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In anticipation of the next P-51 STGB for which I'm now clearing my workbench I'd like to share a few exhibits from my Mustang gallery. Like so many of us I'm a devoted fan of North American's fighter masterpiece. My very first kit in 1/72 was the infamous Revell proposition as was my first ever 1/32 model. I still remember how attracted I was by the striking box art of Don Gentile's Shangri La... Inspiring books like Roger Freeman's 'The Mighty Eighth' and Kit Carson's 'Pursue & Destroy' motivated me to start an Eighth Air Force P-51 collection in the late seventies. I have built Mustangs of 12 Fighter Groups by now. Only the 20th and 353rd FGs are missing - the latter will be the subject of my STGB entry. As this compilation spans 30 years - last one built in 2006 - I had to get along with the early kits that are a little less sophisticated than the latest products from Meng, Airfix or Eduard. Most of my builds are based on the Monogram kit which, albeit with raised panel lines, is still an acceptable design. For this topic I selected three P-51Ds of the 65th Fighter Wing from a more recent modelling period presented in historic sceneries. I hope you enjoy the models despite their age. OS-X MISS STEVE 44-13677 P-51D-5-NA (late) 355th FG 357th FS, 1/Lt William J. Cullerton, F-122 Steeple Morden, December 1944 After crash landing MISS STEVE was repaired and - re-coded OS-N - was assigned to Lt David P. Watkins who named her FICKLE FANNY. The 355th FG was the Eighth's leading ground strafing unit, 15 of Cullerton's 20 claims were destroyed on the ground. The model is armed with 500 lbs bombs. Monogram 1977 release with aftermarket cockpit, canopy, exhaust, wheels and bombs. Decals from scrap box and homemade. E2-C LOU IV - ATHELENE 44-13410 P-51D-5-NA (early) 361st FG 375th FS, Lt Col Thomas J.J. Christian - Group CO, F-374 Bottisham, August 1944 Colonel Christian's P-51 is the subject of so many models that no more needs to be said here. This is my interpretation of his mount, particularly of the ATHELENE inscription which I styled after a blurred picture and similar decorations on other 375th FS aircraft (red letters - black outline - clean silver background). Fujimi 1987 edition (first released in 1973) with replacement parts from the scrap box (prop, cockpit, gear), Verlinden 75 gal drop tanks and substantial re-work around cowling, fin and air duct. Modified decals from Microscale and AeroMaster. L2-P Burn'n Bernie 44-15380 P-51D-15-NA 479th FG 434th FS, Lt Gail E. Jacobson, Station 377 Wattisham, May 1945 This Mustang was damaged in a landing accident on 25 December 1944. Subsequently repaired it served on until war's end. Note 'buzz' letters under port wing (barely visible on the pictures) and antenna for AN/APS-13 tail warning radar. Monogram again, Aires V-1650-7 engine, a few aftermarket items and homemade decals. And a few pics of the cockpit, which is similar for all three models. I removed the antenna wire later when I realised that VIII Fighter Command didn't have the SCR-274 radio installed. More little friends will join up soon. Thanks for looking out. Michael REFERENCES MARKINGS OF THE ACES, KOOKABURRA HISTORIC AIRCRAFT BOOKS SERIES 3 NO.1, THEODORE R. BENNETT, DANDENONG, 1970 THE MIGHTY EIGHTH, ROGER A. FREEMAN, NEW YORK, 1973 ACES OF THE EIGHTH, GENE B. STAFFORD & WILLIAM N. HESS, SQUADRON/SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS, WARREN, 1977 EIGHTH AIR FORCE STORY, KENN C. RUST, TEMPLE CITY, 1978 THE MIGHTY EIGHTH IN COLOR, ROGER A. FREEMAN, LONDON, 1991 MUSTANG ACES OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 1, JERRY SCUTTS, LONDON, 1994 VIII FIGHTER COMMAND AT WAR, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 31, MICHAEL O'LEARY, BOTLEY, 2000 YELLOWJACKETS!, PAUL B. CORA, ATGLEN, 2002 'DOWN TO EARTH' – STRAFING ACES OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 51, WILLIAM N. HESS, BOTLEY, 2003 P-51 MUSTANG UNITS OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, AMERICAN EAGLES 4, ROGER FREEMAN, HERSHAM, 2003 479th FIGHTER GROUP – 'RIDDLE'S RAIDERS', AVIATION ELITE UNITS 32, JOHN STANAWAY, BOTLEY, 2009 WWW.LITTLEFRIENDS.CO.UK WWW.AMERICANAIRMUSEUM.COM Meanwhile please click picture and board my Marauder on a mission to Germany