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Clay Lacy's P-51D 'N64CL' a.k.a. 'Miss Van Nuys', early 70ies (REAL WORLD!)

Started by Dizzyfugu, October 31, 2017, 09:42:53 AM

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Dizzyfugu

Heresy, I know, since this IS a real world aircraft model. But it turned out well and it might be a source of inspiration, so I present to you (and duck away) Clay Lacy's North American P-51D 'Mustang' Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) a.k.a. 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies:


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr




Some background:
Between 1964 and 1972, Clay Lacy, founder and chief executive officer of Clay Lacy Aviation, found time between flying for United Airlines and running his private charter business to fly his P-51D Mustang in every Unlimited class air race in the United States. He served as president of the national Professional Race Pilots Association from 1966 to 1970.

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1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Clay Lacys's Mustang 44-74423 was built in 1944 and has a long history record and went through several previous identities:

1950: RCAF 9595, Nov 8 1950 -- Aug 14 1959
1958: Jul 21, N6517D, James Defuria / Intercontinental Airways
1959: Nov 11, Madison Aviation Corp, Canastota NY
1959: Nov 12, Naylor Aviation Inc, Clinton MD
1959: Nov, N182XF, N.American Maritime Corp, Cambridge MA
1962: Oct 02, Hamilton Aircraft Co, Tuscon AZ
1962: Nov 01, Hillcrest Aviation Industries, Lewiston ID
1964: California Airmotive Corp, Burbank CA - Clay Lacy pilot
1966: #64 purple, N182XF on tail at Lancaster Air Races
1970: N64CL, Clay Lacy, Van Nuys CA
1976: "Miss Lois Jean"

In 2013 the machine made it to the Reno Air Races for the 50th time, even though N64CL only showed up for static display - but still looking great and in flying condition.


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


When the aircraft was bought in 1964, Al Paulson, a good friend and business partner, had acquired an airline flying to Hawaii called Orchid Flight. The paint scheme included a purple stripe, but there was a mix-up in the paint order: Instead of 50 gallons of paint, the purchasing agent ordered 1,500 gallons! As Lacy recalled: "Al asked, 'Have you thought about what color you want to paint it?' I said, 'No, I really haven't.' He said, "Good. We'll paint it purple! People remember purple. They'll call it the Purple People Eater. They'll love it!'


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Flying with the character "Snoopy" painted on the tail of his signature purple race plane and with a Snoopy plush figure in the back seat, Lacy consistently placed second and third in the competitions, but aspired to win first place in a major pylon race. In 1970, Lacy claimed victory as national air race champion in the Unlimited class.

The following year, he also placed first in a cross country race from Milwaukee to St. Louis and in the St. Louis Fighter Pilot Air Tournament. He also won first place in The Great Race from London, England, to Victoria, British Columbia flying a Learjet.


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr





The kit and its assembly:
A real world model and the result of being given a set of decals for this eye-catching Mustang in private hands for free. The kit is the very nice and reasonably priced Adademy P-51D kit, and it was almost fully built OOB.

But some adaptations had to be made in order to come closer to N64CL: in the cockpit, a second bucket seat was added and a Snoopy figure improvised - carved from balsa wood. The separate flaps of this kit were mounted in slight downward position - even though mounting them was a fight, they did not fit well (at leat for me). Furthermore, the complete propeller was replaced by a post-war model with uncuffed blades (from Quickboost) and mounted on a metal axis with a styrene tube adapter in the kit's nose, and a retractable taxiing light was added in the port side landing gear well. Different blade antennae were cut from styrene sheet and replace the original mast antenna behind the cockpit.


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting and markings:
The decal set for this P-51D comes from Flying Papa's from Japan - a recent trophy from a Group Build (for which the violet A6M2-N Rufe was built). I simply liked the machine's bold color, and since a uniform livery is not that compliccted, I tackled the project.

The decals themselves are excellent: totally sharp print, a very thin but stable carrier film. I was a little sceptical at first, because the film is matt and a continous sheet, so that everything has to be cut out individually. But the decals were easy to apply and adhere well to the underground that the carrier film almost disappreared completely, and I used softener only on the large wing numbers (because they cover aileron fairings resulting in bulges). Sweet stuff, even though, once dry, the decals turned out to be rather touchy and delicate.

Anyway, even though the decal sheet comes with rough painting instructions, it lacks detail info like interior colors for the cockpit or the landing gear, and it is not really clear at which point of time N64CL is represented by the markings. I assume that it is the Mustang's look shortly after  the 1970 Reno Air Races win, as far as I can tell, but I am not sure.

For the distinct overall purple tone the sheet recommends FS 17142, which is, AFAIK, a color officially called "OSHA Security Purple". It is a color exclusively used in the USA for emergency and warning signs.  According to the background info the machine was painted in mishappened surplus tone, but I think the OSHA purple comes close to the real tone, though. But  since the machine had been re-painted in purple at least once and even appears with a metallic shine in some pics (probably an additional flip flop effect coat, added more recently), who knows for sure...?

