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Ratch

Air Fighting Development Unit Mustang I

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The Air Fighting Development Unit & No. 787 RNAS Squadron flew the Mustang I at RAF Wittering between 25th March 1943 – 17th January 1945.

As part of my 'Northamptonshire Project' I bought this kit on 28-10-08 and it has sat in my stash ever since. I don't have details like serial number(s) of the aircraft that flew from Wittering (any help appreciated), and I'm guessing that by 1943 they would be painted OG/DG over Barley Grey or even Trainer Yellow.

49222552752_8a12bb6446_z.jpg

The kit is packed in an end-opening box. The parts are moulded in light grey plastic on two sprues. Detail is crisp with engraved panel lines and no flash in evidence. The assembly is illustrated in five stages with two finish options illustrated. The decals are sharp and in register.

My References:

49222328821_7823015b27_z.jpg

From the decal file:

49222552667_62322401bb_z.jpg

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I've built a few Mustangs over the years.

Oldest to newest:

Airfix 1/72 North American P-51 B Mustang (02066)
193423897.jpg

 

North American P51 B-15-NA Mustang 1:72 Academy
142322697.jpg

 

My first completion of 2007 - North American P-51D Mustang 1:72 Airfix 02089
Pilot Colonel Robert Montgomery's North American P-51D 'Mustang', LC-D, 79th FS, 20th FG, King's Cliffe, July 1944.
221786222.jpg

 

Heller/Airfix 1/24 P-51D Mustang “Bunnie”, s/n 44-15569, coded 7, flown by Capt. Roscoe C. Brown, Commanding Officer, 100th FS, 322nd FG. Ramitelli Airfield, Italy, June 1944 to April 1945.

305407098.jpg

 

Airfix 1/72 North American P-51D Mustang (02098)
44-13535 MC-R ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ 79th FS 20th FG King’s Cliffe November 1944, pilot 1st Lt. Edward F. (Pogie) Pogue, claimed 4 He 111’s, Bf 109 and Bf 110 all on the ground plus 4 damaged.
405860307.jpg

 

Airfix 1/72 North American P-51D Mustang (A01004) 44-13667 MC-T ‘Sneebo’ 79th FS 20th FG October 1944, pilot 1st Lt. Donald A. Sass.
405868888.jpg

 

Airfix 1/72 North American P-51D Mustang (A01004) LC-D "Gumpy" flown by Pilot Col. Robert Montgomery, Group CO 77th FS/20th FG, King's Cliffe, July 1944. 
405868878.jpg

 

Airfix 1/72 North American P-51D Mustang (A55107) 2018
414004966.jpg

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I've discovered two serials; AM107 & FD442, just not found any images 😫

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15 hours ago, Ratch said:

I've discovered two serials; AM107 & FD442, just not found any images 😫

FD442 went to AFDU around 2 Dec '42.

 

I wanted to warn you that the box art shows a Mustang IA (NA-91) not a Mustang I.  AM107 would be the latter, specifically an NA-83.

 

Forgive me if you're already aware of all this.  The IA had the four cannon, while the I had the mix of 4 .30s and 4 .50s (two of which were in the chin).

