North American P-51D Mustang
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Tamiya North American P-51D Mustang model kit in 1/32 scale 

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Markings for the Dutch ML-KNIL P-51 can be obtained from commercial decals sets, but it was decided that a much better result would be possible by hand-airbrushing all markings with the fine airbrush. FRISK film masking foil was used as well. 

The very nice Dutch book "Camouflage and kentekens" shows a very nice colour drawing made by JHN Greuter. This particular P-51D of the ML-KNIL has a red spinner, shark teeth markings on the nose, large Dutch flags and a losely painted number of the tail. This was a nice scheme with code N3-615 and "15".

The drawing was scanned and enlarged to 1/32 scale. This was to be used as a pattern. The FRISK film foil can be set onto the paper and the mask cut out with very sharp knife (in fact a scalpel). 

This is a tideous work needing a steady hand, but when it works, very rewarding. The numbers are flat black and were airbrushed onto the model. Mask off surrounding areas.

The Dutch flags are easier but require 3 colours: start with matt white, than red and finally the blue. Revell Aqua acrylics were used. 

The flags and numbering were masked directly on the model using FRISK masking film. Also not the red line to be added at the inboard flap. 

The shark teething was hand painted free hand (as in reality by the KNIL crews) on the model and the loose panels. First do the white, than black and red. Use a fine paint brush. 

Finally, some stencilling from the Tamiya decals were added, but not all of them. The Dutch P-51's were really weathered in the tropical conditions in the Dutch East Indies.

For that reason, also with the airbrush, considerable black smoke and gun blasts were airbrushed, using matt black paint.  The loose engine panels were not forgotten. Also, the rubber tyres in the kit got a matt black coat with some brown mixed in. 

In various areas, a light coat with some brown paint were "freely" applied with the airbrush. Also, on top of the flags and the leading edges of wing and tailplanes. Inside the gear bays and on the gear legs, use some TAMIYA X19 Smoke. 

On the propeller, the manufacturer markings were not used, these are "worn" and not seen anymore. The prop got a used look, with some tiny aluminium strains and weathered yellow wing tips.


Final Touches

Now, some final work is done:

(1) additional engine wiring on spark plugs, rods etc were added inside the engine compartment. Use thin coloured electricity wire when you have that. Also, add tubing and wires between the engine and bulkhead. (tip: use the WALKAROUND photos as noted on References on page 1...)

(2) additional wiring was set on top of the batteries aft of the seat.

(3) add the seat straps, para pack and harnesses. Some of the etched metal belts in the kit were used, but also tape and wire. See kit STEP 8 / 9. Brown colour was used, use the Tamiya paint suggestions. 

(4) the long wire antenna was set in place, running through the drilled hole in the canopy and fixed with superglue also on the tail fin. Fishing wire was used for the antenna. This needs the canopy to be fixed in place.

(5) Various hydraulics lines and tubing were added inside the main gear bays. Metal wire was used, that can be bended and set in place. Not all wires were added, but a busy look should be there as on a real P-51.

(6) the panels on the right wing gun bay was set in place. The engine panels are kept loose and detachable.

(7) the anti-collision lights got painted with Tamiya clear paints as suggested in STEP 44. Also add the wing tip lights. 

(8) the missing fuel and air vent pipes were added between the fueltanks and the wing. These are well seen on real P-51's. From thicker black electrical wire, these were made and fitted with superglue. The fueltank markings and red filler caps were also added and painted. 

The P-51D ML-KNIL model is finished and seen here.

in a scenery....

Somewhere in the Dutch East Indies on Java....

A very nice P-51 of the Dutch ML-KNIL period 1947-1952 is in the 1/32 collection. Now, I still have a Tamiya Spitfire somewhere......

(also check out a bunch of 1/72 scale Mustang models...

Back to 1/32 scale Models.......

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Created this page November 21, 2013