Got the main gear bays done...
Nothing fancy here....just a lot of measuring, fitting, trimming and gluing using good ol' trial and error! The roof of the rear main wells are a heavier gauge plastic than the walls, since they will be supporting the main gear struts.
It's very hard to see, but if you look closely you can see some of the liquid epoxy on the spars. Next task is to get out the strip plastic and detail the wells!
And presenting: FRANKENTIRES!
At this time there's no injection molded or resin tires available for a 1/48 P-3. The solution? The bottomless spares box! The first step was to find tires of the correct diameter (or close to it) as compared to the drawings in the kit. Next, find wheels close to the correct diameter and with a pattern close to to pics of the real thing. Do NOT be deterred by the fact that NONE of these items will be together in ONE tire!
MAIN TIRES- 3 parts each, two tire halves and a wheel insert. Found 2 tires (don't know what from) that would have been PERFECT in the spares box (but I need 4!) So....split those tires to provide 4 outer halves (the gray ones). Next, come up with 4 inner tire halves. Those are actually the inner halves of the bomb cart tires from the old Monogram B-17. They're slightly too square, and just slightly smaller in diameter, but then that's what God made sanding sticks for! Next- I need 4 wheel rims. Found those on some old Monogram F-105 tires....BUT, had to split the tires open (to get 4 pieces) and then carve the tires away from the rims (of course) by scribing round the rims and then using a motor tool to make saw cuts into the tire. That then allows you to snap off the tire parts all the way round, and then sand the rims smooth. The gray tire halves then have their incorrect wheels reamed out with the motor tool to make an opening for the F-105 rims...and voila! Main gear P-3 tires!
The nose tires were MUCH simpler. Found some tires of the correct diameter with an acceptable wheel pattern that just happened to already be "hollow" on one side to allow for a rim insert (maybe from the F-106, or F-102?) I also managed to dig up some old spoked Mustang wheel rims (old Otaki maybe?) of the proper diameter where the REVERSE side had the holes you see, as well as the collar for the axle. A slight reaming of the tire hollow and then some sanding to thin down the rims and voila! Nose tires! Also, note the punched discs to close the hole and provide detailing on the outside of the rims.
So why do the tires now? Well, I have a hankering to build the gear, build the nose well, and test fit the sit of this beast. So, now it's on to the gear legs! As always, comments, critiques, and questions are welcome!