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Forgotten War Mustang - F-51D in Korea


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15 hours ago, tourist said:

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.

Chappie Jones is a true American hero.   Later in his career he was CO of an interceptor squadron at Otis AFB on Cape Cod.   They have a T-33 on base with his name under the canopy.  

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Quick update - I've completed the main landing gear and a few minor bits.   The kit landing gear is exquisite.  Unlike most models, Tamiya provides the brake lines, which fit perfectly.   They even replicate the air valve on the wheels!   The only issue with the Tamiya parts is that they provide vinyl tires.  I have no idea why they do this, vinyl is tough to paint and adds nothing from a detail standpoint.   Thankfully Barracudacast offers a selection of highly detailed resin Mustang tires for very cheap money.   Well worth it IMO!

 

I had fun with weathering the tires, unlike most pristine USAF state-side bases, Korea offered PSP runways (often flooded), dirt taxiways / parking aprons filled with mud and copious amounts of spilled (or simply dumped) waste oil.    See below:

136289006-02bg5aqm-adsc_7314x.jpg?w=950

 

 

I tried to replicate these tires with a buildup of dirt and some oil that stuck to the tires when the pilot taxi'd through various spills.   

IMG_0645

 

IMG_0644

 

IMG_0642

 

I also added a very dark brownish wash to replicate brake dust and general grime.   Aside from tweaking the metallic chrome finish on the oleo struts, these are pretty much done.  That's it for now, thanks for looking!

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I've really enjoyed this build. Thank you for sharing it with us, it's always fascinating - and inspirational - to see Tamiya 1/32 kits taken to another level of detail.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Zac!

 

Here are the decal options I have to choose from:

 

My original set from AIMS

IMG_0647

 

And the just released set from Print to Scale (a company I've never heard of before, any info on their quality would be welcome):

IMG_0646

 

Having a tough time deciding on which option to model.  I was all set on "Little Beast II" from the AIMS set but since I've got the new sheet, I'm now undecided.   I honestly am drawn to "Linda and Bobby Jr" for some reason but it's got the WW2 vintage OD green glareshield and I want an aircraft with the later black glareshield to stand out a bit from the thousands of WW2 Mustang models.   So at this point, I think I'm going with "Butchie"  One note - not sure why the directions show the shark's teeth in dark blue.   On the decal sheet, they are the correct color - white.  Butchie made it through nearly two years of war, before being lost in early 1952.    Just wondering if anyone has seen any pics of this aircraft?   The Osprey F-51D book has a profile of her which matches the decal illustration but I'd sure love to see a picture or two of the real thing since, on occasion, a few mistakes are made on illustrations.   I've exhausted my Google-Fu and have not found anything.    Any assistance is appreciated.  One nice thing about Butchie is that she doesn't have the fuselage radiator cooling louvers so I won't have to deal with sratchbuilding those. 

 

Edit:

A kind gent over on LSP found a few new picks of Butchie:

cYWG58f.jpg

Looks like I'll have to paint on the diamond marking on the wheel cover and the black stripes on the wings  No biggie.

Edited by 11bee
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Figured it's time to post some pics of plastic instead of yet more questions!    I've got the fuselage mostly buttoned up.   Just a tad of filler here and there but aside from that, everything fits nice and tight!

 

IMG_0652

 

IMG_0648

I simply glued the rudder and elevators in place.  One major dislike I have with this kit is all the work that Tamiya wants you to go through to make the kit into a toy with retractable landing gear, movable flaps, control surfaces, etc.   I have no need for any of those "features". 

 

Moving on, I've done some additional work on the landing gear wheel wheels.  Lots of fun color options here.   For some reason, later Mustangs often had one bay with unfinished aluminum roofs (actually, the underside of the upper wing) while the other was GZC.   In addition, the rear bulkhead (which was actually the wing spard), was usually YZC.   That's the scheme I went with, I think it adds some nice color.   

 

IMG_0659

 

IMG_0657

 

Not a lot of corrective work is needed in this area, Tamiya did a good job.   Only thing I did was drill out the holes in the oleo calipers and also removed the solid plastic backing for the hydraulic cylinders mounted to the aft bulkhead. 

