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P-51D-5NA, 339th FG, Fowlmere


MikeC
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I'm doing a Revell P-51D-5 as part of a Group Build over on the Large Scale Planes forum https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/90601-p-51d-5na/

 

I specifically picked a subject, and a reserve, that I considered I would be able to do with masks.  My first choice is 44-13471, 6N*J, "The Comet" of the 505th FS, 339th FG, assigned to Capt Evan M. "Johnny" Johnson.  This has a name, a nose art I felt I could draw in the Silhouette software, red/white nose checks, and best of all (for me) full D-Day stripes.

 

I don't intend to repeat on here all I've posted there, but thought I could expand the masking-specific bits here for anyone who's interested.

 

My reserve is for the event that I fail to manage the nose checks, and has just a name: 44-13708, B7*I, "Duchess of Manhattan" of the 374th FS, 361st FG, Bottisham.  I have a certain fondness for Bottisham, I may even have to invest in a second kit and do that one!

 

So without further ado, here we go.

 

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To start with, a confession: I'll be using some small decals for the six kill markings, as I'm not that confident about cutting things that small.

 

The lettering and numbering was simple enough: I produced them in the text tool using a font called USAAC Code, which a fellow IPMS branch member pointed me at.  The serials are 8" high, and the codes 24".

 

Screenshot1-2.png

 

(Incidentally, I make no apology for using Imperial units - I can use SI units equally well, but the original was measured in Imperial units, and I'm modelling it in a scale based on said units, so it makes life a lot easier.  I'll include metric conversions if there's a popular demand.)

 

The national markings will be done using dashotgun's file from this forum, and the invasion stripes will be masked the old-fashioned way with Tamiya tape. 

What I intend to deal with here are the nose art and the checks.

Edited by MikeC
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Excellent stuff Mike! Chequers are a real challenge, both drawing accurately on other than a dead flat surface, and applying.  Good luck, looking forward to seeing more both here and on LSP. It’s inevitable that the smallest markings will have to be decals, I’m reluctantly using a few on my Fury that are impossible to make masks for. 

Max 

Edited by Mozart
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So let's start with the nose art.  It's really all done by eyeball estimation, base on the datum that the panel it will sit on is about 0.22" high.  I started with the name, "The Comet".  "Comet" was started using the text tool again, with a font called "Stencil Gothic BE" which comes with Windows 10.  This is not exactly the same, in that the "T" is solid in the font, and needs a cutout. 

  Screenshot2-2.png

So with apologies to those for whom this is old hat (this software is still a journey of discovery for me):  a word created in the text tool can be  ungrouped to edit individual letters.  So it was a simple matter to magnify the "T", use the eraser tool to make the cut-out, extend the lines on the horizontal and vertical bars to make each a complete rectangle, then group them to make the letter.  Then I made sure the letters were the same size, aligned and grouped them.

Screenshot3-2.png

 

"The" started off in the text tool in Arial font.  After ungrouping, the H and E were reduced to about half the height, then the fun began.  Using the point edit tool on each letter in turn, I got them to about the right shape; then drew three straight lines to check the alignment and adjusted accordingly.

Screenshot4-2.png

 

Screenshot5-2.png

To ensure the lines were parallel I simply drew the first one, then used the duplicate function.

 

Then it was simply a case of drawing two small circles, size and group everything up, draw a box round it all, et voila:

Screenshot6-2.png

 

I tend to group in stages: so as we saw, the letter of "The" were grouped, as were those for "COMET" Then the dots at each end were grouped; then add "THE"; finally, group that plus the box.

 

Next, the comet itself.

 

 

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The comet started life as two concentric circles, seen here before final alignment. 

 

Screenshot7-2.png

 

The tail was then drawn by eye using the polygon tool, with the outer edges as tangents to the inner circle.

 

Screenshot9-2.png

 

I used the eraser to get rid of unwanted lines, then grouped it all and added a box.

 

Screenshot10-2.png

 

 

 

Edited by MikeC
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Thanks Gents.  Although for full disclosure I should mention that I've used drawing software before, not least Powerpoint (now-fading memories of work!!!) and even dabbled in a CAD package (again, that was for work), so it's more getting used to the particular wrinkles of the Silhouette software than coming at it ab initio.

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7 minutes ago, Mathduv said:

There are a lot of mustang scheme that never made it to decals manufacturer, and it's great to see them build.

Yes, and I like something unusual, so I'm now in Eighth AF Enthusiast Heaven! :classic_biggrin:

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The nose bands were started as a trace off the kit decals, and this quickly proved a non-starter for various reasons, so I bit the bullet and started from scratch.

 

I taped a piece of paper around the nose, making sure that it conformed to the curves without creasing in the nose band area, drew the edges, and scanned it, noting the top edge to avoid confusion later.

 

Nose-Trace-crop.jpg

 

Then used the trace software to draw it out

Screenshot11-2.png

 

Then:

- refined it;

- cut it on paper;

- tried it on the model;

- repeat until satisfied - which is not yet, although I'm getting there.

