the kit of parts yesterday I was eager to get cracking on building Canopus. The first step is to punch out the rivets on the footplate before folding it to shape.
The instructions suggest to use the non-pointy end of a drawing compass but my compass doesn't have a removal tip. A quick hunt around and I decided that actually a Woodland Scenic foam nail would probably do the job. Unfortunately the etch doesn't include any rivet etchings to test on so I did a test on some scrap brass I had lying around. To avoid punching right through the brass I filed the point off the nail, and then with a gentle tap from the hammer added a rivet. Success on my first attempt, shame it was on the scrap brass! I tried a few more times just to make sure I'd got the force right before turning to the kit.
Unfortunately the etched holes on the kit were too small to take the ground down point of the nail, and almost nothing happened when I hit the nail while over the hole. So with some trepidation I picked up a new nail, where the point would fit in the hole, give it a gentle tap and.... a perfect rivet! Unfortunately I slipped doing the second rivet so there is a rivet on the rear buffer beam that is a tad too large, and possibly has a hole in the middle, but I'll disguise that with some rust weathering when the kit is finished. Anyway, I moved on and added the rest of the rivets to the footplate.
Once riveted the next stage is to fold down the running plate valances and then the buffer beams. The valances are long and thin and the only way to successfully fold them is with some form of tool. Fortunately my hold-and-fold was easily up to the task; I know people think these are expensive but personally I think they are worth every penny. The buffer beams then folded down with just a small amount of gentle pressure using nothing more technical than my thumb.
While the valances had folded nicely there was a small gap (it looks worse in the picture than in real life) where the valance should join the buffer beam so I filed this with a small amount of solder. It will probably need some filler as well when I get to the painting stage, but the solder will also help to strengthen the folds so was worth adding.
The next step, according to the instructions, is the cab.