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Stranger In Town - Mustang I


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This build is dedicated to @Giorgio N's Stranger In Town GB, which didn't get through the bunfight for 2020.

 

This is definitely a stranger in town. The RAF had previously used P-40s, but the P-51 Mustang was a completely different kettle of fish.  It was big, strong and ultra modern.

 

Unfortunately the Allison-engined Mustangs have had a lot of bad press.  People will tell you that they were slow and pretty much useless.  It wasn't until the Merlin engine was fitted that the Mustang became a useful fighter.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Admittedly, the supercharger on the Allison V-1710 engine had only a single stage, limiting the aircraft's performance above 15,000ft.  But below that altitude it was a world beater.  It was very fast indeed and had an exceptionally long range. In October 1942 RAF Mustang Is escorted Wellington bombers on a daylight raid over Germany.  It's important to remember that Mk Is did not carry drop tanks so it was all done on internal fuel!

 

Due to the lack of high altitude performance, Mk Is were mostly used for ground attack and fighter recce missions, where they excelled.  About thirty years ago I gained access to No IV Squadron's wartime record books.  The pilots were very pleased indeed with thir mounts and praised the fact that they could easily outpace anything sent up to intercept them.  This meant that the Luftwaffe had to lay ambushes for Mustangs as they couldn't keep up in a tail chase.  Even so, the Mustang pilots were confident that they could simply walk away from any fight - a very important option for a recce aircraft.

 

So, this will be my build for this STGB.  A Mustang Mk I of No IV Sqn. 

 

Photos of IV Sqn aircraft are hard to find but I have found this one. 

https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/p51-raf/mustang-mk-i-ap247-4-sqn-raf-2/

 

I feel it is in Dark Earth/Dark Green/Sky.  I know that's how the aircraft were delivered to IV Sqn and this one doesn't look too worn, so that's what I'm going to go with. 

 

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"But wait!" I hear you cry.  "That's a P-51A!"

 

Indeed it is.  Thankfully Mr Ultracast is going to help me out. 

 

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I believe this kit is a copy of the Classic Airframes kit.

 

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Here's a bit of an oddity.  The following sprue is from a P-51D kit.  I believe it was only included to provide the undercarriage doors. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Enzo Matrix said:

"But wait!" I hear you cry.  "That's a P-51A!"

 

Indeed it is.  Thankfully Mr Ultracast is going to help me out. 

 

Whew, you had me worried for a second there!  Welcome aboard, and glad to see another Allison Mustang!

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5 hours ago, Enzo Matrix said:

I feel it is in Dark Earth/Dark Green/Sky.

doubt it,  the spinner and band are Sky.  

Mustang_Mk_I_AP247_4_Sqn_RAF_2.jpg

 

and I can't see any light underside. Some Mustang I's did stay in TLS,  as in the AM decal sheet, SY-L with the Panda emblem(which is too big BTW) . this looks like a repaint.

Most likely a mixed dark grey though

like this, also note the full length yellow LE stripe

4804646934_c84ab16d84_b.jpgMustang I by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

good colour shot of the nose guns, also the wing guns, with lower centre gun, and the doped patches over them.

8058779165_0a501aa5fd_b.jpgMustang I, 26 Sqn.   1942. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

note aluminium lacquered gear legs

 

Just spotted this on @Etiennedup  flickr

45345465085_dc700c96b4_o.jpgP51 Mustang for the UK, c1942. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

in TLS, note the bright undersides

 

Discussed at length here,which shows the different gin bay panelling, and some TLS Mustang I's and a lot more.

 

there is some info here, but unlike all the other Ducimus, this one does have some errors

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

 

but the chap you want is @ColFord

He's the chap here for sorting out the early RAF and commonwealth Mustangs

the Mustang I is much misunderstood, I can't remember if Ultracast show the revised wing gun panelling... it's different to any other Mustang

The ICM kit is a mix of features,  it has strips on the upperwing by the ailerons that need removing, and some other detail checking as well. 

