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John Terrell

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  1. Yes, there were different versions of the 10-spoke P-51 wheel, with and without the raised rim around the spokes. Note, however, that the wheel you see in the photo posted by Peter is actually a P-63 wheel - those only have 8 spokes, so stay away from trying to copy that version (the other side of those wheels/brakes are also completely different). It became very common in civilian-operation, years after WWII, to put P-63 wheels on Mustangs (as the brakes are considered better), but were never used on Mustangs during WWII. Here are a couple more pictures I figured would help (the first one has the rimmed spokes):
  2. That really looks fantastic, Olivier! The oxygen hose looks perfectly scales, and all of the colors/fine details look spot on (really something to consider this is all in 1/48-scale!). It really impresses me too that builds like these even have the little electrical plug-ins/receptacles for the signal lamp (next to the end of the oxygen hose).
  3. Hi Peter, The main tires are 27 inches in diameter (and this is also recorded in the P-51 maintenance manual). From my own work, matching photos, I have them depicted at 9.5-inches full-scale width. The diameter of the wheel is about 15 & 3/8th's inches. Hopefully these photos should help some as well: (BTW, the tail wheel tire is 12.5 X 4.5 inches. And fantastic work with the 3D modeling!)
  4. Olivier, I'm still learning too, especially with regard to the gunsights, but here are the main points: - The early gyro gunsight installations (Navy Mk.18 and Navy Mk.21/K-14) had the same style of control unit/selector as seen in Laurent's photos, and would be correct to what "Missouri Armada" would have had given the time frame (late 1944/January 1945 at the latest). If I recall correctly, the the Navy Mk.21 (K-14) gunsight was actually never used by the Navy and were all directed to the 8th AF in England for incorporation on their fighters. (I may be off the mark, but I believe the control box which I had been showing in later installations came about with the K-14A.) - Yes, the bracket/shelf I refer to, as likely having never actually been used, is the setup in that screen capture seen in your post #854. It's in the NAA drawings, but I've never seen a photo of an original wartime or unrestored airframe with that configuration - only in a couple restorations. Again, that control box was introduced later/after the time frame of "Missouri Armada" (as I have now learned). Speaking of the early K-14 gunsight control unit/selector, here is another photo showing a field-modded early P-51D of the 357th FG, with the same early Mk.21/K-14 gunsight field-installation, but the control unit/selector just happens to have been installed on the left side (and the cockpit light from the left side of the instrument panel has been re-positioned to below the gunsight bracket). This may have been a one-off, or there may have been more? http://www.aircraft-gunsights.com/wp-content/gallery/k-14/K-14-Gunsight-6.JPG Note in the photo I linked to, there is a bracket installed containing four spare gunsight bulbs fitted to the right-side of the instrument panel shroud - throughout both field-modded and factory installations, there would typically always be a bracket with spare gunsight bulbs installed on the opposite side of the instrument panel to the location of the gunsight control unit/selector. In both of the photos Laurent posted, since the control unit/selector is installed on the right side, the spare bulbs are located on the left side. The gunsight in this first photo is a K-14, and the gunsight in the second photo is either a Navy Mk.18 or Mk.21 (not too familiar with those).
