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decisions, decisions... set! NAA P51B Trumpeter 1/32

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  • mc65 changed the title to decisions, decisions... set! NAA P51B Trumpeter 1/32

here I am!

thank you all again, in the end I decided for the Trumpeter's P51B, with the idea of making Don Gentile's horse, the more than known "Shangri la".


I started to smell the various parts of the kit, and I began to be dissatisfied with the kit, finding more problems than those already known and read on the web.

the three macro-areas that I have begun to study are the engine; cockpit; and wing, including the landing gear and weapons bays.



the kit includes a complete engine, and the possibility of accessing it only through the upper hood. the engine can be interesting, if implemented with more detail, but the bulk remains hidden by the lower panels at the exhausts. on the other hand, the oil tank, clearly visible from above, is hopelessly wrong.

now, knowing that in the near future I will have a spectacular Tamiya P51D available (which already rests in the hands of my friend in Narita) why complicate my life with this? in short, I think that I will close everything and goodbye the engine.




here I have the Aires set, which seems good to me, certainly indispensable compared to the one provided by Trumpeter. I will then see how much and how it can (or should) be implemented.




I started by planing the LG bay area area and gluing the Aires resin piece in place. I'm not very happy with the fit, it remains a little short in the center front area, and difficult to position exactly centered.





then I went inside the gun compartments, considering leaving them open, I like the contrast between olive drab and zinc chromate primer.



but even here, I am seeing that there is a lot to do. to begin, the interior details are completely absent, and I have begun to detail the vertical walls.



then, since there are no holes for extracting links and cases, I studied these and I realized that the position of the weapons and ammunition is also wrong.

this is the position provided by the kit:



while this is the correct one, judging by all the documentation I have consulted:



here a couple of modern photos of the area in an example under restoration, these are the clearest ones to look at, but there are vintage ones, as well as technical drawings from original manuals, which attest to the same arrangement without too many doubts.





this implies that the gun holes on the wing leading edge are also in the wrong position, so I have no way to close the compartments and forget about it, I guess.

I'm already beginning to regret opening this box...


cheers, Paolo





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Ciao Paolo...


Ah sweet choice.


 I love  Mustangs!



Flawless  start. Neat job.

Look forward to seeing more. 



43-6913 | American Air Museum in Britain



The man himself!!


Don Gentile's P-51B Shangri-La - Aviation Discussion & Research - Large Scale Planes



Enjoy your your  beautiful  choice.



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Hi Paolo, I am building the same kit and reached some of the same conclusions you did.  I am also going to button up the engine and use the Aires cockpit to replace the kit one.  I had considered opening up the gun bays, using the Aires replacement set, but I don't know how much extra fitting work would be involved with that - I have read the Aires pit is nearly a drop in fit, but nothing on the gun bays.  As my goal is to just enjoy the build without gets wrapped up in the old AMS trap, I decided to pass on both the Aires wheel well and gun bays.   I wish you much fun in your build!



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thanks Maru, nice footage!

for some reason I never think of looking for movies too, when documentary material accumulates on my workbench...


and thank you too, Ernest! I didn't know about the Aires gun bays set, looking at it I guess it also has a problem of weapons wrong placement and anyway it's too late to eventually install it, I gluded the upper and lower wing part.


this thing about the weapons in the wrong position disappointed me not a little, how the hell is it possible to make a mistake like this on a plane so well documented? :BANGHEAD2:

Anyway. I spent a nice evening tidying up as much as possible to this item.

in the end not too much effort, just a little bit complicated, due to the wing already closed.

here the new positioning of the outboard gun, with the kit's one filled with evergreen round stock on the right.



I don't pretend to have done a perfect job, actually I should reposition also the inner one toward the fuselage, so to have both centered within the adjacent ribs. but since I'll go to putty up the forward 40% of the wing, I hope to disguise the problem. you know, the best fish is caught in the murky waters! :innocent:

here a vintage photo that clearly shows the weapons correct location.



then I returned to the ammo bays, locating and opening the square holes for the discharge of the ammo links and spent cartridges. I added some ribs (yet to be completed).



ca va sans dire, also the ammo box are wrong, being too short. I'll fix it in the next session.


cheers, Paolo.

