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No photos yet gang but simply nailing my colours to a mast and making a commitment. Plan is to finish a couple of long-term projects and thus create a bit of bench space before starting this one.

I've a few examples of the new Airfix 27nd scale kit in the stash and plans for all of them but the simplest and most likely for me to realise within the GB timescale will be one from the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Air Force. From what I've read these were abandoned Taiwanese aircraft captured at various airbases and impressed into service with the rapidly growing PLAAF along with a plethora of other types including P-47, B-25, C-46, Mosquito and anything else that was servicable during the civil war in China. The few photos I've found on-line show war-weary aircraft with little more than the yellow-trimed red star and bar we now recognise as of the Chinese Air Force along with a red striped rudder and red spinner. I have, however, failled to find a suitable after-market decal sheet that covers this subject so instead am using the markings from the Airfix MiG-15 kit kindly sent to me by a fellow BM member.

It'll be a wee while before progress begins with this one but in the meantime I'm gathering as much lnks and information as I can find on the subject.

 

First off some inspiration;

 

http://russiancouncil.ru/common/upload/avianoak111.jpg

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I've come across a few walkaround photo sets which will likely prove useful once this project gets underway

 

http://walkarounds.scalemodels.ru/v/walkarounds/avia/before_1950/P-51D_mustang/?g2_page=1

 

http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2005/12/stuff_eng_detail_p51d.htm

 

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/domeric_barbot/p-51d/

 

http://www.arcair.com/awa01/101-200/awa107-P51D/00.shtm

 

At the moment I'm considering the colour options in two areas for this one; the cockpit (green or black) and the undercarrige bays (green or silver). I'm tempted to go with the latter option in both cases for no better reason than my brand new tin of Humbrol 226 is utter rubbish and must have been lying somewhere for far too long before I bought it with the pigment having collected as a sludge in the bottom and even after a good mix has some rather strange properties.

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Hi Col, 

 

they couldn't be "Taiwanese aircraft", because Taiwan doesn't exist as a country at the time.

;)

 

About the decals, check for Bestfong.

 

 

befo_721.jpg

 

Can't promise anything, but I might help if you have difficulties to contact him.

I'd get most of his decals from my time In Taiwan.

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12 hours ago, Antoine said:

Hi Col, 

 

they couldn't be "Taiwanese aircraft", because Taiwan doesn't exist as a country at the time.

;)

 

About the decals, check for Bestfong...

Can't promise anything, but I might help if you have difficulties to contact him.

I'd get most of his decals from my time In Taiwan.

Thank you for the link and pictures Antoine. The decals do look rather good and I'm tempted to go for them even though all I need to cover this project is a set of red numbers for the tail... Please excuse the gross over-simplification of the situation across China at that time but I was aiming for clarity rather than a long and detailled explination :sorry:

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13 minutes ago, Antoine said:

Ok, so maybe a simple masking session will do.

 

I see we've had already talked about all this before.

i am thinking a masking job on the tail stripes could realise the worn effect seen in the photo I found as inspiration better than I could do with decals but I'll need to dig through the spare decals box for numbers.

Now you've linked our earlier conversation on the subject I do recall us talking about it during the Lesser Build Air Forces GB but I'd completely forgotten about it until now :sleeping:

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No danger of there being a rush Antoine. I started playing with the interior bits last night but it'll be ages before anything gets glued together and I still havn't dug out my own decal spares box ;) 

 

Thanks Rich. Was thinking the same myself :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've not forgot about this one and even been making some slow progress. The cockpit has a couple minor additions such as seat belts and some wiring for the components behing the seat but all fairly simple so far. Unfortunatelly you'll all have to take my word for it since Photobucket is having a tantrum and and not letting me load any photos :rant:

I'd started with the Gift-set kit but then realised the undercarriage legs were badly warped and the gunsight was missing due to being short-shot on the clear parts tree so have switched over to a standard kit that seems to be better moulded. Fit of the parts are good so far with only the two fuselage halves looking to have a slight warp on them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right gang, finally got Photobucket to play in a roundabout sort of way, so here's some pictures of where this one is at;

 

First off the 'pit got painted

1482570606.jpg

 

1482570611.jpg

 

...with a few minor added details

1482570614.jpg

 

...then the fuselage went together with a little persuasion

1482570617.jpg

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A lot of extra searching and thinking was followed by a little work in the main wheel bays to represent the mess of pipework found within the real thing

1482581536.jpg

 

...then the wings got glued together and added to the fuselage

1482581534.jpg

 

The fit of every part has been quite good so far with only a little test-fitting and triming required. Then I made a mess of the windscreen by using thin liquid glue which spread over the clear part due to tight clearences between it and the instrument panel cover :( A second kit gave up its part to keep this one on track for the moment

1482581540.jpg

 

I've also been working on the prop and spinner as a sub-assembly. The photos I linked at the start showed them to be quite worn and weathered so this is how my rendition is looking so far

1482581543.jpg

 

Perhaps it needs a bit more wear and tear?

Edited by Col.
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Minor update time.

