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I'm on a bit of a roll with the Mustangs at the moment. Now that I've got a bit of a grip on airbrushing technique and the use of Alclad, the options seem almost limitless (and that's just in the 8th AF which is my interest). But there are a couple of iconic P-51s that I've always wanted to do, including at least one of the aircraft in those classic photos of the 'Bottisham Four' taken on 26 July 1944. Here's 361FG CO Lt Col Christian's 'Lou IV' captured on film that day:

 

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And here's my rendition of it. It's the lovely little Airfix 1/72 kit, basically out of the box but with fin fillet removed, wing panels puttied, canopy rails added, elevator mass balances scribed, and a rear view mirror scrounged:

 

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Decals are Eaglecals, which worked beautifully. The main code letters were a bit too tall so I cropped them a touch to get the fit just right.

 

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Underwing tanks are from the kit, but I moved the filler cap on one of them and added the flange that runs round the middle of both. I also added the plumbing for good measure.

 

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Paint is Alclad Polished Aluminium for the natural metal, and plain Aluminium for the lacquered areas. This was protected by a coat of Alclad gloss clear, brushed on - it worked a treat. The greens went on next and are both Tamiya: the dark areas are Olive Drab (brush painted and inspired by our very own Tony O'T's impressive results), and the lighter bits are RAF Dark Green (a mix of brush on the fuselage and airbrush on the wings). There's been a lot of discussion over the colours which I took into account before making my decisions. The invasion stripes were airbrushed for the wings and brushed on the fuselage. And the yellow is Xtracrylix. Final varnish is my preferred mix of Humbrol enamel Satin and Matt.

 

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To get a hopefully accurate reproduction of the underneath I used period photos of Christian's aircraft:

 

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...and of 'Tika IV' also from the 361st FG. Both appear not to have invasion stripes on the radiator door:

 

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The cockpit is stock Airfix, so the seat, instrument panel and gunsight are not correct for a D-5 model. But I'm not fussed about that: the aim of this build was to get a decent replica of that classic paint job, and I don't think it's too far off. Here she is with my fairly recently built P-51B, which used the KP wing and the Hasegawa fuselage:

 

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Hope you like it!

 

Justin

Edited by Bedders

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Great mustang ... The 361st are one of me favorites. Thank you .. Thank you for not doing this in the blue. A large number of people including at least two warbird owners have modeled or done real P-51’s as “Lou IV” with the blue camouflage. 

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1 hour ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Great mustang ... The 361st are one of me favorites. Thank you .. Thank you for not doing this in the blue. A large number of people including at least two warbird owners have modeled or done real P-51’s as “Lou IV” with the blue camouflage. 

Have you seen Dana Bell's latest article on the Bottisham Four over at Hyperscale? He analyses some of the original transparencies and comes to some interesting conclusions!

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No i haven't but thanks for the heads up. 

 

🔺 = I went and found the article on Hyperscale. Interesting and definitely a dark blue. But at least its not the garish skyblue everyone seems to think it should be. Thanks for pointing the article out to me. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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That is a great replica of the real thing, yes you have got the paint job down very well

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I used that same EagleCals sheet for my rendition of Lou IV/Athelene, based on an Academy P-51D mated to an Academy P-51B empennage. Turned out well enough that I wish I'd started with a better P-51D than that crap Academy kit! Best thing I can say for it is the radio-- inaccurate for a later Mustang-- looks the part for the -D-5 unit.

 

Needless to say, your model is much nicer. Any hints on building the -D-5 tail without robbing another kit? Also curious as to how you added the seam on the tanks, minor goof for Airfix there, IMHO.

 

Off to find D.B.'s article on Hyperscale....

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6 hours ago, lasermonkey said:

Have you seen Dana Bell's latest article on the Bottisham Four over at Hyperscale? He analyses some of the original transparencies and comes to some interesting conclusions!

Just skimmed the Dana Bell article. Some great pictures, but we've been round this buoy so many times, and I just dont buy the blue idea, pretty though it might be. Definitely green. Or blue. Maybe. Let me have another look...

