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1:32 P-51B Mustang Built by Franck Oudin

1:32 P-51B Mustang
Built by Franck Oudin

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Introduction:
I guess that anybody who know a bit of aviation history, can't denied that the P-51 Mustang change the course of the air war over Europe and later in the Pacific, being one of the only fighter who can escort the bombers over the centre of Germany, and return safely back in there UK bases, it was a formidable aircraft, specially after being coupled with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

By the end of 1945 most of the FG group based in Europe have been reequipped with this plane.

The Kit:
The only kit of the P-51B available at the 1/32 scale on the market was the old Revell back from the 70's, until last year when the Chinese company Trumpeter decide to release a brand new kit of that plane, who contains 292 parts, 2 set of Pe parts and unfortunately vinyl tires, the kit is really complete if you want to show the engine or the open gun bay, everything is in the box, to do a really nice model, the only thing's that I did not really like were the vinyl tyres who look just awful, and have nothing to do with Mustang tyres and all the rivets who seems to be a trend a the moment on modelling but sometimes don't really represent the reality specially on the Mustang example as the plane was slick like a baby bottom!

But not have the courage to fill all these rivets I decided to go along with it!!

So let's start building that plane shall we!!

Fuselage:
As usual we are starting with the cockpit, the complete set was replace with Aires resin insert Ref 2079 and who does fit well with a minimum of work, and you have a great detail cockpit, but after checking some references the Aires set is not too close to the real thing...shame, but it does improve the look of the inside, so of it goes to the  painting, detailing with a brush a wash and some scruffy mark with a silver pencil, and at last some pastels.

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Not being a fan of the "all open" I avoided building the complete engine, but by doing so I had to centre the shaft for the propeller has you can see on the pictures, next is the tail wheel assembly be careful it has to be glued well, the landing tail wheel seems to be shorter that the fuselage, the oxygen tanks are provided and can be inserted but will disappear once the fuselage is close at least you know it's inside!!

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Some little adjustments are made to fit the radiator inside the air intake, but nothing really dramatic, the fuselage can now be close, the technique I used is to fit the fuselage together and run with a fine brush all along the seams some MEK glue and let it dry for 24 hrs, once done the cowling is glued with some minor adjustments, and the fuselage is finished when the elevators are glued in place, then the seams are filled with super glue and smoothly sanded.

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The wings.
As I noticed on many pictures often the main gear doors are in the closed position once on the ground so is decide to do it that way, the complete insert of the wheel bay is painted I yellow zinc chromate and weathered prior to gluing, once done make sure that you will have the right dihedral before the complete wings are assembled, again you have the choice to let the gun bay open to show some details of the machine gun, to me it does breaks a bit the fluid line of this fighter, so I closed the gun bay and some plastic stripes is needed in order to have the best fit possible.

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The canons of the machine guns are glued at this stage and carefully aligned, then the top wing is glued again not much work beside sanding the seam once dry.

The moving surfaces are build separately and assembled without problems.

The wings are now complete; in order to have the fit between the two elements a shaft of sprue is glued inside the fuselage to widen it, then minimum of filling will be necessary.

The actual fit is really good and some minor work is done to have a perfect fit.

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The plane is now complete and will ready for painting soon.

It's now time to work on all the details like the wing tank, the landing gear and the wheel which I decide to replace by resin items from True details ref 32001 which look much better than these horrible wheel from the kit, once done all the details painted and put aside and the model is ready for the painting workshop!!

Painting:
To do something original and the choice being really wide for a Mustang decoration, I decide to do a plane from the famous 357fg based in Yoxford, this group had plenty famous aces amongst them like Bud Anderson but I wanted something different and when I saw the picture of "Shanty Irish" and having my wife from Ireland I thought it would be nice to have it....now any decals for it??....no...so, once again my friend Vincent Kermorgan superbly realise the decals on a ALPS printer and I was sorted!

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The rest of the decals came from a sheet form Eagles decals for the P-51D for the same FG group.

I started to paint the checkerboard around the cowling, to do so I made a photocopy of the decals and cut them and apply on a layer of yellow, and spray the red, once dry, then the neutral grey and the olive drab is applied on free hand, I carefully masked it and paint the white of the invasion stripes, on the bottom wings and the fuselage, then mask all the areas and paint the black.

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Once dry all the masks are removed and a nice coat of gloss varnish is applied prior to put the decals on, the decals are applied with the help of the setting solution, and another coat of varnish will seal the lot.

Now the best!! Give life to your model to do so I started with a dark wash on the panel lines and sealed it with a coat of matt varnish, then with some olive drab mixed with yellow, I spray some of the panels of the plane, then again with a darker colour do the same, but not in a regular manner, I tried to blend all the colour, then panels lines are post shaded with a mix of black-brown, next step is the scruffy mark with a sliver pencil and a normal pencil, some exhaust stains are done but have a light hand as the plane did not run on synthetic oil like the Luftwaffe fighters!

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Then at the end of the process has with a fine brush some oil, fuel stains and muddy stains on the walkway of the airplane.

Once happy by the dirty look of the plane, it's time to finish it by hading all the missing details like the landing gear, the wing tank...etc

A wipe antenna is had at the end of build...et voilà there you are with a nice 1/32 scale P-51B Mustang on your workbench!!!

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Conclusion:
I really enjoy built this model, as the Mustang is a real wonderful airplane, and the kit is really easy to built with a minimum of work, you can improve it by hading more details if you wish, the only down side of it are the rivets and specially the wheels, which as to replaced.

I would like to thank my friend Vincent Kermorgan for the decals, and MDC for providing the paint for this built.

Products use for this built.

  • Paint Gunze
  • Olive Drab H-53
  • Neutral gray H-52
  • White H-11
  • Black H-2
  • Tyre black H-77
  • Yellow H-413
  • Red H-327
  • Green FS 34092 H-302
  • Aluminium super metallic
  • Yellow Zinc chromate XF-4
  • Aires resin set Ref 2079
  • True details Wheels ref 32001

Franck Oudin

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