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phat trev

A Few Mustang Mk.i Questions

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I have some questions unanswered.

-The differences between the Allison and Merlin Powered airframes:

The only major ones I can see are of course the nose but also the radiator airscoop that is smaller on the Mk.I. is this correct? also..

Do the inner leading edges differ? the Frog example I am lead to read is good but the leading edges have a very similar kink to the P-51D?

-Radio equipment behind the cockpit, are these different as it is an RAF model?

Understanding armourment:

Mustang Mk.I .2x 303 in the nose?

Mustang Mk.Ia 4x 20mm cannons

Mustang Mk.II ?

What RAF Squadrons flew what type?

Period photos, BM members models etc very welcome!

Thanks!

Edited by phat trev

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Sorry, but IF you want to be accurate- you can't really do your project this way.

If you go and get the Academy kit- you are 90% of the way there- believe me.

This is the box art.

t_50744.jpg

The Revell kit is a bit nasty in places, but most importantly it is a Merlin engined airframe, meaning the fuselage will be three inches too deep for an Allison engined aircraft.

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Yes, the radiator airscoop is different on the Allison-engined variant, and indeed between different Allison-engined variants. As is the carburettor scoop above the engine.

The whole rear fuselage (including canopy) is raised compared to the Allison variant (as said above). I'd like to say "You can't rely upon the web" as indeed you can't, but even the normally reliable "Detail In Scale" has this wrong, basing their drawing on the P-51B fuselage - as did at least one of the Czech kits, which I fear has been re-released by MPM.

Academy is indeed by far the best kit, but the Italeri is pretty good providing you're prepared to alter the wingroot leading edge.

Edited by Graham Boak

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I have the Academy kit waiting to be built. I know nothing of Mustangs, but this kit looks very nice. You also get a Wilys Jeep with trailer included (this is what I bought mine for!).

The best source of info on RAF Mustang Ia's I have found online is

http://www.cybermodeler.com/special/mustang.shtml

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Yes, the radiator airscoop is different on the Allison-engined variant, and indeed between different Allison-engined variants. As is the carburettor scoop above the engine.

The whole rear fuselage (including canopy) is raised compared to the Allison variant (as said above). I'd like to say "You can't rely upon the web" as indeed you can't, but even the normally reliable "Detail In Scale" has this wrong, basing their drawing on the P-51B fuselage - as did at least one of the Czech kits, which I fear has been re-released by MPM.

Academy is indeed by far the best kit, but the Italeri is pretty good providing you're prepared to alter the wingroot leading edge.

Thanks for the notes and details. I was rather hoping not having to go and get an Academy P-51A and use what I have available to me and do a bit of DIY modelling?

Graham you say the whole rear fuselage is raised, in what way? I have desided to measure up the two kit airframes (green Revell, grey Frog)- the fuselage spines and tails are a copy of each other, the entire nose upto the fire wall would have to be exhanged. The larger radiator would have to be removed carefully following the panel lines and the smaller one grafted on and detailed.

Looking at the project not too much fuss by the looks of it but it takes careful cutting around the engraved detail as the Revell wings fit the smaller Radiator scoop well.

Cimg7096.jpg

http://www.cybermodeler.com/special/mustang.shtml is a super link, one I had not come across, thanks ben m, it clears up my, until now, limited understanding of the armourment between variants

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There was some correspondence about this in the old PAM News back in the '70s, set off by someone who'd carried out much the same kitbash as Trev is contemplating, except that it was the Monogram P-51B he'd grafted the Frog nose onto. One letter quoted John Beaman, author of "The Unknown Mustangs", who wrote that a friend of his who worked for Monogram had discovered from drawings that the fuselage of Allison Mustangs was 4½" shallower than the Merlin version. John had confirmed this by measuring an example of each, finding that the Allison Mustang canopy was indeed 4½" lower. The reason, he reckoned, was that the Merlin was deeper than the Allison, hence the fuselage had to be. North American had taken advantage of this to provide more room in the cockpit. Also, to quote a later letter, "North American did not just raise the cowling and canopy top line and then curve down more steeply to the tail; they raised the complete rear fuselage, tail and all, and hid the change in bottom line near the wing trailing edge in the new radiator fairing. The tailplane was higher relative to the wing, and the tailwheel was higher relative to the main wheels, so that the angle of the whole machine on the ground was different, and you can spot that change in stance in many pictures, when you know it's there.".

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Thanks to Acky109 I have now got the appetite to mate a Frog Mustang Ia with a Revell P-51B...thus keeping the good nose profile of the Frog model and all that detail of the Revell.

I have had a quick looky around the interweb but still have some questions unanswered.

-The differences between the Allison and Merlin Powered airframes:

The only major ones I can see are of course the nose but also the radiator airscoop that is smaller on the Mk.I. is this correct? also..

