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1/18 P51C Mustang "Lopes Hope 3rd"


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On 7/14/2019 at 5:42 PM, airscale said:


..need to start getting the cockpit pod ready for assembly now, at which point the weathering will be added to make it a little less toy like..


I’m so glad to read you are finally joining in the camp of scale realism .... :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Hubert :popo:

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evening all :)


back with a bit more Mustang mayhem...


..in trying to get the cockpit 'pod' in a state where it is complete and can be fitted into the airframe, I have had to take care of many small details I had earlier left, thinking 'I will do that later...'


first up this sidewall..




..I had added the straps for the flare pistol cartridge box (the four little beige tabs), the landing gear handle I made from brass in a previous post, some black switch covers in the top switchbox along the canopy slide rail and a completely missing thing - the bomb selector handle & cover (with a red top)..


maybe seen better here..




and bomb release lever..




..the cockpit floor was also finished with the canvas cover under the seat with it's pop-off fasteners, and the control column was added and the boot/gaiter - these canvas parts were made with household 3" masking tape which I think worked reasonable well..






..then a step right out of my comfort zone... I can make anything mechanical - I take a look, break it down into shapes and make thise bits - here though the parts I needed to make were the seat back life preserver (I think) and the cushion... two completely organic shapes..




..I thought the life preserver could be made of milliput on a base of lightly curved & distorted plasic card covered in foil tape so hopefully once complete I could remove it as it wouldn't stick to it..


..then it was a matter of playing with the milliput and trying to shape with cocktail sticks to get creases - the button like things were tiny punched plastic discs..




..I added some piping from sprue & milliput and tried to paint it (another weakness...)




..same for the cushion, though this time a strap was added at the front from folded tape & foil brass retaining straps...




..I am not 100% on it and may try painting it again, but for now it looks like this...




..and at home in the cockpit...










..getting there...



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Peter, you attempt at the bottom cushion is far better than I could do with my first attempt.  The colour variation looks great. My only teeny nit would be the various crease coloration. They might be a itty bitty bit oversized. But that’s just the teeny-tiniest of things and is just the opinion of one looking to find what you might be concerned about. 

I really want to learn this metal art. It’s truly breathtaking.

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6 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

Peter, you attempt at the bottom cushion is far better than I could do with my first attempt.  The colour variation looks great. My only teeny nit would be the various crease coloration. They might be a itty bitty bit oversized. But that’s just the teeny-tiniest of things and is just the opinion of one looking to find what you might be concerned about. 

I really want to learn this metal art. It’s truly breathtaking.

Not IF he was making a tight turn at high speed and had the farts.............................. just a random thought........................

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50 minutes ago, GazzaS said:

Still Brilliant!


Every time I look into this build, I walk away with my jaw dragging the floor. Gazz, between your foiling and Peter’s Metal forming, I’m just flabbergasted by the artistry here. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks folks & hello again :)

I discarded the seat cushion (thankfully Ernie :))on the basis the pilot actually sat on a parachute pack which served the same purpose and in some ways I am glad as then the work on shaping the seat bottom can be seen..


I amanged to put myself out of action for a few weeks as I sliced my finger - not modelling but drying up a vegetable slicer - what a dumbo..


it gave me some time to do some design work that was overdue anyway and as I had been messing about with tiny bits of wire trying to do seat belts, I decided to create a small PE fret of seat belt parts, which ultimately grew as I went through the manual into an A4 fret with all sorts of other useful bits including window framing, gunsight parts, templates for the U/C doors and another set of panels that go around the exhausts as I want to try annealing them to get better curvature...




..that was about a weeks work...


also renewed my Rhino 3D trial and finalised the mainwheel..




made the gunsight - its some kind of N3 type but not much reference on the net on this particular variant, but I did have a few good Lopes resto shots to base it on..






and I love this shot of the signal pistol - I have the mount in the fuselage wall, but not the pistol or the metal part it mounts to.. - I wasn't going to include it at all as the gun would be too hard for me to design, but had a brainwave that enabled it..




..and here is the mount..




..now for the brainwave - it appears 1/18 is the scale of collector soldiers, and a company on the internet does small arms for them so I bought a couple of .357 Magnums for $0.65c each - bit of modification and we have a flare pistol :)




..I only need the handle..




..now for some parts that have been bothering me since I started - seat belts...


when I did my Spitfire, they were the parts I was least happy with - made with ribbon, they looked a bit duff if you ask me..


after playing with different tapes & ribbon, I tried rolling some lead wire - it worked a treat, but was too narrow, so I cut some lead strips and rolled them out until they were the right size.. the fittings were all PE and it all seemed to work quite well..








..they were primed, painted & washed & the paint scraped off the metal fittings - here before the hooking latch was added..




..in place with the cushion, I am much happier with these than the Spit :)




..the cockpit is nearly ready to close up..










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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi folks :)


been a while - it's got to a really tough bit of the build...


I got the cockpit pod assembled in a jig and got it in the airframe...






..the external sidewalls of the fuselage have also been added & faired in..


