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1/24 Airfix Mustang rescued from the shelf of doom

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Hi guys,


My 1/24 airfix Mustang was started in the fall of 2006, before I joined LSP.

The build of this model was executed intermittently.

Between that, it resided on the shelf of doom. :notworking:


In the meantime I learned a lot about the Mustang, among others from LSP threads by Ironwing and XM53Wrench.

They know their Mustangs! :goodjob:

Main reference books used were the Detail and Scale and the Squadron Signal Walk Around books on the Mustang,

Also the cheap Topshots booklet on the Mustang proved very useful for detail shots, although not for color information, because all aircraft photographed are flying Warbirds.


The Airfix kit is a child of its time. Gimmicks were in fashion in the early seventies, so it has moveable control surfaces, detachable cowling panes and a sliding hood. Designed to be put on a stand and to be equipped with an electric motor for a spinning propeller, it was not required to look at the underside.

As a result, the landing gear is moulded extended and wheelbays are non-existent.


Because the Mustang for me is one more nice plane,

for my standards of this build, I think the shapes are pretty good, with the exception of the nose. :blush:

The subtle shapes here had to be compromized too much for the detacheable panels.

However, I did not correct it, because I left the panes loose. ^_^


Anyway, I decided to finish this one and it is almost done.

Only the spinner refuses to be painted nicely at the moment. :blowup:

I made pictures during the build so this WIP will describe what happended in the past.


I'm afraid any constructive comments on the build cannot be incorporated anymore! :doh:


Enough rant, now lets start with the old pictures.


Obligatory box contents shots, dated October 2006!! :o


That year this version of the venerable Mustan was issued. The contents on the picture below are the well known

original parts:



This picture shows the new parts and decals:

The grey sprue contains two additional propellers, the gills on the nose for the British Mk.IV version and the parts for the photo-reconnaissance version.

The additional clear sprue contains a Dallas hood and the clear lenses for the photo reconnaissance version.

A generous decal sheet gives you markings for four versions.



I opted for the box top version.


The build started in 2006 with a little enhancement of the wheelbays,

I used the builds of Rodney Williams here on LSP as a reference.


The tail wheel bay:





And the main wheel bays:



You already noted that the wheelbays are wrong, they are following the cutout of the bay instead of giving a view on the rear spar of the wing.

Ofcourse, I found this out after the wings were closed and joined to the fuselage. :(

The correction will be shown in a future instalment of this WIP. B)


That's all for now, time for Top Gear!! :lol:







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Guest Peterpools


Looking forward to your 24th scale Mustang build and will be following with great interest. I'm currently working on the Airfix 24th scale Typhoon and have built three Tamiya P-51's. Nothing like a 'stang

Keep 'em coming



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:yahoo:  :yahoo:  :yahoo:  :yahoo:

:punk:  :punk:  :punk:  :punk:  :punk:

:clap2:  :clap2:  :clap2:  :clap2:  :clap2:


This is so awesome!  For starters, I never really bothered on checking when this kit was released, but thought it was newer than 2006.  Learn something new everyday.

Secondly, I commend you on the forethought to take wip photos....so many old models I wish I had done the same.

Thirdly, DO NOT beat yourself up over those wheel bays, if you take into account probably every kit out there prior to 2006 had that same back wall shape.

Now add to that, your outstanding scratch building, in my limited time with this stuff (first Mustang I ever build was in the winter of 2011), your work there is quite above par in my opinion. 


I have a very long way to go in my gathering of knowledge regarding this aircraft, but I must say its been one of the funnest things I have done in my entire life.

This machine, its designers, builders, maintainers and pilots are truly special people in my opinion, the opportunity to read, and learn about them, and then  pay homage to them through modeling is a real privilege.


To be mentioned in the same sentence as Ironwing is giving me much much more credit than I am worthy, but I greatly appreciate it.


I cant wait to see what you had accomplished, and what you choose to alter, and how.  I will be following with much enthusiasm!


