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1/18 P51C Mustang "Lopes Hope 3rd"


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Been following your builds for years and with and every update, I’m amazed and keep making sure I’m not living in the Twilight Zone!

Right with Hubert and the guys: words just fail to express our amazement, awe and appreciation of your talents and work.

Keep ‘em Comin



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hello again :)


Rudder is now complete...


..first step is to cover it in solartex which is what RC folks use for their flying models - it has a nice scale fabric effect - this is my seventh try to get a nice clean straight bond - it is heat activated with an iron which causes the adhesive to bond and the material to shrink - pretty tricky on a part this small (by comparison..)...






..there is also a metal fairing at the bottom of the rudder which I assume protects it from crap thrown up from the tailwheel - I pressed the part into plasticine to make a female mould and then cast a buck in resin to vacform the piece over..


here I am marking it for cutting, with the part taped to the buck..




..and the covered rudder - started marking out all the rib positions for the rib tape...




..you can see on a real P51 the rib tapes go over what look like small circular depressions (rather than a Spit which has raised bumps where the knots are) - look along the line of the top rib tape and you can see the effect we need to get..




..to get the effect, I used a rivet awl to punch small holes in tamiya tape and laid these down first along the rib lines..




..then for the rib tape itself, I use plumbers aluminium tape - this was made to scale width from the plans and the 'pinked' edges (fine zigzag cutting to avoid fraying) I ran a rivet wheel along the line and tried to cut through the punched holes to make the pinking..


these were then laid out according to the NA covering diagram..




..all done - hopefully you can see the dimples along the rib tapes - this was the effect I was after..


also made up a trim tab from the part broken out of the main rudder & skinned it in litho...  the rivets on it are perpendicular to the leading edge, not in line with the ribs as you would expect..






..also added the trim tab hinges to match the cut-outs in the tab...




..to finish off I added the trim tab control horn & arm, and at the top leading edge the balance weight - this was actually quite complex as it it shaped in many directions to match both the aerofoil and the tapering tip of the rudder post..






..coat of primer to settle the details & textures..




..the rib tapes look good to me so job done..




back with something else soon :)




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Beautiful work on that rudder. It would be all to easy to just copy the work you did on the MK XIV Spit, but no you researched the way American fabric is applied and get something noticeably different as a result. A joy to watch and read.


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so, Happy New Year folks & onto this P51..


having corrected the fin and added a dorsal fin, the stabilisers were next. I checked the parts and again unfortunately they were not up to my accuracy standards so I set about making new ones. I learned from my Spit not to make and skin the stabilisers before adding them (easy to damage the skins..) so I thought I would just get them built & added now..


..started with the mounts & fillets - first I copied the aerofoil section in brass and used drawings to locate them, after that I added a brass tube to mount them to and started to set out the slight incidence they have...




..once all was set up they were cemented into position and filler added to start to blend them in - this is P40 car filler and is super useful for modelling - I taped up the brass face so as not to have to clean it up later..




..after shaping & priming they were done..




..the stabilisers themselves were taken from drawings and set out on 3mm plastic card (with marked rib positions) - as were the spars..




..test fitting..




..bulked out with more P40 and sanded until I can see the blach sharpie lines along the tops of the ribs..




..and fixed with JB Weld - I drilled small holes on the mating faces to let the adhesive really get a good hold of the parts..






..will clean them up later..


..while they were drying, I started to think about the airscoop.. pretty challenging set of curves nad the resin part that came was not quite right, passable, but not perfect..


you can see the features here include a straight, sharp top, curved bottom and 'V' shaped fairing between it and the fuselage... going to be a laugh skinning this in litho thats for sure..




..again, all the drawings are in aircorps library so I scaled a set of formers and a keel - the keel has had a bit of the hollow inside removed...




..this is the assembled according to the former positions and a big, hard card lip so get that top edge right..






..I want to skin the inside in litho so made up paper & tape templates to get the shapes..




..cut out the shapes, added rows of rivets and fitted them to the central tunnel.. you can see it is slathered in CA to give the whole thing rigidity as much will be removed from the structure..  also added a dam from card at the top to roughly shape the triangle fillet where it joins the fuselage...




..then the whole thing is covered in more P40...




..lost of sanding to do, so thats a job for the garden tomorrow before I go back to work on Wednesday








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thanks chaps :)


so, more mustang mayhem...


..after shaping the basic filler construction of the airscoop, next was cutting out the air intake on the roof - I made a template from the drawing..




..then with filler & dremal work I got the rounded sections done..