Do the inner leading edges differ? the Frog example I am lead to read is good but the leading edges have a very similar kink to the P-51D?

-Radio equipment behind the cockpit, are these different as it is an RAF model?

Understanding armourment:

Mustang Mk.I .2x 303 in the nose?

Mustang Mk.Ia 4x 20mm cannons

Mustang Mk.II ?

What RAF Squadrons flew what type?

Period photos, BM members models etc very welcome!

Thanks!

Hi!

Having just completed an article for the R/T (IPMS Canada) on a Mustang Mk.I, I can say the entire fuselage is different, the gear is different, along with the gear doors from the P-51B/C. You would get a model which "looks like" an Allison Mustang, but it will not be accurate. Use the Academy kit for a Mk.I. However, the Mustang II has different armament, different intake and a different radiator inlet than the Mustang I/Ia, so the Academy kit would need work.

We can work on the e-mail if you need more info.

Bruce

Edited by Bruce Archer

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To add to the previous posts:

Allison engined Mustang in RAF Service

Mustang Mk.I - 4 x 0.50 HMG and 4 x 0.30 MG - no US P-XX designation as solely British production aircraft.

Mustang Mk.IA - 4 x 20mm Hispano Mk.II* cannon - straight P-51 designation, no suffix letter. Built under Lend Lease for RAF, approx 50 retained by USAAF, balance of approx 90 delivered to RAF.

Mustang Mk.II - 4 x 0.50 HMG and two underwing hardpoints - P-51A in US service. 50 delivered to RAF to make up shortfall in deliveries of Mustang Mk.IA. RAF did not use the underwing hardpoint and fit the stores carriers or drop tanks.

Not forgetting the sole A-36 tested in the UK by the RAF and the couple of borrowed A-36s in the MTO. 6 x 0.50 HMGs and two underwing hardpoints.

There are a whole range of difference between the Allison engined Mustangs and the Merlin engined versions Some like the differences in nose profile, depth of fuselage from wing to to fuselage/canopy top and from wing top to bottom of radiator assembly, and wing profile, especially the forward edge of the wing and the 'kink' for the undercarriage wells are still not particularly well understood or have been well portrayed in outline drawings or scale models. Other difference are much more subtle - such as the variations in the radiator intake shapes and side profiles between the various Allison engined variants, compared to the Merlin versions. Too many profile artists start with a P-51B/C side profile then sort of graft an Allison engined nose on and fiddle around with the under fuselage radiator housing and end up with something that looks odd - too deep and therefore fat. Alongside a P-51B/C, the Allison engined version is much slimmer.

When you get into the detail difference all the kits to date show the US radios, not those fitted by the RAF, and a vague approximation of the actual camera mounting arrangements for those fitted with the oblique recce camera.

Not being a modeller in 1/72nd scale I can not comment on the accuracy or otherwise of the various offerings from the various manufacturers. I have heard variously that the Academy and Italeri offerings have issues with outline and shape, but are buildable. The old Frog Mustang Mk.II shows its age, but can be built up to a reasonable facsimile with a little effort and stealing of detail bits from other kits.

The Accurate Miniatures models in 1/48th are fairly good, although they too suffer from a range of accuracy and outline issues, but nothing a bit of modelling skills can't fix. The Hobbycraft 1/32nd kits just replicate the AM issues bigger and with 'softer' detail in a number of areas.

RAF Squadrons that used Allison engined Mustangs were:

No.II(AC), No.4, No.16, No.26, No.63, No.116, No.168, No.169, No.170, No.239, No.241, No.260, No.268, No.309 (Polish), No.400 (RCAF), No.414 (RCAF), No.430 (RCAF), No.516 and No.613. Only two RAF Squadrons used all three main marks of Allison Mustang, Mk.I, Mk.IA and Mk.II, being No.II(AC) Sqdn and No.268 Sqdn. Last to use them operationally was No.268 Sqdn who was still using some of their last Mk.IAs and Mk.IIs until August 1945. Only No.II(AC) Sqdn and No.268 Sqdn used the Mk.II.

There are a couple of resources out there. Richard J Caruana did profiles of Allison engined Mustangs in the October 2008 issue of Model Airplane International. Only a couple of minor errors snuck through in those, mainly as a result of time pressure for the deadline - he had some specialist advice on those. Then there is the "Mustangs in RAF and Commonwealth Service" by Jon Freeman, reasonably good, but some errors. The old Ducimus RAF Fighter Command Camouflage and Markings by Goulding & Jones is a good primer, but is flawed in a number of areas as they were working with what information was publicly available when written and also worked off a lot of original wartime photo captioning which has proven misleading or incorrect since then. For examples of RCAF Mustang Mk.Is, the new book from Aviaeology by Carl Vincent and illustrated by Terry Higgins on RCAF WW2 Aircraft in Profile, has some very good examples - Terry is doing some very good work on his early Mustang profiles, more to come. The four volumes of 2TAF by Shores and Thomas also had a number of good profiles and original photographs of a number of Allison Mustangs included. The definitive book on the use of Mustangs of all marks by the RAF is still on its way. It is being researched, it is being written, it is just taking time to pull it all together and get it published. Modellers will love it, I am sure.

