ANOTHER SCRATCH-BUILT MODEL.
My client sent me the side view photo of "Dallas Doll" and wanted to know if I could make the "Dallas-style" canopy? I wrote back and said yes I could, but in reality I had never done anything like this before.
Experimentation was next on the building list: I put the kit canopy on its' frame and poured "Plaster-of-Paris" into it, then removed the plaster mold just after it set up. I added more plaster to the top and let the plaster dry out real good for a couple of day's. I cut and sanded the top area, then put on a temporary jig showing the outline of the canopy.
With some refinement I came up with a new mold and pulled a new vac-u-form canopy, however I was not getting good canopies at first. Try, try again and I got one that I was satisfied with, so I took a photo of it and had a print made which was sent to the client...His reply was "Go for it."
The rest of the model was easy to build as I had some photos of my first P-51D's wheel wells and I had extra cast brass main gear struts. I hope I put the valve stems and caps on the tires.
The cockpit was refined including the seat and the use of Waldron instrument dials.
I used the new aluminum paint by Tamiya then applied a pre-cut mask I made, using "Artis Frisket Film" for the "Dallas Doll" logo. Other decals came from the kit and my spare decal box.
I built a large case for the model which had a mirror and a clear plastic cover attached.
I drove from California to the IPMS/USA National Convention which was held in Omaha, Nebraska in 1994. The model was displayed with the clear top on its' base, however I took it off so the judge's could take a good look at it. They carefully picked up the model to look and judge the bottom of it.
After the banquet my client & I took the model up to his hotel room and I said goodby to it with a few tears in my eyes.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.