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Torbjorn

1/72 Airfix P-51D - (first completed, on to the next one: conversion to P-51D-5-NA Short-Fuse Sallee)

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3 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

I mentioned showed a red that decidedly had quite some blue in it (although not quite as much as that Vallejo), but probably also some yellow. I’m sure there is a clear definition somewhere, but my question is - would that exact shade be used by all units, and why is there so many yellow red images around? Different reds at different times?

well,  the @  bit worked  and Dana added his input, which is something I was not aware of.

 

FWIW  the color images I posted all look to me glossy

13 minutes ago, Dana Bell said:

Glossy Insignia Red - the ANA color was not changed during the war, and was sometimes used on camouflaged aircraft

 

All are 8th AF planes.

 

regarding the 'blue' and 'yellow' reds,   I was trying to define the colour shift,  the model paint was red with a blue tint,  the photo examples above are red with a yellow tint.

a red with blue and yellow (blue+yellow = green, green +red = brown)  leads to a red-brown.

 

Model paint can have quite complex mixes of pigments, and these traces can change mixed colours significantly.

 

And, I now have access to my paint, and  Vallejo Red 70.926 is FS30160/RAL3004,  while Flat Red 70.957 is listed as ANA 619

see link for chart from

"American Fighters Over Europe: Colors & Markings of Usaaf Fighters "

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cieCm2eI5AsC&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=ana+619+red&source=bl&ots=f9xp00HFlQ&sig=N6J6b1-rKc-zOSmVDWu7xLTWpWk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_qu6lm-XXAhVmK8AKHRjxADsQ6AEIUTAJ#v=onepage&q=ana 619 red&f=false

 

ANA 619 is bright red, ANA 618 dull red.

 

Given the markings were meant to be distinctive and highly visible,  I'd go with the glossy bright red seen on the B-17 and Gentile's P-51B  (note the gloss shine on both)

 

It is of course your model and your decision on colour,   

 

but it's made me pay attention to my Vallejo reds and learn something new from @Dana Bell

 

cheers

T

 

 

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Hi Dana,

 

Many thanks for the information! I gather there is little way of knowing which one of those would have been used on this particular example. The model represents the plane some time in late '44, but who knows when the rudder was painted. I will try to match the ANA 619, just to make a choice - made easier by Troy's identification as Vallejo Flat Red (although I do believe it should be a bit more blue in it than in Vallejos flat red :)). Not so sure about the gloss. I did add a bit (Flat Red is really dull) but images of this plane does not suggest much gloss on the rudder, see for examle http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php?Group=352&Style=item&origStyle=list&Item=41&Temp=1054&searchString=

Photographs from [url=http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php?Group=352]littlefriends.co.uk[/url] shows a quite dark color, but I'm no expert in monochromatic images so this doesn't tell me anything. For anyone else building this plane, go to that site - there are many pictures of the plane both before and after it was assigned to E. James, with tidbits of info that should be highly reliable since the photos appear to be supplied by the crew chief himself! One such tidbit is the white trim rudder, for easy identification :) The plane carried the names Pinkie, Rose Marie (James) and 

 

After painting over the purple red with flat red, it now has a red with a hint of blue, so I'm quite satisfied how it turned out, see below. 

edit: here you can also see the damaged starboard aileron which I smelted - I didn't completely straighten it out apparently :D

cnLew88l.jpg

 

 

Now waiting for decals to dry. Here Airfix made a little boo-boo - the serial number on the rudder was painted over with white for visibility, and got thicker in the process. On the side shown in the photo above, it is correct, but on the opposite side, where the '414' part should be on the rudder, the same font has been re-used (meaning a thin white 414 and thick black 207).

 

Then to try some light weathering, especially on the exhaust pipes and some of the panel lines on the blue-painted section/decals. The panel lines on the metal parts I'm already happy with. Then I just have to add some protruding bits and figure out how to seal the thing without changing the shininess either way.

Edited by Torbjorn

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Finished!

 

The antenna was a fragile affair that went the same way as the control stick. This was for the better: I made a replacement filed from a scrap piece of brass and secured in a way suchthat the entire model will break before the antenna. I found drawings on the net showing the size and aerofoil shape (google AN-104A). Painted red, as suggested by photos.

