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1/32 Monogram P-51D

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...Seems I posted this in the wrong spot previously...

Well its been a long time since I have posted here, but I have been trudging away on a build that I thought I would share here.

The kit is the ancient Monogram F-51D. Its the same kit as the clear Phantom Mustang minus the stand and all its innerworkings. The kit still retains its movable landing gear, and releasing bombs. The kit is also fitted with the Hamilton Standard cuffless propeller.

For my build I thought I would back date the aircraft to a WW2 P-51D-5NA, and build it as a very early D with no dorsal fin fillet. Also put it in flight on a stand with gear up.

I pulled from the stash a cuffed Hamilton Standard prop, and figured I would do some work in the cockpit.

But, my primary goal for this kit is a test bed for and natural metal finished Mustang using Alclad paints. So that actually is my primary focus, though building this old kit should be fun.

So without further to do, here are a few quick pics of the progress on the kit.

Here is the old and tattered boxing for the kit.


The basic big chunks of the kit. The shape is not bad. Wing profile may be a bit off, and the guns are molded a bit outboard. Also the H-stab is mounted in a bit of an odd way, but all in all I really like the kit. Raised panel lines and rivets are molded in the kit.


First order of business was to give the wings a good smoothing treatment, one of the perks of raised detail....no putty required. Also started on adding some detail to the cockpit. Also fabricated a wing spar to give everything some strength and shape. Also opened up the shell extraction chutes in a more accurate fashion.





Painted and detailed cockpit, used the kit instrument panel and started assembling the new prop.




More to come...thanks for looking in...

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More photos and progress...

Nearly ready to start buttoning up the wings and fuselage.


All closed up and nearly ready to start figuring out the paint work. Also I have made a stand that will put the plane in flight and in a left bank.


Also thought I would try a technique of masking off some stripes to simulate the fabric on the rudder and elevators.


So, to progress with my getting familiar with Alclad, I thought I would paint a test panel using different types of basecoats and some of the different shades of Alclad.

I used some black and grey sandable primer, some gloss black and gloss white spray lacquer and some satin champagne as under coats. In a 90 degree pattern I sprayed from left to right, Alclad Chrome, Polished Aluminum, Airframe Aluminum, Aluminum, Duraluminum, Semi Matte Aluminum, and Stainless. I then, on a few select tints, sprayed some gloss clear to see what kind of effect that would have on the color and sheen.

Here is the outcome.


I then, drew up a map of the Mustang, and went about choosing the base coats and tints and where they would go to simulate different panels.


Wings painted to represent the Aluminized Varnish (using a gloss white undercoat, 116 Semi Matte Aluminum Alclad, and a gloss clear) and the rest of the airframe base coats in place.


And now Alclad 119 Airframe Aluminum sprayed over the balance of the airframe. I am relying on the basecoats to create different sheens and tints.




Bit more to come in a few...

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And after some drying time, Ive applied the wing roundels, and OD glare shield paint. The area around the exhausts it coated with 115 Stainless Steel.




And this is where things stand right now. I have a couple of stalled out 1/24 Mustangs, and this is to get the old modeling mojo back, and also in preparation for doing natural metal finishes on those builds. With any luck, the bigger scale will allow this to look even better. So far pretty happy with the outcome.

Thanks for looking in, and hope for a few more updates over the next few days.

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HOLMES!!!!!! Thank you for the great comment.

& Joel, thank you as well for the look and the compliment. I am more and more impressed with this little old kit. Its no Tamiya, but for a quick build that looks the part, it surely fits the bill. Its biggest downfall for the type of build I am doing is the fitment of the landing gear doors. Both the main and tail gear doors are made to swing open and close with the action of the landing gear when built OOB. To facilitate that they are made with quite substantial gaps and large hinges that protrude from the fuselage. For this build I did my best to fill the gaps and remove the offending hinges. I have one more of these in the stash and two of the Phantom Mustangs. My plan for those is one Phantom Mustang to be built OOB, but the other I would like to eventually build with a lot of scratch built framework and details. I have seen one with the framework from the new ZM kit shoehorned in, it was quite impressive....dont know that I would go quite that far, but that would be the idea.

Photographing this NMF has been quite a struggle as it is hard to give a good all around representation of what is shiny and what is dull and what is in between for the panel shades. My thought process was that the panels that may have been annealed and formed in my opinion would have been duller in sheen. And the flat cladding that would have been just sheared to shape and then riveted in place (ie: sides of the fuselage, sides of the tail ect.) would probably be the shiniest. Other more easier formed panels would probably fall somewhere in between....at least this is my take. So its that theory that prompted my map of undercoats. I like the results, but may in fact change up a few things on future builds. I have been having a hard time photographing exactly what my eyes see when I look at the model and see that the sides in fact have the most reflectivity.

Here is another quick shot, I have been chipping away at small details and hope to have the ETO black stripes painted within the next few days.


The goal is an early yellow nose Mustang.

P-51D-5-NA, 44-13708, B7-I, 8th Air Force, 361st Fighter Group, 374th Fighter Squadron, Bottisham.

"Duchess of Manhattan"

Capt. Henry B Lederer, Bridgeport CT, 92 Missions, 305 Combat Hours


Thanks again for looking in....its greatly appreciated

Edited by xmh53wrench
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How shiny should it be is a very difficult question to answer. NMF oxidized quite rapidly becoming duller and darker by the day. You would have to decide if you're building a line aircraft, or a new aircraft just becoming operational. My brother models 1/32 WW11 props, and he does museum waxed and glossed type finishes, while I prefer more weathered operational aircraft. My only point is that an aircraft really can't be both at the same time. It's the consistency of the finish that's most important.


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As for photographing models, especially NMFs that reflects most of the direct light, a decent light setup using diffused light is a must. I've been using a ad hoc lighting setup, and the results of direct undiffused light from only two sources clearly isn't the way to go.


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Thank you for the very kind comments!

I do like the idea of using undercoats to create varying shades and sheens of the aluminum skin. I am not having real good luck masking the Alclad. No matter how much I detack the tape I seem to have problems with minor blemishes left on the Alclad....minor so far, but they are there.

So creating different looks with the undercoats really keeps the masking to a minimum.

That said I did mask and paint the ETO wing bands.




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Outstanding. It's looking fantastic.

I've watched the videos on the Alcad site a dozen times. They never have any issues with masking. Like you, I've had my issues. It's a crap shoot for sure. Sometimes the Detacked Tamiya tape doesn't damage or pull up some of the Alcad paint, and sometimes it does. As a precaution I've gone to sealing the Alcad NMF with Testors Metalizer Clear Sealer. I use Testors simply because it's available locally, and I've used it for years. If there is a change in the finish, I can't really tell.


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