Last time the body prep work was driving me crazy so I turned my attention to the chassis/suspension assemblies. It turns out that's not been much easier....
Here's a copy of the chassis section of the instruction sheet...I haven't been back into this hobby that long, but nevertheless, I see something like this and I know it's going to be a very long evening trying to build this up......a combination of the amount of delicate parts and the fragility of the suspension is going to make this part of the build tricky!!!
To make things worse--the instructions SUCK! There are mistakes all over, and/or instances of things being extremely vague. For instance--take a look at part #18 above. I ask: where does the L brace facing us attach? I had to guess that it attaches to part 22, the driveshaft cover--not sure but that's where I glued the damn thing--and it didn't line up quite right so that might not be it....and did I mention that driveshaft was like 2 scale feet too short? Or did I not mount the motor correctly? Hard to say from these instructions. It's baffling that a kit that seems to have been so carefully mastered could have such poor instructions....I had to ask myself: what was MPC thinking? And of course I can't go out and buy 3 of these kits (I could but it'd cost several hundred dollars) to "try things out".
As you can see the rear lower A-frame looks out of whack....as I said, I never could figure out how the rear end went together, but at least the wheels are reasonably straight, the model is going to sit flat, and everything seems sturdy. I ended up needing some 5 minute epoxy to get some of it to stay glued down but at the end of the day things weren't too terrible. I still have to glue in the exhaust pipes (parts 23 and 25) and note that they go at the very end of part #24, not in the middle, the way the instructions show things.
The engine is a pretty simple affair but doesn't look all that bad once dropped into the chassis. Again, the un-retouched macro photos tell no lies!
Much fear and loathing--but this could have been a lot worse. And now it's on the interior....more fun! And the body! It's not going away!