  5. With regard to the gun sight and control units, what you want to depict all depends on what evidence you can find in period photos, as it was far from perfectly standard. The photos that Laurent has presented are likely the best possible resource for this particular subject/field-modded 8th AF P-51D. As Laurent's posts illustrate, the US Navy Mk.18/Mk.21/early K-14 gyro gunsights were used in field-modified Mustangs in late '44/early '45 (referred to as K-14's in both photos). The control unit seen in Laurent's posts are associated with both the Navy Mk.18 and Mk.21/early K-14 gunsights. The 357th FG, along with other 8th AF fighter groups, also performed a common modification where the stock gunsight bracket was removed and a cut-out was made into the instrument panel shroud (about 3-inches in, as I recall), and a special gunsight mounting apparatus was built to re-position the gyro gun sights farther forward, away from the pilot's face. That is also what you see illustrated in Laurent's photos. What is shown in Laurent's photos is probably the exact same as it was in "Missouri Armada", but finding any more documents to illustrate everything in detail for that setup is difficult. This photo shows the extent of the cutout: http://www.aircraft-gunsights.com/wp-content/gallery/k-14/K-14-Gunsight-8.JPG Here's another (the famous publicity photo of Don Blakeslee), which again illustrates the same field-modification/added gyro gunsight, with the cutout in the instrument panel shroud as well, this time in the 4th Fighter Group (note how, like the other photo I also linked to, the rivets are all drilled out for the removal of the stock gun sight mount, and you can see the bolts sticking out for the added apparatus for mounting the gun sight): http://www.aircraft-gunsights.com/wp-content/gallery/k-14/K-14-Gunsight-13.JPG There is an ex-78th FG P-51K preserved/displayed in the Netherlands, which although the gunsight and mounting apparatus are long gone, it still has the same cutout in the instrument panel shroud and gyro gunsight throttle from the field-modification (it is a P-51K-10-NT, which, like "Missouri Armada", originally came from the factory with an N-9 gun sight and had a gyro gunsight installed in the field): https://www.flickr.com/photos/34363610@N08/27407264088/in/dateposted-public/ The NAA engineering drawings show a special bracket/shelf for mounting the K-14A control box to, under the right-side of the instrument panel shroud, on potential early K-14A factory installations. This is what I depicted in some of my flight simulator recreations (images of my flight sim work have been posted throughout this thread), and it can be seen reproduced in a couple of restorations - "Upupa Epops" and "Feeble Eagle". However, I've never seen this bracket on any original Mustangs, and I don't think it was actually ever used (if I were able to go back in time and redo my work, I would have done some things like that differently). I think it was one of those concepts that never made it past the blueprints. Even on "Upupa Epops", prior to restoration, it had the K-14 control box mounted directly to the instrument panel shroud (right side), as it probably always did, ever since leaving the factory - it was only during the restoration that the restorers, only following the NAA drawings and not the evidence before them, made it otherwise/as the drawings showed it should be, rather than what it really was.
  6. The one on the left is the late crank (with button) and the one on the right is the early (consistent with no exterior button). Both versions came in either black paint or interior green paint (on originals, I've seen both finishes for both types).
  7. In these photos from the "Lope's Hope 3rd" restoration, you can see peeks of the duck cloth/canvas floor cover. It was mostly made of the same material as all of the other dust covers - like the control stick boot, the tail wheel boot, canopy cover, electrical conduit covers, etc., but it had sections of both dark green (leather?) and olive drab fabric. http://www.aircorpsaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/AMG_5055.jpg http://www.aircorpsaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/AMG_5056.jpg Note that the Warren McArthur seat installed in "Lope's Hope 3rd" is painted dark dull green, as many were, rather than interior green. The seats often kept the dark dull green primer, because it stood up to wear & tear better than the interior green primer. The inside of the windscreen and instrument panel shroud was painted dark dull green as well on the P-51B/C (and as is of course the case on the restored "Lope's Hope" as well). Here are some great photos to illustrate the right-side cockpit/radio controls of a CBI P-51B/C (the restored "Lope's Hope 3rd") - control boxes for the SCR-274-N radio set, and the big MN-28 control box for the MN-26 radio compass. Note, like many/most P-51B/C/D's, it had no IFF radio installed, so as was done from the factory, even though the IFF control box (labeled "Danger") was installed, it doesn't have any detonator switches installed and isn't painted anything other than interior green. http://www.aircorpsaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/AMG_5062.jpg http://www.aircorpsaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/AMG_5061.jpg Note how all along this stretch of the right-side of the cockpit, the only difference between WWII and today is the small line of switches & breakers added just below the main electrical switch panel. The only modern avionics installed are two small gauge-sized units that install via easily removable brackets, just under the instrument panel shroud, one located on each side of the gun sight (neither adding or removing anything that wasn't present during WWII).
