“The Stars Look Down” 354th Fighter Group P-51B Tamiya 1/48th Conversion
The resin madness continues. I want thank everyone that followed along with the build, I really appreciate the kind words. This conversion was pretty straight forward. The 354th Fighter Group website was an invaluable resource as was the Aircorps Aviation site. The rear floor and the seat were pretty straight forward. The rear bulkhead and the canopy bow posed some challenges. The rebuild of Lope’s Hope is well documented on the AIrcorps Avation site so the shape and position of the bulkhead was easily determined. I used Evergreen plastic to make the prototype bulkhead as close to the North American part as I could. The cockpit bow, which supports the side entry window was formed from a 1mm strip of aluminum with a plastic “spine” glued down the middle. FIDDLY, but it worked and the resin cast part was much easier to work with than I thought. I did learn to separate it from the molding filler piece before removing the part from the sprue. It’s painted as the incarnation after Ike flew in her in July of 44. At some point it was repainted after the St. Lo mission and acquired the noseart and freshened up invasion stripes. I was originally going to do the Ike version but the “Stars” decals got the best of me. The Ike version will be in the not to distant future. I kept the upper canopy in the closed position…I think it’s some form of PTSD from being around Betty Jane for so many years. If the upper lid is open and a good gust of wind catches it, the entire side panel is going to leave the airframe. So, when it was on display between flights it stayed closed. The other mod is the elevators and trim tabs. The elevator is in the locked position and the trim tabs are cut to normal landing settings. Other than that it’s straight out of the box 🙂 Overall it’s a fun and straight forward modification and produces a unique and historic Mustang. Stars survived the war and was reportedly scrapped in England in 1946 while wearing a natural metal finish.
16 additional images. Click to enlarge.