Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

Painting has begun! Many of the Mustangs in this batch will be in an overall Natural Metal Finish (NMF) or a variant. This is a misnomer in the case of the Mustang, as the wings were painted in an Aluminum lacquer to help preserve laminar flow over the wings after the panel lines had been puttied. I didn’t fill the panel lines, but the Aluminum lacquer was simulated by adding a bit of Alclad white primer to their aluminum. The fuselage, tail surfaces, ailerons, and flaps were Aluminum. The panels behind the exhausts were sprayed with Stainless Steel, cut with a few drops of Aluminum.
This is why I hate vinyl masks. The vinyl doesn’t like curved surfaces, here they have pulled up allowing the Interior Green paint underneath. Fortunately the kits provide both this type of canopy and the Malcolm hood, so there were spares to replace the worst of these. I used the vinyl masks as templates to lay out masking tape replacements, cleaned up the parts, and tried again. Hopefully Arma replaces these masks with Kabuki tape in future releases.
Loads of masking tape was used on these builds. First the camo, then the stripes, then antiglare panels and/or unit markings. Most of the models wound up getting three applications of tape before all the colors were on.
One aircraft wore a field-applied scheme using RAF Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray. The Dark Green is a mix of Mr. Color 340 Field Green and 123 RLM Dark Green, the Medium Sea Gray is 306. Something a little different from the rest of the herd!
The standard USAAF finish for the first few years of the war was Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. Sounds simple, but Olive Drab faded to a wide range of shades, and didn’t start out as a uniform color anyway. I filled the airbrush cup with mixes as I went down the line. In extreme cases the O.D. could fade to a shade close to the tan I used here but I didn’t go past a 50/50 mix.
Only rarely should something be truly black in scale, most black paint looks better if it’s lightened a little. The black on this model is a mix of Mr. Color Black and Tire Black. The base color here is Alclad Aluminum, with a lightened mix on the wings to simulate the Aluminum Lacquer. Stainless Steel was used for the exhaust panels, and the Bright Silver Candy Base was applied to the leading edges of the flaps.

Part V here:

11 thoughts on “Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

  1. ..I’m finding a little strange that you attach the gear legs… .but not the wheels. Seems like that’s asking for trouble. I always put both on together – after painting – to ensure the ‘sit’ is correct and the model is strong enough to support the handling that comes with decalling especially..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I go back and forth with all that. I prefer to stick a rod in the nose to act as a handle while painting, I put the gear on these so the paint could dry. I find the wheels just give me something bigger to hit and knock off.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A suggestion for the future: if you do your painting the exact opposite of what you have done here, you will vastly reduce the amount of masking you are forcing yourself to do. Do all the small stuff – the ID stripes, the antiglare panel, the D-Day stripes, etc., FIRST, then mask them off (which is far easier than masking off the entire airframe), then paint the overall airframe colors.


    1. I usually do it that way on most schemes, but you can see the layers under the Alclad on NMF finishes. I’ve done it intentionally to vary the tone of panels on larger aircraft, the Alclad takes on a different sheen depending on what’s under it.

      Liked by 1 person

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