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

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7 hours ago, acarothers896 said:


Really nice detailing on your VLR Mustang.  What decals are you going to use for a 21st FG Mustang?  Following your build with great interest.


Andy Carothers



Thanks Andy! The Tamiya kit is great - makes it easy to look good!  


In terms of the markings, I still haven't fully settled on the specific aircraft I'll do.  It could end up being either a 21st or a 15th FG machine.  I have the HGW wet transfers P-51D set, so I will use those for all of the stencils and other small markings.  The national insignia and individual aircraft serial codes I will paint on using masks I will make with my Silhouette cutter - anything big/simple enough to paint I will paint on.  Then there's the fact that all these aircraft had some sort of personal name or motto painted on them by their pilots/crews, many of which were too detailed/multicolored for me to be able to mask and paint.  The Tamiya kit provides this specific nose art for Maj RW Moore of 45FS/15FG.  I could just use that decal and do that plane.  But the squadron markings for 45FS (simple green on top on the vertical tail and on the tips of the wings) aren't my favorite among the various Iwo Jima squadrons.    I like the yellow and black schemes of the 75FS/15FG better, and the osprey VLR book illustrates a couple of those with pretty simple one-color nose art.  With care I can probably stencil something like that on.  That's probably my path, as it would avoid having to use any traditional waterslide decals at all.  I'm not at all confident that I can get them to lay down invisibly on the NMF surface, and I would really prefer not to have to clear coat this thing when it's done.


I'm much happier using normal decals on faded, camouflaged aircraft where I can apply them and then bury them under plenty of clear flat and weathering - much easier to get the right look that way.

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Spent the afternoon bringing the work I've done so far together.  Have I mentioned how good the engineering on this kit is?  Despite all the extra stuff I've stuck on, everything pretty much fell together.  The tolerances in some places are so tight that I had to scrape paint off to get things to fit fully together, but other than that no real issues at all.  I should finish assembling everything fuselage by the end of this evening.  Then I'll need to think hard about how much detail I want to try and add to the landing gear and the gun bays.











One downside to trying to show all the detail in this engine bay, even with the removable cowling sections, is that with the exception of those big aluminum pipes for the coolant system and a few bare metal linkages, pretty much everything is black, at least if you're going to be historically accurate about it.  Black engine, black wires, black rubber hoses, black battery box, etc.  It would be fun some day to do one as a hot rod - dream up a modern civil air racer scheme that could have a bright red engine block, chrome valve covers, braided stainless hoses, anodized fittings, yellow Accel plug wires, etc, etc.  Have to give that some thought.

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Just found this thread and will be following. As well as reading it thoroughly when time allows. I've been considering building one for a friend as his uncle, Lt. Robert C. Klippel was assigned to the 457th FS out of Iwo Jima and the pilot of P-51 44-72593, which is still listed as MIA from the escort mission of 1 June 1945.



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3 hours ago, lawman56 said:

Just found this thread and will be following. As well as reading it thoroughly when time allows. I've been considering building one for a friend as his uncle, Lt. Robert C. Klippel was assigned to the 457th FS out of Iwo Jima and the pilot of P-51 44-72593, which is still listed as MIA from the escort mission of 1 June 1945.



LMK if you have any specific questions - happy to share what I learn about the kit...

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Cockpit plus engine bay are now essentially complete.  Started work on the empennage and the various filler pieces that complete the fuselage.  There are separate sections that drop in for the section in front of the vertical tail (so you can do different drillings for the different possible antenna combos) and for the section of fuselage that contains the rear LG.  The latter is notionally to allow you to switch back and forth between gear down and gear up, but it's convenient in that it allows you to build and paint the rear gear completely but not install it until the fuselage is fully painted.  With any other kit brand, there would be issues around these parts not fitting perfectly and just adding sanding/filling/fitting chores.  With Tamiya, they just fit in perfectly and seamlessly.


Anyway - here are some up to date photos of the engine etc.






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I've taken a little detour to build a propliner (taking a break from detailing before I tackle the landing gear and gun bays on the Mustang).  But here's a bit of progress:


Horizontal stabilizers are painted with Alclad Aluminum and Alclad Duraluminum (over Mr Color Gloss Black) to lend a little bit of color variation.




Rudder (aluminum-doped fabric) painted with Alclad Semi-Matte Aluminum over gray Mr Surfacer 1200:




I believe the trim tab is actually skinned with metal so I'll probably need to give that a quick polish and spray it with Duraluminum....

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Found time this evening to complete the plumbing detail on the wheel bays.pnpXYPdBj


I decided to start the paint sequence with all black, so this is Mr Surfacer 1500 Black in the wheel bays and Mr Color Gloss Black on the doors (hard to see the difference between blacks in the photo).




And with Alclad Duraluminum on the doors, MRP Chromate Primer in the wheel bays.  I really like the 3D "shading" effect that happens with the black undercoat.




Views from the sides.  There's a bit of detail and touch-up painting to do, but I'm pretty happy with where this landed.  On the the gun bays soon.






I did this painting in my re-vamped spray booth (which is still a totally half-arsed lash up of two small Micro Mark spray booths, but now at least it is a *well-lit* lash-up).




I got this very reasonably priced LED tape under-cabinet lighting kit on Amazon.  Super-bright and takes up zero space inside the booth.  I'm very pleased with the upgrade.



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I got these fancy Master Models brass gun barrels for the P-51D.  The way the guns are set up on the Mustang, even with the open gun bays you won't really see a lot of them, just the last bit right by the gun breach and the end of the muzzle.  But I had never used such before, so this was a good opportunity to practice swapping them in without them being the focal point of anything.  They were intended for a Zoukei-Mura P51-D kit, so require a bit of modifying for the Tamiya Mustang.  The Tamiya plastic gives you partial length gun barrels that stop inside the wing where you can't see them, then the muzzle openings are molded into a little piece of the wing leading edge that gets glued in separately (the wings are a lot of small pieces mostly in service of the unnecessary (IMO) foldable landing gear feature).  So I have carefully drilled out that separate piece of leading edge to allow the muzzles to just slip through.  I've painted up the basic colors on the various parts, and next up is the task of painting the brass casings and copper bullet cladding on every round of 50 caliber in the belt feed trays.  Will have to take that in stages, I think.


Anyway, here are the MGs with brass barrels installed.



I added a basic take on some wiring that passes through the gun bays, and I've drilled the gun bodies so I can add in the solenoid wires once they are painted.  But I think that's about all the extra detailing I'm going to try and add.

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