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1/48 Mustang Mk I - No II (AC) Squadron


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This is the continuation of a project started under the recently finished Mustang STGB. Original thread is here:

The plan is to build Mustang Mk I XV-X, serial AM112, which was flown on operations over occupied Europe by Norwegian pilot  Lt. Anton C. Hagerup during the winter of 1943. I have found a photo of the aircraft from summer 1942, but the squadron code XV was probably removed during the fall of 1942. I have no photo of the aircraft from the actual time-frame, so I have to resort to a bit of guesswork.  

 

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I'm currently rebuilding the radiator intake to Mk I configuration. 

 

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Ragnar 🙂

 

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Like how that radiator intake is looking, looks much better than the kit supplied item.

 

 

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I've spent quite a lot of time trying to restore surface details being lost after my rather heavy-handed way of building. It was therefore not funny to discover that I had failed to glue the wings on square and level. After some consideration I came to the conclusion that I could not live with the tilted wing. The solution was to bring out the razor saw and make a deep cut in the starboard wing, right trough the top surface and into the wheel well. The wing was bent up until the gap was closed, and everything then fixed in place with super glue. The results was considerably better symmetry, but perhaps a bit more dihedral then what should have been. Plus a damaged wheel well... Oh well 🥴

 

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The armour plate and seat have been mounted into the cockpit. I have used some Eduard photo etch for the seat harness. Next up is the gunsight. The plan was to use the part provided in the kit, but I thought it had a weird shape and started to search for photos on the net. What I found was that early Mustangs probably were equipped with what is called the N-9 type gunsight. It is basically a tubular shaped item, and looks nothing like the kit part. Anyone knows if RAF used the N-9 for the Mustang I, or if they used some British type of sight?

 

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The early RAF Mustang Mk.I came with a ST-1A gunsight which was an export version of the N-2 gunsight produced by the Service Tool and Engineering Company.  During the initial type acceptance and armament trials the RAF found the original style reflector glass was not producing an acceptable sight 'picture' for the pilot.  As a result RAF arranged for a redesigned reflector glass and reflector glass holder section for the gunsight that overcame the shortcomings of the original. 

 

For details of the N-2, see this website:

 

  http://www.aircraft-gunsights.com/

 

Check out the pages 'US Gunsights' and 'Aircrafts and Gunsights'.

 

On the 'Aircrafts and Gunsights' page under the photos for P-51; first photo is the ST-1A in Mustang Mk.I cockpit at NAA; second photo close up of ST-1A; third photo later type gunsight fitted to Mustang Mk.II; ST-1A with RAF modified head; ST-1A with another later form of RAF modified head in Mustang Mk.I late 1943; ST-1Ain Mustang Mk.I late 1943; from then on photos show later US gunsights in USAAF P-51B/C/Ds and RAF Mustang Mk.IIIs.

 

The last photo in the photos of the N-2 gunsight shows the ST-1A in original form in the incomplete cockpit section of a Mustang Mk.I.  The RAF modified top section introduced a slightly larger reflector glass and a more slim line top section, similar in many aspects to the reflector glass top section of other UK made reflector gun sights in RAF service in single seat fighters at the time.

 

 

Edited by ColFord
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Posted (edited)

 

8 hours ago, ragnarec said:

What I found was that early Mustangs probably were equipped with what is called the N-9 type gunsight. 

Sorry - typo! What I meant was the N-3 gunsight.

4 hours ago, ColFord said:

The early RAF Mustang Mk.I came with a ST-1A gunsight which was an export version of the N-2 gunsight produced by the Service Tool and Engineering Company. 

Which means that the N-3 was incorrect anyway. Again, many thanks for invaluable information, @ColFord!

Edited by ragnarec
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Then I've fashioned a new ST-1A gun sight and installed it in the cockpit. Probably not 100% accurate, but it will have to do. Not easy to make such tiny parts!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm currently in the process of fitting and fairing in the vacuum formed canopy. I think this is a quite tricky operation, and I have used a lot of time to get a result that I am satisfied with. I been trough a number of sessions of filling and sanding.

 

The good thing with a vac canopy is that it has much less optical distortion than the kit canopy, which means that all the cockpit detail - including the camera installation - can be easily seen. 

 

The biggest problem is static electricity. Quite a bit of dust and debris has appeared on the inside of the canopy. Sigh! Any good advice on how to avoid this?

 

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Once the canopy is finished I can start the paining process. I believe Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey, with Sky spinner, fuselage band and codes should be correct. Or should I use Mixed Grey in stead of Ocean Grey?

 

Another open question is the position of the individual aircraft letter. According to written documentation, the letter should be placed ahead of the fuselage roundel. But I have found a picture of another aircraft from No II (AC) Squadron which shows the letter behind the roundel. The picture is quoted to be taken in September 1943. 