 

Otherwise I drilled a hole for the gun camera and suggested its existance with a dab of dark paint. Tried a bit of weathering using oil paints, to put a little dirt and wear around the ammo hatches and fuel tanks. Nothing fancy here, I believe this plane was well maintained.

8n7RNH7m.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

5k0KkiSm.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

 

 

nzrP4XWm.jpg?1

89p2rell.jpg?1

 

edit:tried to make smaller images

Edited by Torbjorn

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Excellent result on the P51 build!

She's looking good.

Nice bit of historical insight too.

I came across this business about ground Chief "graffiti" starboard side/ Pilot aircrew stuff on port side when I was doing F86 Sabres in Korea. Models of them, I mean.

Even the pilot's kill tally on port/ aircraft kill tally on starboard side.

I don't know how universal the"rule" was, or how long it lasted - might still be going on...!

 

If you want critical feedback on the build, can I suggest the tyres look a little bit hard - a little bit of flattening might just give the airframe some weight.

I built this kit not long ago and the tyres have flat spots moulded on, and rectangular axles to place the flats on the ground. Did you get that when you were building? I'm asking because we didn't have any of that 20 years ago! The feature was certainly new to me, and not obvious in the instructions.

Otherwise, a bit of a flat might just help her "sit".

 

And wheel chocks - I've started making chocks. I love 'em!

Got a plan for the 2nd...?

Edited by rob Lyttle

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Can't believe I missed these two posts.

 

On 8.12.2017 at 1:54 AM, rob Lyttle said:

Excellent result on the P51 build!

She's looking good.

Nice bit of historical insight too.

I came across this business about ground Chief "graffiti" starboard side/ Pilot aircrew stuff on port side when I was doing F86 Sabres in Korea. Models of them, I mean.

Even the pilot's kill tally on port/ aircraft kill tally on starboard side.

I don't know how universal the"rule" was, or how long it lasted - might still be going on...!

 

If you want critical feedback on the build, can I suggest the tyres look a little bit hard - a little bit of flattening might just give the airframe some weight.

I built this kit not long ago and the tyres have flat spots moulded on, and rectangular axles to place the flats on the ground. Did you get that when you were building? I'm asking because we didn't have any of that 20 years ago! The feature was certainly new to me, and not obvious in the instructions.

Otherwise, a bit of a flat might just help her "sit".

 

And wheel chocks - I've started making chocks. I love 'em!

Got a plan for the 2nd...?

Didn't hear about the aircraft/pilot tally, but I have no difficulties imagining how that idea would come about.

 

Criticism is very welcome. The tyres were moulded the way you describe, but they didn't end up flat on the ground - it is possible I have too much angle on the undercarriage. It's a nice feature, but maybe just some manual sanding would be better. Wonder if it'd be possible to put the model on a hot surface to soften the plastic, getting both a flat surface and the little resulting bulge (next one that it, before painting the wheels..). Might need some trial-and-error and result in lots of scrapped tyres... The tyres also have a moulded line along the centreline, as if moulded in two halves.

 

As for number 2, that's why I came back here - I liked it so much I bought another one :D Almost finished the cockpit, wanted to check the improvement since the first one. I'm struggling to get a good leathery feel on the seat back and head cushions. :/  

 

The instrument panel is a decal, which looks lifeless. Tried to add some blobs of varnish (top right I tried PVA instead as a test) and diluted grayish paint to give it some patina. Also added a few levers to make it more threedimensional.

uzlw3yum.jpg

 

Added more bits and pieces this time. The radio wire is twisted wires from a butchered toy car - it was so thin it's *almost* to scale.

UP9qMm1m.jpg

 

CK2SqN2l.jpg

 

HEaKthhl.jpg

 

 

 

I did break the stick. We'll see how long the mending lasts.

Edited by Torbjorn

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One issue I wanted to fix: the tailplanes. Of some reason the trailing edges are tapered almost to a point, so that when they connect to the elevators, the latter are much thicker. I contemplated chiseling away a part and laminate a piece of brass sheet to ensure a sharp edge, but in the end I just masked the elevator with foil and applied putty to shape the tailplane. This is the status after removing the mask and sanding, compared to the so far unsoiled starboard side - hopefully it will look sharp enough after painting. Also need to scribe the balance tab.

