Author Topic: P-51C Mustang III; AN-Q/FZ450 of South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Italy 1944  (Read 1813 times)

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Online Dizzyfugu

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1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Some background:
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October.


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). Production of the P-51B/C began at North American's Inglewood California plant in June 1943 and P-51s started to become available to the 8th and 9th Air Forces in the winter of 1943–1944. The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B/C model transformed the Mustang's performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, allowing the aircraft to compete with the Luftwaffe's fighters. Among the almost 4.000 Mustangs of this variant built a quarter was supplied under Lend-Lease to the RAF as the Mustang Mk III. Some of these machines were also passed to other Allied forces, e. g. the South African Air Force (SAAF) in the Mediterranean theatre of operations.


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The first SAAF Mustang IIIs were operated by No.1 Squadron in Italy, starting in early 1944. This unit had just ceased operations in North Africa and was then tasked with patrolling the beaches where the landings for the invasion of Sicily were to take place. At No.1 Squadron the new machines gradually replaced and Spitfire Mk.VC fighters, but they just came too late to provide fighter cover at the Anzio landings on 22 January 1944, but the machines became fully operational when the Squadron then moved to Italy and supported the assault on Rome, claiming 16 enemy aircraft destroyed during this battle.


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1 Squadron remained in Italy for the rest of the war operating as a fighter squadron but also flying ground attack sorties towards the end of the Italian campaign from airfields in Cassano, Scanzano, Gioia del Colle, Palata, Trigno, Sinello, Marcigliano, Orvieto, Foiana, Rimini, Bellaria, Forli, Ravenna and finally Lavariano. All SAAF aircraft were generally camouflaged in the British style and all carried RAF serial numbers and were struck off charge and scrapped in October 1945 .


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr




General characteristics:
    Crew: 1
    Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
    Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
    Height: 13 ft 4½ in (4.08 m)
    Wing area: 235 sq ft (21.83 m²)
    Airfoil: NAA/NACA 45-100 / NAA/NACA 45-100
    Empty weight: 7,635 lb (3,465 kg)
    Loaded weight: 9,200 lb (4,175 kg)
    Max. take-off weight: 12,100 lb (5,490 kg)
    Maximum fuel capacity: 419 US gal (349 imp gal; 1,590 l)
    Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0163
    Drag area: 3.80 sqft (0.35 m²)
    Aspect ratio: 5.83

Powerplant:
    1× Packard V-1650-7 liquid-cooled V-12, with a 2 stage intercooled supercharger,
      delivering 1,490 hp (1,111 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 1,720 hp (1,282 kW) at WEP,
      driving a Hamilton Standard constant-speed, variable-pitch four blade propeller (diameter: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)

Performance:
    Maximum speed: ~440 mph (383 kn, 708 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
    Cruise speed: 362 mph (315 kn, 580 km/h)
    Stall speed: 100 mph (87 kn, 160 km/h)
    Range: 1,650 mi (1,434 nmi, 2,755 km) with external tanks
    Service ceiling: 41,900 ft (12,800 m)
    Rate of climb: 3,200 ft/min (16.3 m/s)
    Wing loading: 39 lb/sqft (192 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (300 W/kg)
    Lift-to-drag ratio: 14.6
    Recommended Mach limit 0.8

Armament:
    4× 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) AN/M2 Browning machine guns with 380 RPG
    A pair of underwing hardpoints for a pair of drop tanks
    or bombs of 100 lb (45 kg), 250 lb (113 kg) or 500 lb (226 kg) caliber



The kit and its assembly:
This one is a very subtle whif, since the South African actually operated the Mustang III during WWII and from bases in Italy – but not as early as outlined in the background above, and by No.5 Squadron. Anyway, the original inspiration for this build was a profile of an RAF Mustang III from the same era – and I found the livery in Dark Green/Dark Earth/Mediterranean Blue very retro, if not disturbing. Moreover, the respective machine also featured yellow ID bands on tail and wing tips, plus extensive yellow wing leading edges. A colorful machine and this concept might be improved through exotic markings…?


