Tamiya 1/48 P-51D Mustang
This is Tamiya’s P-51 and it was a joy to build. The kit came in clean gray molding and the second I got it I sat right down to it. I painted everything to what Tamiya told me to and then I spent three or four days super detailing the cockpit off of some photos and an article in Finescale. When I stuck the fuselage together it needed not filling on the seams. I like (sometimes) that Tamyia puts its joint lines on panel lines so you don’t have to totally disguise them. The landing gear bays fit beautifully and were very good detailed. Tamiya gave me the choice of lowered or retraced flaps and I snatched the opportunity to make this look goo since there were no positionable elevators or rudder. I had to decide whether to put on the 108 gallon paper tanks or the 75 gallon steel tanks. I built the paper tanks, but I erased all detail trying to smooth out the seams. So I stuck one to them on the little dolly and put the steel tanks on my plane. The little dolly by the way is my first venture into scratch-building! I used a little piece of wood then made two axles out of spruce and took some wheels off a 1/72 SR-71 drone dolly! The long handle is stretched spruce and then painted the dolly to my best knowledge. Tamiya had supplied me with a wonderful propeller with a poly-cap and this will help me very much in the future if I need to transport it. The plane is a P-51D flown by Captain Richard E.Turner, 356th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, Fall of 1944. For painting I used Model Master Steel and Aluminum, not Metalizer or Alclad, just plain enamels. They worked great and it is a lot less work than the other two kinds of metallic paint. The decals went on great with Micro Set and Micro Sol but this was my first time doing big delicate invasion stripes. I tore some of them but I got all down and they look good, you can’t really tell where I broke them. The display base is a piece of foam board that I sprayed to look like a runway and then use pastels and washes to make it look worn. The crouching figure is a Revell man and the standing pilot is a Tamyia that came with the kit. The cloth is tissue that was colored and the tools are stretched spruce with wire heads and painted to look like steel. I hope all of you like this model. Nathaniel Kiker
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.