 

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- Ragnar

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Hi Ragnarec,

 

The photos of your subject aircraft and other Mustang Mk.I aircraft with No.II(AC) Sqdn RAF for the timeframe of your subject build, being October 1942 to May 1943, show aircraft finished with a shade close to Ocean Grey - so either Ocean Grey paint from stores or someone mixed a mixed grey very close to Ocean Grey in shade/tone - it is not markedly darker or lighter as some of the mixed greys seen on some other early Mustangs with other Squadrons.  As the subject aircraft you are planning on building was one of those that originally had the squadron code letters XV ahead of the roundel, as did the aircraft in the most recent photo you have posted, plus the aircraft at this stage had not been back to a MU for major overhaul or servicing requiring a repaint as a part of that process, in all likelyhood it would still have the original aircraft id letter behind the roundel.   The aircraft id letter by late 1942 (post October-November 1942 when the directive to remove Squadron id letters was issued) should start moving to a position forward of the roundel, but was usually something that was either done when an aircraft required some repair at unit level which involved repainting on the fuselage, or the aircraft went to a MU for major repairs or overhaul.  Aircraft being newly issued to Squadrons - I have photos of three Mustang Mk.Is in formation from a later delivery batch, serving in the timeframe April-May 1943 with aircraft serials of the same batch as each other within six digits.  Two have the aircraft id letter forward of the roundel, the other has its aircraft id letter aft of the roundel.  Looking at the aircraft records for those, the aircraft with the individual code letter behind the roundel arrived early October 1942, the two aircraft with aircraft id letter forward of the roundel arrived late October to early November 1942.  So your highest probability for your subject aircraft is that it would have given the timeframe and the indiviual aircraft history, the individual aircraft id letter behind the roundel. 

 

Another thing you can see from the photo of Doug Reich's Musang you have posted, is that the yellow wing leading edge id strip extends from the wing root to the wingtip.  This was a peculiarity of a lot of the early Mustang Mk.Is and was pretty common until late 1943.  It was a common thing for No.II(AC) Squadron Mustang Mk.Is for the timeframe for your subject aircraft.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ColFord
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've really been struggling with that canopy. The problem is not the canopy itself, but the the fact I was not precise enough with the initial fitting. 

 

The framing of the canopy is not very precise - this is possibly just due to the limitations of the vacuum forming process. With the quite complex framing of the Mustang canopy, this makes masking tricky and time consuming. 

 

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Finally I've managed to put on a layer of primer over the complete fuselage.

 

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Ragnar

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  • 4 weeks later...

Painting of camo is now done, apart from some touch-up that will be needed here and there. I have used Tamiya paints for the Medium Sea Grey, Ocean Grey and Dark Green. I first applied the colours straight from the tin, and then did some post shading with lightened colours to achieve a worn look. Demarcation between colours was done with paper masks on the wings and tack-it sausages on the fuselage. 

 

I think I have read somewhere that the Ocean Grey from Tamiya is a bit off colourwise. I am no colour expert, so I don't really known whats wrong with it.

 

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Regards,

Ragnar

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Looking good, slow and steady progress towards what should be a good final result.

 

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On 4/14/2020 at 4:48 PM, ColFord said:

someone mixed a mixed grey very close to Ocean Grey in shade/tone

It was very common, especially  on Airacobras, some Spitfires, and Mustang I's, to see  mixed grey used in place of ocean grey, as the stocks of ocean grey were in short supply at the beginning of the introduction of the new DFS. IIRC, the formula supplied for mixed grey was seven parts medium sea grey to one part night. 

Mike

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  • 4 weeks later...

Decals are on. The roundels, fin flash and "X" are from various Xtradecal sheets. Judging from photos, the squadron code + individual letter were larger than the standard 24" - I estimate roughly 27". My guess is that they kept the "X" as is when the squadron code "XV" was removed. My "X" is trimmed down from a 30" decal.

 

The serial number AM112 is sourced from a Spitfire decal sheet, with each letter/number being applied individually. The font is not 100% correct, but as close as I could get without making my own decals.

 

An interesting "feature" with the fin flash is that the lower edge is slightly tilted, following a panel line.

 

Regarding the yellow leading edge, I can see from photos that there is a lot of variation from airframe to airframe. In retrospect, I think my stripe is not quite correct for AM122 - the stripe should have stopped at the wing kink.

 

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On 28/05/2020 at 01:20, 72modeler said:

It was very common, especially  on Airacobras, some Spitfires, and Mustang I's, to see  mixed grey used in place of ocean grey, as the stocks of ocean grey were in short supply at the beginning of the introduction of the new DFS. IIRC, the formula supplied for mixed grey was seven parts medium sea grey to one part night. 

Mike

Many photos of II (A/C) Mustang I's show little contrast between the green and the grey, which I suspect could mean the grey indeed was Mixed Grey. I would expect greater contrast between Dark Green and Ocean Grey. Too late to do anything about that now... May be next time ;).

 

Ragnar

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Looking good.

I’m finishing my P-51D left over from the STGB at the moment, it will be going straight to RFI.

 

John

 

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