 

~~~~~~~~

Update: FD442 was apparently lost with "One Armed Mac" (James MacLachlan) in July. 

 

I have a book "A Very Unusual Air War" about H Leonard Thorne, who was a long-time AFDU pilot.  He was flying FD442 in early '43, and moved her to Wittering on 24 March.  (He doesn't seem to have flown it very many more times after the move and a couple of shuttles back and forth.)  He also noted AM107 a handful of times, though he subsequently flew Mustang III FZ107 a lot, and there's some room for confusion since he tends to leave out the prefix letters.  The latter there IS a photo or two of, so that's another possibility.  One other is the Mustang X (converted NA-83 Mustang I)- one or two were at AFDU for a while.

Edited by gingerbob

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Cheers Bob, I found that book on line (but can't copy the text). Still searching for images :thanks:

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On 15/12/2019 at 14:17, Ratch said:

The Air Fighting Development Unit & No. 787 RNAS Squadron flew the Mustang I at RAF Wittering between 25th March 1943 – 17th January 1945.

As part of my 'Northamptonshire Project' I bought this kit on 28-10-08 and it has sat in my stash ever since. I don't have details like serial number(s) of the aircraft that flew from Wittering (any help appreciated), and I'm guessing that by 1943 they would be painted OG/DG over Barley Grey or even Trainer Yellow.

I'd suggest Medium Sea Grey.

note this Mustang I , AM106, used for gun trials

North%20American%20Mustang%20Camo%20&%20

From

https://boxartden.com/reference/gallery/index.php/Modeling-References/Camoflage-Markings/02-North-American-Mustang

 

this is well worth a read for early Mustang I information, note comments about the Ducimus guide

@ColFord maybe able to add some details on AFDU planes,  

 

HTH

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The runners were washed in warm, soapy water and left to dry overnight. I then airbrushed Zinc Chromate over the internal surfaces.

49238724426_2a1608b74d_z.jpg

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The instructions call for the rear section of the cockpit to be cut off. I’m not sure why but followed the instruction. Cockpit detail was picked out by hand and the seat was given a Vallejo Game Color 73200 Sepia Wash. I could then start on the assembly process.

49254375702_8d28a881b2_z.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ratch said:

The instructions call for the rear section of the cockpit to be cut off. I’m not sure why 

 

There is a different radio fit. You will now use Part # 10A.

 

 

 

Chris

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Floor of the cockpit on the Allison engined Mustangs was metal, being the top surface of the wing.  So for the Mustang Mk.I, Mk.IA/P-51, Mk.II/P-51A and A-36, the cockpit floor is the top surface of the wing with various brackets to mount controls, the seat, etc fitted. Normally painted same colour as the cockpit sidewalls.    The wooden floor comes in with the Merlin engined Mustangs when extra depth was added to the fuselage.  Then the wooden floor being painted, the paint having anti-slip additive - basically fine sand - added to the mix.  If the floor on a Merlin Mustang was so badly worn as to show large areas of bare wood, then the crew chief was probably in for an ear bashing.  The bare wooden floor on a Mustang is more to do what the owners of a few highly polished US warbird P-51Ds have had done to their aircraft for cosmetic looks, rather than period accuracy (along with non-standard colour interiors and modern avionics) and then that has been picked up as being the norm by mdellers seeing photos when they do Google searchs or in 1970 and 1980s US P-51 modelling reference publications that didn't know better.

Edited by ColFord

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9 minutes ago, Ratch said:

Too late now, its all buttoned up :whistle:

No-one will ever see it once the model is finished. A bit of “accidental” photo deletion and editing of text and no-one need ever know. Practically the perfect crime

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Before I compound my mistakes, several options are available in the kit. Flush gun ports or protruding US Hispano cannons are available. My interpretation of what I’ve read is that MacLachlan’s FD442 had the Hispanos. I assume that the pylons were fitted though neither the tanks nor the bombs were present. I cannot see the circular aerial so guess this should be omitted. The same with the chin guns.

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No, Mustang I and IA did not have the wing racks. 

 

As you say, no chin guns on the IA (the one with Hispanos)- and that's what FD442 was.

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Right.  I didn't know what circular aerial you were talking about, by the way.

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Ta @gingerbob the instructions show a circular aerial (20B) for the version with the Hispanos between the canopy and the fin, but its not shown anywhere else. The build should be straightforward from here on in.

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The RAF's Mustang Mk.IAs, which included FD442, had the full RAF 20mm Hispano cannon modifications made, which means it was fitted with UK manufactured 20mm Hispano Mk.II* cannon, which had the recoil spring fully enclosed within  the fairing forward of the wing edge, not an external recoil spring as on the US Oldsmobile manufactured cannon and original NAA mount.  So substitute suitable diameter plastic rod or tube to represent the smooth cannon barrels without external recoil springs forward of the wing fairings.  Add a 'blob' at the end of the barrel to represent the barrel end nut, paint it RAF id yellow or RAF dull roundel red to represent the doped over barrel end.

 

RAF Mustang Mk.I and Mk.IA were certainly not fitted with underwing pylons or wing tanks, wings were not set up to accommodate them.  Mustang Mk.II had the structure within the wing to accommodate pylons, but RAF didn't use them for their Tac/R Mustangs, didn't have the need.

Edited by ColFord

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46 minutes ago, ColFord said:

The RAF's Mustang Mk.IAs, which included FD442, had the full RAF 20mm Hispano cannon modifications made, which means it was fitted with UK manufactured 20mm Hispano Mk.II* cannon, which had the recoil spring fully enclosed within  the fairing forward of the wing edge, not an external recoil spring as on the US Oldsmobile manufactured cannon and original NAA mount.  So substitute suitable diameter plastic rod or tube to represent the smooth cannon barrels without external recoil springs forward of the wing fairings.  Add a 'blob' at the end of the barrel to represent the barrel end nut, paint it RAF id yellow or RAF dull roundel red to represent the doped over barrel end.

 

these may help

 

43747656945_7d0c335dd5_o.jpgAllison powered  Mustang Mk. IA   FD474 by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

@ColFord,  any idea about the apparent yellow(?) wing tip? 

 

 

5644340890_178510d955_o.jpgAllison powered  Mustang Mk. IA by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

FD474

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On the left the kit supplied cannons, on the right some Airfix (I think) from spares.

49264103792_20eb816134_z.jpg

I think if I cut the kit ones off at the shrouds and fix the corresponding length of the Airfix cannons on it should do the trick :hmmm:

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17 hours ago, ColFord said:

Floor of the cockpit on the Allison engined Mustangs was metal, being the top surface of the wing.  So for the Mustang Mk.I, Mk.IA/P-51, Mk.II/P-51A and A-36, the cockpit floor is the top surface of the wing with various brackets to mount controls, the seat, etc fitted. Normally painted same colour as the cockpit sidewalls.    The wooden floor comes in with the Merlin engined Mustangs when extra depth was added to the fuselage.  Then the wooden floor being painted, the paint having anti-slip additive - basically fine sand - added to the mix.  If the floor on a Merlin Mustang was so badly worn as to show large areas of bare wood, then the crew chief was probably in for an ear bashing.  The bare wooden floor on a Mustang is more to do what the owners of a few highly polished US warbird P-51Ds have had done to their aircraft for cosmetic looks, rather than period accuracy (along with non-standard colour interiors and modern avionics) and then that has been picked up as being the norm by mdellers seeing photos when they do Google searchs or in 1970 and 1980s US P-51 modelling reference publications that didn't know better.

Thank you for this, I'ts still not too late to correct my mistake (Allison Mustang, painted the floor black). :D

 

@Ratch Looking good, nice collection of Mustangs!

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