Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Here is my finished build  of Chuck Yeager's,, Bud Anderson and John Landers P-51D Mustangs


I used Airfix P-51D, F51D and Tamiya's P-51D.


This was my first attempt at a pin  wash using a mixture of Windsor and Newton  Burnt Umber and black oil paint heavily diluted with artists white spirit. I was very pleased with the result.


The silver paint was tamiya titanium sprayed on top of humbrol primer. Sealed with a couple of coats of future. The combines effect of the silver and pinwash worked well giving a lived in  metal effect with a realistic patina. I deliberately wanted this effect as photos of Yeager's P 51 show it snow covered out in the open with very visible panel lines on the fuselage sides.


Much has been written about  Mustang wings and their preparation with fillers and polish to maximise their laminar flow properties.  From the available images my conclusion is that panel lines are visible  but not dramatic and I hope I have captured that look here.


There is also much discussion about the true colours of Olive drab and neutral grey. For Olive drab I used Tamiya Olive Drab  which seemed a good approximation to war time colour photos and its use on modern warbirds,Tamiya neutral grey seemed a bit dark and modern warbirds seemed too light so I compromised and chose Humbrol 145 as it had the right blue tint  and in terms of lightness was between  the tamiya colour and that of the modern warbirds, I think this worked well.


Both Silver mustangs I left with a gloss finish but for OLd crow I really over did the matt varnish using too much of Humbrol Clear Matt Varnish. The result is I had to rub back the surface varnish using cotton wool buds and eventually lense cleaning tissue to get the right matt effect..




I usually build my models wheels up and use stands to display them in flight. Big Beautiful Doll and Glamorous Glennis are undercarriage up and I modified them to take the old fashioned airfix stands which worked well on both the tamiya and airfix kits.


I chose one of the airfix kits to model with gear down as Bud Anderson famously had white wall tyres  on his Mustang main and tail wheels.and the airfix kit also comes with the option of lowed flaps.


Its my inexperience with modelling undercarriages but I hated both painting the white walls ( it looks awful) and the airfix kit undercarriage legs are too thin and bend too easily. I think I should have used the tamiya undercarriage parts.


Painting the wheel wells was another source of confusion, with debate about where zinc chromate yellow, interior green and silver was painted. As  its agreed that no mustang kit accurately portrays the wheel wells and main spar I decided to paint the rear spar zinc chromate and the rest silver. the cockpit was interior green and I chose to put pilots in so you really cannot see nay thing else inside.


General Build Comments


Both the Tamiya and airfix kits are very similar in construction and build. I like the airfix kit because of the choice of flaps and I like the Tamiya because the canopy is a much better fit. They both offer a choice of  dallas or conventional canopy but the front canopy component is just too thick to seat properly with out being thined down and polished  to fit fit properly.


Both kits have the canopy separate from the sliding framing for the rear canopy part.  I think this is mistake and would prefer both the framing and canopy to be one transparent piece  where the framing can just be painted. The current set up makes it hard to eliminate the  a silvered join between the canopy and the frame.


The canopy and how the they are painted is a key element in capturing the look of a mustang. they should be close fitting and painted carefully to pick out the natural metal framing  near the olive drab anti glare panels.


Overall the tamiya builds more easily and the surface finish is just that bit more detailed with beautifully refined rivet detail ( i don't count rivets) on the flaps ( visible in modern warbird Mustangs




I mainly used the tamiya decals which had the markings for all three aircraft leaving me to source a few extra stars and bars and to paint the red fuel filler caps. The invasion stripes and the chequed nose of Big beautiful doll are all decals. They needed copious amounts of  microsol but softened well moulding to the complex shapes around the ventral radiation  housing and the nose of big beautiful doll. The white lettering on Old crow was really nice appearing solid and painted on, very impressive stuff.


Drop tanks


The smaller drop tanks in the airfix kits are unuseable as they do not have the prominent seam that runs around the join of the tanks two halves so I used the tamiya ones which look the part.


Yeager and Anderson's aircraft are both shown with 103 gallon  paper drop tanks. I sourced these from an old revel P51B and academy p-47D ( which look too big in my opinion) I took the decision to paint both silver as this was the colour  of the dope used in the final layers in their construction in real life..


I love mustangs and I am pleased generally with the look of them but feel I let my self down with the canopies ( aftermarket probably better) and the wheels ( never going to do wheels down if I can help it, ( yes should have masked them off better)


I hope you like them.




The view from above




From the side





Big Beautiful Doll











Glamorous Glennis












Old Crow












Thank You

  • Like 16
Link to post
Share on other sites

They look really nice, good job. 


And welcome to the forum, a nice introduction 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...