Whilst I was aware of them, I had never built a Sweet kit before and so was very interested to get my hands on one. I had to source it directly from Japan in the end, they are a little tricky to get hold of this side of the globe but Hobbylink Japan (what a great company they are!) came to the rescue again and within a few days it was in my hands.
The fuselage then went together perfectly with no seam at all. I filled the tank locating holes on the underside of the wing, as these would not be needed, installed the wing section (which is a single part), added the tail planes and air filter extremities and that was basically it! Now came the fun part, masking the 1/144 scale canopy. This was a truly difficult feat, in the end I used incredibly thin strips of tape and moulded them to shape to get a decent edge. One sentence does not do justice to the work involved, but eventually I got there.
Once dried, I masked off and applied the wing leading edge yellow strips and the white band around the nose. The customer wanted the white identification stripes around the wing but these are supplied as decals in the kit, which made things a little easier. I gave the plane a coat of Klear and left it to dry. At this point, I turned to the undercarriage parts, painted them up and assembled them so they would be ready for installation later, and likewise the prop and spinner and the exhaust stacks.
I then applied a black oil wash which brought out the wonderful panel detail on the model far better than I had hoped. It was then a matter of coating with matt varnish, and adding a little staining and dry brushed wear and tear.
The moment of truth was now on me - removing the canopy masks. As it happens, they had worked as well as I could have hoped, with only one snag, nothing to do with the canopy masks. There was a highly visible piece of tissue paper grinning at me through the canopy - it must have come loose from the masking I used on the air tubes. On a sealed cockpit model, this is a modellers worst nightmare as there is no obvious way to remove it short of removing the canopy. As I know to my cost, doing this on a nearly finished model is a tragedy, as you can never really get it to look as seamlessly joined after a removal once all painting and finishing is done. What to do? In the end, and after much experimentation, I managed to insert a fine length of wire through the air duct on the bottom (and found it hard not to giggle whilst I was doing this) through into the cockpit and managed to remove the offending foreign body, or at least tuck it away out of sight. Talk about keyhole surgery!
This is a beautiful little kit, highly recommended to anyone who dares tackle such a small plane in such a small scale. It surpasses in detail what I had previously assumed to be possible in 1/144 and is a real joy to build, if you have good eyes.