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Tamiya 1/32 P-51D/K "Mrs. Bonnie"

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Yes. Another bloody Mustang.

I purchased the Tamiya kit many moons ago after reading glowing reviews. I was impressed with what I discovered in the box, looking forward to the build. However, I had other projects to complete, including a scratchbuild subject that wrapped up in November. I broke out the Tamiya kit in December after securing a handful of aftermarket bits, and I must say the journey has been an absolute pleasure. In accordance with the instructions, which one clearly should follow in this particular case, I began with the Packard V-1650 Merlin engine. The detail is magnificent, but I just can't leave well enough alone so I added a bunch of additional detail using plastic and wire.

Here are a few pictures to get the ball rolling. I probably went overboard on the weathering, and will make sure to temper the impulse to over do it when it comes to the rest of the aircraft.










Edited by Phil Smith
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Moving on from the engine and its firewall mount, I’ve started work on the cockpit. Thus far, I’ve worked the floor, auxiliary fuel tank behind the pilot’s seat, and the seat itself. The tank is interesting as the real thing, made of layers of vulcanized rubber, featured a textured surface. I recreated this effect using strips of Tamiya tape. Much of the rest of the assembly is straight out of the box, though I did use aftermarket seat belts and buckles from HGW.


As for instrument panels and the like, I prefer to do my own scratch building when possible. But I was so impressed with the work produced by Quinta Studio - an outfit in Russia that manufactures superb cockpit decals using additive manufacturing - that I decided to give that a try. It's a little less fun than working the details on my own, but the result is too good to ignore. There is just no way I will be able to produce the same level of detail without printing my own decals, and what's the point of that? A few more details on the dash remain, like knob and handles, which I will add after that piece is more fully integrated with the cockpit tub.






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  • Phil Smith changed the title to Tamiya 1/32 P-51D/K "Mrs. Bonnie"

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