IMG_0655

Couple of notes - I just received the Fundekals P-51 stencil set.   Very nice, as is all of Jenning's stuff.   It even includes the stamped markings that were applied to sheet aluminum at the mills!   In retrospect, I should have applied these decals before I added the ribs, etc but of course, I was in a rush and as a result, it took twice as long to shoe-horn these small decals into place.  IMO, they really add quite a bit to the look.  I also added some decals to the landing gear but since my photo skills are awful and today was a pretty cloudy day, it's tough to see these.  Also note - I haven't added any additional details to this area.  I'm going to add some hydraulic and electrical lines to busy things up but unlike the Corsair I did last, where I slavishly added every line, this area on the Mustang is packed with tiny lines and fittings.   I'll add some but there is no way I can add everything.   Would have been nice to have an aftermarket outfit take a shot at this area.

 

I obviously will be weathering this once I'm complete.   That's it for now, thanks for looking! 

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 hanks guys.    While I'm waiting for my replacement airbrush to arrive, I put some time into the MG bay.   I've decided I'm going to have the left bay partially opened, just to add a bit of visual interest. At this point, I think I'll keep the ammo troughs closed and just leave the MG panels opened.  

 

Here is what the real thing looks like (pic courtesy of Prime Portal):

p-51d_14_of_25.jpg

All in all, Tamiya did a decent job in this area.  They included the gun solenoids (the silver boxes mounted on the side of each MG) and made an attempt to replicate the mounting tabs towards the rear of each weapon.   My only gripe is that the moulded the MG's in half vertically so you are stuck with a seam down the middle.   They even replicated the feed tray cover latches on the side of each weapon.  Pretty nice!

 

Here is where I am at so far:

IMG_0669

 

I added some details as shown below.   A few small bits of plastic and PE for the securing hardware, copper wire for the solenoid wiring, plastic rod for the conduit that comes off the solenoid housing and I also drilled out the lightening hole in the side of the compartment wall.   I still have to add the ammo feed trays and some latch hardware but that will be once the wing is fully assembled.  

IMG_0668

 

Given that this area would be filthy, I added powered graphite to the interior surfaces (and also rubbed it into the MG's to give them more of a realistic gunmetal finish).  I added multiple scratches using a silver artist's pencil and some paint and then did a heavy black wash to replicate the spilled weapons lube and grease.   It doesn't really show up well in my typical crappy pics but you'll have to trust me that it looks "ok".   I'm going to add some black pastels to the entire area a bit further down the road. 

 

That's it for now, thanks for looking! 

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Loving this build so-far Bee. Looking forward to more progress. As I said, I have a P-51 in the stash as well, so I'm following this build closely for suggestions and inspiration. 

 

Aaron 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/6/2020 at 11:22 AM, eraucubsfan said:

Looks great, but aren't your wheels on wrong? Or is it just the picture?  I believe the "spokes" should face outward.

 

Major points to you for catching the fine details!   I just pushed the landing gear into place so I could take a few pictures, wasn't paying attention since they promptly were removed until I do the final installation.  Still, I should have probably noticed this.

 

Here is an alternate wheel arraignment I'm thinking about using, these were the "heavy duty" version used on selected Mustangs.

 

image.png.38c2295fcd6e69aa237f406de024ceb9.png

Edited by 11bee
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8 hours ago, 11bee said:

 

Major points to you for catching the fine details!   I just pushed the wheels into place so I could take a few pictures, wasn't paying attention since they promptly were removed until I do the final installation.  Still, I should have probably noticed this.

 

Here is an alternate wheel arraignment I'm thinking about using, these were the "heavy duty" version used on selected Mustangs.

 

image.png.38c2295fcd6e69aa237f406de024ceb9.png

 

Environmentally friendly and recyclable! :hmmm:

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So somehow I managed to ruin my faithful Badger 200 airbrush that I've had for over 20 years.   While waiting for a replacement I've been doing some small stuff (mainly adding some wiring to the main landing gear bays and weathering them).  Got my airbrush in yesterday and am back in business.   First off, here are the MLG bays.   I've still got to add more wiring but I wanted to get the weathering mostly completed first.  Weathering consisted of various washes of black and dark brown, chipping with both a silver artists pencil and bit of dark silver paint (regular silver seems too bright for this task) and then a heavy application of black pastels.  Still more to do in this area as well.   I figured the wheel wells on this aircraft would have been absolutely filthy.   Even on well maintained aircraft, these areas attracted a lot of oil stains, grime and dirt.

 

IMG_0671

 

IMG_0672

 

Next up is the upper cowling.  My subject has the later flat black glareshield.  Many pics of Korean F-51's show this area to have some decent chipping so I went with the hairspray technique.  I never used this method until recently and it's very good tool in my weathering box of tricks.  Not for every application but nothing replicates chipped paint better than this approach.  I applied it over Model Master flat aluminum.  I used a couple of shades of black to try to replicate faded paint.  Note that a few areas on the edge need to be touched up, I'll be doing that once I start painting the entire fuselage.