 

JwO5kogl.jpg

 

 

Otherwise I joined the fuselage and will put this to rest while deciding which particular airframe to build. Most other details I want to do depend on the production block/particular plane, such as routing for pressure/fuel lines to the drop tanks, gear bay colouring and so on. Scrounging around for decals.

 

 

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Waiting on a package from Britain containing decals and other goodies. In fact, I bought two sheets, the second of which includes decals for three planes and a whole model as a bonus (realising this must be the most cost-effective way of acquiring decals, since all I could find cost more than the Airfix kit). The airframe I will try to replicate is 44-13561, a P-51D-5-NA, christened Short-Fuse Sallee and flown by  Richard Turner and later by Richard Boes, who was shot down and killed in October 1944. 

 

The decals will be, should the mail arrive safely, from printscale: http://www.printscale.org/product_715.html

 

The plane lacks the dorsal fin, which the kit does not lack. If it was later fitted with the fin, as many were, I can depict it at a later date. Unfortunately I have found very few pictures of the plane, and none of them shows the tail clearly. The plan is to continue building and meanwhile searching for images. Unless I can determine that this airframe received the modification, I’ll bite the bullet and perform some surgery on the vertical stabiliser to depict the aircraft in D-Day livery. I just found an article where Turner describes his D-Day mission of escorting C-47s with gliders by night, which was inspiring.

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I have found no evidence of the aircraft receiving the modification, at least not while Turner was flying it. Will aim to build the plane as it appeared by late summer 1944, like shown here: http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/29747

 

 

The Airfix kit represents a late production aeroplane and so far I've identified - by googling - these modifications that needs to be done.

 

-The most apparent one, removing the dorsal fin fillet. Straightforward and fortunately much easier than going the other way around.

 

-Fabric-covered elevators instead of metal. Will try to make a hint of a ribbed structure to appear if you really look for it, but less apparent than moulded on the rudder.

 

-Removal of some panels: the upper square panel on the fin for the radar that was installed on later machines. Also the little access hatch on the port side just in front of the windscreen. I'm sure I missed some, but those were the ones I could spot on drawings.

 

-The gyro gunsight which wasn't unstalled until much later. I haven't got a plan here since I already installed it before realising. Will have to come up with a solution

 

-Unshrouded exhausts - this is specific to this airframe, not related to production block. I have ordered  the most cost-effective replacement - the Tamiya kit which contains two sets, one shrouded and one unshrouded :D

 

 I'm sure there is more, but these should be the main ones. I have already started with number one to three and assembled the fuselage and wings. To make the elevators appear covered in fabric I masked the location of the ribs and added a strip of PVA glue. When dried, I will try to sand it down a bit and use the structure as guide to high/low-lighting after painting. Have no idea how it will turn out, but in case of disaster it will be simple just to sand it down.

 

Current state of things (almost - I just added the rudder as well):

 

M6zfvmXl.jpg?1

 

HKJ6Ulqm.jpg?1

 

 

 

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Looking good! I'm glad the decals you have chosen allow you to paint the aircraft accurately, with the correct black & white nose markings (rather than blue & white as it was incorrectly depicted for so many years).

 

I don't know if you'll be able to see the image at this link (you may have to be a member of the Facebook page), but here is the earliest photo of 44-13561 that I have ever seen:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213211988308214&set=pcb.10155376677542449&type=3&theater&ifg=1

 

Contrary to other depictions of the aircraft, it is interesting to note that at this stage, very likely early-mid July '44, the nose was still all black and had yet to have the white stars or prop spinner. The black-painted section of nose of course originated when all of the bare metal Mustangs through most of 1944 received the black ID/recognition markings upon acceptance by both the 8th and 9th Air Forces, at depot level, prior to unit assignment. Later, the 356th FS simply applied the white stars and paint to the prop spinner over this section of black paint. Note that even at this early stage, with the all-black nose, the very neatly-applied "invasion" stripes are already of the reduced-type, as mandated around July 7-9 '44, where the stripes were only supposed to be present on the lower-halves of the wings & fuselage. The stripes appear to be quite precise in their application, and in the photo I've linked to, you can quite clearly see the unique demarcations/outlines of the outer-most white bands of the stripes and how they were masked from the stars & bars and squadron codes - there is no indication or evidence that shows that the stripes were ever fully applied on this aircraft. The photo I've linked to above also indicates that the steel rub plates on the landing gear clam shell doors were coated with (yellow) zinc chromate, as most of them had.