Got most of the wing panel lines filled in;

 

1483375575.jpg

 

then added some sway braces to the pylons and the pitot tube after masking the undecarriage bays with wet tissue;

 

1483375579.jpg

 

also did a little more weathering work with the spinner to my satisfaction;

 

1482581543.jpg

 

Any thoughts I was on a winner due to my subtle skills after getting the control column off the parts tree in one piece were soon brought back to the uncomfortable reality that I'm at best adequate on a good day by that nasty spine aerial. Damned thing snapped in two with no provication and had to be very carefully glued back together before the removal was completed. There's plenty cleaning up of the moulding gates required as well to the point I'm thinking it would have been less stressful to make a new replacement from brass sheet. Mind you, given how fragile it is, that may have to happen yet.

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Forgot to add the loop antena which was a feature on Chinese P-51 so made that last night and also replaced the aerial while I was at it.

 

1483402162.jpg

 

The loop was made from a thin sliver of clear plastic tube that protects paintbrushes before purchase and mounted that on a small plinth sculpted from plastic sheet. The aerial was made from the foil that covered a chocolate coin (kindly made available by my daughter :D ) folded over itself several times until it looked about the correct thickness.

Think it's ready for spraying now.

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Having been ill for the last week and pretty much confined to the house with little or no energy I was banned from heading to the shed. As a result the compressor was out-of-bounds so I got bored and made progress at the modelling bench instead. Another Mustang that had until now been a side-project got some attention.

 

1483869751.jpg

 

1483869748.jpg

 

Given I wanted to do this as a RAF machine I thought a RAF pilot would be more apropriate than the chap who comes with the kit. To this end the figure from an old Airfix Spitfire was drafted in and equiped with an oxygen mask made from thin wire wrapped around a slightly thicker wire and Green Stuff filler. Slightly adjusted to fit the 'pit and painted to suit he was then mounted on a small plinth of scrap plastic and glued into place.

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With the cockpit finished and populated the kit takes shape quickly. I'm not fussed about detailling the main undercarriage bays of the RAF machine as I want to model it during take-off in a pose similar to that seen on the Matchbox artwork;

 

143673-11491-pristine.jpg

 

Messing up the windscreen with a smear of glue slowed progress yesterday but thankfully a polish with Micromesh cloths sorted it out again. Studying photos showed the tailwheel retracts first in the sequence so I fitted the closed door option . The canopy masked and undercarriage packed with damp tissue made both ready for a coat of Alclad grey primer;

 

1483900900.jpg

 

1483900902.jpg

 

1483900905.jpg

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Back to the PLAAF machine now in the hope I can finish it before this coming Sunday.

Got a coat of Alclad Dull Aluminium layed down over the whole model. Remember that photo I first posted as my inspitation for this one? Those Mustangs were worn and dirty with no noticable difference between the wings and fuselage finish so that's why I went for an overall single shade.

 

1484051174.jpg

 

Got the tailwheel and doors on after a bit of a fumble;

 

1484051180.jpg

 

...as you can see I've also painted the rudder white. Was going to use the decals Antoine provided me for the tail stripes but thought I'd try masking and painting on a worn set first to see how that goes. Some masking fluid has been spotted on and a first coat of white paint applied. Stupid boy here brushed it on rather than spraying so will need to give it a second coat later. Serves me right for being lazy and not getting the airbrush out.

 

Main undercarriage doors got a little extra detail added and fixed into place as well;

 

1484051176.jpg

 

The nose anti-glare panel was also brush painted with Humbrol Hu155 using an ancient tin of lovely quality enamel. Two thin coats and then a little chipped off to promote the worn apperance;

 

1484051183.jpg

 

The model club has a build night this evening so hopefully get a bit more done then :) 

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Got the Pony up on her legs at the club last night;

 

1484135448.jpg

 

After getting home from the club I got another coat of white on the rudder before heading to bed.

Then today the rudder got its white stripes masked off and the red sections painted on. I got lucky and discovered the 3mm roll of masking tape gave the ideal spacing for the correct number of stripes required. Once the paint had cured enough to handle I picked off the masking fluid to discover how the weathered and worn effect would look...

 

1484135450.jpg

 

1484135453.jpg

 

Not too bad in my opinion. A light rub down and perhaps add a few small patches of the overpainted blue to hint at the previous owner will finish that. Decals next :) 

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Last night I had a decalling session. Can you call 6 decals a session? Hmm, perhaps more of an interlude, :hmmm: anyway, call it what you will but the Bestfong national markings and tail numbers were all that I applied after studying the photo I linked in the initial post and coming to the conclusion there wasn't a single stencil in sight over any of the aircraft contained therein. In order to support this I offer the following excuses reasons: first of all these aircraft were well worn and now onto their third owner, secondly they had been stripped of their previous identity and new markings applied, thirdly I wondered just how much use English-language stencilling would have been to their Chinese air and ground crews, even the prop is devoid of any placards or markings. With all this in mind I left the Airfix decal sheet alone and limited my efforts to the Bestfong ones @Antoine kindly sent me.

 

 

1484242688.jpg

 

So how did the Bestfong decals perform? Well they are a little thicker than those from the likes of Airfix and have a gloss finish but good colour density and pulled down into the panel lines when laid down on a coat of Klear.

 

1484242685.jpg

 

After a finishing coat of matt varnish I think they will look fine :) 

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