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The kit is the 1:72 Academy P-51B/C, which I deem to be a very good offering. Ample detail, very good fit, anything you can ask for and for less than EUR 10,-. The model was built almost OOB, the only changes I made are lowered flaps (Academy’ P-51D kit even comes with separate, parts, in this case I had to cut the flaps out and re-mount them) and a modified propeller with a metal axis and a styrene tube adapter in the nose section.

Even though the kit comes with a variety of underwing ordnance (a pair of bombs, metal and cardboard drop tanks and Bazooka missile launchers) I left the wings clean.


Painting and markings:
For the SAAF aircraft the paint scheme of the RAF Mustang was simply adapted. Upper colors are RAF Dark Green (Modelmaster) and Dark Earth (Humbrol 29), while the underside was painted with USN Blue-Grey (Modelmaster) as a lighter alternative to RAF Azure Blue or PRU Blue.


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


All yellow markings were created with generic decal sheet (TL Modellbau), and the spinner was changed from the RAF’s standard Sky to red (as seen on almost every SAAF Spitfire). I also omitted the typical Sky fuselage band – in my sources it can only rarely be found on SAAF machines, the RAF used this ID marking much more frequently over Italy.

The decals come from a Xtradecal sheet for various Spitfires, including a No.1 Squadron machine in desert camouflage, even though the tactical markings were puzzled together/improvised. The national markings’ orange central discs really stand out, though, and together all the other rel. strong colors the Mustang ended up as a rather colorful bird. The only flaw is the size of the overwing roundels: these are huge, at least for a Mustang, but I stuck to them for the consistent overall look.


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The aircraft’s serial number was taken from an AFAIK unused batch, but it should fit into the model’s timeframe. Even though RAF machines did not frequently carry nose art, I added a short victory tally under the cockpit, both on port side only.

All interior surfaces were painted with conservative tones: the cockpit and the landing gear wells became Zinc Chromate Green, while the landing gear covers’ insides were painted Aluminum. Only the wheel discs are a bit off-standard: in a book I came across an USAF Mustang with red wheels, and in order to add some individuality I chose olive drab as an alternative (and less striking) tone.

After some soot stains around the guns and the exhaust stubs the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (Italeri).


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 North American P-51C Mustang III; 'AX-Q/FZ450 'of the South African Air Force 1 Squadron; Forli-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna/Northern Italy, mid 1944 (Whif/Academy kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



A simple build and not spectacular, realized in just four days. It's pretty subtle – even though the many different colors on this Mustang make it IMHO look more like a fake than it actually is?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 05:43:22 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline PR19_Kit

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It's pretty subtle – even though the many different colors on this Mustang make it IMHO look more like a fake than it actually is?


No, Thomas, it looks GREAT in that scheme.  :thumbsup:

I must admit to being positively biased toward RAF operated Mustang IIIs and IVs, but yours looks just different enough to be REALLY interesting.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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

Regards
Kit

Offline TheChronicOne

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Heeeeeeeeeeck yeah, buddy!!

 :bow: :bow: :drink: :cheers: :party:

That looks sooo good! One of the BEEFIER 'Stangs I've seen and ain't nothing wrong with that.  :mellow: :mellow: :lol:
-Sprues McDuck-

Offline nighthunter

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That is awesome!
"Mind that bus." "What bus?" *SPLAT!*

Offline TomZ

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Looks very very good.
Great pictures too!

TomZ
Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency

Online Dizzyfugu

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Thank you very much, glad you like it. I did not expect such a positive feedback on this one, since this 'stang looks pretty "normal" and came to be without transplantations or anatomic corrections.

Concerning the beauty pics: it's once more interesting how effective a paint scheme can be (well, if you think the yellow bands away...) when the object is placed in the surroundings of its potential operations?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 05:36:56 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline zenrat

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Good job Dizz.
 :thumbsup:
Fred

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

My name is Commander William Riker.  Take me to your women.

Offline Old Wombat

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Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

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Offline NARSES2

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Works very well  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline DogfighterZen

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Nice Stang, looks good in that camo and, great pics as always. :thumbsup:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"