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


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thanks chaps - much appreciate your kind words :)


landing gear then...


..I started with the lower castings as these are probably the hardest part - made a spigot for the wheel, the bent fork and the collar that is at the bottom of the strut from brass on my lathe..




,,these were soldered as they carry all the weight and the main legs turned from brass... the compression strut was a polished steel rod I got on ebay..




..then all the mountings for the torsion links and other bits and bobs were added - the strut assembly was glued with epoxy adhesive, the rest of the bits with CA..




..the torsion links were made upfrom brass tube, an inner litho shape (I wish I had photo-etched earlier) and plastic card for the casting sides..


..the ends were glued while on a quick jig from rod so there are no surprises later...




..using pins to align the torsion links so I can add the mounts to the upper strut - I don't want them fitted until after painting..




..then both struts were prepared for a shot of a silver/white enamel mix... I didn't have the right alclad to hand so I must get some at Telford next weekend :)




..once painted & assembled I added the brake line, but there are two much finer rigid lines that run up the leg and down the fork that I will have to add once the gear is in place as one goes in the wheel hub (I think) and the other up into the U/C bay..






..the 3D printed wheels were cleaned up, painted & dirtied a bit.. (thanks Tim)




..and a dry fit..






...outer doors next...







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This just gets better and better. As other have said previously it’s a often a struggle to determine what’s real and what’s model. 

Will this beauty be coming to Telford for you to show her off in all her current glory?


Looking forward to catching up as always next week. 


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thanks chaps :)


5 hours ago, tomprobert said:

Will this beauty be coming to Telford for you to show her off in all her current glory?


Looking forward to catching up as always next week. 




Hi Tom - no, it is too near completion really, so I am going to save it for next year when it is finished...


this one will be though :)




Looking forward to a good natter at the weekend :)



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Peter - your efforts on the MLG have yielded another shrink ray component(s).  Honestly - I have seen so very many efforts by so many model manufacturers in 1/72, 1/48, 1/32, or 1/24 to represent the P-51 MLG struts, and nearly all fail to get the shape just right.  Tamiya 1/32 seems the best.  When I did my struts on Miss Velma in 1/18,  I scribed the shape on blocks of plastic stock straight from the drawing (and I was thrilled to discover those drawings).  So there was literally no guess work - all I had to do was accurately carve it out based on the scribe lines.  But you have somehow arrived at what looks to be a dead-on accurate shape using formed metal parts brazed together.  Amazing.  I am also extremely impressed with the torque links.  Those are very small parts even at 1/18 - I struggled with mine and didn't do a very good job.  However even mine are way better than what one will find in a mass manufactured kit.  Yours look wonderful.  You will find the torque links lurk in the shadow of the wings and are not easily seen - but we know they are there, don't we?  


Also I am blown away by the wheel/tire assemblies.  Those parts seem tailor made for 3d printing, and that is apparently the key.  Congratulations.


Now - in addition to the all important gear rake angle which we have discussed already, and which seems right to me based on your pictures, the relationship between the gear struts and the doors, IMO, is critical.  Here again - most of the manufacturers get it wrong.  It's a matter of length mostly.  The problem, if there is one, usually arises when the wing thickness is inaccurate.  This was an issue with both my 1/18 P-47 and my 1/18 P-51, and I had to take care to tweak the gear door length as required so that the lower edge of the door had the correct relationship with the wheel/tire. 


Of course, strut extension affects this relationship.  Drawing 102-33001 defines three gear extension values - 44.727 inch fully compressed, 46.227 inch "static", and 52.727 inch fully extended.  If one (correctly) assumes fully compressed has the lower and upper struts slammed down against one another, then fully extended exposes 8.0 inches of lower strut.  And "static" position exposes 1.5 inches of lower strut.  In 1/18 that is .44 inch and .08 inch.  For Miss Velma I exposed about .18 to .20 inch, to depict an aircraft at something less than full gross weight.  Wartime pics of P-51's show many aircraft with something like that extension.    Your extension appears similar.  Is it?


Oh BTW - the lower extremity of the brake line attaches to a fitting on the brake drum.  Lots of pics available.  I am not sure it is defined on drawings though. 

Edited by JayW
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17 hours ago, JayW said:

Peter - check the two little lugs on the upper strut which are the attach points for the gear door links.  They need to be 180 deg around (on the inboard side of the strut, not the outboard).



Hi Jay - thanks for all that info - I did actually spot those door mount lugs were the wrong side when I was offering up the door to get the door / wheel relationship right, which as you say is critical for the sit of the model..


they have been reversed now - though close up some of the welding I tried to imitate looks a bit rough!




the spigots in the wing that the gear plugs into are pretty solid and were done a looooong time ago so with a tight fit into holes in the gear legs they pretty much define how the model sits and would be hard to change - I think in length they are ok - the compression strut showing is 5.89mm and 0.2 inches os 5.09mm so its ballpark - the forward rake is perhaps a degree or two off, but I took this pic & transposed it onto side pics of real 'C's' and everything looks to be right enough - I can pull a degree or two of rake back when I cement them..




thanks for the brake info too - I have the bit that line goes into as part of the wheel hub, not the leg hub so will have to wait until the wheels are on to connect it..


its so good to have an expert with an encyclopedic knowledge of the drawings on my wing :)



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Well done.  As a reminder main gear strut rake angle from vertical is supposed to be 11 deg.  From the picture above (a stunning picture BTW - another one that looks like an actual aircraft), I measure 13 deg to that piece of thread, so if I measure right and the pic isn't distorted and the thread is indeed horizontal, then yeah - when gear are permanently installed, pull back on them a bit.  As for door length - do enough arithmetic with dimensions provided on the drawings, and you can figure out the real life relationship between the door lower edge and the wheel hub in any one of the three defined extensions.  From there, easy to define the relationship to your own extension (which is a good bit more than "static").     

Edited by JayW
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