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Paul Juliano (scale_model_dad)

North American P-51D Mustang 8th AF

With my Spitfire project on hold waiting for parts and a burning desire to complete a WWII fighter, I picked up this kit to tide me over. Petie 2nd here we come!


5 | 29. April 2020, 18:12
Roland Gunslinger
Looks great so far 👍
What metal color are you going to use?
12. June 2020, 12:56
Clifford Keesler
Looking good.
12. June 2020, 14:38
Paul Juliano
Thanks guys! Roland I've got several shades of Alclad Aluminum that I'm going to lay down. The majority will be highly polished aluminum with panels picked out for other colors.
13. June 2020, 11:58
Clifford Keesler
Will watch this one, I have the same kit. So will like to see how yours turns out. Get a lesson or two.
15. June 2020, 20:08
17. June 2020, 15:05
Clifford Keesler
That is looking awesome.
17. June 2020, 16:30
Paul Juliano
Thanks Clifford! I really needed some encouragement, and you're Johnny on the spot with that. It's not bad from three feet away, but when you get close you can see how unforgiving those BMFs can be.

I had that super nice gloss black surface and then when I was doing the wings, my airbrush backed up and splattered the body. I got most of it off but there's one ugly place I missed. As if that wasn't enough, I masked around the wing root with tape and then attached paper to the line of tape, but some of the spray got under. I thought, "Oh, I bet that'll be fine."

It was not fine. You can definitely see the difference in shine, but I'm honestly feeling like this is one of those "learning experience" kits and not one of those (elusive) "showroom quality" kits.

There are some places I think I'm going to sand down very, very lightly. I think going back and doing a full sand/repaint is too dang much for me though. I'm pressing on.
17. June 2020, 19:23
Paul Juliano
Well, I think I overcame some of the issues from yesterday. Using some very fine micro mesh pads, I polished and smoothed the finish of the fuselage and a few spots on the wings that were bugging me. The polishing helped the whole surface a bit, not just the parts where I had to repaint. Then I laid down some paint and it looks pretty good. Not stellar, but not horrendous either.

I think one of my problems is the thinness of the Alclad paint combined with my airbrush skill. I have a bad habit of leaving the air off but the needle pulled slightly back. With other paint that's not as much of an issue, but with Alclad it beads on the tip and I get a bit of splatter.

You can see the dots on the fuselage if you look closely, but if anyone asks it's water marks from a rain storm. Right guys?
18. June 2020, 13:55
Giannis Kaltapanidis
Just don't left them get too close Paul. Put some obstacles in between 🙂 🙂 🙂
Anyway I can't even spot the problem. I like what I see. Most probably will blend after weathering.
And there is always that rain storm...
18. June 2020, 17:57
Clifford Keesler
It still looks great Paul. You are a braver man than me. I have a bunch of Alclad paint, but have never tried to paint an entire airframe with it. It scares the you know what out of me. I use it for bits and pieces, but never an entire airframe. I guess my 2 Tamiya P-51's or one of my T-33's will be my learning tool. My biggest fear is trying to mask over it.
19. June 2020, 01:53
Paul Juliano
Thanks Clifford. I tend to jump into the deep end of the pool on things (which is a bad analogy since I'm a terrible swimmer), but I always learn a lot. Masking over it is a challenge, but if you use low tack tape you should be good. Or you could put a coat of Alclad Aquagloss over it which is supposed to not dull the paint like a normal gloss coat would over Alclad. Haven't used it though, so I can't really comment. I have some, but the warning on the label has me nervous to use it. It's like "Don't let this dry in your airbrush or you're screwed!" and it makes me nervous. Like, I clean the thing religiously but still!
19. June 2020, 14:30
Clifford Keesler
I have used 1/2 of a bottle of it, but it has been over Vallejo acrylic Metal paints. I will try it on the Alclad's.
19. June 2020, 20:46
Paul Juliano
We've got a blue nose now! While I'm really happy with the masking job I did, I'm pretty bummed about what the tape did to the Alclad finish. Nothing peeled off, but the texture of the finish changed and you can really see the tape marks. I'm going to try polishing it a bit with some very fine micromesh cloths tonight and see if I can make it look a bit better.

Before I put down the blue, I debated on spraying the whole thing with Aquagloss, but eventually decided against it. The polished aluminum had dried for a few days, so I thought I'd be safe. Plus I wanted the nose to be a bit matte as it is in the photo, and the thought of masking and trying to matte just the nose didn't seem appealing.

Next time I do a BMF I'm going to try: polish surface > gloss black > metal > aquagloss > masking > metal > aquagloss.
24. June 2020, 13:24
Roland Gunslinger
That looks very nice 👍
The Alclads METAL seem to be a bit problematic. So far I've only tried the "normal" enamel Alclads. After drying, they are very robust. However, it is not worth the stench to me 😄
I think you can polish it!
24. June 2020, 14:12
Paul Juliano
Roland - if you can't polish it out, WEATHER it out!
24. June 2020, 14:33
Clifford Keesler
Looks nice. Hope you can polish out the tape marks. I always de-tack my tape some when masking NMF's just stick the tape to the top of your hand a few times.
24. June 2020, 22:17
Nathan Dempsey
Looking nice Paul.
24. June 2020, 22:23
Paul Juliano
Ok, stick a fork in this build cause I'm calling it done!

I decided against doing a panel wash on this one, because I was too afraid I'd screw up the paint even using an acrylic wash. To be honest, I'm not sure it really needed one anyhow.

Looking at the photos, there are a few decals I may treat with Mr. Marksofter to try to take care of some slight silvering, and I do need to fix one of the gear bay door position. But those are minor things that are more repairs than adding to the build.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with how this came out, especially since it's my first (completed) aircraft build and my first extensive bare metal finish. I like the lightly weathered look it's got, and I think it'll make a decent addition to the display case.

Thanks to you all for the encouragement and advice!
9. July 2020, 12:34
Roland Gunslinger
Beautiful result 👍
9. July 2020, 16:44
Nathan Dempsey
Looks great Paul. I've been doing aircraft for years and I'm still terrified of metal finishes. The fact that you took it on for your first is a big THUMBS UP!
9. July 2020, 17:10
Top finish indeed!
9. July 2020, 17:29
Clifford Keesler
Excellent job Paul, I love it.
10. July 2020, 00:31


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