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Rodney J. Williams
171 articles

No. Three 1/32 scale P-51D Zebra Strip Mustang

November 11, 2019 · in Aviation · · 9 ≡

My first "Zebra" model was made in 1988, then sold a year or so later. I was going to build another one real fast but that never happened, however I built one in scale several year's later in the mid 1990's and/or early in the 2000 decade.

One day in 2011, I was searching my "decal spare box" and looked at my #49 decals that were made for me in 1988. I said Rodney, you have several sets on hand so try one of the decals out. I cut and wet the decal then put it on some flat white styrene stock. It laid down perfect as if the decal was made the same day, but the decal was over 23 year's old.
I bought another 32nd scale kit and the results are shown here. As usual I used X-1 Gloss Black and X-2 Gloss White on the model. The prop colors were also Tamiya paints.

Note how I align the prop blades. The red blade needs a bit more alignment before my white glue dry's inside the prop hub.

Remember: It's not how much is done to your model or how eye-catching it looks on the table: "It's how well you have taken care of the basics like "seams, gaps, sink marks, panel lines, alignment, and make sure your paint is applied properly and don't worry about weather or not you got the right color."

The America FS-495A color chart for WW-II aircraft was not made until 1955, so I wonder if they got it right. Like George Lee said: They mixed all of their paint outside in the bright I wonder if you do the same?

I used Walmart's blue tape for my masking material which I bought in their paint department. Their tape is cheap compared to Tamiya's tape and it last for several years.

I cut all the tape with a new #11 blade and put it on, then took it off after I painted on the black. The model was clear coated with Future, then I cut all the decals and applied them with just tap water. After the decals dried, I clear coated the model again with Future.

Today Future come's in a PLEDGE bottle and the word FUTURE is no where to be seen in print...but believe me it's the same old FUTURE.

I took the finished model to a couple of model shows and you guessed it as it won the "First Place Awards."

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. I love the Reno air race aircraft, fantastic build. Great color scheme as well, just amazing.

  2. Beautiful model, what a great scheme. This Mustang still flys and is owned by Fred Telling as Lady B. It's now registered as N151FT and still races at Reno. Jimmy Leeward was a long time tour pilot and host for Collings while we were in Ocala Florida. Jimmy was taking care of Lady B for Fred and he'd come over and give rides to the crew. How do you turn down a ride with Leeward in such a historic Mustang? We went out and terrorized some gators one beautiful afternoon, Jimmy sure could fly a Mustang.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

    • I found a photo of the '51 in its' new paint job several years ago after someone bought it etc.

      I'm a member of SARH; (Society of AirRace Historians) since 1984 and during the decade of 2000 I was posting photos of my air racers for our bi-monthly "Golden Pylon's newsletter and I enclosed a photo of the "Tang" in it. I'll try to send with with this reply. RJW

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

      • Thank you for that photo Rodney. This is around the time Dan Baun owned her. I did some 4th Fighter Group artwork for him during this period. He eventually sold her and bought OJ Kistler's Mustang, which OJ had raced at Reno for several years. Seems most of them had a turn around the sticks at some point. Your F2G conversions were of great help when I did mine. Thank you Rodney.

  3. The prop looks like it would've been more at home on Stiletto when it wore the Color Tile markings!

    • I never researched other racers other than the F2G Corsairs that flew at the 1948 & 1949 Cleveland, Ohio annual airrace's as I went to the races back then.

      My prop was fashioned by just looking at the real photo's that Don gave me and I don't know anything about the technical end of the design and build.

      • No, I'm just saying your colorful prop would've been a good match had Stiletto used it while wearing its Color Tile markings. Four really vivid colors is definitely a step up from Race 57's one white blade!

        • The reason Cook painted one blade white was: As it flew around the home pylon it left the impression that the engine was missing. They assumed the other race crews would notify their pilots that Cook was having engine problems and would soon quit the race.
          This data was written in one of the air race magazines. When I personally saw #57 race in 1949...yes, yes, yes it appears that the engine was on its' way out.

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