Still working on the right hull side fittings and wanted a change of pace so I put the barrel together. It's from the Lion Roar kit and it's really well done. Threaded muzzle break that screws on the barrel and all of it looks really good.
Since the barrel was ready, I worked on the mantlet to get it ready. The lifting lugs were added to the sides and the drip rail cut off and replaced with a thinner PE part which looks much better. The casting mark across the face of the mantlet is consipicuously absent from the kit part for whatever reason so I had to add it. I redid it a couple times to get it like I wanted (was either crooked, too thick, too perfect looking, etc...) but it's essentially done by taking off the area and applying a thin coat of tamiya putty. Removed the tape and mashed it down with my fingers a bit followed by a very light sanding as it was drying. once it was "blended", I applied a few coats of Mr. Surfacer to join on the drop rail and to texture the mantlet and blend the casting marks in. I'm pretty happy with it.
I'll try to get some pics up soon of the right hull side that I've been working on. I just needed a break from that.