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Jim Harley
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Toulouse Nuts TF-51 Conversion, Tamiya 1/48

October 7, 2020 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.2K

Back around 2014 we started looking at getting a replacement for Betty Jane on the Wings of Freedom Tour. About that time Mark Timken was looking to sell off several of his projects, including a TF, and a few FW-190s. A deal was struck and the TF project was shipped from Aero Trader to New Smyrna Beach at American Aero. The short nose FW went to Gosshawk in AZ, where it is currently nearing completion. Progress at AA was fast and it was coming down to picking a paint scheme. We all had ideas but they were nixed when the original left cowling panel for Toulouse showed up at the shop. The history of the airframe is sketchy, after it left the WV ANG it was sold surplus in the late 50's. It went to Nicaragua and then to Bolivia, where it was involved in an accident. The wreckage was supposedly shipped back to the US and used to make patterns for future TF projects.

When the cowling showed up the wheels started turning to officially register her as 44-84655. She is currently residing at American Aero in New Smyrna Beach.

The model is basically out of box except for the resin parts I made which consist of the aft turtledeck, the rear cockpit floor and seat post, and the center instrument console. It is finished with , , and Mr. Color paints along with fantastic decals from Greg Drawbaugh. It's 99% done, I'm still waiting on the photoetch canopy rails and I have to make the rear seat and stick. More TF's to come!

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. That’s a really nice build. I might just have to do a TF in 1/72!

  2. This is an amazing conversion, Jim!
    Loved to having followed your build thread too!

  3. A very nice TF.
    The NMF looks very good.

  4. Really nice job on this Jim @@jimh. Well done!

    I shared the link to this with Chris Ebdon so he could show his Daughter.

  5. Glad you guys like this! It’s a fairly easy conversion. I did my best to make it so it takes little to no filler around the rear cockpit fuselage plug. Overall it added about 2 hours to the overall build, including the addition of the rear cockpit floor. The next one will be a test for the fin cap and will probably be done as Crazy Horse. I’ve already started doing a conversion for Betty Jane and working out the rear cockpit ‘D’ windows as part of its fuselage plug.

  6. Hey Jim ! @jimh
    Your TF looks like you literally shrunk the real Touloose Nuts down to 1/48 scale... You did a fantastic job with your resin conversion parts. I saw some of the FW parts at the American Aero shop back then, and managed to snap a few pictures while it was there. Last I heard about on of the the FW projects, they had installed the engine and got it running. Here's a few of the FW photos I took. It's amazing to see how well preserved the original colors were on the FW.

    This is the original engine.

    My friends built a new canopy and wing for the Focke Wulf.

    How cool would it be to see one of these flying next to your Mustang ? Something similar to how you have pictures of the 262 ?

    Enough of my rambling...
    The next time I stop by the shop I'll snap some pictures of "Stars Look Down" for you. Stay safe bud.

    Two thumbs up and I pressed the liked button too.

    • Great shots! And thanks, used a lot of your photos as well! When I worked at Warbird Adventures Mark Timken had all those parts in our hangar. He amassed an amazing collection of FW parts from Germany and Russia. He had parts for 2 D-9s as well as 2 short nosed FW’s. He also acquired 3 Jumo engines that were buried under the turf at Frankfort airport. When Collings bought him out the Short nosed FW went straight to Gosshawk and it’s almost done. Nowadays I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the D-9 projects.

      I’m just now finishing assembly drawings for the TF conversion and hope to do a run of kits. The Indiana TF was the trial run and the rear cockpit was the only area that really needed tweaking. I re-worked the rear cockpit floor to better match the dimensions of the 1:1.

      So far November is still a go! Talk soon and thanks!

      • Small world we live in my friend... I look forward to November. I still have tons of photos. If by chance you need anything, please don't hesitate to give me a shout. Stay safe buddy.

  7. Another good looking Pony from the Harley P-51 Shop. Heard you purchased a nice box to carry your models to shows when they reopen. Looking forward to seeing them in 2021. Nice job buddy.

  8. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 )
    Now that is a model not seen too often ... a two seater Mustang.
    Very nice conversion project, it turned out great.
    Nice work Jim.

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