Hi everyone! So, as promised, a look back at how it went with the goals I set out to achieve when the project started.
1) Overall dimensions. I love how beefy it looks now! The broader fuselage and longer wings certainly give the ship a more purposeful appearance. Most importantly though, it now looks like a proper Hellcat from all angles. First one is in the bag!
2) Engine nozzles. Ugh, those were ugly! I am mega pleased with how the new ones look; it turned out even better than I could have hoped for. Incorporating paper and cardboard into the construction has allowed me to create much finer detail than with my previous attempt.
3) Panelling detail. A tough one, but overall I'm quite satisfied. I've learnt a few lessons from this, and if I get around to another ship, I would certainly do things a bit differently (add in the lines before painting the final coat, for instance). But not much to complain about; the panel lines and detail painting have brought the ship to life in a way I could not have imagined.
4) Clean up and detail the weapons. My, this bit was fun! Once again, taking the paper craft approach is something I've never tried before, but it's hard to argue with the result. I would never have been able to get such tiny details if I'd tried to craft the guns purely from wood.
5) Improve intake detail. Hard work but completely worth it. These look like actual intakes now, much more realistic than the flat painted surfaces they were previously. My camera focus has improved as well... :)
6) And finally, the cockpit area. This is one aspect I feel might have gone better. The new canopy is a big improvement, but painting it has spoiled the look somewhat. I can still replace it though, so perhaps If I can find a piece of clear plastic in the right colour, I can attempt this again. I am rather proud of how the heat-forming went though, since this is something else I've never tried.
So all in all, I'm pretty pleased! I'd say this refit has been mostly successful.