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1/32 Hasegawa P-51D


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When I first built this kit, I made a few terminal errors. The first mistake was painting the cockpit floor in a wood colour but this will be too much of an arse to correct, so I’m going to leave this as it is. The real problem was the paint finish. I used Tamiya acrylics, which look good and accept water-slide decaling well but they tend to come off when applying dry transfers. The rest of the decals fared no better as they were from the spares box and began to discolour as soon as the final sealing coat was applied. The next thing I did wrong was to damage the tires trying to give them a weighted effect…

And then a shelf fell on it.


Because I don’t have the heart to throw it out and the basic kit is actually pretty sound, I thought I’d just give it a quick spruce up.


Paint removal:

The paint came of real easy but the decals were stubborn and some will have to remain.






My poor old RNZAF Mustang has been through the wars:



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I replaced the belts, prop blades and wheels with more accurate AM products. I fixed the flaps and tidied up the elevators. Rocket hard-points were scratch-built.




I re-located the windshield part and masked it out. This is the first time I’ve ever done this BTW. Normally, I hand paint them and put them on afterwards.

RNZAF planes were all painted (with a colour they called High Speed Silver) so I mixed my own interpretation of this shade using 3 parts Tamiya flat aluminum and 1 part metallic gray, which I then sprayed with a nice hard coat of Gunze gloss. This should fix the flaking problem.








New decals came from Hobbydecal (data), Xtradecal generic roundels and I used the leftover checkerboards and serials from Ventura.





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Excellent recovery!


"and then a shelf fell on it." That has to be the best line I've read in ages.


Thanks for sharing your Mustang looks great. you'd never tell it was smacked by a shelf.



True story:

750mm x 750mm x 6mm glass shelf collapsed on top of the one below it destroying 7 of my LSPs. It was a few years ago now and most of the models have since been repaired but it was heart breaking at the time... lucky it's only plastic.


Great work Keith! She didn't look too shabby at the start, but you've really kicked it to another level now. Can't wait to see it finished.




The photo at the top was taken just after I completed it the first time around. You may be able to see a small amount of discolouration of the wingtop roundels. This "staining" gradually got worse untill it looked like I'd spilt coffee on it. You will also see the cuffed prop blades, over sized roundels (in a variety of colours) and different coloured checkers.

The dry transfering is well under way and working beautifully. The gloss coat worked a treat!

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That has come out a lot nicer. Well done. What would really help my own modelling is if you can provide contact details for the rather nice gal on the computer. Thanks in advance. Greg

Anne Hathaway.

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Hi Keith


Don't know how far you are in painting?



Couple of points.


The Overall colour of RNZAF P 51D's (circa 1954-55 at least) was HSS- High Speed Silver

(for those not in the know, HSS was actually a 50/50 mixture of aluminium and clear (transparent)

cellulose dope paints). But the spinner was NMF and the area around the exhaust stubs

was also NMF (though usually discoloured) as in this photo



(Photo used to illustrate only under fair use)


An important note The P 51D in this photo is in HSS. HSS when newly applied in quite shiney, but dulls down in use

to a grey silver colour much like this RNZAF Vampire



Hope that helps



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Hope that helps


Great photo.

Thanks Alan, you're always a huge help.


The plane in the picture you posted is actually only one number away from the one I'm doing!

Here's a couple of pics from "The Scale" (Anthony Galbraith) of my plane:






The exhaust staining is not quite so obvious on the one I'm doing but I see what you mean about the spinner.

Interesting to note in the photo you posted, the gear doors are green on the inside! The one at the Museum has them in Aluminium. Note also, the absence of Checkerboards.

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Hi Keith


I believe that photo is of an Ohakea 14 Squadron P 51, which

as I understand it didn't have the checkerboards like the provincial Squadrons.


Was used primarily for target towing for the glory guys

flying the Vampires. :bow:


I wonder why the Air Force Museum posed their

Mustang with Aluminum gear door inners??


The one I have (part built) has Chromate yellow

gear door inners from the photos I have seen

and info given to me. Most interesting!!!!


Look forward to your finished project





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I wonder why the Air Force Museum posed their

Mustang with Aluminum gear door inners??

Although authentic, I don't think the Mustang in the RNZAF Museum is actually an RNZAF plane, much like the Canberra and Skyhawk they have on display.


As the Mustangs were delivered in standard USAF format, I'm going with that.

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