Hooray! The replacement decals have now arrived. It was a bit late to correct the lines on the after superstructure as there was now too much detail to enable replacements to be fitted, but the lines on the forecastle around the gun and the missile launchers are now in place and progress can be made. There is a tremendous amount of detail from both the photo-etch and the resin parts. Some of the resin details are very small indeed which means that both identification and fitting are tricky. I have nearly identified all the tiny parts, but one or two still elude me. However, it should eventually become apparent which they are by a process of elimination. Spraying with grey primer helps to show up the shapes more clearly so that they can be matched with the illustrations on the instructions.
I decided to basically follow the sequence of construction shown in the pictorial instructions, but leaving most of the railings until later as they are rather vulnerable to damage. To reduce potential damage and fingerprints, a piece of plastic angle has been screwed to the underside so that the model can be fixed into a small vice to avoid handling it.
There were times when I thought things were too small to be successfully fitted, but in nearly all cases they did go. One case in point is an etched platform (part 87) which goes around the aft director. At first it seemed that the opening was not big enough to fit over the projecting bits on the director, but a little careful wiggling got it in place. There are lots of miniscule rounded ventilators which were too small to be picked up even with my best pair of tweezers and in this case the solution was a dot of PVA glue on the model and picking up the components using a bit of saliva on the end of a sharpened cocktail stick to transfer them to the dot of glue – unhygienic but effective.