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In 1948 the Royal Canadian Air Force started forming and supplying Auxillary squadrons with P-51D Mustangs and in Sept 1951 443 (Aux) City of New Westminster Squadron was formed at Sea Island, Vancouver, BC.

443's sister squadron 442 (Aux) City of Vancouver supplied some of the new units aircraft and some of you might know that 442 had a unique trim on the fuselage in the form of a large red lightning bolt. To keep the two units aircraft more discernable from each other, 443 crews changed the lightning bolt to blue and this is where this model project gets interesting.

I searched the aviation museum archives at Langley, had staff at the Comox Air Force Museum search their records as well as 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron search their reords to confim the colour of the lightning bolt, wimg and tail and canopy skirt trim . Jerry Vernon, the engineering officer of the sqn as well as Patrick Martin confirmed the Blue trim and then I had lunch with a fellow who flew these great aircraft with 443 Sqn...and he said blue.

So here is Tamiya's beautifully engineered P-51D Mustang and if anyone can come up with a colour photo of the 1:1 scale bird...I'll buy all the beer necessary and refinish the model.

Barney

BigMustang047.jpg

BigMustang050.jpg

BigMustang051.jpg

Edited by Barneydhc82
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That is one very interesting colour scheme.

Edited by Paul J
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Thanks for the kind comments folks. I had initialy planned on using the newly released Leading edge decals for the build but found that my set at least was not very good. The decals were very rubbery and rolled into an unusable ball or would not release from the backing paper. I had to coat the roundels with Microscale Liquid decal film before I could get them to slide onto the model.

The trim lightning bolt and squadron code letters were printed by a friend who operates a print shop.

Barney

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Brad: Hi Chiefy..it will be sitting in the big hangar at home. The 443 contact never did finish looking for a colour pic of this bird. Maybe you might want to look into it..just kidding!

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She's a lovely 'Stang in a striking scheme Barney. Super job.

The outdoor photography makes her look extremely realistic and convincing.

It's interesting to see a more unusual livery.

Thanks for sharing your photos.

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Great Job and good luck on that colour photo. I've been in 443 for 21 years now and I don't let a Mustang photo pass me by. Even during our 50th celebrations there were few decent shots. Oh for a 12 Megapixel Digital and a time machine to Sea Island.

I still dispute our later PF scheme often shown with blue stripping. I've only come across photos showing them simply black.

But then I'm no Patrick Martin.

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I still dispute our later PF scheme often shown with blue stripping. I've only come across photos showing them simply black.

The latter 443 scheme was definitely dark blue. According to Jerry Vernon, who was the engineering officer at the time, the colour was the same as the blue in the roundel, from the same cans of paint. There are quite a few colour photo from the time, and apparently some colour film has surfaced showing that as well as the 442 red stripe. See the photos below.

Barney's Mustang colours are based on a conversation we had on ARC, and I think his interpretation is interesting and very attractive. I have a different opinion of what the colour of the stripe was on the early 443 Squadron Mustangs, but without a colour photo Barney's ideas are just as valid. I've also correspnded with pilots in 443, and they only remember the later dark blue stripes, which would confirm Jerry Vernon's records. The stripes on the early GY-coded 443 Mustangs were definitely a much lighter colour. 443 was Hornet Squadron during wartime, and that legacy shows in the cartoon hornet in the crest. My original thoughts were that the stripe could be yellow (to go with the hornet theme). Jerry Vernon's initial reaction was "yech!". See the photos below, posted under fair use:

443 blue spinner and striping, hopefully the difference between the black anti-glare panel and the blue striping will come across on the monitor (much clearer on the original prints) :

2p51.jpg

443SquadronMustang9597.jpg

442 Squadron red stripe, courtesy of Dave Koss at Leading Edge decals:

442colour1corrected-1.jpg

Thread on ARC for those interested:

443 Squadron Mustang discussion on ARC

Just shows the interesting different results that can happen from the best interpretation of black and white photos, and making an educated guess with the information you can gather. Until we find a colour photo, Barney's Mustang is possible. And if you prove to be right Barney, then I'll buy you a case of beer!

