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Hasegawa 1/32 P-51D Mustang


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Just caught up with this Kev, it’s great to see you back at the bench and cutting plastic again. I like the progress you’re making with the Mustang, especially the thought that you’re having to give to achieving a good fit of all the parts, the engine in particular, my kind of modelling! Keep it going my friend, very impressive so far……and lovely clear pics. :clap2:

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Thanks for the kind words, fellas. I'm back with another update!

 

One of the issues that plagues a lot of older Mustang kits (in all scales), is the nasty seam line on this exit ramp (I'm not sure what it is, actually) underneath the fuselage:

 

qUAvZS.jpg

 

The common way to fix this is to cut it out and replace it with a single piece of styrene sheet, which is what I'll be doing:

 

z8SbqJ.jpg

 

I also created a small set of shelves for the new panel to rest on, and will be installing it once the fuselage halves are joined:

 

IetZhA.jpg

 

But there's still a bit of work to do before I can join the fuselage together, and my next challenge was dealing with the tail wheel. Hasegawa would have you trap the part inside the fuselage at this stage, and I really can't stand that approach, so I tried to engineer a solution that would allow me to install the tail wheel at the end. My first approach was a bust, but I eventually settled on gluing a segment of styrene tubing to one of the mounting points in the fuselage:

 

QQCoLP.jpg

 

nOuAy1.jpg

 

I reinforced the join with CA, but I do have concerns about its strength. Hopefully it will hold! Next step was to modify the tail wheel to suit this new approach, which entailed removing the cross beam meant to seat into the kit mounting points:

 

Xgnht5.jpg

 

I still had to drill out the styrene tubing slightly to get a nice fit, but I have no doubt this will work out fine, as long as the tubing holds:

 

NbblGl.jpg

 

Now I can simply glue it into place at the end!

 

PkNT67.jpg

 

Next up, finishing this part, ready for installation:

 

M9P2Vu.jpg

 

I wasn't happy with Hasegawa's fits-where-it-touches approach here, so I reinforced the joins with some stryene strip, and hid the inevitable gaps with some black sprue from the kit:

 

KGOBGa.jpg

 

I also used a dollop of black CA to help hide the gaps. There's not so much I can do on the other fuselage half unfortunately, due to the ambiguous location of the part itself. But I did take an educated guess and popped some black sprue there, as the gaps on the sides of the grille are large enough to be noticeable. Test fitting would soon prove that I guessed right!

 

You will also notice that the cockpit now appears to be in position. That's because it is!

 

Ls9E9F.jpg

 

Of course, I mis-located it the first time around, and had to rip it out and reposition it about a millimetre aft. All good now. Time to pop the engine in and test fit the fuselage halves!

 

DQd2dR.jpg

 

And with the upper cowl in place:

 

jj7THq.jpg

 

I'm pretty happy with that - especially given the aftermarket cockpit, modifications I've made, and the generally imprecise fit of the kit components. Tomorrow I'll paint the tubing for the tail wheel, and start joining the fuselage together for real!

 

Kev

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2 hours ago, MikeC said:

Coming on very nicely, and you have some innovative solutions to some typical older-kit issues.  :thumbsup:

 

Thanks, Mike. Just don't use anything I do as a reference for accuracy! The tail wheel is a good example, though it's no less accurate than what the kit provides out of the box. I was just trying to solve a construction dilemma, rather than produce a better or more accurate result. This one is only ever intended to be a shelf-sitter.

 

Kev

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A quick question for the experts, if I may! Did P-51Ds always have the underwing ordnance racks fitted? The sway braces on the Hasegawa kit are pretty ordinary, and I'd love to simply leave them off - but not if it's a major accuracy faux pas. And if I have to leave them on, what's the most likely option that they'd be carrying - bombs, cigar tanks, or regular drop tanks? (Yes, I'm now working on the wings...)

 

Thanks!

