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Graeme Street
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First Attempt at a NMF and First P-51 (WIP)

April 6, 2024 · in Aviation · · 23 · 431

Hey everyone.

If you've read my "Why I Hate Building Airplanes" post (below), you know I have a love hate relationship with modeling aircraft. However, in an attempt to keep my challenge going after the FW190 and Corsair, I have decided to try the MkIV and one up it with trying my first metal finish, hopefully natural.

I had some serious fit issues with this kit for the fuselage. I test fitted over and over. Made sure everything was to snuff, but the fit was beyond tight. I had to force this s****r together. It's got to be my error somewhere, but I have no idea where. In any case, I did the best I could with what I had to work with.

I started the base with Ueno Black. Man, just a fabulous black for metal finish if you ask me. It's not flat or satin, it's "oily" in appearance. Hard to describe.

Then the metal finish. Several paints. Not a clue. Newbie on all levels. Had several paints to choose from. Decided on Mr Hobby. What colors. Not yet my friend. Can't reveal my secrets till beer is offered. 🍻❤️

Anyway, pretty happy with the start. No pre-shading. Rare for me. Foreign. But I made it work. Pics don't do the justice of how much differentiation there is in the silvers. I just learned I need to photo shoot silver at 45 degrees, not 90. Will rectify that on the finish. Anyway. Some pics to get the ball rolling.

I know many of you are mUCH BETTER and experienced at this than I, so any suggestions welcomed. I have a P-47D I've got on the desk next.


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7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Looking great Graeme!
    Gotta admit, I try to stay away from NMF, still learning.
    Looking forward to the completed work.

    • I have stayed away my whole modeling life. Having done it now I can say two things; it’s a challenge as silver is indeed very unforgiving and it’s one of the most satisfying colors I have ever painted. Looking forward to doing it again. Thanks for commenting. G

  2. Nice start on your first NMF subject. I cannot offer any words of wisdom as I find myself in the same situation. I found a mostly finished old Hasegawa 1/32 P-51D in a shopping bag under the shelf of doom. My plan is to use Alclad II variations of aluminum available at my LHS. Alclad even offers a duraluminum shade. I am interested in seeing what livery you choose. I might wuss out and do a 55th Fighter Group subject. That way half the fuselage is olive drab. The decals came with the kit so that plan might change. Good luck and I will be learning with you.

    • I almost did a split half NMF and half OD with invasion stripes. Bought decals for it even but decided to go with the Brit MK IV version in all NMF and glad I did. I wanted sole focus on just this technique to start. There is always a chance to do another. That’s what’s great about modeling, N+1. Thanks for commenting. G

  3. A neophyte he says... bloody hell you keeping knocking these out of the park.

    As for the fit issue between wing and fuselage Tom @tcinla figured this one out. It lies in the main gear well centre and how Eduard engineered things. The ziggurat shaped locator pin, get rid of it. The part the locator pin glues to that later on mates with cockpit floor? Glue it instead to the cockpit floor. That should sort things out.

    • Too late now but great to know for future Eduard kits. Funny as I thought that might me it but was worried if I cut out the pins that it would create other unforeseen issues. No worries, I made it work. Many curses later. 😃🤬. Thanks for commenting. Just got done the decals. Went ok. Eduard decals have a peelable film, but I don’t think I’m going to. Too risky with all the decals. One goes wrong and that’s game over.

  4. I used Tamiya rattle can gloss black for the base coat on my Eduard P-51. It was almost too beautiful to cover it up with the metal colors! It appears that you’ve got a great start to a beautiful finish here!

    • Thanks. I’m a Tamiya guy too and considered their gloss black but had the Ueno on hand rarely used and tried it and loved the oil look. Really helped create the effect I was hoping for. Thanks for commenting. Will post the work soon. G

  5. Really nice result so far, Graeme!

  6. Very nice looking NMF. For future P-51 builds, most of the seams on the wings were filled with putty. Here's two diagrams showing which ones

    • I saw that and thought about it, but as a modeler removing the panel lines, at least for me is a no go. Just too much fun to play with the lines. Sometimes I’m ok with going after the model approach over historical. BUT that being said I respect the historical whenever possible. Thanks for commenting. G

  7. No experience here either, Graeme @graemestreet
    To me your current progress looks very promising.

  8. The trick with the Eduard P-51 is to mount the part that is the "top" of the wheel well to the bottom of the cockpit floor rather than to the wheel well and slice off the mounting tang. The wing and fuselage then go together without the slightest difficulty (I only had to build six of them to learn that 🙂 )

    For a first NMF, this looks really nice.

  9. Thanks @tcinla. Good to know moving forward. Interesting such a developed company would have such a blunder across so many kits. Not like they have only one P-51. I was able to make it work albeit by smashing the sides of the fuselage to get the canopy to fit. Fun. not!

  10. I'm with @russjurco. 1/32 Hasegawa P-51D sitting on the shelf and I'm a fan of Alclad stuff for metal work; I'll tackle it after the /48 Meng F-4E. Vices & super glue are amazing at making stuff fit. Looking pretty solid though, Graeme, keep us posted on progress & final release.

  11. I think your natural metal finish is great, Graeme (@graemestreet). Up until recently, I have meticulously avoided anything with a NMF, but have recently tried some shiny parts on my models. Maybe with some practice, I can catch up to your results. Well done.

  12. Looking good. I also like the Ueno black and have used it several times. I like the Vallejo metals, they have worked well for me.
    Your name is familiar...just recently signed up for a certain online cycling training program.

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