How to Build a 1/32 Scale Old Crow P-51D
by John Greiner
been wanting to build the 1/32 Hasegawa kit for quite some time but
lacked the “inspiration” to do so! Well,
that was more than slightly
of after I
had the extreme pleasure of attending the 357th FG Reunion 2000 in San
it was an honor to meet, hang out with and somewhat get to
about and held in extremely high esteem since childhood.
Bud a few times now, and it’s to him I dedicate this model.
I’m sure we all have seen plenty of “bio’s” on the P-51, so I’ll save
that! So lets
The Hasegawa 32nd scale P-51D kit has (from what I understand) been on
time now. Upon opening the box,
you’ll see a kit with
detail. For my taste, some of the
panel lines are quite deep
are more “dramatic” than needed, but overall, a model that’s for the most
Akin to Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale P-51D kit, there is no option to have the
I opted for
a set of the Paragon resin flaps. Along
with a Verlinden
detail set (part
# 787) and
True Details resin wheels, I was ready to tackle the beast!
Normally, I open with working on the cockpit, but seeing I had some
do for the
started with the wings. Using a
razor saw attached to my
knife handle, an
removal of upper and lower flaps from the kit wings was quickly
fitting the Paragon flaps, the first of MANY headaches
Paragon flaps are very nice, cream colored resin with ample detail.
a tad too
short. The inboard (fuselage end)
of the flaps “tuck under”
in the up position. This is what
exposes the length problem. Minor
fuselage area where the flaps tuck inside is also required.
used some 5
sheet styrene to form the extension of the flap and filled
Once dry, the green putty was given an “overcoat” of CA to
to the kit instructions and they begin with assembly of the
This is pretty
forward and goes together without any problem.
Verlinden cockpit and this is where most of my headaches
The Verlinden cockpit set is some of the most finely molded resin you’ll
parts is first rate and is easy to remove from the castings.
cutting the kit instrument panel “dashboard”.
Also, sanding the
of kit items is required. With that
done, I began the
assembly of the
right sidewalls. Using both resin
and photo-etched brass
easy, with one BIG exception. Verlinden
has a habit of being
placement of their parts. Lots of
“arrows” pointing in a
direction is not
my idea of
proper instructions for a DETAIL set. I’d
like to point out
were with the cockpit sidewalls. One
glaring example is
in NO way
can possibly fit the way the instructions call for.
vague and I think I ended up placing them a tad too far back,
making the seat fit once I had to put it in!
I opted to
use the kit instrument panel. I
felt it was very adequate in
detail. I did however
lower middle part of the kit instrument panel and used the photo
up were the radios. According to
the Squadron “P-51D Walk Around”
radios included in the Verlinden update set are the BC-457
receiver. I believe Bud’s
“Dog” was a D-10, so I’m not sure if
radios or not! The Squadron book
describes these radios being
Nonetheless, after painting flat black and some dry brushing of
acceptable to me!
Back to the kit instructions and from here on out, everything is fairly
attention needs to be paid to the engine assembly.
There are no
engine. It just sorta sits
there!!!! I suggest applying glue
bottom of the
stacks and giving the engine a firm place to sit in that
I drilled out the
stacks for a more realistic look along with the oil cooler vents
together, it was back to the Verlinden “experience”.....
I opted to use the kit oxygen hose rather than making one out of copper
pin-vise and drilled out the holes in the canopy brace, rather
scale photo-etched part.
Next was the seatbelt/shoulder harness assembly.
These are comprised of
photo-etched pieces!!!!!!!! Quite
time consuming, but when
certainly looks pretty good!
As mentioned earlier, when the time came to put the seat into the
it was too
Hence, some sanding of the trim wheel was in order.
sidewalls just a
tad too far
back, making the sanding necessary....:-(
together, it was time to mask the cockpit shut and commence with
Painting and Decaling:
In preparation for a “natural metal” finish, I painted the anti-glare
(olive drab) and
(insignia red), prior to my NMF. I
decided to have a try
This is the one “sore spot” for modeling a natural metal
is used, be it enamel or acrylic, silver/natural metal finishes
scratch on your kit. With that
prominently in mind, I used
love for the “primer” to the SNJ.
and germs, it’s “Future” acrylic floor wax.
thin to moderate coats of Future over the entire model. When
model a very smooth “canvas” for the application of your
The SNJ was then applied in two thin to moderate coats and
was at this time that I also dipped the
clear parts in
set them on a piece of wax paper to dry. The
glass!! *Note....when using SNJ, be
careful to NOT over spray
rudder paints onto the surfaces where the SNJ is to be
This happened to
me, and the
SNJ appeared a slightly different texture in the areas where
the smooth surface of the Future. I
was able to buff the
out, but it
was a scare at first!!
Where do I
begin?? As many of you are aware,
there are NO 1/32 decals
market today. WHY, I ask!!!
After some serious “brainstorming”
I came up
the idea of
taking the decal sheet from the 1/48 scale Hasegawa
has Old Crow on it, and enlarging the sheet 150% via a color
sheet, I then copied the enlarged decals onto the decal
sheet. Once that was
I shot a few coats of Microscale Decal Film over them to
I was all
set!!! Boy, I was wrong.
not sure what happened. Possibly, I
didn’t seal them with enough of
Whatever the reason, they didn’t work.
to Old Crow
are the words “Old Crow” (obviously!!), the fuselage codes,
serious head scratching, I came up with the idea of tracing
templates. (I copied off a few
extra sheets, thankfully!).
some pretty time
template construction using plain ‘ol masking tape as the
knife blade, I was ready to paint the fuselage codes and
on the cowl.
As you can see, I think they turned out pretty good.
Is it perfect?
But in lieu
of NO 32nd
scale Old Crow markings, I’m very happy with how it turned
for the nose checkerboard (one of the kit options is “Butch
insignia and parts of the serial number on the tail.
either hand painted or spares from my decal dungeon were
I’d like to state that because I had problems with the Verlinden cockpit
doesn’t mean I
recommend it! Just be VERY careful
with the placement of the
components! As I previously
mentioned, the detail is top
clear up the instructions! Also
recommended are the True Details
tread pattern and they don’t give that terrible flat tire
Weighted, yes. Flat,
Decals? Well, we can only
wish, for now. Hasegawa now offers
Yeager’s “Glamorous Glen III”, so between the two kits, it’s
Baby” and “Glamorous Glen III” using kit decals.
To build Old
happy with the finished product and also hope this article will be
builders of this kit. With over 30
other P-51’s to model in
keep the memory of the 357th alive!
One final “postscript”..... Merle
Olmsted informed me that NONE of the
the 357th ever used the wire antennae mounted from the front
stabilizer, through the canopy and attached to the back of
The radios used by the 357th did not require this.
As you can
see in the
conversation with Merle AFTER I used “invisible” thread to
saying goes, “live and learn”!
Acrylics, Tamiya acrylics, SNJ Spray Enamel.
Around, P-51D #7, Squadron/Signal Publications
Mustang “In Action”, #45, Squadron/Signal Publications
Yoxford Boys” by Merle C. Olmsted, Aero Publishers, Inc.
357th Over Europe” by Merle C. Olmsted, Specialty Press
Mustang”, by Larry Davis, Squadron/Signal Publications
Mustang Restored”, by Paul Coggan, Motorbooks International
Aces of the Eighth Air Force”, by Jerry Scutts, Osprey
conversations with Merle C. Olmsted.