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52 minutes ago, John1 said:

Hi Chuck,

 

Thanks for the info, I''ve been reading through your very impressive Mustang build for hints (and motivation).   Question for you - on the above technique, you mention that the Alcad Aluminum is naturally dull.  However, you don't mention anything on how you applied decals.  Did you not have to apply a gloss coat over this so your decals could go on with no silvering?

 

 

Yes, I applied a gloss coat of Future before decals, but today I prefer Tamiya acrylic X-22 instead.  Gloss coats can really dull a nice shiny metallic finish like polished aluminum or chrome, but for these dull aluminum paint schemes it’s not a problem. After decals, I sealed them in with another gloss coat, then I applied a dull coat as required.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Posted (edited)

So I've finally started some actual work.  I've glued a grand total of 5 pieces together! Hooray Me!!  I have to say, the more I've read, the more concern I have about replicating every last minute feature 100% accurately.  This in turn, made me keep digging for more references and as a result, I kept putting off any real construction.   I finally decided just to jump in and start the damned project.   

 

Before I show you the pictures of my limited progress,  - allow me to rant about Mustang cockpits.  Unlike the F4U-1D Corsair I just built, D-model Mustang's had huge number of cockpit variations.  Often Mustangs on the production line next to each other had different cockpit radio fits.  All depends on what NAA had available that minute. 

 

To complicate things further,  Korean War Mustangs had a wide range of cockpit and radio upgrades.  Some were stock WW2, some had a mix of WW2 and newer components and some had all the WW2 radios / IFF gear replaced with newer items.   To make things more confusing, radios were upgraded in the field.   I'm aiming for a middle ground, with a newer radio but everything else WW2 vintage.   As a point of comparison - here is a WW2 P-51D-5 Mustang cockpit.  It's got the basic radio controls, plus it has the AN/APS-13 tail warning radar added (the control panel is directly under the canopy crank and the silver alarm bell is seen low on the sidewall, beneath the pilot's O2 hose).  This radar was a pretty interesting (and very sophisticated at the time) bit of kit.  Unfortunately it had a high number of false alarms and many WW2 pilots simply turned it off to eliminate the distractions. 

 

FSX Warbirdsim P-51K-5-NT Cockpit

 

 Here is the general cockpit layout I'm shooting for, I'm going to make a couple of small changes but this is pretty close.  Only exception is that my pit will be overall black.

FSX Warbirdsim Post-WWII P-51D/F-51D Cockpit With BC-453-B Receiver

 

 

This has the tail warning radar removed (as did nearly all Korean War Mustangs), including the alarm bell.  The control panel is still in place but most of the switches and controls have been replaced with a blank sheet metal plate.  The newer radio control / IFF panel is mounted directly in front of the pilot's oxygen hose.   It also has a navigational radio control head mounted under the now unused tail warning radar control panel.   In some WW2 versions, this controller was either deleted entirely or was mounted on the cockpit floor, directly under the pilot's right leg.  

 

For those interested in such a mundane subject, this guy's Flikr page is a great resource on Mustang cockpits.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/34363610@N08/with/30496922145/

 

Lastly, with regard to general appearance, here is what I'm striving for:

150803-F-IO108-002.jpg

 

150803-F-IO108-003.jpg

This is an original F-51D cockpit (This Mustang is on display at the USAF Museum, externally it is fully restored to represent a WW2 P-51D but they left the cockpit untouched).  How many shades of black can you count?  I also like the bits of green still showing on the stick / sidewalls and the original green seat.  Note also the extremely worn floorboards.  Most of the black non-slip coating is worn away, leaving nothing but bare, unfinished wood.  

 

So that's it for Mustang Cockpits 101.   Building update to follow. 

