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Painting the 1/48 Tamiya P-51B

April 16 2013 at 5:11 PM
Michael  (Login WildeSau75)
HyperScale Forums
from IP address

Hi guys,

I have some question about the best approach to paint the 1/48 Tamiya P-51B.

I added the fuselage to the wing part but didn´t add the elevators yet.

Would you agree to now start painting the plane - without adding the clear parts to the canopy - paint the elevators separately and add them afterwards. The same for the flaps.

Then adding landing gear, propeller, etc.

I am still sometimes unsure about the best approach - what the paint first and then attach later and what to attach first and then paint when fixed on the main model.



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Tony Bell
(Login threedingers)
HyperScale Forums

I would attach the horizontal stabs and canopy before painting

April 16 2013, 5:47 PM 

You'll have to mask the canopy anyway, so you may as well paint it with the rest of the model so it is properly integrated.

Likewise for the horizontal stabs. Assuming that you're doing an OD/NG scheme, if you paint the NG first it's a simple matter to mask the undersides off before applying the OD.

In both cases painting after assembly avoids the problem of getting glue on your finish.


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John Hannigan
(Login Dora_Nine)
HyperScale Forums

Re: Painting the 1/48 Tamiya P-51B

April 16 2013, 8:28 PM 

It might help to know what scheme you are painting. I just finished a OD/NG one, and I left them off till I finished.

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(Login jimmbbo)
HyperScale Forums

The scheme makes a difference

April 16 2013, 10:28 PM 

My goal is to minimize masking that prevents overspray. Assuming the parts fit is adequate and do not require filling:

Canopy ON in either case... has to be masked anyway, and can fill in any gaps with white glue before painting.

Stabs - if OD/NG, I'd leave them off to get a good fuselage line,m and a simple painting top/bottom of the stab. If NMF, would put them on and spray away.

Flaps off - no downside to painting them off the model, and allows good coverage of the wing root and wing cove.

After decades of study, it has become obvious that Murphy was an optimist...

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Don McIntyre
(Login DDonSS3)
HyperScale Forums


April 16 2013, 11:01 PM 

If you're going to brush paint the canopy sections, leave them off until after you've got the main painting finished, in other words, paint them separately. Then add them using white glue or your favorite equivalent. Otherwise it can be awkward to get to certain frame sections with the fuselage in the way, unless you're something of a contortionist.

Don McIntyre
Clarksville, TN

"The more I deal with people, the more I like my dog."

This message has been edited by DDonSS3 from IP address on Apr 16, 2013 11:02 PM

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(Login 86Sabreboy1)
HyperScale Forums

Because the Tamiya P-51B is a "shack and bake kit" you could leave the elevators off

April 17 2013, 3:17 AM 

That is to say it has superior fit and finish where the parts interface. Most other kits on the market are not so precise. However in general it is probably best to fit the elevators first for a couple of reasons. First, to ensure proper alignment of the stabilizers themselves. In the case of the P-51 they should be perfectly horizontal when looking at them from the nose aft. If alignment is not optimal with the kit parts as is with reasonable seam lines you would have a problem making a correction with them painted without marring the paint itself.

Second, applying glue to painted surfaces is going to create a weaker bond between the parts and could result in a failure at some point down the road if any stress is put on that particular area. While the glue will remain bonded together, paint from one side of the join or the other may give and the part comes loose. Depending on the glue you are using, it can also lead to the glue pressing outside of the area to be bonded together as the parts are pushed together and once again marring the paint correspondingly.

With regard to the canopy and/or windscreen I prefer to glue them on at the end of the project. I use either Elmer's White glue or two part epoxy to glue these parts as these glues will not create fogging of the clear areas. If model cement, weld (10X, or Tamiya liquid cement) or CA (super glue) all of these glues are likely to create fogging of the clear areas due to gassing out of their chemicals through the curing process. White glue or epoxy do not create this problem. White glue will be a weak bond with the aircraft fuselage but if left untouched will remain bonded for years. If compromised it can be easily scraped away and re-applied in the same manor it was used the first time the canopy/windscreen were applied.

I believe in god and the only thing that scares me,,,,,,is Keyser Soze.

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Brent Sterling
(Login Brent47)
HyperScale Forums

DO NOT attach the canopy first...

April 17 2013, 9:32 AM 

or you will end up with a silvery looking edge that makes your model look like a model, even toy like. Treat the canopy as a separate kit. Learn the Future dip method and carefully mask the canopy before painting. If modeling the canopy closed, mask the entire interior. Airbrush the interior color over the frames first, then the exterior color being careful to paint the edge also. This painted edge will eliminate the the silvering and make the canopy appear thinner and more realistic.

Forty-Sevens don't got carpet!

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Pip Moss
(Login pnmoss)
HyperScale Forums

I don't think there are hard-and-fast answers to this

April 17 2013, 11:05 AM 

It depends on the individual kit and paint scheme. I personally always attach the horizontal tail before painting because a) it's not unlikely it'll need a small amount of filler and b) it's not very difficult to mask the under surface if necessary. As for the canopy, are you doing the Mustang in OD/NG or NMF? If the latter, the windscreen will probably be NMF while the upper front fuselage is OD, so it makes much better sense to paint the windscreen separately. OTOH, it may be better to attach the rear quarter panels before painting since that'll make it easier to mask the cockpit interior. Assuming you're building the kit with open canopy, I can't see any good reason to attach the central pieces before painting. OTOH, if you're building it with closed canopy, then definitely attach the whole canopy before painting because it will effectively mask the cockpit interior.

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