falling back on its tail. That’s where the nightmare began. I’ll spare the gory details (because there’s over an hour’s worth, probably) and just say that I mashed and squashed the heck out of those fishing weights before managing to get one of them directly under the pilot’s seat and two of them shoved in the nose section.
While trying to do that, I got a lot of CA glue in a lot of places I didn’t want to, managed to remove a significant amount of paint with the CA remover, and scratched off even more paint with an Xacto knife (don’t ask). But wait… It does get worse. Looking at that picture, the bottom half there, with the wings, the rear and front fuselage undersides? Yeah… Snapped that in two. Right between the wings and the front fuselage. It’s not important how it happened, other than to say that–in some places–the fit isn’t as great as it could be.
I was ready to throw the whole thing away. I’d even dug out my "Plan B" aircraft from one of the boxes of models packed away for the move. Just for one last look at my failure, I put the whole thing back together. To my complete and utter shock, I could barely tell where the break was. Once I get paint on it, I don’t think the casual, untrained eye will spot it at all. So… I carefully put the whole thing back together, applied more CA, applied more CA remover to clean up the excess CA, and called it a night on that one. The best news is that now it does finally sit on its landing gear. Such a great deal of work for such a tiny plane. There had to be an easier solution. If there isn’t, I can’t recommend this kit to anyone. In fact, it’s probably enough to turn me off of P-39’s entirely.
For now, I’m going to continue onward with this plane, but it may yet end up in the trash bin.

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