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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.

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