Tamiya 1/48 scale P-51 Mustang B & D
Work has started on a pair of P-51 Mustangs.   One is a "B" and the other is the"D" version, both are Tamiya 1/48 scale.  The cockpits are nearly complete.  The B has an Aires resin detail set while the D is basically out of the box. Since I had some extra Eduards pre-painted belts, they found their way in the OOB 'pit. 

The Aires set comes with a PE instrument panel and printed film for the dial faces, the back of which gets painted white before attaching the back of the IP with some white glue. Many modelers are intimidated by PE detail, in particular the IP.  With a little patience it pays off in the end.  The OOB "D" got some Mike Grant 1/48 scale instrument decals applied.  After drying a drop of Krystal Klear is added to simulate the glass but Future can also be used.  The knobs and switches are picked out with a silver art pencil and red paint with a sharpened toothpick. The overall affect is nice and a whole sheet of dials and placards is about $8 so there is enough for a bunch of cockpits for the price of 1 PE set.
Resin detail set w/PE panel
OOB cockpit with decals applied to IP
"B"                   "D"
Fuselage closed up and wings attached.
Basic airframe completed.  The D is the chrome plate Tamiya kit.  The part trees were soaked in bleach  to remove the chrome plating.  You never know what color is behind the silver.


I don't know if it is a reaction to the plating or the bleach but I did have some minor issues with glue joints, I use Tenax, on the D.  Shortly after taking these photos, the horizontal stabs came off and the seams on the wing leading edges opened up.  Since then I have been making sure that and gluing surface gets a couple of swipes with a sanding stick to get to "fresh" plastic. Seems (no pun intended) to have helped so far.
After cleaning up the mold lines on the LG, each strut was dipped in Magnesium buffing metalizer and drained on a paper towel. A Q-Tip cut in half was chucked in the Dremel and the parts were buffed. 
The brake lines and hoses are made from different sizes of solder and wire.  Solder is great for the flexibles hoses since it is so... well... flexible.  The straps are made from thin strips of aluminum HVAC duct tape.  This is thicker than Bare Metal foil and can handle some tugging to get it tight and in position.
The airframes were sanded lightly with 2800 grit cloth and then cleaned with alcohol wipes. The kind the docs use to swap your arm before they jab you with a needle.  A coat of clear gloss lacquer and 2 misted coats of Alclad II duraluminum.
A few panels have been masked and over sprayed with aluminum and dark aluminum.

Paint and Finish
I am not going to put a photo of every little painting detail... there just aren't that many... but if there was one detail that must be added, it's the red tail.
Click one of the photos below for the gallery.