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Last Legs Ponies: P-51 Mustangs (and other American WWII fighters) around the Caribbean


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I am many things, but one of them is an avid traveler. I especially like visiting new countries (75 to date!), but obviously the pandemic has put a real damper on that. I came up with my big Hawker Hurricanes around the world project as a bit of way to "travel" the world from my basement. That project is roughly halfway done, and time to slowly start something else! Originally, I was going to do another single-type build, but somehow P-51s did not excite me quite as much as Hurricanes do, so I decide to diversify a little. So the "rules" of my project (which, of course, I may break) are to model versions of American World War II fighters that ended their service lives in the air forces of countries bordering the Caribbean:

 

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So, my plan at this point is to model:

 

  • P-51D:
    1. Dominican Republic
    2. Haiti
    3. Guatemala
    4. Coast Rica
  • P-38:
    1. Honduras
    2. Nicaragua
  • P-47D:
    1. Venezuela
    2. Colombia
    3. Cuba
    4. Mexico

 

El Salvador was nearly included, but it does not in fact border the Caribbean Sea, so it was out. Panama, Belize, Jamaica, etc. do not seem to have utilized any American WWII fighters, so unless I find out otherwise will not be included. Brazil may get a feature due to a kit bought in error, but we'll see what happens there... 

 

I have the decals in the mail (mostly from Aztec, but Airfix [for Dominican] and Blue Rider [for Costa Rica] are contributing as well) and the kits I have purchased so far are the Airfix F-51D (x2); Tamiya F-51D; Airfix Mustang Mk IV; Tamiya P-47D; Revell P-47M; and Academy P-47 (which is the mistake that could end up as Brazil).

 

Actual work on these kits is likely not going to begin particularly soon, but we'll see what happens. All for now...

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15 hours ago, neil5208 said:

Interesting plan but what about Cuba? They had the P38L model.

 

12 hours ago, stevehnz said:

& Honduras has F4U-5s according to the ever reliable Wikipedia, can't miss those out. ;) :D

Steve.

Cuba (P-47) and Honduras (P-38) are represented already, and my goal is to just have one each! Point is diversity of countries, not diversities of types, although I did consider a Honduras F4U-5, but opted for the P-38.

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On 1/12/2022 at 3:14 AM, ModelingEdmontonian said:
  • P-51D:
    1. Dominican Republic
    2. Haiti
    3. Guatemala
    4. Coast Rica
  • P-38:
    1. Honduras
    2. Nicaragua
  • P-47D:
    1. Venezuela
    2. Colombia
    3. Cuba
    4. Mexico

 

How about:

 

F4U - El Salvador and Honduras

F-51 - El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba

P-38 - 

F-47 - Dominican Republic

 

😁

 

 

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On 1/13/2022 at 4:21 PM, RidgeRunner said:

How about:

 

F4U - El Salvador and Honduras

F-51 - El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba

P-38 - 

F-47 - Dominican Republic

 

😁

Decals are on the way for my list above, so probably going to leave it as such, but we'll see if El Salvador manages to get represented in the end...

 

For now, P-51s are first phase, and Costa Rica is up. This is the Airfix starter kit, well known around these parts:

 

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Kits decal for the IP, I suppose, but otherwise they'll be the Blue Rider set that is showing it's age but hopefully still works.

 

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Closer up of the little write-up they provide (probably still an eye-strain to read, sorry!):

 

y4mJabF73KE197KWQeSUBZafkD9Gnz1H0B8MBB1q

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HI, nice to hear about your proyect, my sugestion about decals and references this can help you:

 

https://aztecmodels.com/     here you can find a lot fo decals dedicated to latin american subjets 

 

https://es-la.facebook.com/tgdecals/    these guys have some F-51 mustang dedicated sheets.

 

here some examples from aztec, now their sheets are printed by cartograph

 

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Any help/questions regarding latin american themes just ask.

 

cheers from Guatemala, central america.

 

carlos

Edited by Carlos Guate
more information added
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3 hours ago, Carlos Guate said:

HI, nice to hear about your proyect, my sugestion about decals and references this can help you:

 

https://aztecmodels.com/     here you can find a lot fo decals dedicated to latin american subjets 

 

https://es-la.facebook.com/tgdecals/    these guys have some F-51 mustang dedicated sheets.

 

here some examples from aztec, now their sheets are printed by cartograph  

 

Any help/questions regarding latin american themes just ask.

 

cheers from Guatemala, central america.

 

carlos

Hola Carlos!

 

I am aware of, and use Aztec decals but I wasn’t aware of TG. They look good :). I need to explore some more. I will certainly keep in contact with you on the subject. I still have a number of Latin subjects in my plan - FAE Mirage F.1, FAP Su-22, FAH F4U and Sabre, FAS Ouragan and F-51, FAU AT-33 and others. You will have seen my previous builds on Britmodeller?

