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Hello fellow modelers! I'm branching out from science fiction builds and trying a WWII piston powered plane, the P-51D. I'm also using the Eduard Zoom PE prepainted cockpit detail set for this model, but I'm not very impressed by it. Don't get me wrong, Eduard makes great PE, but I probably won't be getting the prepainted stuff again. I've had to mask parts of it and the paint peeled right off leaving bare metal beneath it. Fixable? Sure. A pain? That too. 

The cockpit is pretty well done - I did some light chipping with silver and an oil wash of engine grease over the zinc chromate green. That was my first time using an oil wash I made myself versus a pre-packaged enamel wash from Tamiya. I don't think I'll ever go back, as you have so much more control over consistency and transparency. Plus the oil works as a filter, and doesn't dry splotchy like the enamels always seem to. 

I plan on hitting the cockpit with some matte clear tonight, then buttoning up the fuselage when that's all dry.

If you've got any tips, tricks, or constructive criticism I'm all ears (eyes?). 

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Looks sharp to me! My only suggestion would be that after you matte everything, go back and add a drop of Future or Micro-Clear to each of the dials on the main panel. Staying tuned for more!

Gil :smiley16:

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Thanks Gil! I didn’t even think of that but it’s going on the to do list now for sure. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a bottle of that laying around somewhere... 😀

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Paul, it’s looking good. Future Floor Wax has been known in recent years as Pledge Floor Care instead. So when you buy it don’t expect to see the old Future label anymore. Once you get the hang of using it you will find it very valuable. Go to You Tube and there are plenty of how to’s for using this product. Happy Modeling.
 

Mark

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Thanks to Gil & Mark for the suggestion to put some shine back on the gauges. I used a bit of Micro Kristal Klear dabbed on each dial with a toothpick. Actually, it's one of those fancy metal toothpicks you can reuse, and I will say they're a lot more useful than they sound.

Some of the "glass" domes are a bit cloudy but they look good on the whole. I think part of the MKK was a bit too dry near the cap so it went on a tad funny. Regardless, like most mistakes you can chalk that one up to "weathering." What pilot wouldn't scratch his dashboard wriggling out of that tiny cockpit? 

I did think about using Future (or Pledge, or whatever we're calling it now... I have enough for about three lifetimes considering the size of the bottle) but I was afraid it'd run. 

I think tonight I'll add the oil cooler, which I just finished painting, and then button up the halves of the fuselage! Exciting stuff. I may even break out the somewhat-overly-complex Touch-N-Flow-N-Spill. 😂

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Please don't use these close ups to make copies of my fingerprints and frame me for crimes. Thank you. 

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Paul, beautiful cockpit! Way to go man!

Mark, thanks for the new name for Future; now I can go look for more.

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Thanks Mark!

I got the fuselage halves together the night before last, and started sanding the seam yesterday evening. I think I'm going to have to re-scribe some of those fine panel lines, but that shouldn't be too difficult. The rivets, on the other hand, may prove a challenge. I imagine I'll have a bit of polishing to do, too, so I can get that shiny bare metal finish I'm after. I'll keep you updated!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel like being in isolation I should bet getting more done, but real life is not respectful of how dedicated I am to my hobby. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Here're two more WIP photos where it actually starts looking like a plane. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 11:39 AM, Paul said:

I feel like being in isolation I should bet getting more done, but real life is not respectful of how dedicated I am to my hobby.

Oh man, I am totally in agreement here! I should have finished at least fifteen models by now but I've only finished one!

Your Mustang is coming along well and definitely does look like an airplane. I love it. Nice paint work so far.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, my arm is sore from polishing, but I will say the black base came out fairly nice. There are a few pebbly spots, but that just means MORE POLISHING!!! IMG_2942.thumb.JPEG.8d74a883b13b9757b80fad3e23994f64.JPEGIMG_2943.thumb.JPEG.3ac56e245231a0cbeb5bbe85ccb644db.JPEG

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It’s coming along well Paul. On a P-51, you can compare photos and see whether or not the plane was oxidized, a little or a lot, and spray different shades of aluminum over the base coat. Here’s one example below. A P-51B flown by Lt. Ralph Hofer and named “Salem Representative” (from his hometown of Salem, Missouri) I did several years ago:

I hope this may be of some help to you if you are doing a natural metal finish. The dark panel you see is a shade of Testor’s Model Master Dark Anodonic Gray metalizer. The P-80 Shooting Star I built is another example shown below.
 

Best,

 

Mark

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Wow, Mark, that's some excellent work! You're seriously talented, and I bet you're a fantastic judge.

I'm a sucker for box art, so I'm trying to replicate the Petie 2nd bird flown by Captain John Meyer. I think the blue nose will look really nice when it's done. 

My plan was to use Alclad paints, which I'm fairly comfortable with and which give excellent results (in my opinion anyhow). I will paint the fuselage highly polished aluminum to get that shine, and then use dull aluminum on the wings to try to lend that "painted silver" look.

I'm sure I'll end up using some clear over the metallics for the decals; do you think I'll need to hit the dull aluminum wings with matte after to dull the clear shine? 

I appreciate the input! 

