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Mark M

P-51 metal color?

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ok, heres one for you all,

 

 

do i paint my mustang

 

1 - polished aluminum

2 - aluminum

3- duraminum 

 

 

answers on a post card please :)

 

If you take a piece of aluminum and scrub it with some steel wool to really get it shiny and clean, you will see that it will start to oxidize and go "grayish" in as little as 24 hours.

 

A wartime P-51 should have that oxidized greyed-out type of aluminum finish in my opinion, except for the portions of the wings that were puttied over and then literally painted silver.  These heavily polished mirror finishes you see on P-51s at air shows are totally wrong.  

 

For the putty areas, I would go with a nice, generic "silver" paint color, like Mr. Color #8 "silver" which is one of the best "normal silver" paint shades I've found, and the stuff performs beautifully.

 

For the actual aluminum parts, any of the new hi-tech metalizer paints would do well.

 

Alclad duraluminum is a good one.

 

I also like their dull aluminum for that oxidized look.  

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The lighter grey areas are puttied and painted. You will hear people say that only this or that percent of the airfoil was puttied, but I've examined dozens of closeup period photos, and in person with my own eyeballs the only Mustang that still has its oringal WWII factory finish (the NASM example), and you simply can't see a single rivet or panel line anywhere on the wing in the lighter grey areas shown here. The panel lines shown ghosted were also completely filled and painted over. The draker panel lines were not filled, and remained visible. The darker grey areas are natural metal.

 

92y2XN.jpg

 

This has been discussed before. In the past there were calls to have me banished from this forum, I was called names, I received some unpleasant messages for daring to question this "dogma", but I must state as clearly as possible that the panel lines, shown in grey in this drawing, remained clearly visible. I had the chance to see a number of Mustangs and on all of them the panels lines (in grey in this drawing) remained visible. In one "research day", I saw no less than 7 Mustangs, I climbed all over and sat in two of them (I can show photos if you don't believe me :-) ), one of those Mustangs I saw on that day was completely untouched/un-restored, and ALL of them, without exception, featured panel lines on the wings in precisely the same place in precisely the same manner. All wings, without exception, were puttied, polished and sprayed in precisely the same manner. 

Furthermore, the "shadow" of the rivets remained visible through the putty, but that was faint and I would not make a fuss about it, but the panel lines were clearly visible in the same manner as the panel lines on the unpainted fuselage. If your model has panel lines on the fuselage, it should also have similar panel lines on the wings. 

In his post above Jennings stated in relation to the NASM Mustang: "you simply can't see a single rivet or panel line anywhere on the wing in the lighter grey areas shown here"

Well, I saw that NASM Mustang "in the flesh" a couple of times. The panel lines are still present. Here are some photos of the NASM Mustang that Jennings is talking about. The lines are there, judge for yourself. 

Go to this link and look at all the photos: https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/north-american-p-51d-30-na

Here is more: 

 

11966557934_a20fd25808_b.jpg

 

11966414723_b1a7509532_b.jpg

 

All I am saying to you is to do your own research, look at as many photos as you can but no matter what you do, DO NOT REMOVE ALL PANEL LINES on a Mustang wing. I despair every time I see such mutilated Mustang models.

HTH 

Radu 

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Furthermore, the "shadow" of the rivets remained visible through the putty, but that was faint and I would not make a fuss about it, but the panel lines were clearly visible in the same manner as the panel lines on the unpainted fuselage. If your model has panel lines on the fuselage, it should also have similar panel lines on the wings. 

In his post above Jennings stated in relation to the NASM Mustang: "you simply can't see a single rivet or panel line anywhere on the wing in the lighter grey areas shown here"

Well, I saw that NASM Mustang "in the flesh" a couple of times. The panel lines are still present. 

 

All I am saying to you is to do your own research, look at as many photos as you can but no matter what you do, DO NOT REMOVE ALL PANEL LINES on a Mustang wing. I despair every time I see such mutilated Mustang models.

HTH 

Radu 

 

I completely agree with you, I have seen picture that showed both visible and invisible divots where rivets are. I suspect that fresh from the factory they were smooth, but as putty shrinkage occurred, the divots showed up.

 

I actually plan on carefully masking each panel so that the panel lines remain intact, then spraying down a few coats of MR Surfacer, then sanding down to the surface, so that hints of the rivets divots remain after paint.

 

I think the real takeaway here is that you can turn up evidence of all three versions, and all appear to be correct, its up to the individual modeler to choose what they want. I build my kits for me first. do what you feel is right and let the haters hate.

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That wing on the museum example above seems an awful lot like bare aluminum....which as we all know, should not be.  This photo shows a wing sealed, primed but not yet painted silver.

 

a3275272-150-P-51%20flaps.jpg?d=12753096

Edited by Juggernut

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Guest

Jeepers, some good info here. Thanks guys!!!

 

Watch your language young man !!!

 

grammy.png

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That wing on the museum example above seems an awful lot like bare aluminum....which as we all know, should not be.  This photo shows a wing sealed, primed but not yet painted silver.

