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dnl42

P-51D-20-NA, L.E. Curdes, "Bad Angel"

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I'm going to build L.E. Curdes' Bad Angel. Let's start with a contemporaneous photo.

Screen-Shot-2016-06-28-at-12-37-49-PM-46

Notice the kill markings? German, Italian, Japanese, and, um, American! :huh:

Wikipedia has this to say:

Quote

On February 10, Curdes, now a Lieutenant, formed a squadron of four aircraft that departed from Mangaldan Airfield in the Philippines. Their objective was to investigate if the Japanese were using a temporary air strip on the southern tip of Taiwan. No airfield could be found and Curdes returned to the Philippines. Flying over the island of Batan, the squadron split; Curdes and Lieutenant Schmidtke headed north, while Lieutenants Scalley and La Croix headed south.

 

Scalley and La Croix located a small Japanese airfield and attacked it and also called for reinforcements; Curdes and Schmidtke headed south to join them.

 

During the attack on the airfield, La Croix was shot down and made an emergency landing in the sea. As the squadron circled, Curdes could see that his companion had survived, and remained in the area to guide a rescue plane and protect the downed pilot. While covering La Croix, Curdes noticed a larger plane was preparing to land at the Batan airfield. He went to investigate and found the aircraft to be Douglas C-47 transport with US insignia. Curdes tried to make contact by radio, but was not successful. He maneuvered his P-51 in front of the plane several times trying to get the C-47 to alter course, but the C-47 maintained its course.

 

Curdes lined up his P-51 directly behind the C-47 and fired his .50 caliber machine guns into one of the C-47s two engines, causing it to fail. The C-47 still maintained its course for the Batan's airfield so Curdes then disabled the remaining engine forcing the pilot to ditch in the sea. The plane successfully ditched without breaking up, and the crew was able to evacuate into a lifeboat. La Croix approached and was brought on board the C-47's life raft, where he was informed about the situation. The plane had apparently been lost in poor weather and its radio had stopped working. As it was also running out of fuel, the pilot headed directly to the island's airstrip, unaware that it was under Japanese control.

 

At this point, the dusk and low level of fuel of the P-51 forced Curdes to return to base. The next morning, he accompanied the rescue PBY to pick up the downed C-47 pilot and 11 crew members, including two nurses, all of whom had survived the incident. To Curdes's surprise, he discovered that one of the nurses, named Svetlana Valeria Shostakovich Brownell, was a woman with whom he had had a date the night before the incident. Contrary to subsequent reports, Curdes did not receive a Distinguished Flying Cross for that event, although he did receive credit for the "Kill" and displayed it on his aircraft.

And here's a photo of Curdes and his bride, Svetlana Valeria Shostakovich Brownell. How many husbands can claim they shot their future bride out of the sky?

Bad-Angel-background1.jpg

 

I'll be using the Airfix A05106 North American F-51D Mustang boxing and CAM 48-115 Mustang Thoroughbreds

Bad-Angel-start.jpg

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6 hours ago, dnl42 said:

How many husbands can claim they shot their future bride out of the sky?

 

I accidentally tipped my future bride out of a punt on our first date.  Does that count?  Probably not.

As others have said though, what an incredible story behind your build.  Good choice!

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And away we go. Here's the initial state

badangel-start1.jpg

 

badangel-start2.jpg

 

badangel-start3.jpg

 

badangel-start4.jpg

 

I have a PDF of the P-51D instructions. The differences are the props (I need the cuffed version per below), fillets, and ordnance.

 

badangel-L2-PICT0027.jpg

 

Can somebody explain these different fillets?

The P-51D boxing specifies the left vertical stabilizer while the F-51D boxing specifies the right version. Note the different panel lines in the fillets? Hm, the left one looks a little short-shottish... 

badangel-fillet0.jpgbadangel-fillet1.jpg

The aircraft at Pima Air & Space Museum, which claims to be 44-63272, has the right-hand fillet.

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The early retrofitted fin fillets had a little "swing" to it, making a slightly curved appearance. The later factory mounted was straight. That's the difference overall. 

 

Remember the nose should be red, not yellow :)

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@Boman, thanks for pointing out the wrong color callout on the CAM sheet. While I know the Pima aircraft has a red spinner I hadn't noticed the CAM callout until you pointed it out.

 

Hm, noticed more errors in that sheet... :o

Edited by dnl42

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Good morning dnl42

Welcome aboard

Have fun with your build

Patrice

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Finally got some time on this. I had to fill some poorly placed ejection marks with discs punched from 5 mil plastic sheet

badangel-fuselage-sides1.jpg

 

As always, primer is thinned Mr Surfacer 1200.

badangel-fuselage-sides2.jpg

 

I thinned the seat side braces from their as-molded 4-6 inch scale thickness down to a scale 1 in. Still oversize, but much better. I needed several attempts to paint the seat. This last time, I first airbrushed the back cushion with Mr Color Sail Color (C45), protected it with Microscale Industries Micro Mask, airbrushed the seat with Colourcoats Bronze Green, peeled the mask, and finished the belts with The Army Painter Warpaints Skeleton Bone and Plate Mail Metal. I also added some detail atop the SCR-522 with 0.2mm lead wire.

badangel-cockpit5.jpg

 

badangel-cockpit6.jpg

 

Thanks for stopping by...