The profile provided with the decals wouldn't seem to be completely accurate, as it was almost certainly a "guesstimate" - as even if it did have full invasion stripes prior to the reduced stripes (which I doubt), the nose wouldn't have had the white stars and prop spinner yet. Based on all of the photos of the aircraft I have seen, there is no evidence to support it ever having full invasion stripes.

 

With regard to some other P-51D-5-NA unique details, if you can make a clear or white tear-drop light that is the same size and shape of the wingtip navigation lights, there was one located on the top of the rear fuselage on P-51D-5-NA's (and D-5-NT's), just aft of the antenna mast. (This was eliminated on later production versions.) This white light was connected to the early recognition lights system.

 

38669561300_e493a92a40_o.jpg

 

39584306735_809607e517_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Terrell

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On 2/25/2018 at 6:22 PM, John Terrell said:

Looking good! I'm glad the decals you have chosen allow you to paint the aircraft accurately, with the correct black & white nose markings (rather than blue & white as it was incorrectly depicted for so many years).

 

I don't know if you'll be able to see the image at this link (you may have to be a member of the Facebook page), but here is the earliest photo of 44-13561 that I have ever seen:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213211988308214&set=pcb.10155376677542449&type=3&theater&ifg=1

 

Contrary to other depictions of the aircraft, it is interesting to note that at this stage, very likely early-mid July '44, the nose was still all black and had yet to have the white stars or prop spinner. The black-painted section of nose of course originated when all of the bare metal Mustangs through most of 1944 received the black ID/recognition markings upon acceptance by both the 8th and 9th Air Forces, at depot level, prior to unit assignment. Later, the 356th FS simply applied the white stars and paint to the prop spinner over this section of black paint. Note that even at this early stage, with the all-black nose, the very neatly-applied "invasion" stripes are already of the reduced-type, as mandated around July 7-9 '44, where the stripes were only supposed to be present on the lower-halves of the wings & fuselage. The stripes appear to be quite precise in their application, and in the photo I've linked to, you can quite clearly see the unique demarcations/outlines of the outer-most white bands of the stripes and how they were masked from the stars & bars and squadron codes - there is no indication or evidence that shows that the stripes were ever fully applied on this aircraft. The photo I've linked to above also indicates that the steel rub plates on the landing gear clam shell doors were coated with (yellow) zinc chromate, as most of them had.

The profile provided with the decals wouldn't seem to be completely accurate, as it was almost certainly a "guesstimate" - as even if it did have full invasion stripes prior to the reduced stripes (which I doubt), the nose wouldn't have had the white stars and prop spinner yet. Based on all of the photos of the aircraft I have seen, there is no evidence to support it ever having full invasion stripes.

 

With regard to some other P-51D-5-NA unique details, if you can make a clear or white tear-drop light that is the same size and shape of the wingtip navigation lights, there was one located on the top of the rear fuselage on P-51D-5-NA's (and D-5-NT's), just aft of the antenna mast. (This was eliminated on later production versions.) This white light was connected to the early recognition lights system.

 

 

 

The color of the nose band was one thing I was wondering about, good you could clear it up.  I'm aiming for this image: http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/21889, which unfortunately have no date, but it must be later considering the victory marks. It appears that the stripes are still in the same configuration as in your photo. I cannot see any rub plates on this image, but it might just be due to image quality.

 

Will try to make the recognition light from clear sprue, but might be tricky to get it in place without fogging it with the glue. Suppose I could use PVA.