Edited by John1

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1 minute ago, chuck540z3 said:

 

 

Yes, I applied a gloss coat of Future before decals, but today I prefer Tamiya acrylic X-22 instead.  Gloss coats can really dull a nice shiny metallic finish like polished aluminum or chrome, but for these dull aluminum paint schemes it’s not a problem. After decals, I sealed them in with another gloss coat, then I applied a dull coat as required.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Thanks Chuck, that's good to know.   You sold me on X-22 on my Corsair build.  This stuff is the shiznit!  I'll never go back to Future again. 

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I have quite a few Mustang reference books, but I find the two most useful for Korean War aircraft are the old Squadron ‘ Walk Around ‘ book and the Osprey ‘ Frontline Colours ‘ volume on the F-51 in Korea. They both contain period photos and prove ( for me anyway ) that at least some of the F-51s in Korea still had puttied and sanded wings as the chromate primer can be seen showing through the aluminium lacquer, particularly on the wing roots.

I almost finished a Dragon F-51 a few years ago and used the above photos as my reference for the cockpit.

 

John

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8 hours ago, Biggles87 said:

I have quite a few Mustang reference books, but I find the two most useful for Korean War aircraft are the old Squadron ‘ Walk Around ‘ book and the Osprey ‘ Frontline Colours ‘ volume on the F-51 in Korea. They both contain period photos and prove ( for me anyway ) that at least some of the F-51s in Korea still had puttied and sanded wings as the chromate primer can be seen showing through the aluminium lacquer, particularly on the wing roots.

I almost finished a Dragon F-51 a few years ago and used the above photos as my reference for the cockpit.

 

John

Just discovered a wonderful book - "Building the P-51 Mustang".  It's entirely focused on the technical and production details of this aircraft, from the first P-51 to the H model.  Hundreds of great quality pics, taken by NAA.  One interesting thing it documented was that the wings were only puttied for the first 40% of the chord and then sprayed with a very irregular coat of primer (it wasn't yellow or green chromate). 

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So anyway, as mentioned, I've actually done a bit building.    I'm using the Barracuda resin cockpit upgrades.  Their resin is first class and the price is right!  First off are the cockpit sidewalls.   As noted, I used a few of the Tamiya parts to replicate the cockpit configuration of my subject.   None of the smaller bits are glued on yet, need to get through the painting and weathering stages so I don't end up breaking anything off.  Got some ejector pin marks and a glue smudge but none of that will be visible once the cockpit is completed.  

 

IMG_0533

 

Got a lot of small parts that need to be added to the port side.

IMG_0532

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi John,  looking good this build,  the computer cockpits and Flickr album belongs to John Terrell, a superb cg artist and a very knowledgeable Mustang expert which does flight simulator models, he also did this illustration regardless the wing putty and smoothing application, but since you are doing a Korean war Mustang era, this procedure was not in use after ww2, yes the book "Building the p 51 Mustang" is a must have for Mustang lovers!

cheers 

imageproxy-2.jpg

imageproxy-3.jpg

Antonio.

Edited by Antonio Argudo

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Thanks for the pic Antonio, that matches with the photos taken on the NAA assembly line.  I found it interesting to see the wide variation in grey primer coverage, even on two wingsets right next to each other on the production line.    I also found it interesting how many precautions NAA took to ensure a smooth, high quality finish, including instructing the users to lay mats on the wings so that the surface wouldn't get scuffed by boots.   Compare those early precautions to the abuse the Mustangs took in Korea where any consideration on enhancing performance was tossed out.  These aircraft were simply low-end bomb trucks by that point.   Sad....

 

Anyway, I've done a bit of painting.  As noted - I'm trying to get my cockpit somewhere close to the F-51D example I posted above.   I started by painting everything interior green (the original NAA base color).  After it set up for a day, I used the hairspray method, followed by a custom coat of MM Interior black with a splash of flat white.  I've got a long ways to go but here is my starting point for the cockpit:

 

IMG_0538

Note that the circular punch mark towards the rear of the cockpit won't be visible when the model is fully assembled. 

 

IMG_0537

A couple of areas above are scuffed by the "hairspray" process.  Not to worry, they will be addressed as I move forward with the painting / weathering.  I plan on highlighting some of these components with darker black shades, per the original pictures above. 

