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1/48 P-51 D FINISHED- (Improving the Tamiya kit tutorial)

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  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
1/48 P-51 D FINISHED- (Improving the Tamiya kit tutorial)
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:26 PM

Hello,  The Tamiya P-51D is without a doubt my most often built kit (their P-47 is a close second).  I'm good for at least one a year.   I don't really know why.  Perhaps the plethora of schemes?  How about inspiration from the men who flew them, like the 357th FG's Yeager, Anderson, and England to name a few I've built already.  Maybe its from other inspirational sources?  I once built one immediately after seeing the Tuskegee P-51 shoot down a 109 in the movie Hart's War.  It's certainly not my favorite bird, that would belong to the Spitfire Mk I.  So I really don't know.  There's just something about this subject and this kit that is alluring to me.  Out of the box, it's simple to build and looks like a P-51 when done.  That said, the kit has some areas that need improvement, and over the years I've developed ways to rectify these.  In this thread, my aim is to point these out then show how "I" fixed them.  Of course your mileage may vary.

My "recipe" calls for a True Details cockpit, Ultracast seat (in this case), and for this one I will try out the Eduard Brassin wheels. 

One of the biggest weaknesses of the kit is the cockpit.  Its a far cry from their new 1/32 version.  I usually replace it with the True Details example.  You can use the Aries pit too but this one is much cheaper and just as nice.  Unfortunately the substitution does involve sanding of the kit sidewalls, otherwise, the pit will be too wide and force out the wingroot just enough to flatten the dihedral of the wings.  I usually take course sandpaper and sand until you can slightly see through the plastic when held up to the light.   Now that I have a Dremel this was a piece of cake.  Once done, I superglued the new resin sidewall in place.  I filled the top gap where it meets the fuselage with super glue then sanded it flush. 

I apparently raided this particular True Details set on an earlier project because the seat was missing.  I'm not surprised because these seats are excellent.  On a side note, the seats are available separately so you can just use one of these if you don't want to do all this sanding.  It alone will improve things considerably.  Anyways, I fortunately had Ultracast seats in the resin stash so I used one here. The TD seat is the whole assembly, while this one you need to add the kit headrest...bummer 

Here everything is dryfitted and checked.  It appears my sanding is sufficient and the wing angle is where it should be.  Oh yeah, I forgot, I here you can where I added a .10 strip of styrene to cover the gap between the resin and plastic at the canopy rail.....easy. 

It's time for paint.  I utilized Gunze Interior Green as my primary color over flat black to add depth. The center fuel take was painted in XF-24 Dark Grey to simulate the rubber coating for its self sealing properties.  To simulate the wooden floor I sprayed it XF-59 Desert Yellow then X-26 Clear Orange. It looks convincing to me.  Technically the floor had a black coating on them but I wanted to keep it interesting.   The old artistic licensing cliche?  Rather than rehash my cockpit process, please see the following for an in-depth tutorial.       

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/160714.aspx

A test fit......like a glove. 

One night of work and were ready to button it up.....and I have no idea what scheme I'm doing.  Right now its a toss up between Drew's Detroit Miss and Preddy's Cripes A Mighty III....Hmm

Joe

 "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
    February 2003
  • From: Cameron, Texas
Posted by Texgunner on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:50 PM

I'll lobby for Detroit Miss Joe!  I did that bird in the Monogram '51D 1/48 kit.  And,  Urban Drew did down two Me-262s in it.Yes

Gary

**edited to correct my dumb self...Big Smile


"All you mugs need to get busy building, and post pics!"

  • Member since
    December 2013
  • From: Greenville, TX.
Posted by Raymond G on Thursday, October 16, 2014 1:22 AM

Looks great Joe, and I'll be following this thread with note pad and pen in hand ;-)  

By the way, I did my Honor's Thesis over Native American Artifact collectors, and one of the things I looked at is what causes them to collect, or more accurately what creates the Affinity for collecting a particular group of items.  I'm seeing similar processes occurring with modelers.  Basically, it has to do with symbolism and what I dubbed "emotive symbolism," which breaks down into a couple of subgroups.  The key component with point hunters, that I'm seeing with modelers, is "nostalgic symbolism"  Usually, there is something about the past that draws the collector initially towards the hobby.  Then, as they begin to become proficient in the hobby, this symbolic interaction (not the theory for any other sociology nerds, but part of the theory nonetheless) creates strong emotional responses and ties to that which they are collecting.  

