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1:32 Zoukei-Mura P-51D Mustang

This was my first build after a 25 year break from models so I figured start with the Cadillac of war birds. I picked the over the Tamiya kit based purely on price. And I must say, this is a really nice kit. If you want to build a skeleton this is the kit for you. There are some silly details—like actually pistons molded into the engine block—but if you build this kit it goes together just like the actual plane was assembled, so you learn a great deal about these gorgeous war birds.

I'm not going to go into detail about the kit, there are plenty of articles about that out there, but I wanted to share some details about "My" . I say "My" because I decided to make myself the pilot of this particular 'Stang. Why? Why not.

I did a lot of reading about the various squadrons and fighter groups of the ETO and settled on the 4th Fighter Group, 334th Fighter Squadron. There's is a great deal of documentation about these flyers and I really liked the paint scheme of their Mustangs. So, I added myself to the ranks.

I mentioned this was my first build after a long break, so I was really learning as I went. I sprayed the entire model with rattle cans—no airbursh. The plane went through various stages of disguise under layers of tape. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. It has a little more texture than I'd like due to the rattle can painting, but oh well.

The decals are really the fun part. I found a super place, Bedlam Creations, that prints custom decals. As I am a graphic designer I was able you create a custom sheet for my kit. These included tail numbers that are actually my anniversary date and nose art of my wife.

I'm glad I got back into this hobby. Playing with different techniques for weathering, etc. is pretty enjoyable. Problem is shelf space...

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Outstanding work, Matt...(and great photography, too) - welcome to the site. 🙂

  2. Craig,
    Thanks much. You've got some nice birds of own.

  3. As Craig said; that's outstanding. Given that this is your first build, you didn't use an airbrush, and you are a career artist, I'd love to see what you can do after some more practice.
    And really, THAT'S your wife on the nose? Talented AND lucky.

  4. Very nice Matt... and welcome to the site.

  5. Nice build, Matt, and I really enjoyed reading your article, nobody can challenge the authenticity of the markings! Welcome back to the hobby, and also welcome to iModeler.

  6. Fantastic build! Really creative!

  7. A museum quality kit build to museum quality standards. Well done!

  8. Nice work. You must have been the first guy to have your ground crew "extend" the nose color. Sure do hope Colonel Don Blakeslee, who looked askance at such things, didn't tear off too big a strip after he saw that. 🙂

  9. Oh, BTW, if you like Mustangs and have a shelf space issue, go get the Airfix 1/48 Mustang. Beautiful kit and lots of room with 1/48.

  10. Very clever Matt, nice work after coming back from a 25 year hiatus. Mine was more like a 40 year absence and I've been learning a lot and having some fun along the way. Welcome to iModeler, you'll enjoy this site and the friendly folks that post here.

  11. Welcome back, Matt. Outstanding Mustang and a really interesting build!

  12. Your don't see as many ZM builds as the Tamiya kit and I don't know why given this example. Two thumbs up Matt. From the looks of it you never left the hobby.

  13. Gang,
    Thanks for all the nice comments. I've been looking for a place to share this hobby with fellow enthusiasts and iModeler is a great site.

  14. Hi Matt, iModeler is a great site; you'll find it friendly, instructive, and fun. Look forward to see more of your work.

  15. Matt - excellent work, especially after such a long hiatus! I don't think I could get away with posting my wife on one of my builds in her lingerie, so Rita must be pretty laid back! That will take you far in this hobby, especially over the shelf space issue (mine told me to never expect models would be considered room decor!). Welcome back to the hobby, and to iModeler!`

  16. Just to be clear, the pinup is an artist representation of my bride. No modeling session occurred for this build. However, she is pretty proud to have a ‘Stang as her namesake. We are pretty lucky to have women who let us enjoy this hobby. Liquor bill would be much higher without it 😉

  17. Ray, you mean the Pony, yes?

  18. Matt,
    Great build, and what a great idea naming the plane after your wife. I think I'm gonna do that with mine. I'm going to do one for my grandson, but it never entered my cranial cavity to honor my wife that way. Thanks!

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