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11bee

Forgotten War Mustang - F-51D in Korea

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Very nice work. The IP looks good. I do agree with you that a bit of weathering on the IP would help blend it in. 

 

Side note, Barracuda decals showed up today. Even in 1/32, I need better eyes for these!

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15 hours ago, Brett M said:

Very nice work. The IP looks good. I do agree with you that a bit of weathering on the IP would help blend it in. 

 

Side note, Barracuda decals showed up today. Even in 1/32, I need better eyes for these!

Thanks Brett!   Good luck on those decals, if a klutz like me can apply them, anyone can.  The key is a set of locking needlenose tweezers and Micro Sol/Set.   That's it.

 

They really add a great deal to a kit.  Here's the cockpit of my recent F4U-1D Corsair:

44694793751_0eb9ff9d59_b.jpg

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On to other areas.  Still have a few minor bits to add to the cockpit but I'll get to them later.  Next up are the radios behind the cockpit.   First off - a really fun tutorial on Mustang radios!

 

As with the cockpit itself, the area aft of the cockpit evolved quite a bit over time.   Originally, the first D-model Mustangs had nothing more than a big, bulky SCR-522 radio.  Aft of this radio was the aircraft's battery.    Here's a good illustration of the early layout:

FSX P-51D SCR-522 Radio and Rear Battery Installation (WWII Standard)

 

Late in WW2, the USAAF added the SCR-695 IFF set.  This was the first IFF equipment installed in a fighter-sized aircraft.  This configuration carried over into Korea.  

FSX P-51D SCR-522 and SCR-695 Radio Installation (Very Late WWII and Post-WWII)

To make way for the IFF set, the battery was relocated into the engine compartment.   Sharp-eyed observers will note this configuration by the presence of a small battery cooling scoop on the port fuselage, slightly above and ahead of the wing root leading edge.    Tamiya provides parts for both of these configurations (and yes, they have the cooling scoop included).  The aircraft I'm modeling (Little Beast) appears to be in this configuration.  However, since many WW2-stock Mustangs had their radios upgraded in-theater, I'm going with the addition of a BC-453 receiver unit which was mounted above the original SCR-522.  I'm going to have to scratchbuild this radio and it's mount.  We'll see how it goes.  If it turns out poorly, I'll keep Little Beast in her earlier configuration.   

 

Here's what the BC-453 installation looked like:

FSX P-51D/F-51D BC-453-B, SCR-522, and SCR-695 Radio Installation (Post-WWII)

 

Finally, late in the Korean War, the Mustang's last radio upgrade, using the ARC-3 system was introduced.  This replaced the SCR-522 completely.  

FSX P-51D/F-51D ARC-3 and SCR-695 Radio Installation (Post-WWII)

Sure would be nice if someone would offer all these radio sets in resin but I'm not going to hold my breath.   Maybe if Tamiya ever releases an F-51D (and the way the kit is laid out, it appears that at one point, they intended to), Big T will take care of this issue.    As my luck goes, they will announce their brand new F-51D on the same day I complete my build. 

 

Anyway, that's it for my tutorial.  Pretty exciting stuff, right?  Hope you guys all enjoyed it!   i'll be back with a quick modeling update a bit later.

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I'm back..  Kind of lost interest for a bit but I've got at least some mojo back.    I was struggling with the post-WW2 radio setup (see earlier posts for details).   Did some scratchbuiling and then promptly tossed it.  Tried again and the geometry was off (the radio wouldn't fit under the canopy).   Third try turned out "ok".   It's a bit on the crude side but a good portion of it won't really be visible.  The geometry is still off but I guess at this point, it is what it is. 

 

The rack that straddles the WW2 vintage SCR-522 is just plastic sheet.   The new radio was carved from a chunk of aftermarket resin.   I then added bits of PE sheet and various diameters of styrene rod to replicate a knob and some small hardware bits.   After painting, I added a few Barracuda decals and then hit everthing with some pastels to replicate the ever-present Korean dust. 

 

Not overly thrilled with the outcome but it will have to suffice.  Hope you guys think it's ok.  I will still be adding all the necessary wires.

 

Radio rack with a cut- down cable bundle from the Barracuda resin set. 

IMG_0606

 

While I was at it, I added the fuel gauge housing and the filler tube behind it.   I used a couple of bits of sprue to replicate the band clamps on the rubber expansion boot on the filler line. Not going crazy here because once the fuselage is buttoned up and the canopy in place, it won't be that visible.   I also added the retaining plate and rods that secured the IFF box.

IMG_0604

 

IMG_0603

 

IMG_0602

 

Not visible here but Barracuda also provides a nice decal for the face of the fuel tank level gauge.  

IMG_0601

 

I'll be doing a few touchups along with adding the remaining electrical cables, then I think I am on to the engine.    Thanks for looking. 

