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1/18 P51C Mustang - Lopes Hope 3rd - Finished


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Great RFI post Peter.  The picture quality is as good as the model itself.  Like many others, I followed this build, all of it.  And I still get stunned by pictures of it.  Tell me - has it shown up at a competition yet?  

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Wow!  Excellent work  congratulations. :goodjob:

 

Interesting snippet: one of the options in Eduard's 1/48 F-6 kit is a 23rd FG (and iirc 75th FS) F-6K called "Pack's Hack". I wonder if the rhyming names were just coincidence between these two, or whether it was a common theme in the sqn or group?

Edited by MikeC
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I've made a living with words, and I have none that I can use that would be adequate. Magnificent and meticulous build Peter, thank you for sharing the whole effort. 

 

The build thread and photos could be a primer on the P-51B/C, both building a replica and a study of the real thing. I certainly hope the story of the build will make it's way into book form. 

 

Wow...

 

Richard

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you all :)

 

Very kind words and I appreciate all of them

 

 

On 3/31/2022 at 5:12 PM, mkd1966 said:

I can only echo what everyone else is saying Peter - B-E-A-U-TIFUL job there Sir... I am curious though if you know why they originally restored Lopes Hope 3rd with the dorsal fin and then either a year or maybe two later - removed it from the aircraft... I have never heard any reports of any issues with them as John Sessions "B" model "Impatient Virgin" and also Jack Rousch's "B" model "Old Crow" still fly with the fins installed...

Mike

 

Hey Mike - I hadn't noticed that - good spot! I prefer the look with the dorsal fin so glad I included it

 

On 3/31/2022 at 7:22 PM, AirCorps Library said:

I've shared some images of this build with a number of enthusiasts, and almost all of them had a hard time believing that this was not the airworthy version of Lopes Hope!! Looking at the pictures side by side is truly a testament to your skills Peter. Absolutely amazing work!

 

Thanks Ester - you guys are 100% behind anything to do with this model - grateful for all the help you all gave and one day would love to pay the shop a visit :)

 

 

On 4/2/2022 at 1:46 PM, JayW said:

Great RFI post Peter.  The picture quality is as good as the model itself.  Like many others, I followed this build, all of it.  And I still get stunned by pictures of it.  Tell me - has it shown up at a competition yet?  

 

Hi Jay - no, not yet, but I do plan on entering it in this years IPMS Comp at Telford - now covid bought us a year I have this one 'in the bank' as it were :)

 

 

On 4/2/2022 at 7:13 PM, scvrobeson said:

This is clearly a museum piece that deserves a place of honor. I'm sure it will be put in a book now that it's finished, and should do another clean sweep of awards at Telford this year.

 

 

 

Matt 

 

On 4/3/2022 at 3:45 PM, R Palimaka said:

I've made a living with words, and I have none that I can use that would be adequate. Magnificent and meticulous build Peter, thank you for sharing the whole effort. 

 

The build thread and photos could be a primer on the P-51B/C, both building a replica and a study of the real thing. I certainly hope the story of the build will make it's way into book form. 

 

Wow...

 

Richard

 

 

Thanks Matt & Richard - not this time, Kev is working on so many books and the poor guy already has one of mine on the backlog so this one can only be seen in the home of Large Scale Planes @ LSP

 

 

All the best everyone & thanks agin

 

Peter

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On 3/30/2022 at 7:20 PM, airscale said:

Hi everyone,

 

4 years after I started this build, I have only just got around to adding the finishing touches and calling it done..

 

A bit of background:

 

Lopes Hope is a P51C-5-NT that Aircorps Aviation in Minnesota have put back in the air. I was so blown away by the photographic records they kept and the absolute commitment to accuracy they employ that I wrote to them asking for more info about the airframe. I was stunned when their VP wrote back offering to share info, permission to use their photo's in my build log and any support I needed - starting a relationship that flourishes to this day. They are the same guys that host the Aircorps Library which is an incredible online resource offering for a nominal membership fee access to all the factory drawings and manuals for a range of seminal aircraft.

 

Their notes on this P51 and why they chose it echo my own:

 

"Lope's Hope 3rd was a  P-51C flown by Lt. Donald Lopez.  Donald and Lope's Hope 3rd served in the China-Burma-India theater with the 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Squadron.  The 23rd Fighter Group was the descendent of the famous American Volunteer Group or Flying Tigers after the US entered the war.   Lt. Lopez had 5 victories in China and went on to become a test pilot in the early years of the jet age. Later he was the deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum until his death in 2008. Donald Lopez was instrumental in the construction and opening of the National Air and Space Museum.

The original wartime Lope's Hope 3rd was  a P51C-5-NT,  Army Air Force Serial Number:    42-103585.  The serial number information was just acquired through the generous contribution of pages from Lt. Lopez's war time log book by his granddaughter Laura Lopez.  Normally a WWII fighter's serial number is easily determined by just looking at the tail number. Squadrons in almost every theater of operations number planes this way, but not in China. In China the 23rd Fighter Group's squadrons were assigned a block of numbers for differentiating their aircraft.  The 75th squadron's block was 150- 199 (or to 200 depending on source).  Lt. Lopez used 194 on both his P-40N s and on his P-51C , Lope's Hope 3rd. Without his log book it might have been impossible to figure out his Mustang's AAF serial number.

Our restoration airframe is a P-51C-10NT Army Air Force Serial Number:    43-24907 ,  that remained in the continental US during WWII and was used for training purposes during and immediately after the war. The decision to paint her in Lt. Lopez's color scheme is intended to honor him and his service to his country in WWII and to aviation all his life."

 

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The model started as a 1/18 HpH Desktop GRP shell..

 

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and 1,230 pictures and a lot of work later, it looks like this..

 

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I really enjoyed this one...

 

it spoilt me though, having every drawing of every part and great references from the restoration meant i could just build everything i saw in front of me - that collection of hundreds, if not thousands of parts resulted in I think my best model. It is certainly a more complex aeroplane than the Spitfire I made, for example the gear bays on this were about 3 - 4 months work, on the Spit a week or two, there is virtually nothing in it's bays :)

 

I hope you enjoy it and all my thanks to Aircorps and everyone who chipped in with encouragement in my build thread

 

until next time

 

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

holy cow, like looking at the real thing, this is by far the best representation i've seen on a mustang model for ever.

I'm deeply impressed, i'd almost "step into" this aircraft, very very smartly done.........

Edited by Jack
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  • 3 weeks later...

Peter I am very late to this party as i'm playing a little catch up. I can only look in awe at this build. It has such presence and detail its difficult to drink it all in. 

Hopefully it will be accompanying you to Telford this year where I look forward to admiring it in the flesh! . 

 

Congratulations on another outstanding build! 

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Seeing that initial chunk of plastic right before showing your end result nearly knocked me off my chair. Following your project is watching just a few stunning progresses at a time but seeing everything in one step is stunning... I am so totally in awe

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