by Jun Temma
North American P-51C
1/48 scale P-51B/C Mustang is available online from
Here is Tamiya’s 1/48 scale P-51C built almost from
This kit is excellent and, in my opinion, superior
to Tamiya’s P-51D. Even so, there are some minor weak points. For
starters, the fuselage is a little too wide. The kit is 2mm (=0.08inch)
too wide measured at the national insignia and 0.5mm wide at the cockpit
and nose. Therefore the canopy top is arather odd shape compared with
the actual aircraft. However, this is a hard problem to fix so I didn’t
Also, the ammunition access panels are wider than
one section of wing ribs. Unfortunately I noticed this after completion
– too late to fix.
The cockpit was basically built straight from the
box with some additions. The N-9 type gun site was scratch-built of
plastic scrap and vinyl chloride plate. Photoetch seat belts were added.
A bulkhead was added behind the cockpit to protect the inside of the
windows from overspray . Some recessed rivet detail was added using a
photoetched riveting tool .
Dihedral was increased slightly. The leading edges were sanded. The
kit’s gun holes are slightly too big, so I filled them with plastic rod
and drilled them out again to 1.5mm (0.06inch) in diameter. When I
drilled, the outer gun holes were moved toward inner guns. The gun
barrels were replaced brass tube.
The back half of the spinner and propeller blades were from Hasegawa
P-51D. Some details were added to the main gear.
The markings represent "BERLIN EXPRESS" P-51C-3-NT
s/n42-103309 flown by Lt. William B. Overstreet of the 363rd FS, the
357th FG, 8th Air Force, in June 1944. Decals are from AeroMaster sheet
An original photograph is in "P-51 Mustang Nose Art Gallery" (Campbell).
The instruction of AMD figures the main gear cover is silver, but I
guess the black belt hides behind the 108 US gallons fuel tank in the
Most of the 8th AF’s P-51s were not equipped with antenna wire because
the SCR-522 radio system for the 8th AF's Mustangs used the blade
antenna instead of the wire. However, "BERLIN EXPRESS" was fitted with
the stick type antenna mast, so I guess the SCR-522 was not equipped and
the antenna wire was used.
Following Aeromaster’s instructions, the wheel hubs were red and
sidewalls were painted white. There is no comment as for the rearview
mirror, but I painted it red. It is my only artistic license!
Some P-51 wheel wells were painted Zinc Chromate Yellow, and I painted
mine this color. It is worth considering, though, that other photographs
show silver sidewalls on these Mustangs too.
I adopted an easy approach to window masking. Only
four pieces are required to cover the window. Four pieces of masking
tape were cut out in order to be same shape.
I always use Mr. Color paints. Markings for example D-Day stripes,
checker and national insignia were all painted before Silver.
Then, I sprayed an undercoat of Silver which was #8 Silver 50% + #46
Clear 50%. Next, Finishing Silver which was Alclad Polished Aluminum 50%
+ #46 Clear 50% (Mr. Color Thinner was available). The panels around
exhausts were painted Mr. Super Stainless.
Mr. Super Stainless was drybrushed lightly on Finishing Silver. This
painting technique using airbrushing together with drybrushing is very
effective for duplicating a weathered Natural Metal Finish.
After applying decals, Flat Clear (#46 Clear 50% + #30 Flat Base 50%)
was sprayed over the model as a sealing coat.
Mr. Super Chrome Silver was lightly drybrushed
again on Flat Clear top coating.
Next, I added chipping on the wing root and panel
edges with Silver, Medium Gray, Zinc Yellow and Olive Drab using a very
fine brush. Pastels were selectively used on some panel lines and D-Day
With its extra width, Tamiya’s P-51C appears a
little macho but is still good-looking as it is.
The red mirror is exquisite color balance, isn't
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2005 by Jun Temma
Page Created 22 April, 2005
22 April, 2005
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