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1/32 Tamiya P-51D- Kicked up a notch

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Thanks guys!

Well, the snow if finally going to start flying tonight, so it's back to the work bench! I have a TON of work to do before I show anything, because I want the entire fuselage to be put together before I do. This means all the major pipes, hoses and other plumbing in the engine area has to be cleaned up (LOTS of pin marks!) and painted before installation, as well as many other parts like engine mounts and coolant tanks.

BTW, remember how I whined about no coolant pump at the bottom of the engine? Well, it's there after all- attached to some big pipes as one piece, so I need to re-route some coolant lines back into it. I should have an update some time this weekend, so thanks for your patience. I'll also have 3 new modeling products to introduce to you that I really like, so hopefully the wait will be worth it!

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Just saw your F4 article in FSM, good stuff. Nice to be in the presence of a celebrity! :)

Looking forward to your updates when they come. I've been holding off on building my P-51 but with all the eye candy from you and the other 2 Mustang builds I might start soon!

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OK Boys, a BIG update. The weather is a bit crappy, which means I'm modeling!

Guy pointed out earlier the flaw with the "finger" that protruded from the panel behind the exit ramp behind the oil and radiator cooler like so...

Here it is unaltered....


And now with a bit of putty, although I had to cheat a bit with that small panel at the rear next to the support rod. No matter what I did, the finish just in front of the rod was crude, so I added the small panel to tiny things up a bit- and the real deal has one that looks similar.


Thankfully, when you install this intake below the fuselage, the gap that is created on the sides of the interior fuselage is actually real, so all you need to do is add some rivet detail and you're good to go!

Before I added the engine plumbing detail, I had to deal with this. Seam lines and mold marks galore!- just like every small part in this kit......


Using the Eduard Engine PE kit, you need to carve off all those poorly formed pipe clamps, which leaves a rugged mess, so I added a connector hose using CA glue to smooth things out....


To get to this stage, complete with weathered aluminum pipes....


Having whined earlier about no coolant pump at the bottom of the Tamiya engine, it turns out there is one here after all, connected to the big coolant aluminum pipes. I thought I would be a smart guy by removing the piping I had before from the engine block rails and installed them into the "new" coolant pump as shown on the starboard side, being careful to avoid interference with the engine mounts.....


And the port side....


I'm here to tell you now, DON'T do it! Besides an iffy engine mount coupling, the main coolant pipe at the bottom of the engine that goes by the starboard side won't clear the new addition as shown.....


So I had to cut and re-route the offending pipe to somewhere else. To be honest though, you won't see squat once the bottom parts are installed anyway.....


No matter, things are starting to look pretty good overall as you pull things together.....


Edited by chuck540z3
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A few pics before I button everything up....




I wasn't sure how to paint the exhaust stubs, so the Prop Forum gave me some great advice. For those unsure of what the Eduard PE kits provide, they really add a lot of great detail everywhere as you will soon see. There's at least 30 bits here and there.....




I see that cross brace is a little off on the port side, so I have already popped it off and moved it rearward to align with the bottom brace better.....



Those seams lines along the exhaust stubs are SUPPOSED to be there!- and Thunder Bird has the open style of exhaust shrouds. I'm just waiting for my first deduction at a modeling contest for seam lines! :P Also note the whitish exhaust staining on all but the front exhaust stub.....


Edited by chuck540z3
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The fuselage join in front of the windscreen should not have a panel line, so I joined the gap with CA glue, sanded it, then replaced the DZUS connectors with a rivet tool about the same size as the kit ones. The front wind screen is a drop in with no putty required. When does THAT ever happen!.....


The front of the prop area to rear of the firewall was a bit of a stretch, so I tried to suck things together to make a tight fit, hoping the removable cowling panels would still fit. So far, so good!


Being a "Jet Guy", I'm used to making off the cockpit at this stage to protect the cockpit area and little gizmos within, which usually sit below or behind the windscreen. Not so with the P-51D, so I'm using a small piece of pipe wrap to protect the upper cockpit when I flip things over again and again.....


Overall, I'm pretty happy with just about everything, although this HAS to be the toughest part of the build over- or at least I'm hoping.

