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Airfix 1/24th Mustang

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Greetings All,

 

My first impresssion from the reports I'ld heard was that while the Airfix 24th scale Mustang showed its age, it was the most accurate kit available of the Mustang in this scale. Having now been at this thing for a while now, I wont dispute its accuracy. I will say however that accuracy is a relative term. When compared to Trumpeters offering, you could call it accurate. The Trump offering while nicely molded, is just, well, not up to current standards. It is a dimensional nightmare. Having said this, to be fair, if you build it, it will look like a Mustang. Enough said.

 

I chose to use the Airfix kit inspite of its drawbacks because, in large measure, it is dimensionaly darn close. With a slight change in overall length, some reposition of fuselage parts, replacing the nose, new prop blades and spinner assembly,

wind screen replacement, canopy replacement, main gear replacement, new wing dihedral, reshaping the ventral scoop, replacing the fuel dumps, replacing the flaps, new cockpit floor, new tires and rims...get the idea? This a preliminary list of things that have been completed to date. There is much more to do. I think its going to take a while :lol:.

i must also say that I love the size of it. It dwarfs the thirty second D. Even the itty bitty stuff is big enough to handle.

 

I dont know that there is any one particular place to start an undertaking like this. Hence, while waiting for drawings to arrive, the spinner and prop blades were started since I didnt wat to do anything to the fuselage until I had good comparative references and a check print to check the working drawings against.

 

The Airfix spinner is correct dimensionaly but mishapend. The Trumpeter spinner is dimensionaly undersize but shaped properly. A new prop mounting system was installed onto the Airfix backing plate. The spinner was then attached and the entire assembly spun and reshaped. The prop blades in the airfix kit are just blobby lengths of plastic. The blades from the Trumpeter kit were used in their place. Out of the box they are the proper length but the cuffs are strangely shaped. It looks as thought Thrumpeter used photographs to get the cuff shape. This doesnt work with the HS cuffed prop. From certain angles the cuff looks like it expands at the leading and trailing edges. This isnt the case but it's how Trumpeter molded them.

Have a look...

 

This is the completed assembly utilizing the reshaped Airfix spinner and Trumpeters reworked/reshaped blades. The cuff on the Hamilton Standard fits tightly against the prop blade itself and is quite thin. The cuff, in this case was created using primer only along a masked line. The bottom of the blades is overspayed enough to created the ridge of the cuff. Note that there are no external fasteners on the outer surface of the spinner that hold the assembly together. Rather, the fasters are accessed through holes in the back of the backing plate.

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Side view of the prop assembly. The blades look completely different shape wise, no matter how you view them. This is the reason I prefer to work from verified drawings...takes the worry out of being close.

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Spinner assembly with the mounting tube removed. The aluminum bearings center the prop shaft in the mounting tube. If you look at the overall shape of the spinner, you'll see that its a smooth elipse with no deviation in line. The diameter at the back end is twenty-four inches on the actual part. The Mustangs nose tapers into that diameter such that the spinner line and the fuselage form one continuous curve through the full three hundred and sixty degrees of the spinner backing assembly.

 

Through the different viewing angles, you can see how the blades appear to change shape when in reality they obviously dont. Even in this picture, they look like they bend forward but they dont. This visual issue, along with the issues of trying to "visualize" the shape of the nose (IMHO) is how and why kit manufacturers keep doing it incorrectly. From the firewall forward is nothing but one big visual halucination-or-what it truely is, is in no way related to what it looks like. :lol:

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Shape of the openings in the spinner for the prop blades. This is for the Hamilton Standard. The Aero Products props used a different shape which was more aval in shape. Note also that this view is looking from the inside of the spinner out with the forward aspect to the left. Note that the dimensions given are the original NAA dimensions, not mine.

 

Dwng: NAA

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Main gear components. Nuts from Scale Hardware. The two parts on either side of the main shaft are the door control arms. They were fashioned from two pieces of rectangular u-channel. The difficulty with them is that they are square at one end and tubular at the other. They are also hollow. The hole drilled at the end allows them to slip over the cross bars on the upper main shaft.

 

The lower section is made from the Trumpeter kit parts and has been heavily reshaped. Molds were made of the originals. Unfortunately I was unable to to mold the parts succesfully so the originals were used. However, I sent the molds to Jerry Rutman and out resident resin wizard was able to get them to work just fine. Dont ya just hate skilled people :lol: . Im guessing JR would be happy to sell you a set if you contact him.

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Two rods (one each side) exit the door control arms and engage the door. The nut on the lower gear section in the front is a clevis nut which locks the oleo in place.

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Once the drawings arrived, work on the fuselage could begin. I looked at the fuselage long and hard after verifying the drawings dimensional accuracy. There was a great deal of overlaying, measuring and a good deal of general noodling.

 

The fuselage has been in rework for a few weeks now. There have been many photos, comparisons, and angle views done to demonstrate the work thus far. The following is just the beginning but time is working against me at the moment and I must run...Ill be back B)

 

Im back...

 

With the exception of the area from the windscreen forward, the Airfix kit matches up to the Neely drawing almost line on line in overall shape, even the panel lines match. The kit is a bit short behind the cockpit. The cockpit is properly placed but the firewall is not and hence the wind screen isnt as well. fixing these two issues makes everything line up darn near spot on. The ventral intake needs some reshaping as well. Ill cover this later.

I'll say this, get a fresh tube of Miliput extra fine epoxy putty. Your going to need about half of it just to reshape the nose unless you want to try and build it by skinning a built up frame.

 

You can see the cut line for the fuselage stretch just in front of the fin fillet. A piece of .060 card in inserted here. Doing this corrects the LOA and repositions the taill wheel opening to where it should be. You can also see how the windscreen has been raised (.060) and moved forward the same distance. Once these two changes have been made, everything will line up on the fuselage.

 

The next issue to be dealt with is the nose. I cant begin to express what a fake-out the nose is. The true shape is virtually invisible, even when youre looking right at it. Without the drawings, I dont believe it can be done properly. Just my opinion. I spent a good deal of time making templates to work to and matching the nose contours to them. JR did the same thing from the same drawings, and we spent a good deal of time discussing it so I know his new thiry-second D model is accurately shaped. From looking at the Mustang nose for so long in an incorrect shape, the corrected nose at times actually looks a bit odd, but Im confident the shape is true. Looking at the drawings below, it would seem that the nose profile is conical. Airfix sure thought so! :lol:. It isnt, not even close to conical. If anything, its more rectangular with rounded edges. Ill post more comparison pics later...

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A very auspicious beginning to your new thread and what better way to begin,nose to tail! Lookin' good brother.

JR

 

Thanks JR...glad you looked in

 

Geoff

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Geoff,

I have been looking forward to this thread! I love your work.

Please let us know when the kit will be ready for shipping. I will send you $250.00 via pay-pal whenever you are ready!

Rocky

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Main gear components. Nuts from Scale Hardware. The two parts on either side of the main shaft are the door control arms. They were fashioned from two pieces of rectangular u-channel. The difficulty with them is that they are square at one end and tubular at the other. They are also hollow. The hole drilled at the end allows them to slip over the cross bars on the upper main shaft.

 

so far so good. l like your attention to details. Now question here is the lower part of the landing gear the Airfix part or the Trumpeter part??

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