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Mustang Wings and panel seams

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So I have some questions regarding the birds as they fly today.

Specifically, "Evergreen" (Bob Hoover's plane) and Miss America. It's hard to tell in pictures just how the wings have been treated. It looks like the joins have been filled, as per your illustration. It also looks like the gun access doors have been filled.

Is it just that the gun panels fit very well, and they are way over represented in scale model form?

some of the NMF racers have very highly polished wings and fuselages. What's usually done with these birds regarding filled joints or not?

I look forward to any insight you may have.

Thanks in advance.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...


Ok, just came back to this thread....resurrecting it as it were...

Greg, if you're still keeping an eye on this...I am making 3 Mustangs right now and have followed your advise about filling hte seams on the wings.

My question relates to the Lacquered finish on the wings....

Is it top and bottom of the wings and where does the lacquer stop and the NMF start? You said earlier that there was a point where you are not supposed to paint...a strengthening palte of some sort to the fuselage?

Can you illustrate this?

Sorry for the hassle, but looking to add a degree of accuracy to my kits...

Thanks in advance


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  • 4 weeks later...

Great reference here on the Mustang......I am also following the tips for the wings and other areas.

I do have a question concerning the wheel bays.....what color were they or did they vary from different production runs?? The Detail and Scale book, I have using for reference doesn't clearly explain (at least to me) what color they were painted.

Is there any way to get those cockpit photos of the TP-51D reposted?? I'm looking to build one of those (just ordered the canopy from Falcon Products), and was disappointed to see the two-seater cockpit photos missing. I plan on building it up as one of the US Army chase aircraft.


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  • 3 months later...
It would not be about a Squadron in the field doing it to gain some speed, it is about why NAA did it in the first place.

The laminar flow airfoil that the P-51 employed was dependant for efficient operation on having a very smooth and defect free surface. The wing was filled at the factory to maintain that profile as best as possible as the more surface defects in the profile the greater performance hit would be taken.

Legend has it that even an accumulation of bug hits on the leading edge could seriously ramp up the drag on the wing.

I would be suprised if a T.O. does not exist stating that if repairs were done to the wing that they should be filled, primed and painted to restore a factory surface finish.



(Aircraft Engineer by trade for 25 years now, in case you were wondering)

No disrespect intended...but the explanation you gave was basically an aeronautical engineer's way of saying they did it to gain some speed. B)

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  • 2 months later...
what can I say- the decal came from Hamilton Standard..tell them they got it wrong? :thumbsup:

this one is on a B-25 :worship:


Actually yes. That's not a WWII era HS logo. That's a modern HS logo. They're different. The logo has changed several times over the years. Just because HS sent it to you doesn't mean anybody now working at HS has any clue what their WWII era logo looked like (I doubt they do). Someone from Airbus industrie was once quoted as saying "Our company is too young. We don't have any history." That's typical of most corporations when it comes to knowing about their own histories.


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Hello all

just to say a huge thanks to Greg for his precious informations about the Mustang. :worship:

I've spent hours looking in books and on the web and all I ever needed was here :worship:

Thanks again Greg.


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Hi Guys,

I don't want to open a can of worms again, but could some of the experts comment on the photos below?

I tried to highlight the panel lines and rivets with some red colors... I think some of the Mustangs below were never stripped so the panel lines cannot be claimed on that...

Thanks for your inputs!











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Puttied doesn't mean totally invisible at all times it's something the crews had to work at.

Conditions in the field and the stress applied to the wings in flight meant that sometimes some of the line and rivet would reappear, mostly it would be faint and not really crack the putty, other times the crews would have had to reapply putty.

Also remember that dirt in a faint line will make it look thicker than it is.

Here's a good example.

The 2 first lines are barely visible they are properly puttied the wing is smooth, the third one is where the flap is so it is a "real" line.


You did notice that "Nooky Booky 4" is in a scrap yard in the photo you posted and therefore in no flying condition, didn't you?

Edited by tourist
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  • 6 months later...
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I came back for a review since I have the new 1:32 Tamiya P-51D on preorder. In my perfect world the new kit would have been released with no panel lines where the lines were filled and a drawing on the instructions where to scribe them if the modeler would prefer to model the kit in post-war configuration.....oh well <_<

I imagine that I'll be seeing a lot of polished wood grained floors and contrasting painted gun bay covers too, but I know how I'll be doing mine.

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