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James Kelley
77 articles

Tamiya 1/48 North American P-51B Mustang

March 7, 2021 · in Aviation · · 17 · 2.1K

This is one of those projects that started out great, but ended on a not-so-high note. I was very happy with the construction, paint, and weathering. Alas, when I took the 26 year old decals out of the water, they shattered into a million pieces. Not really that surprising, but this is where everything took a turn for the worse. I decided to use a sheet from 's Chatanooga ChooChoo boxing for the national insignia and stencil decals.

As it would be, they are out of register. Even some of the data stencils. Also, I searched around for Gentiles' markings, and could only source a KitsWorld sheet in . I ordered it, not realizing it was a sheet released in 2008. When it arrived, the markings were so thick, it was palpable when running a finger over them. I've used there stuff before to good effect, but this early sheet is garbage. At this point, I just went ahead and used them. Why not, I'm already over this project. As predicted, they didn't respond to my decal setting solutions (Micro-Sol, and Mr. Super Hot Acid Bath Destroyer Of Worlds Softer). There are some areas of silvering, a lot of panel lines that have disappeared under them, and whatnot.

Anyways, "improvements" were:
Eduard seat harness
Drilled out gun barrels
Drilled out exhaust stacks
Position light next to the antenna is a blob of cyanoacrylate gel

Please enjoy these photos of my Certified Four-Footer.

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Despite your decal ordeals the model is very nice, a solid build. Thumbs up!

  2. Frustrating? Well, it's just part of this wonderful hobby. Despite your ordeal, the finished project is quite outstanding. Every victory comes at a cost.

    • Agreed. Building models is about the learning curve. It's all about taking steps and learning lessons (sometimes quite painful ones) to get to the level you desire.

      It still turned out fine.

  3. I agree with all the above, it came out nice anyway, looks great from here.

  4. Oh the joy of scale modelling! Nice result considering. I put about 98 decals on a car model without any trouble and then had some kind of chemical reaction between the future and a rattle can top coat. It looks good from about a metre away.

  5. Me too loves the finished model a lot, james!
    And I agree with all above Gents comments.

  6. All true what is being mentioned, James.
    The build is great and you can absolutely be proud on the overall result.

  7. What a journey! - happy to report it turned out nice on my screen.

  8. G'day James (kellycma).
    Great build.
    I have this kit too - I wonder what my decals are like.

  9. Looks pretty slick to me Hoss

  10. Don't be too hard on yourself James, the perfect model has yet to be built. It's suppose to be a hobby, a frustrating one at times I admit, but if you enjoyed yourself building her it was worth it. She looks good from here, I like it.

  11. James, @jkelleycrna
    Even though you had a run of bad luck with the decals, your plane still looks exceptionally nice. Sometimes we can be our own worst critic. It looks fantastic, and I also pressed the "liked" button.

  12. Looks great - love the subtle tonal variance of the OD.

  13. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Well James ... it so seems that the decal mishaps you went by did very little to
    tarnish or degrade your model, it resulted as a joy to see and admire.
    Besides, this is a hobby, have fun and apply old and new skills.
    I learned about the decal break up's years ago with SLIXX decals, I still enjoy applying them.

  14. Thank you one and all for the kind words of encouragement. It is a hobby to enjoy, and I very much enjoyed parts of this project...which is why I was so pi**ed at the end. Not to worry though...yesterday I picked up a bottle of Liquid Decal Film, and bought another kit on EBay. This mission is only getting started!

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