In my research, I found this to be the case in several collecting hobbies, from those who collect Pez dispensers to old celluloid films.  With out sitting down and talking to you I can't say for sure, but there is probably something('s) OR someone('s) that draws you towards the Mustang more than any other bird.  It might be something as simple as going to an air show with your dad and that's one each of you connected with, or even more simply a story about a certain pilot.  

Believe it or not, this concept is extremely powerful.  Some people refer to becoming addicted or hooked to this or that hobby, and are willing to break the law in order to participate in it.  There's a separate concept called Terror Management that ties into all this, which occurs at the end of one's collecting career.  If a long term collector has a good experience with ending the collection process and knows that their collection is going to a good place, they generally will end it in peace.  Conversely, if something bad happens at the end... say a fire, or their collection gets stolen, or they sell it off and they find out they got ripped off, then a deep depression can actually result.  I've actually seen cases of both.    

Probably way more than you wanted to know, but your mentioning of your proclivity towards the P-51 reminded me of how similar the to fields are in certain areas...  Raymond  

On the Bench:

U.S.S. Arizona (Revell)

P-51D Tribute (Revell)

57 Chevy Bel Air

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:45 AM

Tex, I'm leaning towards Detroit Miss for that exact reason.......LOL.

Ray, that's very interesting.  There is probably a subconscious reason I'm enamored with the Tamiya P-51.  Maybe someday it will dawn on me.  I'll just keep building them in the meantime.

Joe    

 "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
    December 2003
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by sanderson_91 on Thursday, October 16, 2014 7:20 PM

Great start on your P-51 Joe!  Isn't the Dremel a great tool! I have one that I should probably use more, but it's great when I use it!

Steve

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Thursday, October 16, 2014 7:41 PM

Man Joe. You don't skip a beat! lol =]  I'll be watching.

Ray:  ...You just put into words what I've been thinking about for the last two years.  =D  unbelievable! lol

On the bench:  

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by 7474 on Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:36 PM

What about any of the PTO Mustangs?

  • Member since
    December 2013
  • From: Greenville, TX.
Posted by Raymond G on Friday, October 17, 2014 12:44 AM

Britt, it's actually pretty fascinating.  I'd like to go back and do a little more research and break my Thesis into about three or four journal articles. There's not a lot out there on the field of collecting...  

On the Bench:

U.S.S. Arizona (Revell)

P-51D Tribute (Revell)

57 Chevy Bel Air

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, October 17, 2014 11:23 AM

Joe: Again, another great start there!

Raymond: Interesting, not sure I'd want to let a psychologist examine me and my hoard though...  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, October 20, 2014 8:19 PM

Thanks all.  74, I just haven't found any Pacific schemes I've wanted to do yet.  Perhaps eventually.  Anyways, I got a bit of work in last night.  I sealed the fuselage, added the nose piece and had no issues.  

Here is one of the areas I hate about the Tamiya P-51, that being the lower radiator seam.  This area usually requires the most of my attention.  I usually have to sand the center seam so much that all of the detail in the area disappears, primarily the square with the circle inside.  I remedy it with a piece of styrene.  Not exactly accurate but it works for me.  The seam inside the vent is impossible to sand so I usually hide it with a piece of styrene stock thusly.  (Note:  I had to fill an oopps made by the Dremel during cockpit work).

After the fuselage work was done, I turned my attention to the wings.  Another weak area on this kit is the lousy blobs for 50 cals.  These are perhaps the worst I've seen on a P-51 kit. 

Initially I would drill out the ends which only marginally improved them.  Then I got the idea to drill the entire gun out and substitute them with Quickboost fifties.  This looked my better but there was no answer for the inboard gun which only had the blast tube exposed.  Then another modeler came up with the idea of substituting the barrels with Albion Alloy brass tubing. 

