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P-51D 47th FS / 15th FG, Iwo Jima 1945 [TAM 1:32] - DONE


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Plugging away at the stencils.  It's a multi-hour job to get them all down.  I think I'm getting decent results - comparable to what I got using HGW transfers on the Zero.  It's really important to buff them down with a Q-tip when applying them, lest the decal not fully transfer.  But, it can be difficult to exert pressure on them without moving them when they are going down on the slick NMF surface.  Much easier on matte finish paint.  I think I'm hitting about 95% - most transfer completely, a few still have little missing chunks.  Another thing I wish is that the print quality was as good as the kit decals - the fine lettering is noticeably blurrier on the HGW sheet.  I realize I'm asking for a lot here - film-less decals with perfect printing...  Maybe someday.  I'd love to see a partnership between HGW and say Cartograf that managed to produce a product that was the best of both worlds...

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Finished the stencils.  I realized later today that the crosses and angled bars on the port wing, which have some function I'm not clear on, were only present on "J" and later versions of the P-51.  So they needed to come off of my P-51D.  Fortunately, as I've learned, this is quick and easy to do with MicroSol.  

 

Here are the main gear legs and BarracudaCast wheels/tires, thoroughly coated with Iwo Jima dirt runway dust.

 

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One of the things I love about these 1/32 Tamiya warbirds is the bolt-in landing gear.  While I have no interest in the parts-swapping feature that this is meant to enable, it makes for a perfectly aligned and super-strong landing gear installation.  One of those features I wish every kit had...

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Both main gear legs installed and the wing leading edges glued in place in front of them.  I've started in on weathering the engine and engine bay, but there's definitely more to do there.  Getting closer though.

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6 hours ago, acarothers896 said:

Alex:

Great work on the weathering and finishing touches.  Looking forward to the completed build.  The crosses and the angled bars that you applied to the port wing were markings present on the F-6D, the photo-recon version of the P-51D.

 

Andy Carothers

Iwo Jima Models

https://iwojimamodels.com

That makes a lot of sense - thanks for explaining!

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Starboard wing has pastel weathering done, port as yet untouched.  Trying to keep it subtle, and it will be even less pronounced on top.  The most noticeable effect for me is the light buff/gray "Iwo Jima Dust" pastel treatment on the squadron stripes.  Nicely kills the "painted plastic airplane" look of the dark uniform black.

 

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Topsides coming along quickly.  Tomorrow, when I'm fresh, I need to look carefully at reference photos and do some subtle and accurate exhaust stains on the sides of the fuselage.  There was a very consistent exhaust pattern across all the photos I've seen (which makes sense as the planes are all the same shape...) - I need to try to carefully replicate that.  

 

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The Tamiya canopy is amazingly thin, clear, and shiny.  I did not put any Future on this one - I can't see how I could have made it better than how it came.

 

 

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At this point it just needs drop tanks (I drilled holes so I can plumb them in to the wings), exhaust stubs, and the radar antennas that mount on the vertical tail.  It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I will probably get it wrapped up completely this weekend.  

 

 

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This is great work!

 

On 2/23/2021 at 4:32 PM, Alex said:

 

Still a few little painting things to do.  Andy Carothers kindly pointed me to the fact that the dual dorsal antenna masts (which were unique to the VLR Mustangs) were actually made of *wood* (the US military still knew what expedient meant back then).  The Tamiya instructions call for them to be painted black, but the photo Andy shared shows unpainted wood.

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That's interesting, but now I'm wondering how they worked.  :hmmm: As any fule no (sorry, you have to be a Brit of a certain age to get that) wood does not conduct, so did they perhaps have a metal/wire core?

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4 hours ago, MikeC said:

This is great work!

 

 

That's interesting, but now I'm wondering how they worked.  :hmmm: As any fule no (sorry, you have to be a Brit of a certain age to get that) wood does not conduct, so did they perhaps have a metal/wire core?

Michael, I’m sure that you are correct in that assumption.  There must have been a wire core, with the wood being there to provide an aerodynamically sound support for it.

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5 hours ago, MikeC said:

This is great work!

 

 

That's interesting, but now I'm wondering how they worked.  :hmmm: As any fule no (sorry, you have to be a Brit of a certain age to get that) wood does not conduct, so did they perhaps have a metal/wire core?

The assumption has been a wire core since you are correct that wood does not conduct.  The twin Uncle Dog antenna were a field modification on Iwo Jima to the D-20s and D-25s that were assigned the the 15th, 21st, and 506th FGs.  The twin antenna became a standard feature on the D-30 block at the factory, but at the factory they were of metal construction.  I have a post over on P-51SIG Forum to see if anyone can shed more light on the issue.

 

Andy Carothers

Iwo Jima Models

https://iwojimamodels.com

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Exhaust stubs - I went back and forth a few times with paint, washes, and pastels trying to get the look I wanted.  Still not 100% perfect but I'm going to stop so I don't make it worse...

 

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Installed

 

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That's pretty much a wrap.  There's one tiny thing I need to do with the formation lights on the underside of the wing, but I'll do that tomorrow (waiting for some Krystal Klear to fully dry).  Otherwise I'm calling it done.  I'll also dig out the DSLR tomorrow and try to take some acceptable RFI shots of it.

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Slightly different depth of focus...

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  • Alex changed the title to P-51D 47th FS / 15th FG, Iwo Jima 1945 [TAM 1:32] - DONE

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