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Posted (edited)

I succeeded in getting the fuselage buttoned up by year's end. :penguin:

 

But first, some repair work was called for. I contrived to cut off the mounting stud when I removed the tailwheel strut (D05) from the sprue. Some work with a #67 drill and brass rod fixed the problem.

badangel-tailwheelstrut-crop.jpg

 

When I first stuffed the cockpit and radiator scoop innards between the fuselage sides, it wasn't a happy sight...

badangel-fuselage0.jpg

 

Careful yet extensive filing of the radiator assembly sides eventually allowed the fuselage sides to join. I used medium CA to fill the seam gap. While CA always leaves a visible seam, now that it has been finished with a 6-cut equaling file, there won't be any evidence after it's primed.

badangel-fuselage3.jpg

 

Here's the cockpit in situ

badangel-fuselage5.jpg

 

badangel-fuselage6.jpg

 

As a final note, here's the last sunset of 2019 from Southern California!

last-sunset-2019.jpg

 

Welcome 2020! :drink:

Edited by dnl42

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Beautiful sunset! We‘ve got chilly fog all over - I refrain from showing that 😀

Your cockpit detail looks great. Very well observed and executed.

Happy New Year, Michael

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Happy New Year.

The cockpit looks good, especially with the decals. The supplied detail looks to be somewhere between the Meng and Eduard versions. 

Looking forward to more,

 

John

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Great job so far ,smashing cockpit

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@Toryu, @Biggles87, and @Hewy, thanks!

 

This does have a fair amount of cockpit detail. I haven't seen the Eduard kit, but I would expect it to be the most detailed. Don't forget though, Airfix and Meng were the first 48th scale Mustangs to get the MLG bays correct. In any event, I'm going to try hard to keep AM out of this kit.

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And the basic airframe is done! 

badangel-wing0.jpg

 

I used The Army Painter Warpaints for the identification lights. In retrospect, the yellow should be more orange. My current plan is to add the radiator scoop inlet between priming and polishing.

badangel-wing1.jpg

 

There are still gaps to fill and curves to fair before priming. Then more filing and fairing before polishing.

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Working on getting the rest of the bits ready for painting.

 

I do like this style of windscreen that includes parts of the fuselage. Definitely eases attaching and fairing the windscreen

badangel-parts0.jpg

 

Next up were the wheels, well, baldies. Some work with a JLC and triangular needle file added a semblance of a tread.

badangel-parts1.jpg

 

While attaching the sway braces on the underwing hardpoints, one of them suddenly disappeared--a known problem of items originating in plural zones. Some work with Evergreen strip, a punch, and some Evergreen rod produced a suitable replacement (lower right sway brace). Airfix's instructions had the sway brace orientation opposite of photographic evidence, so I reversed them as shown.

badangel-parts3.jpg

 

The as-molded canopy former lacked lightening holes and scaled out to 4-6 inches thick. I drilled out the holes and thinned the part with a file. Still too thick at a scale 1 in, but better...

badangel-parts5.jpg

 

I'm now looking at the MLG. Airfix would have the MLG struts natural metal and the main door's inner surface primed. My subject photo suggests the opposite.

P-51-D-Mustang-Bad-Angel-3rd-ACG-Nose-ArP-51-D-Mustang-Bad-Angel-3rd-ACG-Nose-Ar

You can also see the tire tread isn't quite as simple as shown by my razor saw and file work above. I checked some resin wheels in the stash and see they didn't get a proper tread either, so I'm sticking with my rework.

 

While on the subject of the MLG doors, Airfix molded the inner doors and fuselage keel as integrated parts. I'm guessing this was viewed as quite clever...

badangel-parts7.jpg

Consistent with my subject photo below, it's not uncommon to see each door drooped to a different degree. At least half of the contemporaneous photos I have showing the inner doors show such a droop. Not sure I'll fix this.

P-51-D-Mustang-Bad-Angel-3rd-ACG-Nose-Ar

 

Thanks for looking! :bye:

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I didn't really like Airfix's engineering of the wheel doors for that reason- that they force you to do full-down unless you perform surgery.  Such a characteristic element of the Merlin Mustangs...

 

(p.s. My current perception of the door conundrum is that hydraulic pressure was dumped, but since the doors themselves can't weigh a whole lot, it took a while for gravity to win out.)

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@Thom216, thanks!

 

3 hours ago, gingerbob said:

I didn't really like Airfix's engineering of the wheel doors for that reason- that they force you to do full-down unless you perform surgery.  Such a characteristic element of the Merlin Mustangs...

 

(p.s. My current perception of the door conundrum is that hydraulic pressure was dumped, but since the doors themselves can't weigh a whole lot, it took a while for gravity to win out.)

Indeed. Not happy with this...

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The Meng kit has the same arrangement for the inner doors with an alternative ‘ doors closed ‘ option but without the keel! Strange

 

John

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30 minutes ago, Biggles87 said:

The Meng kit has the same arrangement for the inner doors with an alternative ‘ doors closed ‘ option but without the keel! Strange

 

John

Hm, inner does up is strange for a Merlin-engined Mustang.  Airfix does have a wheels-up option.

 

Doors fully down is fine for a museum aircraft, which I could actually do for Bad Angel--a replica is in the Pima Air & Space Museum.

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Doors up, or fully closed, is normal for a Merlin Mustang (I had begun to type 'Spitfire'!) with hydraulic pressure- they only open when the gear is being cycled.  If you look at some photos you'll see plenty with the clamshells firmly up, but they DO bleed down eventually, and there are plenty of photos, as well, with one (or both) "slightly ajar" or somewhere in the middle, presumably because photos were frequently taken shortly after return from a hop. 

 

Either because of conditioning or whim, I think a Merlin Mustang looks a little weird with the clamshells shut tight!

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Just looked at the inner doors again on the Meng kit and they have no detail on the insides so they are obviously for a ‘ wheels up ‘ option. That’ll teach me for not reading the instructions properly!

 

:sorry:

 

John

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