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  1. Transferred from the 339th to the 353rd Fighter Group in December 1944 this upgraded P-51C-5-NT was assigned to 1/Lt John E. Davenport of the 352nd FS. Unfortunately the career of this beautiful Mustang ended before the war was over when it crash-landed on 2 May 1945. The model is my contribution to the recent Mustang group build. For a long time I had been captivated by the attractive looks of this specific P-51 and so it became the 353rd FG representative in my collection of Eighth Air Force Mustangs. You're welcome to read the full story in the build log here. LUCKY LEAKY II with a companion from the 351st FS. 'Georgie Fay' was a P-47D-22-RE, lost with Lt John J. Hatch over the North Sea on 5 August 1944. This Monogram Thunderbolt is one of my old-style builds from the 1990s. Thanks for watching, Michael REFERENCES P-51 MUSTANG IN ACTION, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 1981 P-51 MUSTANG IN COLOR, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 1982 THE NORTH AMERICAN P-51 EARLY MUSTANG, AIRFRAMES & MINIATURE NO.6, RICHARD A. FRANKS, BEDFORD, 2013 THE NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION P-51 MUSTANG - PART 2, MDF 24, MALCOLM V. LOWE, BEDFORD, 2014 SKYBIRDS - A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY OF THE 353rd FIGHTER GROUP, GRAHAM CROSS, HITCHIN, 2017
  2. This was my first group build and I enjoyed it immensely. The Mustang is certainly among the most deeply researched and most frequently reproduced airplanes of all times. There are so many well informed experts in this field that each model offers new insights. Although there are a couple of very tempting new P-51D kits in 1/48 – and many of them adorn the gallery – I chose to contribute an early Merlin Mustang, unsurpassed in its beautifully streamlined form. It's my pleasure to introduce - SX-M LUCKY LEAKY II 42-103363 P-51C-5-NT 353rd FG 352nd FS, 1/Lt John E. Davenport, F-157 Raydon, January 1945 Once finished it will hopefully look as lucky as on this picture... (All pictures public domain) ... and not as leaky as on this one! LUCKY LEAKY II belly-landed on 2 May 1945 when pilot Lt. Leroy O. Pletz switched fuel tanks and the engine cut. 42-103363 started its career as 5Q-C in the 504th FS of the 339th FG. There, too, it was involved in an accident, on 21 November 1944 while being taxied by Lt. Lawrence J. Barrett. After repair it was handed down to the 352nd FS as they converted from Thunderbolts and was assigned to Lt. Davenport before it served its final days as squadron hack. Chapter 1 - The Kit My choice of LUCKY LEAKY II was not a spontaneous idea. As illustrated in this topic my collection of Eighth Air Force Mustangs includes 12 Fighter Groups at current. The 353rd is one of the two missing, and already many years ago I determined that LUCKY LEAKY II should be its representative. Also many years ago I purchased the new Tamiya P-51B/C kit - my previous B-models were all based on the 1967 Monogram oldie - but since there is no dorsal fin extension on the Tamiya I was lucky to find the Loon Models resin fuselages, which are an exact copy of the Tamiya parts except for a separate rudder. All this had been in my stash for twenty years at least. It is almost redundant to mention that there are loads of aftermarket items for the P-51. The majority are for the D-series but many of these come in handy for the earlier Mustang, too. Below I spread out what I've got already. Maybe more is needed as we go along. Being over-supplied is not for vain because any surplus will support the restoration of three earlier P-51Bs, built in the eighties, that I treat in parallel. Of course there are also countless books and articles. Below are a few references that focus on the technical and modelling aspects. Not every publication is meaningful for the construction of this model, but they are all nice reading. Also a great many pictures of original and restored airframes can be found on the internet as well as discussions of all kind that deal with technical and painting detail. A few of the links are also referred below. REFERENCES P-51 MUSTANG, CLASSIC AIRCRAFT NO.3, ROY CROSS / GERALD SCARBOROUGH, LONDON, 1973 P-51 MUSTANG, ROBERT GRINSELL, JANE'S, LONDON, 1980 P-51 MUSTANG IN ACTION, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 1981 P-51 MUSTANG IN COLOR, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 1982 WALK AROUND P-51D, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 1996 NORTH AMERICAN P-51 MUSTANG, OSPREY MODELLING MANUALS 19, RODRIGO HERNÁNDEZ CABOS / GEOFF COUGHLIN, BOTLEY, 2002 P-51 MUSTANG – DEVELOPMENT OF THE LONG-RANGE ESCORT FIGHTER, PAUL A. LUDWIG, HERSHAM, 2003 THE NORTH AMERICAN P-51 EARLY MUSTANG, AIRFRAMES & MINIATURE NO.6, RICHARD A. FRANKS, BEDFORD, 2013 THE NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION P-51 MUSTANG - PART 2, MDF 24, MALCOLM V. LOWE, BEDFORD, 2014 www.aircorpsaviation.com/project/p-51c-lopes-hope-3rd/ www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235029538-missouri-armada-p-51d-mustang-documents-and-partial-scratch-from-the-tamiya-148-kit/ Now, I think, we're ready to start... Chapter 2 - Inner workings Before the GB began I had already evaluated a few interior components to decide between the parts to go into LUCKY LEAKY II and those for restoring my old Monogram models. The Aires resin cockpit is an excellent improvement over the kit's molded-on detail and its incorrectly curved cockpit floor. Although the starboard console depicts