P-51B Betty Jane

  • 18 posts
  • Last reply 1 month, 2 weeks ago
  • Mustang, P-51 Mustang, Tamiya
Viewing 1 - 15 of 18 posts
  • Jim Harley said 2 months ago:

    Unfortunately I have to put the Gee Bee on temporary hold. A friend contacted me to put together a model of Betty Jane for a shadow box display of her husbands flight we did couple years ago. I gave her a list and she sent me a Tamiya B with all the bells and whistles. I planned on doing one of these for myself at some point so this will serve as a template. Tom Cleaver built a really nice version that is posted here on the Mustang channel as well.

    Charles McCorkle was in the 31st FG during WWII, both his Spitfire and Mustang were named Betty Jane, Betty being his wife and Jane being his daughter. I had the pleasure of meeting Jane in Texas a number of years ago. When Collings acquired BJ we had no idea Charles was still with us, and unfortunately passed before we knew or could arrange a meeting. The Hickory Aviation Museum is caretaker of his archives and artifacts. Among the collection are his logbooks, one of his A-11 helmets, his military ID and many photos. Charles flew P-12’s during the 30’s and noted it was one of his favorite airplanes.

    I’ve got the build moving along pretty good since it has to be done by Christmas. I’m trying to put at least 3 hours a day in to it with the photo etch and resin consuming much of the time. Once the cockpit is completed it will move much faster. I’ve got 3 shades of metalizer paint and the idea is to build it up as the military airplane, not the Collings TP-51C. I’m going to attempt to pull out all the stops on this one and really do it right. I have some issues with the eduard photo etch but overall it will provide a really nice illusion and fill out the cockpit nice. I’m using the Air Corps Aviation ‘build’ of Lopes Hope as a reference. Posting here is good motivation 🙂


    9 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 month, 4 weeks ago:

    No worries about putting the Gee Bee on hold. I understand completely and would have done the same thing.

    Looks like you have a great start on it, and it’s looking fantastic. Having had access to his original items must have been very inspiring. It sounds like Charles was a fascinating man who had an exemplary flying career.

    This one should be a real head turner when you get it done. If anyone here is a Mustang expert, it has to be you !!!

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing your next installment.

  • Tom Bebout said 1 month, 4 weeks ago:

    Looking good Jim, I’ve built Tamiya’s P-51D, Passion Wagon, and though considered an old kit by today’s standards I found it to a great little kit. Their B model should be as well. So open or closed canopy? The only B’s I’ve completed to date have been AM kits where I cut the canopy to display it in the open position. The Tamiya kit gives you theoption of open or closed, which is really nice. Either way have fun.

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 4 weeks ago:

    Thanks guys, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I’m back at it tomorrow on BJ. The current cockpit of Betty Jane has/had more bells and whistles than a 747…except an autopilot. I’ve sat in Impatient Virgin and Princess Elizabeth, which were restored to stock condition. It is amazing how much room is lost in a cockpit full of bulky WWII gear. This is a fun build and having the minor connection with McCorkle makes it really special. The canopy will be open so the cockpit detail is imperative. Fortunately Tamiya supplies a really nice rendition of the open canopy. When the side canopy folds down along the fuselage it actually pulls out and away on a double hinge, which Tamiya nailed perfectly. More soon! thanks for watching!


  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    back at it! I filled the wing per North American specs…and pictures gleaned from other threads. I started sanding away the Vallejo filler…which is really nice for this as it sands easy and cleans up with water. I used 1000 and 2500 grit sand paper. I also shot a coat of black on the props and found low spots near the tips…so those were re-filled and ready for final painting.

