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Jim Harley
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Salem Representative Tamiya 1/48 scale P-51B Mustang

Salem Representative...Ralph Hofer had a way too short but storied history with the 8th. If you have any interest in Ralph Hofer I highly recommend Troy White's book "Last of the Screwball Aces". On July 2nd 1944, 23 year old Hofer lost his life attacking an airbase at Mostar Yugoslavia. He left behind one of the most colorful careers in the annals of WWII history. His blue football jersey, his dog Duke, his penchant for rogue hunting,...he was controversial, but he was a fighter pilot. I flew Crazy Horse when I was 23 and it was an overwhelmingly powerful experience. I tried to imagine being over Germany full of gas and full of ammunition. So much power at your fingertips. Just incredible what these guys did...last of the gunfighters.

The build...
What an awesome little are all offerings. As noted in the build log I bought this off of eBay cheap, and it came with a ton of resin accessories. I don't ask questions when I buy off of there and this seems like a frustration sale. When I got the kit I found that the resin cockpit had been installed rather crudely and crooked. The fuselage halves didn't fit together at all. I've since found out the cockpit is from Jaguar. The details are gorgeous and fortunately the fit issues were rectified by shaving the floor and gas tank area that are well out of view. The cockpit canopy rails are still sitting proud of the fuselage but it fits with the original Malcolm hood installation. Getting the fuselage rectified was the first hurdle...the next hurdle was the NMF. I've been down this road twice before and have 2 Mustangs that look like they were napalmed. This time, instead of Black base, I used with a coat of Mr. Color gloss clear. The Alclads went on beautifully and not one bit pulled up with the tape. Once that was done I decided on Salem Representative. The taping for this scheme is a challenge, but nothing a bit of patience and low air pressure can't accomplish. I used mostly Tamiya paints thinned 70% X-20 and 30% paint at around 15psi. I also used Mr. Color leveling thinner which is amazing stuff as well, same ratios.

The Decals are a mix of Kits-World and . Tamiya decals are meh, too thick. I have a feeling most everyone has built this kit at some point. The only two things I'm not happy with are the prop...which is an easy fix with aftermarket or another brand (Accurate Miniatures), and the leading edge landing light...on future B models I'll be installing this before paint as it requires trimming to get in the pocket. The other thing to mention but not really a big deal, is the thickness of the Hood. It doesn't seat on the fuselage where the rails would have been mounted. I used Tamiya polish and my dremel to thin the part as much as I felt comfortable. It fits a bit better. Hope you guys like it and thanks for having a look!


Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Jim, @jimh
    This is another excellent Pony build ! I have come to expect nothing less from your stables... Having some exceptional first hand experiences, with actually getting to fly a real life one to earn a living has paid you off handsomely with dividends that are expressed here with your build. You have an accurate eye for all of the little things, and that's what sets your stuff apart from the rest.

    I enjoyed the build journal, so much that you have inspired me to get off my back side and get back to work on finishing up mine. Like you, I have always liked "Kid" Hofer... and George Preddy. I had these photos of him stored on my computer. They came from public domain and I thought you would enjoy them.

    His dog looks like an exact twin to mine...that's why I kept these.

    Too bad that both of these men met the same fate by getting killed by AAA fire. Who knows what they could have accomplished later in life had they not met such an untimely end ?

    Thanks for posting this beauty for us to enjoy. Yesterday I stopped by and saw your old ride...
    Don't worry about her, they are taking excellent care of her. Some of the guys working on her asked me to tell you they said hello...Take care bud, and stay safe.

    I also pressed the "liked" button.

  2. That's a truly excellent build, Jim!
    Even more so, as it originated from a less than stellar partially assembled kit.
    Loved the "kid" Hofer story, as well as the build thread I eagerly followed.

  3. Nice model of a classic aircraft. The alclad looks fine. I use Tamiya semigloss as the primer, Perhaps I need to check out the Mr. Color.

  4. Beautifully done!

  5. Well done Jim. Beautiful representation! Liked for sure. If you come into the Museum in Houston, give me a heads up. Would love to meet up and chat.

  6. Nice Pony. Love anything with invasion stripes and this is a dandy for sure

  7. Excellent build

  8. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Jim … that is one fine representation of a Mustang. Painted just right and a very subtle touch of weathering. The bare metal finish is very well done by what can be seen in the photos. Job well done.

  9. For sure a real nice wild horse Jim.
    Nice detail is the white band on the tires.
    For sure I'm going to read the entire story of Hofer

  10. Fantastic build, Jim. She looks ready to saddle up and ride away!

  11. I sure do appreciate all the encouraging words. I guess we all have a reason behind each model we build, maybe it's a cool paint scheme, maybe it's history, whatever reason, they all serve as a 3 dimensional window in to the past, such a cool hobby we all share. Overall, this was a fun build...mostly because everything worked the way it should 🙂 Thanks again all! , back to sniffing glue!

  12. Jim, Nice work on the this P-51B, and yes the Tamiya B Mustangs are excellent. I had heard that Eduard was possibly coming out with a B, then that info kinda vanished for some reason. Anyway, I really like this paint scheme and I appreciate your paint tip in your narrative. Well done !

  13. Nothing looks as nice a Mustang with gangster white wall tires. Well done Jim.

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