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F-6D 'Photo Mustang,' Clyde B East, 15th TRS (Hobbyboss 1/48 'Easy Assembly' P-51D)

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
F-6D 'Photo Mustang,' Clyde B East, 15th TRS (Hobbyboss 1/48 'Easy Assembly' P-51D)
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 11:02 AM

'Broke plastic,' so to speak, on my newest project yesterday: Hobbyboss's 'Easy Build' P-51D in 1/48.

No prizes for guessing where I'm going with it:

Interior details as supplied really aren't too bad, but there's no sidewall detail. I've got an old Eduard color 'Zoom' set -- designed to replace or enhance molded detail for the Hasegawa kit -- so I'm sort of 'working backward': fitting the 'Zoom' parts, then filling in around them to build out the detail.

One thing both surprised and delighted me. FSM's old review of the kit notes that there's a pesky mold seam running down the center of the clear one-piece canopy; in fact, it even seems to be depicted quite clearly in the current version of the kit's instruction drawings! But in my kit the piece itself is actually beautifully thin and clear, with no hint of a seam. Looks like somebody, somewhere, is paying attention!

More as things develop.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 12:15 PM

Not looking for points, just enjoy guessing-is it a photo-recon version?

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 12:20 PM

the Baron

Not looking for points, just enjoy guessing-is it a photo-recon version?

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!

We have a (non-) winner!

Doing Clyde B. East's F-6D "L'il Margaret" with the very nice Mike Grant decals.

(The great box-art of the same scheme, from the 'much beloved' Dragon 1/32 kit:

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    June 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 8:21 PM

Greg, who makes the F-6 conversion pieces you are using? The only recon Mustang I've found is the Accurate Miniatures F-6B, which I built. Are you using the Quickboost conversion pieces?

OK. On the bench: Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 8:46 PM

No, Frank, after looking high and low for aftermarket versions...and finding diddly...I just made them myself.

The large port is a sanded-to-shape  'collar' section cut from an old Bic pen barrel, with a center section of Evergreen tube that happened to fit perfectly, all on a cut-out styrene disc. For the small one I drilled a hole in sheet stock, then punched the 'ring' out with a Waldron punch. (Took a few tries to get it centered properly, but that's how it goes.) I still need to add the 'rain gusset' to the smaller port.

I'll add proper lenses and such after finishing.

Cheers

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, September 10, 2020 8:06 AM

Having never laid hands on anything Hobbyboss, this should be interesting.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 10, 2020 8:26 AM

Greg

Having never laid hands on anything Hobbyboss, this should be interesting.

I've done some of their 1/72 quick-build kits...little more than 'snap tite' types, with a molded-in seat hole for a cockpit...but this is the first time I've done one of their larger offerings. The moldings are clean and so far appear to fit very well. What cockpit detail they do provide -- seat (without harnesses), stick, radio rack and instrument panel -- are fairly nicely detailed; but there's nothing but flat plastic for the floor, and no sidewall detail as I mentioned earlier.

I guess they know their market-niche. Kids won't care...and fools like us will buy them because they're -- ahem -- 'nicely-priced'...and be happy enough to add our own stuff as we see fit.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, September 10, 2020 8:53 AM

Smile

I'd always been curious about the brand, thanks.

Looking forward to watching you spruce it up. Already looking good with the Bic pen parts et al. Yes

-Greg

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, September 10, 2020 1:21 PM

I think HobbyBoss can be hit-or-miss.  I built their F4F-4 kit, and found it to be a decent kit, though I think that's because it looks like it's based very closely on Tamiya's F4F-4.  I have HB's 1/700 Arizona on my Shelf of Doom.  It's not a very good kit; it can trace its lineage all the way back to the first Chinese copies of Revell's Arizona, and it shows in the engineering.   But it was only ten bucks, so it is what it is.  I enjoyed the start of the project, converting the kit into the Pennsylvania circa 1935.  But as I progressed, I became more and more disillusioned with the soft details, and the lack of others.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Thursday, September 10, 2020 1:43 PM

Hey Greg, nice start. I'm interested in seeing how it turns out.

