Thanks to those that have commented. I almost lost another part, half a turret hatch that fell off; I had a heart stopping moment when I realised that I hadn’t put it somewhere sensible the day before, but there it was right on the table. Jan, inevitably one of the PE periscope tops has detached itself as well, but that went straight back on. If I can get through the whole build without destroying the sighting vane I will be pleased.
I’ve gone for my usual method of priming and base painting the tracks, wheels and sides before assembling the hull into one piece. The joining surfaces are taped off and the turret gets primed at the same time, with black Mr Surfacer 1500.
I failed to photograph the primed and base coated wheels before they were also taped off and the tracks painted in a basic way. I think I based them with LifeColor Worn Black and then did some lighter bits with Ammo Oilbrushers.
In contemplating how I would attach those bedding rolls etc. on the engine deck I thought I’d better replace the handle tabs with wires while the hull top was still separate; I didn’t bother with the ones that will be under the turret bin.
The rolls were glued in place and then a tarpaulin cover added and wired on to the handles and elsewhere while the putty was still soft - in fact I should have waited for it to be a bit less soft probably as it got a little rough and stretchy. The hull upper and lower were joined together, and a new haversack (I think that’s the correct name) was made to cover one end of the ‘fake’ cable end on the front. The Dan Taylor stowage frames were glued on, along with the first two oil cans.
I had some debate elsewhere about whether the gun travel lock should be there if the single piece exhaust cowl is in place, since it could not be used, but it seems that the lock was already designed and fitted before the whole issue of the exhaust cowls came up, and there is a very clear photo showing a single cowl Comet with the travel lock in place.
Also in a discussion “elsewhere”, as a result of Vespid’s release of the new iteration of this kit, the Mk Ib, it was pointed out that the rectangular plate on the turret bin was only fitted by the Irish Army to their post war Comets. Once you see these things it is hard to unsee them, so I knew I had to remove that plate, fortunately not too hard to do.
The green paint is AK Real Colors SCC15 Olive Drab.
The tarpaulin and mantlet cover have been based in Tamiya Khaki.
These photos and summary belie the fact that I spent all week sanding and recoating the tarpaulin to remove various blemishes that were impossible to see in either the original grey putty colour or the black primer, until the khaki was on which made everything highly visible.
Today I coated the decal areas with Klear, and have now added all the decals; in the photos they have yet to be overcoated with Klear. The decals went on OK, being fairly thick and all the surfaces dead flat - certainly no flopping around or folding over as some very thin ones can do. A few minor issues are apparent: there is a small sliver of white on the left and bottom edges of the red 52 patches, I think due to misregistration of the printing.
The word “Cobra” might be a little small but at least fits above the T335042 on the front plate (“Cobra” should be slightly to the left, not dead centre). “Therese” on the other hand is a bit too big, bigger than “Cobra” when it should be about the same size; I think the original may have had accents over the Es, but it is quite hard to see, while this decal is quite prominent.
Looking at the above photo I have doubts over whether the numbers were applied to the turret sides, although it does look as if all markings have perhaps been covered over, certainly they are quite obscured by a mix of dry and wet dust and mud, so it could be that they are there. I added them anyway. As to the Allied white star on the turret bin, I guess that it was there has been deduced from other tanks in the same regiment.