the early B-model's switch boxes I neglected this lesser flaw. After sanding the area I fixed the new side walls, adapted the Tamiya rear cooling duct, added a home-made radiator with a mesh grille from the Part S48-011 PE set and scratch-built a tail wheel housing. There is a very nice rear wheel compartment from Quickboost (48 113) but it didn't quite fit and therefore it upgraded one of my older P-51Bs. Most Mustangs had a canvas cover inside to protect the gear from dirt and then no detail was visible. The pilot seat of the kit as well as the Aires one (picture above) portray the early Schick Johnson model that many sources attribute to the P-51B/C. This was apparently not the case in the 8th Air Force since every picture I found seemed to show the later Warren MacArthur seat of the D-series. So I ordered a doublet from Ultracast. Further accessories seemed necessary and the number of after-market items grew. With the new seat available, the completed Aires cockpit was painted and a slightly modified oil cooler installed. As mentioned, excess parts provide for the restoration of my earlier Mustangs. Just for fun I produced a different padding for the second Ultracast seat and for two former Monogram P-51D seats. I also finished the original Tamiya cockpit with a corrected floor and with PE and scratch parts. This assembly inserts perfectly into the disemboweled fuselage of my vintage 357th FG Mustang. Chapter 3 - The fuselage A last check if details are complete and firmly fixed before merging the fuselage halves. Following is the assembled fuselage with notes that may be useful for fellow modellers. The Tamiya kit impresses with an extraordinary fit of parts, and this compliment extends to the Loon Models replacement fuselage. I haven't enjoyed such an outstanding tooling quality for a long time. Not that I care much about fit, but in this case a tribute is deserved. Chapter 4 - Colour & Markings Since the parts of the Tamiya kit fit so well I decided to complete the fuselage first, with markings and all, before turning to the wings. This is actually my preferred approach because it keeps the wings out of the way while dealing with decals and panel lines. On the other hand you might destroy some of your previous work if filling and sanding becomes necessary later, but no such risk here. So, I proceeded with the principal colours. The natural metal is Tamiya's TS-17 Gloss Aluminium from the rattle-can, some panels accentuated with brush-painted darker shades according to the original photo. No anti-glare OD yet as this needs to line up properly with the checkerboard. À propos checkerboard; for the markings I have the choice between two decal sheets from my stock - Microscale 48-205 and AeroMaster 48-213, both long time out of production. Although I like the yellow tone of 48-205 better it is completely useless because the circumference of the checkerboard should count 22 squares whereas 48-205 offers only 18. Fortunately AeroMaster did better, except for the length of the decal which extends to the very rear of the exhaust shroud instead of ending short of it (27 mm instead of 25.4 mm - the original squares are 6 in wide). I will need to cut each row minimally to gain 1.6 mm. In order to compensate for small errors I pre-coloured the nose. Another challenge are the letters which have wrong proportions on both decal sheets, notably on 48-205 and the 'M' on 48-213. AeroMaster is again more accurate but their letters are still too wide. Chapter 5 - Fuselage finished After a long holiday shift with agonizing decal cutting and re-sizing I now declare the fuselage ready - save some small fragile accessories. A few stains applied like on the original plane but a very sparse panel line wash under Tamiya clear coat (X-35 for NMF and X-86 for coloured areas). The decals behaved very well, sliding nicely on a thin water film. The nickname and call numbers showed no silvering which may also be owed to the glossy silver background. Chapter 6 - Wingwalking The Tamiya wing is not the highlight of the kit, I'm afraid. There are a few challenges to overcome. On the real plane the inner walls of the undercarriage bays are recessed making the wing panels overhang whilst on this kit (like on most older ones) the wing cuts off at the wall edge. After some deliberation I covered the step with a protruding strip of cardboard (see inset). I also enhanced the visible part of the gear housing with a few rods, pipes and fake holes. Tamiya modelled the rivets with mixed success - nice work on the raised ones but the sunk rivets on ailerons, gun panels and flaps are too large and too widely spaced. As per NAA factory finish I treated the forward panel lines with Mr. Surfacer. A landing light was installed behind the transparency; the latter was a fraction too small to fit well. The pitot tube is too far outboard for the early Mustang by appr. ½ in, which became only apparent when I placed the star-and-bars. Holes were drilled into the gun muzzles. The gun position is also slightly off towards outboard. This affects the location of the wing pylons. I compromised a little bit as there is not much you can do. For pylons I installed the P-51D early version which I cut from a cannibalised Otaki wing. LUCKY LEAKY II was obviously upgraded with many late-war gadgets such as fin fillet, tail warning radar, K-14 gunsight - so I reckoned that the pylons would have been replaced, too. Sway braces will be added later To round off the hassle with the wing some granulation appeared on the kit's super slick plastic