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You ar making great progress.  Enjoying your work.

 

Geoff M

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Re weathering decals, I had to deal with this issue y'day on a very battered 1/72 RAAF Black Cat Catalina I'm doing.  I first tried chipping the decals with a sharpened cocktail stick but that left too many ridges that needed sanding, so tried using black paint in a fine brush to overpaint representing chips which worked better.  Then I oversprayed with very dilute black to tone down the stark white decals, then made up a dirty pastel wash for further blending/weathering.

 

7rNYzxD.jpg

 

2m24niQ.jpg

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Thanks for the compliments guys!  Thommo - that's a great looking Cat.   I think your decal weathering came out nicely.   I'll be using your approach on this build, wish me luck.

 

Anyway, I think I'm done with the cockpit (aside from final assembly).   I added a few more wires to the radio stack and the terminal plate on the pilot's back armor.  In looking at a couple of the reference pics, I got a couple of wires mis-routed but at this point, it is what it is.  

 

Some pics:

IMG_0613

 

IMG_0614

 

IMG_0615

 

IMG_0616

 

As always, thanks for looking! 

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3 hours ago, Falconxlvi said:

1-2-3.... lol.  It works.  

Argh....  I thought I posted an update, having problems posting stuff into this thread without getting an error message.  Didn't think my "test" post made it.

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Engine complete.  I'm only going to have one access panel off so I didn't go heavy on the detailing.  I did try to weather the engine to replicate a powerplant that was hardworking and was maintained outdoors in all weather conditions.   Lots of washes and pastels used.    The kit part is an absolute masterpiece with approx 40 parts going into it.  

IMG_0621

  

IMG_0620

 

IMG_0619

 

IMG_0622

 

IMG_0617

 

Thanks for looking!

Edited by 11bee

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Work continues..  I have to admit, the news that Tamiya is now releasing an F-51D has kinda taken the wind out my sails.  I like modeling somewhat off the beaten path and now that there will be F-51's flooding the market, I've lost a bit of interest but at this point, I have no choice but to continue on...

 

I completed the glare shield.  On the underside, I added wiring for the K-14 gunsight control box and scratch built instrument panel lights from styrene rod and stretched sprue.  I took a picture of the bottom but it came out horribly. You'll have to trust me that all this stuff is present.  Once the fuselage is assembled, it will barely be visible anyway.   I then painted the glare shield with a dark grey / black mix and hit it with tan pastels.  Every glare shield I've seen in RL has been heavily faded and dusty.  Solid black isn't an appropriate color, in my opinion.    

 

After that, I built the radiator duct assembly straight out of the box (once completed, very little will be visible and the kit parts are quite sufficient).   After that, I glued everything into the left fuselage.   I recommend test fitting extensively, in my case I had to carve away some of the Barracuda resin to get things to fit.  

 

The weathered glareshield.  Note that it's the later type, without the reinforcing ribs.  

IMG_0625

 

Everything installed in the fuselage side. 

IMG_0631

 

This really gives you an idea of how cramped the Mustang's cockpit was.  Compared to my last build (F4U-1D Corsair), this cockpit is downright claustrophobic. 

IMG_0627

 

That's it for now, thanks for looking! 

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It was pointed out in another forum that I installed the early version glareshield (without reinforcing ribs).   

 

So to pay penance for my apparent inability to read instructions (Tamiya did specify that the ribbed glareshield was applicable to later versions), I spent a wonderful hour carefully peeling off the ribs from the correct glareshield and gluing them in place.   Followed by painting (I added a some silver scratches since these appear often in pics and then reapplied my pastels.  

 

Next up is the gunsight.  Late WW2 and beyond Mustangs were all fitted with the "Acemaker" K-14 gyroscopic gunsight (although I'm guessing that in Korea, pilots locked the gyro and simply used a fixed "pipper" for air to ground workd).   Tamiya provides a nice K-14 but Barracuda's resin one is fantastic, so I went with theirs.  I did add the microscopic "No Handhold" label to the sight's cushioned crash pad, this decal came out of the Barracuda cockpit placard set. 

 

One question I had was the configuration of the gunsight.   See Tamiya's instructions below, their K-14 has two bits of glass and a sheet metal sunshade.  I've seen this in a few pics but the vast majority of pictures I've seen show no sunshade and a single piece of glass, especially for Korean-era F-51D's.   

 

IMG_0632

 

I painted the sight in various shades of black, went over the cushion with dark brown to replicate worn leather and then added the decal and glued in place.   

IMG_0635

 

You can barely make out the No Handhold marking on the crash pad...   I'm not happy with the chipped paint effect on the pilot's seat and am going to tone it down a bit with some interior green.  

IMG_0633

 

A lot of F-51D's in Korea seem to have a map tucked into the corner of the glareshield.  I'm going to see if I can replicate one once I get further along with the build.