    I’ve never worked with resin parts before and so far it is pretty straight forward. They sand nice and are beautifully molded. The elevator will be positioned in the down and locked position. Fun Mustang fact, with the stick unlocked (as if you are going flying), the tail wheel is semi-locked and limited in travel to 6 degrees left and right. When you are taxiing you can unlock the tail wheel for full swivel by pushing the stick forward of neutral for tighter maneuvering with the brakes. After shutdown at the end of the day the stick is locked full foward with a spring loaded plunger at the base of the stick. The reason the stick is locked in the full down elevator position is for towing or tugging the airplane with tail wheel unlocked. Anyway…here are some photos 🙂

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    Hello Jim,
    and thanks for the update and the photos. Resin parts can sometimes be a little tricky if they don’t fit too well. I have never experienced a problem with anything made by Ultracast. They make good stuff………….. as do Barracuda Studios. You should have no problems with the parts you have. But if you do, they really do sand very easy. Just make sure to wear a mask as the dust is harmful and not something you want to breathe.

    I really enjoyed reading the way the tail wheel locked on the Mustang. It’s little stuff like this that sets the article apart from others.

    Thanks again !!!

  • Tom Bebout said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    Looking good so far Jim, as Louis mention Ultracast does provide some nice aftermarket items. They never disappoint. And by the way, may I recommend you jump on the iModeler store site and get yourself a T-shirt. Make it easier to find you at the next model show. Plus you can’t beat 15% off and free shipping. Just sayin

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    I’m being real careful with the resin, all the tutorials I’ve seen on youtube have stressed this, but so far just a light sanding has been needed around the mold line. I’m pretty sure I’m going to leave rudder and ailerons as they are. I will remove the trim tabs from the rudder and elevator to show them as they are after landing…up trim for the elevator and right rudder trim set for the potential ‘go around’ if the landing doesn’t work out on the first attempt 🙂

    I got the wing joined, filled and mostly sanded. I had assembled the spinner the other day and primed it black. I shot a couple coats of red on today between sanding the wing. I’ve never used black as a primer before and it really works well. I’ll shoot it with satin clear varnish in a day or so.

    More soon!

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Jeff Bailey said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    Looks good so far, Jim.

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks Jeff…it’s fun to build a model more or less out of the box and not have to fill and sand everything 🙂 Today I was thinking what can I use for the cockpit floor. I was looking for something flexible, easy to cut, and paintable…and it was sitting right in front of me. I have been practicing with the airbrush on scrap printer paper so I gave it a shot. After a few minutes of cutting and fitting I had a floor. A bit of CA and it was installed. I painted it with brush on acrylic paint and dry brushed a couple shades of brown around the wear marks from foot movement.

    Once that was done I started dry fitting the big pieces together…what a great kit! very little filler will be needed. I have a few more things I want to do to the cockpit and radio stack, which should see the big parts going together late tomorrow.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    That’s a novel idea with the floor !!! Sometimes the simple things work out the best. I like it ……

    I have never built up a 1/48 scale Tamiya Mustang. Hopefully this new year will change this. I have a few scheduled in the pipeline.

    From what I have read about them, they’re sweet builds.

    Thanks for posting this update.

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    you will love this kit Louis…it is a sweetheart. I finished up the cockpit last night and this morning I glued the fuse together. Virtually no filler will be needed. I wet sanded the seams with 1000 grit and only the oil cooler exit channel and the top of the fuse near the cockpit requires any filler. Now that the fuse is assembled I’m going to add details to the radio area. The kit parts are actually more accurate than the Eduard PE, but there is 1 piece of radio gear that matches NA specs.. This is night and day to building the old Monogram kit back in the 80s!!!

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    Another milestone…go the wing mated to the fuselage. what a fit!!! This kit just keeps getting better and better. Absolutely no issues getting it to fit with proper dihedral.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Tom Bebout said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    Looking good Jim,and if you like the way P-51B fits together their P-51D is just as nice especially for an old kit. Bonus is you can find them at shows at very reasonable prices.

  • Jim Harley said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    You know Tom, I can see why these kits haven’t changed in 20 years…I can’t wait to build the D. I got Betty all assembled and final filler in place, which isn’t much. The elevators have been removed from the horizontals and the trim set accordingly. I added some wiring to the antenna mast and radio compartment just for illusion. The wheel wells will get some ‘hydraulic tubing’ and the accumulator but I’m keeping that simple. The next big hurdle is polishing and painting. Got my gloves out!

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

Viewing 1 - 15 of 18 posts