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Israeli P-51D Mustang

by David W. Aungst


Israeli P-51D Mustang


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




Continuing my "Postwar Warriors" theme, I decided to build the Hasegawa P-51D Mustang in the colors of the Israeli Air Force. I acquired the decals for this model so I could give them to a friend, but I found I really liked the camouflage and markings of the aircraft. Thus, I chose to hang on to the decals (my friend would probably never have gotten around to building them anyway) and used them to build this model.



The hook that got me interested in this model is the blue color in the camouflage. I can't say that I ever remembered seeing a dark blue color in a desert camouflage, except for some Top Gun Aggressors. The contrast appealed to my mind's eye, so I decided I wanted to build a "painting project" to see the camoulfage in three dimensions. In the end, the blue color has just enough of a green cast to it that it does not look as out of place as I had thought it would.





I am not going to get into a long discussion of the Hasegawa P-51D Mustang. Check out other reviews of this kit for a complete run down of all the detailing. It is a great kit -- enough said.



The model is built completely out-of-the-box. The point to the project was the markings, so I wasted no time on superdetailing the construction of the model.



Painting and Markings


The decals for this project are from IsraDecal. The following is a paraphasing from their instruction sheet:

"The Scorpion squadron was formed in 1950, operating Spitfires. These were operated until early 1956. The squadron was re-established again on the 1st of June, 1956, as a Mustang squadron. The squadron operated 13 Mustangs, and number 42 was one of them. As had been done on their Spitfires, the spinners were painted in Yellow. The aircraft were painted in Blue (RAL 5008) and Brown (F.S.30215) on the top and Light Gray (RAL 7044) on the bottom. Yellow and black identification stripes were painted on the fuselage and wings. Each aircraft looked different at that time."

I used all Testors Model Master enamels paints for the model.

Bad Paint Job I actually painted this model twice. The first painting was a disaster because I assumed that Floquil knew what they were doing. I was wrong (and so are they). See the image to the right.

This grainy picture shows the original colors I painted on the model. Floquil marketed this blue color in their Military Colors enamel paint line. A friend lent me a bottle of the color, called "Israel Early Camo Blue". It sounded good to me. I scale-effected the paint as usual and painted the model. YUK!!! Even without the scale-effecting, this color was way too light and too blue.

After re-evaluating the camouflage and exchanging e-mails with another friend in Italy, I saw the error of my ways and decided that the only correct fix to the problem was a re-painting of the model. I returned to my original plan (before my helpful friend lent me that bottle of blue paint) and custom mixed the colors for the camouflage. The camouflage colors were mixed as follows.

  • Blue (RAL 5008): My Italian friend provided me the F.S. correlation to this color. F.S.35045 appoximates it. I found (using my F.S. color fan) that this color is a little lighter and grayer than Non-Specular Sea Blue (F.S.35042). To mix the color, I started with F.S.35042 and added Gunship Gray (F.S.36118) to lighten and gray-out the color. I used a 5:1 mixing ratio (blue to gray).
  • Brown (F.S.30215): Consulting my F.S. color fan another time, I found this color to be close to Dark Tan (F.S.30219), only slightly more yellow. To mix the color, I started with F.S.30219 and added Insignia Yellow (F.S.33538) to offset the color. I used a 5:1 mixing ratio (tan to yellow).
  • Light Gray (RAL 7044): My Italian friend provided me the F.S. correlation to this color, also. F.S.36492 appoximates it. The Model Master enamel paint line has this F.S. color in it. I used the color right out of the jar with no change.

Using these color mixes, I was much happier with the final camouflage on the model. I think the gray bottom color might be a little too light, but I was not going to repaint the model a third time. This ultimately was a "painting project", not a competition piece for Nationals. I left the bottom color alone.

The last line of the decal instructions indicated to me that the camouflages were non-standard, but the instruction sheet included left, right and top views of Mustang number 42. So I followed the provided drawings for the camouflage pattern. I applied the camouflage freehand, without masking.

The decals went down with no surprises. The instructions claimed they were designed for the Tamiya kit, but they fit my Hasegawa kit just fine. I used Solv-a-set as a setting solution.



I was unsure the decals for the yellow Suez Stripes would conform to the rear fuselage areas (no matter which kit I was building). So, I decided to paint these onto the model rather than use the decals for them. I painted the yellow in all three bands, not just the fuselage, so that the colors would match each other. I cut out and used the black portions of the decal stripes. Being thinner than the total Suez Stripes, these conformed over the rear fuselage without any trouble.

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".



Additional Images and Project Summary


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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

8 March, 2001

Total Building Time:






Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):


Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2003 by David Aungst
Page Created 27 August, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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