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Hoss FL

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About Hoss FL

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  • Location
    St. Augustine, FL
  • Interests
    Model aircraft, history, photography, sports

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  1. Thanks Jay for the very interesting information. I didn't know that the 55th FG switched over exclusively to the paper tanks. Good stuff. Just for fun, I did some quick searches for photos and found three photos with 55th FG Mustangs wearing paper tanks and none with the 75 gallon metal tanks. Sooooooo.... The Barracuda paper tank upgrade kit is on order and I'll swap them out. Thanks again! Much appreciated.
  2. Thanks for the comments, Jay. Much appreciated. Thanks also for the info on the drop tanks. I knew that both types were used on Mustangs flying out of the UK, but didn’t know there was a hard switchover from one type to another or that the types were standardized by units at various times. I couldn’t find any definitive info on this one way or the other when researching for this build. I’m going to try to find some more info on this. Thanks. Interestingly, the Tamiya instructions pair the 105 gallon tanks with the -05 option and the 75 gallon tanks with the later -15 and -20 (or 25) options. I don’t think this is meaningful for the 55 FG specifically, of course. Thanks again.
  3. What a monster! Fabulous build, John. Congrats. The weathering is perfect. The flaps really make a difference due to their size and geometry. Wonderful.
  4. What a beast of a build! Very impressive and inspirational. Congrats.
  5. My rendition of The Millie G is now complete. Since the last update, I finished weather the smaller parts and finalized all the detail painting. The I added some detail to the drop tank connections and gun bay doors. Final photos are on the Ready for Inspection thread. https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/93574-132-tamiya-p-51d-the-millie-g/ Thanks again for all the comments, critiques and suggestions. Much appreciated. Thanks for following along.
  6. My rendition of Major Edward Giller's "The Millie G" is now complete. This was by far my most involved project with extra detailing for the engine, cockpit, landing gear bays and the MG bays. Here's a link to the build thread in the Works in Progress section: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/92956-132-tamiya-p-51d-15-na-mustang-the-millie-g/ Thanks for all the comments and suggestions during the build. In summary, here were the aftermarket additions to the kit: Barracuda cockpit upgrade Barracuda instrument panel Barracuda cockpit sidewalls HGW seatbelts Eduard guy bay kit (late) Barracuda P-51D tires Eduard P-51 exterior detail kit Barracuda decals + placards Eduard canopy masks Eduard engine detail kit The main paints used were Mr. Color lacquers. Now for the final photos. All of the main markings were painted except the stars and bars and tactical lettering, which were decals. The stencils from the Barracuda decals were used instead of the kit stencils. The ailerons and elevators were glued in place. The rudder and flaps are movable and do a pretty good job of staying in place. The Eduard gun bay doors is an excellent upgrade over the kit doors. The ammo belts are from the Tamiya kit. The engine covers are all removable and fit reasonably well with Tamiya's magnet system. The starboard panel just under the exhaust is a little fiddly. The weathering was a combination of oils, airbrushed Tamiya acrylics (heavily thinned) used for local effects and with sponge chipping and spatter templates. Colored pencils and pastels were also used for various effects. Mr. Color GX100 was used for gloss coats and GX114 for flat coats. Great stuff. I used Mr. Color C330 RAF Dark Green for the fuselage. And a slightly darker version for the nose checks and spinner green. The NMF paints are Mr. Color Super Metallics. The checks on the nose were painted. The drop tank fuel and pressure lines were created from 0.5mm wire. I kept the weathering on the drop tanks relatively light since often they were single use items. All of the fastener holes in the engine panel frames were drilled out. Light colored oils were used on the NMF surfaces to depict varying amounts of oxidation on the panels. Eduard's engine upgrade contains PE hose clamps for all of the main hoses and piping in the engine. They are a pain to attach and paint but look pretty snappy when complete. Also, the edges of the gunsight glass were painted Tamiya clear green to simulate the look of the thick glass plate. The aluminum paint on the wings was rendered with a combination of the Mr. Color Silver and light gray. Mr. Surfacer was used to fill the rivets and panel lines on the forward 40% of the wings. Grime and wear was depicted using a combination of Tamiya acrylics, oil paints and colored pencils. Some wear is down to the primer and some is down to the base metal. The primer toward the back of the wing is ZCY and the primer toward the front is dark gray putty colored, based on the construction process. The Eduard gun bay doors really add a lot compared to the kit doors. The Eduard doors come with a hinge at the bottom of the door for gluing it permanently in place. I wanted to be able to remove them, so I made tabs similar to the kit doors and glued them onto the Eduard doors. I also added a support rod made out of 0.3mm wire. I really like the iconic 343 FS, 55th FG markings. Chipping around the panels and doors was done with acrylic paints and colored pencils. The cockpit detail from the Barracuda kit is quite good (details are on the build thread). One note was that I changed the wiring from the radio box behind the pilot seat because the cable harness would interfere with the canopy support bracket. So I converted to a strand of speaker wire and painted it black. Thanks for following along! Comments and critiques are more than welcome. Thanks again.
