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Tamiya's 1/48 scale
Mustang Mk.IVa

by Randy Lutz


North American Mustang Mk.IVa


Tamiya's 1/48 scale P-51D Mustang is available online from Squadron.com




Here is my Tamiya 1/48 scale North American Mustang MK. IVA finished in the markings of Wing Commander (Flying) James Eric Storrar, of the Hunsdon Wing, while stationed at Hunsdon, England in May 1945.

I built this model to showcase the IPMS Canada 442 Squadron Mustang decals. A complete build article detailing the modifications and method used to paint the model will be featured in an upcoming issue of Model Aircraft Monthly, but I have extracted a few paragraphs and present them here.

This natural metal Mustang Mk IVA (P-51K-10-NT, U.S. serial 44-12355) was the personal aircraft of Wing Commander (Flying) James Storrar and was fitted with an Aero Products prop, Dallas hood and exhaust shrouds. There exists much controversy when it comes to the colours applied to Storrar's aircraft and what I present is my best assessment based on the available references. The anti-glare panel and lower canopy frame are light blue, with both edged in dark blue. Of particular interest is the fact that while the canopy frame and the hydraulic fluid reservoir cover are light blue, they are a shade lighter than the panel at the base of the windscreen and the cowl anti-glare and in addition, the dark blue trim does not quite line up between the windscreen and the sliding hood, both of which suggests evidence of repainting.

The carb intake cowl lip, as well as the thin stripe around the nose, immediately behind the spinner could be either dark blue, or black. I leaned towards dark blue. The wing leading edges were yellow, inboard to the dog leg in the leading edge.



As was customary in the RAF for Wing Commanders, it displays the pilot's initials, or in this case JAS (which is short for James) in dark blue with light blue edging in place of the squadron codes and has the Wing Commander's pennant on both sides.

The pilot's seat armour plate was absent from JAS, however, the radio gear and fuselage fuel tank were still present, as Storrar was in the process of converting KM232 into a two-seat Mustang, at the time of the May 9, 1945 mission. KM232 was also fitted with the AN/APS-13 tail warning radar on the vertical fin. Entries in Storrar's log book confirm that his ground crew kept this aircraft highly polished. An interesting note, according to the RCAF Details of Operations Form 541, was that Storrar only flew this particular aircraft on one mission with 442 Squadron, which was May 9th, to provide top cover during the liberation of the Channel Islands. It is at this particular time period that I chose to represent Storrar's Mustang and as such is fitted with the 108 gallon compressed paper drop tanks.




The model was built with the following improvements and additions:


  • perforated cowl vent panels covered with louvred panels

  • all lift points and vent holes drilled out

  • exhaust pipes replaced with Ultracast parts

  • Ultracast seat added

  • headrest removed from seat armour plate

  • propellor blades modified to represent an Aeroproducts propellor

  • AN/APS-13 tail warning radar added from fine wire



  • raised rivets in the area of the landing gear above and below wings removed

  • landing light replaced with MV Products lens

  • 108 gallon drop tanks added along with fuel lines

  • wing gun barrels drilled out

Landing Gear

  • oleo torque links drilled out

  • shock portion of strut covered with metal foil

  • tow rings drilled out

  • wheel hubs drilled out


Painting and Markings

The airframe was painted with various shades of Alclad II, Xtracolor X106 Insignia yellow FS13538, X122 Insignia Blue FS15044 and X160 Synthetic Haze Blue FS15190.

All markings are from IPMS Canada decal sheet 442 squadron Mustang IVs.





  • photos of actual aircraft obtained from the Storrar family

  • Famous Airplanes of the World No. 79, P-51D Mustang

  • Aero Detail No. 13 North American P-51D Mustang

  • Model art No. 401 North American P-51 Mustang

  • Squadron Walk Around No. 7 P-51D, by Squadron Signal

  • P-51 Mustang, by Squadron Signal


Closing Comments

In closing, when 442 squadron was disbanded, Storrar gave his Mustang to the then Station Commander at Molesworth, Group Captain John Wray, to be used as a "hack" for senior officers. At that time it was painted with his initials JBW. In mid November of 1945 while being flown in poor weather from Digby to Hendon, Wing Commander Derek Walker perished when he stalled in on his approach turn and burned up on impact. This marked the end of KM232.


As a footnote, Hasegawa as they are reknown for doing, has released a re-release of a re-re-release of a Mustang with these same markings. Only, they did not get the details right, as they forgot the dark blue ring and chin scoop on the nose, failed to identify the light and dark areas of the anti-glare panel and do not show the yellow leading edge bands. So, if you want to build a more accurate model of W/C James Storrar's Mustang, get the IPMS Canada decals.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


P-51 Mustang
From the RAF to the Mighty Eighth
Special Editions (Aviation) 1
Author: Michael O'Leary
US Price: $10.95
UK Price: 6.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 September 15, 1997
Details: 128 pages; ISBN: 1855327147
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Randy Lutz
Page Created 17 April, 2004
Last Updated 22 October, 2004

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