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Warbirds Replicas P51 Mustang

P51D and P51B Proposed new versions

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Ron Gray31/05/2020 07:00:31
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Look at Danny Fenton’s thread, Hawker Nimrod, to see what he tried on that build (including Flite Metal).Here

Edited By Ron Gray on 31/05/2020 07:20:14

Martian31/05/2020 09:42:06
2529 forum posts
1163 photos
Posted by Eric Robson on 30/05/2020 23:05:44:

Never mind Martian , just fly it inverted! Still looks good . What span is it?

Cheers Eric

55" I think

Jonathan Sharland02/06/2020 22:31:57
26 forum posts

HI all, very excited about this plane arriving.

Just getting some bits together to be able to start this build when it arrives. I have a couple of questions.

What tools other than the usual (craft knife, sandpaper / permagrit, razor saw) Should I look to invest in to make my life easier?

What size build board will I need my current one is for building small VMC rubber powered models.


Peter Jenkins02/06/2020 23:35:37
1603 forum posts
266 photos


Plasterboard makes a good building board. Flat and it will take pins quite easily. You can get your supplier to cut the board to size or take a circular saw to it.

I use the SLEC Plan Protector over the plan and that has worked brilliantly.

In addition to your existing tools, a pillar drill is a good long term investment.

Good luck.


SR 7103/06/2020 01:42:54
452 forum posts
140 photos

I always use a stanley knife and a straight edge to cut plasterboard, cut the paper backing one side crack the board on the cut it will fold over then cut the back side with it still folded, you get a nice clean cut, cutting with a saw will leave a rough edge, its always cut with a knife in the building trade

Piers Bowlan03/06/2020 09:32:33
2154 forum posts
53 photos

Jonathan, I expect you have one but a steel rule for cutting balsa strips is essential, I have one, two foot and one metre lengths. A set of engineering T squares are very useful too. A razor plane I would classify as essential too.

Welcome to the forum by the way.

Paul Johnson 403/06/2020 11:56:43
761 forum posts
473 photos

Hi Jonathan,

You ill be pleasantly surprised with Richards Kits. The 'Plan' is usually an outline drawing only as the model tends to fit together very well and has jigging to obtain the correct washout/dihedral.

Have a look at the Spitfire build and you will get a feel for how the kit will be.

Oh and with all these sharp instruments, don't forget the plasterswink

(Glynn you stocked up mate?)

Jonathan Sharland04/06/2020 20:58:24
26 forum posts

HI, Thanks for all your help and advise. I have been reading the Spitfire builds with great interest. I am not sure if they fill me with confidence or make me more scared of what I have got myself into....

Hopefully someone else will post lots of pictures and do a P51 step by step build or Richard might get a few stupid questions from the build newbie..

So other than the tools any idea of the parts we will need to complete the build, trying to get a shopping list of stuff drawn up so I can spread the cost (hide it from the wife).


Paul Johnson 404/06/2020 21:19:37
761 forum posts
473 photos


I would start by find a good 'example' of a colour scheme that takes your interest. That alone can be a challenge. There are many to choose from. Don't worry about the how to either, there will be plenty of info here as and when the kits are released.

Any extras can be 'acquired' as the build progresses.

Jonathan Sharland06/06/2020 21:53:20
26 forum posts

HI all,

I found this link while looking for P51's. Lists pretty much every variation of P51 I have seen...

P51 markings and colours

Might be useful when thinking about what colour you want to paint and if you want a B or D....

Have fun


Peter Jenkins07/06/2020 02:13:38
1603 forum posts
266 photos

Jon, that's a useful link but it fails to show very much of the original specifier and user of the Mustang, the RAF.

