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1/32 Tamiya P-51 Mustang - 'Daddy's Girl'

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Having just finished a Speed Challenge Build on another forum, I thought I'd finally start this kit.  I like to alternate; prop then jet.  I've had it in the stash for a number of years after it was given to me by a really good friend.  Thanks, H.


This will be an OOB build except for the decals.  This will be, in no way shape or form, a super detailed build like Chuck Sawyer's or the one in progress in this forum by Tomas Duck.  I'll also be building it with no to minimal weathering.  That's just a personal preference.


Now onto the fun stuff.  As for the kit, there are tons of parts to build three versions; Blondie (as on the box art), Petie 2nd and GlenGaryGuy.  The first two are filleted tails while the third has no fillet.  I already have a 32nd scale 4th FG Mustang as well as a 48th scale Petie 2nd.  Not long ago I finished the new 32nd scale Revell early P-51 so I don't need another filletless big Mustang.


Decal Options 2


I searched the interweb and came across Capt. Ray Wetmore's 'Daddy's Girl' from the green nosed 359th FG, 370th FS.


Artist's Drawing



Decals and stencils are from Fundekals.




Fundekals Stencils


Edited by AX 365
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19 minutes ago, AX 365 said:

...Not long ago I finished the new 32nd scale Revell early P-51 so I don't need another filletless big Mustang....


Do you have a link to that build?  I have the Revell kit in the stash and am interested in seeing builds of that kit.  The Tamiya kit is on my wish list...

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The instruction booklet is quite comprehensive with 75 build steps, including different steps for raised or lowered landing gear and static or in flight poses with stand steps, etc.  There are also differences between marks, such as seats, gunsights, radios, etc and these are each spelled out and illustrated within the instructions so one can build one of the three schemes.  The serial number on Wetmore's aircraft is fairly close to that of Meyer's Petie 2nd so I'm using parts to build option 'B'.  It may not be completely accurate but it's close enough for jazz.




Also included are vinyl tires, metal rods to insert into the landing gear struts for extra strength and little magnets and metal strips to be placed into the engine bearers and cowling parts so the cowlings can be set in place or removed.  There are two sheets of PE and multi part seat belts for a seated pilot or a cockpit without pilot figure.  I went without.


PE and Assorted Parts


The engine is a mini kit in and of itself.  I think there's about 60 or so parts.  As I mentioned, this is strictly OOB so no additional plumbing or wiring harnesses are added.  Here it is assembled and painted with Model Master Metalizer Titanium.  I think it gives a better appearance than flat or semi gloss black but that's just my opinion.  I painted the oil tank and firewall with Testor's Yellow Zinc Chromate from the little square bottle.  I also used Testor's Flat Aluminum from the square bottle.  All paints used will be Model Master Enamels, Testor's Square Bottle Enamels or Alclad II lacquers.


Engine 2


Engine & Oil Tank 2


The IP is a three piece affair including the decal.  There are two different IPs in the kit so I made sure I used the correct one for option 'B'.  I painted the IP and mounting piece flat black.  I then sprayed the mounting piece MM Interior Green (effectively black basing).  After the IP was dry, I picked out the switches and knobs and glued the clear piece in from behind and then placed the corresponding decal onto the clear piece.  I think it looks quite convincing.


IP 1


I then assembled the seat and the PE belts.  One nice thing about the belts is that the outside is textured so paint adheres better than on plain or untextured steel.  Again, make sure to assemble the correct seat.  The belts look quite nice and were painted with MM tan.  The headrest is MM Rust and the decals on the armour plate are from the kit.




There is a build video of this kit on YouTube and the builder uses the Quintana 3D printed IP and assorted other cockpit pieces.  It looks really impressive.  There are a few ads but nothing too annoying.



As usual, comments and constructive criticism is always welcome.  Thanks for looking.

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16 minutes ago, habu2 said:


Do you have a link to that build?  I have the Revell kit in the stash and am interested in seeing builds of that kit.  The Tamiya kit is on my wish list...


I didn't do one for that build but watch this.  It's great.




I did the box art version.