 

HTH

 

 

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10 hours ago, Ratch said:

So what's the difference :shrug:

9 hours ago, Black Knight said:

The Mk.1 had two machine guns mounted in the cowling under the engine, the Mk.1A did not

 

First of all, the starter kit is "supposed" to be a P-51A, which is a Mustang II in RAF, not a Mk.IA.  There are quite a few detail differences, but perhaps the most obvious is that the P-51A had two .50s in each wing, just like the P-51B.  The Mustang I had 2 .30s in each wing, AND one .50, plus the two .50s in the chin (so total of 4 and 4 .30/.50).  The Mustang I also had no external stores pylon.  There's a lot more, but I don't want to frighten Enzo.

 

Ultracast's conversion gives you the leading edge inserts for the different armament (panel lines are the builder's problem!), a new chin cowling with holes and the gun barrels to put in them, and new prop blades.  (Did I forget anything?)

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1 hour ago, gingerbob said:

Did I forget anything?)

air intake scoops, they varied as well,  only just came back too me.  

I think these get mentioned here in this thread I linked above,  

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235005343-early-raf-mustangs-dark-greendark-earthsky-scheme/

If not, they have been discussed on here, with @ColFord  posting drawings out of the respective manuals.

Another one of those areas where the available references lack the full detail and nuances...

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About the conversion set, Troy.  Like I said, I didn't want to frighten Enzo.  But now that you brought it up, I believe that the ICM gives the straight, unfiltered intake, which as it happens is correct for the NA-73 batch, at least.

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Thanks to everyone who has provided help with references, @Troy Smith, @gingerbob and @ColFord.   The reason I had gone with Temperate Land Scheme for this aircraft was the aformentioned clean condition and the fact that there are no leading edge yellow stripes.  As I understand it, many Mustangs carried an interim TLS scheme with the Sky spinner, fuselage band and codes of the Day Fighter Scheme.

 

But this aircraft is obviously not one of the earliest batches, so the evidence is pointing towards DFS.  No doubt the grey would have beed the "mixed" grey, rather than Ocean Grey.  What do you all thnk about Tamiya XF-53 for that? 

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9 minutes ago, Enzo Matrix said:

The reason I had gone with Temperate Land Scheme for this aircraft was the aformentioned clean condition and the fact that there are no leading edge yellow stripes.

 

They are there, look at the image again carefully, start at the wing tips,  and the dark patches on the LE,  and compare with the colour image.

 

as for the Grey?  Look at the image of XV-E,  from memory XF-53 is a neutral grey?  if it's darker than Ocean grey you are good to go.

Note, the formula for "mixed grey" when there was a shortage of Ocean Grey (which is bluish) was 7 parts Medium Sea Grey to 1 part Night but the mixes varied and sometimes ended up dark.

If the XF-53 and (Using XF-81?) Dark Green give a low contrast like the XV-E image, I'd say that was close enough. 

 

HTH

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2 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

 

They are there, look at the image again carefully, start at the wing tips,  and the dark patches on the LE,  and compare with the colour image.

You are right.  They are just a lot narrower than I expected. 

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On 16/12/2019 at 19:23, Enzo Matrix said:

Here's a bit of an oddity.  The following sprue is from a P-51D kit.  I believe it was only included to provide the undercarriage doors. 

Correct.  I think the D doors don't fit though, different shape...   Unlike later Mustangs, I think the Allison one had locks on the doors, so they stay up on the ground.

 

B004.JPG

The ribs in front of the ailerons should not be in the early wing, (B/C model feature)  they are not visible on XV-E 

not exactly a hard one to fix though :)

 

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AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!  How to get rid of the inaccurate information propogated on Wikipedia and elsewhere about the early Allison engined Mustangs. 

 

RAF Mustang Mk.I aircraft of No.268 Squadron RAF were the ones that conducted the first long range sorties into western Germany in the region of the Dortmund-Ems Canal in October 1942.  However, they were not escorting Wellingtons.  Just the Mustangs doing what they did best, shooting up ground targets of opportunity.  That night, RAF Wellingtons also operated into the same area.  The original Air Ministry communique covering the preceding day's operations, lists the two sorties separately and quite distinctly as day operations and night operations.  So then how do the two distinct day and night operations become 'one'?  After much digging around I found copies of the condensed - for sending via cable to the USA and elsewhere around the World for press release purposes - communique, then an even more condensed version that was re-written and distributed by one of the US press agencies where they combine the Mustangs with the Wellingtons as one sortie.  And that press report published in most major wartime US newspapers was used as the source by the author of one of the early seminal works/histories of the Mustang, and has been re-quoted and repeated ever since.