 

Martin

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On 1/15/2022 at 9:49 PM, Carlos Guate said:

HI, nice to hear about your proyect, my sugestion about decals and references this can help you:

 

https://aztecmodels.com/     here you can find a lot fo decals dedicated to latin american subjets 

 

https://es-la.facebook.com/tgdecals/    these guys have some F-51 mustang dedicated sheets.

 

here some examples from aztec, now their sheets are printed by cartograph

 

Any help/questions regarding latin american themes just ask.

 

cheers from Guatemala, central america.

 

carlos

Thanks, Carlos! I have ordered from Aztec and have these three on the way...

 

This one will supply me with Guatemala and Haiti (P-51Ds):

 

spacer.png

 

This one Honduras and Nicaragua (P-38s [I think L and M, respectively]):

 

y4m6c4w5B0LkbiCO05CDywBD1TkboqM1h86zWW6n

 

And this one will have the P-47Ds: Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.

 

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y4mPfbhvZw9KWJwaFWud9GUhJ1gYbAijE14-tD9U

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it is nice that you could find the material regarding the latin theme.  Any questions related just ask by this way.

latin american countries has a very nice order of battle over the years.

 

regards

 

carlos

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17 hours ago, Carlos Guate said:

it is nice that you could find the material regarding the latin theme.  Any questions related just ask by this way.

latin american countries has a very nice order of battle over the years.

 

regards

 

carlos

Thanks, Carlos! I appreciate your interest and I'm excited to learn more! 

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The mail brought me some goodies today, and I can introduce the second Mustang kit, this one will be Dominican Republic--the only build of this project that should be all OOB!

 

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The two main sprues and clear sprue are the same as the starter kit above, but there is an additional sprue with this kit providing an alternative prop and rockets and bombs.

 

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The decal sheet includes the Dominican Republic option.

 

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Not so sure about a white underside?

 

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21 minutes ago, ModelingEdmontonian said:

Indeed it does, thanks for sharing!

Could it be the USAF light aircraft grey used in the South east asian schemes ?  Which is a misnomer as it really looks line a creme white. The Green and Tan look to be the same. And Cavalier did these Mustangs to USAF Spec as they were under contract for military assistance to other South/Central American nations ? 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
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13 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Could it be the USAF light aircraft grey used in the South east asian schemes ?  Which is a misnomer as it really looks line a creme white. The Green and Tan look to be the same. And Cavalier did these Mustangs to USAF Spec as they were under contract for military assistance to other South/Central American nations ? 

I have only ever been interested in WWII so never paid any thought to the USAF SEA scheme. I looked it up, and I think you may be onto something. Maybe that Caribbean sun is making the grey look particularly creamy. I believe the Dominican P-51Ds actually came from Sweden though so not sure Cavalier was responsible for the paintwork? 

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3 hours ago, ModelingEdmontonian said:

I believe the Dominican P-51Ds actually came from Sweden though so not sure Cavalier was responsible for the paintwork? 

Entirely possible and very likely, though I know a bunch of Swedish Mustangs wound up in Israel. However I do know Sweden was quite a heavy user of the pony post war and if memory is correct had multiple squadrons. 

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15 hours ago, opus999 said:

That's really neat that the Airfix F-51 comes with Dominican Republic decals!  Makes me tempted to get one myself.... :wicked:

I’ve got the kit and have zero use for the Dominican decals. If you're interested give me D/m with your address and I’ll drop the Dominican bits into the mail next week. 
 

Dennis

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Sadly still waiting for my Aztec decals (per tracking, they reached the Mexico City airport on January 11, but I haven't seen an update since then :(), but I have started chopping up sprue and gave them all a bath last night. These are the three Airfix kits.

 

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Although the Dominican Republic option is included in the Airfix kit, I've decided I'll use the Tamiya kit instead for that one because it's the only version that I will put rockets on and the Tamiya rockets are marginally nicer than the Airfix ones. So, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Guatemala will be Airfix and Dominican Republic Tamiya.

 

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Today, I was able to spray some rattle can black on the IP panels, wheels, props, and the main cockpit pieces.

 

y4mlSCheP7pzovNt0XFVjIyzXIUeqolYH-iaG9qB

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Joining this impressive thread late—really looking forward to learning from you and the bench of talent who has latched on to this thread about the details of these WW2 aircraft in post-war service—best, Erwin 

Edited by VT Red Sox Fan
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Those decals are still AWOL, but I have begun some cockpit and wheel well work. Keeping it simple with yellow zinc chromate in the wheel wells and mostly US interior green (Mission Models 059) and black in the cockpit.

 

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y4mJUyW7Rw4aHiGwfVSQzQi0Xeh7jFdGSbvIkBO4

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Great mass production—question/thought, did these aircraft oppose each other while serving in these nations, if so it would be an interesting match up for a collection—sorry for the question/thought as I am not trying to hijack the thread—amazing work—best, Erwin 

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