Tamiya 1/48 P-51B- Distracted By Shiny Objects

The shiny paint is on the Mustang. As with the F-86D Sabre Dog, this model is a “training ground” for further use of Tamiya’s metallic paints, decanted and applied with an airbrush. With the Sabre Dog, I learned some lessons that helped this Mustang have a better look. And I found I still have a ways to go.

For the panel shading, I found that I like to paint the darker/lighter colors first, in spots, and then mask those off, before applying the final overall shade. I typically see it done just the opposite- paint the whole airframe the base color, and then apply masking to isolate various panels, etc. However, on the Sabre Dog, that method seemed very tedious, and required a lot more masking. Additionally, in masking one area, it often blocked off another that needed paint.

So on this Mustang, I reversed it. I did a darker shade around the exhaust panels, masked it, then mixed a color from the darker silver and final silver I’d use, and sprayed various panels. I then masked them, and sprayed the airframe the overall color.

Because the Tamiya metallic colors dry so fast, I was able to do this in one session, painting, masking, painting, masking, etc.

I really liked the result.

Of course, there is the bad news….

I still didn’t do adequate surface prep. Any metallic finish will show blemishes like they’ve been spotlighted. This model is an improvement over the F-86D, but I still saw that there are areas that need attention. (Yes, I could go back and redo all of those… not going to though… just get on with it… always more models… 🙂 )

Next up will be masking the various other colors that need to go on the airframe.

By Jon Bius

Jon Bius is a scale modeler, building models in a variety of genres, including Gunpla, Maschinen Krieger, Star Wars and other scifi. Through his blog and video channel, Jon shares the tools and techniques he uses to produce results than anyone can achieve - and have fun doing so!

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