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1/48 Tamiya P-51D Thunderbirds

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Thought of doing something different so purchased one of Tamiya's great P-51D 1/48 scale kits. I found Warbird's set of Thunderbird Decals for the Tamiya 1/48 P-51D which are a beautiful Red White and Blue.  Should build up to a nice looking plane.  


Painted the cockpit white in keeping with a show aircraft and the entire aircraft is MM Metalizer Buffing Aluminum Plate.  I really like the Metalizer paints, but you definitely have to watch the fumes so excellent ventilation is mandatory.  They shine up nice, and lose a bit of luster once sealed.  Still, looks shiny!


There is an ongoing story behind the decals, see below.




Other side a bit different




Top view




Now a bit of the saga with the decals.  In the picture above the USAF letters have cracked a bit after a coat of MicroSet.  The insignia on the left also looks like it is cracking, but I really hope not.  Interestingly enough - used MicroSet on the insignia on the fuselage sides and it seems fine.  Also on the US Flag and the Thunderbirds insignia on the right side.  Really curious.


In the picture below, the nose and tail decals are red white and blue and for both the nose and the tail decal the red is incredibly brittle.  I was extra careful with the tail decal, but even minor movement shatters the red part of the decal, which is a large part of the decal.  Ugh.  I contacted Warbirds and they promptly responded and are sending out a replacement set.  Hope they work better!




The decal on the left is the Warbirds Thunderbird Tail decal.  The right is what is left of the nose decal.  Where the decal was red it shattered very easily from just a little bit of movement.


Down below, the sharks mouth is from a 1/32 P-40 set which I used to test fit on a P-51 before I used a different mouth from the same set.  Even with all of the moving and pushing around, and ultimately, it did not even tear.  So I don't think I'm doing something wrong here.


Hoping the new set from Warbirds works much better.  Otherwise I'm masking and painting the red white and blue!

Edited by CANicoll
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  • 2 weeks later...

Major fail on the decals for this.  Ed from Warbirds kindly sent me two more sheets, which were better, but the word that comes to mind is still 'fragile' and that is not good when trying to cover the nose of a Mustang.  I even tried cutting the large nose decal into two pieces - still no success.  Pictures to come.

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So, even with two more sets of decals, thanks to Warbird decals for sending along, It seems that this is just not going to work.  The wing insignia wrinkles under microset and will not flatten out and for the life of me I cannot get the nose decal to work.  Working with six sides of nose decals, after five tries doing different things, I cannot get this set to work.

Ed at warbird decals said he has to really manipulate them to get them to work.  SOoooo.. I'm going to retool and do a sharks mouth mustang 'show bird' and see where we go from there.  Already repainted the top as the first step towards a camo paint scheme.  Pictures soon!

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Since the P-51 Thunderbirds scheme didn't work out, I had to look for another option.  I had a set of sharksmouth Mustang III decals so thought why not - this is a showbird not a warbird, hence the white cockpit.  Actually I had already painted the cockpit white and had it installed and had sprayed the entire aircraft a beautiful Metalizer Polished Aluminum silver so this is a repaint.  As much as it pains me.


Making progress...


I've never used seatbelt decals, so another first...






The markings are not correct for this particular Polish Squadron Mustang III (shown here as a D model), as it did not have any mission markings, but I liked how these looked and for a showbird, not a bad thing.




The Tamiya decals are kinda stiff and are placing well, but taking a LOT of work to lay down into panel lines. 


The cockpit was supposed to be for the Thunderbirds P-51D, hence the choice of white, but it was impossible to take it out and repaint it, so here it is... Lots of detail painting with toothpicks and fine point brush.






Painted the spinner a bright red to go along with bright silver props, tipped in Red White and Blue.  More to come!

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