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Hasegawa 1/32 P-51D Mustang


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After a quite a long break from the workbench, and an even longer one from LSP kits, I really needed something to get me back to the workbench - especially since I've recently moved house, and had to set up my hobby room from scratch again. So, with seemingly limited interest in this Group Build so far, I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and get something built. That something is Hasegawa's venerable and much eclipsed P-51D Mustang kit.




But why this kit, when there are so many better Mustang kits available now? Well, I figured I could build this one relatively quickly, pretty close to OOB, and finally get some runs on the board, so to speak. It was also among a box of kits gifted to me by a friend, so there's that, too. And I have a thing for these old kits anyway.


My initial idea of not using any aftermarket and going for the quickest build possible was soon (and inevitably) dashed when I discovered another long forgotten kit in the stash:




Despite the newer box, this is actually a builder's kit sent to me by our own dodgem37 some years back. Mark had done some really impressive scratch-building in the cockpit and interior, but gave up on it when the Tamiya kit was released. But the relevant bit for my purposes here is that he also included in the box a raft of aftermarket sets and parts that he'd collected for the build, including a Grand Phoenix cockpit! So, I'm going to be raiding those sets for this build, and perhaps at some point in the future I'll honour Mark's gift (and work) by finishing his kit off too.


Apologies for the long-winded opening post, and with no modelling either! I don't plan to rescribe this one or do anything about the wheel bays at this point, so hopefully the build itself won't be so long-winded. I haven't yet decided on a scheme either, but given the nature of the kit, I'm planning to shy away from natural metal, and go with a painted finish.


Let's see how I go!



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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, finally some modelling! Since I'm using the Grand Phoenix resin cockpit set, my first task was to remove the moulded plastic detail inside the fuselage halves:




There wasn't much there, so it didn't take very long. I started out trying to use chisels and knives, but ended up using a Dremel with a cutting ball bit, followed by some wet sanding to smooth things out.


I also slapped the engine together, whose only function on this model will be to hold the prop in place:




I've also started assembling the resin cockpit:




The additional detail you can see was done by Mark as part of his original build. It's too nice to remove, but I won't be supplementing it, as despite all the aftermarket products I'll be using, I'd still like to keep this build as simple as possible. I'm treating most of the resin and photo-etch as better quality kit parts, effectively.


I did have a problem with the resin seat, however, in that the top section featuring the headrest had broken off at some point prior to my receiving it:


Mark had also added some new styrene seat mounts, clearly intending to replace the thick resin ones moulded into the tub. I decided it was easier to remove the styrene pieces from the seat than carve away the resin equivalents, and this would make repairing the seat easier, too. It turned out to be not quite so simple, however! I misaligned my first attempt to superglue the headrest back on, and it broke off again while I was attempting to sand it back. By then, it was too thin in places to reattach a second time, so I cut away the broken material, and replaced it with some styrene sheet, reinforced with black CA:



This still requires some clean-up, and hopefully I won't break it off again in the process! It's not much, I know, but really, I'm just glad to be back at the bench and making some progress on a model.


More soon!



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Moving right along! I'm trying to update this thread (and build) as often as I can, even if not much work has been done. Really helps develop and maintain a sense of momentum and focus. To that end, I continued working on the cockpit by painting the back of the acetate instrument dials panel with Vallejo white:




This is from an Eduard photo-etch set. It's difficult to see in the photo due to the almost non-existent contrast between the white paint and the background, but you can just make it out in some spots. The next task was to brush-paint some Mr. Metal Primer onto the photo-etched panel itself (I did the other components while I was there):




This sandwich style of instrument panel construction is my favourite, and I think it looks the best when done properly. I still have no idea how I'm going to replicate the white demarcation line that you see on Mustang instrument panels, and for the sake of expediency, I may not bother. Happy to take suggestions, however!


I also installed a couple of supports for the resin cockpit tub using Evergreen styrene stock:




This is all that's required, but it will help make installation so much easier.


By now, I was ready to lay down some primer on the resin components, and when I was unpacking my modelling stuff after the move, I found this among my stash of primers:




I've had it for a few years now, but never actually used it. It's similar to Mr. Surfacer, and seems to thin OK with Mr. Levelling Thinner. I did find that the coverage wasn't as good as I was expecting, however:






And the seat after its repairs:






The seat's a little messy, but good enough for this build. I'm planning to leave the canopy closed on this one, though with a nice, thin vac canopy waiting to go on to it, you'll still be able to see plenty. I'll try to tidy it up a little bit more before the final paint goes down.


I've also decided to build this one as "Butch Baby", as it's the only camouflaged machine I have markings for in my possession (they're on the decal sheet in the second kit I have). I'll attempt to mask and paint all the major markings, but I'll take the rest from Hasegawa's sheet, as they seem OK.


And please forgive the variable quality of the photos at the moment; I'm still adjusting to my new studio lighting set up, and I think it'll be a while before I get on top of it!




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Great start Kevin!  You are making it hard for me to keep the AMS at bay looking at your very nice scratch building!  Like you, I plan to build my kit mostly oob with the exception of the cockpit, and I plan to build the Aires pit as is.  We will see if I can stick to that!



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57 minutes ago, Greif8 said:

You are making it hard for me to keep the AMS at bay looking at your very nice scratch building!


Not really any scratch-building on this one, Ernest - at least, not by me! But I do have to make some modifications to get it to all come together smoothly. I've also decided that I'll have a crack at using the Moskit exhausts I found in the goodies box, so the engine will have to be modified to accept them. I just need to make sure I don't get too bogged down!



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1 hour ago, LSP_Kevin said:

Speaking of exhausts, I'm trying to determine whether "Butch Baby" would have had shrouded or unshrouded exhaust stacks. If the former, then the Moskit exhausts are probably off the table. Can anyone confirm either way?




Unshrouded, here's a ripper pic of her.



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