Just a quick word of warning before you get too far into your build. Check the landing gear installation. I built one of these a little while back, and I noticed HB screwed up on the landing gear. If I recall, the gear legs are "keyed" to only be installed one way. If installed as is, the gear legs would be backwards with the oleo facing forward. Simply trying to turn them around gives the strut's angle an odd rake. I remember I had to do some minor surgery on my build to get the legs installed correctly. I don't know if HB fixed the problem with later boxings. 

Just a heads up...

-O

-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 10, 2020 1:54 PM

I appreciate the heads-up! Yes

As it happens, that was one of the things mentioned in the FSM review...so I've already got a big highlighted circle on the instruction sheet, in case I missed it on my 'pre-assembly inspection!' (It's still there, by the way; I guess HB figured re-tooling the molds wasn't worth it.)

Still, I genuinely appreciate the warning.Beer

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Thursday, September 10, 2020 2:16 PM

Forewarned is forearmed. Wish I knew before I staryed mine. Good luck with the build. Keep bringing us the good stuff!

Cheers!

-O

-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, September 11, 2020 8:08 AM

A quick mini-update:

'Pit is neary finished, save for F-6D-particular features.

Under the heading "Why I love color photo-etch...(I don't consider it 'cheating': I did this <expletive> by hand for decades...)," we have the Hobbyboss kit panel on the sprue...and Eduard's spiffy 'enhancement':

Best of all...a relative rarity in my experience...no trimming of the Eduard panel was required to get it to fit. [Usually it seems I end up having to severely trim panel edges to get them to fit in kits they weren't specifically designed for...and, sometimes, in the kits they were designed for!]

Now I just have to scratchbuild the intervalometer -- a photographic-control feature unique to the recce birds -- and I'll be ready to 'button up' the fuselage halves

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, September 11, 2020 11:42 AM

Good call, the Eduard piece is a big improvement! 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, September 13, 2020 11:06 PM

I ended up cutting micro decal strips and adding the 'main six' instrument outline to the panel...mainly because it looked cool.

Final interior detail consisted pretty much of everything the Eduard  'Zoom' set supplied -- mounted on scrap-styrene boxes and panels where called for, to give some depth -- with a few vertical frames, and assorted solder hoses and lines for the oxygen, fuel tank and radio. Fun (but easy) scratchbuilt touches were the little flashlight-shaped fuel gauge for the tank behind the pilot's seat...and the even-more-tiny alarm bell for the AN/APS-13 tail-warning radar on the right-sidewall panel.

A curious (and welcome) note is that the 'generic' Eduard set actually included a tiny panel which (as far as I know) was peculiar only to photo-recon versions of the Mustang: the camera-controls and circuit-breaker panel, which on the real a/c was wedged behind the throttle pushrods (in what surely must have counted as the last few square inches of 'real-estate' to be had in the crowded Mustang cockpit). Always grateful for one less 'fiddly bit' to have to scratch up...

...The last of which, as previously mentioned, was the intervalometer, essentially a programmable timing control for taking the photo sequences so vital to the reconnaissance mission. In the Mustang this was located on the cockpit floor just forward and to the left of the pilot's seat:

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Monday, September 14, 2020 5:54 AM
Cockpit looks great. I like the extra photo details

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 9:03 AM

Looking great.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:33 AM

Thanks Baron, Johnny and Don.

No pics yet, but the next step should be to cut the flaps from the wings so they can be positioned a little more realistically.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:06 PM

Still hacking away....

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Hoss WA on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 10:38 AM

Looks great so far. I really like your cockpit detail. Nice work!

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:09 AM

Thanks, Hoss!

Calling this one done.

The HB is an 'Easy Assembly' kit as advertised: plusses include clean moldings and generally excellent fit, petite and mostly-accurate panel lines, and a sparkling-clear (albeit one-piece) canopy. What interior detail is supplied -- instrument panel, seat/armor and radio rack -- is acceptable for the scale, and can be painted up to a nice standard. External stores...at least for the Korean War boxing that I purchased...were limited to a pair of standard 75-gallon 'teardrop' droptanks, sans plumbing. A nice feature is the provision of nylon gussets for the prop and wheels, allowing them to be easily and cleanly added (or removed, if necessary) post-construction.

