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1/48 Tamiya F-51D

12th FBS Korean War

by Rick Lorenz

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   After seeing photos of the 12th Fighter Bomber Squadron's F-51 Mustangs in  Korea, I was inspired to build one of the colorful shark mouth 'stangs.  I discovered a few years ago that Tamiya's wonderful 1/48 Mustang was released as a 12th FBS F-51D.  However, it was not marked as the full color, blue and yellow schemes I had seen.  Armed with photos from International Air Power Review volume 6, and Dorr & Thompson's Korean Air War book I set out to do my own decal option.

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   Tamiya's kit is well done and also well reviewed elsewhere.  I kicked my build up a notch with Eduard's color cockpit photo etch set, some minor scratch built bits, and two full sets of kit issued decals; the extra copy courtesy of another helpful modeler.  With these, I was able to piece together the buzz numbers on the fuselage and the serials on the tail.  The US Air Force decals came from the spares box.  The numbers "6" are actually "9"'s turned upside down, and the "8" is made up of two "3"'s turned onto each other.  Stuff like that.  
The blue wingtips are Testors #1111 lightened with white, and the yellow is Model Master Insignia yellow.  This seems to be a good match with color photos of 12th FBS F-51's.  The one photo of 648 also shows the uncuffed prop, so I used the one from the kit.  The fuse retaining wire for the rocket noses are short sections of 2 pound monofilament fishing line painted copper.  The exhausts and gun ports are drilled out.  The exhaust residue and tire dust is pastel chalks.  I used a dark gray sludge wash in the panel lines and rivets.  The base is Eduard's PSP painted with various shades of Alclad II and weathered with sludge wash and pastels.

   This is one of those builds that was going to go all the way, but  in the end I made some executive decisions and shortened my intentions a bit.  I wish I had done more.  

Hope you enjoy what you see!

Rick (Spruemeister)

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Photos and text by Rick Lorenz

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