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Revell P-51D Mustang 1:48 Scale

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  • Member since
    January 2024
Revell P-51D Mustang 1:48 Scale
Posted by Cory on Monday, April 15, 2024 2:44 AM

I don't know if anyone here can help me with this but I figured I'd give it a try. I have a Revell P-51D Mustang (1:48 scale) but, after having sanded it (which I probably shouldn't have) and primering it semi flat black (I think I may have put the primer on a little too thick), I think between the two, I can barely see the panel lines and rivets (they're raised panel lines, by the way). Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might be able to accent the panel lines to where I can see them, without having to strip the primer off. Would adding a gloss clear coat perhaps make them show up better or, something like that? I've seen a few methods to where people have used putty (between two pieces of tape) to put raised panel lines where parts of them have been sanded off but they do so with much of the panel lines still being visible and they just repair small sections of which have been sanded off or almost off. And, as I said, all of my panel lines are extremely hard to see. If anyone has any tips, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, April 15, 2024 11:30 AM

It's a personal opinion.  Some people hate raised panel lines and prefer recessed ones.  I personally don't mind them. Some use stretched sprue to repair panel lines.  Others will rescribe the entire aircraft to produce recessed lines.

Really, your best bet is to accentuate the panel lines after a primer, or fill in the spaces between them since you've painted the Mustang black.  You might try a wash to accentuate them after a finish coat and a gloss coat.  Just try to do the best you can.

Good luck!


  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, April 15, 2024 1:06 PM

You can highlight them with a graphite pencil, or just lightly scribe next to them.  However, your model is talking to you and telling you you put too much paint on it.  Don't try to get full coverage on one heavy pass, instead apply very thin coats until you have the coverage you want.A very new mold kit with fine engraved panel lines won't like too much paint either as it will fill those tiny lines.  The best is to do the best you can for this one and promise to do better on the next.  Panel lines are a style thing, in my opinion, and are an option, not a necessity.  Don't hate your new model, it and you are doing the best you can on what should be a fun journey!


To see build logs for my models:


  • Member since
    January 2024
Posted by Cory on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 1:32 AM

Well, I decided to just strip the primer off. After doing so, I was able to see the lines well enough to highlight them with a pencil as depicted in the pictures. I've heard of scribing them but I'm not a big fan of sharp instruments trying to do fine detail as I'm likely to cut my finger off and, definitely going to go all over the place and scratch the heck out of the model, instead of doing straight lines. I've also seen at least one person who used tape and built up putty between the tape to make a raised panel line. But, I'm just a beginner at this stuff (at trying to do detailed work. I've slapped plenty of models together, but I've never gotten into detail, airbrush painting, etc.) and that looks like a very tedious endeavor. Any other suggestions which might help accent the panel lines would be helpful. I wonder if maybe gluing on some string where the panel lines would be would make them show up and the paint would help hold the string on and make it stronger. I don't know. I think I'm beginning to rethink my decision to get back into this hobby of model building as at 61 years old, I'm probably too old to be doing this stuff anyway.

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 10:07 AM

Will the final finish be paint, or bare metal finish.  My own opinion is that folks oftem finish panel lines too visible with paintes aircraft.  The only ones that should be very visible are removable panels such as cowls.  Even raised panel lines can be darkened with a sharp black pencil- just need a more careful hand.  BMF finishes can be darkened same way


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 12:12 PM

I'm in the graphite pencil camp, for aircraft. Unless I'm going for heavy weathering -- when I'll do washes and such -- I find pencil lines to be a) easy to control, b) relatively easy to do with (if necessary) straightedge, tape or 'French curve' as a guide, and c) eraseable if you don't like the result.

Pencil lines have the subtlety that real-life panel lines have, work well even on silver finishes, and best of all require no absurd investment in what are usually overpriced 'custom' hobby materials.

Just my opinion. Big Smile Propeller


George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 5:55 PM


The Revell Mustang is a good kit. Do you have photos of the plane you are building; that will show you what the panel lines should look like. The panel lines on the wings of a Mustang were puttied, so they should hardly be visible. The panel lines on the fuselage should mostly be subtle unless you have a photo that indicates they are more pronounced.

