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The Italian Stallion: 4° Stormo P-51D Mustang


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Latest completed build: a P-51D Mustang serving with 4° Stormo of the Italian Air Force-

The model was built from the 1/72 Tamiya kit and was started as part of the P-51 STGB IV on this same forum in March. As often happens, I got stuck in other things and couldn't complete the model in time before the end of the STGB but at least now it's done.

The model was built mostly OOB, the only additions are a couple of details to seat and a set of Eduard seatbelts. Decals were from various sources: the roundels are Tauromodel; the serial number, unit badges and the small "28" on the wheel well covers were from an Xtradecal sheet, for which I have to thank Martin AKA . The fuselage codes were printed on clear decal paper with my trusted Epson laser printer while the stencils are mainly from the Airfix kit with a few coming from the box.

Paints are mainly Vallejo, with their Metal Color range sorting all the natural metal areas while the areas in the wing that were painted on the real aircraft were reproduced with Vallejo Air Aluminum, folllowed by a semigloss coat. Antiglare panel is painted with Lifecolor Aermacchi Green.

I have decided to not apply any form of weathering on this model, not even the exhaust streaks. The picture I have shows a clean aircraft so I went with a clean model.

 

Few comments on the build: there's very little to say on the kit, it's Tamiya ! Sharply moulded parts. very easy to build and perfect fit. My only gripe with this kit is the way the canopy and windscreen are moulded without any frame, making gluing these in place more difficult.

The decals were a mixed bag: the Xtradecal sheet is very well printed and they behave very well on the model, however fuselage codes and especially the roundels were the wrong size, The Tauromodel roundels were the right size but they are not pinted as nicely and are a bit on the thick side. They look fine enough if you don't look too close... My own decals worked well, I use a very thin decal paper so no issue here. Airfix stencils were great, the Tamiya ones are a bit thicker.

Not much to say on the paints, apart from having to mention again the Vallejo Metal Color range, a great choice when it comes to finishing models of natural metal aircraft using acrylics.

Overall I'm quite pleased with the model, IMHO the Mustang looks good in Italian roundels... but really, a natural metal Mustang generally looks good in any marking...

So, on with the pictures !

 

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And one with an open canopy... I have not glued the canopy in place, in this way I can preotect the cockpit from dust while being able to look inside if I want.

 

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Finally, a couple of pictures with the aircraft that replaced the Mustang within 4° Stormo, the DH Vampire:

 

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Here is the link to the build in the STGB for anyone interested in seeing the main construction steps:

 

 

Thanks in advance to all for any comment or criticism !

 

 

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Lovely build Giorgio. I'm tempted to say snap, as completed the Airfix Mustang in exactly those markings last November. I glued my canopy in the open position, but with hindsight, your solution is better!

 

Terry

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Great to see this completed, G! :clap: It definitely looks a bigger scale and the NMF is just spot on :worthy: 

 

Ciao

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Very nice, Giorgio. As I said to you earlier today, I'm glad those decals went to the right person. I'm having a memory failure and can't remember the kind soul who gave them to me. I'll rattle my brain and credit if I remember! She looks great next to the Vampire, mate :).

 

Martin

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Bellisimo, Giorgio! Super job on the metal finish, and you don't see many Mustangs in these markings. Now, you need to get a Tamiya bubbletop Jug and do it in the markings in the linked illustration to go with it! Besides the canopy, the only other downside to the Tamiya Mustang was not having a dropped flaps option like on their 1/48 kits.  :like::like:

Mike

 

d1852w9-c0e48045-df95-4482-8c2e-c68e0db37259.jpg (1200×800) (wixmp.com)

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19 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Bellisimo, Giorgio! Super job on the metal finish, and you don't see many Mustangs in these markings.

I agree, absolutely. "Modern"/Post WW2 Italian markings are a rare sight on BM. She looks beautiful!

 

Martin

 

 

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22 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

Lovely build Giorgio. I'm tempted to say snap, as completed the Airfix Mustang in exactly those markings last November. I glued my canopy in the open position, but with hindsight, your solution is better!

 

Terry

Thanks !

There are pros and cons with my choice though.. it's great to keep dust out but also means that any time I grab the model I have to be veeery careful to not let the canopy fall, with the subsequent risk of stepping on it...

 

19 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Bellisimo, Giorgio! Super job on the metal finish, and you don't see many Mustangs in these markings. Now, you need to get a Tamiya bubbletop Jug and do it in the markings in the linked illustration to go with it! Besides the canopy, the only other downside to the Tamiya Mustang was not having a dropped flaps option like on their 1/48 kits.  :like::like:

Mike

 

d1852w9-c0e48045-df95-4482-8c2e-c68e0db37259.jpg (1200×800) (wixmp.com)

 

Thanks Mike ! Yes, the lack of dropped flaps is disappointing and I contemplated using the Airfix kit for this reason instead. Or better, I had started the same subject using the Airfix kit, then when this stalled I moved to the Tamiya kit. I feel that the japanese kit is still a much nicer option in terms of mould quality.

An Italian P-47 ? Sometime in the future I'll build one, for the moment though my next planned models are a Spitfire and a Sabre.... someday however I'll sure build one.

 

14 hours ago, Tim R-T-C said:

Looks lovely and I have never seen this scheme before, one for a future project.

 

Thanks a lot ! Yes, go for it, makes for something a bit different. Now not that USAAF Mustangs aren't colourful, they sure are...

 

12 hours ago, Bedders said:

Very nice Giorgio. The contrasting Vallejo colours worked very well!

 

Justin

 

Thanks Justin ! Have to say that in pictures the differences among the various metal tones and particularly the different reflectivities get flattened a bit (or maybe it's because I don't take pictures in the right way). I'm now trying a new technique using the same Metal Color paints that promises to give even better results, will use on a test model and post about it if I get the effect I want...

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Thanks folks, glad you liked the model ! it is indeed a subject a bit different even if it's a very common aircraft (and a well known kit). The Mustang lends itself to many "exotic" schemes and markings, hope this one will be of inspiration for those who want to try something more unusual

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Very nice Mustang, I like Mustangs with non USAF markings :clap:

I confirm the statement of the kit. The canopy is really trick,  especially with the visible pin in rear part. Also I can confirm the point with XTradecals. I found simmilar issues on different sheets as well.

Have a nice day.

 

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Beautiful!  @Giorgio N: I've found the Vallejo Metal range to be extremely reliable and used it in a few projects.  In my experience, when you first "dust it on" at low pressure over gloss black, it comes out really smooth and glossy, but as you continue to dust it on at intervals, it flattens considerably and becomes more grainy.  I wonder if allowing greater drying times between dustings would result in a smoother finish.  What was your approach / experience?

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