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CANicoll

Dragon P-51D American Volunteer Group (what if)

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Feeling invincible (COMPLETELY tongue in cheek!) on the heels of finally completing my Tamiya Big Beautiful Doll I thought I'd drag out an old Dragon 1/32 P-51D kit, and what better than to do a 'what if' Claire Chennault had P-51Ds available for the Flying Tigers?    I have the KitsWorld decal set for the Flying Tigers so am going to do Chuck Older's plane.  Unfortunately, could not get my act together fast enough to finish before the end of the year.

 

Recognizing right away the big difference between the two kits, my invincibility cloak fast hit the floor.  Doing a 'quick build' I did the bare minimum engine build since I have no plans to open up the front and ignored the ammo bins for the wings.  SOOOO closed up the fuselage, and nothing fit right.  The cockpit is skewed about 2mm to one side (not sitting centered), and I had to work the engine/framing to close up the nose.  No idea what was going on there.  Finally got it closed.

 

While distracted on the fuselage, I closed up the wings and was getting ready to dry fit the wings to the fuselage when I noticed the wheel well sitting in the box.   Yep: closed up the wings and didn't get the wheel wells in there.  Wings were dry.  Sigh.  So now its 'in flight'.  Side note, the undercarriage parts do not fit the wing openings very well anyway.  Dragon vs Tamiya I guess.

 

Using the Model Master Acrylics, on top using Dark Earth applied irregularly with camo provided RAF Dark Green again in a mottled application as would befit and AVG aircraft.  Underneath, went with a Luftwaffe sky blue. Why not?  :D

 

DSC_0024_zpskn8mr2ym.jpg

 

 

Would love to tell you that I did pre-shading underneath, but actually just worked the airbrush to darker and lighter shades.  Worked really well on the Dragon plastic.

 

DSC_0025_zpsqlrafs37.jpg

 

I'm sure it was me, but the fit of the wings to the fuselage was terrible  HUGE wing root gaps and under the nose is a gap as well.

 

So thought I would try a technique I've seen a lot of people use, but I have never tried.  Using modelers clay to outline the camo.  I used to use masks, but this promised to be a lot easier.  It was, but still had some problems.

 

DSC_0027_zpsm9wtvboj.jpg

 

Worked pretty well, and the patterns were pretty easy to apply.

 

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Added bonus is they are so easy to take off the minute I'm done painting.  

 

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The only problem I ran into is what looks like a residue is left over.  After I'm sure everything is dry, I'll give it a wash and see what's up.  Any suggestions or thoughts?

 

After it is all dry, then a clear coat and ready for the decals.  Can't wait!

 

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Nice work, Chris! And fast, too. The staining on your paint work from the Blu-Tack is due to your underlying coat of paint being flat (matt). I believe Blu-Tack is an 'oily' product, and this can leech out and stain the paint, with flat paints being more prone to it. Using a gloss clear coat as a barrier (or gloss paints) will help.

 

Kev

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Nice work, Chris! And fast, too. The staining on your paint work from the Blu-Tack is due to your underlying coat of paint being flat (matt). I believe Blu-Tack is an 'oily' product, and this can leech out and stain the paint, with flat paints being more prone to it. Using a gloss clear coat as a barrier (or gloss paints) will help.

 

Kev

 

Kev:  I did wonder about that, if it was the flat paint picking up residue from the Blue-tack.  Oh well.. Now I know for next time!  Have not gone downstairs yet to see how it looks.  Thanks for the response!

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Looks great so far!

 

Indeed K1 is correct. I had all SORTS of issues on my Mk XIV Spit, where I used flat paint for the earth, and when I went to attempt the green, the blue-tac would not even stick at all.   Putting a layer of clear over will in fact not only prevent the blue tac from making marks on the base paint, it also will help the blu tack itself seal down and stick better. 

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Looks great so far!

