Okay, I've sifted through all of the pictures and here we go!
First up are the turrets. The instructions seemed to be reversed in how the railings should mount.
Here are what each of the turret types look like with rails mounted.
As always, I asked my father to work his magic and make a base according to my specifications-- he didn't disappoint. This came in the mail the other day. I filled the tops of the brass tubes with Tamiya Epoxy Putty to better distribute the weight of the ship. The Kanji is the self adhesive brass that comes with the deluxe PE set. It makes the whole thing come together.
Here's the primered hull test fitted onto the base. Fits like a dream and looks great! When the hull is painted and ready, I will epoxy it to the base.
And now comes the most PE heavy aspect of the build: the flight deck. First up is the catapult. The instructions are incorrect again. Here are the changes-- if you build this kit, follow my lead here. Otherwise, there is the potential to glue no less than three items in the wrong spot/ position and really mess up your catapult. Particularly bad are the two platforms (B62) which, if glued according to the original instructions, will hinder you from being able to glue the top section into the bottom section which must fit AROUND the top.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, the front pulley must be flipped and mounted upside down from the original picture (see my illustration). Otherwise, your Pete's cradle is going to slam into that pulley at the end and make a nosedive into oblivion. Boy howdy!
Here is the catapult assembled and looking really nice. Note that I haven't glued the top into the bottom yet (thus the slight gap). This is to make painting and rigging the cable easier.
Next comes the aircraft crane...
And the flight deck structures. BTW, on the control house (center structure), one of the folding cuts didn't exist
, so it was time for some extra bending on the old Etchmate...
Here's everything dry fitted on the ship...
Here are closeups of the cradle mounted on the transport carriage...
And that same cradle with an F1M2 Pete sitting on it. I am one of the crowd who can't stand planes molded in clear plastic. It's a pain to figure out if you've got everything lined up because you can't see the panel lines!
Interestingly, there is really no reason why the included Petes had to be molded like this. The canopy part is a separate piece, so the rest could have been molded in opaque plastic. You'll see some green in the cockpit area- that is interior green that I put in before closing up the sides. I'll mask off the canopies before painting.
The transparent plastic notwithstanding, the Petes are very nice little kits unto themselves (16 parts each). Building both of them took about 6 hours- I know that sounds crazy for a total of 32 parts, but the transparent nature made it harder to see! The Pete is my favorite float plane of all time and I have nearly every model made of this little guy. So I was very impressed with what Fujimi did in 1/350. I reserve the right to change that opinion if I see that none of the lines match up after priming.
Here is the flight deck area dry fit together separate from the ship... but including a Pete. The top wing isn't attached here as it became too much a juggling act in dry fit. The top wing will stay unattached until after painting to make it easier.
Also, PE transport rails will go into those open slots during final construction, as will turntables for the carriages.
I will begin the painting process over the next few days. There are still a lot of smaller items that need to be assembled, but they'll go on after all the big stuff is painted and put together. My Iwatas are gonna get one heck of a work out!