IMG_0637

 

That's it for now, thanks for looking!

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What's the serial number of the plane you are building?

It is quite possible that the early anti glare panel is correct for your build.

It's not a WWII vs post war thing, it has to do with the production block.

The stiffeners appeared on the panel during the D-25-NA production which is quite late in the game.

Earlier blocks were still flown during the Korean war.

 

Edited to add:

After re-reading your first post I see you are building 44-84602 (a P-51D-25-NT) which means you were right to use the later anti glare panel with the stiffeners.

Please note that this aircraft, like many others in Korea, is not NMF but fully painted with a metallic grey.

 

Edited by tourist

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2 hours ago, tourist said:

Edited to add:

After re-reading your first post I see you are building 44-84602 (a P-51D-25-NT) which means you were right to use the later anti glare panel with the stiffeners.

Please note that this aircraft, like many others in Korea, is not NMF but fully painted with a metallic grey.

 

Hi Christian,

 

Thanks for all the great info.  With regard to the finish - I'm quite surprised to hear this.   I'm a Mustang novice but from all I've read online, I never knew that some of these aircraft were painted.   Always was told (and assumed from looking at color pics) that they were just NMF, which at times was heavily weathered to a dull metallic finish.    Can you provide any additional details?

Edited by 11bee

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Still plugging away.  I've installed the cowling framework.   Typical Tamiya, everything fits precisely.  I'm not sure if I'm going to leave the cowling sections off or not but regardless, the kit gives you a very good idea of how compact the engine installation is.  NAA did a great job of squeezing everything into a very small space. 

 

This picture also shows a feature of the later Mustangs.  To make room for more radio equip aft of the pilot, the battery was relocated to the engine compartment.  It was squeezed in between the back of the engine and the oil tank. With the cowling in place, the only way you can tell if a Mustang had this feature was by the small cooling scoop for the battery on the lower section of the cowling. 

IMG_0641

Given that at best, I'm going to have just one of the side cowling panels off, I didn't go crazy super-detailing the engine. For those that want to leave the entire cowling off, you could spend hours adding all the wiring and small details.

 

Still plugging away.  I've installed the cowling framework.   Typical Tamiya, everything fits precisely.  I'm not sure if I'm going to leave the cowling sections off or not but regardless, the kit gives you a very good idea of how compact the engine installation is.  NAA did a great job of squeezing everything into a very small space. 

 

This picture also shows a feature of the later Mustangs.  To make room for more radio equip aft of the pilot, the battery was relocated to the engine compartment.  It was squeezed in between the back of the engine and the oil tank. With the cowling in place, the only way you can tell if a Mustang had this feature was by the small cooling scoop for the battery on the lower section of the cowling. 

IMG_0641

Given that at best, I'm going to have just one of the side cowling panels off, I didn't go crazy super-detailing the engine. For those that want to leave the entire cowling off, you could spend hours adding all the wiring and small details.

 

A better picture that illustrates the exquisite Barracuda K-14 gunsight and "No Handhold" decal.

IMG_0639

 

As mentioned, I toned down some of the metal scratches on the pilot's seat.

IMG_0640

 

That's it for now, thanks for looking! 

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1 hour ago, 11bee said:

Hi Christian,

 

Thanks for all the great info.  With regard to the finish - I'm quite surprised to hear this.   I'm a Mustang novice but from all I've read online, I never knew that some of these aircraft were painted.   Always was told (and assumed from looking at color pics) that they were just NMF, which at times was heavily weathered to a dull metallic finish.    Can you provide any additional details?

Painting Mustangs is a post war thing seen on some ANG and USAF F-51's, most likely a way to fight corrosion on aging planes.

Some planes remained NMF others were painted, you really need to look at pictures to figure out which is which (it's not always obvious).

To complicate matters I think that some Mustangs might have only been partially painted, it's a bit of a mess 🤨.

 

Two clear (enough) examples:

 

NMF

NY66o4b.jpg

 

Painted

GqucJHc.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, tourist said:

Painting Mustangs is a post war thing seen on some ANG and USAF F-51's, most likely a way to fight corrosion on aging planes.

Some planes remained NMF others were painted, you really need to look at pictures to figure out which is which (it's not always obvious).

To complicate matters I think that some Mustangs might have only been partially painted, it's a bit of a mess 🤨.

 

Two clear (enough) examples:

 

NMF

NY66o4b.jpg

 

Painted

GqucJHc.jpg

 

 

 

Christian, you have any Intel on the first  photo?

Thanks

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1 hour ago, markiii said:

 

Christian, you have any Intel on the first  photo?

Thanks

The little I know comes from the Warren Thompson book.

The picture shows Capt. Daniel "Chappie" James who later became the first African American USAF four star general.

Interesting dude: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_James_Jr.

I cannot tell much about the plane based on this single picture.

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