Mustang 2


Edited by AX 365
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7 minutes ago, ALF18 said:

This should be good, buddy. I haven't built this kit before. Looking forward to seeing your usual masterful job.



Thanks my friend.  So far, it's just falling together.  The engineering is outstanding.

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Finished both the Spitfires I got from you, good sir.  In the Critique forum, if you're interested.  Thanks again, Don.

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A little more progress since yesterday...


The filleted tails have been glued onto the fuselage halves.  It's a huge lap joint with a locating pin on the tailplane that slots into a hole on the fuselage half for a perfect fit.


Tail Attacment Alignment Pin



Next I black based the interior of the right fuselage half and after it dried, sprayed the cockpit area green.  Then I masked the green area so I could spray the engine bearers natural metal.  When that dried, I taped the appropriate areas in order to spray the yellow zinc chromate.  I did that not long ago and it's drying as we speak.


Engine Bearers 3


Engine Bearers 1


Then the cockpit was completed.  I think it turned out quite well.


Cockpit Done 1


Cockpit Done 2



The join between the cockpit tub and firewall / engine assembly is a little sketchy.  The small pins on the cockpit assembly need to be, as the manual suggests , cemented firmly together with the long pins on the rear of the firewall.  That's all that holds them together.  In the back of the firewall photo, you can see the little screw that threads into a nut glued into the supercharger housing.  That holds the engine to the firewall.


Cockpit Mounting Pins


Firewall Mounting Holes



Thanks for looking.

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4 hours ago, AX 365 said:



Finished both the Spitfires I got from you, good sir.  In the Critique forum, if you're interested.  Thanks again, Don.

I looked at them very nice.


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The engine bearers have been masked and painted.


Engine Bearers Inside


Painted Bearers


Instructions call for the bulletproof glass in front of the gunsight to be edged in black.  Rather than mask and paint, I simply used a permanent black magic marker to edge it.  No muss.  No fuss.  Easy peasy.


Bulletproof glass



The engine / cockpit assemblies were 'cemented firmly' and allowed to dry for a couple of days.


Cockpit and Firewall Join 1


Cockpit and Firewall Join 2


The port sidewall was completed.


Port Sidewall



The oil cooler door was completed in five parts with four of them being small PE.  😵


Instructions 1


Instructions 2


Oil Cooler Scoop 2


Oil Cooler Scoop 1


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Next, the radiator housing was built up.  The instructions call for the rads and screens to be painted metallic grey.  They're not going to be overly visible so they got a shot of titanium.  The rest of the housing parts were sprayed with Alclad Aluminum.


Radiator Parts


The assembly was then installed into the starboard fuselage half.  The fit was perfect.


Rad Assembly Installed



The cockpit / firewall / engine assembly was then glued into the port fuselage half.  Again, a flawless fit.


Cockpit Installed



Thanks for looking and as usual, constructive criticism and comments are always welcome.

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2 hours ago, FlyAndFight said:

I ordered this kit just yesterday and will be using your great build thread as a reference.   Thanks for sharing!


Thanks.  I tried to do an update earlier with photos from my Flickr account but I got this message.  I have no idea when I'll be able to post another photo update.


Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.


Please contact the server administrator at webmaster@arcforums.com to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error.


More information about this error may be available in the server error log.


Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

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Thanks guys.


Fuselage halves have been glued together and engine bay pretty well done.  Only a few small paint touch ups required.

Fuselage Assembled


Here you can see one of the small magnets that will keep the lower cowling attached.

Engine Bay 2



This build has the shrouded exhaust manifold.  Individual stacks will be glued into place after painting is complete.

Engine Bay 1



The PE hinges are less than 1 cm long.  The steel rods slip into holes in the hinges.  The rods are then set into grooves in the elevators, ailerons and rudder.  The halves are then carefully glued together to prevent the rod and hinges from moving.  Here is one of the elevators and the rudder.  The hinges then insert into specific slots on the appropriate body part.  Ailerons aren't done yet.  I'll do them later.  I'm also not attaching the rudder or elevators yet.  It'll make painting the rudder easier and it'll allow for a different shade of Alclad on the elevators.  Model Master Ford Engine Blue looks like a good place to start for the rudder.