  7. Wow! What a scheme and the decals really make it pop. Beautiful work! I've had decent success with X-22 and MCLT 1:1 for gloss coat but I've found that Mr. Color GX100 is the bomb. It dries much faster than X-22 and I think it's also a thinner coat of paint. Looking forward to the finish!
  8. Thanks Phil! Much appreciated. As for the exhaust, I used the following photos I found on the interweb (don't remember the sources) as primary references. The first is my subject and shows the entire stain from the exhaust stubs to the tailwheel. The second is Big Beautiful Doll and I thought was a good color reference. I started the process with a streak of burnt umber oil paint that I worked into the general pattern. I followed this with a very thin Tamiya black brown mix (XF-64, XF-1 and X-20A thinner, at 90% thinner). This was applied in very light streaks along the pattern at very low volume -- just wisps -- probably 50+ passes to build up the color. You can see that the edges of the pattern (top and bottom) are much lighter than the center in both photos. I used Tamiya deck tan XF-55 in the same streaking approach but in a much tighter line to replicate the photos. As a final step, I used a darker version of the black/brown mix for some streaks in the center, replicating the darkest areas in the center of the stain. I'll also probably apply some pastels - brown and black - around the exhaust stubs at the end of the build. Hope that helps. Thanks again for looking.
  9. Thanks Joachim. Great eye and catch on this one. I've since adjusted the pattern to reflect the photos. Thanks again!
  10. Thanks Kev and Phil. Much appreciated. Chugging along on this one. Just finished the main weathering steps and decided to take a look at how it all hangs together. The landing gear and prop were all painted and weathered separately. After a light flat coat, I applied a thin mix of Tamiya black/brown mix to various panel lines to represent more dirt and grime. I also applied light gray oils to the NMF surfaces to represent uneven oxidation. You can see a little bit of the effect on the ailerons, which are now glued in place -- no need for them flopping around. I also applied the exhaust staining starting with burnt umber oils in the general pattern. This was followed by Tamiya black/brown mix for the main exhaust stain, which is pretty close to the brown color from reference photos. My Millie G photos also showed a lighter color at the edges of the stain, so I used deck tan for that. Finally, a little black in the center wrapped the exhaust up. The fasteners were also picked out in more detail with an oil wash. I also applied some sponge chipping using silver, light gray, brown, and dark gray to generate some wear in high traffic areas. Afterwards, I sanded with Micromesh 8000/12000 pads to smooth out the sponge shipping. I tried a spatter template using scotch-bright pads to vary the surface of the wings using thinned light gray, dark gray, tan and brown paint. It's subtle but helps with the overall effect I think. The photo below shows some wear down to the primer in the aft half of the wing. I should have actually painted the primer and used AK chipping fluid, but I forgot until it was too late and created the effect with paint and colored pencils. The photo below also shows the wear effects around the MG panels. The prop was in reasonable shape per the photos, so I gave it a light dose of chips and scratches with paint and colored pencil. One of the Millie G photos shows the black stripe at the leading edge almost obliterated, so I created some significant chipping, scratching and traffic effects. I'm wondering if I overcooked this a bit, but I think it hangs together. Thoughts on the leading edge chipping? Too much? By the way, the fasteners on the engine panel are too large vs. scale. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the color and contrast correct between the fasteners and the panels but only after really studying the photos again realized that the fasteners are oversized. So I applied a combination of color and a spot wash that made them look reasonable at scale -- visible but not overpowering. I used some well known images of P-51 undersides as a reference for this area. Tamiya black/brown mix and Burnt umber oil paint was used for the main effects here. I also came up with a hack for this kit that I wanted to share. For those building this kit and wanting to detail the landing gear bays, the challenge is that the inner bay walls are attached to the doors. Tamiya designed it such that this assembly slides out to avoid interference with the lower engine cowl panel. This panel has two long pins that fit deep into the engine assembly, secured with poly caps. The angle at which the panel must be inserted to accommodate the pins causes the interference with the doors if they are not out of the way. I didn't want to cut the doors off, so I thought I'd try to skip using the pins and add another metal piece in the bottom of the panel. This would allow me to take advantage of the magnets that are already in place in the air intake. It turns out that the solution works fine -- no interference and the magnet is strong enough to hold the panel in place. In the photo below, the upper part is the current kit with the metal piece added. The lower part is from another kit I did a couple of years ago with the pins. Thanks again for looking. Comments and critiques are more than welcome. More later.
