P-51D Mustang

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P-51D Mustang

Postby Whiterook » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:02 pm

The next kit is a simple little jobbie I picked up for pennies at Michael's Craft Store on a whim. It's been sitting in my stash for a looooong time! The reason....aluminum! Scares the crap out of me even just contemplating the tackling of that advanced-type of paintjob. It will be airbrushed, and the gloss black undercoat doesn't scare me a bit :lol: ....it's the aluminum finish :shock: Smart money would be Alcladd II....and that scares the crap out of me. Brushable aluminium? Brand new territory, indeed. Sounds like something I need to get over and ...just-do-it! :D

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It's a Revell, P-51D Mustang, 1:48 Scale kit, and I was hesitant to select this as my next kit, coming off a real dog...and Revell is so hit or miss (from what I've seen, they buy a lot of molds from other manufacturers, so you can end up with pearls or swine). Looking at the parts, they don't appear to be as bad as the Snow Coach was.

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The reason I chose it was...well....as corny as it sounds, it was calling to me! Every time I turn around, something pops up on the subject. Well, that's good enough for me!!!

I hope you enjoy the build! :D
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Whiterook » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:18 pm

THE PLAN

Something along the lines of Capt. Glenn Martin Webb's "Glengary Guy" P-51D, ETO


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Basically, Invasion stripes! Not sure if I'll build an actual, or representative (a.k.a., something I fancy that wasn't actually piloted).
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Geek44 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:11 am

Lovely choice mate. I have no experience whatsoever with the Revell kit but I hope you've found a winner. As you say, at times they're wonderful, at others...well they're just rubbish.
I must admit I'm a bit leery of the natural metal finishes myself however I've recently built kits that are part natural metal...ie. the cowl of the Triplane and the droptank on my recent RAF P-47.

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The droptank above is done with Alclad II. I never had much luck with the Alclad, most probably due to user error but I found that their gloss black undercoat never dried gloss. I have no idea why. In the end I resorted to a base coat of Tamiya black which I then oversprayed with Alclad Clear gloss which is still a bit tricky but easier to use...I still struggle with a true, shiny gloss coat except when I use gloss paint (another possibility). After the gloss coat I then wet sanded the whole thing with my finest MocroMesh Polishing Cloth that is nothing short of 12,000 grit and can be used to sand scratches out of transparent parts. The whole thing was an experiment and I chose the drop tank as the subject because if I'd failed I could have simply left it off.

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The cowling on the Triplane was done with Testors Mr Metalcote Buffable Aluminium applied with a flat brush. The trick with that is to apply it dry. Shake the jar until your arm aches and you can see no sediment still stuck to the jar bottom. Then remove the lid of the jar and charge your brush only with what you find in the lid. Set the brush aside for at least three to five minutes. When the brush is dry, apply the metal to the model using strokes that go in the direction of airflow as much as possible. when the brush runs out...repeat the process beginning with the jar shaking. It's a bit tedious but I find this technique really easy to use and I've had many successes with it short of painting an entire model like this with the intention of it being the final finish. I have painted whole models like this but they've then been painted over with camouflage and then weathered so that the aluminium shows through quite substantially.

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Both of the above have buffable aluminium undercoats.
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Geek44 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:19 am

In my opinion, the Alclad II option would be great for a highly reflective finish such as you might find on modern warbirds that have been restored to within an inch if their lives. You know the ones you could use as a mirror with which to shave? I think the Alclad II is very, VERY shiny.
For my money, the brushed buffable Aluminium method yields a far more realistic finish for heavily used aluminium. I'm yet to hit upon a method for varying the look of the panels. Some people use different coloured undercoats...others use overcoats...Tamiya's 'Smoke' is a good one but less is more.
I'd be looking at as many pics as possible of natural metal finishes on real aircraft...you'll see a lot of variation. Either way, have a few test pieces on hand before you commit on the model.
It's a tough finish to attempt mate...I haven't gone there yet but I know you're aware that the metal will show up every flaw, every gap and every crack you leave so you'll need to prep like you've never prepped before. Be aware that toothpaste makes for excellent plastic polish as do the MicroMesh Polishing Cloths...an wonderful investment in their own right.
Most of all mate...enjoy it. I'll be watching all the way.
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Whiterook » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:05 pm

Awesome comments and illustrations, mate....thank you!!! :) I learned a lot from just those posts, actually.

Yes, I've been doing non-stop research in every spare moment the past several nights. When I got it in my head this was the next build, I started researching right away. I am finding this to be a great joy in the mechanics of model building; drilling deep down in the subject matter and hunting down even the most miniscule of data.

The "Glenngary Guy" reference above is just a muse. Plans for the bird so far is up in the air (no pun intended)...it may just be resemblance. Not sure yet.

