Tamiya P-51D Mustang, 1/48. 'The Red Tails'.
A Mustang was an aircraft missing from my collection until a few months ago. I decided to go with Tamiya's rendition of the Mustang over Eduard's more detailed version as at the time I fancied a quick and simple build to get the creative juices flowing.
The Build quickly highlighted an issue, with such a simple and well designed model I really should have bought 2 kits! With only 2 main plastic sprues this is among the most simple model I've done and it lends itself perfectly for a quick build, or a palette cleanser after an intense model project. I can't stress how much I enjoyed this nice simple kit, which even had an easy wheels up modification for a change.
I wasn't able to find Tamiya's boxing for the Red Tails, so I went with montex masks. These were quite disappointing as they lack the inscription on the starboard side this model should have, whilst including 6 seperate masks for 'Bunnie' which seems a little bit overkill to me.
Why choose the Red Tails? Well I've seen one flying around the local area a few times, but I also wanted to choose a scheme that would allow me to do a bare-metal model. After enjoying the results with MRP metallic paints on previous builds as a underlayer for chipping fluid, or as the underside on a Japanese aircraft, I felt I was ready to attempt this scheme.
The model was primed in grey and the stars and bars painted on. The metal painted mostly with MRP Super Silver, which is very similar to their White Aluminium but was the bottle I had on hand at the time. I mixed a tiny amount of black or grey into the paint to allow some variations when masking off specific panels. I then used a darker colour, Duraluminum, for those darker panels near the exhaust.
The wings on these Mustangs during the war were painted with an Aluminium Lacquer paint as the rivets were all puttied over the provide a smooth surface for the laminer flow wing, I tried to replicate this with the Super Silver mixed with light grey. I've come up with a slightly better approach which involves mixing tamiya flat white with MRP Titanium, but at the time I had in my head that a grey would be best. Eitherway, this provides some different colour on the wings.
The red was painted with a few different colours, I think it looks a little too brick red in person but the camera picks it up quite nicely how I'd like it to be.
Finally to show off the job of being a long range escort fighter, I gave the model the drop tanks required for such a role.
With all that another American aircraft sits on my cabinet and one that was becoming a bit overdue, and with the Thunderbolts being done at the moment I should have the most of the most famous USAAF fighters done with an obvious absence of a P-40, a build to consider for the future.
This model was built along with the previous model posted, Eduard's Fokker Triplane. I enjoy building in pairs, and this wasn't an amazing combo! But it was a nice calm build to help get through with the fiddly Fokker.