Trumpeter's 1/24 P-51D Mustang "Nooky Booky II" Part 3

By Rodney Williams

Part 3: "Final Assembly and Finished Model"

Ah! ... Alas....this first photo puzzled me. On page 7, it shows the assembly of the right landing gear strut in Step 11. What is the "SPRING" for? At first glance,I said: "Hey, the gear oleo strut will move up and down like on the real aircraft."

The parts assembly show's that the spring, which has no part number, slips up inside the top section of the main strut, (Part #K2). The spring is then locked into place by a pin, which is Part # M29. The top torque link bracket, Part #J44 is installed, and then the lower section of the strut/axle combination, Part #K4+J32is slipped up inside of the upper shaft, Part K2.

Parts J9 & J43 are the two torque links, which have little protruding pins on the back of each side. These parts are press-fit into tiny holes in the two brackets, Part's J44 & J32. The front of the top torque link, Part #J9 has a tiny pin, which slips into the tiny hole in the front of the bottom torque link, which is Part #J43. We now know that the torque links will move up and down.


I think some one got the drawing screwed up!

Here's my solution!

If you install the pin first, Part #M29, then slip in the spring and then slip in the lower unit, Part numbers K4+J32, the spring should let the lower axle shaft move up and down after the torque links are connected.

I tried it and it worked just fine, but I encountered the next problem.

As you mover the lower shaft up, the spring will push it back down. Hey! That’s ok so I thought! We must remember that there is no "tongue and grove" designed into the parts, thus the axle shaft can rotate 360 degrees. The result of this rotation, as the shaft moves up and down will"pop" loose the torque links. I solved my problem by installing the spring, then the pin, and then super-glued the torque links together.

You will note in this photo, that the tail wheel is already installed before I began to align the main gears.The finished gear struts, were"white glued" into the very unstable square holes that are located up in the top of the wheel wells. The metal bars and sheets of pre-cut 90 degree styrene templates are my "Home Made" gear alignment jig, which I have used on my models for at least 15 to 20 years.

The white glue lets me align the gears at a true 90 degrees to the tarmac/table; forward or backward, so that they line up to a side and top view. And last, but not least, line up the gears, from a front view so that both tire/rim "combo"point's in the same direction.

I could have used super-glue........BUT......... if it dries to fast.........then I have a model with the main gears that are "out-of-alignment."

The sad part about this big model is: It's heavy, and just any type of table vibration, the model wiggles. Just touch the model, and it vibrates on the flimsily attachment points up inside the square holes. If only the Mustangs had an angle brace on the gears like the Corsairs and Bearcats. That would solve the problem.

I may add that the gears in my 1/48 & 1/32 scale P-51Ds do not have the "SHAKE'S" like this model does. In fact, I do not recall the same problem on my 1/24 scale Airfix P-51D kit, "Dallas Doll."

The tail plane was installed, along with the flaps, ailerons, drop tanks, pitot tube, canopy, landing light, prop, antenna post and including the 6 wheel well doors. If I missed anything......what can I say!

The rest of the photos shows my model outside on the cement, which is in front of our garage.

Please study the 3 black and white photos of the real aircraft in Part 1.

Here are some statements.

  1. Does this aircraft appear factory fresh or heavily weathered?
  2. Do you see the over spray on the left fuselage insignia?
  3. In one photo it shows a mirror on the canopy!
  4. In another photo, the mirror is on the windscreen and minus the canopy!
  5. There is no data block on the left front side of the fuselage!
  6. Notice the invasion stripes on top of the left wing in one photo?
  7. See how the red and yellow checker's are rubbed off.

Most modelers that I know follow a set of rules when building a certain model, especially when they display photos of the real aircraft with the model.

Now here are some questions:

  1. Do you think I over weathered the model?
  2. Would you add all of the invasion stripes on the top of the wing on your model? If you displayed the model with the real photo, that shows all the stripes, what would you do? Or would you only paint on the one white stripe, as to some author's "hear-say" that all but one white stripe was removed. We really need "Photo-Proof."
  3. Where would you put the mirror on your model? If you display the photo of the real aircraft with the mirror on the canopy, then the mirror should be placed on the canopy, and not on the windscreen. If you place the mirror on the windscreen, then you should display the model with the photo that shows it there, minus the canopy.
  4. Do you think it's wrong to use white glue to assemble parts on your model?
  5. Would you put a data block on your model, even though there's none on the real aircraft?
  6. Would you build a mold and vac-u-form a new canopy? Remember the "OOB" rules!
  7. Would you paint aluminum over the red and/or dark colored bands on the drop tanks?

I would certainly like some feed back on these questions.

Cheers and Happy Modeling

© Rodney Williams 2006

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This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016