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P-51D Daddy's Girl (Or how to ruin a perfectly good Tamiya Mustang kit)


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Lovely detailing Squibby :clap:

 

As for the pylons, if I were you I would consider making holes in the wings and mounting pegs on the pylons (from brass rod or anything similar).

 

If you are afraid of scratching the paint job on the wings, you can put a small piece of tape where the holes are intended to be, and drill through it. Just my :2c:

 

Ciao

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Cheers @giemme I'm really reluctant to drill since I'll still have to position them properly before I do that. not sure how I can mark the holes.

 

I'm thinking I'll use a fairly innocuous and slow setting adhesive like PVA to fix them on. I should have plenty of time to position them right and any excess glue can be wiped off. It's not like they'll be holding any weight so PVA should be fine.

 

Since the last update though, I've been beavering away finishing off the last bits on the plane. I painted up and fitted the flaps. 

Painting the ID strip on them was tougher than I thought. I had to fit the flaps on loosely in their retracted position and continue the lines through using tape like so. 

49181534803_b9f43ff969_c.jpg

 

Here they are all finished and lightly weathered to match the rest of the wing. I ended up missing a few stencils on the flaps, I may try to get them on but it's hardly noticeable omission. 

49182233677_d31b74535e_b.jpg

 

I also painted up the radiator flap door and fitted it. The actuator shaft was added with a bit of thin painted brass tube. The oil cooler flap actuator shaft was also added from a bit of thin wire just glued into the inside face in a really fiddly operation. I really hope I don't end up knocking it out before the model is finished.

49182233477_d5832a226c_b.jpg

 

The exhaust stacks were tackled next. First they were painted in dark aluminium. The outside of the shroud was masked and the pipes were sprayed with a 1:1 mix of XF-58 tire black and metal colour 'exhaust manifold'. It was then given a fairly liberal wash with tamiya black panel liner and once dry, flatted down and fitted into the fuselage I touched some dark earth pigment around the ends of the pipes and dirtied up the area under the exhausts to blend into the exhaust staining more seamlessly.

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and finally here are the pylons all painted up...

49182025771_e2679b946f_c.jpg

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1 hour ago, Squibby said:

I'm thinking I'll use a fairly innocuous and slow setting adhesive like PVA to fix them on. I should have plenty of time to position them right and any excess glue can be wiped off. It's not like they'll be holding any weight so PVA should be fine.

I concur 👍

 

Flaps looking great, and so do the exhausts! :worthy: 👏

 

Ciao

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Seconded.

I just went back to the first few pages of the build looking for inspiration for my Mustang STGB build and I’d forgotten just how much extra detail you’d added to the cockpit and wheel wells. :clap:

 

John

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@Biggles87 lol, at the speed this build is going, I'd almost forgotten myself 😄. Glad it was useful, though get one of those Eduard p51's or the Meng kit and just save yourself the heartache 😋

 

I spent a few hours today between dealing with a sick and grizzly 15 month old to clean and hack up the main landing gear legs. I first opened the holes in the scissor struts. I drilled 2 holes, 1 large and one smaller hole where the ends of the openings would be then carefully carved the section between out with a sharp knife and my micro chisels.

The work looks a little rough blown up in the photo since it was hard to get in and clean them up, it's not too noticeable in reality though.

 

I then carved up the locking bracket? from a solid lump to form the 2 tabs with holes in them (visible on the front of the leftmost leg in the photo). Again hacked away with a sharp knife and very gingerly marked and drilled them out using a toothpick slid between for support.

 

49186376013_d246a6211a_c.jpg

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I started a Spitfire at about the same time and it's still not finished, so I wouldn't worry about your build rate.

Good job on the undercarriage legs, hope you still have all your fingers.:whistle:

I'm going to use the Meng kit for my Mustang build, so I'll just need to fill in some of the 'rivet' holes on the wings.

 

John 

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Ah - the joys of child rearing - hopefully your wee one has made a good recovery at this stage. This is looking supreme btw - I also wouldn't worry about your work rate - you've waited this long to finish so no point rushing things - Though you're nearing the end game so I understand your eagerness to get it over the line. It's going to be a stunner in any case. 

