North American P-51D Mustang
by David W. Aungst
Who in the aircraft modeling community (especially those that build a lot of W.W.II aircraft) has not at one point or another debated whether the aircraft of the 375th FS / 361st FG were camouflaged in either blue or green?
I decided I wanted to build a green camouflaged rendition of the aircraft to see how a green camouflage would look. Since I was too squeamish to do Lou IV or E2«S and take on the controversy with a frontal assault, I opted to build "my aircraft" - a fictitious aircraft from the unit following all the markings practices of the time period.
The Monogram 1/48 scale Mustang is an older kit and shows its age in some respects, but at a third of the price of either the Hasegawa or Tamiya offerings, it is really not a bad option. Besides, at the time I built this model, the other kits were not even a dream.
Since the point of building the model was to do the camouflage, I wasted no time doing a lot of extras to the kit and stuck with an out-of-the-box construction style. I did take a little time to seal the gun bay doors closed on the left wing top and replaced the raised scribing that I lost while sanding the wing area using thin stretched sprue.
I used Testors Model Master enamel paints and metalizers. It was the practice of the 375th FS / 361st FG to leave the bottom of the aircraft in natural metal and only camouflage the upper surfaces. Hence, I painted the bottom in five varied shades of metalizer to represent unpainted metal and painted the top surfaces in Olive Drab (F.S.34087). I used dark blue as a trim color (because that is what I liked) and applied the typical yellow nose of the 361st FG. The invasion stripes on the lower airframe were all masked and painted.
I pieced the specific aircraft markings together from the Monogram kit decal sheet and other decal sources. I chose E2«H as the aircraft identification, having never seen this letter used in any pictures of 375th FS P-51Ds, and I chose "Spike" as an aircraft name. This name was the strictly unofficial nickname of the girl I was dating at the time (because of the high-heeled shoes she always wore). She was not really pleased with this choice, but it was my model... To go with the name on the left side of the nose, I hand painted a blue high-heel shoe so no one would think the aircraft was named after a pet. I chose to give myself only four kills as I did not want to be too presumptuous about being an ace.
I weathered the model moderately using thinned out enamel paints applied with an airbrush as panel line shading. A swipe or two of silver dry-brushing finished the weathering.
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Models, Description and Images Copyright ©
2000 by David Aungst