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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

P-51B Mustang 'Lucky Strike Green' racer...


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This is P-51B Mustang registration 43-27460 as she appeared when owned by Colonel Jacqueline Cochran. It was her first Mustang and was registered NX28388 and was used to set 4 air speed world records and appeared at multiple air races in the late 1940s. The combat record, if any is unknown but the serial number both before and after saw combat with the 361st Fighter Group and both were lost in action. Cochran bought the aircraft in August 1946 for 10 points and other considerations. Following her third place in the 1948 Bendix Air Race, she asked her friend and test pilot Sampson Held to ferry NX28388 back to California, however on route it suffered a catastrophic wing spar failure and crashed, killing Held. 

The model is the duel boxing from Hasegawa in 1/72, you get a second kit and decals for 'Thunderbird', also owned and flown by Cochran at one stage. The model is showing it's age a bit, with very shallow wheel wells and the landing gear seems a bit short. That said, it goes together well and the decals are excellent. For the air racer, they give you some extra sprues for what they call an Aeroproduct's propeller, however looking at pictures I think the Mustang was using an uncuffed Hamilton Standard, which unfortunately you don't get in the kit. I decided to use the kit supplied cuffed Hamilton Standard, because I know at one point it did use this prop and in one race she had propeller issues so it might have been changed after that. It's also worth noting that they do give you both slogans that were painted under the exhaust stacks and this is not mentioned in the instructions. I am unsure of when the motto was changed. Cochran mounted P-38 drop tanks under the wings to ferry the aircraft, but these are not supplied in the kit. Leave off the kit supplied hard points.

Apart from this, the guns and ejector ports were filled over and the resin fin fillet was glued in place and sanded down to fit. I painted her overall Gunze gloss bright green straight from the bottle and applied 3 coats of future, 2 before and 1 after decals. I decided to weather her as she appear after a race with big black and white exhaust stains that extended down the fuselage. Now I have to get to building 'Thunderbird' in the blue.

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