1/48 Eduard P-51D “Doll” Numero Uno.
Here’s my first shelter-in-place build:
This P-51D (Eduard’s “Frenesi” boxing) represents the very first marking of “Big Beautiful Doll”. There were six different “Doll” schemes painted on the two Mustangs flown by Col. John Landers, who transitioned from flying P-38’s to this finless P-51D as a Major in July of 1944. Landers flew these “dolled” up ponies in four ETO fighter groups right up to VE Day, May 8, 1945. I’ve also posted my Airfix version of Landers’ final “Big Beautiful Doll” scheme No. 6 that I built in June 2019.
Everything said about this excellent new tool Eduard kit is true – it’s a total pleasure to build and the detail is fantastic. They really nailed the proper stance of the landing gear on this one. Like most kits, there are a couple of irritating issues that I will point out shortly.
Construction is very straightforward and went smoothly per the excellent instructions. Care and patience is a must as the fit is very exact with no room for error. Make sure to remove every trace of the dainty sprue attachments on each part taking care not to break anything. Pretty much everything you need is included in this Profipack kit. However, I did not use the kit main wheels and swapped them for a set of Eduard’s Brassin block treads.
Taking a cue from Tom Cleaver, I first sprayed the entire plane with Tamiya acrylic gloss black thinned 50/50 as a base undercoat. Usually I use a light grey primer for natural metal finishes but I wanted to see if black really does work better for showing depth. Indeed it does! I’m a believer now! After the black dried for a full 24 hrs. , I sprayed “Doll” with various shades of Alclad II lacquer. White aluminum was used to simulate the factory applied aluminum paint that was sprayed on various wing panels top and bottom and the fabric ailerons. I sealed everything with multi light spritzes of various Alclad II Klear Kotes.
Midway through the paint job I discovered a nit-picky mold glitch – there’s a couple of surface blems on both upper wings where a tiny panel hole is. I didn’t catch this until after applying the aluminum finish however it’s not that noticeable when all is said.
Decals: The kit-supplied decals are really terrible. The blue in the stars and bars is transparent so use them only on bare metal as any contrasting color will show through. Unlike the excellent Cartograf sheet included with the Chattanooga release, these Eduard in-house decals are printed ultra thin and most are impossible to position without them folding up or falling apart. Toss ‘em. It’s not worth the fight.
That said, I went ahead and used the kit’s stars and bars because they look ok over bare aluminum. The rest came from a leftover Lifelike Decals “Beautiful Doll” sheet #015 part 5. But they’re not perfect either. I discovered – dare, I say it – a “major” typo. The “r” is missing from the pilot name decal #49 applied to the driver’s side canopy frame.
I’ve now completed four P-51Ds – Airfix, Eduard, Meng and Tamiya. This one’s my favorite so far.
Thanks for ogling!
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.