1/72 Airfix P-51D Mustang

Gallery Article by Carl Jarosz on June 6 2019

D-Day - Allied Landings in France in 1944



P-51D Mustang Tenn. ANG

The iconic P-51 didn't just die - get slit up with metal saws and smelted into aluminum forms, although countless were - after WWII. A number of them were given by Washington to the Air National Guard of each state to have a credible degree of protection for the states if needed. The period of Mustangs staffing the ANGs, however, was brief, as jets were being developed at a frantic pace, and it was inevitable that the early jet designs would begin to be sent to the ANGs. The P-51s were then either sold off to private buyers, or indeed scrapped.

Click on images below to see larger images

I built this kit basically out of box, but made seat and harness straps from masking tape cut to scale size. I have problem distinguishing the better between the Academy and Airfix Mustang kits, because they both are so well molded, with crisp recessed lines and interior/exterior detail. You can't go wrong building either kit; their fits are virtually perfect, with little putty required. 

I decided to go with weathering on the heavy side: For one thing, the WWII piston engine aircraft, whether they had radial or inline engines - generated a considerable degree of carbon soot upon start up; this built up unless properly maintained. Second, my resources said the degree of re-conditioning of the war aircraft was not uniform before handing the planes off to the state's ANG: some of them were on the verge of needing big time pistons, rings, gaskets, etc., overhaul. It didn't take too many flights at the state's ANG bases to find out which aircraft were worn out.

I used an after market decal sheet, Caracal's Mustangs in ANGs, after I built the kit with my usual mix of enamel aluminum spray paint, both basic aluminum and high (buffing) gloss, plus judicious strips of Bare Metal Foil. Finally, I noted from reference photos that the ANG aircraft added additional markings that weren't standard on the aircraft during the War. For example, the anti-skid walkway leading up to the cockpit from aft edge of wing was added, and not just on one side, but both. Details, details.

Carl Jarosz

Photos and text by Carl Jarosz