Thanks for sharing....(nice call btw on Top Gear :thumbsup: ...currently right now....we have the SuperBowl)

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Hi guys,


Thank you very much for the heads-up! :)


And Lou, thanks for the pat on the back with regards to the wheelbays,

but honestly, I coudn't stand them to be uncorrected. :lol:

(I hope you enjoyed the Superbowl, I enjoyed Top Gear.)


Anyway, some more progress from December 2006:


The Merlin engine was completed and fitted in the nose:




The engine itself is one of the strong points of the kit.

Items added were some engine control links, coolant pipes below the engine and the upper roof of the air filter box.

Not much more can be seen. More drybrushing and washes were added many years later! :P


For guys having this version of the kit:

Omitted from the instructions is part 19, a little bush that goes inside the engine and is required to get the correct inner diameter for the propeller shaft to fit. This part was not used for the motorization option in the original release, which I built as a teenager.

Part 19 is still on the sprues but has to be opened up at one side.


Another little enhancement is the fitting of the oil cooler:



It started life as the grille in the belly air inlet, which is not there in reality.

I sawed the offending grille from the intake part, which is easy to do.

It happens to have a comparable size and shape of the oil cooler, installed in front of the radiator.

So it was glued in the fuselage at its correct location and topped off with a splitter plate from a piece of plastic sheet.


The next crappy pics are all I have of the exposed cockpit:





The cockpit from the kit is not so bad as some want you to believe.

A few enhancements were made on the rudder pedals, but they are hard to see now.

Note that I didn't know yet that the floor was painted black. Shhht don't tell anyone!! :P


Instead of the supplied Schick-Johnson seat, I scratched the Warren-MacArthur seat.

It was loosely placed in the cockpit for the picture, as is the control stick.

The headrest got the wire antenna mounting parts at the back side.


And lastly, the instruments and placard were scanned from a generic 1/32 scale instruments and placards sheet,

enlarged to 1/24 scale and printed on clear decal  paper. The silver turned out blue-isch. Oh well... :rolleyes:


Remember airscale was not yet in business in 2006!!! :lol:

The clear instrument part of Airfix was not used. A drop of klear worked perfectly as instrument glass.


Here is the whole she-bang before close up:



and here is the fuselage closed up with the help of some clamping tools:



This ended the year 2006.

To be continued!





Edited by mgbooyv8

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Thanks for the heads-up Lou, it's appreciated!


Well, fast forward one year. The next pictures are from 2008.

Apparently, I didn't do anything on this model in 2007. :notworking:

I remember that year as being very busy, having many business trips.

Anyway, wings and fuselage were joined:



The tape was used to get the proper dihedral to the wings.


And here it is with the horizontal stabilizers added:



After the glue had hardened, the dihedral was still a bit flat. Ah well, just continue. :innocent:


Note that the flaps had been sawn off in an earlier stage, because they will be dropped.

A rear spar was added in the wings to give them some rigidity.


Before the wings were joined, the few visible panel lines were on the heavy side and were treated with Mr. surfacer to make them narrower.

Although on the real Mustang the wings were puttied to ensure a laminar airflow over the wings,

I decided that the few lines add interest to an otherwise big bare wing.

Note that Airfix had done their homework, because other than the few heavy panel lines, there are no rivets etc. :)

After fitting the air intake at the belly, filling and sanding etc was executed.


Fast forward to 2009.

I decided to correct the wheelbay detail.

The offending rear wall was removed and a representation of the main spar was made of card:





The lap joint would be hidden by the rib extensions.


Fast forward to 2012, lifted up again from the shelf  of doom :lol: :

Some more detail added:





Not visible in the pics but present are representations of the gear retraction jacks, mounted against the wing spar.

Note that partial spraying of the exterior had been executed to check seam lines.


Fast forward to 2013, after residing on the shelf of doom again. :lol:

Some hydraulic lines etc added. I did not add everything, I went for a busy look:






This almost completed the wheel wells. A few items were added years later, after painting.

The upper parts of the landing gear remained movable and were temporarily retracted to avoid breakage during handling of the model.


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We're still in 2013.


The sawn off flaps were assembled and got a new leading edge from thick sprue.

Plenty of that present in the kit. The inner edge was build-up using thick card.

