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1/18 P51C Mustang "Lopes Hope the 3rd"

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evening folks :)


On 3/16/2019 at 4:49 PM, PROPELLER said:

Hi Peter,
Your work is really outstanding! I'm always speechless...
I thought I heard, but my english is awful, french people you know,
that is a problem for you to find aluminum sheets.
Take a look here:



Hats off sir!



Hi Dan - thank you very much, I will have to try some of this - I have just bought 100 sheets so enough for a lot of models, but it seems many metals have different properties and are more or less flexible and polish up to different tones so it is always useful to have a choice of materials :)


On 3/16/2019 at 4:52 PM, Out2gtcha said:

Lovely, my friend! Glad the sheets made it ok. 

I noticed the sat in customs for a bit


Thanks for all your efforts Brian - you really went the extra mile to get them to me and I REALLY appreciate it - problem is, now I need to skin the whole bird and have no excuses :)


On 3/18/2019 at 5:20 PM, JayW said:

OMG - what an effort on the exhaust stacks and cutout.  Bravo sir, Bravo.  And the spinner is just awesome.


A reminder on the spinner (I learned this when I did the spinner for Miss Velma).  The front end of the spinner is flat.  See drawing 102-44003 (front shell):


A rubber cover was pushed into the 7/8 dia hole (see drawing 104-44002)


Is that cool or what? 


I added the flat, and added a little round filed .01 thick piece for the plug, and it turned out very convincing.



Thanks Jay - I had spotted it as a feature, but now it seems what I thought was the empty hole is actually a black rubber cap so another good save!



On 3/19/2019 at 5:02 PM, hamfists nz said:

Since you’re now in possession of an HpH Merlin, why don’t you model a cowl open?


Well, I did think right at the start of doing that, but it would add about another year to the model as I can't help myself going nuts on details so decided not to - that is not to say I might open up a cowl on my planned 1/18 Lancaster....


(tongue firmly in cheek...)


anyways - thanks for all your comments and lets get down to it..


I have made up a master prop blade which took tons of research and shaping, but I have no pics and now it is encased in rubber to make a mould so we better move on..


now I have the aluminium to skin the airframe I have been thinking about where to start.. I looked at the wings and thought I could do those before working towards the fuselage and the major outstanding work which is all the cockpit integration & frear canopy area..


..with that I chose this panel with the formation lights... - this is a useful pic as it shows rivets / panels and areas I will need to cover..




..as soon as I started looking at it, I realised I had masses of shaping work yet to do on the wings - a bit of a pain given there is a lot of fine detail in the wheel wells to be careful with and which would have to withstand some pretty rough handling


..the aileron housings at the tip were 9mm high instead of 3.2mm which shows how wide the rear face of the wing was - I had to get the household sander out and take loads off - all the way down to the internal foam in places..


I also found the wingtip was the wrong shape so I made a brass core the right shape..




..this was let into a slit I made in the wing.. I have already removed lots of the rear part of the tip - the original had a big thick and wide trailing edge to the fine point at the aileron edge..




..once the rear of the wing had been thinned, I decided to replace the aileron housings as they had pretty much been sanded off..


I took some 'L' shaped brass and added it - here the top one has been added, and a sheet is taped to the wing to get the sit of the trailing edge of the 'L' at where it will meet the wing skin..




..so they look like this...




..finally after 2 solid days of effort, filling, sanding, adding, taking away, I could start on the lights..


Here I have drilled out where the lamps go and have rebated the skin to take coloured perspex blanks that have been cut & polished from thicker sheet..




..made the lamps by putting soft ali over a hole on a chunk of brass and resting the ball of a tiny ball pein hammer over the hole and whacking it with another hammer - viola, a domed punched disc..   added a bulb from clear stretched sprue held up to a flame so it rolls back on itself into a round..




..the blanks are then CAd to seal them in (so no dust can get in) and sanded / polished to the wing surface, plus the tips are finally shaped..




..I also added a thin false panel along the leading edge (which you might just be able to see) so I can align all the wing panels to it and stuck some discs on the formation lamp centres so I can put tape over it and burnish & mark the outline of the skin panel that will go there..




..then I timed out, so the first skin panel to go down will be in the next post - once that starts I am hoping to really get stuck into it so by May / June I have most of the skinning laid down :)









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'1:1 scale.  Interesting. '

Most if not all of the parts are 1:1 scale.  Installation drawings are other scales.  I'll see if I can post an installation drawing so you can see its' scale and exactitude.


Nice prep work, Peter.  Love that trailing edge.





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Peter - stunning work as usual.  I have it on high authority (the P-51 SIG) that wartime Mustangs had a finish application on their wings which smoothed the surface, such that flush rivet heads were basically invisible, and perhaps skin butt joints as well.    The advanced wing airfoil shape, which was so crucial to bringing the Mustang's baddassery all the way to Berlin and back, also was more prone to flow separation and stall - something that could be forestalled with an ultra smooth surface, so the story goes.  Soooo - when skinning those wings I would not create rivet patterns my friend!


BTW - I recall searching the drawing database for this surface finish callout, to no avail.  I invite you to research it further to make sure.  Do you belong to the P-51 SIG?  What a resource!


Jay Wheaton

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Hi Peter, I found this period photo that I thought might be useful to you when the time comes to return to cockpit detailing and finishing.

It's a Tuskegee Airmen P-51C 42-103960 1 Skippers Darlin’ III, 100th FS 332nd FG 15th AF in the care of Capt Andrew D Turner in Aug 1944.


Edited by Chek
edited to add serial number
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