I stole...I mean tried it and must say it worked great.  They come in three sizes and can be inserted into each other, which is perfect for the business end of a 50 cal.  I just drilled out the kit plastic thusly and subsitute the tubing secured with super glue. 

I got the frame together without issue.  These really do build themselves.  I used the masking tape to ensure there were no wing root issues. 

  

 

 

 "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
    December 2013
  • From: Greenville, TX.
Posted by Raymond G on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 6:43 AM

Looking good.  I used the brass idea on an F4U-1 and I must agree... it works great.  Keep up the good work, Raymond

On the Bench:

U.S.S. Arizona (Revell)

P-51D Tribute (Revell)

57 Chevy Bel Air

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 8:25 AM

Nice Joe.  Ultracast has a set of .50s to cut out and drop in for this part.  I used them on my Mustang and I think they're beautiful.  I am a bigger fan of "do-it-yourself" stuff.  Since I've learn about Albion I've been more inclined to do more and build more.  I'll likely try this out too.  I've even more recently picked up a few tinier drill bits. Nice walkthru here. =]  I can't wait to try this one out too.

On the bench:  

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by sanderson_91 on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 8:19 PM

Hey Joe, looking good!  I really like the 50's.  What size tubing are you using?

Steve

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, October 24, 2014 9:44 PM

Thanks guys, Britt, I saw those and they look great, but I believe this method is easier (and cheaper in the long run).  Steve, I use the .06mm inside the .08mm for the outboard fifites.  I use the 1.0 mm for the inboard blast tube.  I bought them here....

http://store.spruebrothers.com/product_p/albsft1.htm

I'm in for an update.  I managed to get quite a bit of work in over the past few days.  I decided on Urban Drew's "Detroit Miss" from the 361st FG.  Drew was a 6 kill ace and on October 7th of 1944, he flamed two ME 262 jets in this turkey.   

Since this is gonna be an Alclad NMF, I had to make sure the seam work was good.  I sprayed it with Alclad Grey primer.  I found few areas that needed more work, but nothing major.  Some folks prime with gloss black but not me, I tend to go for a war-weary look, so the extra sparkle to the NMF isn't needed. 

I use the Duraluminum as my base color.  Its the perfect "combat" shade to my eye...not too shiney or too dull.  With Alclad, I spray it at about 15 psi and get in close so it goes on wet.  Despite my best efforts, I still get "pebbling" at the wing roots, never fails.  This is fixed with a few swipes of 1200 sandpaper then another burst of Alclad......no big whoop.  I decided not to paint the nose which will be yellow.   

Now for my favorite part, adding different shades to various panels.  Its a matter of taping them off and spraying.  I used Magnesium on the gun doors and that promiment panel directly aft the exhaust stubs. I left the main wings straight Aluminum because they were painted as such at the factory.  Technically the panel lines should be filled in to preserve the "Laminarflow" , but I forgot to do so and when I remembered, it was too late.  The fuselage is a virtual patchwork of Aluminum, Semi Matte Aluminum, Dark Aluminum which is pleasing to my eye.

Next I started taping off for the markings.  There's no need to worry about taping over Alclad's normal shades, its very durable.  Do refrain on their highly polished stuff though. It's a tad more fragile, but stil better than that metalizer crap by Model Master.   The airframe was then painted per reference.  I've seen some images of red machine gun panels and others without, I liked the red so I went with it. 

It was then grimed up with a post shade, particularly around the exhausts and guns.  I also added a bit in the white of the invasion stripes.  This is perliminary and it will get more later.  Everything then got a coat of Alclad Gloss for decals.   I have Detroit Miss markings in a Hasegawa kit in the stash.   I may use these or get the Aeromaster sheet.    

Joe

 "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
    August 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Saturday, October 25, 2014 11:05 AM

I am always amazed at your flawless paint jobs, wish I could discover the secrect.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    August 2014
Posted by Timdude on Saturday, October 25, 2014 2:35 PM

Just an FYI. If you look at color photos of Mustangs about the first 2/3rds or so of the wing has the seams filled with, what was essentially Bondo, and then painted silver. This was done to help the Laminar flow of the wing. Also on Mustangs the rudder is fabric and should be a different shade of silver than the rest of the airplane.

