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1/48 Tamiya P-51B Mustang

Gallery Article by Alan Williamson on Feb 9 2010

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Kit: Tamiya 1/48 P-51B Mustang 61042

Additions:

  • Ultracast P-51 Mustang Hamilton Standard Cuffed 4-Blade Propeller & Spinner 48136

  • Ultracast P-51B/C Seat 48015

  • Ultracast P-51 Mustang Wheels Block Tread 48133

  • Eagle Strike P-51 Mustang EP48274

Construction:
I ordered this kit form Calum along with 7 other P-51B's 7 P-51D's and one RAF Mk III Mustang. I get most of my kits from Calum his prices are half the cost of a hobby shop even with post. I seem to have a thing for Mustangs and Tomcats at the moment. Once all my Mustangs had arrived I then had to order some after market goodies. I sent Craig at Aeroworks and E-mail to obtain decals, resin, cockpits, props ,wheels and control surfaces. Once I had what I needed for each P-51 I started to choose which P-51 was first to be built. I didn't have a P-51B with the Malcolm Hood in my collection of P-51's yet so I set about building one. Like most kits I started with the cockpit I only added the Ultracast seat to the cockpit, seemed pointless going all out on lots of detail as for the Malcolm Hood that comes in the Tamiya kit is one peace witch is a shame, so most of the detail would not been seen in the finished kit. The cockpit and seat were painted in Model Master Cockpit Green with some dry brushing and the use of Tamiya weathering Sets. The Tamiya weathering sets are fantastic they can add so much more extra detail to any cockpit. with the cockpit built and painted I sealed in the weathering set on the cockpit with a cote of matt clear. Otherwise the cockpit apart from the seat is O.O.B. The P-51B has got some faults with the construction of the kit I seem to have problems with the radiator ducks under the belly of the P-51B I find this area seems to need a lot of sanding and sometimes putty to get right. The other fault I seem to face when building the B/D is that of the seam lines in the wing haves I find around the guns on both the B and D kits to be quite frustrating to get right with out removing to much detail. I think that Tamiya should have used the same concept that they used with there P-47 kits, the gun ports are separate on the P-47 making it a lot easier to re-shape and get rid of seam lines in the wing with out losing detail on the gun ports. With the P-51's wings painstakingly done it was time to attach them to the assembled fuselage. The kit was now ready to paint. 

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Paint and Decals
I had to now look through endless P-51 decal sheets that I had ordered from Craig to find the scheme that I wanted to do this P-51B in. I decided on a P-51B with full invasion markings, I used the decals from Eagle Strike EP48274 The P-51B was "The Deacon" Flown by Capt. Howard Hively. Capt. Howard flew with the 334th FS and claimed 10 victories, the P-51B also had D-Day markings. I started with a cote of light matt white over the kit so I could spot any imperfections with the build of the kit before I went any further. Once I was happy with that I had gotten rid of any imperfections I then started to airbrush the D-Day stripes on. I measured the width of each D-Day stripe off some decals from the Tamiya kit P-51D 61040. I marked the overall width of the D-day stripes on the wing and fuselage, and then painted the entire width with gloss white. Once the white was dry I used Tamiya masking tape with the desired width of each of the stripes to mask off the white. I then airbrushed on the black using gloss black. I now had the D-Day stripes airbrushed on to the P-51B. With the D-Day strips painted and now masked off I had to add the rest of the color. I decided not to do my usual painting the kit in a aluminum cote rather I went straight onto the color scheme, I used Model Master Olive Drab 34087 and Neutral Grey FS3621 with a little matt red. I used a dry brush with silver paint to simulate damage to the paint. With color now on the kit all that was needed was the decals, I airbrushed the entire kit in gloss clear readying the kit for decal placements. Once the decals were in place I airbrushed the kit in an other cote of gloss clear. It was now time to use a wet pastel wash to highlight the panel lines followed up with a cote of matt clear to seal in the pastel wash. My next step was to add exhaust stains and dirty up the landing gear and wheel bays this was done with the use of Tamiya's weathering sets followed up with a cote of matt gloss to seal in the weathering set. 

Finish:

The P-51B was now painted and a waiting for the finishing touches such as wheel, landing gear and doors, cockpit window and Prop. I had a little problem with the Ultracast Prop there is no hole in the spinner so I had to drill one, the next problem was getting the propeller blades right, this wasn't easy especially with the use of super glue not hundred percent happy with the position of the blades, however the spinner dose look a lot better than the kit spinner.

Thanks:

  • Steve Bamford for all his amazing work on the site

  • Calum for getting the kits in for me. Drop Calum a line at calum.gibson@gmail.com for some great prices on kits

  • Craig at Areoworks for getting in all the after market goodies for me. Drop Craig an E-mail for a what's what on order

Alan Williamson

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Photos and text by Alan Williamson

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