PE Elevator Hinges and Rods


PE Hinge and Rod Installation


Elevator Completed Rudder Completed Elevator Hinge Slots


I've black based the main gear bay parts along with the tail gear by and strut.  I'll paint the yellow zinc chromate tomorrow and start on the gear bay assembly after the paint dries.

Gear Bay Black Basing


Thanks for looking.

Edited by AX 365
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Merci, mon ami.  Not over complex but they will test your patience.  Did I need to do the hinges?  No.  It appears that you can glue them into place as in traditional models.  I'm trying it just for the fark of it.  I'll see how I fare and if I don't like the appearance, traditional glue in place it will be.


Quick update today.  The main gear bay has been completed but not yet installed.  For the first time in a long time, the carpet monster made an appearance.  You'd think that finding a zinc chromate yellow painted piece would be easy to find on a light grey carpet but NO.....


I snipped part J7, one of the stringers in the wheel bay, off the sprue and away it went.  In this photo, you'll note parts F12 and SB7.  SB7 is a small nut that fits into a recess in F12 and F12 glues onto the front of the main gear bay.  There's one on each side.  The reason for this is because that is part of the main landing gear mounting point.  This kit can be assembled with the gear up or down and you can switch between up and down to your heart's content.  F12 parts are painted flat aluminum in the third photo.  I'll document the gear attachment when I get to that part of the build.


Gear Bay Instructions



FACK!!!  The hunt began.  I use an old computer desk as my build bench and almost right beside it is the old printer cabinet / display stand / book storage shelf.  Between the two is a 6 inch space where I keep junk that might come in handy; cardboard file folders for cutting out painting masks (if I feel adventurous) and a large clamp that I have used on occasion on VERY obstinate parts.  I presumed that's where J7 landed because I didn't hear it hit anything (wall, desk, box, my head, etc) so I took out the junk and looked.


J7 Hiding Spot



Couldn't see it.  Double fack!  Looked in every file folder.  Under the desk.  Behind the desk.  Behind the shelves.  In the toolbox I use for my supplies.  On top of the desk.  On top of the shelves.  In the model box.  Behind my seat and under the stereo cabinet.  Under the shelves.  No luck.  After about an hour of searching ( I also removed all the books from the shelves just in case) I was ready to give up and I moved the folders and clamp one more time.  What were the chances of a part less than one square centimeter and about one millimeter wide landing on its side directly flat against the side of the printer table?  Pretty remote you'd think but but seeing as my last name is Murphy, my namesake's law made a nice appearance.  J7 landed flush against the side of the cabinet.  Crisis averted.


With all parts accounted for, I completed assembly of the main gear bay.


Main Gear Bay


I then primed and painted the lower wing part this morning along with the main spar.  The gear bay has yet to be installed into the lower wing half.


Painted Lower Wing


Main Spar



Next steps in the instruction guide is assembling the machine guns, ammo trays, feed chutes and ejection ports.


Thanks for looking and, as always, comments and constructive criticism is always welcome.

Edited by AX 365
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The main gear bay and spar have been glued onto the lower wing assembly.  Again, the fit is very good.


Installed Spar


Installed Gear Bay


The gun trays have been assembled.  The part with three holes where the barrels protrude is PE and slides into slots at the front of the one piece tray.


Gun Trays



And black based and painted.


Gun Trays Painted



Guns have been assembled from two halves and painted Model Master Enamel 'Gunmetal'.  There are specific guns for specific slots in the tray.  Ejection chutes and chargers have been painted Testors Flat Aluminum.  Chutes attached to the guns.  Guns glued into the trays.


Guns 2


Trays just temporarily held in place to show why the muzzles don't need to be painted.  You won't be able to see them from any vantage point, even if you leave the ammo tray and gun tray cover off as I plan to do.


