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In With a Trumpeter P-51b


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Hi guys, I am in with a Trumpeter P-51b - it being the only USAAF kit that I could get on short notice.  I know the kit is not one of Trumpeter's better efforts; however, I plan to just build the kit as is - with the exception of using an Aires cockpit set that I managed to get for the equivilent of $10.52 - so it would be ashame not to use it.  It should arrive at my home today, so I can get cracking on it this weekend.  Hopefully, it is one of the Aires sets that fits well without having to do a lot of plastic surgery!  I have also ordered a set of A/M decals, as the ones in the kit are not 8th AF subjects.  Other than the above I plan to build the kit oob with no modifications.  With luck, I will be able to finish the kit in time to build a Luftwaffe subject as a bookend for the P-51b.

 

The obligatory shot of the kit just after the box has been opened.

 

IMG_4099

 

And the engine after assembly.  I don't know enough about this engine to say if it is accurate, but I think Trumpeter did a solid job here, and it (IMHO) is a nice base for superdetailling.  I plan to close everything up, so will paint it black and leave it as is.

 

IMG_4101

 

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3 minutes ago, MARU5137 said:

Ooh Another Mustang.. I'm in heavenly place.

 

:wub: :wub:

 

That engine  is quite nicely detailed.

Following with much enthusiasm!

:yahoo:

 

Thank you Maru!

 

Ernest

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Made some progress over the past few days, finishing the engine - which is no big deal as I just assembled it and painted it black.  I am not going to open anything on this build so I did not put a ton of work into the engine.  I also completed the Aries cockpit, and did some very minor scratchbuilding.  I added a couple of gauges and gauge bezels from Airscale, as well as some placards - also from Airscale. 

 

I scratched an O2 hose using a piece of ANYZ braided hose and one of his small electrical connectors.  I also used some pieces from the spares box to fashion the throttle handle and the two smaller handles (knobs?) on the thorottle quadrant.  I did not like Aires solution, and the kit parts are grossly oversized, so I made them.  I used a bit of Gator Glue to give the two little knobs a spherical shape.  Though not scratchbuilt, the seatbelts are some left over HGW belts.  I have never really liked PE seatbelts, because the paint always flakes off when I bend them to shape. 

 

Overall I think the pit gets the job done, though it is not perfect by a long stretch.

 

Ernest

 

IMG_4104

Completed engine - I forgot to take a picture of it after I painted it black.

 

IMG_4107

The Airscale bezels look pretty good.  I also added the switches from .2mm wire on the left as several of the resin one were broken off.

 

IMG_4108

I painted the seat Bronze Green as I read that several of the B and C Model Mustangs had seats that color.  I mixed my own Dull Dark Green and sprayed the rest of the cockpit that color, after I had first primed everything black.  I lsprayed the center of the floor Dull Aluminium and left the outer (wooden) parts black.  I also did not do real heavy weathering.  Unfortunately, the lighting at my bench is direct and rather harsh, so the photos all look a bit washed out.

 

IMG_4112

I thought the seatbelts were a bit too bright, so I toned them down with a light brown wash.

 

IMG_4111

The lighting makes the IP look too greyish.  Under normal light it looks much better; but I could not get a decent photo without strong lighting at the bench.

 

IMG_4114

The throttle quadrant turned out much better than I thought it would.

 

IMG_4122

A macro image (and the warts really show up!  Good thing the cockpit will be viewed from a normal range from here on out!)  You can see the braid on the O2 hose I made - too bad that does not show up at normal viewing range.  The macro also gives a good view of two of the guages I put in.

 

Ernest

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Hi Ernest, 

really a good job on the cockpit!

 

in a dry fit of the parts I have (wich I assume are the very same as yours) it seems that the fuselage is too wide compared with the assembled Aires cockpit module.

 

I elaborated a solution for that, but present time is just theory: assemble the fuselage with engine, tailwheel and whatsoever it requires within, but leave out the pit module.

once the fuselage has cured, insert the assembled Aires module and glue it with bicomponent glue forcing the fuselage walls in position by clamps, helping if required with chains* from the inside.

 

* I mean in the build-engeenering sense of terms.
 

hope it will be of some help!

cheers, 

Paolo

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On 3/22/2022 at 11:44 PM, LSP_Kevin said:

Nice work, Ernest! I certainly know the horrors that macro photography reveals, but your cockpit work looks great even at extreme magnification.

 

Kev

 

Thank you Kev!  The Aires resin itself was very slightly rough; not enough to show up at normal viewing range, but certainly under a macro lens.  All and all though, I think the Aires pit is well worth the cost.

 

Ernest

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, mc65 said:

Hi Ernest, 

really a good job on the cockpit!

 

in a dry fit of the parts I have (wich I assume are the very same as yours) it seems that the fuselage is too wide compared with the assembled Aires cockpit module.

 

I elaborated a solution for that, but present time is just theory: assemble the fuselage with engine, tailwheel and whatsoever it requires within, but leave out the pit module.

once the fuselage has cured, insert the assembled Aires module and glue it with bicomponent glue forcing the fuselage walls in position by clamps, helping if required with chains* from the inside.

 

* I mean in the build-engeenering sense of terms.
 

hope it will be of some help!

cheers, 

Paolo

 

Thank you Paolo!  I found that my Aires cockpit was only very slightly too narrow when I test fit it.  I think that the cockpit wall on the left side of the fuselage in my kit will fit with only a tiny gap at the bottom that is really hard to see.  I plan to clamp that closed and call it good.  Keeping my fingers crossed that my plan works out.

 

Your plan to insert the cockpit tub after joining the fuselage halves is a good one, and I could have gone that route as well.

 

Hope you a still enjoying your build.  I know some of the manufacturing errors are a bit trying vis-a-vis accuracy, but I decided I am just going to enjoy this build for the model building aspect and not get too wrapped up in accuracy, super-detailing, etc.  Its working out for me so far!

 

Ernest

Edited by Greif8
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Posted (edited)

I made a fair amount of progress on the build this past weekend and this evening.  Following are some photos showing where the aircraft stands right now.  I did not think to take any pictures before a assembled the fuselage halves, stupid I know, so I can only show a few shots of the cockpit.

 

IMG_4131

It was a bit fiddly to get everything lined up, but the cockpit fit very well, and I was able to close up the fuselage halves without having to do any surgery - always a good omen.

 

IMG_4132

The join between the left side wall and the bottom of the cockpit was excellent with no gaps.

 

IMG_4133

The floor is a bit too clean and new looking; I'll have to weather it a bit.

 

IMG_4126

Pretty ugly join here!  When I looked at it I thought several things.  First, "How am I going to make this hot mess look decent?"  Second, "Why the hell did you waste 

time and resources painting the wheel wells before assembling the wing halves - idiot!"  And finally, "Maybe I should have purchased an A/M wheel well set."

 

 

IMG_4127

The forward join is nothing to write home about either!

 

IMG_4129

After some thought, I got some Evergreen .25mm sheet, sanded it to about half that thickness and started measuring and cutting.  I think this will do the job

and should look ok after priming and painting - I hope!  I will make sure to take photos as this takes shape.  

 

IMG_4130

A slightly closer shot.  I am not sure if this solution will work on the front section of the wheel well due to the curvature and the lightning holes, but I suppose

I will give it try.

 

Ernest

 

 

Edited by Greif8
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