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P-51D Mustang Racer
"Hi-Time II"

in 1/144 Scale

by Alex Bernardo


North American P-51D Mustang Air Racer
"Hi-Time II"


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Here is Academy's 1/144 P-51D Mustang finished as the 1960s Air Racer, "Hi-Time II". 

This model depicts an aircraft that took second place during the 1964-closed course race in Reno, Nevada, flown by E.D. Weiner.  I picked this aircraft because of its eye catching zebra-striped paint scheme.  E.D. Weiner had a second aircraft for unlimited class cross-country, which was overall black and white checkerboard.



Construction Comments


  1. There was no cockpit to speak of, so I cut open the fuselage to begin construction of the cockpit.   The entire cockpit made of various sizes of sheet plastic, which included:  Fuselage ribs, main instrument panel with drilled out instrument bezels, side control console, various gauge panels on both sides of the cockpit, Cockpit floor, new seat with seat cushion and painted aluminum foil for seatbelts, Rear fuel tank, control stick cut from copper wire, and main instrument panel shroud.

  2. As an air racer, the wingspan was shortened to 30 feet.  Using a razor saw, the tips from the main wing and horizontal stabs were cut off.

  3. Made oil cool vent doors from sheet plastic.

  4. Trimmed off the existing exhaust ports.  Drilled holes and inserted small pieces of copper wire.  The wire was painted with Polly’s flat rust acrylic paint.  Dried brushed with Testor’s flat steel enamel paint.  Painted the ends with Floquil flat black enamel paint.   Finally, given wash, which was mixture of PolyScale clear flat and a few drops of PolyScale flat grimy black acrylic paints.

  5. Boxed in the main landing gear bays w/ sheet plastic.  The main landing gear doors were too thick for 1/144 scale. The doors were filed down to 1/3 of the original thickness.  More definition was added to the belly doors by creating templates from paper-thin sheet plastic and gluing them into place.



  1. Since this is an air racer it should have an unblemished look.  With that in mind, the majority of the recessed panel lines were filled in w/ small strips of styrene and super glue, and then sanded down and then polished to a smooth finish.  Panel lines around the engine and wing root were retained to show some definition.

  2. The kit came with one prop hub without props to give the in flight appearance and another hub with props for static display.  The in flight hub had the correct size and shape.  The static hub had gaps and the shape and size was incorrect.  I removed the prop blades from the static hub and attached them to the in flight hub.

  3. The existing canopy was used as a male mold for creating “Heat-n-Smash” canopies.

  4. All artwork was done on my home computer.  I printed the artwork on Cannon bubble jet printer and took them to a local printers called “Insty-Prints” and had the art photocopied on to decal paper.  Subsequently, coating the decals with Micro Scale liquid decal film to ensure the decals don’t bleed in water.  Luckily, the model was painted overall white, which provided an excellent back ground for the decal.  This helps the decals retain the color brightness of the artwork.



Painting and Finishing


  1. The model was painted with a base color of Tamiya flat white acrylic paint.   I hand painted the zebra stripes using Floquil’s flat black enamel paint.  I used my hobby knife to scrape off any mistakes with the black paint.

  2. I applied one coat of Tamiya’s clear gloss acrylic paint.  After the paint has dried, the decals were applied.   Next, I applied three more coats of clear gloss to help smooth out all surfaces.   I left the model alone for four days to ensure the paint has cured properly for the next step.

  3. All surfaces were repeatedly polished with the following sandpaper grits: 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12000.   Remarkably, the surface transformed into a glass like finish.  I did not wet sand the surfaces.  I thought the water would break down the acrylic paint.

  4. I cut pieces from an old cotton T-shirt and used them to apply and remove very thin coats of Nu-finish car wax.  I removed the wax as soon as it dried.


Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Alex Bernardo
Page Created 02 June 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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