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P51A Air Commando Group 1/48 scale

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Hi guys,


here are some pics of one of my recent builds. I have always been attracted by the P51As in the CBI Air commando group markings, in particular by the huge exhaust stains.

In 1/48 scale, there are unfortunately few choices available: the best one is clearly the old Accurate Miniatures kit, which is hard to find today, and quite expensive on Ebay.

Being somewhat tightfisted, I chose instead the ICM kit, which is well-known for its many problems.


The ICM kit is a strange beast, some parts are nicely detailed and molded, some others are full of flash. The most visible problem is the air intake which does not have the correct

shape for a P51A . The air intake of the kit was sawed off and a new one was made with plasticard, cut with a Silhouette Portrait machine.


The second problem is the transparent parts, which are ugly. I kept the windscreen and the back parts   after polishing them, and heat formed transparent plastic to make the two movable panels. The 

framing was cautiously attached  with  minute drops of CA glue. 

The inner gear doors were rebuild with brass sheet (I know that they are supposed to be closed on Mustangs, but I wanted to show them open).


You can see other problems that I forgot to correct, for example the spinner is too large. Anyway let's hope that Eduard will some day release all the Allison powered Mustangs,

for which there is plenty of nice marking options.


There are two tricks that I learned during the build and that  v should be shared: 


the exhaust stains were airbrushed with artist oil paints, thinned with artist quality white spirit. After a few hours of drying, the rainmarks were done with a sharp brush dipped in white spirit.

It is quite possible to airbrush oil paints, if you use very light coats and go slowly. 


The second trick was used to produce the marking Carols Daddy: I tried several times to cut a mask with the Silhouette, but the mask kept tearing apart and deforming. Then I had the idea to

cut the markings with the Silhouette in white decal film: the various letters were then carefully placed one by one on  the kit, with a nice result I think. The other markings were done with masks as usual.


Finally the painting was done with  Gunze and Tamiya acrylics, and the weathering with oil paints.  


To do the base I cast several resin copies of Tamiya barrels and of sheets of PSP plates. This was glued on a foam block with sides made with balsa.


I hope you will like it,





















































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I agree with all the above and will add that I really like the way the model is displayed. Very nice diorama.

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Excellent looking model despite the kit fighting back. The weathering is the star of the show and something I've wanted to create myself, not sure my version would be as good as this though. Glad you shared the pictures, brilliant workmanship.

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Very, very nicely done, those exhaust stains are superb!👍 And, by the way, if I remember correctly the inner gear doors on the P-51A/A-36 Apache operated differently from the later versions of Mustang and would be in the open position on the ground, I know when I built my AM Apache that's how the doors are positioned and I have an unbuilt Mustang Mk-1A that would have you do that, as well.

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Love the stain effect and the overall weathering. We are getting spoiled with some of the kits nowadays that seem perfect out of the box. It's always a pleasure to see less than desirable kits made to look so good - that's where a lot of a modeler's skill comes in. Fantastic 👏👏

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Yes you are quite right, we are spoiled. After several Eduard And Tamiya kits, tackling an old ICM kit was a big change ! 
many thanks for the kind comments,


Edited by cger
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