IMG_0673

 

IMG_0674

 

Anyway, that's it for now.  Hope to be able to start making a bit more progress now that I have a new airbrush.   Thanks for looking!

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Quick update - I've been adding some weathering and various conduits to the MLG bays.    These bays are incredibly "busy" and Tamiya didn't replicate any of the hydraulic / electrical lines.  This is one area that really could use an aftermarket insert.   Still a work in progress, I'm going to add a few more lines and some fastening brackets, at that point, I'm calling these done.

 

IMG_0685

 

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Also added (what I assume to be) the flight markings that were present on the MLG door.  These weren't included with the decal sheet.  Thanks again to Antonio over on LSP for finding the pictures of the real thing that illustrated this.   I forgot to bring the second door with me when I took the pics, you'll have to trust me that I painted on that marking as well.  

IMG_0675

Thanks for looking!

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Thanks very much Aaron!

 

Got a bit more done this AM.   I've completed the basic wing sub assembly.   No issues gluing it all together, typical Tamiya.   I'm diverging from the instructions a bit.  Since this kit is supposed to provide retractable landing gear, movable control surfaces, etc, I ignored those "features" and glued everything in place.   The only exception are the landing gear wheel covers.   These are designed to be able to pull them out and replace with closed gear doors.   I simply press-fitted these in place for a few pictures.   I'm then going to use the closed doors as masks and paint the entire wing prior to installation.  I find that for large kits like this, painting portions instead of the entire kit works for me.  Being a Tamiya kit, I don't expect any gaps once I install the wings.   If there are, it's not the end of the world. So here are some pics of my progress:

 

The entire wing assembly.   You can't really see it but I also drilled out the mounting points for the HVAR launchers.  

IMG_0686

 

Some detail shots.   As mentioned, the MLG bays have a mass of hydraulic lines.   I did my best to make this area look "busy" but I was unable (maybe just unwilling) to replicate each line. I think it still looks 100 times better than the bare kit bays.

IMG_0693

 

In this picture, you can barely make out some of the exquisite rivet detail that Tamiya provides.   Truly amazing work.    Since my F-51D has unputtied wings, all of this will be visible in the on the finished model. 

IMG_0692

 

Don't mind the gap on the leading edge below.  I'm not done gluing things together.  

IMG_0694

 

That's it for now.   Next stop is the paint booth.  Thanks for looking! 

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Starting to think about the weapons.  I've got HVAR's from the Tamiya F4U-1D kit, courtesy of a very kind LSP'er.   I'm going to couple those with two napalm tanks.    I posted over on another forum asking for info on whether these tanks were the standard 75 gal drop tanks or the larger 100 gal units and whether they had any particular modifications to them.  Any advice is appreciated.   I'm actually looking forward to painting these nasty things.  Here's a great illustration of how gross they got:

 

Napalm_01.jpg

 

On a related blog, it was said that they were not painted yellow but were actually painted (very crudely) with standard YZC.  What do you guys think?  Whatever it was, it flaked off pretty readily, as you can see above.   I'm thinking this will be a great use for my newly beloved hairspray technique replicate all the peeled off yellow paint!   No idea how to replicate that orange sludge around the fill port, any advice is always welcome!

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1 hour ago, 11bee said:

Starting to think about the weapons.  I've got HVAR's from the Tamiya F4U-1D kit, courtesy of a very kind LSP'er.   I'm going to couple those with two napalm tanks.    I posted over on another forum asking for info on whether these tanks were the standard 75 gal drop tanks or the larger 100 gal units and whether they had any particular modifications to them.  Any advice is appreciated.   I'm actually looking forward to painting these nasty things.  Here's a great illustration of how gross they got:

 

Napalm_01.jpg

 

On a related blog, it was said that they were not painted yellow but were actually painted (very crudely) with standard YZC.  What do you guys think?  Whatever it was, it flaked off pretty readily, as you can see above.   I'm thinking this will be a great use for my newly beloved hairspray technique replicate all the peeled off yellow paint!   No idea how to replicate that orange sludge around the fill port, any advice is always welcome!

It is hard to say whether it is YZC or yellow paint. YZC had a habit of changing colour depending on what colour was painted underneatth, and it almost looks black underneath the yellow. As for the "chipped" paint...as Napalm is just jellied gasoline, I would assume the paint has literally been stripped from around the fill ports. Also, as I type this, I realise the white area is most likely a powder sitting on top of the paint..probably what they use to "jelly" the gas. You can see a pile of it on the ground in front of the tanks.  I wonder which fuels they used in Korea...

