North American’s P-51 Mustang has, of course, been the subject of kits from
many manufacturers, with the likes of Hasegawa, Monogram and Revell for example, all offering the type in 1:48 scale. One of the more recent 1:48 Mustang kits, however, is Tamiya’s P-51D. The kit consists of 54 grey plastic parts and four clear plastic parts, all of excellent quality. The surface is moulded with fine recessed panel lines. Before building my P-51D I collected together the references I would need and obtained the relevant detail set from Aires.
Aires detail set
The Aires set provides items for the cockpit, wheel bays and guns and includes a complete engine compartment with covers.
I began my work with modifications to the surface of the model, adding rivet detail by reference to drawings. My next step was to complete the cockpit. Here I added some additional small details to the completed resin assembly. The cockpit was finished overall in Aeromaster’s Interior Green acrylic, with weathering provided by drybrushing and washing with raw umber oil colour. The instrument glasses were simulated with clear varnish. I made a new canopy by vacforming, using the kit canopy as a mould.
Open access covers were made for the rear fuselage and complete interior structure was built for the tail wheel bay and the rear fuselage, from plastic and brass wire.
Next, attention turned to the engine compartment, paying careful attention to the exact geometry of the engine. The Aires engine was detailed with wires and other details. A black-grey colour was used on the engine, while the engine firewall was painted Zinc Chromate Yellow and the engine bearers and other structure were painted natural metal.
The wings were modified by the addition of the Aires wheel wells, which are very accurate and fit perfectly into the Tamiya wings. The wheel and gun bays were painted Zinc Chromate Yellow, but the undercarriage legs and doors were finished in aluminium. New covers need to be made for the gun bays, those supplied in the detail set being for a Korean War-era F-51D Mustang. The final construction work to be completed was on the tail section, where all of the control surfaces were deflected.
The model was finished as a P-51D used by Robin Olds with the 434th FS. I used markings from Aeromaster sheet 48-479, Mustangs Forever Pt 4. The model was airbrushed with Testor’s metalizer aluminium and after buffing a protective coat of varnish was applied. I then sprayed the black identification stripes on the wings and horizontal tail surfaces, using Tamiya masking tape for masking. An Eduard Express Mask was used for masking the canopy, its application being simple and the result perfect. After painting, the Aeromaster decals were applied with the aid of Micro Set and Micro Sol. After an airbrushing with clear varnish, the model was washed with raw umber oil colour. This final wash must be applied very gently, since the metalizer surface is prone to damage.
I have no complaints about this project, having chosen a good quality kit and supplemented it with an excellent aftermarket resin set. I enjoyed it entirely.
P-51D Aerodetail No. 13, Dai Nippon Kaiga
P-51D Walk Around No. 7, Squadron Signal
P-51D In Detail & Scale No. 51, Squadron Signal
Model Art No. 401
Monografie Lotnicze, AJ Press
Modelmania No. 3, AJ press
Five Aerospatiale SA 365F Dauphin 2s (Nos 244-248) were delivered to the Irish Air Corps throughout 1986. These twin-engined helicopters, which were equipped with the latest navigation, radar and flight-control systems, were to be used for short-range maritime search-and-rescue missions in adverse weather conditions, by day and night, up to 100 miles from the Irish coastline. Two of the Dauphin 2s (Nos 244 and 245) were also equipped for shipborne operations from the vessel L. E. Eithne of the Irish Naval Service.
The Dauphin 2s entered service with No. 3 Support Wing and were operated by the Search and Rescue Squadron and the Naval Squadron, which were combined and re-designated as No. 301 Squadron, No. 3 Operations Wing, in 2002. Commencing in 1987, the Dauphin 2s were deployed to Casement Aerodrome, Shannon International Airport and Air Station Finner, Co. Donegal, on search-and-rescue duties, until replaced between 1991 and 1998 by the Sikorsky S-61N under contract to the Irish Marine Emergency Service. On 1 July 1999, No. 248 was deployed to Waterford Regional Airport to provide 24 hour search-and-rescue service for south-east Ireland. On the following night this helicopter crashed during a search-and-rescue mission, killing all the crew.
The Dauphin 2s are also used for air ambulance missions, with stretcher cases inserted into the helicopter through the central door. The helicopters also fly VIP sorties, transporting the President, Cabinet Ministers and visiting dignitaries. Padded seats covered with blue material, with blue carpet on the floor, are installed in the aircraft for these missions.
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