 

Kev

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Nice work so far on this.  I like your tail wheel solution, but in your place, I'd brace the tubing from both sides to make it sturdier.  That's assuming there isn't a similar piece cast into the left side, which I can't see in your photo.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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5 hours ago, Dpgsbody55 said:

Nice work so far on this.  I like your tail wheel solution, but in your place, I'd brace the tubing from both sides to make it sturdier.  That's assuming there isn't a similar piece cast into the left side, which I can't see in your photo.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

Good pick up! In fact, there was a mounting lug on the other side, but I destroyed it in my initial attempt to solve this problem (cut the thing in half horizontally, and remove the lower half to create a rounded shelf). Since my previous post, I have indeed added a section of tubing to brace the other side. Photos are still in the camera, but I'll post them in the next update.

 

Kev

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So here's the fix that I mentioned in my reply to Michael:

 

HADmXK.jpg

 

The white-on-white is a bit difficult to see, but there's now a new section of tubing on the port side of the upright piece. This should brace against the inside of the fuselage on that side, and provide extra strength and stability. I hope! I gave it a quick spritz of Interior Green, and then started the laborious task of joining the fuselage halves.

 

I had to do this in sections, waiting for each section to 'grip' before moving on to the next one, and employing all manner of clamps to keep the two halves together:

 

iUI2tR.jpg

 

Despite all this effort, I still managed to induce some fuselage slippage, which didn't become evident until I glued the upper cowl in place:

 

UfvKha.jpg

 

Here's a closer look:

 

2dEjtC.jpg

 

That gap is a non-issue, and easily dealt with. The misalignment of the exhaust opening, however, is a different challenge altogether:

 

DhPgGF.jpg

 

It's fixable, and I'll be dealing with it in the next update. This is disappointing after all the work I put into trying to avoid this kind of thing, but that's modelling sometimes!

 

I've also still got some major gaps inside the cockpit to deal with:

 

FSLuG2.jpg

 

So, lots of remedial work to do on the fuselage before I can declare it done. I did however get the wings and tailplanes glued together:

 

y1EYI4.jpg

 

I don't intend to do much at all with these, other than removing seams and ensuring a good fit. I'll probably fit the bomb racks anyway, as my gut tells me that all P-51D aircraft operating over Europe would have had them fitted as standard at the time. And standard drop tanks is probably the most logical thing to hang off them, I reckon.

 

Back later with some fixes!

 

Kev

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Good work thus far Kev!  I hear you concerning alignment issues.  I am dealing with a wing root fit problem on my build right now.  Once I figure out how to correct the issue I will post some photos of my solution - whether it works or not.

 

Ernest 

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Mmmmh... 

hese are the things I hate. maybe I say nonsense, but rather than correct the fit in front, behind and along the exhausts, I would consider splitting the hood in two longitudinally along its natural line of union.

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6 minutes ago, mc65 said:

Mmmmh... 

hese are the things I hate. maybe I say nonsense, but rather than correct the fit in front, behind and along the exhausts, I would consider splitting the hood in two longitudinally along its natural line of union.

 

If this was a serious build for me, I would take an approach like that - and perhaps even have taken more care to avoid the problem in the first place! But because I really just want to use this build to shake off some rust and get back into the swing of things, I decided to take the easiest route possible when fixing the exhaust openings:

 

MXzuYo.jpg

 

I simply carved away the excess plastic in roughly the correct shape, so that the two halves now meet up properly. The opening on this side is now approximately 1.5mm wider than the other, so it's far from perfect, but perfectly suited to the goals of this build. I really should have anticipated this issue during the dry-fit stage, and done as Paolo suggests. This will suffice, however, and I may even come back and refine the shapes some more later.

 

For the gap at the rear of the cowling, I popped in some suitably sized styrene rod, doused it with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, and smooshed it into place:

 

Wcyx5q.jpg

 

It will need a lot more work, of course, and I'm sure I'll have to do a bit of rescribing in this area, but it's all heading in the right direction. I've also reinforced all the joins and seam lines with CA glue, which will hopefully take care of ghost seams and any weak joints.

 

The fuselage is now burdened with clamps and pegs around the cockpit area, as I attempt to resolve those nasty gaps. I'll see how it looks tomorrow!

 

Thanks as always for looking in.

 

Kev

 

 

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