I wass able to pop by the only model store in driving range of me, and they had no buffable aluminim ....but, I managed to pick up a bottle of Model Master Acryl Aluminum and Silver. I'm going to test them out on scrap and play with them a bit. I needed the metalics for an upcoming Bablylon 5 Space Station build anyway (...and maybe a hacked scratchbuilt version of Babylon 4, as well :o , as I have two B5's!); and I also have a babylon 5 StarFury that may be painted in the colors. Anyway, if they work out to be what I think they may be like, they may be the answer to the P-51D.....

I envision a darker aluminum hue, with highlighted panels in Silver. Not sure if they will do the trick, but we'll see. I want to experiment with lightening them up as well, to see if they can be used for thinned filters. Will look at the Tamiya option, too. If all else fails, I might just head to the buffable aluminum if I can find it online (I'm sure it's out there).

I'm getting more and more excited about this build. I just had some work come up yesterday which will sideline all my time next week, but that gives me more tome to research....and then test the above.
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Geek44 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:48 am

You should be able to get the buffables online. They're pretty versatile in the sense that you can polish them up to look pretty bright with a bit of old t-shirt and some elbow grease.
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Whiterook » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:47 pm

I'll look for the buffable metalic; and I do have an alternate plan for acrylics from Model Master that I'd picked up for the space station build coming up.

Been doing a LOT of research, especially in terms of the weathering effects of ETO....and squadron schemes. I've found many planes in particular, had undergone several incarnations throughout the theater, and in some cases multiple theaters, I have even seen sime tat started ETO and the subsequently went to the Pacific! ....that is a testament to the durability of this bird!

I've been toying with going just post D-Day, with invasion Stripes....

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Yet I'm also leaning heavily towards a solid camo pattern atop the P-51D....that was a more rare version.

Some other inspirations that may influence the build are from the versions supplied with the kit...namely....

Old Crow

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Big Beautiful Doll

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The biggest bug in my ear is to do my own plane. Namely, not an actual plane that flew historically, but one I might have flown. Every now and then, as was the case with the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper, I like to jump in the seat of my own rig!!!! Maybe I'll call her "Beautiful Doll"!!!

Still researching, and learning a lot about this War Horse....a very impressive plane!
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Geek44 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:06 am

'Old Crow' and 'Big Beautiful Doll' are rolled-gold classics mate. I believe Old Crow started life with upper surface camouflage but they stripped it off later (which saves weight and improves performance) leaving only the anti-glare panel.
Another ripper is 'Miss Marilyn II' flown by First Lieutenant Robert Welch of the 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th FG or 'Daddy's Girl' flown by Ray Wetmore (leading ace of the 359th FG). Both these aircraft feature the bubble canopy rather than the Malcolm or the early style canopies.
You can get a good mix of camo, metal and colour with this bird...I should probably build one. ;)
I have a Fujimi kit in 1/48 that depicts Big Beautiful Doll...those checkerboard decals freak me out man.
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Geek44 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:08 am

Also...I LOVE the idea of the free-form personal mount idea mate. I've thought of doing at least one model like that myself. Eduard do a thing called 'Dual-Combo' kits which are enough parts and decals in the box for two complete models. When you build one and use the decals you like, there's often the second model with less than exciting decals to choose from...why not have some fun?
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Re: P-51D Mustang

Postby Whiterook » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:46 pm

Thanks!!! :D

Alrighty then, I opened up the bag 'o parts and found the parts are pretty clean of flash and sink holes mostly, but was surprised at the small amount of parts. I guess I shouldn't be really, but it's going to make the kit either very simple, or require a lot of ingenuity with some kit-bashing. We all know it's going to be the latter :lol:

First up, the Pilot's seat. There's a LOT wrong with this seat! Very over-simplified. So, I started simple with putting in the curvature to the base seat, starting with this....

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...and ending with this...

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And then the leather headrest had a HUGE divot in the center, which got a little Squadron Putty...

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And then the side supports needed three holes drilled in each side. Problem was, I am missing my micro-drill bits so, the upper hole was an issue, needing to be smaller. I know it's a bit drastic but, I drilled out the hole (ending up being bigger, of course) and filled it witnh putty...and then used a tooth pick to get the right size.....

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So, a start :D It's like the first brush stroke on the canvas...you don't know what you'll end up in the end!

I am pretty sure I'll be sanding down the pattern on the backseat cushion, which I've seen NO reference of there being such a thing. And I hate the simplicity of the seat belts so, I may remove the molded ones and make a pair from scratch; or possibly pick up a pair of aftermarkets (the latter depending on whether the rest of the cockpit is horrendously simplified). I'm likely not going to get back the bench until next weekend so, it will gove me time to see what's out there. I've done a ton of research on P-51D cockpits so far so, I know what I'd like to see in this kits' interior, but I may be hindered with a kit that is just too far below advanced to warrant it. We'll see!
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