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Best kit I ever built!

July 10, 2016 in Aviation

Ok, as I said earlier I am late to the party, but I only recently have been able to afford such wonderful kits as the Tamiya 1/32 series. Now practically speaking I have learned what I don’t spend in after market makes up the difference, so they are actually a bargain. Just as a reference for my fellow modelers on a budget, I spent a bit over $100 US on this kit. For me, this was a lot. I bought a book with decals, so about $16 more on Amazon as I recall. Now I have an Academy Phantom, great straight out of the box, but so far: kit 60+ and I have bought at least $100 in resin and photo etch. So???? The Tamiya would have been fine SOB. Ok I digress, the only issues I had with this kit were of my own making, it is just wonderful to build. I made her Hell-Eter/Lil Toddie of the 457th Fighter Squadron 506th Fighter Group Iwo Jima 1945. She was shared by two pilots, which was common in the 506th and other Very Long Range fighter groups, due to the length of the missions from Iwo Jima to Japan. One would rest one day while the other flew the multi hour mission to Japan and back. The pilots were 1st LT John W Winnen and 1st LT Philip S Alston. Hel-Eter was named for LT Winnens’ wife Helen and his son Peter, no one is sure where “Lil Toddie” came from. There has been a lot of discussion about the green on the tails of 457th Mustangs. I went with a slightly darkened Willow Green. My reasoning was that the squadron was based in the Mariana Islands prior to moving to Iwo, and the USN still used willow green for some applications, so…..I could be wrong, but the Black and White pictures look like the willow green on pre war Navy planes so what he heck! I dirtied my build up quite a bit. Mustangs on Iwo were pretty heavily weathered, and having been ground crew for USN detachments there many years later I know how filthy our aircraft got, so I can only imagine how they fared during ’45. Anyway here she is, I hope you like her!

7 additional images. Click to enlarge

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18 responses to Best kit I ever built!

  1. Haven’t built the Mustang, but have done the Spitfire and Zero in 32nd by Tamiya and I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the quality and ease of assembly. Hard to beat anything with the Tamiya name on it.
    Beautiful job on your P-51, Rob.

  2. Thanks Craig, forgot to say this was the ETO release I modified it by making the twin antennas on the spine, I used toothpicks since the real ones were wood, adding an antenna on the belly forward of the landing gear, and had to scratch build an APS control box for the cockpit. But the tail antenna are included on the PE fret so I added them.

  3. Rob, a real knock-out gorgeous build !, OK, I’m a real mustang fan, especially when they are done well, like this one. Really like this and the attention to detail you did making it right as a PTO bird. Very Nice !

  4. Lovely kit, lovely build.

  5. First class build Rob. Your dirt & paint chips look great too. You might just have pushed mine a bit closer to the top of the ‘to do’ pile. Inspirational!

  6. Nice build Rob, especially the well done weathering…not overdone.

  7. P.k said on July 10, 2016

    Top-Pop !!!

    Like great build and paint real good work.!!!

  8. Beautiful! Nice to see a Mustang from the Pacific.

  9. What did you do Rob…make a pact with devil ? This kit is just perfect in its execution and presentation. My vote for model of the month and its definitely a gold winner. Hats off to your efforts while standing in your shadow. Keep up the good work.

  10. Thank you everyone for the kind words!

  11. I know some people moan about the price of Tamiya kits, but you get what you pay for! This one turned out great, what’s next, Rob, one of the Corsairs, or, maybe, that Mosquito?

  12. I have the F4U-1A kit, I have an M109 I am building next though!

  13. Very nice job. 1/32 is too big for me space wise but I’d love to do one.

  14. Nice job! It is a great kit to build.
    I finished mine as a VLR version also, from the same squadron, “The Enchantress”

  15. Great looking Mustang – love the way you stressed some of the decals. Very nicely finished – looks convincing!

  16. Lovely build Rob, fine kits those Tamiya 1/32`s.

  17. Nice work Rob. Pacific Mustangs are interesting subjects.

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