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Dean's (Blackbettyhd) in-flight P-51

Hello All,
     I have been wanting to attempt my first in-flight display and I have everything to do a P-51B.  I will be using a 1/48 Tamiya RAF mustang which is basically a P-51B.  I am going to use my Eduard photo etch kit I was to scared to try on my other kit.  I will be using the pilot figure supplied in the kit, this will be my first attempt at figure painting.  For the prop I will be using the Prop Blur photo etch kit.  For my subject I have a set of superscale decal sheet No. 48-1178, P-51C from the 23rd Fighter group.

Here is the Prop Blur Photo Etched kit

Here is the brass rod and brass tube I will use to mount the aircraft in-flight
I am using 1/8 brass tubing to build into the aircraft to accept the 3/32 brass rod.  doing it this way it will be structurally sound and can be removed for travel if necessary.

First I decided on how I wanted to pose the aircraft in flight.  I chose something a little different than the norm.  These are the tools I used to make the hole for the tubing.

Here is what I did.

I taped together the fuselage haves to get the length on the inside correct and marked on the tube

I then use some CA to glue it into place. I will still need to add something else to the inside to strengthen the join.

The only thing I wish I would have Done is cut the tubing to length instead leaving some extra but I thought with an angled cut it would be easier to cut after it is glued in.  but now to do that I need to get myself a dremel with a cutting tool so I guess I get to take a trip to the hardware store and get a new toy.

Here is what it will look like when mounted.

Now I am starting on the cockpit.  I have to get rid of the casted dials to make room for the photo etched parts.

I got a little more work done cleaning up the mounting hole.  I also started to work on some of the photo etch.

Just a little more progress with the photo etched.  I am having fun with the photo etched, I don't know why I shied away from using it in the past.

The belts weren't really meant for use on a figure but I am making it work

I have made some more progress and got a little paint work done on the interior. 

I used the PE belts to enhance the look.  I cut the lower belts to look like they are under his arms.

I will cut a piece of clear plastic and add it to the heads up when I am done painting it.

I cut the doors off.  After I get the fuselage halves together I will close it up

Here is my first ever attempt at a figure,  I think it came out ok.  hare to get detail on such a small scale plus he will be under a canopy so no big deal

Here is the cockpit interior

Here is my HUD with the clear plastic added.  I think it came out great

A little scratch building going on.  I found a pic of the plane I am building in one of my books and as you can see from the photo there is a second circular antenna half way back on the spine.

I used some wire I bought at a craft store to make the hoop and the stem which I will cut down to length

I wasn't sure how to make the boot looking mount for it.  I was looking through my left over parts sprues and found two bombs that I hadn't put together yet.  I took the halves that from both bombs that had a cut out for the primer and glued them together.  I will then cut it down to size and fit it to the spine

I got some aluminum tubing to replace the guns.  I cut it to length and then glued it in place.

I got the wings all glued up with no fit problems

I started working on the prop and I glued the plastic prop blades on then cut them off so there is a stem inside for the prop blur to mount to

I glued in some spare plastic card to fill the void.  as you can see the green line that I had to fill in because I scribed the door line crooked

Here is the front of the bomb cut off and sanded to fit the curve of the spine.  I glued in place and used my new homemade mr. surface (thanks to Phil's video blog)  sanded smooth.  I think it came out great

next I went ahead and installed the pilot even thought something in the back of my head said I should have waited but I couldn't think of anything else I needed to do in the pit

It looks like she is ready to get some primer and a final look over.  Here is a couple of pics of her on its pole with its base.  I have yet to figure out what I want to do with the base.  Stain it, paint it or do a little diorama.

I got started by painting the interior of the cockpit and then laid down a primer coat.

it is hard to see in the photos but I still had some issues with the seam on the spine and my sorry attempt at the tail wheel door I didn't like so I tore out the door and will try something else.

Now for what I think most of you have been waiting to see, I worked on the props today.  The first thing I learned and would suggest to everyone else is paint them before you remove them from the sprues because the pressure from my airbrush even at a low psi would start to bend them.  I also recommend painting them in this order... 1st the yellow in the lightest shade you want the edges to be. then a little darker focused on the middle and third the color with no lightening right in the very center.  Then I would paint the black in the same order as the yellow.  Here are some before and after pics

My tail wheel door has been a pain in my a**.  I finally got it filled in with CA and when I try to scribe the door in I keep making little holes that I have to fill and and sand so my thought is to paint in my door lines later after the paint work is done. 

I got it preshaded, and painted up.  Just a couple of small touch ups and then comes the future so I start decaling.

I quick stuck the spinner on to get a sneak peek at what she is going to look at

I got all the decals on and I have a little repair work to do on the star and bar on the lower wing but I should be ready for some wash here soon

Here is what I did for the rear doors.  I kept having rescribing problems and problems filling the void so this is what I ended up doing.  I don't think it came out to bad.

I have finished everything and I am letting everything set before I take the final pics.  here are a few pics with the decals done and the weathering done and the flat coat done

Here is a little technique I messed with: I thinned some tamiya smoke and sprayed at a higher air pressure so when I got close to the model it would spider to kind of simulate oil that would be blown around while in flight

Here it is after its flat coat

Well here you go, the finished Stang on a Stick!!

It was a fun and challenging build.  I liked posing it in-flight sense that is where these beautiful birds belong.  The prop blur photo etched I really think brought the whole thing to life.