Having satisfied myself that the surface detail problems were manageable, I decided to switch to the interior. A quick dry fit of the kits tub and rear radiator assembly gave me a clear idea of how things needed to be situated. The cockpit provided by Dragon is not bad, it’s just not as good as any of the resin offerings. Following some research, I decided that the best option was the Aires cockpit set which is designed for the Trumpeter kit (as mentioned previously, the Dragon kit has been mostly neglected by the aftermarket companies in favour of the Trumpeter kit).
I ordered the Aires cockpit from Hannants (Aires 2091 P-51D Mustang Cockpit), not really knowing how much effort would be involved to get it to fit the Dragon kit. I was pleasantly surprised that with a minimum of fuss, it dropped into the cockpit support mounts.
Of course you don’t get something for nothing in this hobby, and when I tried to close up the fuselage halves, the cockpit was too wide. Some investigation was needed.
I determined that the culprit was the resin block at the rear of the tub (under the aux fuel tank and radio stack). Out came the Dremel tool and despite the mess created, it made short work of the offending lower edge.
With the tub sorted, I test fitted the side walls. These required a bit of trimming to fit, but as you can see here, a good result can be achieved.
The final result (minus the instrument panel) can be seen here. So far so good.