Best kit I ever built!
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.