September 27, 2023


Just Do Automotive

Portray a P-51 Mustang – Mannequin Airplane Information

7 min read

If you start a serious warbird construct, you really want to present it your full effort. Not solely within the construct, however ending out as properly. And essentially the most satisfying end is to color her depicting the prototype fowl as carefully as you’ll be able to. With the nice period of time I had invested within the building the CARF P-51D, I felt I couldn’t skimp on the paint simply to get the job completed and transfer on to the following mission. Simply didn’t add as much as go low cost! And by low cost, probably not speaking {dollars} and cents, however in look. I had by no means absolutely painted a warbird with all of the markings however used vinyl “decals” as a substitute. Now, this does save effort and time, however they don’t fairly look the identical as painted-ons they usually might bubble-up underneath the solar in a while. So, I made a decision to go the “full Monty” and paint the markings over the fundamental paint job and provides it a go. I’m not an artist so I needed to have some assist alongside the way in which.

Paint masks are the way in which to go in case you are like me. Callie Graphics in NM gives paint masks for dozens, possibly lots of of warbirds that are scaled to fulfill the dimensions of the mannequin you might be constructing. The masks embrace the tough gadgets like nostril artwork and customized plane names which might require an artist’s hand to create. My selection of paint scheme for the P-51D was Hurry Dwelling Honey, and Callie was capable of furnish a two-part paint masks which duplicated the customized HHH script completely. I’ll talk about how this works later within the article.

The fundamental paint job requires a number of steps the identical as absolutely anything you might be portray – floor preparation and priming, coloration(s) portray, squadron markings, and customized markings. I selected HHH as a result of she had all of it: silver decrease fuselage and backside wing, olive drab higher wing and higher fuselage, Invasion stripes, stars and bars, white wing and tail flashes, victory marks, yellow rudder, checkerboard nostril, and matching spinner stripes, and naturally, a catchy customized identify on the nostril; Hurry Dwelling Honey in yellow and purple. I actually couldn’t ask for extra in a paint scheme. However, with all these colours and markings, there was quite a lot of work in finishing this paint scheme. Your complete job took 2 months of working (virtually) each day to finish. However, contemplating I spent 3 years, on and off, to finish the mannequin, probably not out of line with the general effort.

There are literally two variations of HHH; the WW II model and the present immaculately restored model you’ll be able to see at many airshows in the summertime months throughout the USA. This mannequin is known as a cross between the 2 variations. I started by learning the present model however after attending to the ultimate phases of building, I favored giving it the WW II look by configuring the cockpit to point out the complete navy outlay of seat armor, radio, battery, gunsight and some different particulars the present airshow model had deleted to make it a two-place, trendy cockpit. One factor that (presumably) modified someplace alongside the road between WWII and now’s that the rudder went from OD to vibrant yellow. The pilot is thought to have flown a number of P-51s on this livery, so, maybe one in every of them had the yellow rudder. I believe the case could possibly be made for both.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

First a shot of the finished fowl to get you within the correct body of reference. Small be aware on the historical past of this P-51D. Flown by Capt “Bud” Peterson. Personalised identify on the nostril was chosen as a result of his sweetheart and later his spouse, ended her letters to Bud with “Hurry Dwelling, Honey.” All markings besides the small nomenclatures have been spray painted. Nomenclatures are dry rub-ons and can be found from a number of distributors in varied scales. I wasn’t capable of finding any paint masks for this stuff. Lead picture and this one by Nancy Abby. The remaining of the pictures are my very own.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

WW II depiction of Hurry Dwelling Honey


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

I used to be capable of finding a very good shot of the scuffed surfaces earlier than priming.

Very first thing after building is to present the mannequin a very good floor prep after which some primer. I wiped/rubbed the composite materials with 3M Scotchbrite pads to scuff the surfaces and provides the primer some extra “chew.”