The Mustang was borne out of a visit by a British Purchasing Commission who in Jan 1940 wanted North American to licence built P40s for them. By April 1940, the Commission had decided that the P40 was not longer suitable for European combat conditions so they agreed that NA could submit its own design to the Commissions requirements. Considering that NA had only built trainer aircraft (the Harvard being the most well known) they did well to meet the Commission deadline of 120 days for the first prototype. Much is made of the laminar flow wing employed but when assessed in the UK the boffins did not think that had much effect but rather the use of flush riveting and the quality of the skin joins plus the very clean lines of the design (including the ventral radiator) was responsible. None of this would have happened had it not been for the British order and the Mustang would never have been born. Also, the British and French had placed orders for 11,000 aircraft on US industry and the British then also placed a further 22,000 orders after the fall of France. This allowed the US companies to prepare for production so that when the US entered the war in Dec 1941 the US aircraft production capacity had been well and truly primed. Apparently, had this not been the case, it would have taken around 3 years for the US aircraft production capacity to build up to the required level and the war would have extended for much longer - but that's another story.

The Allison engined Mustangs performed very well at lower levels, up to 20,000 ft after which the single speed single stage supercharger failed to keep the power up unlike the Merlin which had a 2 speed 2 stage supercharger with intercooler. The Mustang Mk 1, 1A and 2 (P51 and P51A US designation) were therefore used for Army Cooperation and Tactical Reconnaissance by the RAF and the USAAF. RR took up the idea of replacing the Allison with the Merlin 61 and when this was approved by both the UK and US, the true value of the Mustang was finally realised. The first Merlin Mustang flew in Oct 42 and proved a great success. The combination of the design brilliance of North American and the technical brilliance of RR combined to make the Mustang the success it became. The Mustang's long range was enhanced by it's performance at altitude where it could now outperform all piston engined German fighters.

The Merlin was licence built by Packard for all the production Mustangs from then on. The P51B (designated P51C for those built at Dallas) became the Mustang III in RAF service. The RAF retrofitted the Malcolm hood to all their Mustang IIIs and some USAAF Mustangs were also fitted with Malcolm hood which provided better visibility than the standard B model canopy. In Feb 44, 19 Sqn was equipped with Mustang Mk IIIs and were transferred to Fighter Command.

However, the real solution to better rear vision was a bubble canopy and that followed in short order after a major re-design to the aft fuselage. The first P51D, Merlin Mk IV (also designated P51K for Dallas built models). The RAF received its first Mustang Mk IV (P51D) in Sep 44 and their first task was to fly long range fighter escort for USAAF bombing raids into Germany pending the buildup of the USAAF's Mustang force.

I think that there were around 12 RAF squadrons that operated the Mustang Mk IV (P51D) and a lot more operated the Allison engined Mustang. As it happens, I'm using the Polish RAF 303 Sqn for my P51D build and their aircraft look like this:

mustang 08.jpg

I just thought it worth setting the record straight as regards how the Mustang was born and what made it the huge success it became in the final D model. The British contribution to both was vital.

Paul Johnson 407/06/2020 06:26:17
761 forum posts
473 photos

Peter, a nice piece of history and Jon as I said a lot to choose from.

I bet that makes deciding easier now...!!!

I believe that a lot of the pilots that flew both types actually preferred the razor back version as it was slightly faster.

I have always looked for a particular pilot or event from history that I found inspiring for my subject. I have chosen one particular dare devil's escapades in particular as it portrays the typical fighter ace guts and determination. This being the Berlin Express.

But it can also be from something you have seen at a air show or museum that inspires you.



Edited By Paul Johnson 4 on 07/06/2020 06:27:05

Paul Johnson 407/06/2020 06:32:56
761 forum posts
473 photos

Berlin Express

Ron Gray07/06/2020 08:58:02
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Oh, I was going to do that one Paul, I'll have to look for another subject now  cheeky

Edited By Ron Gray on 07/06/2020 08:58:18

Paul Johnson 407/06/2020 09:01:20
761 forum posts
473 photos

There's always room for one more.... then we can compare notes..

Peter Jenkins07/06/2020 10:23:17
1603 forum posts
266 photos

Don't forget the Eagle Squadron folk. The 3 squadrons that were eventually mostly staffed by Americans were 71, 121 and 133. Take a look at Wikipedia. When they transferred to the USAAF, the 3 squadrons stayed together and became the first operational fighters for the USAAF as the 4th Fighter Group and as 334, 335 and 336 Fighter Squadrons retaining their Spitfires until they were replaced with P47s and then P51s. Some of the Eagle Sqn pilots were:

It is reported that Pilot Officer Art Donahue DFC stayed with the Eagle Squadron only a short time before requesting a transfer back to his original RAF unit. He did not appreciate the unruly behavior of many of the American pilots. He was killed in action in 1942.[13][14]

Captain Don Gentile was a pilot with 133 Squadron, claiming two air victories, and by March 1944 had become the 4th Fighter Group's top ace in World War II, with 22 aerial kills.