 

But back to the modelling subject.  It is possible to use the ICM P-51A kit to create a Mustang Mk.I utilising the Ultracast conversion bits.  The ICM kit has the incorrect for a P-51A, but okay for a Mk.I or Mk.IA narrow air intake above the nose.  You will need to fill and rescribe the ammo bay doors on top of the wing - Ultracast instructions include a diagram, ditto the underwing case and link ejection ports.  You also need to remove the fairings in front of the elevators on the top surface of the wings. You are also going to need to fill the landing light on the kit wing - use the supplied clear transparency, fair in and paint over - as the Ultracast wing inserts have the correct landing light locations for the Mk.I as part of their wing inserts.  You will need to find or make clear covers for those landing lights.

 

The subject aircraft AP247 'A' of No.IV(AC) Squadron, that photos is from early 1943, so aircraft is in the Day Fighter Scheme - Ocean Grey, Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey with Sky spinner and rear fuselage band and Sky id letter.  Looking at the camuflage pattern this one is a repaint into DFS generally following demarcations of NAA factory applied scheme,  Grey areas look darker than usual which would suggest use of a mixed grey.  Yellow leading edge id stripe appears to start outboard of the outermost MG.

 

Inner gear doors up, they have interlocks that keep them up unless unlatched on the ground for servicing purposes.

 

And I also refer to our best reference thread:

 

 

The colour photo of the Mustang Mk.II FR912 being crated for shipping to the UK is one of a number of colour photos of that aircraft and shows the NAA Factory applied TLS but with later style RAF markings that they applied to the Mustang Mk.IIs.  Note the underside colour shown in the photo (consistent with the others) that is a pretty good match for Sky.  That is consistent wth the few earlier colour photos of the TLS scheme applied by NAA on the Mustang Mk.I and Mk.IA aircraft.

 

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16 minutes ago, ColFord said:

You also need to remove the fairings in front of the elevators on the top surface of the wings.

Elevators?   Do you mean ailerons, and the fairings I mention in post #15? 

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This looks interesting, another Mustang to follow, goody.

Accurate Miniatures also produced several Allison engined Mustangs, I have one built up in a box somewhere, and an A36 waiting to be built.

 

John

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7 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

Elevators?   Do you mean ailerons, and the fairings I mention in post #15? 

Yep, the dangers of posting in the morning (Australian time) before I've had my morning coffee.  Yes ailerons not elevators.

 

And whilst I remember, the underwing id lights under the starboard wing, fill them and sand flush with the surrounding panel.  The RAF Allison Mustangs did not have those id lights fitted - Mk.I, Mk.IA and Mk.II.  From memory too, you may have to do a little bit of reshaping of the radiator air intake area to be more represntative of the intake fitted to the Mustang Mk.I, which was the early style movable ramp type, compared to the fixed type on the P-51A.  If so it is reshaping the intake and scribing on the panel lines to represent the movable ramp intake.

Edited by ColFord
Typo
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Once again, :thanks: to everyone providing all this invaluable information.  :thumbsup:  

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  • 3 weeks later...

The cockpit was built up and sprayed with Xtracrylix XA1117 Interior Green.  I added some extra detail including a seat harness from Eduard and an instrument panel from Yahu.   I have also carved out the nose area ready to fit the Ultracast resin part.

 

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Fuselage closed up.

 

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The Ultracast conversion set isn't designed for the ICM kit and it turned out to be a couple of millimetres too wide.  I simply cut it down the middle with a razor saw and pared away a suitable amount of material. 

 

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On to the wings.  I have removed the relevant parts of the leading edges. 

 

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And then the wing was assembled.

 

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I am aware that the undercarriage bay isn't strictly accurate.  The rear spar should not follow the line of the undercarriage bay the way it does.  I've previously had major issues trying to rectify that on the Tamiya kit, so in this case I left well alone.  Besides, I was reducing the integrity of the wing enough by removing large chunks of the leading edge.

 

Wing and fuselage ready to be fitted together.

 

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And done.  With some huge gaps at the wing root!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice work so far, and much valuable information I will use for my Mk I build. I see that you use Interior Green for the cockpit - I suppose that this is the correct shade for the early Mustangs? (I assume that this has been covered before in one of the many, very long threads about RAF Allison Mustangs. I've not managed to go through it all yet...)

 

Ragnar

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