  8. On the real thing/original, the throttle/gun sight cable was wrapped in black rubber (not green). The shape/style of the throttle grip is like that of a bicycle handle, and the cable that runs from the throttle to the gun sight is like a bicycle brake handle cable. Note in this illustration, which shows the entire K-14A kit/package installation, the "voltage regulator assembly" and "core adjustable screw" unit was located behind the instrument panel, and thus cannot be seen from within the cockpit. Note also the "selector dimmer" control box was installed on the right side (on these early installations), attached to the inside of the instrument panel cover/shroud (as can be seen in the following photographs): Here are a few images displaying the K-14 throttle and the cable. As with everything else, there were different versions of this throttle lever as well (I know of three or four different types, depending on era). Although these are later variants pictured here (an early P-51D-20-NA and I believe a P-51D-25-NA), they illustrate the early K-14A control box installation, which *I believe* was the same as on the field modified versions. Another late P-51D-20-NA, but with the earlier K-14A installation and location of control box.
  9. Olivier, with regard to the throttle lever, it all depends on what gun sight you will have installed/depicted. The early ball-tip throttle was just the basic lever that was installed from the factory on all P-51D's that had the N-9 reflector gun sight installed from the factory (such as the P-51D-10-NA). The late, cylindrical/barrel throttle lever is actually part of the K-14 gun sight kit/package - it came with the K-14. That later throttle was integral to operating the K-14 - there was a cable that ran from the throttle through the instrument panel up to the gun sight so you would just twist the grip of the throttle to change the range settings of the gun sight, never having to take your hands off the controls. So if you are depicting a K-14 on the model (as the original appears to have had installed post-factory), then you definitely would need to depict the later throttle, since the early throttle would have been removed and the late one installed when the K-14 was added.
  10. In that last photo of Missouri Armada, the flaps are most definitely in the up position, and as Antonio mentions, it certainly appears to have a tarp/cover over the wings to keep from having to manually clear snow and ice off the wings, as was the case in the time period we're looking at (winter of late '44/early '45). Detail around the fuel cap and wing fairing is just the standard pattern of wear/paint loss for those areas. Note the "GROUND HERE" stencil applied over/around the grounding plug hole next to the fuel cap. This was one of the few stencils that the 357th actually reapplied on these aircraft after the 357th painted them. It's unique in that the 357th applied that stencil in such a way that the hole for the grounding plug actually took the place of the "O" in "GROUND".
  11. Peter, that gap in the floor was covered with an olive drab-colored duck cloth/canvas cover, which snapped onto the surrounding floor plates. When the seat is installed, you can barely see any of it. It is illustrated in drawing 102-53065.
  12. The restored "Lope's Hope 3rd" was done to depict the original aircraft as it would have looked during a few days in early November 1944 - specifically between November 9th and November 11th '44. The reason for this is that the black tails weren't applied on these 75th FS Mustangs until November 9, 1944 (prior to then, the squadron was just flying them essentially factory-fresh in appearance), and only a few days later, on November 11th, was Lopez's last combat mission. The dorsal fin fillet kits & Technical Order were issued in the summer of 1944 (reaching England, for instance, in early August), and it is known that they were installed on Mustangs in the CBI before November '44, so even without photographic evidence, it's just one of those things that is known to have had to have been installed. There are some photos of other 75th FS Mustangs around the same time with the dorsal fin fillets installed, and there is a well known photo of Don Lopez standing in front of the tail of a 75th FS P-51C with a dorsal fin fillet (though it is not known if it is "Lope's Hope 3rd" or not). Some artistic impressions of "Lope's Hope 3rd" have the tail number 194 applied in white on the vertical fin, which had been the tail number applied on Lopez's Mustang before the tail was painted black, but based on the research that AirCorps Aviation conducted, it was concluded that it was very likely not re-applied to the tail at least during the point in time for which the restoration depicts (some actually ended up having the number applied in black on the sides of the cowlings, rather than in white on the tail).