Thanks for checking in.

Edited by chuck540z3
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Chuck, i follow this topic as i was following your previous ones, i very much like your approach to modelling and your builds and i always have something to learn!! I also have this baby and it is No2 in the queue after i finish the Helldiver, so i try to ''steal'' ideas and techniques. Unfortunately here we still have 30 degrees celcious so i keep slow modeling rhythms :D :D

Keep up the good work, :salute: :salute:


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Hey Chuck, love the idea of using the pipe insulation as a protective 'handle.'

And don't worry about some judge deducting for your exhaust seams. I think most prop folks know they are supposed to be there!

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Really impressive, Chuck! :thumbsup:

Great to see the fuselage beginning to come together.

Just a thought, but perhaps the ends of the exhaust pipes would benefit from being thinned down a bit?

Received my set of HGW seatbelts the other day, they sure look gorgeous!

Hi Anders! Well, I DID try. :rolleyes: I drilled out the ends to provide a bit more depth and the ends of the pipes are within a few millimeters of cutting right through- or at least what I was comfortable with. Note the pin marks on the top sprue, so every pipe needs to be sanded down as well.


I also popped off the poorly aligned cross brace on the port side and moved it. The poor alignment was driving me nuts! All better now....


Edited by chuck540z3
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It is really coming together nicely Chuck, the fuselage is gorgeous. This is where the patience and the hours upon hours really pay off.

I'll have to admit, however, that I kind of hate to see your build starting to come to a close. Maybe you can be talked into a Spit?


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It is really coming together nicely Chuck, the fuselage is gorgeous. This is where the patience and the hours upon hours really pay off.

I'll have to admit, however, that I kind of hate to see your build starting to come to a close. Maybe you can be talked into a Spit?


Thanks Bud,

Don't worry about this build coming to a close! I bet I'm 3-4 months away from completion, because that landing gear well is VERY complicated if you want to do it right and I have a ton of aftermarket and scratch goodies I'm going to use in there.

My late father used to be an airframe mechanic on Spits in WW-II in Belgium for the RCAF, Sqn. 401, so I definitely see a Spit in my future at some point. Jake Melampy has just released his new A-10 Hog book, however, so I'll be putting together a 1/32 Trumpeter A-10 next using this new book as my reference. I have just about every after-market kit for this build too, so a Spit is likely a year or two away.

Edited by chuck540z3
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Absolutely outstanding!

I love your builds, and I don't know how I missed this one until now! Guess I need to pay better attention haha.

Whenever I see "Kicked up a notch" in the title, I know it's no understatement!

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All those hours of working and reworking the ignition wires really paid off, I see.. ;-)

Well, at least we all know that they are there somewhere, and that they are perfect. :-)

Very nice work, it´s inspirational!

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All those hours of working and reworking the ignition wires really paid off, I see.. ;-)

Well, at least we all know that they are there somewhere, and that they are perfect. :-)

Very nice work, it´s inspirational!

Thanks Guys! Yes, much of my detailed work is buried somewhat, but with the engine cowl covers off, you can still see all the wiring from the top and under the exhaust stacks. Less noticeable now for sure, but if you poke your head around a bit, you can still see most of it. I may still add some more plumbing lines near the back of the engine where it's a bit naked in front of the oil tank. We'll see. :rolleyes:

Now a few more tips for those who might be interested. I pass two of these tips on to you, care of a guy over on the LSP forum by the name of Wolf Buddee. Wolf is in the final stages of completing a 1/32 Tamiya Spitfire over two years that is, in my opinion, just about the best modeling work I've ever seen, so check it out. While his work is truly inspirational, it's also a bit frustrating to view what's he's done to plastic because I'll never get to that skill level in a hundred years. This guy rocks- and he's even Canadian, eh? :D

While I have been a big fan of Pro-Modeler weathering washes for two years, I've found that they are a bit too "crude" for details like cockpits and engine areas because the clay pigment suspended in water just isn't fine enough. Using enamel and lacquer paints exclusively, the solvent based artist oil washes are not an option for me because you need to protect everything with Future first- and there's ALWAYS some area that didn't get enough Future on it, resulting in the removal of paint while wiping it off. Been there, done that, way too many times! :bandhead2:

It turns out that Wolf uses a product called The Detailer, so I bought a bottle of Black and Brown and gave them a try. I LOVE this stuff and it's so easy to use, you don't even need a coat of Future on first. Don't like what you've done days later? No problem, it just comes off with more water and you can adjust the intensity with more of less applications right out of the bottle. Here's what it looks like with the lightly weathered parts next to it to pick out panel line and rivet detail......