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Saturday, October 25, 2014 6:30 PM

Timdude

Just an FYI. If you look at color photos of Mustangs about the first 2/3rds or so of the wing has the seams filled with, what was essentially Bondo, and then painted silver. This was done to help the Laminar flow of the wing. Also on Mustangs the rudder is fabric and should be a different shade of silver than the rest of the airplane.

Thanks Tim, I addressed that in the text....."Technically the panel lines should be filled in to preserve the "Laminarflow" , but I forgot to do so and when I remembered, it was too late" .   The rudder was done in semi-matte aluminum  for that reason it's just hard to see in the pics I quess.  I even considered painting it light grey but decided it needed to be silver-like. 

Joe

 "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
    December 2003
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by sanderson_91 on Sunday, October 26, 2014 5:16 PM

Joe, thanks for the link on the tubing!  Great looking bird so far.

Steve

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Brunswick, Ohio
Posted by Buckeye on Monday, October 27, 2014 11:25 AM

Looking great so far!

Mike

  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by rooster513 on Monday, October 27, 2014 12:08 PM

Looking really good so far! How do you get such a nice "worn" look on the yellow; especially on the panel lines. Any preshading or just post shading and what's your technique? Again looks great!   -Andy

-Andy

  • Member since
    October 2014
Posted by Whistlingdeath on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 5:00 PM

The putty used on the wings was not very resilient to field cleaning and would eventually wear away in many cases. Crews sometimes used solvents and even fuel to clean surfaces which would remove the putty. When I built my 32nd I opted to save the exquisite surface detail on the Tamiya wings much to chagrin of the experts, but it's all about what makes you happy as the builder.

Excellent work so far on this one. Keep it up.

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:35 PM

That sounds good to me.......lets go with that.....lol  Thanks for the compliment

Joe

 "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
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:58 PM

Looking great Joe ! Very timely as I'm building a 1/7 scale Blue nose and need some motivation! Your NMF is simply stunning ! cheers Trey

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Saturday, November 1, 2014 3:27 PM

You are really motivating me to finish my -C. It won't look nearly this good though. Big shoes to fill there. Great job, as always.

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

On Deck:

Tamiya 1/48 F4U Birdcage, 

1/25 Revell 32 Ford Coupe

1/12 Bandai "Mandolorian"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 9:47 PM

Thanks for the kind words.  I'm in for a quick update.  I had been waiting on the Aeromaster decals I bought off Ebay.  The oher day I got impatient and decided to utilize an old Eagle Cal sheet for the insignias and stenciling that's not plane specific.  This ended up being a mistake and the insignia on the upper wing had dried with wrinkles in it.....ugh!   I then tried every solvent I had to no avail.  I'll either live with it or sand-repaint-re decal it..........Bang Head.  The Aeromaster sheet showed up yesterday and I finished up. 

I gave it a Flory wash.  This is where these start to come to life for me...

I turned my attention to the gears and wheels.  I added fuse wire for brake lines.  Ialso used the new Eduard "Brassin" wheels for this project.  I wasn't impressed. There is no weighted spot and eventhough they are supposed to be for this kit, they don't fit on the axle.  For this price, they should.  I'll stick with Ultracast from this point on.

Joe

 "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
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 9:13 AM

She  looks sooooo good. 

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

On Deck:

Tamiya 1/48 F4U Birdcage, 

1/25 Revell 32 Ford Coupe

1/12 Bandai "Mandolorian"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 1:26 PM

Raymond G

Looks great Joe, and I'll be following this thread with note pad and pen in hand ;-)  

By the way, I did my Honor's Thesis over Native American Artifact collectors, and one of the things I looked at is what causes them to collect, or more accurately what creates the Affinity for collecting a particular group of items.  I'm seeing similar processes occurring with modelers.  Basically, it has to do with symbolism and what I dubbed "emotive symbolism," which breaks down into a couple of subgroups.  The key component with point hunters, that I'm seeing with modelers, is "nostalgic symbolism"  Usually, there is something about the past that draws the collector initially towards the hobby.  Then, as they begin to become proficient in the hobby, this symbolic interaction (not the theory for any other sociology nerds, but part of the theory nonetheless) creates strong emotional responses and ties to that which they are collecting.  