 

Justin

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7 hours ago, Tempestwulf said:

How well does the KP/Hasegawa Wing/Fuselage cross fit go? I've got both on hand.

It's less trouble than one might think, and you get a decent shaped model at the end. At first I tried to correct the KP fuselage but there's just too much wrong with it. But the KP wing is pretty good so the kitbash is the way to go. Here's the WIP - ignore the first bit.

 

Justin

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2 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I used that same EagleCals sheet for my rendition of Lou IV/Athelene, based on an Academy P-51D mated to an Academy P-51B empennage. Turned out well enough that I wish I'd started with a better P-51D than that crap Academy kit! Best thing I can say for it is the radio-- inaccurate for a later Mustang-- looks the part for the -D-5 unit.

 

Needless to say, your model is much nicer. Any hints on building the -D-5 tail without robbing another kit? Also curious as to how you added the seam on the tanks, minor goof for Airfix there, IMHO.

 

Off to find D.B.'s article on Hyperscale....

On the tail, I just trimmed the fillet off, filled the panel lines and rescrbed. If you're careful you can minimise the need for filler. On the tanks I sanded back the two halves a touch,  put a piece of plastc card betwen the two and then once stuck together, trimmed round it. The tanks are a bit slender in my view, but not too bad.

 

Justin

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Excellent work on this P51. I do like your rusult. 

 

Thank you for sharing with all those photos orf real thing. Some 45 years ago, in my schoold days, I did this scheme on old, very poor Airfix P51D. Now I am happy that this model is not with me since many years but from time to time I want to build again this particular iconic scheme. But the top colour question! Apparently you belong to church of olive drab top of "LOU IV", there is another church who belives in dark blue top. However I have serious doubts which church is right here... A year or two ago there was a thread in WWII part of BM just about this P51 squadron colours and I remained not convience regarding the true colour. Only doubts left.... 

The truth is out there - I hope somwhere ;) .

Best regards

Jerzy-Wojtek

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bedders said:

Sorry folks, have I missed something? What is Brexitmodeller?

 

Justin

I don't know but maybe they can't make up their minds about what really want either. :P 

 

As for the Mustang. Beautifully done and I'm in the green camp or is it fortress?

 

However I read Dana Bell's article and he has a point. It does look blue. 

 

But I  think I spotted something. Check it out yourselves. The new colour overpainted the black and white D Day stripes on the upper fuselage. On some photos you can see a distinct tonal difference between where the original black and white stripes were overpainted.

The disputed blue part is exactly where the black was overpainted.

 

Could it be that a light overpaint of OD or DG on black when photographed under the intense light conditions at altitude might cause a slight blue cast? 

 

We're modellers and we know how an undercoat can change the overall colour.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Might be worth an experiment.

 

Is this an original idea or been suggested before?

 

Edited by noelh

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Great looking Mustang there Justin, fantastic job

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Love this! The sheen and the colours look just right. Also, thanks for the photos and link - I was surprised on one of the photos of the real aircraft how poorly fitting some of the panels on the nose were.

 

Re green or blue - definately green. I've read the Dana Bell article and this seems really different to debates on things such as the tone/origin etc of the blue spitfires on Malta which are based on evidence. Dana Bell seems to base his case on little more than wishful thinking (sorry, controversial I know!). Some greens are slightly more blue anyway, an overpaint of some areas in a different green, an overpaint in a poorly mixed green, those on the squadron insist they were green. The evidence is pretty conclusive, but at the end of the day, people can paint their models in whatever colour they like - whatever makes them happy!

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On 13/02/2018 at 08:29, Bedders said:

Sorry folks, have I missed something? What is Brexitmodeller?

 

Justin

:tumble:A land far far away Justin,on a serious not what a stunner of a build ,beautifully painted  and great job removing the fillet which I've

seen present on some build's of this aircraft,some say blue some say OD and there is a school of thought that states RAF green,we'll never know

I suspect!

 

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That looks really good. And I think you chose wisely regarding the disputed colour - unlike some warbird owners!

 

Lovely job.

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