Gun Tray in Place - Bottom



Gun Tray in Place - Top



Earlier this morning, I painted the ammo trays.  Used Alclad Pale Gold for the bullets.  Brass was a little dark and the black wash I planned to use in the trays would have made things even darker so that's why I chose the Pale Gold for the casings.  The wash toned everything down.  It's drying now.  Are they perfect?  No but I'm happy with the results.  Photos of that work in the next update.


Thanks for looking.

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Painted and installed ammo trays and feed chutes.  As noted above, they're not perfect but I'm okay with the results.  In retrospect, the feed chutes should have been left off until I painted the wings the aluminum colour.  They were easy to install and leaving them off would have facilitated placing the gun and ammo tray covers over the opening to paint the wings.  Oh well.  The kit supplies two sets of covers because of the way the kit is moulded.  The three piece covers on the real aircraft are moulded as one piece in the kit.  Hence, there are four, one-piece moulded covers.  One set could be used as a form fitting mask.  Tape will suffice as I should be able to mask the opening adequately.


Ammo Trays



Feed Chutes in Place



I painted the rudder with Alclad Dull Aluminum.  Once that dried, I taped the area where the serial number will go on the tail and sprayed Model Master enamel Ford Engine Blue.


Painted Rudder


The very comprehensive decal instruction sheet suggests an approximate FS number for the blue on the tail.  Because I had the Ford Engine Blue on hand and exact colour matches would be really difficult, it made my decision to use that shade of blue quite easy.  Here it is compared to the colour on the instruction sheet and we know that colour might be tenuous at best.  It's close enough for my liking.


Rudder Instructions



As for the green that will go on the nose, I plan on using a Model Master green that I have on hand, FS 14120.  It's a medium green.  As you can see from the instruction sheet, who knows what the exact colour is.  Photos from the net of a P-51D restored as 'Daddy's Girl' have the nose painted quite a dark green.  I would credit the photographer but there was no name in the photos or attached to the site I obtained it from, Tri-State Aviation.


Restored Daddy's Girl


Paint Suggestions



I discovered this link which details the restoration of the above pictured Mustang and it includes a photograph of Ms. Diane Knuppenburg, Ray Wetmore's daughter - "Daddy's Girl".




Thanks for looking.

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The wings have been assembled.  The flaps can be posed either up or down.  If you wanted to have them in the up position permanently, you'll notice a small curved piece at the end of the inboard side of the flap.  These are glued into place for the flaps in the down position.  For permanently up, leave them off and you can glue the flaps in the up position.  The small hinges for the aileron slide into the slots quite easily and don't require any glue to hold them in place.  They are adjustable should you decide a dynamic pose.


Wings Assembled


Main Gear Well





Next up is to glue the fuselage and wings together.  After that is construction of the radiator inlet scoop and attachment to the underside.  Then onto the landing gear.


Thanks for looking.

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The wings have been glued to the fuselage.  The join is painless and quite smooth.


Wing Front to Fuselage


Wing to Fuselage Join


Wing Rear to Fuselage



In the photo above, you'll not a square with a hole in it on the landing gear leg.  That's how the removable landing gear are attached.  A small threaded bolt slides through that hole.  It is screwed into the nut inside this part (referred to in an earlier post) in the wing.  You can just make out the silver nut in the wing part. I haven't attached them yet as I'm still constructing the landing gear.


Landing Gear Attachment Bolt



I've also built up the radiator intake and attached it.  It looks like there are huge seams and gaps but there aren't.  Appearances can be deceiving.


Rad Intake



Work on the landing gear and doors continues.  Thanks for looking.

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As I noted in a previous post, this kit can be built in such a way that it can be displayed gear down or in flight on a stand.  As I'm building it strictly gear down here's the insert for the tailwheel assembly.  The gear up pose has the same body but closed doors instead of open.  Both are 'plug & play'.


Tail Wheel Insert



Tail Wheel Insert Opening



Tail Wheel In Situ


Next, the undercarriage parts and ammo bay doors were blackbased and painted.


Gear Doors Black Based


ZC on Clamshell Doors


Main Door 2


Brake Lines 1


Brake Lines 2





Ammo Doors Interior


Continued in next post.

Edited by AX 365
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