I may use this stuff on the rest of the airframe because I really like what it does to a bare metal finish, especially since it has a slightly purple tinge to it. You can buy it direct here and they even have an easy check-out using Paypal:


The second tip I got from Wolf's build thread, which I'm sure is old news to many of you, is to use Archer rivets to achieve raised rivet detail lacking on the kit plastic. For the surface areas of the Mustang where all the rivets are flush, this is not an issue, but in the landing gear wells there are raised rivets everywhere, so I'm going to be using a lot of these in there:


Apparently they are applied just like a decal, but you need to seal them with paint to make sure they stay put. We'll see how they work in the weeks ahead.

The last tip is one that is also old to many of you, but very new to me. Earlier in this thread I was promoting Mr. Color Liquid Mask, to mask off those areas that are hard to mask with tape. While it does work fairly well, it tends to grab rough surfaces and since it always stays very flexible, it can be a real pain to remove in tight spots. While at my local hobby shop I recently bought MicroMask as a liquid mask alternative to cover those areas of the front engine area that are finely detailed and curved, like the green engine mount framing in the pic below. I wanted to mask these areas off before I sprayed the metal Alclad colors, but it needed to be on flat paint, because I didn't want to spray dull coat on the shiny metal surfaces later. I LOVE this stuff now too, because unlike the Mr. Color product, this mask can get hard which makes it much easier to peel or flake off. Here it is in action with some of the metal colored paint removed at the bottom of the bottle in one hard piece. Other liquid masks would come off in gooey chunks and they would have stuck to the flat green paint instead....


Next on the agenda is to get all the engine cowlings detailed and fitted to the front fuselage properly. Some weeks ago, I applied putty to all the large pin marks on the inside of the cowlings. WHAT was I thinking!!!!? It took me almost 2 hours to get that crap out of the one cowling on the top right due to the curved surface and rib details that I didn't want to sand off. I could have smoothed things out with Tamiya lacquer thinner then, but the putty is like concrete now. Thankfully, the side panels should be a lot easier to do since they're flat, but I'm not looking forward to that deep lower cowling in the upper left! :bandhead2:


I just noticed that I had my 5 year anniversary on ARC 2 days ago, shortly after taking up this crazy nerdy hobby! Since that first submission of a 1/32 Revell F-15E (badly silvered decals), I've built the following:

2) 1/32 Tamiya F-14D (no airframe conversion, but it still looks OK from 3 feet), 3 months

3) 1/32 Academy CF-18A (sagging landing gear and crappy intake work), 4 months

4) 1/32 Tamiya F-16CJ (pretty good, but why didn't I fill those intake seam lines!?), 4 months

5) 1/32 Tamiya F-4J (not bad over all), 4 months

6) 1/32 Tamiya F-14B (getting better, but I'm still having canopy problems), 6 months

7) 1/32 Academy CF-18B (very good, if I do say so myself), 12 months

8) 1/48 Tamiya Lancaster (would have been better if I wasn't giving it away), 6 months

9) 1/32 Tamiya F-4E (the best yet), 14 months

10) 1/32 Tamiya P-51D (?), 4 months and counting......

Apparently I'm drawn to 1/32 jets that take a long time to build! :rolleyes:

Cheers for now,


Edited by chuck540z3
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Chuck, congrats on your 5-year anniversary!

Thanks for the tips, all very useful to me. I will have to get a hold of the wash-- I just made a total mess of my Typhoon cockpit because the finish wasnt dull enough and the Promodeler didnt wash off as planned.... my fault entirely but I like product I can be stupid with.



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