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I don't think the ammo boxes are wrong but the wing opening for the ammo is representative of a P-51D (length).  The P-51B ammo bays were shorter than those in the P-51D.  In the photo you posted showing the loading of Gentile's P-51B, note where the outboard edge of the ammo bay falls in relation to the aileron and then compare that to the same area on the kit.  I think you'll see a difference.

Edited by Juggernut
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Great work thus far on the weapons bays Paolo!  Though I am going to leave mine closed on this build, I think I am also going change the location of the .50 cal.  I like how it looks on your build!



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ok, it is not so much understanding that Juggernut's observation (thank you! :hi:) is correct that destabilizes me, nor the fact of having read it by now after having corrected the ammo boxes, as verifying, technical profiles in hand, that not even the original short version of the kit's boxes seems to be correct!


the right size seems to be about 29mm, a point that doesn't match anything on the model's wing.



I have already said that modeling is suffering, it seems to me, but here we are exaggerating.

now, thanks to the covid that captured me after 24 months of siege, I put everything aside and as I recover I'll measure drawings and model all over again and see how to intervene.



cheers, and stay safe, it's really better, 



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Looking good Paolo. I hear about the frustration with the inaccuracies of this kit.  A lot more work than I was willing to do to correct, so I switched to my "just enjoy the build" mode! 



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If you have a Revell 51D, cut the nose section off of it and graft it on the Trumpeter. It is much better than the Trumpy nose.  Haven't tried that way to correct issues, but you might look at it. I recently modified the Revell kit with Aerocraft Models canopy section, Trumpeter pieces and parts to get a better B. It really was a struggle. Ultimately, PLEASE SOMEONE DO A DECENT -B!!! Good luck with the project.

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after a few days of fighting with the peak phase of the covid, I think I will be able to get this model back in hand.


yeah, Mike, after the Lysander everything should be a breeze, but this time I wanted an easy build, for a change!

Ernest, I think you've find the right approach to this kit. just have fun with it and carry on.

Steve, your idea is tempting... i just have a revell D on the stash... I'll study the feasibility within this WE, I hope. truly, the worst part of this kit seems to me the fuselage section just aft of the cockpit... it has something odd, IMHO.


well. where we were? yes, the ammo bays... assuming I was unable to exactly locate these on the kit (being the wing not exactely corresponding with drawings) I opted to follow a rivet line that more or less seemed right, and cut down the door on that line so to reduce its width.



and consequently I optimized the boxes within, adding also some electrical wiring.



then I decided to try to putty down all those rivets, filling these with a thick layer of vallejo water acrilic resin for the 40% forward, and a less heavy layer for the remaining wing surface.



after the resin cured i gently smoothed again the wing with fine sandpaper.



I don't want these completly disappear, expecially in the aft wing and in the walking/working areas. I think that only after some primer I'll be able to assest the real state of the surface.


to be continued.

cheers, Paolo



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Excellent work one the ammo bays Paolo, your scratch building looks great!  I am planning to putty the wings in the areas that were glazed on the real thing.  I have been researching what right looks like here and it is no surprise that there is some pretty heavy debate about that.  After spending a few hours reading opinions and looking at a lot of photos and drawings I have decided to go with - "close is good enough" - for this build.  I think there is a fair amount of "play" in this area, and I am shamelessly - and probably a bit lazily - taking advantage of it!



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yes, Ernest, 

I confirm that I too have read several on line discussions about the more or less smooth wing of the P51.

I didn't think that such a topic could raise so much nervousness. I have read about practicing Mormons who (ideally) bite Zen monks in the throat, who respond hitting with cup and stick... creepy!


personally I think I have reached the base that I had envisioned for painting: see-not-see in the wing front, and a little more detail visible in the back and in the walking/working areas.



the photos are not great, but live you can feel -not exactely see- a little difference between the front and rear areas. to a good extent you also have to believe it, of course.:whistle:




next step some black primer to better understand what really I've done, then I'll decide the subsequent course of action.

cheers, Paolo

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