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Progress has slowed for a bit but the finish line is surely in sight.

 

I fiddled with the gear legs some more over the weekend. Cleaning them up a bit more and carefully adding the brake lines.

I used tiny bits of drilled out brass tube as mounting points for the wire. I ran it in 3 sections between the brass tubes. The first section up to the bottom of the scissors in thin rigid steel wire, the second loopy section through the scissors in flexible thicker lead wire and finally back to the steel wire for the last section up into the gear bay.

 

49222058917_f74d6a78b2_b.jpg

 

I then gingerly test fitted the legs and after a little bit of careful fettling of the mounting pin they fit nice and snug 😓

 

I was going to use a Molotow chrome pen on the oleos but for some reason the ink has gone all weird and grainy, must not have the best shelf life, I bought it a year ago...

Instead I might first try spraying it with chrome paint then carefully mask and spray the flat aluminium over the rest of the leg. If that fails I can still apply aluminium tape over it. 

Anticipating this I left one end of the lead wire section unattached in case I need to swing it out of the way to paint / apply tape to the oleo.

Edited by Squibby
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Well I've encountered a bit of a set back.

 

I managed to achieve shiny enough chrome finish using paint. I first sprayed a gloss coat on the primer and laid down a coat of magnesium (a dark metal shade). I then applied a gloss coat to the struts with a brush to get a nice heavy smooth layer and finally sprayed a coat of thinned chrome paint to get the shine.

I sealed it with a brushed on layer of gloss, spray tends to dull the finish.

 

After drying overnight I had masked up carefully to spray the flat aluminium when I heard a hiss from my compressor tank which rapidly turned into roar. The tank had sprung a tiny hole and given up the ghost...lasted me about 4 years. Not bad for a ~150 dollar tank and compressor set. I'll hang onto the compressor as a spare but the tank is heading to the tip.

I neglected to drain the tank down for a bit and it had a nice collection of rusty water inside. Ever since then I diligently let all the air out of the tank after finishing spraying but I guess the damage had been done. So maybe check your tanks because you may have a problem brewing as well.

 

After cleaning (or attempting to at least) the rusty patch on the carpet, I placed an order for a new (similar) one. This one comes with a little cooling fan so may not get as hot after a continuous spraying session.

 

Annoying that this had to happen in the last week before the holidays. I'll be lucky to see it this year, but I hold out hope 😁

 

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So I'm back in business, my new compressor turned up today 😀

 

I promptly got down to finishing off the main gear bits. Sprayed on dull aluminium, then carefully hand painted the flex hose in grey black and the various brake line fittings in 'exhaust manifold' I found this colour is a good facsimile for old brass.

I then gave it a pin wash with some dark enamel panel liner and after cleaning all the bits up this is what I ended up with. 

 

49263661327_da48774f68_b.jpg

 

I also started on the wheels by sanding the seam off then carefully aligning and filing down the wheels to flatten them (I threaded them onto a punch). I then re-inscribed the tread back carefully which was a real pain.

 

49263775052_ba6021e690_c.jpg

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Edited by Squibby
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A small update on progress of my work over the last few days. Hope you all had / having a good Christmas day...

 

I finished up the tires and the tail wheel first. The main tires had one side of the hub molded on while the other side was supplied as a separate piece, so no escape from masking here. I got to use my circle cutter for the first time to whip up some masks for the hub. It went well enough but I had to do a little touching up around the rim.

A tip when painting the tail wheel (or hand touching up the rim of the main wheels) use very thin paint to carefully pin wash around the rim edge then paint out from there. 

 

After applying some washes and some dark earth pigment (which is an absolute pain to keep from getting everywhere on the work bench...) I had some finished wheels.

 

49272670323_089746510d_c.jpg

 

I then set to assembling everything. I started by fixing in the main gear legs, sans the outer covers or tires. 

I assembled the tires but there was a minor misalignment of the separate hub piece with the molded part that prevented them from slipping onto the axles. A few seconds with an appropriately sized drill bit sorted that issue. 

In order to get the flattened bit aligned properly I tacked the wheels onto the axles with some PVA glue. I then set the plane on it's wheels (with the tail wheel installed of course) and twiddled the tires until it sat properly. I then locked them in place using a touch of extra thin cement.

