Tamiya 1/48 scale
by Peter Kormos
It was no less than 14 years ago when I first saw Jun Temma's excellent P-51 "BERLIN EXPRESS" model here on Hyperscale.
I was instantly mesmerized by this interesting looking plane and decided that I would also like to build it one day. Planes go in and out of my "todo-list", but this one kept there and I finally started to build it a few years ago.
This is Tamiya's 1:48th scale P-51B model. I bought the kit along with an old Aires cockpit and wheelbay set, so apart from those I planned to build it with the minimal amount of detailing.
By know we know that P-51 wings were originally filled so I started with puttying the wing panel lines. I didn't want to do a perfect job there because it is also evident from period photos that the filler started to crack after a while and the panel lines got visible here and there.
The gun ports in the leading edges of the wings were not sharp enough for me, so I drilled them out completely and rebuilt this area from plastic tube and sprue bits milled to size.
I painted the cockpit and the gear bays Gunze interior green and after the fuselage halves were glued together I hid the seam line with a piece of aluminium foil at the back of the cockpit top.
During construction I found the rear view mirror too thick in the kit so decided to scratch build a new one. I knew it from my previous Tamiya builds that the propeller, spinner, flaps, wheels and the dog house are the weak points of the kit so I replaced them with PKTinyland aftermarket sets.
I used Alclad aluminium for the metal areas, and Gunze acrylic olive drab for the base coat. For decals I used the AeroMaster 48-288 - "Mustangs Forever, Part II" sheet.
I hesitated for a while whether to use the decals or paint on the checkers, but eventually went with the latter, so both those and the spinner colors match.
I only had one photo of the original plane and it showed perfect 15' invasion stripes on the fuselage. But the stripes on the wings didn't match for me. I long measured and thought about what could be with the wing stripes and eventually decided something similar that Jun deciphered from his sources.
I think it is the best place to debut my model here at HyperScale where I first saw this unique looking plane.
I would like to thank Doug Burger for selling me his copy of the AM decal sheet, Jun Temma for his thoughts about "Berlin Express" and Brett Green for maintaining the site!
Text and Images Copyright ©
2019 by Peter Kormos
Page Created 8 October, 2019
8 October, 2019
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