In my excitement over detailing the business end of the wheel wells, I completely overlooked the other end. Holy smoke, that chasm is awful. The illusion of scale is at least as much about the worst bits as the best, and something like that will instantly kill any sense of veritas.
Paul Budzick has almost completely scared me out of normal putties, so I first tried sliding in stock styrene, but that didn’t work. A much simpler method ended up being stuffing in some Milliput and smoothing out a little with my pinkie. I was later able to sand, and now it’s all smooth. I don’t have a pic of the end result handy, but it looks like it will be plenty convincing when it gets a coat of paint.
I’m a glutton for punishment, and so decided to drop the elevators. To separate them with that 90 degree angle in near each end, I first cut the long ends with a JLC razor saw, which is capable of extremely fine cuts (super handy! Via UMM), and then scored the short end and snapped. The elevators will get their leading edges built back up with .040 styrene strip, and then be filed and sanded to shape. More on that later.
One issue I have with the engineering of the whole turtle deck scheme is that it means there’s inevitably an awful gap between the bulkhead and the fuselage. To fill, I first used gap filling CA. But naturally, didn’t sand it all the way down quickly enough, so in the process of smoothing/flattening/feathering, I ended up gouging the bulkhead. To repair, first I tried vigorous filing and sanding. And then I slathered on Mr Surfacer 1000, and gently sanded and buffed, which helped. It looks miserable here, but in the end, it cleaned up okay.