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Jet Mustang

by Tom Conte


Jet Mustang


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The Jet Mustang was a concept aircraft designed during WWII. North American was looking for ways to improve the performance of the P-51 that were presently in service. Since jet engines were still in their infancy however, there was the concern about their lack of range. The quickest way to create an aircraft was to combine the long range the piston engine offered with a jet engine to give an aircraft the higher top speed desired.

It was never built.

I made the model in 1/72 scale using some old drawings and a photo of a much older model found in a magazine. I first estimated the dimensions using know fact; the plane was to use the first turbine engine Westinghouse made, so that gave me minimum fuselage width and the production piston engine dimension. It seemed to have worked out because later when looking for a spinner for the model in the scrap box, the one from a P-82 Twin Mustang kit match the same diameter as the forward fuselage. The P-82 kit also contributed the exhaust stacks and canopy.

The reason I decided to build this particular aircraft was to test a new material I found for scratchbuilding. The sample I got is called Renwood and it is a synthetic material made from poured urethane. It is easier to shape than styrene plastic and does not splinter like wood. The two other properties that I was really interested in was that it took only one coat of automotive primer to seal it which greatly reduced finishing time and it could be cut into very thin sections and not curl up after a few years on the shelf like styrene sheet does. It was painted in Testors' Metalizer paints, again I wanted to see how easy it was to use this material and tried the most difficult finish I could think of. I liked the results and use this material to make masters of parts when I am making casting molds or complete models from it.

While I think itís a great material to scratchbuild models from, the biggest problem is availability. It is used in the tool and die industry and some of the smallest pieces I can locate to purchase are the size of my bedís mattress and costing as much. I have to settle for the scraps that some buddies I have in the industry give me.


Images Copyright © 2001 by Tom Conte
Page Created 12 October, 2001
Last Updated 13 October, 2001

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