surface when I applied aluminium from the rattle-can, which - thank goodness! - hadn't happened on the resin fuselage. Bypassing a basic priming hasn't paid off! It took several rounds of colour and wet sanding to turn it into a typical attrited wing surface. The flaps will be displayed in the lowered position. As this draws attention to these parts I'm replacing them with the superb A.M.U.R. Reaver flaps for the Meng P-51D. With a few adjustments they will fit the recesses in the wing squarely. The rivet detail of this aftermarket product is excellent! Chapter 7 - It's an airplane! Wing, tailplane and landing flaps have joined the fuselage. To blend the wing and fuselage properly some sanding at the front and rear seams and some filling at the wing roots was necessary. LUCKY LEAKY II displays a no-step warning bracket on either landing flap. I never figured out why some Mustangs had them on both wings whilst most seem to have had only one on the port flap - a repair depot practice perhaps? While work on chapter 7 was underway I moved on to the usual peripherals. Chapter 8 - Fun with the small parts My propeller combines the kit's two-piece spinner with blades from Eduard 648-347. Their spinner was a fraction too narrow and has ugly sprue pins right on the face (how thoughtful of Eduard...!). I used the technique described here to paint the multi-coloured spinner. The main landing gear is the Tamiya original enhanced with break lines and with scissors from a PE set. I tested the Scale Aircraft Conversions 48142 white-metal legs, which look exactly the same, but the wing connection is less steady. I will use the SAC tail wheel, however, because one of my restoration projects is better off with the Tamiya part. The tyres are Eduard Brassin products (cutting out the wheel holes is a bit tricky), and the Malcolm hood was included in the Falcon set 54 (vacuform canopies have never disappointed me!). (Table laid out for the final pasting orgy ) A last wistful 360-degree survey of the open cockpit before the Malcolm hood will seal up all precious detail. Not to forget to vacuum the interior! (Why do those small static crumbs always appear after the cockpit is closed?) Chapter 9 - And at last the very small parts The model, complete with pitot tube and rear view mirror (Tamiya), sway braces (scratch), AN/APS-13 antenna (A.M.U.R. Reaver) and whip aerial (from my wife's hairbrush). With all items attached it's time for the roll-out. Just a final walk-around for any small damages and LUCKY LEAKY II will take to the air. Chapter 10 - Ready for take-off Thank you for following my build. More pictures in the gallery here. Michael
  3. Hi all. My previous 9 builds has all been some sort of camo scheme, so it's time for a bare metal subject. And since I always have room for another Mustang, that's what I'll do. However I couldn't decide which Mustang to do for my next build, so I'll just do them all! I have to warn you, this isn't going to be a very fast build as I have few other non-modelling related things on my plate at the moment. Ok, so here's what I've got I also have some aftermarket and spare decals Microscale and spare decals from the Italeri F-51D kit and of course, the decals that comes with these kits Academy usually has superb quality decals - just kidding Luckily these looks printed okay. I have academy sheets where the red circle in the RAF roundel isn't anywhere near the centre And the Airfix decals. Looks perfect as usual So it seems I still have some choices to make. Here's some photographs of the possible subjects The Airfix F-51D. The OOB option looks really great. But I also have this F-51 option from the Microscale sheet Pretty sure I'll go for the OOB option As for the P-51D's, I haven't built the OOB option yet. I don't think it's the prettiest Mustang scheme ever, but a blue nosed Mustang would bring some diversity to my Mustang collection... But, I have this option from the Microscale sheet I think I'll go for "Jan". I also the the "wildcard" option of going for a RAF Mustang Some camo might help break all the silver from the bare metal Mustangs in my production line. Hmmm, choices.... Moving to the P-51C Mustang. The Academy kit gives 3 options. I won't go for the Chinese one, so that leaves two viable options Wow! Isn't she a beaut!? The 530th FS option (top of the 3) doesn't look bad, but the 5th FS (yellow tail) just looks so racy. There's no choice here. To make it a little more interesting, I also have these Unfortunately not enough for all 3 kits, so yet more decisions. Looks like deciding to build all 3 Mustangs didn't make for any easier choices.... Well that's it for now. Next I'll share the mandatory sprue shots. Cheers Jimmy
  4. New in the Arsenal Model Group (AMG) Facebook. Two North American P-51 (B/C & D) Mustang kits announced as limited editions. Origin? Rebox? ref.48501 - North American P-51D Mustang Source: https://www. facebook.com/amgmodels/photos/pcb.1769355343290853/1769355239957530/?type=1 ref.48502 - North American P-51C Mustang III Source: https://www. facebook.com/amgmodels/photos/pcb.1769355343290853/1769355253290862/?type=1 V.P.
  5. Finished off these 4 little ones finally. I am a bit annoyed that I didn't get them finished for the Mustang GB (clicky-linky-herey), but least they are done now. Hope you all like them. I apologise for the bad camera quality, the pictures where taken on my mobile phone at 11pm. Comments always welcome, constructive comments even more so Kind Regards, Dazz
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