Sunday, January 5, 2014

P51 Mustang for Bolt Action

One of my favorite things about Bolt Action, besides the modeling, is learning about history. I have been running this blog now for about 8 months or so and in that time have learned so much about WW2 history, all because of the models and units built. I make an effort to do some research whenever I build a model and find great historical images. And it's the same with the most understated unit in Bolt Action, the airplane.

In the game the airplane doesn't really have a 'model' space, its more comparable to an orbital bombardment, it's just there, it happens. But having the airplanes actually there makes it much more cinematic and real, I really recommend it.

I bought this set for about 30 bucks, it has three planes in it, all in the 1/72 scale, which is perfect for Bolt Action, as long as you use a nice long basing stick. Here's the first one I did, the spitfire for the British Eighth Desert Army  and it was time to set my sights on the P51 Mustang. The kit comes with a version from the Battle of Britain, early war, but my US army is based on the late war North Italian campaign, so I had to choose a different unit. While browsing I spotted this picture:
and I quickly found out that these crazily painted planes were from the illustrious 31st Fighter Group. You can read more about this illustrious fighter regiment right here, but for now I can tell you they were among the most decorated fighter units in WW2 AND they were instrumental in the late war in Northern Italy! I found a great image of one of the few still active birds....
...and chose that as my guide. Here's the finished model. Note that the plane above DOES NOT have customary camo green anti reflecting coat, instead it's black. In all other, authentic images, it's green and I am not sure why they painted it black when they restored it.
Here's a quick play-by-play of the build:

lot's of masking tape
mistakes...i painted the red lines reversed....
after I redid that, I gave the plane a salt bath
then washed it with black and let it dry, then weathered the decals
The salt ate away at the paint a bit which gave it a nice weathered look
I was not able to find out why the numbers on the back fin were painted over, but that is really how it was

Here's my model, with the weathered decals
and here it is on it's stand. There is a little guy on the bottom to show the length. The stand is a bamboo skewer, about 12 inches tall.
I finished this model on Christmas morning but I was sidetracked by other stuff until now. Here's our Christmas morning breakfast table
Closing out I will leave you with a few little tidbits

the logo of the 31st fighter group....

Official paint scheme if you want to do it yourself
and this awesome action shot of the other version of the mustang, within the same regiment

Hope this inspires!
SC Mike

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