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P-51D-5NA


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OK, after a false start, here I am with a perennial favourite of mine, a Mighty Eighth Mustang.  I'm aiming to do a more unusual subject, but that will depend on how the homespun masks come out, so I have a subject in mind plus two reserves.  I made a start this morning by hitting Hannants website for a few aftermarket items, but while we're waiting for them to arrive here's what I have got so far.

 

20210831-150315.jpg

 

20210831-150250.jpg

 

Edited by MikeC
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The aftermarket's on its way, so in the meantime I've been cleaning up the major components and assembling a few items that aren't in the cockpit - there's a Barracuda seat coming among other things, so I need to work out when I see it how to fit it.

 

First impressions of the kit are good.  There's a little bit of flash here and there, but that's not a problem.  I've assembled both sets of drop tanks and the bombs (although I won't be using the latter), and as usual will decide which tanks to use later.  I've also made a start on the wings and straight away I've deviated from the instructions:  rather than assemble the wheel well interiors onto the main spar, then fit that, I thought that fixing the innards to the top wing first gave a more positive fit.  Time will prove whether I was wise or foolish to do it like this.

 

20210902-144416-2.jpg

 

 

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2 hours ago, Out2gtcha said:

Great start!    Have you checked your canopy yet? I know there are some issues of the kit that have seriously distorted clear parts.

Now you mention it,  I think there may be some.  I'll have a better look in due course and decide whether I can live with it,  bearing in mind I usually do an open canopy.  Thanks for the heads-up.

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There's not much progress on the model itself: I've been tidying up the masks and I've done a test cut.  It looks as though they have worked, but I'll try spraying them before I commit.  For my first choice subject there are nose checks involved:  I've tried my test cut against the taped-together fuselage, and need to do a bit of revision on the masks I've cut for those.

 

But the subject I'm hoping to do is "The Comet" from the 339th FG at Fowlmere, which seems to be a group that gets very little attention in model form.  It was flown by the group's leading ace at the time, "Johnny" Johnson - no not that one, Capt Evan M Johnson.  (Edit: Fowlmere is one of the less famous 8th AF stations, but it is not far from Duxford - literally turn left out of Duxford, take second right, and the airfield site is on your left as you head towards Fowlmere village: less than 10 minutes drive.  In RAF hands it was a Duxford satellite, and home to a number of famous units during and after the Battle of Britain.)

 

http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/wp-content/groupimages/gallery/339g/6n-j1.jpg

 

Part of my self-imposed mission to demonstrate that 8th FC consisted of more than the 56th FG, the 357th FG, and the "Bottisham Four", fine units though these were.  :) :):) 

Edited by MikeC
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The post is here.

 

20210904-105144-2.jpg

Eduard canopy masks?  Why do I not cut my own, you ask?  Good question, I'm (a) not really experienced enough to design my own effectively and (b) I'm lazy.  The decals are a generic sheet of 1/32 kill markings by Kits World, useful for the six kills I'll need for my model and hopefully many others.

 

On 9/2/2021 at 4:46 PM, Out2gtcha said:

Great start!    Have you checked your canopy yet? I know there are some issues of the kit that have seriously distorted clear parts.

 

On 9/2/2021 at 7:30 PM, MikeC said:

Now you mention it,  I think there may be some.  I'll have a better look in due course and decide whether I can live with it  ...

Oh dear, it is rather distorted, there's a huge bulge on the port side, and the whole thing is only usable if all else fails.  Fortunately I have a Tamiya kit in the loft plus the spares from another, so I can use the appropriate canopy from one of them.  Thanks again for the alert.

 

As for markings, I did a test cut and tried them on a piece of plastic card. 

 

20210904-143105-2.jpg

 

From left to right: "Duchess of Manhattan" (from the 361st FG at Bottisham) is my reserve subject if the nose checkers for "The Comet" don't work - I've yet to try them.  Next come the comet shape and title for "The Comet" - the plan for the model is to spray the shape first (that is red I believe) then overlay the wording stencil and spray that black.  Third is a "Royal Navy" titling that I did as a test of how small the machine will cut: if i can do 4" (irl) titling like that, then I might just have to invest in a Corsair after all :whistle:   A little bit of tidying up and checking that all cuts go as far as they should, and these will be good to go.

 

 

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As it happens, there's not much progress on the plastic-bashing or painting, as I've been developing the masks for the markings.  This is rather an absorbing activity in itself, although I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea (other hot beverages are available :)).  So whilst I was keen to go into the masking process a bit more, I've put this aspect over on the Scale Model Paint Masks forum to avoid too much clutter here.

 

But I'm slowly getting on with some interior painting: more when I have some progress.

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1 hour ago, MikeMaben said:

 

It sure is.   Usually worth it in the end tho  :)

Yes indeed, and I'm really enjoying it.

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Very quick update today.  Been doing a bit of painting in the wheel wells (I tend towards natural metal with a Zinc Chromate spar) and checking out the exhausts.  I bought a set of Quickboost exhausts, and the only difference from the kit exhausts - other than being resin - is that they have open ends.  They are shown here glued with white glue to a coffee stirrer for painting.

 

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They are a drop-in fit for the kit exhausts, and I established that it's not necessary to fit the exhausts at the stage shown, they can be left until the end, which simplifies painting.  So I glued the internal "boxes" in.

 

20210909-145256.jpg

 

 

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The kit instrument panel has some reasonable detail, and would look fine with some careful painting and instrument decals.

20210910-143916-2.jpg

 

However, I steeled myself for a little "creative destruction" ...

20210910-144956-2.jpg

 

... so I could stick the Yahu panel on the front.

20210910-145217-2.jpg

 

Better than I could have achieved.

The lower console is still to be added, of course.

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