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Christian WERY
19 articles

Mustang P51D 1/48 “Blondie”

December 27, 2015 · in Aviation · · 18 · 2.5K

At first, I wanted to build a fast kit from a very cheap discount box (11€), an easy assembly Hobby Boss. That really got to me and I decided to improve the cockpit and the wheels bay, the landing gear flaps, etc.. with improvement parts of the market. This has a cost which implies to make a very successful painting, so i resorted to new metallic Vallejo (was of good reputation to me) to avoid traditional Alclad which is not easily sprayed without opening windows (it's winter, in spite of the global warming). We were far from a cheap model...

The black Vallejo primer was a disaster. Impossible to apply strips of masking tape without unstick alu coat which had an annoying tendency to peel due to primer undercoat. Advice of a friend : avoid the Vallejo primer if you want to work or weather your metal look ! After all, I decided to clean all the device and to give it a gloss black Gunze. Then, i returned to vallejo for metallic coat which kept its promises, fortunately.

In addition, a serie of carelessness came to pepper the assembly: cotton stalk dipped into alcohol rather than into water to reposition decals (a wing to be cleaned and repainted), American rosettes inverted (you know this blunder of beginner?), a broken landing gear to restick, ... Everything bad happened, i needed peace and determination to get back an acceptable model.
Two major « normal » difficulties too: insert the thick Aires wheels bay between halves wings, much sanding, and carrefuly saw the window to present it in open position.

So here is (finally!) the North American P-51D called "Blondie" (assigned to 2Lt Marvin W Arthur of the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, at Debden) and so called in honour of the pilot's wife. More informations on
I just added a rear-view mirror which does not exist on "Blondie", to avoid having to fill with putty the hollow planned in transparent part.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Beautiful job. Great historic pics too. 🙂

  2. Well done, Christian, you got there in the end. It's cold here, too, currently -30 deg C outside!

  3. Very nice build Christian

  4. Nice work, sir...I like it!

  5. Looks fantastic, Christian. Love your NMF effect, very convincing, despite your problems !

  6. Regarding the Vallejo "disaster": you must have misapplied the primer. While the metallic paints are "airbrush ready" and need no thinning, the primer does need to be thinned about 40% thinner (you can use water, I used rubbing alcohol). Mist it on in thin coats till it covers, give it 24 hours to set up, and you can mask without trouble - so long as you're using low-tack tape such as Tamiya Tape of drafting tape (even better, since it is real low-tack). Then mist the metallic paint on with thing coats for your main coat, and then let it set up for 24 hours. You can then mask for all the other colors without trouble.

    Nice save, with all the trouble.

    • Hi Tom, i thank you first for your advice about primer and i would believe you give me the good keys for thi product.

      I must say i express a clear opinion on Vallejo primer, it is with good knowledge of the facts. Maybe i misuse the product. However, i've followed the drying time (+24h between coats) and i thined both primer and alu with the Vallejo thinner i bought for that purpose. And the kit was previously washed with alcohol.

      Should i shake much more before use ? I don't know. Before applying on the Hobby Boss model, i made tests on a scrap Spitfire wing from Eduard. After good drying time, and until today, all what i try on this wing doesn't cause any damage.

      I've discovered other Internet modelers who encounter serious problems with this primer.

      That's all i can say now, Tom. That being, new metallic Vallejo are very good looking and easy paints.

  7. For all the effort, you ended up with a beauty! Very nice.

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