 

Yes, well spotted, it is only half a nose-band: once I've got one half right, I can just mirror it.

Edited by MikeC
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Last Christmas I was given a PixScan mat. I kinda thought to myself, "what does this do for me, I can scan and import already." But, after reading up on how it works, I've used it once, so far, while scanning something and the scan came into Studio correctly scaled. Not like a regular jpg file that needs scaling after import.

 

Dave

 

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Here's the plain - no checks - nose band, cut into paper and tested against the model.  It's not perfect, but good enough: I can make any minor adjustments at the painting stage.

20210908-101857.jpg

 

As that's OK, I'll call a halt on the masking work for now, and actually get on with building something to put them on.  More in due course; thanks for the interest and encouragement.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The following may seem off-topic and a bit of a long story, but please bear with me.  However, for the more sensitive mask-users among us please note that it contains several references to "the 'D' Word" :classic_ohmy::classic_smile:

 

More years ago than I care to remember, in the late 1960s, my local model shop where I grew up carried a small stock of aftermarket decals: most of them were aimed at the flying model fraternity, but there were a few sheets that suited 1/72 model aeroplanes.  I soon discovered the joys of going off-piste and doing a subject not in the box - or more usually the Airfix bag.  A bit later I discovered Modeldecals, sold by Modeltoys in Portsmouth.  Much later I found myself moving to Portsmouth for work, and Modeltoys was my local hobby shop.  Aftermarket decal heaven!

 

Fast forward many years, and I was occasionally venturing into the box subjects if I fancied said subject, but generally I still liked to know that I had made a model that was a bit different.  The drawback was, of course, that anyone else who had bought the same aftermarket sheet may have picked the same subject.  So coming up to date, having got into making my own masks, it feels good to know that I can make what is likely to be a truly unique model.  For me that is a small part of enjoying my hobby (although I dread to think what it says to a psychologist about my ego).

 

Whilst I do not claim a fully comprehensive knowledge of every decal sheet ever released, I was pretty sure that "The Comet" had never been done in a decal sheet.  So I designed and cut my masks, as seen above, and then, recently, I stumbled across THIS! https://www.eduard.com/out/media/D32013.pdf

 

Yes, it has "The Comet" on it!  This has given me a dilemma.  To abandon this subject and find another truly unique one: perhaps "Duchess of Manhattan" from the 361st, my reserve subject.  It does not tick the box of a lesser-known fighter group, but in all other respects is interesting, and I don't know of any decals for it.   The other option is to carry on and not waste the work I've done so far.

 

So that's where I am at the moment.  It's interesting that Eduard's interpretation has the name and artwork on both sides of the nose.  I don't have or know of any photos of the starboard side nose.  Looking at the design of the wording and the artwork, it just looks wrong to me to have the art going "backwards" on the aeroplane.  But the "THE" seems designed to accommodate the comet artwork, so putting it in front on the starboard side would also seem not quite right.  So my interpretation was, and still is, to put the nose art on the port side only. 

 

But I think I'll stick with "The Comet".  After all, the Eduard sheet also has a couple of 20th FG birds, a Blue-Nosed Bodney resident and "Lou IV", so I suspect "The Comet" will be the least popular.  In any case, I will know I did it with masks.  At the moment I'm still working on the cockpit interior, so another post here may be some time.  But until I do, thanks for staying with me and reading my ramblings.

 

 

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With you 100% there Mike in every respect. I think you have made the right decision in continuing with “THE Comet” and also that the nose art is only on the port side. I have the same dilemma with my Fury, I wanted to do a unique one that nobody else will have modelled and even contemplated changing K8267 to K8261, one of the other Furies in the vic, but why bother; as you allude to, it’s only my own ego that is being satisfied! 
Onwards and upwards my friend! 
Max 

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On 9/7/2021 at 8:45 AM, denders said:

...  the scan came into Studio correctly scaled. Not like a regular jpg file that needs scaling after import.

 

Why do you have to re-scale "a regular jpg" after importing? Is the scanner not set up to output at 100% (fullscale)? 

 

EDIT: I just scanned a ruler and saved the output as jpg, png, pdf, and tif ...  and all imported (dragged) into Studio in the same true scale. I also varied the resolution from 75 to 600 dpi with no impact. I use a Canon printer/scanner with the Canon software (IJ Scan utility). Shouldn't make any difference, but what scanner and program are you using?

 

Gene K

 

P.S. I'm enjoying this thread, so thanks ... could you post your attachments at a higher resolution, please, so I can more fully appreciate your work?

Edited by GeneK
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12 hours ago, GeneK said:

P.S. I'm enjoying this thread, so thanks ... could you post your attachments at a higher resolution, please, so I can more fully appreciate your work?

Thank you Gene, glad you're enjoying it.  I'll have a look at doing that, but I'm not sure how, so bear with me while I work that out.

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