 

---

 

I'm also looking at the other 354th FG plane on the decal sheet, P-51B  43-6796, marked Swede's Steed II, of Lt Anderson, the first USAAF pilot to shoot own a V1. I don't really trust the sheet profiles. Of this plane I can find only contradictory information and no certain images. I've seen it claimed that 'Swede's Steed II' would have been 43-12172, which reassigned in May 43. Googling for the serial just tells me it crashed during landing or takeoff at A-2 in France, at the time when Anderson probably was flying the D. The other links just goes to the decal sheet I bought...However, Anderson supposedly had three planes with this name (https://airandspace.si.edu/support/wall-of-honor/capt-william-y-anderson), and the last was a P-51D, 44-13383. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

According to a book I have on the 354th FG, the P-51B-1-NA 43-12172 (one of the earliest P-51B's produced/to enter combat) was William Anderson's first Mustang, just named "Swede's Steed". This aircraft was later re-assigned to another pilot and given a different name, and was eventually re-assigned as "war weary" to the 496th Fighter Trainer Group (reported crashed during a training flight in September '44). Like you, I haven't found much at all on 43-6796, but it makes a good case for "Swede's Steed II" (which I know of a clear photo of the nose art from one of the relatives of a 354th FG pilot), since it is a later P-51B-7-NA. As you mention, there is an accident report on 43-6796, with the 354th FG, 353th FS (which is right for the Squadron that William Anderson was assigned to/flew with), in mid July 1944, at which point the aircraft was likely assigned to another pilot as, like you say, William Anderson would have already been assigned his early P-51D-5-NA 44-13383 named "Swede's Steed III".

Edited by John Terrell

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I found this image on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/370421138072027423/

 

Notice the invasion stripes: if 43-12172 was transferred in April/May and renamed with new nose art this has to be another plane. I wish there was a reference on the decal sheet, but I see no big holes in the assumption that 43-12172 was "Swede's Steed", 43-6796 ditto number II and 44-13383 number III. It does mean there's a number of mislabeled images on 43-6796 floating around the net, but that wouldn't be the first time.

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That photo you link to is of course "Swede's Steed II" (the same photo I mentioned in my post) and would be assumed to be 43-6796. The white stripe you see on the wing is not invasion stripes, it is just one of the ID bands/stripes from the recognition markings applied to all 8th and 9th AF P-51's in 1943 and 1944. What appears to be a second white stripe is simply the doped fabric covering over the gun ports.

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I thought that first, especially since the nose is still white (which I understand was overpainted by the time of the invasion), but the color outboard of white stripe appears black to me, certainly not the same shade as that on the inner side. I guess that is just a shadow effect then? 

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Yeah, just the effect of shadow. If it were to be invasion stripes, you'd expect there to be a much darker area at the top of the landing gear door then the bottom, but they're the same (neutral grey). Also, the invasion stripes were noticeably wider than the ID bands. If you look really close at the photo, you can also see that the doped fabric around the gun ports only extends so-far back.

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Posted (edited)

Great, then I have a plan - Many thanks for all the help.

 

---

Just to recap, currently building the latest new-tool Airfix to represent Short-Fuse Sallee. I also started building Academy's P-51B kit, to represent Swede's Steed II. Namely, this pair from this decal sheet here:

VNXaj21l.jpg?1

 

With some differences: Number 1 will be built as before the invasion, with white spinner and nose band, and white ID bands on wings and tailplane, but not on the fin/rudder as I believe it had been removed by that time (May '44). Number 2 will have invasion stripes only on the underside of the winds and half-way up on the fuselage as illustrated on the images in previous posts. On the upper surfaces and on the tailplane there are instead single black ID bands. 

 

I also started on the cockpit of a 3rd Mustang, Tamiya P-51D   (https://www.scalemates.com/kits/130046-tamiya-60749-p-51d-mustang). The reason for this building spree is that I'm temporarily alone - wife and kids at grandparents  - and I need to make the most of this leave, having agreed not to spend said time in the pub. :) I have to say the Tamiya kit is a bit above the Airfix when it comes to details, only downside is the flaps which are molded with the wing. 