  11. On to weathering, my area of least confidence and most to learn. After the decals and another gloss coat to seal them, I applied an oil wash using mostly burnt umber. I used black for control surfaces and access doors, etc. I followed this up with some careful sanding of the wing root areas and spaces around the ammo bays, trying to depict some chips and scratches. A wash of burnt umber was applied to give a base level of grime and foot traffic. A light flat coat (Mr Color GX114) followed. I'm in the "realism" camp when it comes to weathering philosophy. I'm going after a well used, well maintained, operational fighter look -- neither showroom nor scrapyard weathering. Here you can see the subtle scratching and grime around the ammo bay doors. I have not done anything to the doors themselves except a flat coat. I also added some scratches and chips to the high traffic areas around the black stripes, showing them worn to the paint underneath. Later on I plan to add some specks of primer color and bare metal with colored pencils in the heavy wear areas. There will also be some added dirt since photos of the plane show generous amounts of exhaust staining and general grime on the fuselage sides and wing walk areas. Here's a view of the starboard side. It's interesting in this view with the angle of the light and a flat coat how similar the NMF flaps and upper wing surfaces are in color. Here's the nose showing the results of the wash and flat coat. More later. Thanks again for looking. Comments and critiques are more than welcome.
  12. Thanks John! As for the horse decals, I wasn't sure it was possible when I attempted it. This was a first for me. Since I wasn't 100% happy with the position of the decals, I figured I'd give it a shot and could just stop if it wasn't working. As a starting point, prior to applying my gloss coats, I smooth the base paint with Micromesh pads (8000 & 12000) and my go-to gloss coat is Mr. Color GX 100 super clear. So the surface is pretty smooth and robust. It's proven to be very resistant to decal fluid and doesn't break down or get all mushy during the decaling process. The decals had been applied with MicroSet and MicroSol and had dried overnight. To see if I could relocate them I used a 1/4" flat brush and applied a pool of MicroSet (blue bottle) onto the decal. I periodically tested the ability to get my brush underneath the edges of the decal. After about 10 minutes, I was able to start sliding the brush under the edges. I carefully worked my way around the perimeter, keeping the decal from ripping or folding until the entire back surface was unstuck. I also periodically added drops of water in addition to the MicroSet to keep the decal floating as I lifted the edges. There were a few times where the decal started to bunch up or roll back on itself but I was able to smooth the decal back out. Once I got it completely unstuck, it was just a matter of sliding it into the correct location and going through the normal decal process. I was really surprised it worked! I would say it took about hour or so to move each of the decals. Patience was definitely required. I really can't say that this would work for all decals. These particular decals are very thin, as you mentioned, but also have an extremely close carrier film edge -- only a fraction of a mm outside the paint area of the decal. As a result, the decal edge film was faiirly resistant to rolling up or under the paint section of the decal. I don't think it would work with Eduard decals for example that have a much larger film area surrounding the paint area. Thanks for your "Waitaminnit" and hope that helps. Thanks again for your comments.
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