The landing light was painted and added and the remaining gear door parts went on easily enough though the inner doors were a bit of a fiddle with the actuator rams.

 

So finally after 2+ years she's finally on her own feet 😀

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49272670368_3163339350_c.jpg

 

You'll note that the drop tank pylons were also fitted using PVA glue.  It was a good thing too as I had to do over one side a couple of times and all it took was a wipe with a wet paper towel instead of lots of sanding and respraying.

 

I'm rapidly running out of bits to add. Aside from the prop there are only a few final touches to go. One of these touches is the rear view mirror attached to the main canopy. This will require a bit of scratch building.

 

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I whipped up the rear view mirror using the rounded end of a sprue runner tacked onto a bit of square styrene rod.

 

49277826907_b98629e0d2_c.jpg

 

And here is the finished bit, painted up and fitted to the canopy.

49277627046_183be7f07c_c.jpg

 

I ended up trying to a paint a mirror finish using chrome but it didn't turn out too good due to the roughness of the surface which I couldn't really smooth out. I was thinking of sticking on a disk of reflective foil but the mirror is too large for my punch set and too small to cut with a circle cutter (also I don't want a hole in the middle).

This may have to do unless I think of something.

 

 

 

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Nice bit of scratch building with that rear view mirror, Squibby :worthy:

 

What if you fill in the inner side with something self levelling (thinking of PVA glue, for instance) and then paint it over? 

 

Ciao

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Happy new year to you all (I think you lot on the wrong side of the world have made it by now right?)

 

@giemme thanks for the suggestion, I think I'll just leave it be, I'd have to remove it to mess around with it and it looks convincing enough as long as you don't look at it too closely 😁

 

I moved onto the last bits and pieces and tackled the prop. First up was to fix the excessive flair on the prop cuffs, I just took to each prop with a file, the following photo shoes how much I took off. While still probably a little too flared, I can't take them down too much or they'll look too off centre once fitted.

49309585367_097ddb106c_c.jpg

 

After painting decaling and weathering...

49309359111_219163297b_c.jpg

 

I weathered the reverse side of the blades a bit quite heavily while leaving the front side intact.

I added small chips and an even wearing down of the leading edge using acrylic aluminum paint and a fine brush / sharpened toothpick. The fading was partially done with shading and application of grey oil paint which I streaked across the blade using a wide bristly brush dampened in thinner and then cleaned up and faded towards the root with a cotton bud.

49309561487_6a3c2860be_c.jpg

 

The decals were dulled down with some light dust coloured pigment and the prop hub got some chips and some hydraulic fluid streaks around the joint line

 

That completes the last of the major bits, I've only got some minor detailing bits to add and I can call this 2+ year project finished.

 

Oh and on a side note I few posts back I was complaining about some wrinkles in the aluminium foil 'paneling' around the main canopy. Turns out if you use the back end of a metal scalpel and really carefully rub you can burnish it smooth without damaging the paint.

I'm quite happy with that since my eye kept being drawn to it.

 

 

 

 

 

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I spent the past couple of days fidding around with tiny added details, lights, and paint touchups but I think I've run out of parts to fix and bits to add. I'll have to call this one finally done. 😮

 

I'm currently working on some proper RFI photos, but here is one WIP shot to show it all together.

 

49338540531_e531f86ee4_b.jpg

 

Thanks to all who followed this long and meandering build, I must have lost a few of you along the way since I started in '17. I hope it's been informative and potentially helpful for the P51 STGB currently going on.

 

I think I've picked my next target. I'm going back to 1/72 scale where I don't need to worry myself with all the super detailing. I've got a nice Tamiya Mosquito sitting on my desk that should hopefully prove to be a nice relaxing build. 

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She looks magnificent Squibby - well worth the wait :) Looking forward to seeing some more photos... It was a great WIP and certainly inspired me on my P-51 build so thanks for that. I've also started a 1/72 after a few 1/48's - It's amazing how you forget how small everything is :) All good fun though. 

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Magnificent! :worthy:

I think you need to delete some of the words from the title.

 

John

 

PS. I’ve been meaning to ask you where you got the vice shown on page 4, it looks very handy.

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