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Jim Harley
25 articles

P-51B Betty Jane

February 12, 2022 · in Aviation · · 11 · 1.7K

This one is a long time coming and a long time building. I haven't had much time for building as of late and I actually started this to knock some rust off…last November. A text message from Mr. Gardner lit the fire to finish it. I see in the photos it still needs some work but for now I'm happy to put this on the shelf in my office.

I had never heard of Charles McCorkle until Collings bought the TP-51C painted in his markings. He was quite a colorful veteran that started out in the mid 30's flying the P-26 and the P-12. As noted in his logbook he had a true fondness for the P-12. During WWII he served as C/O of the 31st FG based out of Italy with the 15th Air Force. He was credited with 11 ‘victories' and was one of the few pilots to have both his Spitfire and marked with his personal initials.

Betty was his wife, and Jane is his daughter, both of whom we met while on tour. Because of the tour, Betty Jane will probably go down as one of the most well known Mustangs to the general public. We racked up over 5,000 hours of flight experience time in the 8 years she was on tour. The McCorkle family donated his aviation gear and Memorabilia to the Hickory Aviation Museum in North Carolina.

The model is the tried and true kit finished with and Tamiya paints. It's straight out of the box with PE seatbelts and Microscale? Decals, (I bought them at show in pieces). I see in the photos a few places that need touched up but after spending 2 days taping off the tail stripes I just wanted it close 😀 thanks for having a look!

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome 1 

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Beautiful model, Jim!
    Great story of Charles McCorkle!

  2. This build turned out gorgeous. Your masking/painting skill on the canopy is some of the most clean I have ever seen.

    • Thanks Keith! I saw a video on Youtube...either Plasmo or Scale A Ton using an iPhone flashlight to backlight the canopy through the masking tape. This absolutely changed the way I paint them. Tamiya tape, a new blade, and you can't go wrong.

  3. That looks great Jim

  4. I am partial to the fast-back Mustang, and this is one cool scheme, and a bang-up job on the execution! Looks great.

  5. Thanks for all the positive feedback! much appreciated. I swear I have different kits in the stash.


  6. Jim, @jimh
    I am SO happy to see you back here building and posting stuff. I learned a lot from reading your article. During all of the times I have seen "Betty Jane" up close and personal at the shop, I didn't know the story behind her original pilot. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    Your Mustang builds are always fantastic, but for some reason, there's something special about this one. It looks exceptionally nice. I will definitely be sure to check the "like" box before I leave. I have been working on the twin 1/32 scale Revell P-51D-5's lately, and I have made some considerable progress since the last time you stopped by there.
    About your old ride, "Betty Jane" :
    They are almost ready (likely it's done by the time I'm posting this) to complete the final test flights on the restored P-51 you flew. Now she's wearing the markings of "Stars Look Down". The guys have done a tremendous job with her.

    Thanks for sharing this beauty with us. Take care, and I hope to see you more active on here if you can swing it. "Work" can be a four letter word, but it's nice to have a roof over your head, and life makes this a necessity.
    PS: The drawing is incredible. You sir are VERY talented.

  7. Excellent build, Jim @jimh
    Great scheme and very nice weathering.

  8. Beautifull Mustang! Love NMF!

  9. Sandy (Charles McCorkle) is my husband’s grandfather. I happened to be doing some research on him and found your post. He was an amazing man! The Betty Jane came to our area some years ago and it was really cool to recreate one of the photos you posted, actually. They let my husband sit inside the cockpit just like the picture.

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