 

a3275272-150-P-51%20flaps.jpg?d=12753096

 

that pic was taken in Russia! look at the back ground

 

LOL

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Guest Maxim

Really great read and info. Most of it new to me as I don't know much about Stangs. Thanks.

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That wing on the museum example above seems an awful lot like bare aluminum....which as we all know, should not be.  This photo shows a wing sealed, primed but not yet painted silver.

 

a3275272-150-P-51%20flaps.jpg?d=12753096

 

There was never ever any doubt or dispute about the wing treatment process. The problem is that someone, at some stage, came up with the conclusion that this putty/sealant/lacquer finish rendered a "piano lacquer" finish, devoid of all and any feature. In other words, someone, at some stage, concluded that the wing looked something like the composite wings of modern aerobatic planes, such as Extra or Zivko. But that conclusion is wrong. Jennings' drawing, posted above and mindlessly copied and pasted on every forum, is partly responsible for spreading this... apologies, but this is an apt description... "fake news". :-) The panel lines remained visible. Anyone who ever got close to any Mustang can see the panel lines. You can even see them in every photo including this photo posted by Juggernut. 

I have seen so many models where the panel lines were removed from the wings and they look absolutely wrong to me. Stop following mindless internet memes. Do not even listen to me. Use your own eyes and your own judgement. Look at photos. You will see.

HTH 

Radu 

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There was never ever any doubt or dispute about the wing treatment process. The problem is that someone, at some stage, came up with the conclusion that this putty/sealant/lacquer finish rendered a "piano lacquer" finish, devoid of all and any feature. In other words, someone, at some stage, concluded that the wing looked something like the composite wings of modern aerobatic planes, such as Extra or Zivko. But that conclusion is wrong. Jennings' drawing, posted above and mindlessly copied and pasted on every forum, is partly responsible for spreading this... apologies, but this is an apt description... "fake news". :-) The panel lines remained visible. Anyone who ever got close to any Mustang can see the panel lines. You can even see them in every photo including this photo posted by Juggernut. 

I have seen so many models where the panel lines were removed from the wings and they look absolutely wrong to me. Stop following mindless internet memes. Do not even listen to me. Use your own eyes and your own judgement. Look at photos. You will see.

HTH 

Radu 

 

 

OMG..   zoom that photo in.   Outside of the ammunition bay panel lines (which are precisely what Jennings has illustrated), do you see any other panel lines on that wing?  If you do, I wanna know where you live because I wanna breath some of the same air.

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OMG..   zoom that photo in.   Outside of the ammunition bay panel lines (which are precisely what Jennings has illustrated), do you see any other panel lines on that wing?  If you do, I wanna know where you live because I wanna breath some of the same air.

 

OMG back to you! See that line going back from the ammunition bay to the aileron? Yup! 

Anyway, why do you and the people who believe in this myth choose the blurriest photos to "prove your point"? Look at it! Even the fuselage lines are impossible to see. Show me a good and clear photo. This proves nothing. 

But I don't care! You can't convince me. I have seen enough real Mustangs to make up my mind.

Radu

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Let me see if I can make this any easier....

 

DsaWMXH.png

 

What other panel lines are showing on the wing in this clear as day, factory image?  Jennings has it correct.  If any other panel lines are visible in a contemporary photo then the NAA finish has been stripped off of the wing.  Even the E&R manual states that the leading edges were finished with "red putty and gray surfacer" (p. 77)....why?  to eliminate as much parasite drag as possible to prevent the boundary layer airflow (aka laminar) from being disrupted.  This was done to 40% chord so there will be no panel lines visible between the forward part of the armament access doors and the leading edge of the wing...none.  Yes, combat use degraded the finish to a certain extent but from my understanding, that finish was meticulously maintained as best as possible under the conditions.  The remainder of the wing was finished with primer (two coats) and sanded between each coat prior to the top coats being applied.  Panel line and rivet details in those areas were minimized.  I don't suppose you'll believe the NAA finish spec so I won't even bother to look for it. 

 

Basing "what was" on "what is" is NOT always a 100% accurate assessment, no matter what the condition of the present day object.  Just like eye witnesses are not 100% reliable.  Just like your assumption that there was no wooden floor in the Mustangs based on two photos of two repaired/modified parts that had black vinyl or whatever material riveted to them.  You were wrong then, and I believe you're wrong now.  If I'm wrong then everything that has been told me over the years by the USAAF 4th FG mechanic (P-47's and 51's) that I trained under as an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic was just BS.  Add to that my hours of researching NAA documentation, factory drawings and photos.  Last but certainly not least in any sense of the term would be the invaluable help from the gracious people at the P-51 SIG, namely tourist.

 

I agree, a P-51 model wing finished from LE to TE and tip to root like a modern day epoxy finish is not prototypically correct.  But in scale (any scale) the only panel lines that would be visible to the eye would be those that Jennings has rendered.  Rivet details and other panel lines outside the 40% chord from root to tip would be faintly visible at best in 1/32 scale to maybe 1/18 scale.  Any smaller and they shouldn't be visible at all.

 

EDIT:  To include "gray surfacer" in para. 1.

Edited by Juggernut

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