1/48 Tamiya P-51B

by Alan Williamson



Kit: Tamiya P-51B 61042


  • Aires P-51B/Cockpit Set 4223

  • Ultracsat P-51B/C Seat 48015


I decided that I wanted to build another Tamiya P-51B to replace the one I built about five years ago, I was not happy with the finished outcome.  I sent Calum an E-mail and placed an order for two P-51B's and two more P-51D's, seem to be going though a Mustang stage. When the kits arrived in the post I went to work I normally have around ten kits on the go at any given time and starting this was no exception. The last P-51B I built, I used the Eduard cockpit set.  This time I wanted to use the Aires P-51B cockpit set. With that in mind I sent Craig at Aeroworks and E-mail to order the Aries cockpit. While I waited for the cockpit to arrive, I set to work on stripping the decals and paint off my old P-51B, ready for a new look.  When the Aires cockpit arrived in post I started the build.  I set to work on making room for the cockpit to fit in the kit, I removed all of the detail on the insides of the fuselage halves with my sanding drill, once completed, I re-scribed the entire kit like I do and then started on the Aires cockpit.  I painted the cockpit in Model Master Cockpit Green with black boxes, with a dry brush of sliver over the top.  The cockpit was now ready to dirty up, I used the Tamiya weathering Master set B great stuff, to add some depth and life to the cockpit.  Once I was happy with the dirty grimy effect I sealed the weathering wash by airbrushing some matt clear over the cockpit.  Now it was time assemble the cockpit with the fuselage halves, unlike other Aires cockpits that I have used, this one went together and fit into the kit with little fuss.  In the past I have found that with an Aires cockpit I normally have trouble assembling the two halves of the kit together and end up with a substantial  gap around cockpit halves.  But in this case the kit halves joined almost seamless and the rest of the build went almost flawless.

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I painted the overall kit in Model Master Aluminium Plate followed up with Model Master Olive Drab 34087 and Neutral Grey FS3621.  After the paint had dried, I gave the kit a wet rub to expose some of the Aluminium Plate underneath and then airbrushed a layer of Gloss clear ready for the decals. I liked the decal scheme Shangri-La and since I was building this one to replace the other kit also Shangri-La, I went with the same decals.  Shangri-La was flow by Capt. Don S. Gentile 336th FS/ 4th FG 1944.  Once the decals were applied, I covered the kit with a layer of Gloss clear to seal the decals and prepare it for the pastel wash.  Now that the panel lines were highlighted, I sealed the Pastel in with an other coat of clear followed up with a coat of matt clear.  I then used the Tamiya weathering set B to add exhaust stains, gun stains and to dirty up the wheel well, and sealed them with a light coat of matt clear.


It was time to add the finishing touches landing gear + doors and cockpit window.  The first P-51B I built I stuffed up the cockpit window and could not display it opened, I made sure not to make the same mistake again this time.


  • To Steve Bamford again for all his work with the ARC
  • To Calum for all the kits I have received off him lost count. Pay Calum a visit at www.gibstuff.net for a great look at kits for sale, kits Calum is building and photos of aircraft and ships.
  • To Craig from Aeroworks for the Aires cockpit and Ultracast seat drop Craig an E-mail for a product list for mail ordering aeroworks@iprimus.com.au


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Photos and text by Alan Williamson