 

Indeed K1 is correct. I had all SORTS of issues on my Mk XIV Spit, where I used flat paint for the earth, and when I went to attempt the green, the blue-tac would not even stick at all.   Putting a layer of clear over will in fact not only prevent the blue tac from making marks on the base paint, it also will help the blu tack itself seal down and stick better. 

 

 

AHH!!! Yes, had problem getting the Blue-Tac sticking too.  Ok, so a gloss coat is the answer to all of my ills.  Oh well!

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So the good news is that a little dish soap on a sponge and very gentle wiping seems to remove the residue without harming the paint.   Rinsed with a spray of water and patted dry with a towel.  Helps a lot that my camo is faded and blotchy, but the soap didn't seem to do any damage to the paint.  In the future I'll go with a gloss coat rather than a flat coat, but good to know that the residue seems to be removable.

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Making progress on the Mustang Flying Tiger.  Was able to wash off most of the blue-tac residue but definitely lesson learned next time: Gloss coat base!!

 

Started with the wing insignia, left one went on just fine, right one is having a lot of trouble settling down into the panel lines and rivets.  Oh well, they will get there.

Shark Mouth from the P-40 actually fit a LOT better than I expected.  I did a test go with one of the other shark mouths just to see how it would fit, placement, etc and that showed me that with careful placement, I may not need to do any cutting.  With a LOT of patience, and more than a little decal setting solution, I'm really happy with the results on the mouth.  I'll paint the very front carb opening red to match the 'tongue', but actually did not have to do any cutting on the decal to get it to set.  I've wrapped the front part over where the spinner goes - I will cut that off shortly.

 

Mustang%20Tiger%20A_zpsx8hcsq4q.jpg

 

Here is a close up of the mouth:

 

Mustang%20Tiger%20Mouth_zpsv2zefi7c.jpg

 

It looked very scary when it was wet, a lot of wrinkles, but the setting solution (Microset) did a great job.  I just had to keep my grubby little fingers away from it and let it work.

 

Here are some of Chuck Older's markings:

 

Mustang%20Tiger%20Angel_zps7glhq8bv.jpg

 

Some of the filler I used at the wing root came up during the painting process so will have to fix that at some point...  as you can see, the fit is not terrific, but this is a quick build, something fun to do, so I'm not really stressing over it.

 

Mustang%20Flying%20Tiger_zpsxtcbfmwr.jpg

 

And a final top view.

 

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Hoping to get her finished up this week.  I'm also working on a 1/48 Tamiya P-51D 'Thunderbirds' which is actually a fun little build.  Will get that posted over in the appropriate forum later.  

 

Happy Monday all!

Chris

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After more than a few trials and tribulations on this build, finally getting things ready for completion. The decals have set beautifully and while this has been something of a goof build for me - the fit problems I have had are amazing and likely a lot of my own doing,  and I was a complete idiot and forgot to install the wheel wells in the wing so that REALLY limited my options - the subject matter remains of high interest - what if there really were American Volunteer Group P-51Ds?  

 

So here she is with a flat coat, but no weathering yet and still a few bits and bobs to be added.  The decals are for a 1/32 P-40 kit too!

 

Mustang%201_zps9yfjdv1e.jpg

 

The sharks mouth actually fit really well with proper positioning.  I had to do a bit of a touch-up of the blue at the front of the opening where the decal didn't quite cover the Mustang's intake but that was actually pretty easy to match.

 

Mustang%202_zpsm1tuhj6d.jpg

 

The cockpit is straight out of the box, with the PE seatbelts (which I hate using) and some detailed painting.

Mustang%203_zpsmju6wdfe.jpg

 

The Kits World decal set is shown, as well as the top view.  The earlier problems caused by the blue tack residue don't really show well in the photographs and I expect will disappear completely with a bit of weathering. 

 

Mustang%204_zpssrud53pm.jpg

 

Now I need to add the last bits and get to a bit of weathering and then will wrap her up.

Edited by CANicoll

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