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Hello Again Paul,

Many thanks for your comments. On the P-51s, I use regular Aluminum Alclad II, without a sheen for the wing area.  Usually, this simulates the “dull” effect (North American Aviation used an  aluminum 
lacquer, which at first was actually puttied, sanded smooth and used as an aid to give the laminar flow wings of the Mustang more speed and less drag) . This Alclad II shade is smooth enough, and they recommend gloss over the wing area in order for the decals to conform and to seal the area surfaces. And with the remaining areas smooth from the brighter shades of Alclad, mask accordingly per photos.  Every modeler has different ways of simulating natural metal, and mine is other way of doing so. By the way, the Blue nosed Mustang you’re building is a great scheme. “Petie 2nd” as assigned to Col.John Meyer had 24 victories. He also had a tour in the Korean War flying an F-86,  and he later became head of SAC. Meyer had a very fine career as an officer in the USAF. You can find out even more about his WW2 service from the TV series “Dogfights” (History Channel) under the title “Miracle at Y-29” , Operation Bodenplatte. It will keep you on the edge of your seat! Try You Tube or Net Flex. I hope the above helps you out.

 

Best Regards, 

Mark

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Thanks Mark! You were not kidding about edge of your seat action in that episode. I knew he got a kill before he had his gear up but the whole story is so much more than that. 

I put down the aluminum on the wings. It didn’t come out perfect but it’s a good first attempt. I used some Tamiya polishing compound on it and I must not have washed it all off well enough as there is some discoloration. The bottom starboard wing is growing a beard by the looks of all the little dust hairs on it.

It’s funny the mishaps you have during a build and how they teach you things. Like, don’t fill the cup of your airbrush and have it spit up out of the cup and onto the unmasked area if your build. 🙄 And, don’t skimp on tape or you will get overspray onto the fuselage. 
 

I’m hoping it won’t be too noticeable when the build is done, but hey... it’s my first plane. They’re tricky, but I like ‘em. 

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You’re doing well Paul. The Alclad II can be sensitive at times so use as directed. I use light coats airbrushed every 15 minutes or so. Also, I follow a rule of low humidity levels since I do not have a paint booth or dehumidifier with air conditioning or heating. If I violate that rule sometimes I will get slight runs, cracks due to air molecule evaporation within the Alclad or paint I use, or in some cases bubbles on the paint or orange peel. Other modelers can work with their environment in other cases inside the house with proper ventilation of course. When the finish is up to expectations, I will polish with 4000 to 12000 polishing cloth one can get at most online hobby shops or your regular neighborhood hobby shop. Keep up the good work. I am anxious to see this P-51D. 
 

Best Regards,

Mark

 

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Well, the mistakes last night did rear their ugly heads on the fuselage paint job but it could definitely look worse. Sometimes I struggle with frustration trying to be perfect or match the level of someone like you, Mark, but I am pressing on!

I’m disappointed the tape I used to mask the wing root left a line on the wing. Maybe some of those micro mesh cloths will help - I just ordered some. If not, weathering and decals may lend a hand concealing any really bad bits. 
 

I think the overhead shot shows the different shades of aluminum pretty well.

Any tips on masking the blue nose? Thanks again for all your advice. It’s super helpful. I appreciate all the time you’ve put into your replies. It just goes to show we modelers have the best community around!

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Paul,

You’re  doing well. There are a good number of ways of masking and mending a finish. With the Alclad, did you allow enough drying time? If the humidity was higher than normal you may have had a problem there. Depending on the line you described you may VERY LIGHTLY  sand the affected area until you see the line disappear.  Once You respray, using light coats, you should see a normal finish. Be careful not to sand too hard and bore a hole through the finish and through the primer to the bare plastic. For masking tape, I use the curved tape from Tamiya, to do the compound geometry of angular paint jobs. There are other curved tapes that are available and similar to Tamiya’s that do good work. Masking stencils are also available from Sprue Bros. online. Or, you can use existing masking tape, using a compass or template, and make your own curve, or shape. The “Blue Nosers” (352nd  Fighter Group of the US Eighth Air Force) used a generic blue paint scheme (Sometimes the blue color appeared lighter, other P-51s were darker blue) once P-51Bs were first assigned to the group after transitioning from P-47 Thunderbolts in April of 1944.  Study the photos of Lt. Col. Meyer’s “Petie 2nd” and you will see how to apply the masking tape on the nose section. I hope this will help you. Below is a photo of the masking I did on a 1932 vintage Curtiss P-6E biplane.
 

Best,

Mark

 

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Ok, I masked off the blue for the nose, and even after days of drying time for the Alclad, I still got some real roughening of the surface when I pulled off the Tamiya tape. I'm going to try polishing it tonight with some of micromesh, but next time I'd definitely clear coat the entire thing with Aquagloss before any masking. I'm going to press on without a clear coat when I do the decals, to see how they react. I think as long as I keep any setting solution off of the bare paint I'll be okay. 

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The Blue nose masking and painting look really good, Paul. Keep the good work!

 

Mark

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I can tell you that decal setting solutions sometimes have a bad effect on Alclad. Especially the Microset. Best start with water

Dave

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While I can see your tape problem, it looks like overall you're getting the "look" you're shooting for. I always use the lowest tack tape I can when masking over any NMF, and also remove it ASAP after painting so that the adhesive has the very least time to interact with the surface. The "polished" types of Alclad are much more susceptible to tape marring than the regular Aluminum shades, and I usually also try to reduce tape tackiness by sticking it on my forehead (applies skin oil) and then pulling it through my fingers (removes excess skin oil) before applying it. Hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing your final triumph!

Gil :smiley16:

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