I did a crapton of work on the sashes. All four of the back sides are now ready, and I'm glad I did those first because I pulled a couple of Donny Don'ts, and because nobody will see more than a glimpse of the back pieces, I don't feel compelled to redo them. My mistakes were not knowing that bias tape must be sewn in the same direction on each edge (yay for ripples) and not nailing down the tape enough before sewing (yay random slight curvature in what was supposed to be a straight line). But overall they're much more good than bad, and of course I learned from my oopsies, so the front sides should look right. I'm also finishing up the painted blue panels to prepare them to have the paint set: touching up rough edges, being sure that all the stray spray adhesive and other random doots are gone. (Who wants to zap that with an iron and find out that it's permanent? I learned my lesson with disappearing marker kthx.) I'm fricking scared of turning under and topstitching those curly panels at the top of the sash because their edges are all curvy and I've never worked with anything like that before. I should be OK making a template out of sturdy paper and using that as a guide and clipping curves when necessary.
The sword is moving along. I realized that one side had way too many surface flaws after I put an entire can of Tamiya model paint on there (oops), and I was not looking forward to having to strip off the paint and then apply umpty more primer coats to cover up the flaws...but Randy took care of all that for me. I took advantage of his ogrish elbow grease capabilities and had him strip off the paint with 150-grit sandpaper. It didn't take him very long, and it turned out that the flaws were the result of the primer sticking to the surface irregularities of the fiberglass lamination and building up, so the freshly sanded primer was magically smooth. Well, sort of...though the flaws were gone, it was still all scratched up from the sandpaper, so I just have to fill it in with more sandable primer. This time, I'm sanding with 320 grit between coats to be sure that I'm filling the scratches and not just making another built-up mess. I only got to do this once before it got too cold for the primer to cure, but it's looking better so far. At least the other side is fine (and I didn't have to waste paint on it to see that).