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.
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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.
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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.
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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