 

The Academy kit (https://www.scalemates.com/kits/107350-academy-1667-p-51b-mustang) is bit behind in the nice-details departments but compensates with decals for 3 planes and plenty of ordnance and tanks: 75 gal. tanks, 108 gal paper tanks, 500lb bombs and bizarre-looking bazooka rocket launchers. I also bought an Eduard detailing set to compensate for the lesser detail (mainly in the cockpit, the panels and rivet details look good to me):

kAErigIl.jpg?1

 

There is one issue internet tells me: the spent cartridges should go through two separate openings per wing, whereas the kit has a single one as on earlier versions.

 

As mentioned I started with the cockpit, here seen together with the Tamiya cockpit. The chair of the Tamiya kit is a 2-piece affair and  superior to Airfix's version - and both kits managed to design a column stick that doesn't break!

JIbT6JSl.jpg?1

 

 

The details that were on the side walls were scraped off and replaced with Eduard's PE. The PE gets a bit too flat, so I cut apart some of the pieces and first glued them on bits of plastic to give it some depth. It was also pre-painted, but after treated with much thinned black paint it blended pretty well with the painted parts. A new backing for the instrument panel PE was made - much easier than scraping off x number of protruding parts from the kit panel.

VbCGUbgl.jpg?1

 

FCcpXJsl.jpg?1

 

I added some bits, and found a better way than last time of making passable oxygen hoses by using a pin vice and copper wire. I'm adding a picture to remember until next time (if there will be one - it was quick so I made 5 of them immediately). A finished one is seen on the right side wall in the picture immediately above, in a distinct shade of green.

 

VVNKZ7Ul.jpg?1

 

 

The lady of the house has put a moratorium on airbrushing and using other stinky things when kids are in the house, so I spend most of the evening painting and puttying wings, to get as much done before they come back. Sallee has received black primer - the plan is to continue with marking and painting the white bands, mark everything and paint the metal. I remember with dread painting invasion stripes once as a kid, with dozens of repaintings and touch-ups. Hope it will go better this second time.

 

Airfix/Sallee:

md1LgQGl.jpg?1

 

 

Academy B/Tamiya D:

 A9RmJrOl.jpg?1

 

 

Cost me some frozen toes - the stuff really stinks, especially the putty, so I was sitting with an open balcony door - now for some hot drinks to defrost.

 

 

...and I also bought the first issue of the Airfix newtool with the red-tailed plane at a clearance sale. I'm beginning to think I need professional help. :o

 

Edited by Torbjorn

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Not much modelling time lately :( Work work only (the lady in the house calls modelling ”work” as well, but alas - if only I would get payed for that)

 

 

Very little progress, I’ve been sanding and priming less-than perfect joints. Here is at least an image of the two 5-NA tails, for comparison. Left the Tamiya (will be made to famously photographed 44-13926) and right the Airfix Sallee. The former had received a dorsal fin fillet by the time I’m going to represent it - I modified the kit fin a bit to represent the appropriate field mod version instead of the factory installed. 

 

xzntSSH.jpg

 

 

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Following this with nated breath, as I will be doing the same Airfix 'stang with the same markings.

 

DennisTheBear

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Thanks!

It will be slow going I’m afraid. There is some progress at least: had a session in the paint shop (aka the balcony), ”Swede’s steed” has received a gray primer layer and ”Sallee” her invasion stripes and a layer of Vallejo silver. There were unfortunately some bleeding and chipping as the masks were removed, but will try to fix rather than re-do.

 

OKmWE9W.jpg

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Posted (edited)

And this is tye result after tape removal. Much of the chipping and bleeding is where touch ups can be marked with real chipping and abuse from shoes walking over the strips. There is a lip in some places where the tape sat - any suggestions how to remove those?

 

The wells are yellow with a slight tint of green/black, but appears more green sue to my curtains...

 

N1ora9J.jpg

 

R2zgXgy.jpg

I also realised I have no olive drab in the house. If I don’t manage to mix somethibg up I have a several-week wait in front of me for colours to arrive by mail. Ironically I’m using Vallejo due to that being the brand of the local hobby shop - which have since closed. Not sure where to buy from anymore, the internet merchant I frequent does not sell it. Is the xtracrylics OD good? 

 

Anyway, until then, I can only fiddle with undercarriages, propellers or other details.

 

 

Edited by Torbjorn

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