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

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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.




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...



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:


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


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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