Colonel Chesley "Pete" Peterson had 130 sorties with the Eagle Squadrons and became the youngest squadron commander in the RAF. When the Eagle Squadrons were transferred to the 4th Fighter Group, Peterson became the group's executive officer, succeeding to command of the group in April 1943, and becoming at 23 the youngest (at the time) colonel in the USAAF.

Colonel Donald Blakeslee was a pilot in 121 and 133 Squadrons during 1942, making 120 sorties and claiming three aerial kills. He became deputy commander of the 4th Fighter Group under Chesley Peterson, then commanded the group from January to October 1944.

More choice!

Incidentally, some of the Polish pilots were also seconded to the USAAF to help to train up the newcomers and the RAF helped to teach current fighter tactics to the American fighter pilots.

Peter Jenkins07/06/2020 10:41:10
1603 forum posts
266 photos
Posted by Paul Johnson 4 on 07/06/2020 06:26:17:

I believe that a lot of the pilots that flew both types actually preferred the razor back version as it was slightly faster.

In my first posting in the RAF, I met an old Sqn Ldr who it turned out had flown Mustangs in WW2. He first met a Mustang (a Mustang II with the Allison engine) when he joined a Squadron (I never did ask which one) in North Africa. His Flt Cdr asked if he'd flown Mustangs to be greeted with "No". So, he was taken out to the aircraft, sat in the cockpit, given 20 mins instruction on the instruments and handling, had the engine started for him, and then told to fly it for 20 mins. He landed, and they loaded 2 x 250 lb bombs and he was told to fly it for 20 mins to get the feel of it. After landing, he was dragged off to a briefing while 2 x 500 lb bombs were loaded and he joined the Sqn in his first operational ground attack.

He'd been warned to "unload" the aircraft (gentle nudge forward with the stick) as he released the bombs as otherwise it was possible for one to hang up and when you pulled out you had 500 lb on one wing only! He duly unloaded and pickled and in his desire to get out pulled too hard and blacked out, coming to with the aircraft pointing vertically up. He decided the best solution was to continue with the loop and then escape. The old hands looked on at the new boy and raised their eyebrows at this aerobating under fire!

When they transferred to the Merlin-engined Mustang III they had to learn not to nurse the Merlin along, as had been the case with the Allison, as otherwise the plugs fouled up. A lesson no one felt up to passing on to an Air Cdre who came down to fly with them. He was used to the Allison engine and nursed the Merlin along. As he had chosen to lead the squadron, the rest followed at nurse speed but would break out of formation to give the Merlin some stick to clean the plugs before rejoining. The Air Cdre thought this very odd behaviour and named them the weavers for their actions!

He was also the first pilot to bale out of a Mustang and survive! All others had been hit by the tailplane and died. He was fished out of the Med and stood up at briefing the next day to recount how he did it! Well, he said, I just dived over the side aiming for the wing trailing edge!

He preferred the Mustang III (B) as he was a short chap and when he went to the Mustang IV (D model) he found that he couldn't see as well to the rear 3/4s looking down as the bubble canopy sloped up at the back. He was mostly involved in ground attack as opposed to air defence. Apart from that, he didn't seem to have a preference for the Mk III. At lower levels, it may have been the difference in supercharger settings that gave the B the edge over the D but I've not seen this as a general comment on the difference between the B and D model.

leccyflyer07/06/2020 11:06:46
1481 forum posts
324 photos

Berlin Express is the scheme chosen by VQ Models for their new 60" span ARTF P-51B, featured in this month's RCM&E shopping roundup pages.

Ron Gray07/06/2020 11:06:49
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Apologies if this has been posted before, but nice Mustang site here.

Paul Johnson 407/06/2020 11:24:48
761 forum posts
473 photos

Hi Ron

Nice site, thanks.

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