Some heavy-duty files were used in the process: B)




I decided to close the gun bay on the right wing.

Sanding was required to ensure the gun bay panels did not protrude from the wing surface.


While preparing the other parts, I noticed one of the main gear doors was devoid of detail.

Apparently, the moulds had been "repaired". <_<

I was not intending to scratchbuild new door inners (though I considered this for a moment :innocent:), so I dug out my old Mustang, I build as a teenager.


Here is the comparison between the recent mould and the old one:




What soft detail there was had now gone forever... :help:


The old door was thrown into the box to be stripped and used later in the build.



The British Mk. IV gills on the new parts were moulded solid and were opened up:




And here they are on the nose, with two final pics of the wheelbays:






That completes 2013.

The next post will continue with the fall of 2014. :lol:


To be continued...





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Awesome work on the gear bays Peter!!!!


And the fitting you managed on that lower engine cowling is outstanding, thats one of the worst fitting parts on the whole kit, along with the ammo bay doors.


Really like what you have done with the gills too.


These are actually really fun builds in my opinion.  The ways to build this and amount of detail that can be added or not are endless.


Thanks again for pressing on with your build and posting it up here.

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Hi Lou,


Thanks for the compliments! :)

Indeed, these kits are fun bulds.

With this old Mustang the hardest thing to decide is what not to do, in order to get it finished in reasonable time. :whistle:


Anyway guys, let's continue with the status in the fall of 2014.


After the flaps were sanded, primed, sanded, etc. I decided to restore the rivets with Micro Mark rivet decals, excellent stuff!




I did the same with the appropriate top and bottom parts of the rear fuselage.


Then, the model got its first coat of Tamiya gloss black in preparation of Alclad etc.

Here, it is sanded back to get a smooth skin:






After two more gloss black coats, the wings got Revell 99 aluminium paint and the fuselage got several shades of Alclad:

mainly airframe aluminium and polished aluminium.






Note that the rudder and elevators were painted Revell 99 aluminium as well.

It could be that the elevators were already aluminium on this Mustang,

However, I stuck to the supplied fabrick ones.

I didn't want to update the surface details and it adds a bit of contrast to the stabilizers.

Just imagine QV/V flew with fabric elevators, you can´t see it from the 2 pics in the internet :whistle:


This instalment ended 2014...

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...Which means we´re now into 2015!! :punk:


The moulded-on fuel lines were removed from the drop tanks and pylons.

New ones were made from metal wire.

Also, the moulded on sway braces were removed from the pylons,

their tank mounting tabs removed, refind and pot back on the pylons.


Short lengths of wire were installed to glue the tanks on.




Note that the lower halfs of the main landing gear have been reattached.

The exposed oleo´s have been shortened to approxiately half their length.

Metal wire was inserted into the legs  (after drilling through) to add strength.

Brake lines were added from lead wire, as well as towing rings from plastic.


The hinged gun cover got new opened latches made from plastic strip and rod.

Representations of the gun blast tubes were made from plastic tube and brass tube material.

The cut-off kit barrels were used as a guide for the size:




Before I knew it, it was decal time.

The checkers on the nose were two decals.

One to go on the lower nose and one to go over the detachable engine panels.


Hoping they would fit, I taped the engine cowlings together and added the decal.

Surprisingly, they were opaque and the fit was very good! :yahoo:

Here, they are drying with a bit of Sol and Set added:




After the decals were done, the seat got pre-painted etched Eduard belts, which I bought years ago.

They went on fine. I managed to minimize touch-ups: ^_^






Note that according to the Squadron Walk Around book, WW2 Mustangs did not have the rear seat cushion installed.

So it was not added.


Here's the Mustang with its decals on, tanks, wheels, wheel doors, antenna and windshield fitted and the canopy test fitted:




On the home stretch now!

To be continued.





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Great stuff Peter, the finish looks great!


And, that seat is fantastic.


What book is that in the pic with the drop tank? 


All those little details are really paying off, which is why I love this scale and these kits, the potential is fairly unlimited.

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Thanks for the compliments, guys! :)


Lou, the pictures of the droptanks are in the Detail and Scale book on the later Mustangs.





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