..after this I had toreskin the inside as the skins I put in earlier had a join line down the middle and the real one doesn't. To dothis I lined the interior with tape and drew out the boundaries to when I remove the tape I can unravel it and get a template for one piece of rivetted litho to dress the inside in one go..




..next I wanted to get the positioning right so I can partly skin the scoop in aluminium and fit it so I can add all the fuselage skinning later on.. This took the entire morning to get right as it is such a critical feature of the airframe (not helped by the plans I was using having it in the wrong position too far back...)


I put tape on the mating faces and added tiny drops of CA to hold it in position so I could add the filler - this process was then reversed to I make the part match the fuselage - the net result is the parts fit together seamlessly...




..it was also braced inside before I started so the filler didn't collapse under load...




..then the fist bit of ali skinning on this model - coincidentally the first on my Spitfire was also an air intake..


..hard to see whats going on here, but on the right hand side is a sheet of soft ali under some masking tape - it is being held, rubbed,, stroked and tapped with a tiny hammer to start to conform to the shape of the roof. the black tape borders can also be seen at the nose - these leave an imprint in the ali so I know where the borders are. Its a  tricky shape as not only the shape of the scoop, but also the flaring at the top where it fairs into the fuselage...




..I end up with a useable part that has adopted the shaping well.. this was added with contact adhesive...




..then the other side - this time with the added complication of the intake aperture..




..it proved impossible to do the little intake in one piece so I added another in the inlet,,, then after cementing all the tape is removed and we have the base layer of ali down... you can see it's quite rough and creased in places, but this all sands out...




after sanding aout all the defects the first sking is done & just needs finessing & rivet details but I will leave that until later








..the intentionj is to get all i can done while I have access (so a bit of the wing surface where this sits needs to be done too) and then fix the scoop in place,, the nose intake is next and that is going to be a real challenge




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Amazing craftsmanship...again. Peter you obviously have to think two or more steps ahead before even starting the skinning of the exterior. Do the drawings give any clue (there has to be a sequence on the drawings otherwise things go pearshaped in tight corners) or do you decide yourself?


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evening ladies, and thanks for your kind words :)


so I have skinned the front fairing of the intake..


first the inner liner was added and rough cut to the edge, this was later sanded & filed flush with the intake lip..




..then the outer skin, I thought the best way was to try and wrap it as near as possible and try to get the join out of sight at the bottom...




..the skin had one good straight edge along the panel line of the first part so this was the reference point from where everything else must follow - this was taped down so as not to move in the beating process..




..at this point the ali is coaxed to follow the compound curves with a mini ball pein hammer - this is a long process of tapping all the creases into flats...




..ultimately the metal gives way and the shape is good enough to stick down. I use contact adhesive and in this case was lucky I could unfurl the metal so as to hinge via the adhesive tape along that top panel line - that way it just folds back perfectly into position. Then more tapping and cutting and the result is a rough leading edge, but good enough to work with...






..this is then rough sanded & filed to get near to a finished surface... the photos show where I still need a few tweaks, and will try and add a sliver at the join line, but overall a tricky part is done..












..until next time..



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evening & thanks chaps :)

On 1/12/2019 at 9:45 AM, GazzaS said:

Amazed.  When you say contact cement...  are you meaning like the spray on rubbery stuff?  Can you post a pic of the brand, please.




Thanks Gaz - I did a couple of tutorials which covers all you need to know :)


Skinning in metal


Skinning compound curves in metal



Been working on the air intake and the exit duct - after wondering if the interior was painted I found this shot of another aircorps P51 and can see where there is closed airframe it's painted and where there is airflow it's natural metal so thats what I went with...




inside the underwing airscoop is an oil cooler (I think) that is oval and sits in the formed fairing seen above - behind that is a big square radiator (I think) - I made the radiator from scored black card and litho framing (from a plan, and oddly the dividing bars are offset like in the pic) and I made a balsa form to vacform the fairing the oil cooler sits in...




..this was the skinned while still in the form - I left it in and just cut away what I didnt need later on - vacforming over balsa causes the plastic to virtually bond with it as there are so many airholes in it...


..I have started to tap in the indentation with the ball end of my ball pein hammer..




..I forgot to have the oil cooler made in my etch run so I had to make it - I just used pipe screens but had to join two down the middle..




..and the finished assembly - this sits nicely in the airframe...




..the exit duct on the model was out and it was hard to make sense of where the internal skinning is so I just made a pack of parts from the plan so I knew it was right..




..some ultra violence was then committed...




..to make the two interface together...






..this was then rough filled with P40..




..another exit duct was needed so this was laid out...




..and a bit of primer to see what's what...








..lots more work to do as the exit duct especially is quite a complex collection of shapes & fillets...




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