I finally got a little more time in on the I-4. I don't know if this kit technically counts as "short run", but there certainly wasn't much effort put into its design to make sure that parts actually fit. I left off last time with the horizontal and vertical stabilizers--three pieces with no obvious way of putting them together and making them stick on the back of the plane somewhere. I ended up cutting the tabs on the horizontal stabs almost all the way off and butt-joining the pieces together. Then with some judicious filing I got the vertical stabilizer to fit over this:
I next drilled a small hole in the base of the vertical stabilizer and inserted some thin brass rod, and after drilling a corresponding hole in an appropriate position on the top of the fuselage, voila:
In this picture can also be seen the cylinder heads of the engine. These were also a trial, each being supplied as a separate cover piece plus little tiny exhaust pipes, all needing quite a bit of clean-up:
After much fumbling, filing, fiddling and picking up pieces off the floor, I ended up with a bunch of these:
Despite there being locating holes on the fuselage, they still required a steady hand to get more-or-less straight:
It turns out that the locating holes aren't quite evenly spaced around the circumference of the fuselage, but for me, just getting them on there was a triumph.
To show what this rather interesting design is going to look like, here it is with the top wing laid in place:
The next challenge, which must wait for another day, is a bunch of fiddly struts of ambiguous placement for undercarriage and top wing. I need to meditate and introspect for several days before deciding whether to install them before or after painting the major components.