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Russ King
18 articles

P-51B Tamiya 1/48

January 2, 2023 · in Aviation · · 20 · 0.8K

Picked up this kit a few months ago and being a native West Virginian, wanted to do this scheme.

Robert Punchy Powell was born Nov. 1920 in the southern WV coalfields in Wilcoe, WV. Former Golden Gloves champion, hence the nickname.
Enlisted March 1942. Initially flew the P47 Thunderbolt after arriving in England.

Assigned to 328th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group based in Bodney, Norfolk (Blue Nosed Bastards) in November 1943.
December 22,1943, along with Maj. Everett Stewart, shot down a twin engine Me 110.
He was part of a trio that shot down an He 177 on Jan. 4 1944.
Punchy was airborne at 0400 in his West by Gawd Virginia Mustang on D Day. Out of ammo he returned to base to rearm and refuel then headed back out on his 2nd mission, patrolling a section of Normandy at 2000 ft. Following that mission, he went back to base to rearm and refuel again before beginning his 3rd mission of the day. He returned to England after having been in the cockpit for 16 hours.

Powell completed 87 missions with an official record of six enemy aircraft destroyed, two probable and seven damaged. He was awarded the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf clusters, a Presidential Unit Citation, the French D Day medal, and the Europe Theatre Award with 3 battle stars.

He is a co author of The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney and Blue Nosed Tales

Robert Powell passed away at the age of 95 in June 2016.

The build.
This classic North American P-51B Kit has been reviewed and built many times, so not too much else to say.
After searching many sites, finally found the decals from Eagle Strike at Ultracast. Paid about twice as much for the decals than I did for the kit. That's how it goes.

First time trying a natural metal finish. Turned out ok for first effort. Used Vallejo Metal Color.
Lots of masking for the invasion stripes and blue nose.
Other than decals, no aftermarket items purchased.
Decided to use the closed cockpit so can't see a lot of the detail. Made seat belts/buckles from lead foil and wire.

Happy New Year!

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Wonderfully executed pony. The invasions tripes are always a time consuming step, but well-worth the final result. Nicely executed NMF.


  2. Well done. I love Vallejo Metallics

  3. Nice work, Russ. That’s still a great kit.

  4. Nice work. Punchy Powell is why there is any history of the 352nd. He kept everything he ran across, stayed in touch with people over the years, got their stuff as they gave it up or passed away, finally organized an oral history project in the mid-90s to get stories before they were lost forever. As my friend Jay Stout said, he'd never have been able to write "Fighter Group" without Punchy.

  5. A wonderful Mustang, Russ! And a great story!
    Happy New Year!

  6. Great work on this Mustang, Russ @rfking
    Besides your excellent result on the NMF, the weathering turned out very nice as well.
    Happy New Year

  7. Great work on this classic kit, Russ.

  8. Russ, A beautiful bit of modeling on this here "B", although I had to stop and think about your comment on the kit being a classic, as it seems like it's only been or short time ago that this Tamiya kit had just been introduced to the delight of us model people, (I guess I didn't realize how old I'm getting). Nice to see this classic is still a wonderful kit.

  9. @rfking, Great model and a wonderful tribute to the pilot! 🍻

    " Union, God and Country, West Virginia gold and blue. Union, God and Country was all we ever knew."-Steve Earle, from "The Ghosts of West Virginia" album. 😃

  10. Well done, Russ (@rfking). NMF looks great. Great story to go along with the model.

  11. That's one nice looking Pony Russ. Well done.

  12. Nice work on your Mustang, looks like it's ready for action!

  13. A very nice Mustang - love the fast-back versions. Paint and weathering looks nice!

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