P-51 Mustang

By Julian Seddon

I saw this rather weather beaten Mustang at Goodwood a couple of years ago. It presented a challenge in as much as I wanted the weathering and to retain some shine at the same time. As I had not attempted NMF on this scale before I looked at the photo for quite a long time before starting!

Some of the Mustangs I had seen at another display at Duxford had some stressing of the metal. I started very lightly with this, it would be too easy to do too much and end up with it looking like fabric ! I finished this stage by digging into the fasteners so I could get a bit of pull on the "metal" from these. The 2nd and 3rd photos show this ( I hope !!)

I then painted the whole aircraft with 2 very thin coats of Alclad primer which I polished so they were perfectly smooth almost shiny. Then a coat of Alclad black polished checked for imperfections, but not too much, it was in any case going to look quite weathered. Polish and another coat of black and more polishing.

That completed, a mist coat of Alclad Chrome was applied. From this rather rough coat came the idea of leaving some frames with just one coat and putting another thin layer on the others I did not want to have to put a wash on afterwards as I thought that this might damage the shine. So, all the initial panel and panel line weathering was done by removing the paint to show the black through so it looks grey in various shades. The paint handles well and with a bit of polishing here and there even finger marks were removable - darkening yet another panel or two!

Just to make a bit more contrast I mixed a very thin coat of Tamiya clear blue and painted along some of the panel lines. Then I polished almost all of this off just leaving a hint. Seemed to work. To pick out the rivets and panel lines I mixed some Vallejo dark dust (almost black) with water and spread it over most of the aircraft bit by bit - but after a lot of dirty cloths were thrown out it did come out looking weathered clean and fairly shiny - sort of what I was looking for.

Looking back I don't how I got myself to start on this !! It took ages, as I am not too regular a modeler.

There are one or two other pix : I covered up the engine, having spent hours, on it as it looked too small, the seat in the cockpit was out for me to make another - the kit part was too small as well.

© Julian Seddon 2005

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