Okay where I am up to.
This GPA kit is a testament to Mr Tamiya's requirements for good engineered kits. Considering its age, circa mainstream availability of VCR's and the Atari 2600 (for those that remember them) it still goes together very well. The deck sections pop in the lower hull and need no filler to hold them in place. Even the rear tyre sections pop together and hold without glue...
There is a downside to the age though. We have far more access to reference material now, and some of the inaccuracies in the kit become very obvious when you compare the kit with references. Firstly, a lot of the detail is simplified or quite chunky, detail is overlooked and the kit suffers dimensionally.
One main issue is the rear of the lower hull. The kit has a centrally position ventral tunnel for the prop and the cavity for the tow hook offset from centre. In real life the cavity and hook are central and the tunnel is way over to one side. This also means the axle parts need to be shortened on the longer section and lengthen on the short side, which is exactly how the real assembly measures up. The kit also lacks any detail for the separate panels that make up the tunnel.
Then the bend in the rear panel from vertical down and back toward the front back is moulded as a sharp crease, when it is quite rounded. So, as A***ly retentive as I am, I took up saw, Dremel and sanding stick and styrene stock.
The kit also is missing the prominent ridges where the outside panels are spot welded to the inside ones and where the tunnel panel meets the outside one, and the very inner ones are too indistinct on the kit. Added these with strip styrene. The weld bead that runs across the rear just under the top of the hull needed to be added too
I have also started the interior. Added the Voyager side panels and braces, cut out the moulded in mesh at the rear seat area and on the top deck, etc.
Cut out the firewall section to add the two mesh panels, then checked my references and discovered the Voyager Panels are way too big. Covered that with stock styrene.
Still more to go inside.
Tried the press out the ridges in the upper hull side panel etch with a ball point pen as instructed, and destroyed the etch.
How you do this and get an even smooth and correctly shaped finish is beyond me. I should have just used strip to represent the raised ribbing. I will do that on the other parts. Will have to thin and rework the kit parts instead of the ruined etch.
Wish me luck