 

Cockpit floorboards.  Again, very much a WIP.  The sharp contrast between bare wood and the rubberized non-stick paint that NAA used will be toned down once I start final painting.  

IMG_0536

 

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Continuing on with the paintwork.  Overall black is a tough color to work with from a modeling standpoint.  Thankfully my subject has a great number of color variations to break up the monotony.   I've been picking out some individual components, per the pics of the original above.  Using MM Interior Black and mixes of gloss and flat black.  The Interior Black color is pretty handy, it's got a very deep "blackness" to it.  Hard to explain,  you'll have to use it for yourself to see what I mean. 

 

Anyway, here are some progress pics.  Note again, I've got a very long way to go.  Still have to complete the detailing painting, then add those hundred or so Barracuda decals and then start the final weathering.  After that's done, I'll add the remaining cockpit parts (trim wheels, various levers, etc).   Don't want to add the small stuff, just to have it get knocked off during decalling / weathering.   It doesn't look like much right now and my crappy photography skills don't help but trust me, things can only get better!  :)

 

 

IMG_0547

 

IMG_0548

 

I used the hairspray method on the control stick to show natural metal under the worn off black finish.   The canvas boot has a long way to go before it's in it's final state.  Once I'm done weathering, the floorboards will be looking MUCH differently. 

IMG_0546

 

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Got a bit more done with the cockpit.   Started to paint some of the finer details on the sidewalls, added some paint scratches with a silver artist's pencil.  Got a few more small bits to add, then we shoot the sidewalls with Tamiya X-22 and start adding all those Barracuda decals.  Once I get those on and add the remaining parts and some additional wires, I think it will look sufficiently busy.  After that, shoot it with some dullcoate, add some pastels and we'll be good to go (hopefully). 

IMG_0554

 

On the floorboard assembly, I continued with the painting and put down some pastels for a first coating of grime.  Much more work to be done here. 

IMG_0559

 

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Some really stellar work going on here John, and good for you sorting out the late Mustang cockpit and radio installations. Also impressed with your efforts to make her look well-used. I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised when you get all the decals applied in the cockpit. That will really bring everything to life!

 

Looking forward to seeing the progress!

 

Richard

 

 

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Thanks Richard.  To be honest, it kind of looks like crap right now but I guess that's kind of the point.   I do think it will look much better when I get those decals on and add the remaining fittings.  

 

Here's the port sidewall.  A few more parts added and a bit more painting done.  I'm using the Barracuda resin throttle assembly.  Haven't glued on the throttle handle yet, it's much too fragile.   Not sure how Barracuda manages to cast such fine resin bits, it's very impressive. 

 

IMG_0563

Thanks for looking...

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Shot the interior sidewalls with a coat of Tamiya X-22 gloss (this stuff is great, I'll never bother with Future again) and started applying the cockpit decals.   For those who might be intimidated by a hundred or so microscopic decals like these, don't be!   All I use is a set of locking needle-nose tweezers (critical for this type of work) and microset / sol.    The decals go on great, even over the lumps and bumps present in the cockpit.  To be honest, after using these decals on my d"Dark Blue Killer" F4U-1D and now the Mustang, I will be hard-pressed to go back to another kit that Barracuda doesn't offer these decals for.   The really add that much to making a realistic looking cockpit.   Far as I know, the only other kits they currently offer cockpit decals for are the Spitfire and Mosquito, so I guess my next build will be one of those.

 

Anyway, here are a few shots of my current progress.  They definitely help break up the monoton-ish black.  I think things will be looking even better once I add the last plastic bits, dullcoate the assembly and then do my final weathering.   We'll see.....

 

IMG_0568

 

IMG_0567

 

IMG_0566

 

Thanks for looking and for all the great feedback!

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outstanding job sir. i do believe the decals help bring a cockpit to life. Your cockpit has been weathered with chipped paint but the decal placards need to be weathered accordingly.

 

Great Job

 

Jason

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