After the scuffing, I wiped the mannequin down with some oil and grease remover to make sure a clear floor. I used #190 cleaner from English Colour that works very properly and also will clear your mannequin of spent oil on the fuselage after flights. Subsequent you might want to discover a appropriate primer with some fast drying attributes as you don’t wish to wait 24 hours to dry earlier than sanding. I used English Colour #301 high-build gray primer – it’s dry earlier than you set the gun down. Structure your items and provides them a very good coat of primer. You possibly can sand it down later after all, however don’t over-do it on the primary coat. Be certain to not put a lot on that you just lose floor particulars like rivets and panel strains. Give the primer a sanding with the 3M pad is the perfect guess because it tends to not put on through the excessive areas as a lot as sandpaper. Moist sanding just isn’t actually required both. All my work was sanded dry, aside from the spinner and checkerboards.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Excessive construct #301 Gray Primer, Medium Dry Acrylic Lacquer Thinner #102 (for primer), Wax & Grease Remover #190, and paint respirator.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Fuselage primed. Make sure you masks off any openings into the inside. I left many inside parts put in as utterly stripping it down wasn’t required so long as the fuselage was correctly masked off.


So long as I’m about to speak end colours, I’ll add that I principally used Behr Flat Latex Exterior Home Paint aside from the silver coloration. Latex home paint can’t be tinted to look even remotely like silver or aluminum. So, I went to English Colour Paint Retailer to search out some automotive paint to do the job. Any automotive paint seller can customized combine a coloration for you at no extra value together with including flattener to the paint. Most automotive paints will be very harmful to breathe so make sure you by a rated paint masks that matches your face tightly. I discovered one which was underneath $20 and was good for 40 hours use – low cost medical insurance. Hold the masks sealed within the package deal it is available in and jot down the entire time used for every session.

If you go to Dwelling Depot or Lowe’s for home paint, make sure you take a WW II Mil Spec paint chip sheet for the pc matching. M&M Fashions provided one a few years in the past, and I used to be fortunate sufficient to get one earlier than they bought out. There are actually different sources for coloration chips, however I don’t have any sources to checklist. I wouldn’t suggest making an attempt to make use of these pictures for coloration chips on the paint shops; I doubt they would supply any usable outcomes.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Right here is the place I get the unique Olive Drab Shade 41 coloration.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Behr latex exterior home paint.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

That is the Devilbiss JGA paint gun used for the paint mission. Had it for 30-plus years, works fantastic for primer and paint. Polycrylic clear coat used after paint had dried – evens out the colours and provides a pleasant low sheen.



Upon getting issues primed, you’ll be able to transfer to your first coloration, in my case, the silver fuselage and wing and tail bottoms. I made a decision to color all the fuselage silver regardless of that solely the decrease half would find yourself silver. I wanted some weight on the tail finish anyway since I had carried out a pre-painting CG take a look at that confirmed her to be very nostril heavy. That doesn’t occur usually – warbirds are normally tail heavy.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Fuselage after the silver paint utilized. Observe masked off areas, particularly the windscreen and wing connect cradle. Inside of the cockpit and different areas should be shielded from any overspray high and backside.


Now comes the a part of the paint job that you should take your time with – including the higher coloration on high of the decrease. On this case, it’s the Olive Drab Shade 41 over the simulated aluminum silver.

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

First try at laying out the higher coloration masking. I had an issue on the nostril across the exhaust headers. The prototype reveals the paint line above the header manifold. Didn’t look proper as I needed to make a slight angle-up on the cowl. It doesn’t matter what the full-scale fowl reveals, typically you need to wing it. See the following picture.


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

Within the curiosity of look, I fudged on the road to make it straight from aft to ahead. Extra pleasing to the attention. The issue began with the sting of the cover body. I needed to decrease the road a contact to keep away from having the underside fringe of the body painted silver.


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

After including masking paper over the decrease fuselage and rudder, the OD shade 41 was sprayed. A number of gentle coats have been required because the latex must be thinned out to spray correctly. I exploit windshield washer fluid and Floetrol within the paint to make it a breeze to spray. Let every coat dry earlier than including the following. I used a warmth gun to hurry issues up. However watch out on the composite materials, it may be broken with an excessive amount of direct warmth.


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Painting a P-51 Mustang

I’m glad I modified the paint line on the nostril. Very pleasing look.


Subsequent week, we’ll masks and paint the cover — the one factor you’ll be able to’t afford to mess up!


Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.