 

 Sean

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2 hours ago, martin_sam_2000 said:

It is hard to say whether it is YZC or yellow paint. YZC had a habit of changing colour depending on what colour was painted underneatth, and it almost looks black underneath the yellow. As for the "chipped" paint...as Napalm is just jellied gasoline, I would assume the paint has literally been stripped from around the fill ports. Also, as I type this, I realise the white area is most likely a powder sitting on top of the paint..probably what they use to "jelly" the gas. You can see a pile of it on the ground in front of the tanks.  I wonder which fuels they used in Korea...

 

 Sean

Good catch Sean, you are correct about the white powder.   I’ll still add some scratches but I won’t go overboard.   Gonna be fun replicating the powder and red goo spillage.  

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On 1/22/2020 at 2:54 PM, Slartibartfast said:

Kill two birds with one stone.  Use flour for the powder and to coarsen your red spooge paint.

Good idea...  I tried using flour and white pastels, they really didn't adhear very well even using various mediums to assist.  However, I like the idea of adding it to the red to thicken things up.  Thanks much! 

 

 

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So I've painted a few sections of the model.  As mentioned above, I'm pretty content with AK Extreme Matt Aluminum.  Can't add much except that the paints go on very thinly, I don't see a lot of grain in the applied paint (unlike Modelmaster flat aluminum, which had a pretty rough finish which is too bad because otherwise, I loved the color tone).  Only issue with AK's stuff is that they stink!  Definitively recommend a paint booth or at minimum, a respirator!   Here are a few pictures of the wing.   A couple of notes - I take pics using natural light.   It's been cloudy and overcast for the last few days so the tone shown in these pics is a bit off from the real thing.   That being said, to me it looks good.  It definitely doesn't have the shiny metallic look of bare aluminum which I was trying to avoid.  Even pics of the real thing, show changes in the tone based on light conditions, etc.  

IMG_0696

Note - the leading edge panel above is press-fitted in place so don't mid the gaps and I managed to get some overspray on the black panel around the MG's.  I'll get it cleaned up.  The MG's and .50 cal ammo are also works in progress still.  Much more to be done for those bits. 

 

I also added the black panels that (as far as I can tell) where simply added to hide all the soot and grime that was generated by those MG's being fired 3-4 times per day.  I posted a thread on this over in the LSP Aviation forum in case any one is interested.   Prior this kit, I never knew how wide spread these panels were on Korean War F-51's.   

IMG_0695

 

Lastly, for those that are thinking of using other AK Extreme paints for this application, I test shot their Dark Aluminum and Aluminum paints and can say that they are very shiny.  I probably wouldn't use them on a weatherbeaten subject without toning them down a bit.   As a quick example, the leading edge of the Mustang's flaps was left in natural metal when they were painted overall aluminum lacquer.  I painted my kit flaps leading edge using AK's regular Aluminum, hopefully you can see the difference between this stuff and my custom mix of Matt Aluminum.  I think if I was going for a weather-beaten NMF finish, I'd stick to Matt Aluminum with a few drops of other colors added for some tonal variety.   

IMG_0711

 

IMG_0710

 

Again, it's really hard to get good pics of the finish on a gloomy day.  Hope these suffice for now.

 

Thanks for looking!

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Two updates in a single day!  Wife and young daughter are out for the day so I'm much more productive than usual (which really doesn't say much). 

 

I tend to put off unpleasant tasks for as long as possible.   In order to complete the fuselage and paint it, I need to sand the seam off the canopy, which is a PITA.   As such, I'm going to be working on the ordinance for a while.   First up are the napalm tanks.  This rather horrific weapon was pretty much a standard fit during the war, with 500 lb GP bombs a distant second.  Plenty of info on the thread I posted on in the Aviation forum for those interested.  Bottom line is - these tanks came in a wide range of colors and conditions, from clean natural metal, to immaculate bright yellow to really nasty, dirty shades of yellow or ZYC.  Here are a couple of pictures to demonstrate how gross these tanks could get:

 

Napalm_01.jpg

 

IMG_0712

 

I've got confirmation that the primary napalm tanks used by F-51's were the 110 gal version (although the smaller 75's were also used at times).  The kit ones are really nice.   I simply added the "can" that was tack-welded to the aft left side of the tanks.  This can held one of the two igniters used on these tanks.  The other was installed on the fuel tank filler cap.

Here is a nice picture (courtesy of "Tourist") that shows the "kit" used to convert these drop tanks into napalm bombs:

M7wVqqE.jpg

 

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