Biggest gaff in the kit is (are?) the reverse-molded shock scissors on the landing gear struts - they point toward the front, on struts that are 'keyed' so they can only be properly poised in one way. The lack of cockpit wall detail is presumably down to the 'Easy Assembly' ethos, but two omissions are just odd. The prominent movable radiator exhaust chute...visible in virtually every photo of P-51D's, just forward of the tail-wheel...is simply absent, just a solid smooth curved surface. The other omission is more niggling, but I think it's the only kit -- of any scale or complexity -- to miss it: there's no hint of underwing ejection chutes for the six wing machine guns. [To put this in weird perspective, they did a splendid job of molding the much-tinier pattern of open perforations on the breather plates on the nose...something few manufacturers have ever attempted to do!]

All these issues were addressed during or prior-to assembly...except the missing cartridge ejection chutes, which I'm ashamed to say I didn't actually notice until it came time to decal the wings! Having no desire to further-press my luck by breaking out drill and files at this late stage...a few more scraps of black decal stock were quickly applied, to cosmetically fill in for those errant chutes.

All in all, quite a respectable kit for all its 'Easy Assembly' limitations...and a fun and cost-effective way to help pad out one's collection (and use up some of the plethora of sets of unused Mustang decals which most of us seem to have!)

 For you campers unfamiliar with the story of Clyde Bennet "Stonewall" East, it's a story well-worth becoming acquainted with: America's highest-ranking reconnaissance ace (and nearly the textbook definition of the 'quiet hero'), his military flying career spanned World War II, Korea (including the first combat missions to utilize air-refueling), overflights of Cuba in RF-101 Voodoos during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and a crisis deployment (again with Voodoos) to Southeast Asia. East commanded the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Shaw AFB before retiring from the Air Force as a Lt.Col. in 1965. His decorations included the Silver Star, DFC with 3 oak leaf clusters, and no less than 4 separate awards of the Air Medal...with a total of 36 oak leaf clusters. Following his retirement he spent 28 years as a military analyst with the Rand Corporation in numerous studies for the USAF and the Department of Defense. Following his second retirement, he served as a docent at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where his decorations are now proudly displayed in that institution's 'National Heroes Gallery.' Lt.Col.Clyde B. East (USAF, Ret.) passed away in July 2014, at the age of 93.

Too young to join the US Army Air Corps when World War II broke out, he had hitchhiked north to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and trained on Tiger Moths and Harvards before earning his wings and commission in 1942. Posted to England, he flew interdiction and harassment missions over France, Belgium and Holland with the RCAF's 414 Squadron, before transferring to the USAAF's 9thAF/15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in 1944. There he first flew Spitfires, then moved on to both the C and D models of the F-6 reconnaissance version of the P-51 Mustang. In the run-up to the Normandy invasion, he flew frequent and dangerous deep-penetration reconnaissance missions over the Continent, which were so critical to assess troop concentrations and to target infrastructure vital to German forces. On D-Day itself East became the first American to shoot down an enemy aircraft, claiming his first air combat victory by downing an Fw190. He continued to fly sorties in support of Patton's drive across France, and stayed in action until the end of the European war. His 'personal best' of 3.5 victories in a single day was achieved on April 8, 1945, in the vicinity of Dresden; he claimed two Ju87s and a Siebel Si204 as solo efforts, and shared an He111 with his wingman. By VE Day he had flown nearly 400 combat hours, and was credited with 13 aerial victories.

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:24 AM

Top notch ! very well done. Toast

 .Nick

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:22 PM
Spectacular, I was just reading on Col. East the other day

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:54 PM

A splendid effort!

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, October 9, 2020 4:22 AM

Stunning work Greg. You nailed the drop tank plumbing too. Nice touch Yes

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, October 9, 2020 10:13 AM

Thanks Nick, Johnny, John & Joe!

Glancing over the first set of pics yesterday, I realized I'd somehow simply forgotten to add the last detail I'd intended -- the small aerial array for the AN/APS tail warning radar. [Since I'd actually included the controls for it in the cockpit, it only seemed right. Big Smile]

Here it is:

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Friday, October 9, 2020 10:39 AM
Wow! Fantastic job especially in 1/72. You are a true master.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix 1/72 P-40B

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, October 9, 2020 11:57 AM

Chemteacher
Wow! Fantastic job especially in 1/72. You are a true master.

Well...it's actually 1/48...but I appreciate the kind words, regardless! Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Friday, October 9, 2020 8:53 PM
Oops, yes it is. My apologies. Still a fantastic job. Incredible work.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix 1/72 P-40B

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