You may want to view several Mustang photos. Do the panel lines stand out; probably not. So, do you want to build a P-51 Mustang, or a model of panel lines? It is your model; good luck!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Kinetic 1/48 YF-104A 5-2957

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch



  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 8:16 PM

Hi Cory! I've been building models since the age of 6 (1946). I've learned a lot over the years little by little. I didn't even think of panel lines for the first 60 years. That's when I learned about the black pencil route. In my opinion, when you go to an air show, you hardly notice panel lines on planes until you get right up close. So I use it once in a while but on most planes I don't. Just take it slow and easy. Perfect your building techniques, then your painting, and then you can worry about weathering and panel lines. It's a hobby like all others, start slow and learn as you go. 

The members here have a lot of experience and are ready to help with your questions.

Stay safe.

Jim Captain  

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench: Artesania Latina  (aka) Artists in the Latrine 1/75 Bluenose II

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    January 2024
Posted by Cory on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 3:50 AM

I'm going to try to do the bare metal finish on most of it and, of course, do as the instructions say with the olive drab on the top between the windshield and the front of the plane, as well as some other colors such as red at the tip of the nose, etc. The Big Beautiful Doll scheme. And, yeah, with everybody's comments, I think I might go with the pencil approach, if I can remember where the lines are. Perhaps my pictures above might help me remember. Thanks for your response.

  • Member since
    January 2024
Posted by Cory on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 3:54 AM

I think it's really moreso that I sanded too much off before primering it as although I probably put a little (emphasis on "a little") too much primer on it, I didn't put as much on as I likely would have using a rattle can (I was using an airbrush for the first time ever). And, thank you for your reply.

  • Member since
    January 2024
Posted by Cory on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 4:26 AM

I've been able to find a few pictures of what are supposed to be templates but a lot of them don't show all angles of the plane and many of the pictures are small and hard to see. I found one that shows the bottom of the plane that is a decent sized picture to where it can be seen pretty well but, a lot of the other pictures I've found so far showing other angles are small pictures and I don't have the greatest eyes and it's hard to see them. When I first started on the model, the panel lines, even on the wings, were relatively pronounced, although not as pronounced as recessed lines would have been but, as I said, after having sanded and primering it, I could hardly see them and, although I think I may have gotten the primer on a little too thick, I think it was mostly the sanding that did the most damage. Below are some photos of it with the primer on and, as can bee seen, one can not see or, at best, can barely see, the panel lines. There's some photos above where I had stripped the primer off and after having stripped the primer off, I was able to see them well enough that I could highlight most of them with a pencil. But, if I don't primer it just right and get it on a little too thick again, I might not be able to see the lines again and I'll probably just have to guess as to where the lines should be and use a pencil again to try to do it that way after it is all painted and finished. And, yeah, I want to build a model of a plane, rather than a model of panel lines and I guess it isn't extremly important but, I'm trying to do as detailed a job as I can with this being my first time using an airbrush and trying to do detail work. I had built a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt several years ago using a rattle can for the paint job and then going over it with a clear lacquer and not doing any real detail work on it and it ended up looking pretty horrible and I was a bit embarrassed at how terrible a job I did. And, I want this one to be better. But, thanks for your reply.

  • Member since
    January 2024
Posted by Cory on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 4:39 AM

Thanks for your reply. Yeah, as you and others have suggested, I think I might just try the pencil route on this one. Hopefully I can do a pretty decent job on it. As I mentioned to another person who replied to my question, I did a P-47 Thunderbolt a couple of years ago and I didn't use an airbrush, just a rattle can and I put some clear lacquer on it hoping to protect it and, I didn't put any detail in it whatsoever. Well, the lacquer turned kind of a yellowish color and it caused the decals to crack and it all ended up looking pretty terrible and I was just hoping to try and do a much better job on this one than I did on that one as I finally got an airbrush and am just in the process of trying to learn how to do that. I'm going to be trying to do a B-52 after this one and it has recessed panel lines and they're pretty prounounced so, on that one, I might try to take a little more time trying to accent them rather than worrying too much about the panel lines on this one.


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