HTH.

Edited by ColFord
Typo

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Hi Colin.

I used to be a student of this aircraft. One thing I have never been able to ascertain, is the outer panel profile taken in close sections through the fuselage in the area of the round radiator.

I "think" it is not round, and it is certainly not the lozenge shape of the P-51A (the only correct application for what is included in the Acc. Min. kit.)

Do you have any information,/ photo's on this?

Regards

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Not forgetting the sole A-36 tested in the UK by the RAF and the couple of borrowed A-36s in the MTO. 6 x 0.50 HMGs and two underwing hardpoints.

Do you have more on this?

I haven't really looked into this or checked anything, but in my notes, four aircraft were borrowed by 225 for about two months. As far as I knew they were the standard US P-51-.

My notes say the serials were 41-137361, 41-137366, 41-137424, and 41-137428.

Were these actually A-36, or were the A-36s in the MTO a separate story?

I'd be very interested if somebody has more info on this?

Edited by ~Dan~

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The whole rear fuselage (including canopy) is raised compared to the Allison variant (as said above).

(Similar stated, in many more words, in Post 7)

It is really more correct to say that the wing was lowered on the P-51B, rather than the fuselage/tail being "raised". If you look at the wing fillet on a Merlin Mustang you can see a little "fishtail" that follows a longeron (or something of the sort) that is "cranked"- it angles down as it moves forward toward the trailing edge of the wing. The core fuselage structure remained similar between Allison and -B.

bob

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(Similar stated, in many more words, in Post 7)

It is really more correct to say that the wing was lowered on the P-51B, rather than the fuselage/tail being "raised". If you look at the wing fillet on a Merlin Mustang you can see a little "fishtail" that follows a longeron (or something of the sort) that is "cranked"- it angles down as it moves forward toward the trailing edge of the wing. The core fuselage structure remained similar between Allison and -B.

bob

And post 2.

However- there does seem to be confusion as to the distance being 4.5, or 3 inches. However- it may not be either of these- could be something different?

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Mentalguru,

I don't know if I fully understood your question, but certainly the underneath radiator intake on the Mustang Mk.I and Mk.IA had a different shape, being a 'squarer' and flatter sided and based shape. In part this was a function of the original moving ramp design for the intake. As you mention, the intake provided by AM and Hobbycraft on their P-51 and Mk.IA is actually that of the P-51A which had a redesigned and fixed radiator intake. With some work with filler, plasticard and files you could reshape this area on these kits to provide a more accurate shape. Or someone could maybe make a complete resin replacement piece of the correct shape? Hint, hint!! (Certain resin people lurk) Fuselage depth variation depends on where you measure it as your base datum point, but certainly the Merlin Mustangs were deeper in the body. But the basic structure of the rear fuselage was pretty much the same from the A to the B/C - Gery Becks new build 1:1 scale P-51 project was a good example of that fact. And a basic fact that supports the difference in fuselage depth is that in the Allison Mustangs the cockpit floor is the top skin of the wing structure, on the Merlin Mustangs it is a plywood floor suspended some inches above the top skin of the wing structure.

Dan,

Six A-36s surplus to immediate use by the USAAF in the MTO were loaned to/borrowed by, the RAF for use by 1437 Strategic Reconnaissance Flight in July 1943 in Tunisia. Serials were 42-83829, 42-83898, 42-83906, 42-84018, 42-84019 & 42-84117. They were given individual aircraft id code letters A thru F. Known RAF serials are HK944, HK946, HK947, HK955 and HK956. They were used until around mid-October 1943 when combat losses and issues with supply of spares, plus lack of replacement aircraft saw the flight disbanded. There are a couple of photos of these aircraft around. They retained the original USAAF Olive Drab over Neutral Gray scheme, with RAF markings applied in usual locations, red prop spinner, aircraft code letter in white and odd shaped patches described as being similar to a zinc chromate colour on the cowling and aircraft spine, which may have been gas detection paint.

This incorrectly captioned photo shows one of these aircraft:

http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P03372.003

The aircraft used by 225 Squadron were a different lot of aircraft and were USAAF P-51s, to US spec not RAF spec. So a range of little difference between the two.

HTH

Edited by ColFord

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Do you have more on this?

I haven't really looked into this or checked anything, but in my notes, four aircraft were borrowed by 225 for about two months. As far as I knew they were the standard US P-51-.

My notes say the serials were 41-137361, 41-137366, 41-137424, and 41-137428.