I can post some more photos if people are interested, but I'll start another thread...I've already hijacked this one. Don't want to distract from Barney's gorgeous build.

Cheers,

Richard

Edited by RZP
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Richard: No highjacking problem seen here! It is great having good discussions and that is why I started this subject on ARC..I really do appreciate your input. I agree that the "pin stripe" PF*X scheme was dark blue but after I had lunch with a fellow that flew 443 a/c with this scheme, I had to go ahead with it..if nothing I knew it would create plenty of discussion and as I said, if anyone can come up with colour photos of the squadron a/c during the GY*X period, I'll buy the beer and refinish the model appropriately.

Cheers my friend

Barney

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Thanks Barney. I love the way the Mustang looks in those colours, and until someone presents a colour photo from the GY-coded era your interpretation is as valid and well-researched as it could be. I just came to a different conclusion with what I found and there was a good discussion.

The post about the later dark blue stripes was more in response to sabre0's post. I just wanted to show that sometimes you get lucky and colour photos do exist!

Again, great job on finishing after a bit of a roadblock. Great photography too, the sunlight really enhances it. Gorgeous model.

All the best,

Richard

Edited by RZP
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Wow! Thanks a ton for the colour photos. Yes, definitive proof of Dark Blue Striping.

We are having a new hangar built and I plan of compiling a lobby display case for our visitors to comprend our heritage and history. I will confidently built the 32nd scale Mustang in those PF colours.

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SabreO: If you are going to use the leading Edge Mustang decal sheet here's a tip and a caution: the roundels on my sheet were slightly out of register showing a very thin white line and they were either very rubbery, stretching and clumping up or they would not release from the backing paper. I coated the decals with Micriscale Liquid Decal Film and this helped with both problems. As for the later PF*XXX era markings, the pin stripes around the back and belly will definitely requie the Liquid Decal Film as there is no carrier between the stripe. Mine were a disaster!.

Good Luck

Barney

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Barney,

Not intending to start a flame war here but, rather than complain all over the web about these decals, could you not simply have just contacted Leading Edge about your perceived problem with their product as I'm sure that they would have been more than happy to have addressed the issue to your satisfaction.

Dave

Edited by tango98
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No. Barney was right in giving me a head's up on the Leading Edge decals. Its the neighborly thing to do. I have the complete range in 48th scale so I'm intimately familiar with their quality. Maybe they just had a bum run of paper.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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Actually, I phrased my post wrongly - what I should have said was 'here and other discussion groups'; the content of my post is just simply my opinion.

Dave

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Barney,

Not intending to start a flame war here but, rather than complain all over the web about these decals, could you not simply have just contacted Leading Edge about your perceived problem with their product as I'm sure that they would have been more than happy to have addressed the issue to your satisfaction.

Dave

I'd like to add my support to this so called problem.

Dave at Leading Edge will definitely be more than happy to replace any so called 'dodgy' decals. I know this from experience and still highly recommend Leading Edge decals. LE do a sterling service! Just because one gets a 'bum' set doesn't mean they are all like that!

Re the decals. Don't use strong brands of decal solutions and always make sure that any previous coatings like klear of other varnishes are completely dry before applying the decals!! Micro Sol and Set are OK if used carefully but plain water and soft brush used in applying these decals are adequate.

Edited by Paul J
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Before this thread goes ballistic, I pointed out the problems that I had with the LE decals on this model so that others might be forewarned and take corrective action before possibly screwing up an expensive decal sheet.

I've been an active modeller fore 65 years in all phases of aircraft construction and have helped a good many people with whatever was necessary just as others like Richard have helped me. No flame war against LEM Decals was intended.

The next time you have a problem with a product let folks know so the we don't experience the same issues.

Barney

http://www.barneysairforce.com

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