  13. The original "Lope's Hope 3rd" was manufactured first as a P-51C-5-NT, but then was immediately sent to the Dallas modification center where it received the addition of the fuselage fuel tank and radios for the China-Burma-India Theatre where it was sent. The addition of the fuselage tank essentially eliminates any real major difference between the C-5-NT and the C-10-NT. The P-51C-5-NT did have an earlier, two-exit oil breather system, where there was an exit port on both the left and right sides of the engine cowls. On P-51C-10-NT production, and also through a Technical Order, this was changed to a replacement system consisting of an exit port only on the right/starboard side. The restored "Lope's Hope 3rd" has this later system and a P-51C-10-NT generation cowl with only the oil breather port on the right side, where as the original "Lope's Hope 3rd" still had the earlier cowling with oil exit ports on both sides. This is really the only outward detail that separates the restoration from the original. Unique to the China-Burma-India Theatre, the aircraft's radio equipment consists of the SCR-274-N radio set and the MN-26 radio compass set. The airframe restored as "Lope's Hope 3rd" is configured as the original was, including the rare/very unique radio and antenna setup (the only Mustang today that has the CBI Theatre configuration), a working fuselage fuel tank, early factory-supplied gun sight, early drop tanks, etc. On the restoration, there are only a minor few details that are different for modern safe operation - such as the addition of an emergency radiator door release, so that in the event of loss of electrical power or failure of the door motor it can be released to fall full open, and very limited/mostly hidden modern avionics, which are mounted in such a way that it didn't require the removal or reposition of any original wartime equipment (the aircraft was restored first and foremost to being absolutely 100% authentic, and then it was the task of finding any remaining room to add the limited modern avionics). In the restoration, they even went to such great lengths as coping stencils on the exterior of the aircraft, around the fuel caps, that are unique/specific to P-51C's of the 23rd FG/75th FS, besides all of the factory-done stencils/stamps/markings. When the restoration began, I was happy to share a couple photos I had collected of this rare radio setup in these aircraft to assist in tracking down the right radio equipment, and AirCorps Aviation later was able to find the original documentation on the installation of the radio equipment, with all of the differences in brackets, wiring, etc., so it is absolutely spot-on. I was just going through a really old magazine the other day and found a photo of the original "Lope's Hope 3rd" I had never seen before and passed it along to AirCorps. In this photo you can see that it had an OD-painted left-side canopy frame (just the left side frame) - I've seen this on a number of other early bare metal P-51C's - I believe the likely case was that after the switch came to not painting the aircraft OD/gray anymore, they still had a supply of left-side canopy frames to use that had already been painted OD. You can also just make-out the loop antenna on the aft spine of the fuselage.
  14. Yeah, the type of canopy assembly installed versus the type of crank assembly installed doesn't matter, as the "Cripes A' Mighty" restoration shows, either versions will work with each other. The only real difference in the late canopy is simply that it had the two handles/hand hold bars, one on each side of the frame, so you had something to really hold onto to pull the canopy open from either side. The two different types of canopy cranks install to the same mounting hole locations. Mustang experts would expect to not see the hole/button for the canopy unlock on a P-51D-10-NA, but if you do continue to go forth with it I think there is enough evidence to include it as field modification/upgrade (though I still feel that "Missouri Armada" likely didn't have it, at least not as early as when the aircraft was known as "Missouri Armada"). Here are several examples I've pulled of early D/K's that came out of the factory with the early crank/no button but show up in later wartime photos with the late crank/button installed (note these all still have the early canopy frame - no hand hold or handle on the right-side): http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_006048.jpg?_ga=2.110843328.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_005388.jpg?_ga=2.83123923.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_002423.jpg?_ga=2.175192423.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_006046.jpg?_ga=2.204633813.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_000514.jpg?_ga=2.138122613.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_002852.jpg?_ga=2.105676358.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/18382 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/29589 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/21105 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/19754 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/18489 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/12860 Here is "Butch Baby", however, late in the war (probably around/after VE-DAY/May '45), and it still has the early canopy crank/no external button, so you never know for sure. I'm posting this photo here because even though this aircraft was painted in the field with RAF Dark Green just like "Missouri Armada", you can see that the canopy emergency release handle did indeed remain red. (It's also interesting in that it has a replacement Dallas-made plexiglass bubble.) http://147084544c678448852d-ddcc53207dce6036b290906311a424f9.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/rfc/FRE_006093.jpg?_ga=2.105092806.419399899.1522348937-758886358.1522094187 Some more great images of the early canopy can be seen here: http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/21701
  15. Yes, the button there pretty much fills in the hole, and does stick out a bit. The end of the button/plug was made of laminated phenolic, which has a dark bown color/wood-like appearance. They were left that way from the factory during WWII, but post-war, in the USAF and in most restorations today, they're painted red. On the most authentic restorations, such as "Sierra Sue II" and "Upupa Epops", they're left bare phenolic (dark flat brown color) with no red paint. I've brightened up this first image to see the button more clearly.