Were these actually A-36, or were the A-36s in the MTO a separate story?

I'd be very interested if somebody has more info on this?

Look for the book m"Straight Down " by Peter C Smith - The North American A36 dive-bomber in action ISBN 0 947554 73 4 published by Crecy in 2000.

Used by 1437 Strategic Recce Flight . There is a whole chapter devoted to the ops of this unit and in the Appendices a summary of ops by the unit

These A/C have been mis- identified as Mustang III in such Publications as Air Britain,.

The Survivor of the 6 was used to convert Kittyhawk Pilots to Mustangs in Italy .

The A/C concerned was HK944 C

The A/C you were referring to were ex USAAF P51

Cheers

Terry

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Prehaps raising the wings a little may be needed, this would be easy to do also, although the measurements that have been mentioned (when brought down to 1:72 scale) are minute!

I have found another reference 'P51 Mustang: From 1940-1980 ' and it has a 2 page spread briefly outlining the advancement of design by showing side profiles of each Mustang variant. the P-51B is certainly 'deeper' around the radiator area but when this part is taken away and replaced by the Mustang I item then the airframe does gain the slightly narrower line.

Well I am going to go ahead and do this conversion as I looks to be correct enough for this scale, with a bit of butchery of course. Many thanks for everyones imput! it's been very informative.

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The measurements may seem "minute" but so is the distance between the canopy bottom and the wing top - an increase of 4.5 inches on this dimension really is significant and will look it.

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The measurements may seem "minute" but so is the distance between the canopy bottom and the wing top - an increase of 4.5 inches on this dimension really is significant and will look it.

Graham- do you KNOW it is 4.5 inches- or could it be 3 inches? i have seen reference to both. Bentley ( I think) is 3, Beaman 4.5? IIRC.

BTW, thanks for the heads up on that book- that is exactly what I require.

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The measurements may seem "minute" but so is the distance between the canopy bottom and the wing top - an increase of 4.5 inches on this dimension really is significant and will look it.

Thats true Graham, but thats where raising the wing a little may help the perception...I hope..anyway it's not going to dead on accurate anyway!

Just seen a photo of the Radiator opening...hey thet looks great! it's on Col Fords Mustang artical.

Edited by phat trev

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I've tried to follow this but I get a bit lost (its my age dontcherknow)!

Can anybody summarise for me which RAF Mustangs I could build from the Academy Allison Mustang kit if I (1) retained the original armament as per the kit, or (2), modified the wings to a machine gunned version?

Wez

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I've tried to follow this but I get a bit lost (its my age dontcherknow)!

Can anybody summarise for me which RAF Mustangs I could build from the Academy Allison Mustang kit if I (1) retained the original armament as per the kit, or (2), modified the wings to a machine gunned version?

Wez

Mustang 1A, and a Mustang II with the P-51B style wing armament.

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Mustang 1A, and a Mustang II with the P-51B style wing armament.

Good - just means I need to find an example of one of those marks that flew out of Odiham now.

Thanks again!

Wez

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Wez,

If you are looking for a Mk.IA or a Mk.II that flew out of Odiham, you are restricted to either No.II(AC) Sqdn or No.268 Sqdn. 268 was there three times with Mk.IAs, May to September 1943 (transitioned from Mk.Is to Mk.IAs whilst at Odiham), back briefly October 8 to 15 1943, then post D-Day 27 June to 10 August 1944. No.II(AC) Sqdn was there post D-Day with mainly Mk.IIs, dates arrived the same but left about a week ahead of 268. In the case of No.II(AC) and 268 Sqdns they passed through Odiham in 1944 as a staging base before going to ALGs in France. Most of the other Mustang units who were at Odiham for longer were equipped with the Mk.Is.

HTH.

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Wez,

If you are looking for a Mk.IA or a Mk.II that flew out of Odiham, you are restricted to either No.II(AC) Sqdn or No.268 Sqdn. 268 was there three times with Mk.IAs, May to September 1943 (transitioned from Mk.Is to Mk.IAs whilst at Odiham), back briefly October 8 to 15 1943, then post D-Day 27 June to 10 August 1944. No.II(AC) Sqdn was there post D-Day with mainly Mk.IIs, dates arrived the same but left about a week ahead of 268. In the case of No.II(AC) and 268 Sqdns they passed through Odiham in 1944 as a staging base before going to ALGs in France. Most of the other Mustang units who were at Odiham for longer were equipped with the Mk.Is.

HTH.

Col,

Many thanks for that information - a bit of searching to do then for a suitable photo.

Wez

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No.II(AC) Sqdn was there post D-Day...

Hi Colin,

I'm curious why you (apparently consistently) refer to this unit in this way. Are you talking about "Number 2 Squadron RAF" or something else? I'm not trying to be, well, anything but curious.

bob

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