Well, it's the overall impression that counts. Unfotunately I was not able to come up with FS 17142 from local suppliers, but eventually found a good local replacement in RAL 4003 "Erikaviolett". The acrylic paint I used for the model was individually mixed for this occasion and filled into a rattle can by a car supplier - custom paint! This purplish-pink tone is a tad lighter than OSHA Security Purple (reminds a lot of the Pink Panther?), but on the small scale model this is no flaw - and both tones are very similar to each other.


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

After having been mostly built, the canopy sealed with Maskol and all major openings covered and filled up with wet paper tissue, the kit was fully painted with the rattle can.
In order to emphasize the engraved surface details a thin black ink was applied, but no post-shading, since the aircraft appears everywhere in pristine condition. Finally the kit was sealed with a semi-matt acrylic varnish, mixed from gloss varnish with a bit of matt, and applied with a flat, soft brush. The finish looks IMHO good, too: there's some shine and reflections, but not as harsh as a high gloss finish (which also reveals more flaws...).

The interior details were a bit tricky. The cockpit was painted with Zinc Chromate (floor) and medium grey (side walls, canopy frame, dashboard). The landing gear as well as the wheel discs became white - the latter is confirmed by many pictures of N64CL's exterior.
The spinner is all-white, too, while the propeller blades received a shiny Aluminum front side (Humbrol's Polished Aluminum Metallizer, which is very bright), while their back became matt black.


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51D 'Mustang', Clay Lacy's Air Racer N64CL (44-74423) 'Miss Van Nuys'; Van Nuys Airport, California, early Seventies (modified Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr




A colorful aircraft, despite the simple livery, and a nice addition to all the camouflaged aircraft models in the collection - and a good stablemate for my fictional 'J├Ągermeister' He 100 racer. Hmmmm, purple!  ;D

PR19_Kit

Terrific job Thomas!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

LOVE the colour, and the back seater is great too.  ;D

And who cares that it's RW, it LOOKS as if it's a Whiff.
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Old Wombat

Quote from: PR19_Kit on October 31, 2017, 12:32:53 PM
Terrific job Thomas!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

LOVE the colour, and the back seater is great too.  ;D

And who cares that it's RW, it LOOKS as if it's a Whiff.

Says it all! :thumbsup:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

KiwiZac

Zac in NZ
#avgeek, modelbuilder, photographer, writer. Callsign: "HANDBAG"
https://linktr.ee/zacyates

Dizzyfugu

Thanks a lot. This one turned out nicely, and it's a real eye-catcher.

zenrat

I'd call that hot pink rather than purple but hey, could be my monitor as it matches your reference pics in the relevant photo above.

Very good.  Nothing wrong with posting the odd RW build.
:thumbsup:
Fred

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

Old Wombat

Quote from: zenrat on November 01, 2017, 03:05:03 AM
I'd call that hot pink rather than purple but hey, could be my monitor as it matches your reference pics in the relevant photo above.

Me, too.
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

NARSES2

Decals my @r$e!

Dizzyfugu

Quote from: zenrat on November 01, 2017, 03:05:03 AM
I'd call that hot pink rather than purple but hey, could be my monitor as it matches your reference pics in the relevant photo above.

Very good.  Nothing wrong with posting the odd RW build.
:thumbsup:

Yes, it looks very pink-ish, a very deep tone. But officially it's a purple tone!

Tophe

[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

KiwiZac

Quote from: Dizzyfugu on November 01, 2017, 07:44:43 AM
Yes, it looks very pink-ish, a very deep tone. But officially it's a purple tone!
Everyone calls it purple, and from memory one of the reasons they painted it this way is because no-one else had a purple Mustang! Here's an interview with Clay (filmed in front of the Mustang) about his and its history:
https://youtu.be/B9uvUVdB20w
Zac in NZ
#avgeek, modelbuilder, photographer, writer. Callsign: "HANDBAG"
https://linktr.ee/zacyates

TheChronicOne

It's "light purple."   ;D


It looks great, T!!!   :bow: :bow: :drink: :cheers: :party:

I love stuff like this.  :lol: :lol:
-Sprues McDuck-

Old Wombat

The colour in the video looks totally different to the references & is definitely a light metallic purple. :unsure:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


Dizzyfugu

It's really hard to tell a true tone from pics. Light plays a major role, but also the camera, the film (any pic that old is just a scan or a repro), and especially your screen/display. Never trust what you see indirectly.
I also dug up lots of pics of N64CL, and the FS17142 recommendation from the decal sheet is IMHO a very good choice - even though I do not have a first hand sample of the tone, either. I just do not have access here to this US tone, so RAL 4003 turned out to be a very good fall-back option, even though the tone is slightly lighter. But at the kit's small size it's a good scale effect compensation.

Besides, as mentioned above, there IS in some pics a light metallic/mother-of-pearl shine on the aircraft - but that seems to be a more recent effect varnish applied on top of the original purple tone. Confusing, but AFAIK the machine was in a solid tone in the early Seventies.