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Forgotten War Mustang - F-51D in Korea


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Looking for something a bit different than just another ETO P-51D, I opted to build a Korean War era F-51D.   Differences between a WW2 spec Mustang and a Korean War version varied from aircraft to aircraft but in general - "cuffless" Hamiliton Standard props, additional radio equipment aft of the pilot's seat, provisions for 6 5" HVAR rockets on underwing stub fittings and (in some but not all cases), a locked down tailwheel.    From a painting standpoint, I learned that many of these Mustangs were actually painted Matt Aluminum during refurbishment, instead of being left in natural metal.   At the same time, many had the cockpits painted black.   One thing that attracted me to the F-51D was that unlike in Europe where these aircraft were cutting edge thoroughbreds, in Korea, they were expendable "bomb-trucks" that often flew 4-5 times/day.  As such, most of these Mustangs were absolutely filthy.   Here are a couple of examples of the real thing, I used these as guides for my weathering:

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Below, note the scratched "USAF" which was from foot traffic during the rushed re-arming process. 

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And one of the the cockpit.   This is an unrestored F-51D, note the heavy weathering and patchy black finish. 

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Here is the finished model.  It's the Tamiya P-51D/K version.  Aftermarket bits include Barracuda resin wheels and cockpit bits, Quickboost resin propeller blades, Brian Fawcett resin HVAR launchers, donated Tamiya HVAR's and for decals, Barracuda's awesome cockpit placard set, Print To Scale's F-51D set and Fundekals P-51D stencils.  All the radio gear in the back and many small odds and ends were scratchbuilt.  

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And the finished kit:

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And for those that are curious about my "colorful" napalm tanks, I got my inspiration from this:

Napalm_01.jpg

Thanks for looking! 

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6 hours ago, Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy said:

Wonderful work!

And thank you for the tips on the F-51; I'm planning a build of a Vermont ANG F-51D for my Vermont collection....

 

Nice choice Andrew!  Please post some pics along the way, I'll be following.

 

John   

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  • 2 weeks later...

John 

 

I'd like to thank you for finishing the F-51D so the rest of us can now use the new Tamiya kit :cheers:

 

And like I said before WELL DONE :clap2:

 

Don

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/2/2020 at 9:17 PM, DONG said:

John 

 

I'd like to thank you for finishing the F-51D so the rest of us can now use the new Tamiya kit :cheers:

 

And like I said before WELL DONE :clap2:

 

Don

 

LOL, you are very welcome.   Feel free to follow my ongoing Mosquito build so you can see my reaction when Tamiya announces a Coastal Command Mossie!  

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  • 3 weeks later...
17 hours ago, Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy said:

John, what was your choice to simulate the matt aluminum finish?

Hi Andrew, I used AK-Extreme Metal Flat Aluminum with a dab of flat light grey.   Not sure if I mentioned it above but Butchie was one of the Mustangs that was overhauled prior to deployment and painted overall aluminum lacquer.  

First time I’ve ever used this paint, I’m very happy with it.  It airbrushes great and is very durable.  

 

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3 hours ago, 11bee said:

Hi Andrew, I used AK-Extreme Metal Flat Aluminum with a dab of flat light grey.   Not sure if I mentioned it above but Butchie was one of the Mustangs that was overhauled prior to deployment and painted overall aluminum lacquer.  

First time I’ve ever used this paint, I’m very happy with it.  It airbrushes great and is very durable.  

 

 

Well, you definitely nailed the look, I must say!

Been using some of your thread helping my little 1/72 F-51, although I'm finding Vermont's F-51's apparently did not have the updates (extra radio gear behind seat, locked tail wheel).  Never would have known to check had it not been for this thread, so I'm very thankful! :cheers:

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1 hour ago, Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy said:

 

Well, you definitely nailed the look, I must say!

Been using some of your thread helping my little 1/72 F-51, although I'm finding Vermont's F-51's apparently did not have the updates (extra radio gear behind seat, locked tail wheel).  Never would have known to check had it not been for this thread, so I'm very thankful! :cheers:

Glad to help and good luck with your build, it’s a really cool subject,  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/2/2020 at 10:28 PM, tourist said:

Somehow I had missed the finished model.

Beautiful, you nailed it!  👍

Hi Christian,

 

Thanks very much for the compliments, coming from a Mustang expert, it means a great deal!  Thanks as well for the info provided during this project, it was much appreciated. 

 

Regards,

 

John

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very nicely done, and inspiration for when I come to do mine.

 

Just out of curiosity, how long was it from when you started it until Tamiya announced a specific F-51D boxing? :whistle:

Edited by MikeC
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Posted (edited)
On 6/29/2020 at 3:16 AM, MikeC said:

Very nicely done, and inspiration for when I come to do mine.

 

Just out of curiosity, how long was it from when you started it until Tamiya announced a specific F-51D boxing? :whistle:

LOL, Rubbing salt into the wound, eh???  
 

Just past the point of no return on the kit.   In the big picture, it wasn’t a big deal aside from spending a small bit of money for the new prop blades.  I was going with aftermarket decals anyway and all my other bits came from the spares box or were scratchbuilt.    

 

Good luck on your F-51D, post some pics along the way!   

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

LOL, Rubbing salt into the wound, eh???  
 

Just past the point of no return on the kit.   In the big picture, it wasn’t a big deal aside from spending a small bit of money for the new prop blades.  I was going with aftermarket decals anyway and all my other bits came from the spares box or were scratchbuilt.

So often the way, isn't it?

 

15 hours ago, 11bee said:

Good luck on your F-51D, post some pics along the way!

 

Thanks, although there is the little matter of acquiring one first.   Just to make life more interesting, I'm planning to use the relevant parts from the Pacific boxing (which I've recently finished as a 506th FG VLR aeroplane) to do an RF-51D.  Thanks for posting the pics above, they'll be useful reference, especially as the first one is an RF.  :thumbsup:

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