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

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Yeah welcome back Peter!  Man I am getting antsy for the finish line.  You are very close!   BTW - although it is true there are no NAA drawings of the tail wheel fork, or post, I found drawing 97-34103 to be most helpful.  It is scaleable if you know the dimensions of some of the component parts that are NAA parts.

Edited by JayW
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Love Thailand.... hope you had a great time there! 


Awesome work on the P-51 though, Peter... just gutted that I may not see it this year. I could be away at this years Telford..  :( Looks so nice with the markings and stuff on it now.. top drawer..!

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afternoon all :)


On 2/2/2020 at 10:31 PM, Antonio Argudo said:

 God bless you are back Peter, missing  the progres on this build ^_^

the lettering came out perfectly, nice 3d resin wheels too!   

seems like the tail wheel had a protection canvas, some nice reference pics from laurent Boulestin, keep the good, cheers


thanks Antonio - and thanks for the pics you emailed, very useful!


I did think about including the canvas covers but I don't think I could do them convincingly so will go without them - it certainly would have meant less fabrication as I could have ignored most of the tailwheel strut upper assembly :)



On 2/3/2020 at 11:00 AM, TorbenD said:

Lovely to see this one back Peter - glad the shoulder is better. 


Nose art looks sweeeeet! Loving the tail wheel... smart construction technique and as ever looking the business.






Thanks Torben - and thanks again for your artwork sorting the Lopes Hope font out for me - really happy with how it turned out!



On 2/4/2020 at 3:50 AM, JayW said:

Yeah welcome back Peter!  Man I am getting antsy for the finish line.  You are very close!   BTW - although it is true there are no NAA drawings of the tail wheel fork, or post, I found drawing 97-34103 to be most helpful.  It is scaleable if you know the dimensions of some of the component parts that are NAA parts.


Hi Jay - thank you! this is what I was missing, so used it to fabricate the part :)



On 2/5/2020 at 10:43 AM, baffozac said:

Yes ! Michelangelo is back ! 



Now then - less of that, especially from you :) your scratchbuilt Ro43 puts this model to shame...


I have been finishing the tailwheel - this shot is useful as it shows most of the assembly and it's orientation and notice too the doors have inner pressings with some odd shapes...




..I refined the main casting shape by adding more definition to some of the raised shapes and prepared a kit of parts for the gubbins that goes around the upper strut..


..the leg fork was a brass rod bent to shape and then ground away so it's a half-round - this was then soldered to the shaft making sure the angle was right...




..these were then painted as per the pics I have of Lopes Hope...




..then the bobbins were all assembled and some weathering done - especially as there is no protective canvas boot (as I don't know how to make one...)..






..the tailwheel was also completed with some additional bolts and a valve...




..and the completed assembly..






..the fork turned out ok...




..also made the doors - used a shaped bit of plastic the same as the main gear doors to shape the inner pressings, also the piano hinge bit is actually from some PE I prepared for the 1/18 Fairey Firefly I once started..




..the black stripe on the rear of the aircraft carries on across the doors.... I later found out I have oriented these wrongly and so the doors would be back to front... will need to redo them..




.. a long shaft was fitted into the wheel well so the assembly slides onto it and is strong enough to cope with the weight...


..this was when I realised the doors would be back to front, as the mountings for the struts that close them should be at the rear..






..next up I need to figure out how to deal with all the stencils all over the airframe - I have the decals made, but need to do some experiments on the best application that still allows handling / weathering (I can't varnish the natural metal - well I don't think I can...)







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To quote Peter:  "The fork turned out OK".   Being understated when in actuality you are a modeling tour de force is a quality I respect.


Having scratch built a P-51 tail gear in 1/18 myself several years ago, I know exactly what is going on here.  Fond memories - I really enjoyed that project.  Mine was ground breaking I thought at the time.  Yours is earth shattering. 


Now - have you fixed the tail gear extension/compression yet?  Just like the main gear, this detail can be screwed up, and the major maufacturers get it wrong with regularity.  Tamiya included.  I am convinced when these guys put out a new model, they send someone out to a resto project and get every dimension they can think of by whatever meas they have.  They use up their meager budget, come home, and wing the rest.   Or something akin to that.  In so doing, they either find a subject up on scaffolding with alighting gear fully extended, or they find one in a museum on static display with no air pressure in the oleos and the gear slammed down to the stops.  Which leaves them wondering (if they even get that far) what the extension should be.


With our access to Aircorps Library, we can do better.   So visit tail gear installation drawing 97-34001, if you have not already done so, and get the fully compressed, fully extended, and static numbers.  Then make an informed decision how much you want to extend the gear strut.  And my apologies up front if you have already done so.  

And BTW, that drawing will give you good info on the position of the doors when open.  Note it varies with gear extension, as the actuation links are attached to a bracket on the oleo assembly.

Edited by JayW
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Every time you post a new update I smile with bewilderment, just like this time, wondering how in heck you created these fantastic looking parts.  As always, just AWESOME!


Good move doing experiments with a clear coat, since they almost always knock down the metallic finish.  FWIW, I once did an experiment with 8 completely different clear coats on a shiny Alclad finish, to see which was the best.  Tamiya X-22 was the winner.




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Apologies in advance if someone has shared this before - Scott Slocum’s beautiful video of Lopes Hope in the air: https://vimeo.com/249476220


Proper eye-candy and of particular note is the really striking polished metal finish of the undercarriage covers. Screen shot shown only for reference - will remove if any copyright infringed.









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Smashing video Torben, thanks for sharing. Many interesting visual effects on display as the light changes over the airframe.

I'm very interested to see how Peter will replicate the arc of heat staining from the hot exhaust.


The anti-glare panel demarcation is also interesting. It looks to be asymetrical from the front three quarter view although I'm sure it is n't.


Plenty to enjoy about that video. 



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