In my research, I found this to be the case in several collecting hobbies, from those who collect Pez dispensers to old celluloid films.  With out sitting down and talking to you I can't say for sure, but there is probably something('s) OR someone('s) that draws you towards the Mustang more than any other bird.  It might be something as simple as going to an air show with your dad and that's one each of you connected with, or even more simply a story about a certain pilot.  

Believe it or not, this concept is extremely powerful.  Some people refer to becoming addicted or hooked to this or that hobby, and are willing to break the law in order to participate in it.  There's a separate concept called Terror Management that ties into all this, which occurs at the end of one's collecting career.  If a long term collector has a good experience with ending the collection process and knows that their collection is going to a good place, they generally will end it in peace.  Conversely, if something bad happens at the end... say a fire, or their collection gets stolen, or they sell it off and they find out they got ripped off, then a deep depression can actually result.  I've actually seen cases of both.    

Probably way more than you wanted to know, but your mentioning of your proclivity towards the P-51 reminded me of how similar the to fields are in certain areas...  Raymond  

Raymond,  you should write an article about this for Fine Scale Modeler. That's a very interesting subject that you don't read about in our hobby. I would bet that it would get printed. Great stuff!

Gary Mason

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 10:08 PM

In a word WOW!

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, November 7, 2014 7:53 PM

Thanks Trey. 

I got some much need time at the bench last night and I think I'm finally done.  To recap, its the 1/48 Tamiya P-51D in Urban Drew's 361st FG "Detroit Miss" markings.   Drew was a 6 kill ace, to include two Messerschmitt 262’s destroyed on October 7th, 1944. This distinguished Drew as the first Allied airman to destroy two German jets in aerial combat. 

As I said, my intent was to offer suggestions on how to improve the already nice Tamiya kit.  I've built several and have found some ways to improve it.  This is not to say I didn't go off the path in this one, so to speak. The cockpit, at minumum the seat, needs replaced.  I normally go True Details here but in this case I used a Ultracast seat with the TD pit.  I normally use Ultracast wheels but I had the Eduard Brassin set so I figured I would try it.  I found that I prefer the Ultracast.  The "fifties" need love too, which are crap on this kit.  I substituted Albion Alloy brass tubing.  Also worth mentioning is the kit canopy (sliding part) which is a poor two part design.  Its hard to mate these two convincingly which just looks sloppy to me.  I either go with a Squadron vacuform or substitute a spare Hasegawa piece.  I used the later since the Hase P-51 in my stash came with two (I suppose they all do).  I scratch built the internal brace with sheet styrene and drilled out the lightening holes.. 

I went with the kit 75 gallon drop tanks and added plumbing with stereo wire painted black.  I know there are pictures of "Miss" sportng the 108 paper tanks, but let's face it, the 75'ers are much less of a pain in the Bang Head to assemble with zero sanding.  Besides, whose to say these weren't used as well?  I read somewhere that 8th AF Mustangs did not have aerial wires, so I didn't add it.  If I'm to stand corrected, I'll add one 

I decided the previously mentioned insignia decal mishap was not bad enough to mess with, so I listened to the inner voice and just left well enough alone.  It ended up looking ok under the wash and dull coat.  I didn't like the way the  windscreen fit on this particular build.  This isn't the greatest design either and tends to leave gaps where it meets the fuselage.  I may fiddle with it more later. 

Overall I'm fairly happy with how it turned out.  Thanks for following.  Hopefully I've offered some new ideas for your next "Cadillac of the Skies"....    

Joe

          

 "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
    June 2013
Posted by RobGroot4 on Friday, November 7, 2014 8:18 PM

Just beautiful, nicely done!

Groot

"Firing flares while dumping fuel may ruin your day" SH-60B NATOPS

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