..I wanted to get the rear window area sorted so I started by making a plug for vacforming but once I had a go with my usual dismal success at vacforming PETG (I get distortion etc) I realised the curves are not compound really so I just bent some sheet in boing water and made a slit along the top rear edge so I could pinch it in a bit to get the upper profile..


..the windows were then set out and the covering removed - I had an etched template I did that matches the framing I also had done as these are really difficult to do freehand..


..also made the inner skins and the front former which were painted black on the outside & green on the inside..




..then added to the interior (carefully!) - the seam doesn't matter as it will be covered, and the little metal brace at the back is so far down the fuselage it cannot be seen..




..there are some gubbins on the roof of this area so these were made up in metal & plastic and wired up..






..then as I was about to add the assembly and fair it all in, I thought I had better get the front windshield fuselage area done as if there is any sanding, all the dust will get in the rear cockpit and I will never get it out..


..I had drawings - you can see the windshield drops down each side of the upper curve of the fuselage and actually the armoured glass panel goes right through this area..




..I made up templates as there is so much three dimensional geometry going on it is really (and I mean really) difficult to fabricate..


..one shows where the IP coaming is in relation to the windsheild, the long one is just the overall upper profile with a vertical where the rear of the front windshield is..




..I made up many more templates and plugs for moulding the windshield & coaming - I also spent days trying to figure out why things were not lining up before I realised the top of the fuselage was very lop-sided so the half-round template is to correct that..




..one of the coaming vacforms - this is wrong but each tester gets me closer... one thing I am struggling with is on many cockpit pics the panel does not look set back very far, but every factory drawing has it set quite deep - it has to be deep as that is where the panel goes in the cockpit pod, but it is a bit of optical trickery I am struggling with..




..so some overall shots of the mock-up windshield and the rear glazed area - once I get the plug for the windshield I will probably just plunge mould PETG panels in boiling water as this completely preserves the optical clarity and assemble individual panels to make it up..


lots and lots of fettling & thinking to be done in this bit...










..back when I have some meaningful progress :)



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'sup folks :)


just a bit more Mustang ramblings for your entertainment (hopefully :))


..I made up a new master plug to correct some shortcomings including not leaving overhangs at the back as can be seen sat on the wing - I used one of the pulls to just fill in some of where I have been chopping the fuselage about as I was starting to lose my bearings.. this is simply plumbers ali tape on the cockpit glass and a bit of litho to force the P40 filler into a nice profile of the fuselage..




..I then used the mould/plug as a basis to just form the windshield panels out of PETG one at a time. The method was to immerse in boiling water and once soft put on a 2 inch thick bit of foam and just press down until it hardened again. Without moving I then scribed the reference of some of the straight parts of the mould so I knew exactly how it sat on the mould..


..these blobs are soon turned into the panels themselves as can be seen at the bottom - i removed a tiny strip of the protective covering around the edges so I can assemble it, but still protect it - the fact there is virtually no aggressive heat in this process means they will be crystal clear :)




..sides are on the mould and the other parts coming together... the black sharpie edging means when you assemble it there is a visible trick where the thickness of the plastic just disappears..




..CA was carefully wicked into joints as it was held on the mould and presto, a windshield... I also formed the rear former from brass around the mould and with a bit of brute force & ignorance..






..as this bit starts to come together, I need to drop in the instrument panel so I can build up the coaming around it and ultimately the windshield - as such the parts were assembled ....






dummy instruments & bits were added to the back to keep it three dimensional..




..and dry fitted  in place...






..I have also started to form the coaming - tricky as it is inside the windshield so needs to almost touch it all the way round, but also be a rigid shape to go around the panel - you might be able to just see it here..




thats it for now, take care y'all :)



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On 8/21/2019 at 11:00 PM, shark64 said:

Probably the best modeler in the world 

pffff - get out of Dodge - that would be you Oliver -hands down :)

had a few days off so here we go again...


so, the Instrument Panel coaming - something looking so simple is anything but... - lets take a look..




complex shape that forms to an angular shape around the IP, see those air vents - there are 4 - two at the sides for the side windows, two at the front for the windshield - also there are two handholds, and a big rubber tube / impact strip along the front edge to protect the pilot...


..more on those vents & hand holds..




..this is version 4 of my vacfrom mould - it needs to fit the IP and fit in the windshield glazing almost touching at all points so has taken a while to get right..




..I pulled a copy in black plastic for no other reason than it was all I had in the right thickness... all the bits & bobs were fashioned from plastic from the drawings - the vents from card with a strip of litho & rod fittings, the hand holds, plunge moulded... at the back are two holes for a landing gear down light and a reset button..






..painted bronze green & detailed - the rubber is heat shrink tube, slit, kinked to get a flat and coaxed into shape, the gunsight mount is PE and the two holes have been filled with their bits from my box of watch spares..








..and dry fitted






..I also made up all the innards for the windshield, including the armoured glass mount (it will be two bits of glass laminated but hopefully will work..) and some inner framing I will cut to fit - the Xtracolour enamel I used is still drying - seems to be 12+ hours so I don't know if it's the levelling thinner I used or what, but I will have to wait until tomorrow to carry on





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